Duncan: Out Of Exile
Copyright © 2020 Juju. All Rights Reserved.
We received our nametags and with my access card, we went to the fourth floor where we encountered Lyka dressed in street clothes instead of hospital scrubs.
“Mom’s sleeping in for a bit but she’ll be here in an hour or so,” he informed us.
“You look good, how does your leg feel?” I asked.
He grinned. “Great! Now that I can move my knee, it doesn’t hurt to walk and I don’t feel like I’m going to fall down. I have a cane to help me stand and steady myself.” He demonstrated walking without the cane but when he stopped, he had to lean against the bed.
“Are you up for breakfast?” I asked.
“Starving,” he replied.
Dan told us he would head for the administration office and join us in a while. We walked to the nurses’ station and I stopped and introduced myself and asked if Dr. Chandler could be found, and would they mind calling her or having her call the station. They called her office and handed me the phone.
“Good Morning, Dr. Chandler, it’s me, Duncan. I wanted to ask about Kelly and see if he could join Lyka and me for breakfast.”
She told me to wait a moment and Kelly came on the line, “Hi Duncan, how are you?”
I told him I was better now that I had some sleep. I asked him if he’d like to have breakfast and meet my friend. He said it sounded good and asked Dr. Chandler if it would be okay. He came back and said he’d be right down because Dr. Chandler was done for now.
I told him we’d meet him at the elevator on the first floor. I thanked the nurses and we shambled to the elevator. As luck would have it, Kelly was in the elevator when the doors opened.
I introduced Kelly to Lyka and then told him that Lyka was my boyfriend.
Lyka’s eyes widened, “I didn’t get the memo on that; can you refresh my memory?”
I laid a very passionate kiss on his lips as Kelly watched.
“And now?” I asked.
“Oh yes, it must have been misfiled, I do recall it now.”
Kelly looked at us with big eyes and said, “That’s awesome. I mean, I don’t think I’m gay but I’d like to have someone to be romantic with. Maybe the Doc will help me figure it out. Right now, I’m not even interested in jerking off,” he sighed.
I told him that if anyone could help him it would be Doc Chandler but he needed to be completely honest with her. The door opened again and we marched off to the cafeteria.
We picked a table that allowed us to see the entrance and to be seen. We were just about halfway through our first plates when Dan came through the door with Gabe. They both seemed pretty jovial. We continued our blabbing about anything that presented itself. It occurred to me that Kelly would probably end up at the Andersen Home and I told him what Max had told me about it. I wrote out Max’s name and number in my little address book, tore out the page and gave it to Kelly, telling him he should call Max and keep in touch. I included my new number as well.
“That’s a nice phone,” Lyka chirped, “You have the Otterbox case just like mine and Trev’s, very cool.”
“Thanks,” I said. Suddenly I remembered what I found in my notebook and poked at Dan.
“Sorry to interrupt, Sir, but you need to see this.”
“Sir?” Dan said with a raised eyebrow.
“It’s a habit okay, cut me some slack, you need to see this, it’s important.” I showed him the page in my address book that Mom wrote on. “That looks promising,” he said, smiling.
We made our second trip through the buffet line and tied the omelet guy up for a while, fortunately there weren’t a lot of customers yet so we didn’t make anyone wait. I was finishing my Belgian waffles with Nutella and whipped cream when the kid that gave Lyka and I a bunch of crap the day before, walked by with his dad.
He walked over and rubbed his hands, “Um, I saw you guys on the news and well, um, I’m sorry about the way I acted. I was being a jerk and I’m sorry. I’m glad that you didn’t get hurt. I just wanted to tell you that. I gotta go, my dad is waiting, bye.” He rejoined his father and they walked out the door; before they did, I noticed his dad looking at him with that same soft smile that Dan had given me.
Gabe and Dan looked at us with inquisitive eyes.
“Lyka explained what had happened and what I had said. They all had a good chuckle.
I felt my ears turning red, and Lyka said, “Hey lighten up, you have a gift for hacking people. It’s better than hitting them dude, so chill with the blushing.” Kelly laughed but Gabe looked puzzled, “Once again dear, in English please?” she asked.
Dan had pulled out his phone and snapped a photo of us. We were toasting with bacon.
Gabe announced it was time to go and I walked her and Lyka to the curb; she handed the valet her ticket and a folded bill and he scuttled off to get her car. I put Lyka’s bag in the back seat and helped him in. Just before I shut the door, I leaned in and kissed him on the lips as hard as I could manage. I closed the door and waved at both of them.
I hustled back to the cafeteria where my coat hung on the back of my chair. I’ve gotten out of the habit of coats. I told Dan I needed to go up and say goodbye to Clara before I left, so I rode up on the elevator with Kelly.
Before we got there he said, “I’ll never forget what you did for me yesterday, all of it. You saved my life. I hope I get to see you again sometime. He hugged me tight and I hugged him back just as hard. The elevator stopped at the fifth floor and the doors opened. Fortunately, Clara was there as I stepped out. I told her I wasn’t staying as the three little chimes sounded. “I just wanted to keep my promise of seeing you before I left the hospital for good. You were so good to me and I really appreciate it.” I hugged her and she patted my back.
She said, “Duncan, it has been my pleasure to help you however I could. I think you helped us all just as much. I’ll miss having you here but I’m very happy for you. Go enjoy your life now.” She squeezed me again and let go.
I gave Kelly one last hug and stepped back on the elevator and back down to Dan.
“Hey Toots, does your mom know you hang out in joints like, does your mom know you hang out in joints like this?” I growled to Sarah trying for a gravelly Clint Eastwood sort of voice. She spun around and grinned widely at me. Then she came from behind the counter and wrapped me in a tight hug. She cooed and carried on for a bit and finally said, “I’m so glad you’re okay. Those men should be roasted alive for what they did.”
I hugged her back and was having difficulty getting my voice under control. “I had to come back and see you and thank you for helping me save my own life. I couldn’t have reached my uncle without your help and you are such a good sport about having us take over your library.” My tears were flowing now.
“It’s going to be very boring here without the Feds and State Police tromping in and out.” She giggled like a teenager. “Oh, I have your things here in the cabinet, let’s not forget those, you’ll want those pictures someday.”
I dried my eyes with the tissues she provided and gave her one last hug and said goodbye.
“So what am I? Chopped liver?” Gertrude Berg said as I turned around. My eyes came to rest on Dr. Chandler’s lovely face and I rushed forward to hug her.
“You were on the fifth floor and you didn’t see me?”
I explained that the alarm was having a fit and Clara had her hands full so I just went back down.
“Well, okay, I guess I buy that. And you did say goodbye last night, but since I’m here.” She gave me a kiss on the cheek and we waved at Sarah as we walked out the door to the lobby.
We went to security where Dan and I turned in our visitor badges. Dr. Chandler told the guard that she would walk us out. As she did, she elbowed me and stuck out her hand palm up.
“Check your left pocket in your sweater.” She reached and pulled out the key card she gave me the night before.
“Do you juggle and do card tricks also?” she asked and we both laughed.
“Sure, I even do kiddy parties.”
I got serious and told her, “I will really miss kidding around with you, most grownups think it’s impertinence.”
She gave me the sweetest smile. I asked her to lean down and when she did, I kissed her on the lips and then hugged her.
“Be good” she smiled, “but not too good, it ain’t normal.”
I was trying hard not to cry so I sang I kissed a girl, and I liked it as I walked out the door with Dan. I had to raid the tissue pack in his car as he reached over and patted my back.