256 Words

A Fountain of Youth

M. Stanley Bubien

A man hobbled into the office pushing a vibrant-looking woman in a wheelchair. But as the woman entered, the door closed on a wheel and she was stuck. The man's wrinkles bent. Puffing, he tried to free her.

The nurse hurried over and held the door while the man guided the chair.

Once inside, the woman beamed and patted the man on the shoulder. His frown melted. She lifted her arms and he hugged her.

Eyes bright, the woman wheeled herself to reception while the man bent slowly for a magazine and a seat. "Thank you for your help," the woman said. She glanced at the man, and continued with lowered voice and a wink, "Sometimes I need two navigators."

The nurse grinned. Pulling a chart and nodding to the seated man, she asked, "So, your father's here to see the oncologist?"

"Um," the woman hesitated. "I'm actually the one with the cancer."

"Oh!" the nurse said with her hand over her mouth. "I'm sorry. I just assumed..."

"That's okay. But... Um... He's also not my father."

"Excuse me."

"That man is my husband."

The nurse's eyes went wide. "I'm terribly---"

"No, no. Quite alright."

"It's just... You look so young."

"Well," the woman said, batting her eyelids humorously. "Thank you."

Looking back at the wrinkle-faced man, the nurse shook her head and said, "I have to ask... What's your secret?"

The woman's smile grew. "I guess I just enjoy my life."

"Hmm," the nurse replied. "That's quite a secret."

"Well, yes. I guess it is."

Based on a true story.

Copyright ©1996 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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July, 1996
Issue #4

256 Words