He sneezed on our hamburgers and fries.
I handed him a napkin and pushed my food aside.
He placed the scrunched napkin on the table and passed me a note.
I read, while he finished his rosemary flavored fries.
I’m breaking up with you. My therapist confirmed, my allergies worsen since I met you. Your hypersensitivity gave me an uncontrollable itch and a rash that will not go away. You know where. Without moving my head, I glance at him.
He slurped his drink, sniffled and wipe his mouth with the back of his hand.
I reposition my body, faced away from him and continued to read, Your moodiness has left me susceptible to loneliness which has given me sleepless nights and my performance at work has declined.
He stretched his arm and yawned as he tilted back his chair.
I kept reading. Your need to bathe at night and shower in the morning, daily, has wiped my immune system with every illness known by my mother. Therefore, you must move out, then I can heal from your weirdness and get healthy again.
Carefully, I folded the note in the same way he had it, gave it to him, pushed myself away from the table, took out my hand sanitizer and stared at his pale face. Yes, I am a bit OCD. It worsen on my first year of practicing medicine. Which happened to be the same time I began to work with Dr. Hide. He kept asking me out and I kept letting him down easy. He was uptight in the surgery room and way too loose outside the OR for me.
With my arms folded, I said, “Stephen, I’ve put up with you long enough. Playing along with your fantasy world has gone to far. I agree to have lunch with you because, we are both professional adults.” I stood up and handed him my notice.
He opened the letter, read it, then screamed, “What? You can’t leave me. I’m moving out. Didn’t you read my note?”
The hospital cafeteria went numbly silent.
With a poised and calmed voice, I said, “Dr. Hide, I want to make it perfectly clear. We, never lived together only worked in the same room while I played along with your fictional plots. Now, you have to find another anesthesiologist who will play along with your make-believe stories. Maybe your therapist or your mother can help you find the one who can cure you from all the diseases I caused you.” I turn around and left my letter of resignation with the chief brain surgeon. Whom, I had actually fallen very fond of and his quirky games.
As I walked down the hallway, I felt a gentle touch on my shoulder. I glanced behind me. Stephen knelt on the floor.
I faced him.
With both hands behind him, he said, “Marissa, please, don’t leave me. You have been my favorite play mate.”
I dashed to him. “Dr. Please get up. You are embarrassing me.” I felt sweat beats forming on my forehead.
On one knee, he brought before him a blown up glove and said, “Will you marry me?”
A ring hung from the glove. Nurses, doctors and patients watched with elated expressions. Oos and awes seem to synchronized with the beeping heart monitor.
I said, “What took you so long.”
He stood up.
He whispered, “So, you will stay?”
With a smile I responded. “I never was going away.”
“Oh, you got me. You got me good. I was scared that you were truly leaving me to face my unorthodox behavior all alone.” He chuckled and turned beat read.
“Never, as long as I can start bathing at night and showering in the morning.”
“Can I join you?”
Everyone laughed and applauded.