August 20th, 2011


Simon was late, lying face down on the concrete, and a little upset. His girlfriend, of four years, Hadley Kimbrell, was set to board a plane in eleven minutes. She’d graduated with an undergraduate in Psychology a month ago, and had been accepted to Bristol University to study law, in England, last week. Simon, of course, had been supportive. He had another two years of medical school, after all. It wouldn’t have been fair for him to make her wait, at least that’s what he’d thought. Before he’d realized he couldn’t let her leave. I love her too much. She’s my everything.

Naturally, Simon had realized that during his morning lecture, the day Hadley was set to leave. I have to stop her. He’d charged out of class–righteously, mind you–got in his car, went to the nearest diamond store. At the diamond store, he bought–as men do–a diamond ring. It was a nice diamond ring. In fact, it cost Simon eight months’ salary. Worth it, always worth it for Hads. Simon charged–again, righteously–out of the diamond store with thirty-two minutes to spare before Hadley was set to board.

Ironically, if Simon had spent half of the money he’d spent on the ring, repairing his car last month, it wouldn’t have died two point three miles away from the Boston airport. Given the circumstances, Simon felt it would be inappropriate to call and wait for a tow truck. No time to wait, fuck the car. Simon had left it there, on the highway, running to proclaim his love to a girl who frankly, had better things to do. Worth a try? Definitely.

That’s why Simon ran, with eleven minutes left. That’s also why Simon tripped over a cart of apples he had–heroically–tried to jump over. It was also, incidentally, why he was a little upset. Simon pushed himself up, wiped the dirt off his black scrubs, and pulled out his wallet. Hurriedly, he pulled out the two twenties he had left, and left them on top of the spilled apples. Okay, we can walk back, who needs cab fare. Simon started to run, again, towards the airport.

Seven minutes later, Simon scaled the large airports front stairs. Now for the tricky part. The airport was busy, due to Labor Day weekend, no doubt. Simon removed his hospital ID badge from its lanyard, before discarding the lanyard in the trash bin to his right. Three and a half minutes. Adopting his best “urgent” face, Simon jogged towards security. The security line was crowded with families and their luggage. Approaching the mass of people, Simon shouted “Paramedic! Let me through, we got a call from gate F14!” The closest women quickly moved out of his way, as did the rest of the people in line.

As Simon tried to pass the first security guard, who was checking tickets and passports, the guard called out “Hey, stop! What’s going on?”

Heart sinking, Simon turned and walked over to the portly guard, saying “We got a 911 call from gate F14.”

Incredulous, the guard looked at the personal badge Simon held out, which read paramedic. “Where are all the stretchers and tools and stuff?” asked the guard, giving Simon a wary look.

Chuckling, Simon rolled his eyes as he answered “Well they are in the second response ambulance which is on its way! Of course. I’m a first responder, also known as a paramedic. Can I please go save a human’s life now?”

Confused, the guard replied” Yeah, sorry man I didn’t realize they sent two responses.”

Smiling, kindly, Simon responded “Nobody seems to, we really are the unsung heroes of healthcare!”

Nodding, the large guard quickly pulled out his radio, pressed a button on the side, and said “Hey, we got a paramedic coming through, his err…ID checks out…I guess. Let him pass.” The guard then waived Simon past.

Simon turned and started jogging, as the next set of guards started to partition passengers waiting in line, making way for Simon. No…Fucking…Way! Hell yeah!

Clear of the security check point, Simon started laugh, invigorated, as he looked to the navigation signs hanging from the ceiling. A little arrow facing right indicated gates F10-F44. Right it is. Turning right Simon broke into a sprint, almost running into a woman at F11. Now comes the trickier–F12–part. A large clock told him he had one minute and twenty–F13–seconds before Hadley took off. Simon’s hands started to shake as he approached F14. Panting, he called out “Hadley! Hadley! Where are you?!” Worried, he looked back and forth. Did she already board? That paramedic trick isn’t going to get me on the plane…Fuck! Simon walked forward, looking for Hadley. He was getting strange looks from passengers standing in line, waiting to board. Let them stare.

Simon’s heart skipped a beat as he saw her hair, a stunning black, long and thick. She wore a black band T-shirt and tight, blue jeans. Standard. Hadley was beautiful, sitting there, reading a book with headphones trailing from ear to pocket. Found you, Hads. Simon, smiling like an idiot, walked up to Hadley, who hadn’t noticed him. How can I make this as awkward as possible? Simon took a seat next to her, before gently tapping her sleight shoulder.

Jumping a little, Hadley looked up, mouth parting in surprise, before growing into a laugh. She quickly pulled her headphones out and set her book down, asking “Simon, what are you doing here? How did you even get in here? Did you do something stupid…you didn’t buy a ticket? I mean we talked about this!” Her eyes were a vibrant green, her cheekbones were high and pronounced. Her face had the texture and color of a tan porcelain. Her jaw was straight, wide, but not too big. Her nose’s tip angled up, slightly, and had a small ring piercing in the left nostril. The nose ring really does complement her eyes.

Cheeks flushing, Simon responded “Well, I did something stupid, or amazing, maybe…chivalrous?” Hadley giggled, smiling bright. “Look, it just came to me this morning during lecture, before practical.” Hadley raised an eyebrow as Simon stood, moving in front of Hadley. “I realized that I can’t let you leave.”

Her parted mouth contorted into a comical disbelief, as she said “Let me go? Did I need your permission? Because I don’t, you know that, baby.”

Simon’s left lip curled into a mischievous grin, as he said “Well, wait for the argument. You see, I fucking love the shit out of you, and I can’t imagine living in this dreadful town, going to that dreadful school, without having the privilege of seeing your face every day. I know it’s selfish as all hell, and that’s why I didn’t say it sooner, but I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Hads.” Simon got onto one knee, pulling the ring’s little black box from his scrubs inner left pocket. Hadley’s eye’s grew so wide, Simon could see the reflection of his own, stupid, grin as he continued. “Hadley, you are strong, smart, sexy, and pretty much the only person I’d run more than a mile for. Will you save us both the hell that is a long-distance relationship, by instead…staying here… and marrying me.” Simon opened the ring box and held up the large diamond.

Hadley slowly started to shake her head from left to right, mouth forming a grin that was half incredulity and half joy. She responded “My boyfriend…is fucking insane.” Simon’s jaw tightened, as his stomach started to digest his heart. “I must be too. Fuck…yeah, okay, let’s do it. I’ll stay. But I’m not dropping of school, you dick.” Simon felt a wave of exhilaration, a tingling euphoria. The feeling of everything in your life coming together, how it was meant to be. No way…she said yes! Fuck yeah!

Simon took the ring out of the suede box and put the large ring on Hadley’s right ring finger. Looking at the ring, Hadley asked “Baby, are we gonna be able to afford next month’s rent?” Simon stood, pulling Hadley up with him, and pulled her in for a kiss. After about seven seconds, Hadley pulled away, weakly. “I deserve to know these things!” Simon gently wrapped his hand around the back of her head, digging his hands into her thick hair, before pulling her in for another kiss.