Forever: A Lobster Kind Of Love

Forever: A Lobster Kind Of Love by Jody Pardo, Jennifer Tocheny Read Free Book Online

Book: Forever: A Lobster Kind Of Love by Jody Pardo, Jennifer Tocheny Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jody Pardo, Jennifer Tocheny
going to be me. If I was not in therapy, I was in the gym.
    The Alphas came on Saturdays to work out. Most of the guys just sat in their chairs and watched them work out, but those modified workouts have kept me lean and chiseled, despite the super fattening food they fed us.
    I loved food, but I saw how these guys packed on the pounds so easily. The anti-depressants they pumped everyone up with didn’t help either. I‘d stopped taking them a long time ago. I was not depressed; I just needed something to do.
    I couldn’t fish anymore, so I worked out. Carla and Tiffany, the Alpha girls who came in on Saturdays, had been awesome and always have smiles on their faces when they arrive. I was going to miss those girls. They were definitely the ringleaders and usually a group of five or six others tagged along, but they were the constants.
    Supposedly, there were Alpha groups all over the country. I didn’t know about any in my small town, we didn’t even have a Dunkin Donuts or a mall. You had to drive all the way to Calais to get things like that.
    Pedro had been gone for three months. He’d decided to stay in New York even though his family lived in Pennsylvania. He said there were more opportunities for veterans in New York City. I hoped he was doing all right. He was a ‘walker’, so that was a blessing. Pedro sent me a short letter with a baseball card, of himself, last month. He’d joined some handicapped baseball league through the Veterans Association.

    Hey Ryan,
    I’m getting settled in New York. The VA hooked me up with affordable housing. It’s small, but it’s mine and it’s close to the VA. Check out the baseball card! How cool is that? I’m playing right field and loving it. Otherwise, I am working at a small dive bar on the Lower East Side so I have my days to myself. Hope you are doing well and get out soon. Keep in touch bro!
    Best roommate ever,
    Pedro

    My day had finally arrived, my day of release. I’d waited for the ambulance that would take me home to arrive. The trip had me on another mobile bed, which was fine with me. I could use a nap. I had taken it easy at the gym this morning. I didn’t want to get all sweaty and then have to lie in my sweat for six or seven hours on the drive home. 
    The ladies in the kitchen made peanut butter cupcakes with the letter “R” on them for lunchtime dessert. Shelly, the cook, packed me a few for the road. If those EMT’s thought they were getting any of Shelly’s cupcakes, they had another think coming. She knew what I liked and while you never heard much out of her mouth, her food spoke volumes. 
    Eventually, my ride showed up. I had pretty much said goodbye to everyone at lunch over cupcakes, so there was no hoopla with me leaving. Rodney, my favorite orderly, insisted on lifting me into the gurney. I guessed that was how the big guy got his hug in on the sly…and that was okay with me. 
    This crew was different from the crew that did the original transport. I don’t know why I even thought it would be the same guys. There had to be a zillion ambulances in New York City. 
    “Ready to get outta here, Ryan?” the EMT that had driving duty said as he stood at the rear doors.
    “Yeah man, let’s roll. Get me home by 8:00 and lobster rolls are on me.” 
    He laughed and shook his head. “We work for private ambulance service man, we can’t afford lobster anything.”
    “Lobster rolls are the hot dogs of Maine,” I told him. “Trust me, you don’t want to leave Maine without having one or two or five.” 
    He seemed to like that idea and closed the rear doors with a smile before heading to the driver’s seat. 
    As we pulled out of Woodhaven Rehab, my view was reversed. Leaving through the brick columns, the green sprawls, headstones, and monuments filled the back windows and the only thing I could think as we pulled down the drive was, I made it out alive. 
    I called Dougie and asked him to meet me at the house. He’d set things up

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