Idioms...sayings understood by native people part thirty six
Jenny rode quietly in the car. Millie tried to keep up the conversation... with her light comments. Finally even she went silent.
Lynn asked, "Where should we get something to eat?"
Jenny smiled back at her as she heard Lynn's stomach growl.
"How about Bonnie's Buffet?"
"Oh, that would be great."
"What's a buffet?" Carl's mother questioned.
"It is nothing fancy. But it is home cooking with a lot of variety and they will still have their lunch special on."
"I think that would be fun, Sara. Yes, let's go there."
"Probably will have everything swimming in gravy." Sara murmured.
Jenny narrowed her eyes at that. Deep breath, take a deep breath.
"Actually, Mrs. Matthews, it has an entire dietetic side to it. And has quite a nice atmosphere."
"Fine." stated the lady behind the sunglasses.
"Here we are, ladies." As Jerome pulled up in front of the restaurant, he got out and opened the door for his employer first, then came around and opened the doors for Jenny and Lynn. As they exited, he closed the doors and came around.
"Jerome? Will you eat with us?" Millie asked.
"Ah, Ms. Millie, I was kinda hoping to go visit my mom. Would that be okay?"
"Sure. I will call you when we are ready to leave."
She waved at him as he left.
Sara glared at Millie. "You sure are a trusting soul, Millie."
"What? Jerome is Oscar's friend from the shoe store. This job pays better and allows him to study more and go full time in Law School. I would trust Jerome with my life."
"I think that you should be more careful, that's all." Sara glanced down at her shoes.
"You're a fine one to give advice." Jenny spoke without thinking.
"What? Millie..is..my...friend. I don't want her to get hurt."
"Maybe, Millie, here, doesn't like to see her friend get hurt either." Jenny replied. She plastered a smile on her face and then said, "Shall we?" As she entered the restaurant.
Millie came up beside Jenny. "Please, Sara has had a rotten life. Can we just be pleasant today?"
Jenny closed her eyes for a second and then quietly, said, "I am sorry. But I can't stand to see someone be abused."
"It will be okay... I think. Oscar has talked with him. I can only try to trust my brother to do the right thing."
As they paid and found their seats, Sara looked around.
"Where are the waitresses?"
"You serve yourself, Sara." Lynn stated helpfully. "Just follow me. Take a plate, look around and take whatever you like."
Jenny took Millie by the arm. "Here. This table is for anyone with health problems."
"Oh, it smells delicious." Looking at the spread, Millie helped herself.
Lynn and Sara went around the other tables.
After filling their plates, they returned.
"Sara? You did not get very much."
"A woman has to watch what she eats."
Jenny just laughed and dug into her sweet potatoes.
"This is so good. How is your salad, Sara?"
"It is just fine."
Lynn took a bite of her barbecued chicken. "Wow. So delicious."
Sara looked at the two younger women enjoying her food. Millie was digging into her baked chicken and rice.
"This is really tender and not dry at all."
Sara picked at her salad.
"Is something the matter, Sara?" Millie asked.
"Why don't you try this?" Millie placed a piece of chicken on her plate.
"Millie, you have eaten off of that."
"Not this piece."
"Besides, how can you eat so much being a diabetic and all."
"Because... they have the carbs on each item just above them. I am allowed all of this. Really."
"You do seem very concerned about Millie. I bet she wishes you would take care of yourself more." Jenny spoke.
Sara sat straight up. "That is the third dig you have gotten into me. I don't even know you...You're name is what, Jenny?"
"You don't know me, that is for sure. But I know you."
"You were so upset that night when Carl came to comfort you.... One would wonder, does a mother need to burden her son like that?"
"What did you just say to me?"
"You are a victim. Your husband beats you. When I was beaten, I was little. I had no control over my life. You... You are an adult. I cannot fathom why you would allow this." She paused. "Nor can I fathom a mother who would allow her son to grow up in such an environment."
"Ah, aren't you the judgmental one."
"It takes one to see one." Jenny stated taking another bite, inside she was so angry right now. Calm down... you are pushing too hard.
Lynn got up. "I think it is time for another plate." She looked at Jenny. "Coming, Jenny?"
Millie watched Jenny leave. "She seems like a strong person."
"Strong? She is rude."
"Is she, Sara?" Millie gave her glaring friend a gentle smile. "Is it worth your life to live with my brother?"
Sara looked into the kind eyes of the runt of the family. She was so jealous of her life with Oscar.
"What, Millie? Aren't you jealous of me? I live in a big mansion, designer clothes, cuisine every night."
"Sara. I have all that I need. A man who cares for me, more than life itself. A man who puts up with my family because of me. The best thing that ever happened to me was my Oscar. He took a frail beaten down woman into his heart and then tells me I am his source of strength. He goes to work at the shoe store everyday, but not before he fixes me breakfast and leaves me a note on the table to tell me something special." She paused. "I think trading that mansion into a two bedroom condo, and living on rice and beans, doing my own house work... all of that, going to sales for clothes... yeah. It was hard at first, but worth it. God, it is worth it. and I thank God every day for it."
Sara looked at her friend. "Sometimes life does not turn out as you want."
Jenny sat down quickly upon hearing that. She picked up an ear of corn, before biting into it, she said, "Life is too short to just accept things as the way they are." Hoping her text to Sal went thru, she gave an encouraging smile to Sara.
"Look. You have no right to judge me."
"There is no judging here amongst friends." Jenny stated.
"What? You are my friend now?"
"I choose to be friends with anyone I want." She paused. "You just have to decide what you want from me."
"You?" She paused, "The way I see it, you are a rude little girl."
"You're right. Right now, I am. But how do you see that husband of yours that hit you in the face?"
"He is stressed. that's all. He gets to drinking and. well, needs to vent his anger."
"Ah, I see. Well, I may be rude. But I haven't hit you yet. If I do, will you make an excuse for me?"
Sara looked down at her food. Lynn showed up with a plate and chocolate ice cream sundae.
"Here. Have some ice cream. It will make you feel better."
Sara looked up at the pretty brunette with glasses.
"Ice cream? I haven't had that in ages."
Lynn giggled. "Live a little, okay?"
Jerome stood outside the inpatient clinic. He looked up at the sky. He listened hard to hear the birds chirping and feel the wind blow gently across his face. Then, he entered into the building and headed towards the visitation office, he smelled the antiseptic environment and sighed at the beige walls with the brown furnishings. Everything in this milieu was to bring calm to the soul. Unfortunately, to Jerome, it felt like a tomb. The receptionist smiled and said, "Hello, Mr. Thomas."
"Um, HI. I was hoping to visit my mother today. Eveline Thomas?"
"I understand. I will see if she is wanting to have any visitors today."
Jerome held his breath.
The receptionist hung up the phone.
"I am sorry. Your mother does not wish to see you today. But the doctor will be here in a minute." She got up from the window and then opened the door. "Please come in. I will take you to one of our conference rooms."
Jerome looked at the picture of birds in flight. Dull geesewith green bands of color around their necks flying through a pale blue sky against the beige wall. Only that picture and the door of white behind him seem to break up the monotonous color. A doctor in a long white coat and beige scrubs entered into the room, had the man not had red hair, he would have blended into the background. Jerome forced a smile and greeted him.
"As you know, your mother is suffering from a massive depression to the point that she is not communicating to anyone."
"Well, maybe if I can see her?"
"Look, Jerome, is it?" The man waited on the person in front of him to agree. "I think for now we are placing your mom on a suicide watch, and in a few days, after the medication takes ahold of her system, we should see some improvement."
"Dr. Smith. You and I have had this same discussion once a month over the last year. Mom has not responded to any medication. When I found her like that... catatonic... I brought her to you to find out what made my fun loving, happy, kind, wonderful mother into this zombie... and you still do not have any thing to tell me?"
Dr. Smith sighed. "Her physical was benign, save that she had had some kind of..." He paused, realizing his mistake.
"What? Some kind of what?" Jerome stared daggers into the man.
"Well... did your mom have a boyfriend? or anything?"
"Oh." He paused, "Well, thankyou for coming here today. I think this has been most enligntening conversation."
"Wait. Are you saying that my forty-two year old mother was raped?"
'Er, no, I did not say that... I er.." hearing his pager go off. "Ah, an emergency. I have to go. I have your contact number. I will call you when something changes. Okay?"
Carl and his team stood in front of the rejected toys that lined the warehouse he and Rick rented.
"Steve had a great idea to take a look at toys that were not selling well and see if we can give a new purpose for them." He announced to the team.
"Those of you who went to the blind school and those of you who went to the deaf school, split up and see what you can do. I expect results by the end of the day."
"Any way we can get Charlie back?" asked Joe.
"Because his tactile sense will make it easier for us to decipher how each toy feels to someone who relies on their sense of touch."
"Yeah, and his hearing will help us to decipher tones. Not all deaf people are without any hearing."
Carl smiled. "Maybe tomorrow. Remember he can only probably tolerate an hour or two of stimulation like this."
"Great." The teams split out and headed amongst the toys.
Carl hit found the number in his cell phone, grateful to have an excuse to check up on Jenny.
"I was just wondering how everything was going."
"Oh, Lunch? With Millie and my mother?" He narrowed his eyes as he walked away from the group. "You and Jenny?" Concern now entered into his voice.
"I will see you at your house after work. I need to see if Charlie is interested in a job."
"You heard me. A job."
"Is Jenny okay? Today was her first session with my friend."
It was the end of the day and Rick carried about ten more signed contracts down to his car. He opened the trunk and placed them into his car.
The man jumped as he closed his trunk.
"Man, talk around the sales room is high. The guys are saying they are getting contracts signed right and left. Why are sales down another two percent?"
Rick looked at the man beside him, wondering just how much he could trust him.
"Are you trying to make the company look bad? Is this some sort of revenge? I never took you for someone who wanted to wreck the place."
"That is not it, Steve."
"Those guys live for commissions, you know."
"And commission checks come in on a monthly basis. We will get it all cleared up at that time."
"But then distribution can be a problem." He paused. "What are you doing?"
"Steve, can you just trust me?"
Steve looked at him. "The brass upstairs aren't stupid, Rick."
"You should at least give them last weeks contracts. Tell them you held them until finance and legal okay-ed them."
"Thanks, Steve. I will do that."
"Oh, and when those refund requests hit for the returned toys, the brass are gonna throw a fit."
"I took care of that."
"By offering them a cut on the toys they ordered."
"Rick? Are you stupid or what?"
"No. Just trying to keep the company afloat in this economy."
"And you and I know that all those guys know upstairs is their profit margin. They are worse than the oil companies."
"I know. Once again, I am begging you, Steve. Trust me."
"Fine. I will treat this like a UFO. I saw something but not sure what it was. I just hope you don't get jail time out of this."
"You and me both, brother."
"Mr. Chairman, the bank is on the phone."
The man was looking over the sales stats. Down another two percent? he thought, Man, what the hell is Rick doing?
As he picked up the phone, he heard. "Mr. Chairman, this is Matthew Greenbaum of the National Bank. I would like to discuss the recent changes at your company. As you know, we are your main lenders, and it has come to my attention, that everything is not as it should be. We would like to meet with you. When would be an appropriate time for you?"
to be continued.