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American Contemporary Drama

Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Tread—George Davis

  Frank Moses sat pondering his next prank, April first. He started last April plotting his mischievous act. It was so diabolic in nature it even scared Frank. He was thrilled at his new plan even though he'd have to wait a year to see it through.

  I wonder what the guys at work will think of it. I bet they won’t get a good night’s sleep for months. It has been one whole year in the planning. It should go off without a hitch.

  Phoebe McCall is one of my coworkers at Fidelity Trust Insurance Company. She sits in the next cube to mine on the second floor. She and I are in the Short-Term Disability area. She is a senior claim’s payer. I, on the other hand, am only a response clerk. My job is to make sure all information is enclosed in the envelope before it is passed to a claim’s payer.

  When Frank’s plan was still embodied in his thick skull, he had Phoebe McCall in mind. 

She has, for the last four years, made sure Frank knew she had a more important job than he; always snubbing him whenever they met. She loved it when Frank made a mistake or didn’t get all the information, she needed to close the claim. 

  “Frank, is your job so hard you cannot get me all the information I need? Must you pass me a claim that is insufficiently lacking what I must have to close it out?” 

  “I’m sorry, Phoebe. I’ll try harder the next time. I promise.” She’s a witch that thrives on a person’s errors. Her ego is inflated every time I make a mistake. She loves to rub my nose in it. 

  “So be more careful what you send me in the future.” Frank thought, I’ve got a surprise for you, little miss perfect. Wait until April Fool’s Day next April. I’ve had a year to think about it. It will be a doozy, believe me.

  On his way home, Frank stopped at the Circle G Bar and Grill. Four o’clock ushered in the Happy Hour. Drinks half-price.

  Chauncey Doyle, owner/bartender asked, “What’ll it be, Frank, the usual?”

  “Yep, only double it up this time, Chauncey.” Tonight Frank downed four double Scotch and water drinks. Two more than usual. When he left the bar he was in no condition to drive. Chauncey took his keys and called him a taxi.

  The cabbie asked, “Where to, Bud?”

  “Home.”

  “Where’s home?”

  “Er—- wait a minute, it’ll come to me.”

  “Well, while we wait it’s costing you money.”

  “Okay, okay, don’t rush me.”

  “I’m not rushing you, pal. The longer we sit here, and the meter is running. I’m makin’ money.”

  “I live over in Cumberland Falls on Mechanic Street, number 24.” The taxi driver drove the four miles to Frank’s home, a small cape with cedar shingles and a beautifully manicured front lawn. “That’ll be six-dollars and eighty-cents.”

  “That’s highway robbery. I coulda taken a passenger train home at half that price,” Frank said.

  “Well, I told you, the longer you sit and talk the more it would cost you. I warned you, fella.”

  Frank paid the fare, leaving only a fifty-cents in tip.

  “Thanks again, Mr. Rockefeller,” the cabbie said. 

  Frank woke the next morning still in his suit and curled up on the living room couch. His pants were wrinkled, and his shirt and tie were stained with foul-smelling remnants of the evening's repast, which consisted of pickled eggs, two Polish sausages, and a hot dog with sauerkraut. 

  In the shower, now awake, he tried to remember last evening. He was unable to piece it together. The night of inebriation robbed his memory. 

  “I’m glad it’s Saturday. I couldn’t take one more minute listening to that witch Phoebe degrade me in front of our work unit. She lives I believe, to hassle me and the other two in the Response group. I hate her with a passion,” Frank said to himself.  

  April Fools Day, here at last.

  Frank laughed as he thought about his prank on Phoebe McCall. It would please him, and irritate her to no end. 

  Everything was ready. Frank got to work a half-hour earlier today. With trembling fingers, he set the card on her desk. 

  At eight-fifteen, Phoebe came into the office, passed by Frank’s cube without saying a word. 

Frank heard her say, “What’s this?” He chuckled to himself. In about two minutes, she will blow her stack. It didn’t happen.  

  That’s funny, he thought. She hasn’t said a thing, and it’s been over half an hour. 

  Frank got up, peered round the corner to see Phoebe dabbing her eyes with a tissue. She’s been crying, he thought. Suddenly, and without warning, she turned to face Frank. “I don’t know what to say, Frank. It is so sudden. I didn’t know you felt that way.” 

  “I don’t. April fools.”He laughed. Phoebe did not. She cried all the more, loud sobbing sounds came out from her cube as Frank rushed back to his desk. 

  As he sat thinking, he realized what a cruel thing he’d done. He bought a greeting card; he wrote: I have loved you for years. I am madly in love with you, Phoebe McCall, and I want to marry you. Please say yes. He also became conscious of a deep, feeling he hadn’t felt in years. He was in love with Phoebe. He did truly love her. His conscience kept telling him, she was not his type. She was a thorn in his side. Now he knows all those times he hated her in his mind. He truthfully loved her. They say there is a small line between love and hate.  

  Phoebe McCall and Frank Moses were married the following April first. The happy couple would always look on April first, not as a fool’s day, but the happiest day of their lives.

  It is said: “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.”  A quote from Proverbs.

April 02, 2021 11:51

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