The Test

5 Jun

The Test

By L. Stewart Marsden


Sheila Dumphreys leaned back in her leather-bound Victorian chair and looked at her client with incredulity.

“Timothy, you’re nuts!”

“Yeah, well I’ve been told that before.”

“Why would you do something like that?”

“Sheila,” — he pronounced it Shei-ler — “I’ve always lived my life doing for others. My wife, my kids, my neighbors, my employees — so, by God, one time I want things done for me. Now tell me the fault in that, will you?”

“I don’t fault you anything, Timothy. Your advanced directives are pretty clear. All that has to happen is that they are followed.”

“Ex-actly! And that’s the sticker, isn’t it? I’ve no way of knowing if they in fact will be followed. I mean, when my father was unconscious and on all sorts of breathing apparatus and tubes and things, I knew what his wishes were. So did we all! But the conversation with the doc really could have gone the other way. If we wanted, we could have left him connected. Which was the very thing he didn’t want.”

“Well, when you are in that situation — in the moment — it’s very difficult to be the one to say pull the plug …”

“Again, exactly right! So that’s why I want to do the test.”

Sheila let his words hang in the air. The late-afternoon conversation was the last appointment on her calendar on a very busy Friday of a very busy week. All hell had broken out, and the newly divorced attorney had been busy putting out a multitude of fires. The worst of which was her ex-husband Roland, who was in trouble with the police.

“Okay. But I want you to know I’m agreeing to this idea with utmost reluctance. I’ll help you.”

Timothy Cardish jumped up from his chair before her large maple desk.

“THAT’s the spirit! Walk on the wild side! Think and behave out of the box!” he grinned, his large Irish face flushed with excitement and his enthusiasm untenable.

“When are you going to do this?”

“Immediately! Well, actually probably Sunday. It will take me that long to confirm with my other conspirators. Yes, Sunday will be the perfect day to begin the test!”

“But that’s —“

“— Father’s Day! Ironic, yes? The day a man’s children are supposed to shower him will love and appreciation — and, respect for what he wants!”

Timothy rubbed his hands together eagerly, then reached his right out to Sheila.

“Thank you, Sheila! You won’t regret this!”

She shook his hand. “Yeah, I keep hearing that lately. So far the jury is still out.”

“Ha, ha! Jury! Good one!” he chuckled as he turned for the door to leave. “I’ll keep you in the loop. Honest, Sheila, this is going to be one helluva test for my kids.”

“I don’t doubt that. I just hope nothing goes wrong.”

“Wrong? What could go wrong?” he threw back as he closed the door.

That’s what’s bothering me, she said to herself.

(… want to read more?)


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 5 June, 2015

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