Doris literally jumped from her bed at 5:00 am. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d had that much energy. Granted, she wasn’t a regular 90-year-old. Although her kids claimed they had put her in a nursing home so she could “connect” with people from her age, Doris had always felt like an outsider in that place.
But not that morning. That Monday morning Doris was who she was always supposed to be.
Doris’s life at Comfort Time was seriously dull and dreary. There was too much talk about disease and sickness for her taste. The meals didn’t taste homey and spicy enough. The movie night was simply the most dated thing she could ever hope for. She had learned all of Clint Eastwood’s lines by heart now.
And let’s not get her started on the daily entertaining activities. A bunch of silly puzzles and boring board games. Doris sometimes would play with her fellow “inmates,” as she would like to call them, just not to disappoint them. She would often let them win just to see the smile on their faces. She could easily beat them all, as her mind was still sharp.
Sometimes Doris secretly wished that God would take her so she could see the “other side.” Not that she was depressed, she was just bored as hell. At this point, even a disease would be interesting. But she’d always been too healthy and strong.
Until the day she fell down on the few steps that led to the outside of the nursing home’s supple garden. She’d been told not to use them, but who cared?
And that’s how Doris met William. “The young man from Kenya with a big smile on his face,” she would always describe. William was the physical therapist assigned to look after Doris and, according to her beliefs, help get her out of that boring place someday.
William and Doris soon became good friends. Her physical therapy sessions turned into “mind therapy,” and the duo would always crack jokes and share stories about their lives as well as silly things that didn’t matter much after all. Pretty often, William would say to Doris, “Tell me again why you went down those steps, Doris,” to which she would shake her head and reply with a wink, “So I could meet you, handsome guy.”