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By Margaret BrennanPublished 3 months ago 5 min read



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“Dad, you’ve seen how stubborn he is. Well, maybe not as stubborn as he is proud. He won’t want to admit he can’t take care of Max. Do you really think he’ll be able to take care of him? Or will that only make him worse? And who’ll take care of him? You know his uncle works long hours and isn’t always there to take care of Tommy. He’s pretty much on his own. I’m really worried about him, Dad.” She was almost breathless when she finished her last word.

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Mary Ellen hugged her dad to where he said, “Honey, you’re choking me. Ease up or I won’t be able to help Tommy, and speaking of him,” he said as he tried to point to a corner of the room, “I’m also bringing him a pair of crutches to take some of the pressure of his left side. There’s also a brace for his back to keep him from leaning in the wrong direction when he uses the crutches. Your mom raided my first aid cabinet and packed plenty of bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, and antibiotic cream. I think he’ll heal just fine, but remember what I said yesterday, “it’ll take time.”

Mary Ellen never gave her father a chance to finish speaking. Quickly, she once again jumped on him, squeezing his neck, while shouting in his ear, “Oh Daddy, you’re the greatest! I know you’d take care of Tommy. I just knew it!”

As Dr. Morgan pried his daughter’s arms from his neck, she quickly changed emotions and said worriedly and, in a voice, just above a whisper, “But what about Max?”

Taking her hands so she couldn’t grab his neck again, he answered, “As far as Max is concerned, Uncle Frank is supposed to fix something to make taking care of him easier. He said we’d have to see what he had in mind. It’s easier to see than explain. We’ll know when we meet him at Tommy’s apartment.”

Before Mary Ellen could respond, Dr. Morgan continued, “Your Mom offered to pick you up at school every afternoon and take you to Tommy’s so both of you could help. You can help his uncle while she cleans his wounds and changes his bandages. Since Jimmy has to work such long hours, between the three of us and Uncle Frank, we should be able to give Tommy, his uncle, and Max all the help they need.”

Dr. Morgan continued, “Mary Ellen, with all this that happened, Tommy’s and Max’s injuries, do you now understand why mom and I badger you into a college education?”

He thought all he said would put a smile on his daughter’s face, but instead, noticed the tears beginning. As he wiped those tears, he gently said while hiding his frustration at her many questions, “Mary Ellen, what’s wrong, now?”

She started off slowly, but the more she spoke, the faster her words came. “Dad, I understand about college, but that’s something else. I want to know about Tommy. I know you and Uncle Frank are taking care of him and Max because of me. And I also know you won’t ask Tommy to pay you. Again because of me and because you know he can’t. But you’ve gotten to know Tommy. He’s proud. He doesn’t like taking things for nothing. He’ll want to give you both something.”

She took a deep breath, sighed deeply, and finished, “His uncle taught him that you appreciate things more when you work for them. He’ll want, somehow, to pay you back for all you’ve done. And yet, I know he can’t afford it. What are we going to do? Dad, what’s Tommy going to do?”

Dr. Morgan grinned broadly, and his eyes sparkled as he thought about his daughter, Huh! Eleven going on forty-one! She’s growing up way too fast.

“As a matter of fact, Mary Ellen, your mom, Uncle Frank, Aunt Alice, and I discussed that only last night after you went to bed. Sorry you missed it, but it was past your bedtime. Unfortunately for you, Tommy’s visits to the park with Max on weekends will have to be shortened. Fortunately for him, his payment to Uncle Frank will be to work with him at the animal hospital one night each week for a for a few days, and a few hours on Saturdays and Sundays. I, on the other hand, plan to have him work for me two hours each week. Tommy can learn to keep medical records. I have many x-rays and charts that need attention and Tommy’s just the right person to get the job done. We noticed he has a head for detail and knows how to put that inquisitive brain to good use. He’ll be a great help to me and, Uncle Frank and I agree on this, Tommy will also learn something new and still be able to keep his part time job, which we know he needs.”

He looked at his daughter and asked, “So, MEL,” he chuckled and humorously shook his head at the use of the nickname Tommy had given her, “what do you think?”

Jumping up and down with force that couldn’t have rattled the windows, she threw her arms around her father’s neck – again, and squeezing with delight, Mary Ellen yelled with excitement, “Dad, Daddy! You’re a genius. I just KNEW you’d find a way to help Tommy. Daddy, oh Daddy, you’re the greatest! Daddy, I love you so much!”

Dr. Morgan burst out in laughter. “Hey, honey? Take it easy. You’re going to break my ear drum if you don’t strangle me, first.”

They laughed together as they shared a planned strategy to help Mary Ellen’s friend.

Then Dr. Morgan became serious and said, “Mary Ellen, one thing you must be careful of and that is DO NOT tell Tommy of our master plan. Hopefully, he’ll be too busy to figure out what Uncle Frank and I are trying to do. If he does, he might be embarrassed or feel as if we’re trying to make him out as a fool. Or worse, think we’re giving him a handout. He’s not just proud but, as you said, he is stubborn. We don’t want him working extra hard in the market when he can work for us and learn something at the same time. Think you can keep our secret?”

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Thank you for reading Now Will Ya Leave Me Alone? I’m working on another segment. Please stay tuned to see what else might happen to Tommy and Mary Ellen.

Short Story

About the Creator

Margaret Brennan

I am a 76 year old grandmother who loves to write, fish, and grab my camera to capture the beautiful scenery I see around me.

My husband and I found our paradise in Punta Gorda Florida where the weather always keeps us guessing.

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Comments (3)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran3 months ago

    Ah I'm so glad Dr Morgan came up with this brilliant idea!

  • Babs Iverson3 months ago

    Lovely chapter!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Naveed 3 months ago

    I am very happy that I had the opportunity to read this story.

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