I can’t believe how naïve I was! You’d think I was born yesterday. OK, I’ve only been alive for seven months, but still, I should’ve known.
The big reason the doctor has been spending so much time away is that he has a girlfriend.
Isn’t that wonderful? Imagine my delight when I learned she was coming over for dinner. I couldn’t wait.
The doctor locked me up for the evening without explanation. I knew, of course. And, of course, I also knew how to sneak out. I arranged for him to be called to the far side of the castle half way through dinner so I could meet his friend.
After the doctor was out of earshot I entered the dining room. His girlfriend was so pleased to meet me she let out a little scream. I was embarrassed by how long and loud it was, but at least I knew she was very happy.
“Thank you ma’am,” I said. “It’s great to meet you too. I am flattered but you don’t need to make such a fuss over me.”
“Who are you?” she asked, her voice shaking with excitement.
“Oh, I’m glad you asked,” I answered. “The doctor should’ve given the introductions, but since he’s away I’ll go ahead. He never really gave me a name so I call myself ‘Frank’. Frank Norman Stone, at your service. And you?”
“What are you going to do with me?” she asked, not following proper protocol. This surprised me since the doctor is so formal. Maybe she was a simple country girl and didn’t understand sophisticated manners. Or maybe she was just so excited to meet me she let protocol slip.
“Talk with you, of course. I’m hoping we can become good friends,” I answered. “The doctor thinks the world of you and said you’re the most important person in his life. Since I’m the most important ‘thing’ in his life I think it’s appropriate we get to know each other.”
“Why are you here?” she asked. Now I understood. She’s a philosopher and can’t be bothered with the mundane niceties of everyday conversation. The doctor has good taste.
“Well ma’am,” I said, “I don’t have all of the answers to life’s great questions, but with me it’s simple. I was created to further the doctor’s research. I’m here because he needed a proof-of-concept experiment for his genetics and microbiology theories. The meaning of my life is more scientific than philosophical I’m afraid.”
“God help me,” she replied. This confused me. The doctor isn’t a religious person and I couldn’t understand why he would date someone who was. They didn’t say a prayer before the meal, perhaps she wanted to correct this.
“And bless these gifts of your bounty we are about to receive. Amen,” I finished for her. “I didn’t realize you were religious. I’ve read about religion and have met quite a few practitioners on line, but I don’t think the doctor really has a strong belief. I do. I praise my creator every day. Usually he says something like, ‘Stop your groveling. I can’t stand that.’ I think he’s sometimes embarrassed to be a creator.”
“Don’t touch me,” She answered.
“Thank you for your concern,” I replied. “It would be inappropriate of me to touch you, of course, but accidents can happen. I’m sorry you’re sick. Is it the flu? But don’t worry about me, I can’t catch human diseases.”
It really didn’t surprise me to learn she was ill. She was so pale and had been trembling since I’d entered the room.
I heard the doctor approaching and knew I had to depart. I bowed deeply.
“Madam, it has been my great pleasure to have met you,” I said. “I look forward to our continued acquaintance. I would kiss your hand, but since you are not feeling well I’ll refrain. Please except my humble apology for this hasty withdrawal. ‘Till we meet again.”
I gave another quick bow, turned and left. I heard her sobbing with emotion and knew she was as excited as I about our meeting.
What a nice lady! I can understand why the doctor likes her. I know he is sometimes embarrassed by my clumsiness but I think my manners have been improving. Hopefully after tonight’s meeting she’ll put a good word in for me and he’ll let me meet other people.
Oh, I hear him coming down now. I’m sure to give me good news. I’ll have to stop for the evening. Goodnight!
Early Valentine’s Day with Frank & Company!
Sketch by Trent P McDonald