The morning after, the new doctor felt even worse.
He took a deep breath, stopped the alarm clock with a blind gesture and moaned. He moved his hair from his eyelids and blinked a couple of times at the sight of his old bedroom. He had fallen asleep listening to a longing song; he had dreamt about Sandra, and he was now staring at the cover art for The Dark side of the Moon.
“Twenty years down the drain.”
Still laying down on his belly, David stretched out an arm from the bed to reach the poster. He took the loose end at the bottom between two fingers and raised it up, but Bo Derek wasn’t there anymore. Instead of the smile of the hot blonde woman, there was a moody reddish teenager in a black sweater, staring at him with her hands in her head. With a red marker, David’s father had written the words “for a change” right under the kid’s chin. A little white label at the bottom of the poster told the name of the teen: Claire Danes.
“Don’t look at me, Claire! I didn’t do it! My father is the crazy one.”
Then he tilted his head to watch her better.
“Sure you have big eyes.”
And let the sheet fall again. David noticed then that the light had a strange quality that morning. It almost wasn’t there. Struggling to keep his eyes open he searched for the clock. It said 06.03.
He looked again and remembered that the night before, he had not set the alarm on the old clock but his mobile phone, at usual. He took his phone from the nightstand and checked it. The signal was configured to go off at 07.30. He knew he could not fall asleep again. Mumbling a fuck to his father address, he opened the phone book and sent a text message to a woman named Cecilia. It was a simple “Hi!”. After few minutes spent thinking about Cecilia’s bum he received her answer: “fuck you.” Better have a shower.
He didn’t know that at that moment, while he was still laying in bed, unwilling to get up, Sandra was dreaming about him, the rain and the forest. He was scratching his cheek, trying to collect an elusive memory from the day before, when his phone rang. He smiled.
“What’s up, David?”
“I like it when you say my name.”
“Did you call me just for that – a pause – David?”
“I just wanted to say hello. I am happy to find you in the right mood.”
“You mean, the right mood to say your name?”
“More or less, yes! – pause – Can you say it again?”
“You just know the tone, honey.”
He mourned and pushed a hand through his hair.
“David, for real, why did you call me?”
“I was feeling lonely, sweetie. I just wanted to hear a friendly voice calling my name. I wanted someone calling my name like you do.”
“And how do I do that, David?”
He smiled rather embarrassed of himself but not keen to stop.
“You say my name like if you were having pleasure just saying it.”
“Do I… David?”
“Yeah, you do – said him feeling already warmer in the cold morning – and you know it. And you know how much I like giving you pleasure.”
She chuckled at the other side of the line, in a place he did not know or care about.
“Well – she finally said – I think that time is gone, David.”
“You’ve said this before, but I know how it works. So, just to say, not that I care – he swallowed – what are you wearing?”
The line went off. At first, David didn’t understand what Cecilia had done and called her name a couple of times. Then he laughed and called her back, but Cecilia did not answer. David mumbled “unbelievable” and called again, but the call went to the answering machine. He dropped the phone.
He thought that Cecilia had been very rude to him and that he was going to punish her really hard at the first occasion. He was going to spank for good that unfairly gorgeous bum of her. Yes. He was going to spank her and bite her and better go into the shower. It was a long shower that didn’t do much for David. Facing the mirror, he was still rough and sleepy. He shaved his face not to scare his new patients and wore a white shirt, light blue jeans, and a stud black leather belt. Then he walked to his father’s bedroom and opened his wardrobe to find a jacket that could match.
He opened the first closet door he found entering the room and there was a selection of woman dresses. Some of them had something familiar, especially a blue one with a motive of little flowers. At the bottom of the wardrobe, there were several shoe boxes and three bags. A pair of gloves, resting on the edge of a night purse smelled of his mother’s favourite scent. He closed the doors and looked inside the next section of the wardrobe. There he found what he was looking for and rapidly exited the room.
His mood got better after a cup of coffee with some biscuits, and he walked the stairs down to the garage with a half smile, ready to introduce himself to the elderly patients of the local hospice, his first task that day. But then he opened the door. The minute after he was on the phone with his mother.
“House Renard. Who’s speaking?”
“Mama it’s me, David. Can I speak to…”
“David, are you hurt?”
“No, mum. I am fine. Can I…”
“Did something bad happened?”
“Maybe. Is daddy there?”
“Maybe? What do you want at this early hour, if nothing bad happened?”
“Is daddy there?”
“No, your father is not here! It’s an indecent hour to visit or call someone. I wait for him at lunch, as you might know. What happened? I hope you have a good excuse to call me at 07.30 because I know I taught you better than this.”
“I need to speak to dad.”
“I can’t help you with that. Maybe you should call around noon. Do you feel you can wait five more hours?”
“It could be better if I think about a different solution.”
“That’s my boy. Then, since we are here, how things are going?”
“Could be better.”
“What did you say, could or couldn’t? Please, when you call me, use the line phone. The mobile in the country has a terrible signal. So, have you met strange people yet?”
“Strange people? How can you tell things like this? You know the town; you lived here. People are the same than at your time. It’s a small town; nothing changes in places like this.”
“Precisely, that’s why I am asking you. So, any weird encounter?”
“No, nothing. I arrived only yesterday evening, and I didn’t – David’s cheek was itching where the girl had kissed him on the bridge – I only met dad for the keys.”
“You know I can sense when you’re lying?”
“I am not! Listen, when you see dad can you ask him where the hell has gone the car?”