Ruby

We’re called for a fall at a private home. When we pull up my partner says he’s been here before. He gets on the radio and cancels the district car.

“What if she’s a big lady and we need a lift?”

“She’s a little thing,” he says.

We go to the front door. It’s locked.

Darren swears. “She lives alone,” he says, “its normally unlocked.” He starts to radio for the cop to continue, but then I pull out my wallet and take out a credit card.

A minute later we’re in.

Ruby is in bed. She is 89 years old and crazy as a bat. “What nice tall men,” she says, “What are you doing in my house?”

“You called us? Is something the matter?”

She thinks a moment, then says, “Yes, I need help getting to the commode.”

There is a portable comode by her bed.

“How do you normally get around?” I ask.

“Oh, I walk. I walk.”

“Why do you need us to help you then?”

“Well, I hurt my foot. I can’t stand.”

I look at her ankle. It is swollen and deformed. I touch it, and she flinches.

“How did you do that?”

“I don’t know. I don’t recall.”

“Did you fall?”

“Beats me. What tall good looking men you are.”

“Thank you. We should probably take you to the hospital. You may have broken your ankle.”

“Do you think?”

“You need an xray.”

We are unable to get the stretcher into her bedroom due to the layout of the hallway and furniture, so I pick her up in my arms and carry her out to the living room where Darren has the stretcher set up.

“Oh, this is quite my day, isn’t it. To be swept away. Where are you taking me?”

“To the hospital. You may have broken your foot.”

“How did I do that?”

“Beats me,” I say, “But its swollen.”

Her name is Ruby and we talk as we drive her to the hospital.

“Are you the Ruby they wrote the song about?” I ask. I sing a few lines. “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Will you be mine?”

“No, no, I don’t belive so,” she says.

“Are you sure? I can imagine a young man singing that song to you once.”

“Well, maybe. Where are we going?”

“The hospital. You may have broken your foot.”

At the hospital, when I drop my paperwork off, she looks up at me like she has never seen me before in my life. “What nice handsome tall men. Where are all these good looking tall men coming from? They seem to be everywhere. Here comes another one.”

A male nurse has entered the room. He looks at the paperwork. “Ruby,” he says. “Are you the Ruby they wrote the song about?”

“Yes, yes, I believe I am,” she says. “That’s what they tell me.”

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