The next morning Maria told Tim what happened as she dabbed the corners of her eyes with the cuffs of her oversized sweatshirt preventing Tim from actually seeing any tears.
“Take me to the hospital!” Tim insisted, even though he had no recollection of what happened. “Right now!” Tim was very protective of his petite wife. He proved that in that night in Sacramento. He wouldn’t let anyone do physical harm to her, including himself. If this meant the lock him up in s straight jacket then so be it.
“Okay,” Maria said, no longer able to prevent the tears from rolling down her face.
They spent the entire day at the base hospital waiting room hoping for an opportunity to see a doctor. It was quite the sight there among the rows of interconnecting black vinyl and chrome metal chairs, similar to what you would find at an airport. There were two kinds of people one would typically find in a base hospital waiting room. There are the retirees who did their 20 years. Some more that 40 years ago. And there are the homely dependent wives who won the medical coverage lottery by landing themselves a just as homely Airman. They greedily wait with their sick, snotty nosed kids for medical attention as if it was actual food or money.
Tim and Maria both were relieved when they heard the name “SSgt Rogers” announced, anxious to get the hell out of that waiting room. They were both escorted to the Psychiatrist office by a female Airman who’s hair color made them question if it was “natural in appearance” as the regulation required.
The doctor asked a series of questions as he typed on the computer. The screen of the computer was positioned as such that they couldn’t tell if the doctor was taking notes or chatting with his mistress. When the doctor finished asking what seemed like a standard set of questions, he diagnosed Tim with a mild case of somnambulism also known as sleepwalking and wrote a prescription for Desyrel. The doctor eluded to a possibility of PTSD and suggested he see a psychologist and get involved in counseling, right away.
As they both walked out of the doctor’s office, the doctor waited a few seconds and then peeked his head out the door and shouted, “Mrs. Rogers, Did you fill out this form?”
“Yes,” Maria responded. “I did.”
“Could you come here for a second and help me with your handwriting please,” the doctor asked.
“Go ahead to the pharmacy, babe. I’ll be right there,” Maria told Tim.
When she got back to the doctor’s office, she found him sitting at his desk with her husband’s file closed. She was aware of his ruse. “Mrs. Rogers, I wanted to let you know two things without your husband around.” He was no longer the droid of a person who asked the questions without any emotion earlier. He showed genuine concern as he continued, “One, please let us know if these dreams continue or get worse. We will have to have him come in for sleep observation if it does. And two, this one is important. If there is any sign of violence, ANY sign, please report it to Security Forces.” Maria and Tim had agreed ahead of time to leave out the part about the wrist lock he had put her on her. They both knew it would lead to all kinds of trouble if they did.
“Base cops, why them?” she asked.
“To eliminate the threat,” He answered.
Maria knew what that meant and knew there was no way in hell she was going to call Security Forces on her husband. The thought of him sleeping in a tiny room with cameras on him and wires attached to his body came to mind. No way, she thought.
“Yes, sir!” she responded to the Lieutenant Colonel doctor, having forgotten that she was no longer obligated to address him as sir, and went off to meet here husband.
While last week’s post was practically a complete rewrite, this week’s required that I fill in the blanks. I ended up doubling the word count again. I don’t know if this will stand on its own as a chapter or be added to the end of the previous one.