Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Trouble With Oscar (An excerpt from Journey To Forgiveness)

Setting up the Scene:

Oscar Ellwood III is the pampered guy who lives next door to Jenny's aunt. Tall and gangly, wearing coke bottle glasses, he has joined the mission trip. Oscar catches the church bus, enroute to the mission, equipped with binoculars, and clad in bermuda shorts, knee socks, complete with a Panama hat. His goal? To pursue Jenny Hinson, who tries her best to divert his attentions.

Austin Grant throws a cog in the wheel when he walks in on what suspiciously appears to be a romantic scene between Oscar and Jenny.

As soon as the truck pulled away, a whining Oscar trudged in to seek minor medical attention. The man had picked up a rough board and swiped it across his jaw. He showed Jenny the splinter embedded in his chin. A tiny piece protruded.

"I tried to remove it," he wailed, "but apparently it broke off when I attempted the delicate procedure."

"Follow me." Jenny gestured and led him to the area where the first aid supplies were shelved. He reached up and pulled down the supplies she requested. Jenny located the tweezers and set the rubbing alcohol and cotton to one side. After disinfecting the tweezers, she attempted to calm the nervous patient. "You sit down on that stool, close your eyes and relax. Think of something pleasant."

She soaked a cotton ball in the alcohol and spoke softly. "Now this may sting a little. Just take a deep breath and bear with me."

"Will it hurt v-ver-y much?" Oscar's voice quivered.

"Nothing a grown man can't handle." She patted his shoulder to reassure him.
It seemed to calm him.

Oscar took a deep breath and croaked, "Okay, Miss Hinson, I am now prepared for surgery."

"Good. Keep taking those deep breaths and hold onto my arms.

The patient did as he was told, and squeezed Jenny's arms. "Not so tight, Oscar."

He loosened his grip slightly. "Now tilt your chin up and look at me."

The trembling patient complied. Jenny planted one hand on his shoulder, and leaned in closer to inspect the angle of the splinter.

She was eye to eye with Oscar when Austin tramped in. "Exactly what is going on here, Ellwood? Remove your hands from her or I will see to it that you don't have hands to grab any other woman!"

Oscar yanked his hands down to cup his knobby knees. Jenny was more pleased than upset with Austin's display of jealousy. But she could not let him get by with insulting her patient.

"Austin, can't you see that I'm treating this man for an embedded splinter?" She thumbed toward the kitchen. "Why don't you just prance yourself right back in there and finish your lunch? We'll be there in a minute."

"Okay. I will." Austin took a deep breath and narrowed his eyes. "But Oscar will keep his hands to himself."

Oscar gripped his knees tighter as if his hands might have a mind all their own. When Austin turned to leave, Jenny shook her head. "Sorry, Oscar. I have no idea what got into him. He's not usually like that."

"Miss Hinson, from my observation, I would say that Mr. Grant is in love."

Jenny smiled as she closed the tweezers around the embedded splinter, and snatched it from Oscar's chin. "Ouch! That hurt!" Oscar shielded his jaw with one hand.

She held up the offending sliver for his inspection. "Got it! Now let's get back to the kitchen before Austin brings Al Capone back with him."

"You won't catch me dawdling," Oscar retorted, and leaped off the stool.