Pamela was so happy. Today was the day when they had their annual dinner and dance and Dr. Johnson had promised her the first dance. She had put her best red dress on, the one with the bows making a row down the front. Her mother had even bought her the silver shoes she saw in an order catalogue. She could not do any shopping herself as she easily got lost in town. She was forgetful and had problems with money so she left that sort of thing to her mother or her sister. Now Pamela was almost ready; just a touch of lipstick and some eye makeup and she would be the belle of the ball. Well that was what mother always said. Her mother would not be there, the celebration was reserved for Pamela and her friends, together with the doctors and nurses.
Everything in the canteen had been decorated with colourful paper strips hanging from the ceiling. There was a cocktail bar arranged in the corner. Of course, not real cocktails, but the drinks were pretty, some blue, some green, red and orange and you could drink what you wanted to, although Nurse Janet told Pamela she could only drink one or two as the sugar in them was not good for her. Nurse Janet was always telling Pamela what she could and could not do. Nurse Janet just spoilt everything, so Pamela decided to ignore her when she could.
The food was great. There was lots of crispy chicken piled up on plates, fried potatoes and corn on the cob, as well as tomato ketchup to go with it if you wanted it. Pamela loved putting ketchup on everything, she decided red was her favourite colour. She was not very happy about where she was sitting. That stupid Bobby Smith sat down next to her.
“Is this place available” he asked.
She just wanted to tell him it was reserved when Nurse Janet was standing there.
“Of course you can sit there Bobby, I am sure Pamela does not mind such a nice gentleman sitting next to her.”
Pamela was annoyed. She was looking for Doctor Johnson, but he had not yet arrived. If he had already been there she was sure he would have sat next to her.
The main course was served and now ice cream arrived for all. Pamela loved ice cream, but she did not like the way Bobby was eating it.
“Be careful Bobby, its melting and dripping all down the spoon onto your clothes.”
“No problem” he laughed that silly laugh he had and took the paper serviette to clean it away.
Pamela looked away from him and saw Dr. Johnson entering the room. She laughed and waved at him. He looked in her direction and then Nurse Janet went over to him and took his arm to lead him to an empty chair.
“Typical Nurse Janet” she thought. “Why does she always interfere and now she is talking to him and taking his attention away from me.”
Pamela decided to do something about this and walked over to Dr. Johnson.
“Hello Dr. Johnson”
“Why Hello Pamela you are looking particularly attractive this evening with your lovely red dress and makeup. A real lady you are.”
“Dr. Johnson the music is starting and you promised the first dance.”
“Of course I did Pamela, but first of all I want to try one of these fortune cookies. You know what it says. They will tell you how your future will be. Take one as well Pamela and see what it says.”
“Oh yes, Pamela, you must try it” said Nurse Janet, “I will have one as well.”
“So Ladies” said Dr. Johnson, “what do your fortune cookies say?”
“Well mine says “Romance comes into your life this year in a very unusual sort of way” and Nurse Janet smiled at Dr. Johnson and he smiled back. Pamela was annoyed especially when their eyes met. It was as if what the fortune cookie said was something private between the doctor and the nurse.
“So tell us what yours says Pamela” asked Dr. Johnson.
When Pamela took the paper out of her cookie it said “The smart thing to do is to start trusting your intuition.”
“What does that mean” she asked Dr. Johnson, but Nurse Janet butted in and explained that Pamela should do what she knows must be done.
Pamela listened very carefully, repeated the words twice as she had been told when she did not quite understand everything she should let it go through her head until she did. She decided that it was a good thought to have.
Now it was Dr. Johnson’s turn to open his fortune cookie. Pamela was so excited as she was sure it would be the answer to her dreams.
It said “Say I love you and mean it, you can’t do that enough.”
“Well I never” he said and looked at Nurse Janet deep into her eyes. “I think that is what we have been waiting for Janet.”
“I think so too, Bob. My fortune cookie told me that romance came to me this year and that is so true”
Pamela was shocked, she could hardly keep herself under control. Dr. Johnson and Nurse Janet spoke to each other with their first names.
It was then that Doctor Johnson stood up and tapped on his glass to call order.
“I am glad that everyone is enjoying the annual dance this year. I would just like to make an announcement. You all know our Nurse Janet and what a jewel she is helping us all. Well I too have found her to be a treasure and my fortune cookie agrees as well. Janet you know I love you, I can’t tell you that enough. That is what the fortune cookies says and I am sure you will be glad to hear that our Nurse Janet has accepted my proposal and will marry me next week.”
Pamela was heartbroken and she left the room choking back the tears. Since she had been in the clinic for the mentally handicapped, she had never met anyone that she cared for as much as Dr. Johnson. “And now because of a stupid fortune cookie he had told everyone he would be marrying that witch Nurse Janet.”
It was then that Pamela remembered the words on her fortune cookie. That night after everyone had retired to bed she sneaked out of her room, still wearing her lovely red dress, down the corridor to Dr. Johnson’s surgery. She could hear voices. When she opened the door they were both standing there with their arms around each other, Dr. Johnson and Nurse Janet.
Pamela was put into a special prison for the handicapped. The charge of murder could not be brought against someone that was mentally handicapped. It was rather a brutal killing. She had taken a heavy glass paperweight from Dr. Johnson’s desk and hit both the doctor and nurse Janet on the head with it. She was glad that she had worn her red dress. She did not want to look as grubby as stupid Bobby Smith after eating ice cream and after all, red was her favourite colour. She gave as her defence the words on her fortune cookie “The smart thing to do is to start trusting your intuition”.
FOWC with Fandango: Prudent