Pipestone – The Best Man (750)

MB: No, I’m going to talk with him now… Right, “chat” — the chat thingy, except that it’s not really chatting because it’s in writing. Yes. Okay already. Do I press the button every time it— oh look at that! It’s writing what I say! Wait — does that mean he’s there now? Hello?

TB: You’re adorable. Did you wash your hands or will there be dried bread dough in my keyboard when I get back?

MB: Why can’t we do video this time? Are you okay? Peter says they’re moving you to a ventilator soon…

TB: The Mayo’s WiFi is strained. Chat enables more patients to communicate. So… what was the tire pressure?

MB: Oh, for fuck’s sakeā€”NO, DON’T WRITE THAT! Goddamn thing. Your son kept me on the phone for three hours yesterday doing that! They’re all 34.5 PSI, which probably means Pete’s Shitty Increments.

TB: Pounds per square inch, darling. So, you were right after all.

MB: Don’t sound so surprised. It was just a spin-out from crappy road conditions — I wish you had just let AAA pick me up after.

TB: It has been my privilege to take care of you for nearly 25 years. I could not yield the privilege to another easily. Certainly not to a tow-truck driver who ended up having COVID.

MB: But I only got it mildly and now you’re…

TB: Yes. I have always been thorough in everything I do. You must admit that it has made me an excellent husband.

MB: It made you a pain in the ass is what it did! “My love, I see you used your credit card at Target again instead of the RedCard, foregoing a 5% discount of $1.96. Was that why you misplaced the receipt?” I can’t believe you actually calculated the discount I could have gotten.

TB: …

MB: Tim? Sweetie, are you there?

TB: (I’m sorry, ma’am. We’re having trouble with the chat function. I’m Nancy, I’ll be typing what he says now. I just have to say it’s been an honor meeting him.)

MB: Yes, well, it usually is. Just be careful with your grammar, honey. Will the WiFi let us switch to video for a little bit?

TB: (Well, the WiFi would, but…)

MB: WHAT? YOU LIED TO ME, FUCKER! LET ME SEE YOU! I know you’re sick. Stop treating me like a child.

TB: Allow me my vanity, my love. How was your hair appointment Monday?

MB: (sniffs) Fine. Peter called five times while I was gone. Then, he goes and turns on that damn nanny cam because he thinks I must be on the floor with a broken hip! He’s just like you, you know…

TB: Yes, he is. I taught him well.

MB: He worries too much.

TB: Not if he worries about his mother. It gives me peace to know he’s taking care of you. Don’t be too hard on him.

MB: No… I won’t. I promise… I did pose Gracie’s Barbies having an orgy in front of the nanny cam, though. If he keeps doing it, I’ll bring in the Paw Patrol.

TB: …that’s my girl.

MB: 25 years… I can’t believe it’s been so long. You’d better get back here soon. I don’t know what I’ll do if… (sniffs)

TB: …you’ll go to the lake… to Pipestone.

MB: Wh-why would I go there?

TB: Pete says the writer using the cabin has “gone all Jack Kerouac.” He wanted to call the police, evict him. I told him to wait… I thought you could go talk with Kurt, instead. I figured I owed him that.

MB: You… you knew? All this time?

TB: The title search… it was his family’s cabin that you had the foundation rescue. It was why he went to the camp that year… the year he met you.

MB: You have to know that I never… we never…

TB: I know, my darling girl. You have been always a true and faithful wife to me… although I did not deceive myself into believing that you did not have to leave a part of your heart behind in marrying me. Our son… our life together… everything special in my life came from the sacrifice of your heart. I only hope… I have given you nothing to regret.

MB: (quiet sobs) I married the best man… I’ve never doubted that.

TB: Then… my dearest love… if this becomes our last goodbye, I want you to go. Go back to Pipestone.