Short Story: The Appointment
I have an appointment this evening with Evelyn White.
I would hesitate to call it a date, as there is some business we need to attend to.
Evelyn currently resides at 210 Montgomery Avenue, which is only two blocks off of Main Street.
Cold Springs is what someone might call a lovely little town. It has a postcard-esque main street filled with people and, as such, I decide to walk to Evelyn’s from the train station.
The weather is beginning to cool down after a hot summer. The pigments of the leaves are beginning to reveal the smallest hints of change, signaling the coming of fall.
Residents of the town are enjoying their remaining hours of the weekend before they wake up early tomorrow for work or school.
I pass a few restaurants with diners sitting outside. I hear a remark about the beauty of the setting sun. Someone even says “this is such a perfect night” as they slip their hand into that of their lover’s.
I walk at a slow stroll, taking everything in. I’ve been to Cold Springs many times. It is like every other town. But I understand that those here tonight would not agree with that statement.
A bakery is closing for the day. However, I can still smell the aromas from the fresh baked breads and pastries. The heavyset baker seems to hesitate flipping the sign on the door to “Sorry We’re Closed” for a moment, as if sensing my presence. I continue walking past the store.
My appointment tonight is with Evelyn White.
There is a group of children laughing and playing while their parents buy ice cream from Natalie’s. They seem completely oblivious to my presence as I continue to walk by.
Just as I am about to cross the street, a grandfather of one of the children catches my eye. He is sitting in a chair under an umbrella where a young girl hops off his lap as her mother returns from the counter with a small sundae.
He is looking right at me and then nods his head with a mixture of sadness and certainty in his eyes.
I nod back and then turn to cross the street.
I am about to turn off of Main Street as I pass a young lady walking an energetic dog. The little french bulldog retreats behind his owner’s legs, losing the excitement he just had.
Dogs do not seem to like me very much.
I walk down another block, past well manicured lawns being watered by automatic sprinklers. The smell of the cut grass from this morning was still in the air.
After a few more houses, I stop in front of tidy ranch. An American flag is proudly flying on the front porch, held aloft by the light breeze.
This is 210 Montgomery Avenue and I am right on time for my appointment with Evelyn White.
I do not bother knocking as I walk through the front door, closing it softly behind me.
I find Evelyn in the living room, sitting in her large armchair watching the tv with little interest.
“Evelyn”, I say as I walk around the chair so I can face her.
She does not seem to hear me at first.
“Evelyn, we have an appointment”, I say a bit louder.
She slowly turns her head and seems to realize that I am there for the first time.
Evelyn looks momentarily confused. It is actually more than just “momentarily”. The various pills the doctor has been prescribing have the unfortunate side effect of dulling her mind. Especially when she mixes up the doses.
She is squinting at me through her thick glasses, accentuating the deep wrinkles lining her face.
“I suppose we do”, Evelyn finally says.
“Down to business then”, I say as I take a step closer.
She does not flinch as I reach my hand out and place it on her snowy white head.
Evelyn says nothing as she lets out her last breath.
She does not have any revelations or flashbacks. Nor does she mutter any final words. Her eyes do not close fully either as she slouches in the armchair.
No. Instead, Evelyn White simply passes away.
As I turn my back on what used to be Evelyn, I hear the sound of a car crashing on a far off highway.
“Time for my next appointment”, I say to no one.