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Roseanne Dowell

Geriatric Rebels

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Who says life begins at 40? Life is wonderful at any age, as long as you're willing to live it. Elsa Logan and Mike Powell prove it, from their antics in a nursing home to discovery of deceit and fraud. Can they find happiness together?

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Peeking around the corner into the dimly lit halls, Mike watched the pretty silver-haired lady slip into a dark room. What was she up to? He looked up and down the hall to make sure no one was around and followed her. Next thing he knew, he ran smack into her.

“Whoa,” she whispered. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

“Maybe I should ask you that question,” Mike answered. “This isn’t your room.” A tiny little thing, she barely came up to his shoulders. She put her hands behind her back, and Mike chuckled. What was she hiding? “I’m night security,” he lied. “What’s behind your back?”

She lowered her head and brought out a water pitcher. “It was only a joke.”

Mike took her arm. “You better come with me.” He led her to the hall after a quick check to make sure it was still empty. “So you’re the one stealing the pitchers.”

She shivered and for a moment he felt sorry for her. What a mean trick, but he couldn’t help himself. He pushed open the exit door.

“Where are we going?” Elsa stiffened and tried to pull away. “Where are you taking me?”

 Her timid tone melted Mike. Time to confess. Damn, too late.

“Wait just a dog-gone minute.” She pulled away from him. “How do I know who you are? Where’s your uniform?  Show me some identification.” Although she spoke in whispers, the tone of her voice showed Mike she wasn’t buying his act.

Surprised by her sudden change of attitude, he stopped, raised his hands in surrender, and grinned at her.

“Who are you? Where do you think you’re taking me?” She glared at him with the lightest, bluest eyes he’d ever seen. Eyes that right now, he swore pierced into his.

 “You’re a burglar, aren’t you?” She tapped her foot and crossed her arms over her chest. “If you think for one minute, I’m going out that door with you, think again, buddy.”

Mike stifled a laugh, finding her amusing, obviously she didn’t trust him. Not that he blamed her, he did lie to her, and she didn’t know him from Adam. What did he expect?

“What were you doing in that room, buster, and if you don’t tell me who you are, I’m going to scream for help.”

“Okay, okay, quiet down.”  Hell, she meant business. “I was following you.” He tried to sound serious, but he couldn’t. He found the whole situation humorous. “My name is Mike Powell, room 110, but I don’t belong in this home.” He held out his hand toward her.

“Yeah, none of us belong here,” she scoffed. “Why were you following me?”

Since she ignored his outstretched hand, Mike lowered it. “I was curious to see where you were going in the middle of the night.”

“Humph.” Elsa tapped her foot. “So why are you here?”

“I fell and there wasn’t anyone to take care of me. My wife passed away three years ago, and I don’t have any children. So they threw me in here for therapy.”

“I never see you in therapy.”

“That’s ’cause I don’t need it anymore.”

“Humph. So how come you’re still here?”

“Nothing to go home to. I have more fun here. They don’t know I can get out of bed.”

“And just how did you pull that off?” Elsa seemed surprised to hear he had fooled the nurses into thinking he couldn’t get out of bed.

 “Simple, I refuse to get out of bed. Of course….” He combed his fingers through his thinning white hair and laughed. “They don’t know about my night time escapades.

“Ah, I know who you are. You’re that difficult man. I hear them talking about. You don’t eat, refuse to take your medicine, or even get out of bed. They call you the ‘Geriatric Rebel’.”

Mike chuckled. He liked the sound of her voice, musical, not raspy or whiney like the other women here. “So why are you here?” he asked. “You don’t seem like the typical resident.”

“Humph, kids are on vacation and don’t want to bother with me. I’m Elsa Logan, by the way.” Elsa turned away. “I better get back. Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow.” She left him standing in the hall.

A quiver of something familiar went through him as she disappeared down the hall and into her room.

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"All the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of one small candle." Anonymous