It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone. It’s not unusual to have fun with anyone...
What was up with Ben? Not only was he almost mowed down by the buff athletic-built hunk of testosterone as he ran out in the darkness, which was an oddity in the first place, but the fellow had seemed to be in a trance, totally ignoring him. And that earlier handshake? Like the nod of acknowledgement all Black Men gave each other – the unwritten Bro code – how was it that Ben Warren was clueless about either? Here in the not South, South, Black people were behaving quite oddly. He was bewildered by their almost zombielike subservience. They seemed to be possessed by the spirit of Uncle Tom – “It’s like they missed the movement,” he murmured to himself in a hushed undertone.
Yet another surprise awaiting him as he stepped back into the house, deciding to call it a night…Dr. Grey.
“What brings you to our humble home?” she asked inviting him to sit with her as she indulged in that English pastime of a ‘spot of tea’. “Or should I say who?” a wink accompanied. Like mother like daughter, apparently.
“No, it’s nothing like that. I just met her…we’re not…” He was bemused. How to delicately explain to this professional mind delver that her own daughter was – to put it in the specialized terminology of head shrinkers – cuckoo, and that he was just here for a break away from his real life. “I actually don’t know…”
“Oh, I think you know why you’re here.”
“No, I don’t think I do.” He used to be indecisive but now he wasn’t so sure…
“Oh I think you think you don’t – but we both know you do.”
Was this woman trying to spin circles around him? “Really eloquent…your ability to articulate…quite amazing.”
Was that sarcasm in response to his own or was everyone in this family just clueless, he wondered.
“So what were you doing out there? Smoking? It’s a filthy habit. One I can get rid of for you. And since you’re with Krista, I insist that you let me help you stop.”
“I don’t smoke. And I’m not with anybody, especially not your…Krista? I’m actually her…” he stopped himself just in time. Hippocratic Oath. Doctor/Patient Confidentiality. These were not just terms. It was a code he lived by.
“Hmm…” Meredith Grey smiling was creepy. Like her daughter, she seemed to be a dog with a bone. “So what are your vices then Jackson Avery? I’m at your disposal.”
“I really don’t need a Psychiatrist, but thank you for the offer.” He was grateful for his in-bred Avery manners, even if his words were gritted through a tightly clenched jaw.
She wrinkled her nose then gazed at him weirdly and he realized he was wearing a ‘shit-eating Joker’ grin. Or if he was being his normal indelicate self, it was that quizzical expression you wore when you let out a lil’ fart in company and were waitin’ to see if it smelt or nah...
There was absolutely nothing wrong with him. He was perfect. Just ask his mother. Well…there was that one thing. It was something only April knew, something she’d found out by accident and early into their acquaintanceship. Actually she’d cottoned on to the ramifications of it quite down the road.
He vividly recalled that first accidental incident…
She’d mistakenly taken his bag instead of hers and since he didn’t know her name then he yelled, “YOU IN THE YELLOW SHIRT,” but she didn’t respond. So he yelled, “HEY AS…SHORT-STUFF,” when he finally caught up with her…and apparently her shirt was red?
Nothing had registered then though. That first meeting was brief.
Not long after they’d been paired in a lab and since he’d been unable to tell different colors apart, he’d been copying her answers. She’d thought he was a cheat. Until he got used to her and continuously would ask, “What color is this?” Later, she’d laughingly told him that he was “this close” – a tiny space between her forefinger and thumb – to getting punched out by her.
What had been the most fun though was when he deliberately pulled her leg. Well, not that time with the tomato…
What had happened was that he thought the tomato was ripe, but it was actually green and when she saw him take a bite out of it she’d whispered, “Hardcore”.
The amusing part of this anecdote was the fact that she was too polite to tell him that the colors of his outfits clashed horribly – a truly revolting, gaggie inducing combination. But the joke was on her, because he knew exactly what colors they were. There’s an app for that. There’s apps for any and every thing nowadays. He simply enjoyed the torment of making her eyes bleed. A figurative blood-letting, of course.