Midge had planned to meet Patrick, the doctor, on Friday evening but earlier in the day she received a call from him.
“I am so sorry but I have to work a double shift at the hospital tonight. Could we meet tomorrow instead?”
Midge said that was fine with her and they arranged to meet at lunchtime at the cafe in the Botanical Gardens just across the road from the hospital.
Now that she had taken the plunge and been on her first date Midge was keen to make a good impression on her second. She borrowed Jan’s Integrity blouse and blue pencil skirt and as it was warm decided to skip taking a jacket. She arrived at the Botanical Gardens at the appointed time but received another call from Patrick.
“I’ve been held up but I do really want to meet you. Will you wait for me please?”
Well no-one said dating a doctor was going to be easy. Midge agreed to wait a bit longer. She didn’t really mind. She strolled around the park wishing she had brought her camera to photograph the flowers and trees. After an hour Patrick still hadn’t arrived but he did send a text to say he shouldn’t be much longer. Midge lay on the grass in the sun until receveived another message from Patrick saying he was on his way. She noticed a few ants crawling on her arm. “Where did they come from?” she thought, rather annoyed. She got up and went to the ladies toilets to tidy herself up and remove one particularly persistent creepy crawly from inside her blouse.
Patrick arrived full of apologies for his lateness. He explained that he had been on duty for over twelve hours. “But I didn’t want to put our date off again so let’s have a late lunch and get to know each other.”
Midge thought that Patrick seemed a genuinely nice man and she appreciated him making the effort when he must be tired. However, as they started walking towards the cafe Midge began to feel a bit unwell. She tried to concentrate on what Patrick was saying but she became aware that her arm and shoulder were throbbing and that she felt nauseous and a bit faint.
Patrick immediately noticed that something was wrong; “What’s the matter?” He said concernedly. “You don’t look well.”
“I don’t feel so well all of a sudden.” Midge confessed. “I am really sorry but I think I want to go home.”
Patrick looked at her closely “Your skin looks very red and puffy and there is some swelling there. Has something bitten you recently?”
Midge remembered the pesky insects she ran into earlier. “Maybe, some huge bull ants were crawling on me but I didn’t feel a bite.” “What’s wrong with me? They were only ants.” she asks, rather frightened now.
Patrick is all doctor now, “Let me have a look.” he said, gently moving her shoulder strap aside to look for a bite mark. “It’s alright, you can trust me. I’m a doctor.” he smiles.
That was the last thing Midge remembered hearing before she fainted.
Patrick quickly called the hospital emergency room, then as they were only across the road, he picked Midge up and carried her there himself.
Some time later, after an examination and a shot, Midge was admitted for observation. A nurse helped her into a hospital gown and got her into bed. A little later Patrick came in to see her.
“Well, it turns out you were bitten by a Jack Jumper ant and had an allergic reaction but the good news is that you will be fine. Is there anyone I can call for you? ”
Midge shook her head. She didn’t really want to see Marissa or Jan or any of her friends right then, she’d call them later. “What a way for a date to end.” she thought miserably. She felt embarrassed about falling ill on a date and even more so because she was sure that she had vomited on Patrick’s clean shirt while he waited with her in the emergency room. She’d taken so much trouble to look nice and then made a complete fool of her self. Patrick would remember this date for all the wrong reasons.
“That will be the last I’ll see of him.” she thought sadly.
Midge had to stay in hospital overnight but the next morning she felt considerably better. Especially when a bunch of flowers arrived with a note from Patrick.
“How about lunch next Saturday? I promise to be on time if you will promise to stay off the grass.”