“April Fool’s Day. How appropriate,” Penn muttered to himself. It was 9:30 AM and he just finished another 16-hour shift in the ER. He managed to get to the cafeteria before they stopped serving breakfasts. His pancakes were cold, his bacon was burned, and his coffee was anemic. He would have loved a to have a scone or a doughnut and a freshly brewed caramel latte with his friends. They texted him several times but he often didn’t have the time to reply. He missed them. He missed the way he and Rufus used to make each other laugh until one of them snorted beer out of his nose. He missed listening to Lizette talk about animals and Prudence talk about the sports and holistic healing. He even missed hearing Ellowyne and Amber discuss shopping. Penn really didn’t have many friends. He lived with a bunch of nursing, pharmacy, and medical students. They didn’t interact much because they were all too busy. He kept in touch with several soldiers with whom he was deployed, but none of them lived close. Nursing school was rigorous and he had little time or energy to hang out with anyone but his group of friends. They kept him grounded and sane. Eh, enough pondering. Penn needed to finish his food and get some sleep.
Penn started his car to drive home. When he got home, he had received a couple of texts. One was a cute meme from Ellowyne showing Grumpy Cat. Prudence rickrolled him, and Amber sent him a funny but slightly risqué video. Lizette sent a link to the “news” Keanu Reeves would star in a remake of Citizen Kane. But there was not a word from Rufus until late in the day. He finally messaged, “April Fool’s Day has been cancelled this year because no prank could match the unbelievable crap going on in the world right now.”
Penn opened a bottle of beer and texted Rufus, “Touché, old chum. Touché.”
To be continued…