JUST DO IT
by Debbie Stanton
Jerry loved springtime. He always had high hopes for getting in shape and running on the dirt roads in the country. The air was fresh and clean, and he felt he could do anything! This year, he actually did take up running. He laced up his Nike shoes every morning and gradually increased his distances. He didn’t even have to huff and puff anymore.
Jerry’s cousin Maribelle was a lovely but lonely woman. On Saturday, she called Jerry to see if he wanted to go out to eat with her.
“I don’t know, Maribelle. I’m kinda watching my weight now, you know?” Jerry said.
“Fat chance, Jerry. I call foul. You know you want to go with me if you’d just give up your rules for one night.” Jerry was as stubborn as usual, Maribelle reasoned.
“Okay, tell you what. I will think it over and call you in a few hours,” Jerry said.
“Thanks! I’d like to go for dinner tonight, Jerry. Please don’t make me wait for your answer too long.”
“Roger that. I’ll call you soon–I promise.” If Jerry told the truth, he would’ve already agreed to go with Maribelle tonight.
“Maribelle?” Jerry went on before he could stop himself.
“Yes?” Yikes, she was starting to sound irritated, Jerry noticed.
“Let’s do the restaurant thing–tonight.” There. He’d given in, and it hadn’t killed him.
“Really? Thanks, Jerry! Where should I meet you?” Maribelle sounded much calmer now.
“Just tell me what your favourite restaurant is, and I’ll meet you at six.”
Maribelle thought about it, aware of Jerry’s waiting for her answer. She pondered some more.
“Jerry–don’t be mad, but I can’t make up my mind. You see, all four of my wisdom teeth were removed yesterday. It’s hard for me to chew, actually. I’m sorry,” Maribelle said.
“Oh, that’s all right. Want me to come over so we can just hang out?” Jerry surprised himself, because usually he didn’t want to spend time with her. Maybe his new running habit was helping him to embrace more of life.
“That would be awesome. Thank you, Jerry!” Maribelle was delighted. Jerry was agreeable, even hopeful.
“Could I bring you a pot of soup at dinnertime? That way, you could still eat without too much pain, and we’d keep each other company, too,” Jerry said.
“Marvelous. You’re a lifesaver, you know that?”
Jerry brushed off the compliment, said goodbye, and hung up the phone. He’d better get to the store for ingredients for the new soup recipe he wanted to try.
At the appointed time, Maribelle answered her doorbell and let Jerry in. Besides a yummy-smelling cream of broccoli soup, he’d brought seasoned croutons and her favorite dessert–smooth and creamy cheesecake. Maribelle decided he was her favorite cousin–so giving of himself.
After several rounds of Scrabble and a long game of Monopoly that didn’t show any signs of ending soon, Jerry stood up to leave. He hugged Maribelle goodbye.
“Thanks for taking good care of me, Jerry. The food was delicious and the company lots of fun,” Maribelle said.
“No problem a-tall,” Jerry said.
Jerry got home and thought about the evening he’d had with his cousin. If it hadn’t been for his new Nikes making him feel in control and like he could do anything he set his mind to, he’d have missed a wonderful time. “Just do it,” was Nike’s tagline. Well, Jerry had done it; he helped someone out and in the process found that he, too, wanted to conquer loneliness.