Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #13
…Your letters stopped comin’ over a year ago…
“We’ll all be missin’ her, Doc, just like we’ve been missin’ you,” offers Edwina Stephens, longtime Frenchtown resident and friend to the family. A warm embrace is given to all in the greeting line.
Second in sequence is J. Kenty Johnson, who along with A.O., was one of the first black doctors in the former Confederacy; numbered lower than 100 for the longest time. “You had the finest possible woman, ‘specially for a doctor, A.O. A single man like me can sure ‘preciate that.”
“Thank you, Johnnie. I know I couldn’ta made it through those early years without her. She was a blessin’ to me.”
“To everyone,” it is agreed.
The slow moving, single file line produces a surprise: Hosea Campbell, the wayward older brother of the doctor, who still looks like his vocation, a purveyor of prostitution. He saunters up respectfully.
“I’ma sorry that I ain’t been ‘round these years, Alfrey,” he speaks to his brother using a nickname only the Quincy Campbells use; Alfrey actually being A.O.’s given name. It wasn’t dignified enough.
“How’d Jersey been treatin’ you, Hosey?” asks Alpha, not expecting what would be coming out of his mouth next.
“Oh well, I’m doin’ okay,” Hosey says, changing to a whisper, “but Angie is worried sick ‘bout you. Your letters stopped comin’ over a year ago. She’s thinkin’ you forgot about her.”
The doctor discretely responds in muted words, “Tell Angela and her mother that I’ll be contactin’ them soon. I was fearin’ the warden’s been spying on my mail, don’t need his knowin’ ‘bout Camille.”
Secrets are undisclosed facts. You would swear that these liberties with the truth would make a heck of a good story, if they did not make such painful truth. And it’s not as though things got this complicated overnight. Years of careless planning have contributed to current circumstances. 1919 was one interesting year, in the deep dark past and the culprit in several indiscreet situations by multiple offenders.
“Camille is married, did ya know?” Hosey is updating the New Jersey news, as they shunt to an unoccupied corner.
It has caught the doctor off balance. “Married?” There is a slight trembling in his voice, reflecting a tinge of unwarranted possessiveness.
Alpha Omega M.D.