Exclusive Excerpt from Bernard’s Diary
by S.L. Danielson
Jack nodded and tucked his pen away. “Your body’s been through a big strain, you definitely need your rest.”
“Especially a body this big.” He smoothed his hands over his large stomach as if he were a very pregnant woman. “I’m so sick of being obese, but I don’t think it’s in me to stop, as much as I’d like to.”
Jack caught the man’s eyes. “We all have the power, Ber—”
This speech was all too familiar. Bernard held up his hand to stop him. “Doc, please.
Don’t. My mom and family have tried all kinds of things. I only got fatter and sadder. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be surly with you, but things just haven’t gone my way for about the last 30 years.”
A welcome sight entered the room when Nancy returned with a tray of food for him which he engulfed in front of the doctor and nurse.
“Damn, I was starving. I guess if I’m gonna have to live, I’ll have to eat too. Can’t keep my boyish figure without it.” He held up the clear plastic fork and twirled it slightly and smirked. “Ah, plastic utensils. The sure sign I’m under suicide watch.”
Dr. Jack and Nancy exchanged looks. Bernard saw their expressions and shrugged.
“Remember, I’ve tried this before. It hasn’t worked yet, though. I keep getting saved by my neighbors or whomever. Besides, you guys are gonna watch me like a hawk, aren’t you?”
“You’re right, we are. Not only is it local law, it’s our policy here too.” Jack replied with a stern look on his face. He stood up and patted the man’s arm. “You take care and get some rest. Maybe things will look clearer in the morning.”
Bernard snorted and withheld a laugh. “I doubt it, but thank you. Good night, Doc.
Oh hey! Shoot, did anyone call my mom? I know she’ll be worried sick.”
Nancy went over to the station and checked the computer files. “We didn’t find anything on file for her. What’s her number?”
Bernard stroked his large chin. “Damn. I swore I had her as my emergency contact.
Well, anyway her number is 555-7260. She’ll be home. Trust me.”
The nurse grinned. “I’ll call her right away. Does she know you’re suicidal?”
“Yeah, she does.”
“Just curious, why do you keep trying to end your life?” Nancy asked.
Bernard sighed loudly and stifled a shudder of sadness. Believe it or not, he hated to talk about it. “I just have a whole lot of nothing going for me. I’ve had the same job, same apartment, and same look. If I’d try to change, it’d always fail. I’ve attempted to change things at least a dozen times and it bit me in the ass every single time. I can’t take the rejection anymore.”
“Well you’ve got to hang in there, Bernard. What’re your goals and dreams?” Nancy asked cheerfully.
What the hell, tell her. He sighed aloud and looked over at her. “I wanted to be a lawyer when I was a kid. Set up my own courtroom and everything. Got good grades in school, did everything right. Then my college dreams were vanquished.”
“What happened?” Jack inquired.
Don’t make me think about this again. Bernard shook his head and he lower lip quivered as he fought tears. “I can’t talk about it…please; can I just get some sleep?”
Jack and Nancy shared a look. “Of course. We’ll let you rest. There are tissues next to you. Remember, one of us is always here, and you’re under supervision, so no tricks up your sleeves, alright?” Jack finished with a serious look. “Good night, Bernard.”