When I was in college, I had several good friends. One, named Bob, was 6'9 and he loved to go to Audies to get beer and drive back to the dorm, where we lived on the campus of Wright State University.
One Friday night at around midnight, Bob knocked on my door asking me if I wanted to go with him to Audies to pick up a few beers to bring back for his buddies. "I was about to go to bed, Bob." I said.
"Awe, c'mon, Barb. Please? I'll buy you anything you want. Besides, nobody else'll go with me." Ah ha! The truth comes out.
"Well, okay but, I need somebody to help me get my jeans on. I can't go out like this," I indicated my knee-length blue Mickey Mouse night shirt.
"I'll go get Vicki. Thank you, Barb. You won't regret this!" Bob enthused, closing the door behind him.
A few minutes later, Vicki came to my room and helps me into my jeans. "You don't have to go with him, ya know. I don't know why he can't go by himself," Vicki said, zipping my jeans up. She reached in my sock drawer and took out a pair of socks.
"Get another pair too," I said, "it's cold out there."
"Is she ready yet?" Bob asked, coming over to us on the bed, and seeing Vicki struggling to get my left boot on, he grabbed the right boot with me sitting between them. I was getting the late night giggles.
"Hey you guys, cut it out! My feet can't fit in my boots any further!" I cried.
"Okay, I'll get your coat." Bob offered, reaching in my closet. "No Bob, you get her manual chair, I'll get her coat," Vicki said. I yawned. At this point, I didn't care who did what. I just wanted to get to Audies, get his beer, get my 4 pack of watermelon coolers and get back to my bed.
Finally, after my coat was buttoned up to my neck, and my hood was up, and I was in my wheelchair with my pocketbook by my side, Bob wheeled me down the hall to the lobby, through the front hall, and out the doors. There was a thin layer of snow on the ramp so he went slow...but when we got to parking lot, we made crazy 8's on top of the snow because there was a thin layer of ice underneath.
After reaching Bob's car-which was nothing like the pic!-Bob opened the passenger's side door. He braked my wheelchair and helped me place my left hand on the door frame, which was part of the norm for helping me get into a car.
Then after accomplishing standing up, and sitting down in his tiny two-seater, hatch back, my chair goes rolling across the parking lot. "Bob! My chair!" I cried. Bob closed my door after asking me if I was alright and went chasing after my wheelchair.
I couldn't see much because my hood got in my way. A second later Bob got in and turned the heat on. "Where's my chair?" I asked. Unless he planned on leaving me in the car, which would've been fine by me, we still had to get my chair.
"It's okay Barb. We're gonna pick it up right now. It's over there under that tree. See it?" I searched for where his finger pointed. No, I didn't see it until he was dancing with it back to the car. He released the hatch back button before getting out of the car.
"Woah Girl. Hang on...I gotcha..." Bob said to my chair. He slammed the hatch back door. It wasn't until then that I saw the name Bobcat. Bob got his 6'9 inch frame behind the steering wheel and let his seat back. Then he reached over and buckled my seatbelt. "We don't want anything to happen to our Barb," he said.
"Awe, you're so sweet Bob." I told him.
"Thanks Barb, but that's because I look after my friends," he commented at a red light.
"I noticed the sticker on the window says Bobcat." By this time the light was green and we were getting closer to Audies.
"It may say Bobcat but I'm changing it to Barbcat." It may've been freezing outside but my heart was melting on the inside.
"Bob," I declared, dragging his name out.
"Hey!This is my car and I can name her anything I want." Wow. My heart continued melting until we reached Audies and he helped me out of the car and into my chair.
"Let's make this quick Bob. I wanna go home."
"To North Carolina?" he teased, opening the doors to Audies with one hand.
"No, silly, back to the dorm...back to my bed."
"I know what you mean, Barb. We'll make it quick. I know women your age need their sleep." I held my head back to look up at him.
"Hey, watch it, Bob!" Several customers smiled at us as we went down the aisles. "That's right, sweetie. Don't you listen to him." One older woman said to me, smiling. I smiled back at her.
"Pick out what you want and let's get outta here," Bob said, pushing me down the aisle with coolers on it. His 3 six packs of beer rested on my lap in the basket. I spied a 4 pack of watermelon coolers and Bob put them in the basket.
After we finally returned to campus, Bob took my boots and coat off and put my watermelon coolers in my frig and I said I could get my jeans off and for him to tell Vicki I didn't need her. But she came down to check on me anyway.
A few hours later I woke up and decided to go upstairs and check on Bob. And it's a good thing I did. After the elevator opened its doors, I turned to the right and went a few "steps" to Bob's room.
"Oh Barb! I was just about to come and get you! Bob's drunk and he won't wake up!" Our friend Charles cried.
"Is he on his back or his stomach?" I asked. Charles opened Bob's door. I was assaulted by a mixture of dirty socks oder and the pungent smell of beer.
"Back." Charles answered.
"Turn him over on his stomach now. That way if he gets sick he'll be able to throw it up. If he throws up while he's on his back, it'll go into his lungs and he'll die!"
This time, Charles open the door all the way, repeating my instructions word for word. I saw three young men besides Charles, shuffle over to Bob. I could stand the stinch no longer and took the elevator down to the first floor. A few seconds later, Charles found me in my room.
"We turned Bob over just in the nick of time, Barb. He puked up everywhere. Thank you so much Barb. You saved his life."
The next day, after he sobbered up, Bob thanked me for saving his life. "I don't know how to thank you enough," he said, sincerely.
"You already have by naming your car Barbcat." He beamed from ear-to-ear and picked me up, giving me the biggest bear hug he could muster. He put me back in my chair still wearing that silly grin...