There are lots of things to like about the United States. My estranged husband, Han Yang, is not here for one. The people are friendly. In Portland, where I live, they are not usually nosey either. The weather is good, with plenty of rain so I do not have to worry about drought, but it is not so much rain that there is the worry of floods too often. The air is clear and if there are smells it is likely to be a clean scent of rain. I am not often overheated or over-chilled and compared to Beijing, the city is not over-crowded.
Sometimes the rules get to me. I know how to heal a body. I learned at my father’s knee when I started filling herbal formulas for the people in our community. I moved north to study at the school in Beijing and then I worked in the hospital. Although I am small, I studied tui na, which is how we adjust bones and muscles so the body moves as it should. I also know how to use acupuncture needles.
Unfortunately, in the United States, I can only do massage, which is very frustrating. I am told that I did not have the education to get licensed to do the other things, although, having sat in on classes in schools here in the United States, I could have taught most classes on herbs (although Lu Hong is better with herbs than I am), acupuncture, or even chiropractic. Sometimes I think I am getting full of myself and then I sit back in on one of the classes and listen to the teachers who attempt to explain simple concepts and make them impossibly difficult.
Sometimes, I admit that I use needles on patients or adjust their spine, but only on patients that I know. I know how to tell if a patient is grateful for my interventions or not. I have been kicked out of two other offices for working “outside my license” but now I work from my home.
I live in a house on the east side of Portland in an area of homes built forty years ago with what my realtor called a “daylight basement.” My patients walk into the front room and that is my waiting area. A screen closes off my kitchen and eating area from them. To the right are two bedrooms and a bathroom, so that patients have the run of the rest of my upstairs. I have herbal formulas and sheets in one of the bedrooms and my massage table in the other. I have a good fan so I can burn moxa, the herb that is the best for heating up the body. The fan keeps the room from becoming too smoky with the sweet and sour scent of the smoke from the herb.
On Monday, Marion Burns was on my massage table. She was face up because she has neck and shoulder issues due to her bosoms being too large. Without her bra on under the sheet they flopped to each side like walruses taking a nap on a beach. I like the beach. I go there often.
Marion always wears this perfume that smells like candy apples, which I do not like so I have not ever done needles on her. I must always move her unruly mop of dark hair, which must be dyed because she’s much older than I am. Still, that day, as I pressed on a point on her shoulder, that was so hard and tight it felt like pressing upon a metal penny, she began to cry. She did not cry like I was hurting her. I know those cries because I have done that when I was less practiced.
“Oh Cecilia. I’m sorry.” There were plenty of sniffles. I gave her a tissue and was prepared to let it go at that.
“I did something horrible,” Marion continued.
I still did not speak trying to figure out what she could have done that was so horrible. I did not particularly like her perfume, or the fact that her hair was dyed darker than her eyebrows, but that isn’t something that normally makes women cry. I continued to press the point, which was letting the tension go, turning from the hard penny sensation to that of the wood of an ancient tree. It is still strong and tough but it is in the process of becoming soft. I tell my students, who take tui na from me that if they do not understand this image, they must go press their fingers upon an old tree. It is the best way to learn.
Marion sniffled and began to cry in earnest. I have had people, women mostly, although there are some American men who do not care that they cry on the table, cry and sob as I release tension. Sometimes I can anticipate that from how their bodies feel.
I shifted on the stool where I sat. It’s a doctor’s stool with a green seat that matches the table I have when it is not covered in sheets. I try to get white sheets so that I can bleach everything. When I needle it is possible that someone would bleed. I continued to press against Marion’s shoulder.
When she dabbed at her eyes and went back to sniffling, I felt the point give and it was a normal soft, a bit like wet sand. It is firm but it moves as it should. There is no wood or dying wood, just sand.
“I had an affair last year,” Marion said.
I tried to picture her with a man. She was a large woman, made to go with her walrus breasts and her ponderous thighs, which had more muscle than I would have expected. Perhaps this was how she exercised. I knew for a fact that she worked in a bank and sat on her large but rather flat bottom most of the day telling people whether they could get a loan to purchase a home or not.
Her hair had the coarseness of a woman who had gone through menopause even if it was almost as dark as mine, which is to say nearly black. It did not appeal to me at all. This is good as that would not have been at all appropriate.
“Um hmm…” I leave that hanging so Marion knows I’m listening and I start kneading her shoulders, my fingers on her back pulling the muscle belly up and then releasing, only my thumb holding my hand in place.
“Yes.” Marion says. She is still sniffling. It is not a horrible confession. I have heard worse.
“And someone found out. They’re threatening to tell my husband. I can’t let that happen.”
“What is it they want?” I ask.
“Money. What does everyone want?” Marion says. It is a rhetorical question, I know. But still I mentally think of all the things people want. They may want to get away from an abusive husband or other family member. They may want a job that is satisfying. They may want to live their live and practice medicine without having to jump through hoops.
“Umm hmmm.” I have nothing to say that won’t irritate so I don’t offer her my real answers. I have been doing this long enough that I know when to let patients talk.
“I paid him the first time, five thousand dollars. But now he wants more. I just don’t know what to do. I’ve been researching how to take money from the bank but I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my job.”
“Who is the person who is blackmailing you?” I ask. It is not often I run into a criminal situation. Most of my patients are generally upstanding citizens and now that I have this one who is not, I should like to know how she ran into this person who is threatening her like this.
“He’s a waiter at the bar in the hotel where I’d meet Bill. He knew Bill, the man I had the affair with. He started blackmailing him a few months ago. Now he’s moved onto me. I guess my full name was part of one of the payments. He’s not going to stop. Bill has the money, bless him, and can move out of the area, not that that will really protect him but it will make it harder for the guy to find him.”
“Can you go to the police?”
“They’d probably just tell me to tell my husband. Bill explored that possibility and they won’t guarantee that everything will remain confidential.” Marion sniffed.
I hated this whole thing. I grew up in China. It seems like we are all in each other’s business. Sometimes you could feel people watching you. Even when you were just going about your business, sometimes it seemed like people were looking for a reason to turn you into the authorities, maybe to incur a favor or something so it was very important to be upstanding.
This is what I mean when I said I liked the fact that in the United States, especially Portland, people seemed to mind their own business. I did not like hearing that there were people who not only did not mind their own business but that they played games with the lives of those around them, all for money. In China it used to be for favors, although now, as they started to emulate the west, it might be for money.
I had to take a deep breath in and calm myself. I put my hand on the back of Marion’s neck and rubbed upwards, making it arch up in the air. I knew that the stretch would help her relax. My fingers felt tense and it was hard to read the muscles along her cervical spine. That was my tension. That was what this news had done to me.
“Does this waiter have a name?” I asked.
“I just know him as Tom. Bill says that he hired a private investigator and his full name is Tom Boone.”
“So you know where he works too?” I asked.
“It’s down at the Rivers of Portland Inn, downtown. It’s quite nice. Did I say Bill has money?”
Marion always came dressed in fine clothing that made you want to finger it, the soft fabrics tightly woven, the jewelry finely made. If she said Bill had money, and he had more than she did, he had a lot of money.
“You mentioned it.” I worked on her neck. The right side was tighter than the left. I focused there.
I moved from her neck to her clavicle area. Her walrus breasts were sagging even further as her shoulders relaxed. It was not beautiful but it meant good things. Sometimes beauty is secondary.
“Are you sure you can’t tell your husband?” I asked.
“He’d kill me.” There was the slightest sniff. She’d almost finished her crying and I was sorry that I brought it up again.
“Really?” It is not that I don’t know that her phrase was just something people say here but in this case, it was possible that a man might really kill his wife.
“Well, he’d leave me,” Marion said. “I was the one who worked to put him through medical school. I’ve taken care of myself to look good when he goes to functions. I’m the one who does the charity work so that he maintains a good reputation in the city. He’d see this as a failure and find a way to cheat me out of my investment in this relationship. He can be a shit when he’s mad.”
“Umm…” I said. I worked down her upper arms. They had the extra padding that was often found on older women.
“Otherwise I wouldn’t care,” Marion continued. “But I don’t want to be poor again. And he’d rake my name through the muck as if it wasn’t at least partly his fault I had the affair.”
“Uh huh.” It’s not that I condoned what she’d done but I can’t say she should pay for it like she was. I believe in faithfulness if you are going to be married. It is why I have never had another relationship since I left China and Han Yang. My husband was not a good man but I believe that marriage is forever. It is disappointing to miss the things that movies suggest about sexual pleasure but I am sure I would have been sadder to stay with Han Yang and still felt cheated out of those pleasures. Now it is my choice to not have them.
When I had finished her arms, I left the room so Marion could dress. My next patient was early but she was reading something on her phone. I smiled and let her know it would be a few minutes.
Marion paid, made an appointment for two weeks and left. I watched her go.
I was glad that my next patient was a long-time patient that I do not much like. She whines when I touch her too hard and then complains if I do not work deeply enough. I was distracted by Marion’s story all during this treatment so I was subjected to more whining than I usually am. When this patient left, she did not reschedule and I was not sorry. I knew that, unfortunately, she was likely to call me again in a few months after she had tried several other massage practitioners.
I remained distracted throughout the day. I do not know why the problems of this woman seemed to reach my heart. It was not as if she was one of my good patients, those patients that I trust so much that I work with needles as well as my fingers.
That night I dreamed of Han Yang, my husband. He was threatening me as he always does when he visits my dreams. Usually I run. This time I looked him up and down and saw that he was no longer so strong as he once was. I knew I had nothing to fear. I told him to go away but of course he did not listen. He went to strike me as he always did. I put up my arm to block him. I yelled at him. And then he dissolved.
I woke certain I had much to do. I did not exactly what I had to do but I knew there was work. I was a healer and one of my patients needed healing. First I had to sit with what would be most healing. Did I need to save her completely or did she need to own what she had done and speak with her husband?
I pondered this question as I did my morning qi gong. Finishing, I was certain that Marion was comfortable with her life. Losing her husband would teach her little and serve only as a punishment that I did not think she deserved. I was clear then on what had to be done. Tom Boone must be stopped.
I am a law abiding citizen so it was not like I have contacts who would help me take care of this man, Tom Boone. I would need to recognize him first. Maybe even talk to him. I used my computer to find images of this man. On his FriendsWithMe page he had a photo of an obscure bottle of beer as his portrait. I doubted that was what he looked like.
I looked at photos of him that I found on that page. He was young. He had a long narrow face like a horse. His hair was thin and straight like mine, but it was that brown I have heard called mousy, although I knew that mice come in a variety of colors. He looked like a gangly young man and, although thin, it appeared his diet was mostly beer and pizza so I could not believe he was much of a threat physically.
That evening my last patient cancelled. She is the sort who does that so I wasn’t surprised at all. Some people don’t really understand that people who do massage plan their time around the appointment times. It doesn’t usually bother me, but it did that day, even though it worked in my favor. I would go to the Rivers of Portland Inn and check out this Tom Boone.
The Inn is not a place I have ever been in. Marion talked about a restaurant. When I got there, I stood in just inside the glass doors that spin like a mouse wheel and looked up. The wall to the front was all glass and stood up at least three stories. The floor inside was tile with large red and gold carpets. Red is good Feng Shui but they were too close to the entrance to have it be helpful.
There was too much white there too. With all the windows, it made things glare. The floor tile was white, the walls were painted white and even the long curved reception desk in the corner to my left was made of white tile and then deep black marble tops. I could see a line of black lower down, which must be the computer screens.
Fortunately there were many people there, tourists checking in. A very fat man with a blue suitcase pushed by me. He smelled of cigar smoke. But the brown haired girl at the reception desk was distracted by him when he went to ask her a question and did not notice me. The other girls were all busy with couples, mostly white haired and older, checking in. A security guard stood outside, but I did not attract his notice.
In the far left corner, I saw a red sign that pointed to restaurant. I walked over there, stepping on the red and gold carpets for three steps and tile for one. I counted the pattern and that happened four times before it became all tile in a hallway that led off to the left.
White cement vases lined the wall on the right. They had large fake black roses in them. Other people might think they looked elegant. Someone must have spilled something in the hallway because I thought I detected the faintest hint of bleach and lemon.
The restaurant was not white with touches of black. It was black with touches of white. The same tile changed to black and there were many black wood booths and black tables scattered around a room that was about the size of the lobby. There were more of the red and gold carpets there. The walls were even black, although it wasn’t flat paint but had some sort of striped texture. If children came in there they would want to touch it to see how it felt.
A girl with very short bleach blonde hair said, “How many in your party?”
“Just one,” I said. I scanned the room. Yes, I was in luck. Tom Boone was working near the back windows. He looked exactly like his photos on FriendsWithMe. “May I sit over there?” I pointed to the section he was working.
“Of course.” The girl smiled at me and led me towards Tom’s section. She was taller than I was but probably didn’t weight more than I did. I’m skinny for my height. I could see her collar bones sticking out of her black shirt. Her legs were like little chicken legs sticking out below the black skirt. There was no shape at all. I know that as an Asian I should like to see thin people but there is a point that one becomes concerned for their health. But she was not my patient so I said nothing even though I noticed her right foot turned inward and she put more weight on the inside of that foot. She would have hip problems in ten years if she did not already have them.
I slid into the cool seat while the girl placed a menu on the table and took away the extra silverware wrapped in a white cloth napkin and the black mug in one sweep of her hand. I was left with a white mug and my set of silverware, neatly wrapped. I picked up the silverware and it had a nice heft to it. The linen napkin was good quality but not the best. Still, it would wear well with plenty of washings.
I glanced through the menu, done on that cheap plastic that glares at you so it is hard to read. The restaurant seemed more upscale than that but apparently I expected too much of them. They had chicken noodle soup on the menu so I decided I would have that with hot tea. Now, I could watch Tom Boone and maybe talk with him.
I did not see him right away and then he appeared silently over my shoulder.
“Are you waiting for someone?” He asked. He leaned against the edge of the booth, which was the same height as his chest, his arm over the back, like he was a good friend to me instead of a man I had never met.
“No.” I made sure to make my Chinese accent stronger. I am only in my mid-thirties, but I look younger. My skin is still good. My fingers have knuckles that are getting larger but it is because I use my hands so much. And of course, the ligaments in my low back are stretched from having had a pregnancy that lasted long enough for those changes to take place in my body. Other than that, I could be Tom’s age. I had pulled my hair back in a ponytail, as I always do when I work, so that makes me look even younger. I think the accent makes me seem even younger.
He raised an eyebrow and shifted his leg. He wanted to look as if he were relaxed but he was tense.
“What can I get you?”
“I would like the hot tea, green if you have it, and the soup.”
“The chowder or the soup of the day?” He asked.
“Err…the chicken noodle?” I knew that was the soup but it would not look good to be too confident, as if I had planned this, though I had.
“Soup of the day it is.” He wrote that down on a note pad and hurried away. Unfortunately he walked behind me. I could not very well turn and watch.
He was back surprisingly quickly. I had barely had time to notice the older couple in the table next to the booth beyond mine. She had arthritis in her fingers and he clearly had neck issues. Probably a car accident at one point. She was young for arthritis. She did not color her hair and it was still mostly brown, rather than gray and while she had lines at the corners of her eyes she did was not yet too wrinkled.
“Tea,” Tom said.
“Thank you.” I had to think of an opening gambit. I gave him a smile while I thought of what I could say.
“What brings you in here?” Tom asked. He glanced over his shoulder at the other couple. She was not wearing a wedding ring. I wondered if they were not married at all. I wished the man would raise his left hand so I could check my theory.
“I was downtown. I want to rest my feet. Soup sounded good.” I can speak much better English but I needed him off guard.
Tom nodded, giving me a smile. He was still tense. Was he tense because he was trying to listen in on the couple’s conversation? It could be. He was leaning that way.
“The soup should be here. It’ll be nice and warm after the outside.” He spoke more slowly than he had been and a little more loudly. People here do that if you they think you don’t understand. If they shout loudly enough their words will magically take on meaning for someone who does not speak the language.
“Good. It must be hard working here, on your feet.” I do not often try and strike up conversations with strange men. I have never tried to find out why someone would want to blackmail someone else so this was a new experience and I should expect to make mistakes.
“Yeah. It gets tiring, but there are perks.”
“Perks?” I looked blank.
“You know, benefits.”
“Oh you must meet pretty girls!” I laughed, “Ha. Ha. Ha.”
Tom gave me his own chuckle, almost as forced as mine. I was not charming him. I was dressed in slacks and a blouse. They are good quality but not they are for working and made to be washed and worn many times. They do not speak of riches. And I was alone, which I knew would not appeal to him.
“Mostly it’s couples here,” Tom said. “They tip well and a guy like me can always use a bit more, you know?”
I nodded. My tea was probably over-steeping but he wouldn’t notice. Few here did. I have had much tea that is over-done.
Tom stood up straight as if he were going to leave.
“What do you like spending it on most?” I asked. That was nosey but it would tell me what he wanted.
“Oh I want it all,” Tom told me, grinning. “I’ve almost got enough for a down payment on a house.”
I nodded, my eyes wide, like that was impressive. It might be, but it told me nothing about his real wants. He brought my soup and went to talk to the couple. He kept his head close to theirs and they did not speak loudly enough for me to hear. I had not been aware of the music playing softly in the background until I tried to eaves-drop when I noticed something was creating a haze of noise so I could not make out the words.
I ate my soup, slowly. It was over-salted and did not have enough other spices. The noodles were soggy and overdone and there was not enough chicken. In fact, it was clear that no one cared at all about the soup and it was merely something else they could put on the menu.
The tea was okay but I had let it steep too long, as I had thought, and it was a bit bitter. It was unfortunate that lunch was such a complete failure.
“How’s your soup?” Tom asked. He was good at walking silently. That was not an easy thing to do on tile floors.
“Okay.” I was not planning on coming back to this restaurant so it did not make sense to complain about it.
“It is too bad there isn’t anyone to talk to.” There that was a nice gambit.
“Meeting people can be difficult,” Tom said. “Are you new here?”
“Yes. I have come to the United States from China.”
I nodded. “My parents have much money so they sent me here to teach.” I could have been mistaken but I thought I saw Tom’s become much more interested.
“It’s hard to be new in a city. I really wish I had some time to show you around.” He was not interested in me and my money. So he would not stoop to going out with a girl to take her money. He liked to take money from couples. Probably figured it was more lucrative or else he liked the power. Or maybe he was a nasty little rat who would only do his dirty work under the cover of darkness, when no one was around. Of course, that is not nice to rats who are good at what they do, even if I do not like them. Rats worked in the dark because of necessity and survival. This man did it out of fear.
I took a few more bites of soup and then pushed the bowl aside. It was not a very big bowl and was very rounded to look larger. It was plain white like my mug. As each table had black and white mugs on it, I wondered if the bowls also came in black.
Tom delivered something to another table and then he was back by mine. “Finished?”
“Yes. Thank you.”
He picked up the bowl. “Can I get you anything else?”
I shook my head. I knew they had desserts but if it was of the same poor quality as the soup, I did not want to try it. I had better food at home.
“I’ll bring the check.”
“Will I pay you or up front?” The older couple I was watching had not yet gotten their check. They were lingering, which made me think that they were having an affair.
“I’ll take care of it,” Tom said.
I nodded. He left and I dug through my purse. It is a small thing to dig through but I needed paper. I do not often need paper so it took me a moment. I had a card from the dentist’s office which is a half a mile from my house. It has a long line of teeth on it and his name and office is in print below in black ink on white paper. He should have used red for the name because that’s more auspicious but he did not ask me. I told him once but he said people might think it was blood in the mouth so he wouldn’t change it. I do not expect his business to last much longer.
I wrote on the blank white backside of the card, “I know how you get your money. I will be in touch for my cut.” I kept my hand over it when Tom brought my check. The soup and tea cost far more than it should have so I left my money and only a small tip for Tom and the card. Then I slipped out of the restaurant. I can also walk silently.
At home, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was not sure what to do next. Would Tom find a way to contact me? I had not left him anything except the dental card. I wished I knew more about the internet so I could contact him. His FriendsWithMe profile had a way to message him and I could set up a fake account and contact him there.
I spent some time that evening making my fake account look just so. I found it enjoyable. He had seen me so I could use real photos of me. I added in some interests that would point away from the person I was. I said I liked skiing, although I hate it. I also said I was very interested in cooking and getting married, although I am a haphazard cook at best and, of course, I could not marry because I had a husband back in China.
In the morning I sent Tom a message that he could put one thousand dollars in an envelope and deliver it to the front office of the dentist. I hurried down there after doing that and told the receptionist that I had a friend who did not know Portland at all and they would drop an envelope for me there. She seemed to think that was an unusual request and insisted that she could guarantee that it would be safe.
I just thanked her for her time. People in the United States worry so much about liabilities and things, like I have said before. They have too many rules about silly things. She would get me the envelope when he dropped it off.
I went back to the office the next morning but she said that no one had brought anything by. I was disappointed in Tom. He must not have taken my threats seriously.
I left the office to walk home. It is not far. The office is on a busy street and I walk one block on sidewalks that need repair because they are too narrow and one section lifts up, although there is no tree next to it, at least there hasn’t been as long as I have lived here. Then I turn to the right and walk down one block on a sidewalk that is not so old and cracked for three blocks. I must cross this street at the third block and walk down my street, which does not have sidewalks. However, not many people drive down my street.
A nice shiny black sporty looking car cruised down the street as I was about to make my turn. It stopped in the middle, the engine still idling. Tom got out. He was dressed all in black, but very casual. He had jeans and a sort of hooded sweatshirt that had a rip in the elbow. Also it was not really black but a very dark gray, but not the nice charcoal gray that is meant to be that color but the dark gray that comes from a black outfit that has been washed too many times.
He ran around the side, coming at me too quickly for me to react as much as I would like. I did not think to scream, but those neighbors on that road were mostly gone at that time of the morning, commuting to downtown at the crack of dawn. He grabbed my arm and tried to pull me to the car.
I planted my feet. Wide. He did not expect this. I turned my wrist just so and pulled back, breaking through the weak link of his thumb.
He took a step back, looking at me in surprised.
“You did not bring my money.” I moved my feet to a nice fighting stance. I do not know martial arts, only qi gong, which is a healing method, but Tom did not seem too smart. I expected that he would believe I had some sort of super Chinese powers if I pretended to know what I was doing.
“Bitch!” He did not move in any closer. He watched my front hand. If I knew martial arts, I would kick, but I did not want to throw myself off balance.
“If I had money do you think I’d be blackmailing the cheaters?” He was whining now. That is a sign of the metal element being weak. Yes, his chest was even a little concave now that I knew to look for it. The element was not very weak otherwise I would have noticed at the restaurant. But now that he was stressed, it came out. That is probably why I noticed tension in his shoulders. Weak metal.
He backed up.
“I want my money!” I called.
He spit at me.
He tried to flank me and grab and arm again. I danced out of range. I may not know martial arts but I know bodies and qi gong and how to move. He leaped at me, to take me down to the sidewalk. I moved out of the way and he stumbled forward, doubled over. He hit his car.
I pushed him forward, leaning my weight on his back, like a police officer with a suspect. I even grabbed his arms and wrenched them back. My knee pressed his knee inward so that he had nowhere to move.
“Now I want five thousand,” I said, softly, so close to his ear I could see three little hairs poking out from inside. It would feel good to give Marion her money back.
“I don’t have it.” There was that whine again.
“How?” He whined. “They only have so much money to give and then what?”
I considered slamming his head against the top of the car like I see in television shows about the police but I did not. Tom knew that people ran out of money. I would tell Marion. I thought my work was done. I let go, backing up.
Tom pushed back, slamming me backwards. I landed on my butt. He turned and went to kick me. I rolled on the ground, out of range. He ran at me. I rolled again. He was not a fighter. He was too soft. He overshot. I leaped to my feet, taking a wide stance like I was a fighter.
He saw that. He looked at me and then at his car. I hopped towards him, not moving my feet but merely leaping up like a cat who stepped on a snake. Although his skin was already plenty pale, it went lighter. He backed up and ran around the front of the car. He did not slip inside so much as dive. He was driving off before I heard the door slam.
I watched him speed away, his tires squealing. He was out of my sight before I allowed myself to smile. I walked back to my house.
Inside, I went to my business phone, which sits in my waiting area over near the screen that blocks off my kitchen. I picked it up and dialed Marion’s number.
“This is Marion,” she said upon answering.
“Oh dear. Do I need to change my appointment?”
“No. I met this Tom Boone at the restaurant. He may ask for more money from you but he will not ever tell your husband. He would be too afraid.”
“Even to send an email?” Marion asked.
“Go down there to the restaurant and confront him. Tell his boss what he is doing. He won’t tell anyone about you. He has poor water and metal qi so he is too scared to make good on a threat if he knows you will fight back.”
Marion hesitated but I knew she was thinking about it.
“Trust me. I know people. If you stand up to him, he’ll slink away and pick on someone who won’t fight back.”
“I’ll think about it.”
“Don’t wait too long. You do not want to waste your money. After all, you need to pay your massage practitioner. Ha. Ha. Ha.”
Marion gave me a short laugh. “Well thank you for calling Cecilia.”
I rung off. I would have to change my clothing before my next patient. No doubt if one of my old landlords found out about this they would tell me I was working outside the scope of my practice this time too. But I had patients to heal however I could.
If you liked this story, you can find purchase this story or others by Bonnie Elizabeth at your favorite retailers. You can purchase “Scope of Practice” here.