Goodnight Emily


Richard Barrett gazed through the floor-to-ceiling office windows across the room without really registering the splash of sun on the lush gray carpeting, the roofs below or the tall buildings around his. He was doing a final 'test flight meditation', as he called it, of his latest design before submitting it to the builders. He didn’t mention this little fetish to other architects and designers because they might think it silly. He thought it a little silly sometimes, but remembered the tight, awkward, uncomfortable spaces he grew up in.

His sense of space guided his designs to get to, as nearly as possible, the human movement using them. Did people use them for living or business or making stuff? Did they move, live and breathe with an ease they didn't realize was the secret hallmark of Richard's designs? Making a client's life run smooth and easy was the invisible reason that Richard Barrett was always popular, busy, and in demand. And rich. He smiled a little thinking of all of it. He had accomplished quite a lot for a street kid.

Marianne quietly opened the door to the office. She was a handsome woman and used a great skill set for running his office. "Richard, you have a call on the landline." Richard raised his eyebrows in question. "It's Nurse Petrocelli from the children's hospital."

"Petrocelli? I'm not going this week."

"She said no excuses, she must talk to you. She's very....insistent." Marianne tilted her head and smiled. Richard smiled, too, shrugged, unwound his long legs and stretched.

"That's Petrocelli, all right. Thanks, Marianne." He picked up the phone as Marianne left. "Petrocelli? What's up. I wasn't coming over this week." Richard's small giveback for his success was occasional visits to the children's hospital. One of his boyhood neighbors had boy who wound up at the hospital and Richard's help had brought the boy there. He told the boy stories and read him favorite poems, a thing he liked to do anyway. His visits gathered more kids to listen and by now were an occasional event. They were very really sick kids, all kinds of sick, and their enthusiasm kept Richard performing his little act, even after his friend's boy had not made it.





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