Greg and Josh returned to work the following day. Josh showed up at the hospital, scheduled to assist with a surgery. Once his patient was in recovery and doing well, he ran into Greg in the hallway.
Josh finished buttoning his suit coat. “Hey. How are you today?”
”Doing just fine. Helping out Dr.Larson today?
“Yeah, good experience. Man has hands of a magician! Hey, do you have a minute?”
“Absolutely. Let’s go to the lounge.”
They walked inside and each poured himself a large cup of coffee. They sat down at one of the small tables and took several sips apiece before speaking again.
Greg leaned in close. “Look, just so you know, we’re still friends and whatever happens, I’m behind you all the way.”
Josh breathed a sigh of relief. “Really? Whew…that’s good to know. I’m sure I weirded you out yesterday with all that info, but I had to just let it pour out of me at long last.”
“I’m glad you finally told me.”
“So am I.”
“Still having any of those dreams you mentioned?”
“Once in a while.Hey, I plan on telling Kim this weekend. I’m exposing all of it. Before that happens, I wanted to ask you and the family if we could do a joint outing or something. Picnic in the park maybe?”
Greg grinned. “Where and when?”
“Are you on call this weekend?”
He thought over his schedule. “Uh…not Saturday. I know you’re free with your nice normal office hours.”
Josh cocked his head. “You know you’re always free to join me there. Anytime.I can have a sign made in a week.”
Greg rolled his eyes and groaned. “You said you’d drop the pressure if I said no, so please stop. How’s Saturday at noon at Larkwood Park?”
“Sorry, I just know we’d make a great team. Sounds good. See you then. I have to go check on my patient,” he replied curtly. He stood up and readied to leave, but Greg caught his hand.
“Hey, sorry about that, but I’m still not interested. Now Saturday? That I’m looking forward to.”
“Me too.” He tightened his grip on Greg’s hand briefly, and then released it.
At the family picnic, Josh and Greg separated from the group, going into the woods to talk.
Josh took a deep breath. “Ah, love that fresh air.Been getting a good dose of it lately.”
”Gonna OD on all this outside time. Might actually start to get a skin tone again,” Greg chuckled. He looked over his shoulder at the family. “Are things alright with you and the Mrs.?”
“I know Kim suspects. She had the oddest reaction to today, as if she already knows.”
“It’s going to be hard for her. She’ll need support. I know Amber’ll help her, but I want to let you know that you both have mine.”
“Thanks, man. Hey, do you think Amber will be pissed at you because you knew first?”
Greg fingered his thick beard. “Hmm.Maybe, maybe not. We won’t know until this all goes down tonight. Just so you know, you can leave the kids with us so you two can be alone, and you can lay it all out for her.”
“Sounds good. Thanks, man. I still wish things could be different.”
Josh’s doe eyes met his. “You and me. Call me nuts, but I wish we could be like I wanted to be with that jock in high school.”
“That can’t and won’t happen. We’ve discussed this.I said I love you as my best friend. I’ve said it multiple times. Why ruin that? Why ruin two marriages and possibly our friendship too?”
Josh ran his fingers through his hair and gripped it in his long fingers. “Let’s just stay out of each other’s way for a bit, alright? I need to sort everything out and tell Kim and let the chips fall where they may. We need to tell the kids too. Look, after tonight, we probably need to just not talk for a bit, alright? Unless it’s an emergency.”
“Fine with me,” Greg huffed. “Just be careful and tell the kids it’s not their fault. They always want to blame themselves.”