Got no time for the corner boys
Down in the streets making all that noise
Or the girls out on the avenue
‘Cause tonight I wanna be with you
Tonight I’m gonna take that ride
Across the river to the Jersey side
Take my baby to the carnival
And I’ll take her on all the rides.
Jon’s voice filled the dark bedroom. Sophie opened her eyes and groaned. Reached over and silenced the CD alarm. It was her usual six thirty wake up call, but today was slightly different. Today was not a usual work day, today she was going to the annual nursing conference presented by her hospital. She was looking forward to this conference ever since they announced that Dr. Oz would be one of the guest speakers. She was planning to meet couple of her friend from her old unit, still uncertain whether she’ll accept their invitation of going out for drinks after the conference.
Sophie got out of bed, opened the shades and looked out her window. Yep another dark December morning. At least the weather reports were not promising any snow tonight. Though it would be very welcomed come Sunday. This way she would not have to think too hard to come up with an excuse why she could not make it to her parent’s house for the first night of Hanukkah.
Oh well, she still had over 24 hours to come up with an excuse why she did not feel like sitting through the hours of not so gentle questioning by her aunts and her parent’s various well meaning friends, that would put Spanish Inquisition to shame. The questions of why such a nice, 35 year old “girl” was still not married, and was torturing her wonderful parents by denying them the joy of spoiling their grandchildren. Every year, at every family gathering, they went through the same scenario. Why couldn’t she be like her cousin Natalie the teacher, who had blessed her parents with two lovely children. Or at least be like her other cousin Gregory the Doctor, who even though he did marry that Catholic shiksa, still managed to bless his parents with three lovely children.
Sophie sighed and headed towards her shower nearly tripping over her cat in the process. Picking up the ball of gray fur, hugging him she gently placed him on her bed. Who needs a man when she had Sasha. Complete and unconditional love without asking for anything in return except for a daily feeding, fresh water and clean litter box. No emotional drama, no demands, no conditions to deal with, no criticism.
She sighed again, determined not to dwell on the failed relationship from the last five years. The one that finally had given a glimmer of hope to her parents, and nightmares to her. She finally had gotten the courage to end the relationship with Robert about nine months ago, and as far as she was concerned it was one of the two best decisions she had made in the last decade! The other was to return to school for her advanced certification in Holistic Nursing. Two years ago she left the familiar and comfortable position on the maternity unit and became a part of her Hospital’s Holistic Team. Sophie loved her role in providing comfort and diversion to patients in distress using a gentle touch, soothing music, relaxing massage, and aromatherapy.
She stepped into the shower and quickly went through her morning routine. Stepping out, she wrapped herself in a fluffy terry robe an started to dry her hair on her way to the kitchen for that all important first cup of coffee. Caffeine fix taken care off, she went back to her bedroom, to finish getting ready for the conference. She picked up her purse and examined herself in the mirror. A petite brunette smiled back at her. Well it was time to boogey. She got into her SUV and drove out of her garage. Soft sounds of Hallelujah came through the speakers. Yep, the day was starting out on a right note!
Less then ten minutes later she pulled into the picturesque grounds of the Woodcliff Lake Hilton. This was the third year that this beautiful hotel was hosting this annual conference. She parked and got out of her SUV. Entering through the lobby she was directed to the registration check in set up in one of the smaller conference rooms. Moving through the hall way she noted that they redid the lower level since last year. The gentle sound of running water caught her attention. A small waterfall surrounded by lush greenery in a beautiful atrium, she did not recall ever seeing this. Checking in with the conference committee she got her badge and the information folder. With all formalities taken care off, Sophie moved to the Grand Ballroom set up for the conference and picked out a table close to the podium. She reserved few seats for her friends Pattie and Lulu and the rest of the girls from her old unit.
Few floors above her, David was struggling to wake up with his second cup of coffee.