Title: Nobody Wants to be Lonely Pt 2/?
Donna and I arrive at exactly 1:00 with my expert driving. Donna would call it breaking the sound barrier, but she doesn't know DC like I do. I can maneuver down back streets and make any meeting on time-or close to. You know, maybe she's right about my crappy watch. If I get a new one, maybe I won't have to drive like I do. Mental note: have Donna order me a new watch.
We look around and luckily the congresswoman hasn't arrived yet. We lace up our rental skates and take the ice. We skate together in silence. Donna looks beautiful in her faux-fur hat and coat. And those leggings! Pink is now my favorite color. With those leggings on, her long legs stretch even longer..
Is it hot outside, or is it just me?
As we round the corner, I notice Congresswoman Hatcher - without her daughter. Donna's going to kill me. Maybe she won't notice...
"JOSH!!" Damn. She turns to face me. "I don't see her daughter anywhere. Are you sure she was coming?"
"Yes, Donna. That's what Leo told me. I promise." We skate toward the Congresswoman. "Good afternoon, Congresswoman Hatcher."
Congresswoman Hatcher smiles. "Good afternoon to you too, Josh, Donna. Donna, I'm so sorry he dragged you out here. Emily's not feeling well. I tried calling your office, but you had already left."
"That's OK," Donna said as she patted my back like she was beating a dusty area rug. "I could use the break. I'll let you two get down to business and I'll go enjoy this relaxing skate."
The congresswoman waves good-bye to Donna and then turns to me. Her pleasant demeanor is now replaced by an icy stare. "OK Mr. Lyman, convince me as to why I should vote you way."
Congresswoman Hatcher is fairly new to DC. She won her seat in North Carolina, beating the incumbent that insiders said would die in office. Apparently, she got the youth vote out in record numbers and upset the incumbent. And she was instrumental in helping us win the state that's been notoriously republican for years. We like her and she likes us. But, she thinks were soft on education. Which is why we need her vote. This education bill is ten times superior to any of the ones that we've put up. Obviously, she hasn't read it, or we wouldn't be having this conversation.
So I put on my 'attack dog' face and look her in the eye. "Well, congresswoman, it goes like this..." I proceed to explain the detail of the bill. And not to sound too arrogant. I was in top form. I was cool, calm, and collected. Donna would be so proud of me.
"And that's that. More money is needed to hire new teachers and bonuses are needed to keep the good ones from leaving for the private sector."
She nods in agreement. "You've presented a really good argument. I think I should have read this bill before I disagreed with it. I'll vote for the bill. And I will convince Robinson and Mitchell, too. You know, you're not too bad, considering the nickname Congress has given you."
"Really, what's that?" As if I didn't know.
"You're known in the inner circles as Bartlet's 'Attack Dog.'"
"Yeah, well they're right 98 percent of the time. Just don't let the republican's know about the other two percent."
We shake hands a she heads for her car. I pump my fist in victory and nearly fall on my ass doing it. I was so psyched, I had completely forgotten that I still had my skates on. I can't believe that I just convinced a congresswoman to vote for our bill in a pair of ice skates. I wonder...if it worked for her, could it work for others? No.
I motion for Donna to come over so we can leave. As she's making her way towards me, I notice a couple of teenage boys playing around. The start towards Donna and start circling her. I immediately take off towards them. Once they see me coming, they close in on Donna, shoving her to the ice. I start speeding up. The two punks flee, but I don't worry about them. Donna hasn't gotten up. I finally reach her. When I turn her over, my hear stops. Blood! Blood on that beautiful alabaster forehead. Those sons of bitches! What have they done to my Donnatella?
"Donna? Donna! C'mon, please answer me!" No response. I fumble for my cell phone, but can't get my fingers to dial 911. My fingers won't dial those three damn numbers! Thank God an employee of the rink saw what happened and made the call. I was concentrating so hard on Donna's face, giving her every ounce of strength I could to make her open her eyes, I didn't hear the sirens of the ambulance as it approached. I guess, in a way, that's good-considering I'm still recovering from PTSD.
When the EMT's made it over to us, I stood and took one of them aside. "My name is Josh Lyman. I am the White House Deputy Chief of Staff. If you don *not* take extremely good care of this woman, I will make sure that the next thing you and your partner transport will be trash! Am I understood?"
The EMT shook her head. "Yes, sir. We'll take extremely good care of her."
I just stood there, helpless. I watched as they took her blood pressure, her heart rate, her breathing. I don't even remember the rink employee giving me our shoes back. I'm in a fog, constantly questioning myself-could I have prevented this? Am I responsible?
The EMT's carefully lift Donna onto the stretcher, like a delicate piece of china. We quickly slide along the ice towards the opening. Once we're on the pavement, my hand reaches for Donna's. We simultaneously enter the ambulance. The EMT whom I had yelled at earlier, places her hand on my arm. "Don't worry, we'll be there in no time. She's going to be fine."
And with that, her partner starts the ambulance and we begin the journey.