R-E-S-P-E-C-T

by Lizabeth S. Tucker

"Hey, Roy?"

"Yeah, Johnny?"

"Do you respect me?"

"Huh?"

"Do you respect me? I know you like me. And I think you trust me, but do you respect me?"

"Where's this coming from?"

"It's just something...never mind."

"Johnny."

"It's just something I overheard."

"Where?"

"At the last paramedic meeting. Gary from 29 was talking to his partner and he said that he didn't like Brice much, but he respected him. So I was wondering if you respect me."

"Johnny, I swear. You come up with some of the strangest questions."

"Guess that answers my question."

"Don't get huffy, Junior. To answer your question, yes. Yes, I do respect you, both as a paramedic and as a man."

"Really?"

"Really."

"Wow. That's nice, Roy. Thank you."

"You're welcome."

"Oh, and Roy?"

"Yeah?"

"I respect you, too."

(May 2005)