Whimsy, did you know that George and Ben were close friends? I think George is the only one who knew Ben didn't live in Rainbow Falls because he was the only one who had Ben's phone number.
It was right around voting time that George got scarce again. When he came out to vote, Mrs. Miller happened to chat with George and George let it slip that he had spoken with Ben on the phone just the night before. At that time, no one was concerned about Ben not showing up. They weren't even concerned how he would vote since they were all sure Ben was voting with them. So, Mrs. Miller didn't give it a second thought and didn't even remember the comment until George was in the hospital.
Luckily, Mrs. Miller isn't one to gossip like ol' Bessie in Dysfunction Junction. If Bessie got wind of this and spread it like the wind, the people of Rainbow Valley would be lining up to visit George in the hospital just so they could ask him about Ben. Then again, maybe not. Sometimes I think the people of Rainbow Valley are too polite. Even though they are dieing to know what happened to Ben, and would want to know if George was still in contact with him, I think they wouldn't ask. They respect George's, and everyone else's, privacy.
Funny that it's that respect of privacy that almost killed George. When George goes missing for days, people wonder what's up with him, and if he's ok. Bessie has called him sometimes when he's being a hermit, no doubt to get some news to pass along the gossip chain. The way she tells it, friendly, loveable George is like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. She claims George bites her head off when she calls. Since she makes sure everyone knows this, no one calls to check in on George. They figure he just needs his space from time to time.
I certainly feel bad that I didn't call or visit to check up on George. Everyone needs somebody, I don't care if you are a hermit or not. If he didn't want to talk, that would have been fine with me, as long as he was ok. He worries me when he becomes the hermit. Maybe we'll find out more about George as he recovers.
I certainly hope he comes back to Rainbow Valley. I know everyone will miss him if he has to live with someone. And I know that will put another dent in his battered spirit. He enjoys being independent. He hates to think himself a burden on anyone, even if the burden is as simple as calling him on the phone.
Maybe I'll just have to make him a card and hand deliver it to that fancy hospital in the city. Maybe George would like to see a friendly face. If he's not up for a visit, I'm sure it'll warm his heart to know that we are thinking about him.