Roller Coaster 6

Continued from 5/15 post…

Just as Wendy was trying to figure out how she was going to open the door when she reached the third floor, the door swung open.  A tall young man with curly brown hair, dressed in scrubs, jumped a little when he realized his path was blocked.  He held the door open while Wendy wheeled her bike through.  He cocked his head for a moment, a touch of amusement playing on his lips. 

She gave a half smile and shrugged her shoulders.  She knew she must look ridiculous.  She found a family lounge area and wheeled her bike into a corner.  Surely no one else would be dumb enough to take a bike down stairs.  It was probably safe. 

Wendy took a deep breath, and wiped her hands on her shorts.  She counted the room numbers, and finally ended up in front of 406.  She walked slowly into the room.  She looked for her mom, but no one was in the room except someone’s feet covered in white sheets to her left. 

She was almost tiptoeing in the door.  Her dad lay in the hospital bed, looking years older, his hair matted on the pillow.  Clear plastic tubes seemed to come from everywhere.  He was sleeping, slack-jawed, with the old familiar chainsaw snore vibrating from his throat.  She smiled.  It was her daddy, alright.

She went up to her dad and gave him a kiss on the forehead.  He startled, then opened his eyes.  He seemed to have trouble focusing on her face at first.  “Wendy,” he finally said, his voice raspy and soft.  His eyes lit up and he managed a weak smile.  

“How are you feeling?” she asked, taking his hand in hers and squeezing it gently.  Her heart hurt.  She hated to see him like this.  She wished for a magic wand, something to take away all the pain, the cloud of death that hung over the room.  Tears sprang to her eyes, and she swallowed hard.  She blinked rapidly.  She couldn’t let him see her cry.

“Morphine is wonderful,” he said dreamily.  She laughed in spite of herself.  She grabbed a chair and pulled it next to his bedside.  “Tell me about work,” he said, as if they were sitting over the dinner table passing around a bowl of mashed potatoes.

“Work’s fine.  I’m learning a lot about golf,” said Wendy, beginning to relax and feel comfort in the routine conversation.  She told him about her job at the country club, and the people she had met.  She was in the middle of explaining something funny that had happened, when her mom walked in the door. 

Continued on Fiction Fridays…


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