Adam is surprisingly taken aback by the reproach of the supposed nurse, but it seems his father..or rather Gerald , seems to be more insulted
“Who the hell does she think she is to talk to me like that?” Gerald shouts
Adam turns to his father , “Oh! Now you want to have a cat fight with a woman now..how nice Gerald” he hisses
Focusing back on him Gerald snarls “Soon your presence here would be nothing but dust, your mother is the only one stopping me from using a crowbar on you..bastard” Gerald comes closer
“You know we don’t have to keep doing this because I am quite tired of this back and forth. I would take her with me if you are tired of seeing her face. Like when last did you go in and sit and talk to her like the loving husband you claim to be. When last did you hold her hands and let her feel your presence? Instead you are busy not caring, which is what you are good at..why are you even here? Why did you come back eh..I thought you would be away for another 6 months atleast” Adam retorts
“She is my wife and you would not take her away from me nor from my house and my relationship with my wife..my wife is my business and you have no right to tell me when I come and go in my very own home boy!”
“Don’t do that..don’t call me boy. I am not that weak little boy you think you knew, I have a name and I would appreciate if you call me that. I am a man Gerald and I am not scared of you, never have and never will” Adam replies
“I would call you whatever the hell I want boy! Oh you are still the little boy who is seeking to be loved but there is no love here for you..not in this house. A man? I made you what little you are, it’s my money that gave you cloths on your back and shoes on your feet. I made you BOY!! And I can break you, you spawn from the bin. You..you took my precious little boy away from me and you are standing here with no shame or remorse…why don’t you just go away and die..why do you keep tormenting me with your presence, you can never take his place..because Damien is irreplaceable. You killed him and I swear to God that you suffer immensely, leave my house ..leave my wife and go into oblivion. You are not needed here. Your presence reeks of death, you mean nothing to me ..NOTHING !”
That struck a chord, the strings of his heart pulled, he blinked once and then again
“That was a bloody accident, when would you let that go? You are wrong Gerald..you are wrong. I loved him as much as you did if not more. You have no right to make me feel this way constantly”
“Then leave. LEAVE!!!’’ Gerald thunders, his anger visible
“We don’t have to see and speak to each other, I don’t live in your house Gerald, I stay in the cottage ..I only come into the house to see mother and not even your anger and outburst can keep me away, I have the right to see my mother and besides you are never around for her. I would not deprive her of love and comfort just because you are too bitter to come down from your arrogant and high horse and see, there is a sick woman in there whom you promised forever, in sickness and in health, it doesn’t look as if you are keeping up your end of the bargain. But you would be laughable to think I would not live up to one as her son” Adam’s voice matches his, they are both staring angrily at each
“Get out from my face boy” his father threatens him
“Gladly” and with that Adam walks off down the hall and out the door, he would come see his mother later at night when his father was asleep.
“Damnit!!’ he swore ,
He was tired, tired of it all.
The pain was too much to bear, the fights were worse..
He needed a drink..something strong to forget about the nightmares when he closes his eyes.
Marybeth had managed to bath and clean Thelma up, and feed her food that the chef had brought up, it took awhile because she was refusing to eat, but she treated her as she would treat a child..with patience.
Done with that she gave her, her drugs and then realizing that the noise coming from the outer room wasn’t going to stop anytime soon, she puts on the TV to distract the woman from constantly turning her eyes to the door. Was it from fear or from…anxiety. She couldn’t tell
“There there Thelma, there there’’ she holds her hands and sooths her, rubbing her hands to calm her down
“What do you want..tell me Thelma, you want to watch something, a series maybe..or listen to music, some old Ballard? I am sure you would love it. Or should I tell you a story? Oh a story..you would love that won’t you?” Thelma’s eyes leaves the door and focuses on Marytbeth’s face and then she nods,
“A story would be nice, he reads me one every night..” she says. She had the sweetest voice for an elderly woman, Marybeth was slightly jealous, when she smiled, it captures her beautiful face ridden with wrinkles and lines and bags under her eyes. Thelma Pope was a beautiful woman when she was younger and had the lights in her eyes, Marybeth concluded, she wondered what would have taken it out.
“oh really..which of them? The one who looked as though he was going to shout my head off my shoulders or the one who looked even meaner?”
Thelma laughs, that silent chuckle “I like you..” she tells Marybeth. For a moment there Thelma focuses her eyes right on Marybeth’s, as if she was just seeing her for the first time, and then that focus was gone
“So I should tell you a story..what would it be?” Marybeth scratches her head, she knew children’s stories but she couldn’t tell her those, she was sick not a child. Looking around the room she saw books laying on the floor,
“Fallen Embers…erm Unloved… Hope..” why did these books all sound sad to her, wasn’t there anything cheerful, seeing another she grabs it ,
“Aha..here is one, reaching for stars, why don’t I read this to you Thelma yes?” she sits comfortably on the chair and flips the book open
‘’Yes..I like stars” Thelma says
“As do I” then she began to read
Gerald storms into the room, startling his wife and the woman beside her, with a stride he closes the distance between him and the woman coming face to face with her, dropping the book Marybeth stares up at him to meet his cold eyes
“ I need you out of here by tomorrow” he says, he was not a simple man and what he hated the most was to be disrespected by anyone much less someone who worked directly or indirectly for him, and he won’t have Adams make mockery of his authority, but because of his wife he had to tolerate it, however he won’t have a nurse disrespect him not when he can do something about it.
“Do you mind to tell me why..Sir Gerald is it?” she answers him calmly, risking a look at Thelma who wasn’t doing fantastic at the moment, visible tears glistens her eyes
“You are disrespectful and I won’t have that in my house and won’t have that close to my wife” he thunders
“Very well sire, but if you are very concerned about your wife who is obviously scared of your tantrum by the way, you would have gone to her first..instead you come to me directly to show your displeasure, which is a given. But I do believe I was employed to take care of your wife and which means I am meant to put her and her health first but you and ..I believe your son—
“He is no son of mine” he cuts her abruptly taking another step closer, he said it with so much anger she thought his veins were going to pop out and a vein might cut, deciding to leave the “why isn’t he your son, because the butler rightly told me he was your son so why isn’t he your son” question at the tips of her tongue for another day.
Yes her mother knew her well, her tongue was hot and her mouth was sharp. But today she would be the obedient daughter, she manages a smile
“Right..You and that man seemed to be making my patient here very uncomfortable and that is not good for a woman in her state’’
“You would not tell me how to take care of my wife and about her health, I very well know–”
“No? I am sorry sir but do you know the symptoms of paralysis?’’ she cuts him “let me tell you; your wife will have changes in mood, personality or behavior, clumsiness, confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment, oh and there is difficulty with memory and sometimes evident loss of one, then thinking, talking and comprehension might be a problem and sometimes you have to talk to her as you would a child, with patience. And writing and reading is another matter. what about drooling..you know what drooling is right? Literally she would have spittle coming out of her mouth and may or may not need beeps, like the ones you wear babies when you are feeding them, and what about numbness, constipation, diarrhea, oh there is fever, hearing loss, problem with her vision, nausea with or without vomiting, pain, rash, severe headache, breathing problems, change in mental status..which means at most times she may or may not be coherent or as someone who isn’t at touch with this world, you know delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions, and oh not forgetting—
“Enough. ENOUGH!!!’’ he thunders, his frown deepening but his eyes wavered a bit resting on his wife and back at her
Good, maybe he wasn’t ever told the sufferings of his wife. What sort of man who didn’t care to know?.
“Sir, you may want me out by tomorrow and I would leave. But for someone who claims to care about his wife don’t you think you need to put aside your anger towards me for bruising your ego and put your wife first, because she needs care and attention and I don’t see how your bickering with your so—
He gave her that cold look again.
“I mean that man would help her. She needs peace, love,support and care. I am a nurse sir, and I have worked with so many patients, and I was told in the hospital that there were a number of nurses who came and didn’t stay and I don’t know what the reason is and neither do I care. I was sent here to do a job and I intend to do my job ,and I am sorry I won’t let anyone jeopardize my work and the life of my patient sir, even if he is my boss and the one footing my payment bills and if sir you have a problem with that I would call the hospital and tell them to get me another job and I would be out of here by morning, but if anything does happen to your wife due to lack of proper care..it would be on you and your over-sized ego..SIR!!’’ she said with all calmness. She was intent to drive home a point. She didn’t blink not when his cold eyes turned to ice or was it lasers and looked as though he could fire her up if he could. Or maybe he would just slap her and kick her out tonight.
She hopes he doesn’t. the silence was deafening..and without saying another word he turns and began walking away but he stops at the door
“I don’t like you..Nurse. Today you stay, and do your job. The next time you as much as disrespect me or talk to me that way again..I don’t care if you are helping my wife, I would have you out of here falling on your ass you would regret stepping into my house and I would make sure you don’t have another nurse working permit for a long time’’ and with that he slams the door shut, Marybeth blinks.
Rude!! And he still didn’t even go to his wife..
“Thelma, its okay it’s okay. The big bad wolf has gone to his cave. You are safe” she says going to Thelma whose silent tears had soaked her face, she takes a towel and wipes her eyes, holding her hands she calms her down cooing her softly
“He is angry, he always gets angry..and it hurts it hurts” Thelma shakes her head from side to side
“Sssshh it’s okay Thelma, it’s okay. Nurse Marybeth is here and I promise I would give him hell” Marybeth says smiling
“y-you will?” she sniffs , Marybeth smiles nodding
That’s it Thelma, that’s it. Smile..laugh. Laughter is a good medicine. You seem to not have had that in your life for a long time.
She keeps talking to her and then slowly Thelma drifts off to sleep, Marybeth stays with her intending to leave when she is sure she doesn’t wake up or is in need of anything in the night. She makes herself comfortable in the chair and continues reading the book to pass time.
Adam walked into the house by midnight, it was cold, dark and safe for the light leading into the hall way.
“Do you need me to get you anything sir?” The butler opens the door for him wearing a robe, Adam shakes his head
“Go to sleep Richard, I just want to see my mother” Adam says tapping him by his shoulders and leaves him by the door.
He opens the door to find the room dark safe for a bedside lamb showing a dim light, he goes to her bed and sits down, staring down at her, a sad smile on his face
“Hello mother, I am sorry I didn’t come to see you earlier before you slept and didn’t read you to sleep. I miss you mum, I miss your smiles and laugher, I miss when you were strong and healthy. I miss when we were happy, you, me, Damien” he blinks away threatening tears
“I know its my fault, I know its my fault. I took away your son, I was driving that car mom and I wish I was the one who died. This pain…this pain is my hell and it’s a well deserved hell. I am sorry mother.. I wish I could make all your hurts go away and pain too..I wish I could” he cries into her hair , holding her hands he doesn’t let go..
Marybeth finds him there in the morning, his hands tightly gripping Thelma’s and dried tears on his face. She stares down at him wondering why a grown ass man like him would have to cry. Maybe because his mother was in this state.
Thelma was fast asleep but she figured she must have woken up in the middle of the night and finding him there beside her she placed her hands on his head and went back to sleep, a simple but motherly loving gesture.
He seemed peaceful as he slept, part of his hair covered his eyes, without thinking she brushes it away carefully to find really long lashes. Last night the man who stared at her with equally cold eyes like Sir Gerald’s didn’t look so mean now.
Bending low she continues to stare down at him , sadly he was a handsome man, a cold-eyed-handsome man, she chuckles, how she hated those types.
What would happen if she flicked his nose and wakes him up. He was in the way of her job at the moment and she had to wake Thelma up to bath and clean her, give her drugs, massage her a bit, feed her and make sure she is as comfortable as a queen and this cry baby was pressing her with his big head..okay with his handsome big head.. that hair though..running-hands-through-it-worthy, she smiles.
Raising her hand up, still close to him she makes her fingers into a rock star sign showing a hole on the side, ready to flick his nose awake and move out of the way before he sees her..
A second before she releases her finger to his nose, his eyes suddenly flew open, to stare face to face with Marybeth who is a few air spaces from his face. With shock she yelps backing away and almost falling backwards, he reaches out standing and grabs her pulling her back with force preventing her from falling over the stool and hitting her head.
That movement propels her forward and lands on his chest, face to face with him.
“Oops!! Wow such reflexes there Mr—
“Are you mad?” he thunders , up close his eyes were a dull beautiful grey,
‘’Wait what..what did I do?”
‘’Next time be conscious of what’s behind you, for a nurse you are quite clumsy” he spat
He pushes her away from him and walks out leaving her staring at him, she scoffs frowning
‘’Are all the men in this house arrogant jerks??’’ she wonders
“who is there?” she opens her eyes.
“Its Nurse Marybeth Thelma, do you remember me?” she goes to her
TO BE CONTINUED