Category Archives: Betrayal

A Clearing: Short Story (Part 3 of 3)

Daniel and Mira continued their private therapy sessions. He talked and she listened with little input. He informed her during one of her visits that the team of doctors said that his healing was miraculous. She beamed upon hearing this report and again said virtually nothing. But she thought, “Healing is holistic.”

Listening to Daniel and his philosophy on life was opening new ways of thinking for her. She was seeing greater possibilities just by listening to a man with an entirely different mindset from Brian’s. Daniel continually improved and regained his strength.  One night, during her shift, he said that he wanted to walk down the hall.  He had been practicing with the physical therapist so this was an approved move.

She helped him up and handed him his deep maroon robe.  She noted that it was quite plush and she could tell that it was quite expensive.  She silently wondered, “Who is this man?”

They walked slowly towards the end of the corridor and both agreed to go out to the atrium.   The hospital had a balcony where visitors could look down at the lobby and see the serene water fountain. They found a place by the guard rail and paused.  There was silence as they looked down from the 9th floor.

He looked down and stared.  It was as if he was in a trance-like state as he peered into the open abyss. Mira was attentive as she stood close by. She noticed that after a prolonged silence his shoulders begin to shake as he leaned uncomfortably forward.  She saw the tears as he asked, “How could she do this to me?”

Mira knew that he was having a moment and temporarily leaned forward with him as a balancing act.  She privately had her own misgivings about life’s throes. As he was steeped in his anguish, she thought of her own.  Her mind went back to the screaming match she’d had with Brian before coming to work. ‘What is this really all  about?’ she inaudibly wondered.

She looked back over at Daniel who was undoubtedly in deep emotional pain.  She drew in a deep breath as she felt his pain and her own.  They both stared down to the ground level as if to say, “Were there any answers?  Was it all futile?  Was there any hope or a way out?”

For a moment in time, they both felt the bleakness of life.  He was in pain both physically and emotionally.  She was also tired of fighting and she knew that her bleary eyes gave her away.  For a moment, she thought of all of the dreams she’d had about her falling down, down, down.  She wondered when she would stop feeling like she was continuously tumbling in a downward spiral.

They both quietly looked down at the miniature people in motion below.  That was where all of the confusion laid. That was where all of the mazes were endlessly winding, twisting and turning. They had a bird’s eye view and were temporarily above the fray.

Mira somehow came back from the dark corners of her mind.  She first pulled him back into an upright position. She handed him a tissue.  He took it without ever looking at her, obviously a bit embarrassed that she had seen him like this.  She gently rubbed his back to comfort him and a slight electric wave emanated from the touch. She wondered if he had felt what she’d felt.  She said in a low voice, “It’s going to be okay.”

He turned to her and simply said, “My sweet, sweet girl.” She slipped her hand into his and squeezed it for reassurance.  He held on and they silently walked back towards his room.  When they had made it halfway back to his room, she realized that they were still holding hands.  There had been a clearing and they both knew what they had to do as they walked forward.

holding hands

Lynn                                                                                                                                     October 21, 2014

A Clearing: Short Story (Part 2 of 3)

“Hi Mira,” he smiled.

“Hello, Daniel,” she answered warmly.  His smile gave her a good feeling.  It seemed to say, ‘I’m glad you are here.’  This was quite different from the way Brian made her feel.  His curt responses made her feel as if she irritated him in some way.

“So-o-o, Daniel,” she rolled it out slowly.  I have thirty minutes.  Talk.  Pour.  That is if you still want to talk,” she said in a perky voice.

“Oh, yes. I do.”  He carefully adjusted his position on the bed. He did not want to disturb the attachments.

“Mira.  You are a sweetheart for listening.  Somehow, I felt that you were someone who had a listening ear and I have some things that I need to get off my chest,” he added.

“Okay,” she said.

He began.  “About three years ago, I met this girl or shall I say, woman.  We became close and I eventually asked her to marry me.  She suggested that we live together first.  I did not really like the idea, but thought, Oh well.  Everybody else seems to be doing it.”

‘Like me,’ Mira thought privately.

“Things were going along fairly well until one of her old girlfriends came back into her life.  I noticed some changes in her behavior but did not think too much about it. She became more callous and had this sense of entitlement like a queen bee.

That was the first red flag, but I did not notice a big change in our routine. She seemed to talk even faster and did not give me time to think on many occasions. We were both so busy working and it was hard to pinpoint exactly what was going on.

To make a long story short, Mira, I found out that she had been defrauding me by duplicating private papers and documents and making use of them in devious ways. The details are too much to share and I am still  tied up in legal proceedings.  I guess you never really know people.  Things happened gradually but the results caused a sharp pain deep down within which contributed to my physical state. Let’s just say I got burned. I was totally caught off guard and I am still playing catch-up from her actions.

She decimated me and she broke my heart.  I thought I was a better judge of character, but obviously I was not.  I thought I knew her better than that but when it rains, it pours.  My doctor advised me to slow down and get myself together.  Otherwise, he warned me, I was headed towards some type of threatening disaster.  I heeded his warnings a little too late and here I am.  I believe that I was more into her than she was into me,” Daniel continued.

‘Obviously,’ thought Mira who crunched down on her apple as the tale was told.

“I am an only child.  Parents deceased.  No first cousins.  I thought, Debra and I would create that family,” Daniel went on.

‘Debra.  Humph,’ thought Mira as she continued to chew, never speaking a word.

She threw a handful of raisins in her mouth in an effort to remain healthy as well as to keep her thoughts to herself.  Listening to Daniel’s voice was like listening to a melody of a singing bird.  Even though it was woeful tale, there was something about his presence that had staying power.  She did not feel anxious nor in a hurry to exit the room as she often did with unhappy patients.

She compared Daniel to Brian.  Here was a man pouring out his heart.  Brian shared very little with her.  If he did, she would better understand why he was so agitated.  Daniel wanted a wife and a family.  Brian almost went berserk whenever the word marriage was mentioned.

Daniel paused and took a drink of water.  She looked at the clock and realized that her break was over and she had to return to her duties.

“Daniel. I have to get back to work.  Would you like to continue this tomorrow night?  It looks like you will be here for a while,” she said.

“I would like that very much,” he said in an exhausted voice.  It was as if the wind had gone out of him.

She packed up her things and heard a gentle snore.  She sighed and with a sense of new energy, she returned to her nightly duties. That evening, time seemed to fly by. Before she knew it, it was time to punch out and go home.

Lynn                                                                                                                             October 19, 2014

A Clearing: A Short Story (Part 1 of 3)

Mira punched in as the night nurse at the city’s hospital.  She checked the charts to see what rounds she had and which patients she would be attending to that night.  She looked at her image in her pocket mirror and saw how haggard she actually looked.  She sighed,  “At least, I made it to work.”

She had been up during her sleep time arguing with her live-in boyfriend.  Mira was trying to make sense of it all, but the haze enveloped her.  She simply knew that she could not go on like this.  Something had to give.

She momentarily forgot her woes as she reviewed the patient charts.  There was a new patient and from what she could tell his prognosis did not look good. He had had surgery and she saw that he was 42 as she was. Her jaw dropped when she saw that they had the same exact birthday.

“Wow! This is really deep,” Mira mumbled under her breath.

After Mira did her routine beginning duties, she decided to look in on her new patient, Daniel.  She fully expected him to be asleep from heavy sedation.  When she entered the room, she gently checked his vitals and made sure that the attached IV’s and machines were properly working.  Everything seemed to be in order.

She noted that he was a handsome man and automatically, she wondered about his personal life.  Did he have a wife?  A family?  Kids? Anyone?  She privately knew that she was delving into territory that was not ethically correct, but who would not at least wonder.

Mira decided to look at his records and flipped through the clip board.  She saw that there was no ‘next of kin’ listed.  In fact, the line was left empty.  She knew that there was certainly a story here.

“How disturbing!” she thought.  As she turned to leave the room, she heard him cough or clear his throat.  She spun around when she heard a weak, “Hey.”

“Hi Daniel. I am Nurse Mira.  How are you feeling?” she asked.

“Oh. A little groggy,” his voice strengthened in a heavy bass tone.

“Wow!” she thought.  That voice.  Mira instantly recovered from her private thoughts and responded, “Okay.  Let me check to make sure you have everything you need.  We want you to be comfortable here.”

“Mira, is it?” Daniel asked.

“Yes,” she responded. “It is Mira.”

“I need to talk,” he stated promptly.  He raised a little to get a better look at her.

“Okay,” she said weakly.  His voice alone seemed to command her attention and as a willing child, she found herself obeying.

“Let me make my rounds and I can come back during my break and listen.  Okay?” she asked.

“Yes.  Thanks, Mira,” he said as he leaned back in a more comfortable position.

Mira left the room and had temporarily forgotten about her own war at home.  As she prepared the medication for the other patients on the floor, her mind briefly returned to what awaited her when she did get off from work. Brian, her boyfriend, seemed to be more argumentative lately.  She could not put her finger on what it was, but something was not right.  Either, he was looking for an escape hatch or something.  She brushed off the thoughts and tucked them away.  She almost said out loud, “Not now.”

When her break rolled around, she took her snacks and returned to Daniel’s room.  He slept lightly as she peered closely after entering the room.  His breathing was steady and as she was about to move away from the bed, his eyes opened.

Lynn                                                                                 Originally written: October 17, 2014