Immovable as Granite

Posted: January 23, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama, The New Nurse
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“I’m being straight with him, and I don’t rattle easily. He’s not the worst patient I ever had,” Jonathan said.

“Who was the worst?”

“My stepdad. Rheumatoid arthritis. I helped my mother take care of him for six years, all through secondary and university. He died after that.”

“I’m sorry.”

Jonathan sat down across from her. Caroline was dressed in a black pantsuit with a cream-colored top underneath. Her jewelry was simple. She radiated “edge.” Allen’s application said he had three children through two women he’d married, both divorced. Neither of them wanted anything to do with him. “Thank you,” Jonathan said, “and thank you for coming today. He needs support. Are either of your siblings local?”

“My brother’s in Maine, and my sister is in Connecticut. They won’t come, though.”

Jonathan felt a chill. The doors to the hall had been opened for cross ventilation, and the sea breeze felt warm and salty. “That’s a shame. It’ll make his recovery more difficult.”

“I know, but you’ve seen him. He’s impossible to please and impossible to work with. If he wasn’t a brilliant investor and a ruthless businessman he’d be a cranky lobster fisherman with a cirrhotic liver.”

Jonathan’s projection of the recovery, long-term, jumped by another month. “I can’t keep him practicing good habits all the time. If he stays lazy like this, without family support – friends, somebody – he’ll develop poor motion. He could reinjure himself.”

Caroline shook her head.

That made Jonathan angry. He fell back on his training. “Nice” was far more effective than “ass-kicking,” though that time would come, too. “Well then. I appreciate your coming, and I’m sure Allen does, too. Even if he won’t admit it.”

“Money’s not the problem, Jonathan. You don’t have to worry about that. I just….” She gestured toward the elevator, where Allen had gone, and dropped her hand. “I lived with that for eighteen years. It was enough.”

“Can I ask… if you won’t help, why did you come here today?”

She smiled. “He called yesterday, and told me he had a new nurse who was immovable as granite. He sounded beside himself. Maybe it was cruel but I wanted to see it in person.”

That made Jonathan angrier. Disinterested relatives were bad. People getting a kick out of other people’s suffering was worse. “I hope you enjoyed the show.”

“Actually I was disappointed. You’re not granite. You’re just tougher than he is. I think it’s good for him. And you.” Caroline stood. “You’ll have to excuse me. I have to make a few calls before my father comes back.” She handed him a business card. Caroline was a lawyer – a partner in the firm, in fact. “You can call if you need anything. My private line is on the back. If it’s busy, tell my secretary who you are and she’ll put you through.”

They shook hands. “Don’t be a stranger,” Jonathan said.

She laughed. “You see? It’s that kind of persistence that drives him nuts.”

  1. I love the dialogue in this. As a literary blogger, I think this should be published! The characterization really stands out nicely.


  2. A.D. Everard says:

    I’ve been slow in catching up, as you can see. I’ve had a hard time reading my own stuff, never mind someone else’s.

    It’ll be interesting to see the turnaround for Allen and for Jonathan to get some appreciation. 🙂

    I’m commenting here also to point out a typo in this segment, if that’s okay. A minor one: “I hope it you enjoyed the show.” I’m trusting that you are like me and would prefer it pointed out?

    Cheers, mate. 🙂


  3. I’m jazzed to hear about all the writing you’re doing! And thank you on the typo :). Many times I’ve done updates right after I made a post because I didn’t catch the typos. I’ll fix that in a sec…


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