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“Okay, cool. Thanks. Oh, why won’t anyone talk about what happened with 348?” She asked. Curiosity rung through her voice. “Okay, fine. Don’t tell me.” He heard after a few minutes.
A short, smiling, bright eyed blonde came bustling through the door. “Why, good morning to you, sir. How are we doing today, huh? Let me just check your chart for a name.” She picked up the chart and skimmed through the pages and nodded along. She was wearing blue scrubs with a pink printed sweater.
“Mr. David Clark, nice to meet you. It says here you have sustained severe injury to your spine. Gun shot. However, it does not say why and no one seems to want to tell me. I guess it’s in the past, right? No longer matters. Any-who, my name is Shelly Sprie. I’ll be taking good care of you from here on out. I wanted to introduce myself before I came back to give you your nine o’clock meds. In the meantime, let me push your bed facing the window instead of away. It’s such a beautiful day; I wouldn’t want you to miss it. And I’ll also put the television on for you okay. If you need anything let me- Oops, I’m sorry Mr. Clark. Mind slip. See you soon. Enjoy the view.” She scattered out of the room.
He found her optimism endearing. For a, brief, moment, he didn’t feel as though dying would be better than this. He had someone speaking directly to him. Even her little slip up, about asking for something, he found adorable. David was very happy that this was his new care taker. So, eager, so full of life. For the first time in years he could not wait for his pain killers, anti-depressants, stool softners, vitamins, food, bag changes, other meds that he forgot what they were for, or any of that, for the sole purpose that someone would be coming to speak to him. She pushed his bed to the window. He was so happy to see that the grass was green. He watched as care takers took breaks, doctors took calls, and guards stand tall. His favorite was looking at the tree beyond the fences. It was a beautiful Maple tree. It sat there beautifully under the wonderfully bright sky. What a day today will turn out to be.
He slipped into his imaginary place where he was free in his mind. He ran out of this room so he can run up that hill and lay under the tree. What a blessed thought that would be. What a simple dream for a man to have. He sat there wondering if what she has done was cruel. He is teased and taunted by the wanting of being free. He was beginning to have mixed feelings about this. It was a very kind gesture; however, on the other hand it’s a beautiful torture. A final glimpse before death I suppose.
After an hour of staring at the same tree he grew to hate that tree. It was taunting him. Look at you, just sitting there, waving around in the wind like you’re something special. Well, guess what? You’re not. No one cares about you. You’re nothing….. J-just like me. His words hung there in his mind. He wished to be treated like a human. He felt so isolated, alone. He felt empty inside with an all-consuming amount of loneliness. He looked back at the tree. I’m sorry tree. I’m jealous, okay. You’re out there doing tree things, waving around and you’re rubbing it in my face. It pisses me off. I’m going to haunt you when I’m dead. David fought with that tree inside his mind until Shelly returned. Then he focused on her.