Well, Francis's simplistic plan would've been the absolute perfect plan if I could have gotten the guts to actually go through with it. Yes, it would've been absolutely spectacular to just waltz right up to her, one of my own patients, and just ask her out on a date but that just wasn't going to be happening. Blame it on my need of this job, or my gentlemanly ways but really, I was just a coward.
So with the sudden realization of my feelings it made every visit from her even harder than it already had to be. Every time she would come in with a new break, burn or tear and I would have to try to hold my tongue, just wishing she would know someone cared for her. That's why she never did pay her body's health any attention. She believed no one was looking.
Time after time we repeated our routine, and it broke my heart. When would she give this up? Why was she so stubborn? When would enough be enough? Her head was just too damn thick. It killed me to watch her slowly kill herself! And because of her careless actions, we were going to be meeting again in a matter of minutes, this time no different than all of the others.
My pen scribbled across the paper as my foot tapped impatiently. What would be the injury this time? What would be the cause? And how many hurtful words would be passed between us? I didn't like thinking about it like that but it was exactly how it was going to happen. My head shot up as I heard the door open and in walked a pair of familiar four inch stilettos.
"Ah (your name), right on time." I stood up to greet her and help her with her coat and purse. This time she was cradling her right hand so I had to be extra careful when removing her jacket. I led her over to the bed when she sat down and I sat myself on the chair opposite of the bed, waiting for her to explain this one to me. I waited and waited, but she stayed silent.
"More stubborn than usual love?" She gave a quick mumble for a reply this time. I sighed, leaning my elbows onto my knees. Something was off today. Usually she was all over my case about how I should just 'Do my job and not but into her personal life'. Now as I look at her, she was completely silent and hunched over, as if trying to hide herself.
"Alright, come on, spit it out."
"Well, are you going to tell me what happened?"
"How about I just bandage this up for you then." She was being so frustrating! I decided that if she wasn't going to answer my questions, the least I could do was make sure she couldn't damage her injured appendage any more than it already had been. I just wished I could know what was going on. Did something happen? Had someone said something? I brought over a tray of things I would need including, alcohol, gauze, tensor bandage, and scissors hoping that she wouldn't put up too much of a fuss.
"Okay then, so I'll just patch you up and then-."
Everything went flying across the room and I landed right on my but, my hands darting behind me to stop myself. My left hand collided with some sharp. Very sharp indeed. The pair of scissors I had brought over on the tray to be exact and my god did it hurt. I hissed as I ran over to the sink and started to wash it out, my other hand scrambling across the counter to find some clean gauze.
"What's gotten into you?!" I yelled. She had hit me, pushing me down to the ground, causing all of this to happen. What was her problem today? She was a lot more moody than usual.
"Just shut up Arthur!" She screamed back at me. Well finally I was getting her to speak, that was good I guess. I slowly made my way back over to her, she was hunched over and her face was in her hands and I could see that she was sniffling. My heart began to ache a little, seeing her so upset. But what was wrong?
"Love," I said kindly, my voice much softer than before as I tenderly approached her.
"Will you please tell me what's wrong?" I sat down beside her on the bed and took one of her hands in both of mine, hopefully providing a small bit of comfort. After a few moments she raised her head a little and glanced in my general direction.
"It's...nothing you could ever understand Arthur."
Alright, I guess I couldn't argue with that. As angry as those words mad me she was probably right. How could I possibly begin to understand this woman's life? In all of this time that I've been scolding her I never once stopped to put myself in her position. Now I see.
"Yes, I could never truly understand what you are going through, but could you tell me
anyways?" I ask, my voice still soft. I wanted her to open up to me. I wanted to be able to comfort her. I begin to rub circles on her back with one hand, the other still holding hers. She stifles a few more sniffles as she drops her head again.
I feel a smile, poking through my sad expression and even begin to giggle, though I tried not to.
"Now love, that is something I can understand."
"Oh really? Then why? Why Arthur, do they pretend to care about you until they see something they don't like? Then they just get up and leave! Why?" She screamed as tears streamed down her face. Her small hand had a death grip on mine as she spoke and her back shuddered. Hearing her say that really broke my heart and made me want to break some bloody git's face but, I couldn't do that.
"Why do they do that Arthur?" She whispered now and she lifted her head and looked at me. As her eyes met mine I noticed many changes in her. She wasn't wearing makeup today as you usually did and she didn't have her coloured contacts in. Now I could see her without all of the fake pieces she put on to make her look 'normal'. Her eyes were clouded and a grey, but I thought they were beautiful none the less. They were hypnotizing. Like nothing I had ever seen before.
"I really don't know love."
"That's what I thought." And she lowered her head again. Damn. This was hard. If only she knew how I felt about her. I wish I could tell her, but you can't date a patient. It just couldn't happen.
"Hey! It's not as if there isn't other fish in the sea or something!" I said, trying to sound as hopeful as possible. There was in fact many other men out there who I'm sure would be willing to date her. Like me. I was reading and willing.
"Oh yeah? Like who."
Shit. Fuck. Damn it. Bloody hell. A little whit lie never hurt anyone, right?
"A friend of mine. He's been looking for someone for quite awhile now and you're definitely his type!"
"Really?" She looked up at me again; her voice excited and even a smile on her face. Well great. I was just digging my grave deeper and deeper with each word I said. How could I do this to her? I had no 'friend' for her to go on a date with! This was all one big, fat, lie and I had to stop now. I should, but when I saw how happy it made her, I just couldn't.
"So, then how did it happen dude?"
"I-I don't know! It just...came out!"
"Just came out?"
"That's what I bloody said!"
"Well, shit man, I dunno what to do."
"I don't know!" I slammed my hands down on the counter and hung my head. The smell of defeat lingering in the air as they silence rose. No matter how high I climbed, I still seemed to be digging deeper.
"What's wrong with me Alfred?"
He sighed and leaned his back against the kitchen counter, his head lolling to the left. We had eaten supper together as our Thursday night tradition. Our parents had never been the closets of people and so we never got to do all of those family things, the simple things, like eating together, parents coming to Christmas concerts and all of that jazz. So, we tried our very best to at least make it happen for us, and if our parents didn't want to join in, then so be it. Now, years later, we still make time in our busy lives just to catch up and have some family time, even if it's just the two of us.
"Nothing is wrong with you Arthur, God! Sometimes, you just...I dunno let your mouth do all the talking, without your brain doing much thinking."
"Oh really? I'm the one who doesn't use their brain." His head rolled to side and we both smiled at each other.
"You know what I mean. When you're around that girl, you just, lose yourself."
I looked away and sighed. He wasn't wrong.
"But how do I make this better Alfred? I promised her something I can't keep."
"Tell the truth man."
"That's out of the question and you know it."
"Find some guy who's desperate for a girl and set them up." He pushed off of the counter and strutted over to the fridge to pull out another beer for himself. "You want one?" I nodded.
"I see a few flaws in your plan."
"Oh really?" He raised an eyebrow as he handed me my beer and resumed his spot on the counter.
"First off, I already told her that he's a 'close friend'. Setting her up with a random man wouldn't be adequate. What if he turned out to be a wanker? She would think I'm crazy!"
Alfred nodded as he took a sip of beer. He glanced over, his eyes smirking at me as I made my argument.
"Second. Why does he have to be desperate? She's a great woman with an incredible personality as well as a very successful career. She has many redeeming qualities and not only that, she is a very attractive woman on the outside-"
"Okay, okay!" He laughed, putting his hands up in defense. "I get it. You love her. So why don't you just take her on the date, huh?"
What? Love her? No. I wouldn't. I couldn't! It wasn't proper. Ungentlemanly. Unprofessional. Absolutely positively...true.
"But, she would know it was me..."
"Hey, you said this chick was blind right? Just drop the bass and she'll never know!"
"Alfred that is ridiculous! And are you saying that I have a high pitched voice?"
"...That's beside the point dude. But I'm so serious right now; this is how you can get yourself out of this shithole!"
He spoke with such enthusiasm, as if he had discovered a new game. To him I guess this was. It wasn't his heart on the line. His idea was completely mad. Utterly insane. Crazy. So crazy, it might actually work.
"Well...what did you have in mind for this?"
"Plan a date for you two in a few weeks time; just tell her he's super busy or somethin'. This gives us time to work. Now we work on your speech. You have a British accent. Lose it. We work on what you say as well. Make it so fool proof that if I closed my eyes, I wouldn't be able to tell. Then you go on your date with her. She won't know the difference, and you get the girl. Everybody lives happily ever after."
Alfred seemed so pleased with himself as he put his hands behind his head and smiled as though he had just won a prize. Yeah, prize for insanity. I couldn't pull this off! How was I supposed to change everything in a matter of weeks? What did Alfred know about any of this? She isn't stupid, she would see right through it.
"Please don't tell me you're serious."
"Are you kidding me? How can we pull this off?"
"Easily, you have the master of disguise right here!"
"Dude, I got this! When have I ever let you down?"
"Do you really want me to answer-."
"Beside the point. Do you want the girl or not?"
I sighed. Damn it!
"Then trust me bro!"
"You scare me when you say that."
"Aw come on man!"
I sighed once again. I was going to regret this until the day I died.