The silence in the room was deafening. Clare had never before been so impatient. For some reason foreign to her soul, she missed home. Really missed it! She frantically tossed and turned on the mattress. Her mind scurried on with a nightmare.
She saw herself and her dad bathing in the sun on their balcony. She calmly walked across to the edge and stared down at the traffic. The next thing she knew, she was about to fall, her body dangling in the free air above the road.
"Daddy, help me!" she screamed, but to her surprise, her father just stood there, watching her plummet.
Sweaty and trembling, Clare woke up in a bright sunny room. There was a familiar smell lingering in the air but her mind was dizzy from the nightmare. Father wouldn't do that, he wouldn't, she thought to herself; Henry said he cared.
There came a knock on the door, and Nurse Joyce entered the room accompanied by another nurse pulling a huge trolley through the doors. "You are getting discharged today. You must feel relieved to finally be going home?" Joyce asked with a warm smile.
Clare nodded. "How about Jack?" she asked. "When is he being discharged?"
"I think they want him to stay a day more, considering".
Clare nodded, still reeling from her nightmare. "I'll go see him today. Maybe talk, if he wants".
"That would be nice, you can help him keep his mind off of the funeral", Joyce said pulling the trolley. "Jean, go take your break before your shift finishes love". Jean nodded, and left the room quietly.
Joyce turned back to Clare. "What would you like for breakfast? I have pasta, sandwiches, and today's special, egg and bacon".
Clare asked for pasta.
Joyce stared at her a moment. "You look down".
Clare hesitated. "I haven't been to a funeral since Mum's. I still can't believe he's gone".
"It's always hard love. Especially the first few days and months, then the pain slowly fades. You're left with only their memory". Joyce gave a slight squeeze on Clare's shoulder. "Your uncle should be here in couple of hours".
After Joyce left, Clare slid out of her bed and put on her robe. She picked up her tray on which sat a bowl of pasta, a bowl of fruit salad, a small carton of juice, and an empty cup with a tea bag and a small milk tub. With all these, she made her way to Jack's room. Today, she was going to dine with delightful company rather that sulking in the room alone. Her plans after breakfast, were to take a quick hot shower, put on the clothes Henry had brought, and finally go see Brandon in the ICU ward. She would have to make Henry wait until she was ready to leave.
Jack was already eating his egg and bacon when Clare knocked on his door. She entered, suddenly regretting having passed on egg and bacon. The aroma fizzling the room was mouth watering.
Jack nearly choked on his food. "Didn't know you were coming", his voice a touch lighter. Seeing the tray in her hands he swallowed the food in his mouth. "Sorry, I've already started. Was starving", he grinned from ear to ear.
She approached his bed and put down the tray besides his. "I'm being discharged today".
"You must be glad to be getting out of here!" He looked at his plate a moment, "Hope you come visit me".
"Of course I will. Just give me your address and I'll come every day, if I can", she said smiling. She sat opposite him on the bed, snuggling under the cover, took out the cutlery from its plastic wrapping and dug into her pasta. "I've been told you might be getting out of here tomorrow. Perhaps I could pick you up, and we can go somewhere and talk". She watched Jack shuffle egg around the plate.
YOU ARE READING
In Strange Company (**Complete**)Teen Fiction
Clare Peterson is rich, confident and beautiful, but even she knows money can't rescue her from her loneliness. As an unremarkable year draws to an end, she is shipped off to a ski trip in the company of strangers; her father's idea of love, but tor...