The waiting is the hardest part. Sitting. Sitting, not moving. Sitting for one minute, two minutes, three minutes, four minutes. Jeffery looks at the clock on the wall. Five minutes.
The flowers are all over the wall. They flutter and bend each time the oscillating fan on the side table blows air over their field, but the clock doesn’t do anything. Six minutes, seven minutes, eight minutes, nine minutes. Why doesn’t the clock move? Why?!
Jeffery catches it. This time. This is a good thing. The carpet is still. Good. This a good thing. Carpets are still. He catches it this time. This is a good thing.
He carefully raises his glance to face whatever is across the room. Feet. A woman’s feet. Now a child’s feet. Now the child’s feet are gone. Now they’re back. Jeffery cautiously moves his eyes to the left. A man’s feet and then the same child’s feet. The child’s feet go up, one at a time. They don’t come back. Jeffery slowly, very slowly, raises his glance. Knees. The man’s knees. The woman’s knees. Now whole legs. The man’s. The woman’s. And the child’s. On the man’s legs. The child’s chest. The man’s chest. The woman’s chest. Her chest. Her chest. The child’s face. The child’s face looking at Jeffery’s face.
Behind the child’s face the flowers flutter and bend left. Then still. Flutter and bend right; flutter and bend left. Then still. The child’s face is pink. Now purple. Now green, with each sweep of the fan. The child’s eyes are pure black. The child’s hands are growing toward Jeffery, long green fingers growing, growing, changing color to pink, purple, black, green, with each sweep of the fan. The flowers flutter and bend left over the child’s orange face. Then still. Flutter and bend, and twist around the fingers, growing and growing, faster and faster…
NO! STOP! STOP! GO! GET BACK! GET BACK! GET BACK! GO! STOP! STOP!
A woman’s voice. Calm. Insistent. Her hands on top of Jeffery’s shoulders. Jeffery forces his eyes open. A placid, smiling face of a woman with her hands on Jeffery’s shoulders. She pushes on Jeffery’s shoulders, forcing his knees to bend. She bends her knees as well. Throat. Shoulders. Chest. They sit. Chest. Hello, my name is…Dr. Brenda Chatsworth. Red letters. Black letters. Not moving. This is a good thing.
“It’s OK, Jeffery. Here.”
Her hand. Not green. This is a good thing. A white paper cup. Clear liquid. Fingers, not growing, this is a good thing, and a pill. This a good thing.
“You’re Dr. Chatsworth,” Jeffery says staring at her name tag.
“Yes. You can call me Brenda.”
“You are not Dr. Anderson.”
“No. That’s right. I’m not.”
This week’s OLWG prompts are: Wait for it!; Can I call you Brenda?; It will tarnish