Copyright© 2020 by Olga Chinka
The receptionist is busy reading something on her computer. We stand at her desk, patiently waiting for her to acknowledge us.
“Can I help you ladies?” She asks, not looking away from her screen.
“We are here to visit Catherine Wheeler. Can you please point us in the direction of her room?” Jane replies.
“Are you family?”
Jane looks at me, not sure of what to answer.
“Yes, we are her granddaughters!” I chime in. Something told me being family was the only way to see her.
“She’s upstairs on the sixth floor, room 605. Take the elevator on your left. When you get to the floor, go straight until you hit the bathroom, then make a right.”
“Thank you!” I reply with excitement as Jane and I beeline towards the elevators. Lying to the receptionist was a rush! We were kind of family though, if not in name. Mrs. Wheeler has been our babysitter since before I could remember.
We get off on the sixth floor and walk straight, looking for the bathroom signs. They are easy to spot, and when we turn the corner, I catch a glimpse of Mrs. Wheeler in her bed, the door to her room wide open.
Unsure of how we will explain ourselves to her family, we walk into an almost empty room. Mrs. Wheeler is on her bed, peacefully resting. No longer is she hooked up to oxygen.
“Mrs. Wheeler can you hear us?” Jane whispers softly, at the foot of the bed. “It’s Jane and Rachel Turner from next door.”
No reply, no changes in the expression on her face. She doesn’t even know we are here.
I sit down next to Jane and we watch her for a bit. Her face is covered in bruises. Whoever did this to her is a monster. Who else would hurt an old lady like this?
We are startled when a nurse walks in the door.
“You family?” she asks as she starts checking her vitals.
“Granddaughters” Jane replies without skipping a beat. “How is she holding up?”