“ARE WE doing spring cleaning?” Markey Green asked his sister Chante as he eyed the clothes strewn all over her bedroom floor.
“What? No…no…no…” Chante replied, as she pulled another hanger from inside her clothes drawer.
“I just need to find the right one…” she added as she positioned the dress in front of her and stared at her reflection in the mirror.
She shook her head in disapproval. “Too revealing,” she muttered under her breathe.
Markey advanced slowly into his sister’s bedroom. He didn’t want his wheelchair to run into the dresses that were piled haphazardly on the floor.
“Must be a hot date then,” he smiled with amusement as his sister began to attack the shelves where her shoes rested.
Chante stopped momentarily. She was surprised at her brother’s spontaneous perception. She smiled trying to mask the concern in her eyes. He had grown so much thinner these last few months. His ALS had progressed so much faster than she thought.
“And what do you know about having a hot date, hmmm…” she said as she tousled his hair.
“Well…enough to notice that you’re excited once again. These last few months you just seemed… sad.” Markey replied.
Chante felt a twinge of guilt. She honestly didn’t realize her brother noticed at all.
“Was I that bad…” she asked as she sat down on the bed.
“Bad? Nah, you were just sad.” Markey answered wryly.
“Yeah, I guess I was…but I’m ok now…so don’t you worry about me kid.” Chante replied.
She never told him about the way she felt. In fact she hasn’t told anyone about it. Who would believe her anyway? It isn’t everyday that a good-looking and wealthy…very wealthy…Jared Lowell asked you to be his sex toy.
Chante tried to forget everything that happened that day on the roof deck of NY General Hospital. She remembered him calling her name as she pushed the metal doors aside and ran towards the freight elevator. She punched the button on the lift and went all the way to the basement where she knew she would be safe. She was confused, her mind was in a whirl, and she wanted to stay away from prying eyes. She stopped by a wall and there amidst rows of empty cars she slumped down on the hard cement floor as despair and disillusionment brought waves of tears that shook her to the core.
“How dare him…” she muttered disconsolately, “he must think I’m scum.”
Jared Lowell, heir to the fortunes of Lowell Enterprises had just offered to keep her as a mistress in exchange for a condo and for “stuff” as he called it, even having the impudence to conclude “that’s what girls like…”
But Chante didn’t have the heart to put all the censure on the scoundrel. She was partly to blame too, remembering what happened between them in the bathroom of the suite where his mother was a patient.
“Shit…” she whispered between her tears.
But it was too late now for regrets. It happened and she had to live with it. In hindsight, she was confused why she even allowed it to come about. Had the patient, Samantha Lowell, or Nurse Betty, and Director Whittle come back and caught them in the illicit act, she would have lost her job as Certified Nursing Assistant, that’s for sure.
It was with uncertainty that she reported for work the very next day. She had vowed the night before that she would refuse adamantly, beg even, not to be assigned to Suite 247 once again. But the floor seemed unusually quiet that morning. She learned that Samantha Lowell was discharged the night before. The private helicopter that brought her in brought her out, as well.
“Oh, thank God,” was Chante’s initial reaction.
She didn’t have to suffer the awkwardness of seeing Jared again. Admittedly, she liked Mrs. Lowell. She felt a certain degree of kinship with the older woman. It made her a little sad, thinking she didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.
But as the initial relief swept through her body, she was also assailed with a deep sense of melancholy. She won’t be seeing Jared Lowell anymore. That, at least, was its own blessing, Chante thought.
The weeks that followed their departure, Chante often had to struggle with her feelings. She tried to focus on her work but often found herself looking out into space. She felt miserable, disconnected, and it took all her effort to keep going about her duty. The world lay heavily on her shoulders.
Nurse Betty took her aside and asked what was bothering her. Chante couldn’t look her in the eye. The woman was very perceptive.
“Is this about a man?” Nurse Betty inquired.
Chante nodded her head. The supervisor didn’t have to know who. So Chante decided on a half-lie.
“Yes…but it’s over now…” Chante answered.
“That’s good. If it didn’t last too long, then he must be the wrong guy for you. Get out of that hole you crawled into. Someone better should come along for you.” The supervisor consoled her.
Chante nodded her head in agreement. Nurse Betty didn’t know how close to the truth she was. Jared Lowell was definitely the wrong guy for her. It’s about time she moved on and forgot all about him.
Things were slowly getting back to normal.