heel-toe-heel-toe by ingridfnl

20 Feb

“I. . .  I didn’t mean to,” said Sharon.

“Do you need more painkillers, mom,” Mavis asked. Mavis didn’t want or need any more revelations. It wasn’t, of course, so bad as long as Sharon was sleeping. It was the morphine haze that revealed too much information.

“I didn’t think it would. . .”

“Shhh, mom. It’s OK. You don’t need to talk,” Mavis said. Anyone watching may have presumed that she was comforting her mother. Mavis knew this. She also knew her own motives. She just couldn’t take any more. No more revelations. No more.

“I didn’t think,” Sharon murmured.

“I’m going to get you some ice water,” Mavis said over-brightly. “You just rest, you hear. You just rest.”

“Mavis!” her mother moaned.

“I’ll be right back,” Sharon jumped up and ran out of the room, then slowed as soon as she was out the door. She walked down the hallway heel-toe-heel-toe as she had as a child on her way home, trying to make the walk slower, the return further off. Heel-toe-heel-toe. Nurses looked at her cautiously and nervously when Sharon realized she was verbalizing her remembered ritual. And she didn’t care.

When she got to the station with the water jugs and ice, she thought to herself, “One, two, three, four…” as she counted while the pitcher filled with water and counted ice cubes into the jug.

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