Welcome back Dearest Readers to another holiday-themed tiny tale!
We pick up with another set of characters who happen to share the same hospital hallways during the holidays as those we visited last year around this time. You can find the other stories linked below:
- Let’s Pretend Part 1
- Let’s Pretend Part 2
- Let’s Pretend Part 3
- Naughty List Nan Part 1
- Naughty List Nan Part 2
- Naughty List Nan Part 3
I hope you are drawn in by the latest holiday short story as much as I was writing it!
“Who puts sleigh bells on hospital beds?” I feel the Grinch in my voice seep out.
“Silver bells!” Merry starts to sing.
“Of course you would.” I began and she immediately interrupts with,
“Well, my name is Christmas themed,” She makes sure to emphasize the word is.
She doesn’t go on to answer my question. Leaving me to sit there the angst from our situation bubbling within me.
“You know everything is going to be just fine.” Merry pats my arm.
“You can’t promise such a thing.” I sound like doom.
There is a rustle outside the door, sans bells, and I can feel my stomach drop as though I am on some kind of thrill ride. This is the least thrilling situation of my life. A woman walks in wearing scrubs which can only be described as Valentine-themed. I wanted to remind her she was a holiday or two off the mark but knowing she was here for me made my throat close up.
“Anna,” She pauses and my gaze flickers over her scrubs once more. Maybe there is another Anna. “Anna, Snoloski,”
I knew it had been too good to be true even if I was the only person in this tiny waiting room beside Merry.
Merry squeezes my hand and somehow it pushes the air from my lungs. “Here.” I felt like some ridiculous student being called on by a substitute teacher.
The “love” Nurse smiles at me. An insightful smile. A smile that carries the baggage of pity. I know that smile all too well as it has been at my bedside for many years. “This way.” She turns and exits the room knowing I have no other choice but to follow her.
Getting to my feet makes me dizzy and I feel Merry’s hand support my back in the exact spot it always claims when we would walk into a room together. Of all the pain I have endured the thought of a future where it is possible to never have her lead me into a room with the tiny gesture of her painted nails on my back makes me want to collapse on the floor. Although in that future I wouldn’t actually be around for those feelings to cling to.
We edge out of the room and into the hallway with the accompaniment of the jingle-jangle of bells. If they admit me. I am going to request earplugs and a bell free hospital sleigh.
The Valentine Nurse remains only a few feet ahead of us. Merry decides to break the foggy horror we wade through. “This ward is usually so quiet. I had thought it had only been specialists who had offices here.”
The Nurse turns and I notice her eyes are a sparkling green. They remind me of this one ornament Merry gave me the first Christmas we met. She smiles, “This ward has become the Holiday overflow. We are kind of a hodgepodge of members at the moment.”
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Silver Bells coming next week!