Halloween Fiction: the sculptor: 3 of 11

*** for part 1  – part 2***

Tears were streaming down Thomas’ face, as he looked at the shattered woman on the other side of the glass.  Even sedated, her body remained immobilized by fear.  “I wonder if she’s still hysterical under all those sedatives,” Thwarpedsculptureomas whispered to himself.  He felt as though he had just watched a war, helpless from the sidelines.  Each time he closed his eyes, he saw Moira huddled in the corner of her studio, surrounded by her sculptures.  Her scream had been unending, a monotone of terror. She had been disheveled, naked and shaking, her bathrobe torn about her; her hair and face still caked with soap. Something must have shocked her out of the shower, because the entire bathroom had flooded. Nothing had calmed her, not even his embrace.  At his touch, she had thrashed and struggled to escape, creeping further into the corner, pressing herself into the wall.  She had looked at him without recognition.   She had not responded to her name.  At first, he feared the worst – but there had been no intruder, no signs of violence from another.  The police assured him Moira had been alone.  It was only then that Thomas had understood that the worst he had imagined in his panic was better than reality.  He remained convinced that she could heal from any external attack, but Thomas wondered if Moira could overcome this kind of internal beating.

“Thomas Greenhill?”  the voice jarred Thomas out of his memories.  He opened his eyes to see a man in a white coat standing before him.  His name tag said Dr. Michael Talac.  Thomas scrutinized the man, his dark eyes, his curly dark hair.  Immediately, he could find nothing wrong with the doctor, except for his being too young and too nervous.  “Mr. Greenhill?”

“Mr. Darrow. I’m Thomas Darrow.”  Thomas kept his voice flat.  Using the wrong name did not endear the young doctor to him, though.  It just proved that he had not read Moira’s entire chart.  Thomas had printed his name clearly on all the insurance information and emergency room documentation.  That kind of inattention in a hospital always disturbed him.

Confused, the doctor turned his head toward the chart he held in his hand.  “I’m sorry.  I’m looking for Moira Greenhill’s husband.”  The doctor checked chart again, along with the number on the door.  Squinting through the glass, he looked at Moira’s inert form.  Neither his confusion nor his youth inspired confidence.

Thomas tapped his chest over his heart, “I am Moira’s husband,”  he worked to keep his tone even, “we have different last names.”  Thomas watched as Talac flipped through the papers clipped to the chart, his curls still shaking in confusion.  “It’s on all the admissions documentation.”  He rumbled, losing control with the last word, his voice cracking with emotion.

Talac looked up at Thomas, studying his face for a moment, scrutinizing the features frozen in an effort to appear calm, tears still rolling out of his blue eyes.  Then he went back to the chart to verify Thomas’ name.  “Oh, I see it now.  Mr. Darrow.  The nurse said you’d requested an update on your wife.”

“Yes.”  Thomas forced his voice into calmness, and returned his gaze to his wife, “The last thing I was told, by the doctor from the night shift, was that you were waiting for a call back from Moira’s therapist.  You would decide what to do then.”

“We heard from Dr. Ward about an hour ago.”  The doctor flipped through more papers on the chart.  The sound made Thomas stare at the him, amazed at how little he knew about his patient.  Coughing, Talac finally continued, “Drs. Ward and Stevens,”  Talac glanced up at Thomas, looking for acknowledgment of the names, “they both agreed that Mrs.  …” the young man seemed flustered again, grasping for the name.

“Greenhill,”  Thomas’ voice grew darker as the doctor faltered.

“Mrs. Greenhill should be kept under observation for at least the next few days.”  Thomas turned away from the doctor, back to the glass and his sedated wife.  After a few moments, the doctor closed Moira’s chart and coughed again.  “Mrs. Greenhill must be delusional.  She was hysterical and screaming about how they were trying to kill her.  They, as far as Dr. Stevens could determine, were her sculptures?”

Thomas nodded, keeping his eyes on Moira.  “They were all around her when I found her.”

“Sir, you know your wife needs help. Dr. Ward has been counseling her for quite some time, apparently, and will be her attending physician, working with her every day.  Although, given her current state, I don’t see how there is anything he can do other than try to keep her calm through medications.  You must see that this is the right thing.”  Silently, Thomas nodded, his tears doubling and his shoulders shaking.  Rationally, he knew Moira had moved beyond his ability to help her.  Someone with greater knowledge was needed.  The realization, however, did not make the situation any easier to bear.  Talac cleared his throat again, mumbling, “A nurse will be by with the paperwork you need to fill out, then you should go home and let us take care of Mrs. Greenhill.”  He walked away quickly, leaving Thomas to his sorrow.

Placing his hands on the cool glass, Thomas started to cry in earnest, long sobs wrenching themselves out of him.  He felt like he was abandoning his wife.  It was bad enough that he had left her alone, going away on a vacation of all things, to come home to find her broken like that; to leave her this way seemed like a deep betrayal.  Every atom of his being wanted to fix whatever was wrong with her, so she could be herself again: the woman he had married eight years before, laughing and smiling, a complete, whole person.  What had happened to that Moira?  Why couldn’t he save her?  His helplessness devastated him.  When his flood of emotion had finally past, Thomas collapsed onto the couch behind him.  It had only been sixteen hours since he had gotten home to find this nightmare.  To him, it seemed like it had been weeks.  Approaching him cautiously, a nurse quietly handed Thomas a clip board, and sat beside him while he filled it out.

When he gave it back to her, she patted him on the back, “She’ll be all right, we’ll take good care of her.”  Thomas finally raised his eyes to the nurse’s smiling face.  It was filled with compassion, her dark eyes seemed so warm, Thomas felt a wave of trust come over him.  She seemed more at ease than the young doctor, more experienced, more competent.  “Its our job.  And, Dr. Ward is a good doctor.  Moira will be okay.”

“I love her.”  The words ripped themselves out of him, pulling out more tears as they left.

The nurse put her hand on Thomas’ head, a comforting, motherly gesture, “She knows.  We know.  We’ll take care of her.”  She kept her hand there for a moment, waiting for Thomas to gather his strength again. “You should go home, you’ll have to take care of yourself if you want to be here for her.”  Numbly, Thomas nodded.   The nurse walked back to her station, and after awhile, he got up.

Looking at his wife, touching the glass, he whispered, “I love you.” to her and walked to the elevator.

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