Halloween Fiction: the sculptor: 8 of 11

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Thomas entered the hospital slowed by his burdens and soreness from moving. Carrying the box of journals, he took the elevator to her floor.  It had been almost two weeks since his last visit.  After his conversation with Kendle, his absence seemed inexcusable.  As soon as he walked up to the nurses’ station, Violet met him with a smile and plucked the box out of his hands, putting it on her dedancer 2 altsk.  “How are you doing, Thomas? How did the move go?”  She turned back to him and gave him a swift hug, her dark eyes glittered with happiness and interest.

“Fine, I suppose.”  Thomas hesitated for a moment, almost ready to tell Violet about his hallucinations, but he decided against it.  He did not want to diminish himself in her view, he had become very fond of her over the months of Moira’s confinement.  Violet had taken both he and Moira under her wing.  “The new house is beautiful.  Lots of light.” At least that he could say with more enthusiasm.  “I want to leave a key here with you, in case something were to happen to me, or Moira would get out…”  he took an envelope out of his pocket, “I trust you, Violet, and I don’t want Moira to feel locked out when she can come home.”

Violet smiled broadly and put the envelope into her purse.  “We have a wonderful surprise for you, today.”

Thomas smiled despite himself, caught up in her infectious mood.  “Kendle told me that Moira recognized you, and she was sitting up.”  The prospect of more good news warmed him.  “Has something else happened?”

“Yes,” Violet linked her arm into Thomas’ and started to guide him toward Moira’s room.  “But I want to start from the beginning.”  She pouted playfully, “I feel cheated that Kendle told you first, so I’m going to pretend he didn’t.  Moira recognized me Saturday.”

“That is almost too wonderful to believe.” Thomas stopped walking, pulled himself away so he was facing her, and stared at Violet’s joyous smile.

“You heard me, man.”  Violet laughed, “I walked in to check on her and she was fairly alert, sitting up in bed.  When I came in she looked at me, and she said ‘Hello, Violet.’”

“She did?”  it seemed surreal to Thomas, even though this was the second time he heard it.  Hope had been so far away from him just a few days before.

Violet laughed again, linking her arm in his and leading him along.  “Yes, she did.”  After a few steps, she smiled broadly at him again, “And that’s not all.”  She let Thomas’ smile ask the question for him, “She’s also eating her lunch on her own.”

“She ate?  You didn’t have to feed her?”  Now that, Thomas had been completely unprepared for.  He whispered his questions, eyes wide.

“Am I there, you silly man?  She’s eating right now.”  They had reached Moira’s room, and he saw his wife, sitting in a chair, a tray of food before her.  Her fingers reached out and picked up the food gingerly, like it was the first time she had ever done it.

“Do you think it’s the change in her medications?”  Thomas tore his eyes away to see Violet beaming with pride.  “Kendle said he had taken her off everything.  It seemed like he was giving up.  I should’ve been here to see her more, but it all seemed so…”

“There’s no need to apologize, Thomas.”  Violet patted his back, maternally.  Over the months, she had provided so much support to him, “You have a lot on your plate, right now.  They officially took her off all medications about a week ago.  Dr. Kendle won the fight to take off everything; her body has to clean itself out before he can give her anything new.  We had to move her to isolation for a couple of days, either Margaret or I stayed with her while she screamed, but eventually she calmed down.  Friday night, she went to sleep for Margaret, a deep sleep, and then when I got in Saturday, she recognized me.  Today she’s talked and eaten.  It’s amazing to see.”  Faintly, Thomas could hear Moira humming through the glass.  The sound made his heart leap with hope.  He remembered when she used to break out in song. Maybe she could come back to him.  For so long, he had not dared to dream about that.  He put his hand on the door, ready to go in.  Violet got her pass card out, poised, ready to swipe it, but stopped.  Instead, she put her hand over Thomas’, her lovely eyes studying him soberly, “Now this is good news, Thomas.  She’s been improving for the past few days, but still, don’t expect too much from her.  This will take time, she has to heal.  She’s still terribly afraid.  I think she’s just finally starting to trust that she’s safe here.”

Violet’s seriousness cooled Thomas’ enthusiasm, and the familiar sorrow he had felt for months welled back into him.  All he could do was nod and whisper, “I won’t expect the world.”

Her smile flashed again, as Violet ran her card through the lock.  The lock buzzed, and she pushed on his hand to open it.  “Now go tell that woman you love her.”

Thomas walked through the door, awestruck as Moira looked up from her dinner, smiled brightly, and said “Thomas?”

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