I am honored that my piece from last week's Write on Edge prompt was used as a springboard for this week's prompt about choice and consequences. I had a lot of fun putting that conversation together.
This week my response to the WOE prompt is taking us back to the very beginning of Carly's story where a single choice will snowball into a million consequences, both good and bad.
The WOE prompt for this week is:
For this week’s prompt, you were asked to write a story or memoir which relates to choices and/or consequences. Because of the 400 word limit, you may choose to focus just on the choice, or just on the consequence, if you like.
Photo courtesy of stock.xchange
This time I went to the hospital out of obligation, not love.
I hate hospitals. Hate. A word I use so frequently that it has lost passion. Now it simply describes anything that is inconvenient. I hate hospitals, family obligations, my situation. I hate the man that lies in a hospital bed beyond the steel doors of this waiting room. I hate that I hope he dies tonight because that makes me despicable.
“The little princess has arrived.” Greer startled me. How had I missed my wicked aunt? The stench from her habitual smoking should have alerted me she was nearby. When I faced her she wore a yellow, haggard smile, but she bore no friendly intentions.
“I wish you wouldn’t call me that.” I stated wishing my voice didn‘t always float one octave higher when I spoke to Greer.
She squeezed my shoulders, clucked her tongue. “Just a pet name, Carly. One you use to not mind.”
I tried to brush off the sarcasm, but instead I absorbed it, allowing it to knock me down. “How is Grandfather?”
“You even say his name like a little princess.” I stared blankly at her, refusing to engage in her spitefulness. She motioned to the menacing steel doors. “ See for yourself. Ilsa is with him.” Ilsa, a gentler aunt.
I hesitated. “Perhaps I would just be in the way.”
“There is more than enough room.” Greer challenged me with her menacing eyes. I accepted and pushed through the doors, entering the stale, antiseptic infused hallway.
His room was on the right. The door slightly ajar. Bile rose and settled fire-hot in the base of my throat. I paused in the doorway, gazing at the frail, petite man lying in bed.
John Spencer. When I was a little girl and ignorant I called him Grandma Johnny. A maze of tubes supplied him with oxygen and nutrients. He held his youngest daughter’s hand, talking about lousy television programming that was the bane of his existence. I tried to feel sympathetic, revulsion was all I could muster. Smugness rested heavy on my shoulders as I considered this fact: His life had caught up to him.
Ilsa looked up at me wiping away tears. I suspected the deathwatch had begun.
I prayed to the devil that he would die tonight. A monster who had raped my mother. And if he did not die tonight, then I would be the one left taking care of him.