A whole gang of male and female nurses followed Jeff onto the elevator. He stood in the far left corner while they occupied the whole center area. They chirped and chirred at each other about various family issues and such.
Jeff stayed to himself and his own thoughts.
Bit by bit, the group broke up as the elevator stopped at their respective floors. Soon, Jeff stood alone and the elevator was silent.
Laura, it still hurts. It hurts so bad.
I miss you. I guess, at this point, I’ll always miss you. I don’t think I’ll ever wake up in the morning and not feel your absence.
You’ll always be my first thought in the morning.
My deepest hurt.
I wish you were here with me.
The elevator stopped at his floor.
The door slid open.
He got off and headed down the hall.
Past patient rooms.
Past ambulating patients.
Past nurses and doctors.
He turned the corner and kept walking.
Past the nurse’s station.
Past a store room.
Past a soiled linen room.
Past a clean linen room.
Past the door leading to the stairwell.
Past the chapel.
Past the bathroom.
Past the patients’ lounge area.
He turned the corner.
He stepped into the hallway leading to Missy’s room.
Jeff raised his head.
He stopped and stood still.
Someone in a gray suit sat against the wall straight across from Missy’s room. He sat there, looking straight at her closed door.
Jeff didn’t waste time contemplating the fellow’s motives. He curled his hands into fists and charged at him.
The steady thumpthumpthumpthump of someone running down the hall caught LM’s attention. He stood and dusted off his bottom.
And was promptly shoved hard against the wall. “You are not taking my little girl away from me again. Not ever again. You hear me?”
“Never again!” The other man went wild with kicks and blows.
LM crumpled to the floor. “Stop! STOP!”
Ten years of not knowing where she was.
If she were safe.
If she were alive.
Ten years of blaming myself.
Of not knowing how long it took.
Not knowing if she’ll pull through this.
Not knowing if she’ll be the same.
Not knowing who to blame for her current state.
“STOP! STOP! PLEASE!” The man in the gray suit flickered like a faulty TV image before dissolving into a fey with ash-blond hair and malformed dark gray wings.
Jeff grabbed the front of the fey’s shirt and shoved him up against the wall. “Who are you?”