“Floor Twelve – Pediatric Psych. Unit”

In bed 1, Sumner is curled into the shape of a capital “C.” Next to her, in the bed by the window flanked with metal bars, Aubrey drifts in and out of sleep. Sumner’s right arm is wrapped in a beige elastic bandage that starts below the knuckles and edges up toward the elbow. The bandage is partially hidden under a blue fabric sling. According to her chart, Sumner shoved her first through an  awning window that was nailed shut. I don’t believe that skinny fourteen-year-old really punched through a window, but I’m only the nurse’s assistant. Folks don’t ask my opinion. Besides, Aubrey takes up most of my time in room 1205. She’s always vomiting and then there’s the clean-up and the fight to try to get her to drink some of that nasty orange Pedialyte to make up for the fact that she doesn’t seem to be able to keep anything down.

Aubrey’s stepmom came to visit yesterday. She sat on Aubrey’s bed, wrinkled up her forehead and forced a few tears out. Then she dabbed at her cheeks real lady-like. I watched Aubrey to see if those fake tears would get a reaction. But she wasn’t fooled. Not Aubrey. Aubrey took one look at her stepmom’s plastered-down hair and barely-wet cheeks, and pulled the blankets up under her chin. Then she squeezed her eyes shut. Wouldn’t open them even when her stepmom called her name and shook at her shoulders. Finally that lady just clucked her tongue against her teeth and headed out. After the door whined shut I whispered that Aubrey’s visitor had gone, like I wasn’t even talking to Aubrey or anything. Just talking to myself, that’s all. Aubrey opened her eyes, squinting-like. She peered around and then lowered the blankets a bit. I nodded at Aubrey and, after considering me for a moment, she nodded back. It was just a slight shift in her chin, quick but deliberate. Not much of a connection, but up here on the twelfth floor, sometimes it’s all we get.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Featured Fiction New Fiction Essays/Articles (all)
Sort by

“Floor Twelve – Pediatric Psych. Unit”

In bed 1, Sumner is curled into the shape of a capital “C.” Next to her, in the bed by the window flanked with metal
2017-03-02 09:02:59
bonni28bellsouth-net

10

Why I Write: George Choundas

Few things are better than writing. Writing is sitting with coffee and hatching plans. Many things are worse
2019-02-18 12:23:35
gchoundasgmail-com

8

“No Access Beyond This Point”

I was fine heading into work, but then the excruciating, as I once thought of it, happened when I stopped in at my
2019-02-06 17:46:53
cadylw

8

Why I Write: Hillary Shepherd

I write because I have so many outrageous true stories to tell. I write because everyone in my immediate family but
2019-02-01 08:33:44
hilaryshepard

8

“Ribber”

Bare-knuckled, itchy-assed, sweating the sweat of twenty-four beers. In bad need of taking a stinky dump and
2019-01-07 11:23:15
eloganharris

8

“A Time for Fantasy”

When I was ten, my bedtime stories were Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The prose was far beyond
2018-12-24 10:59:26
abbyale21

8

“Levitation”

My daughter goes belly first down the slide, the skin below her shorts squeaking against the hot plastic.  She arcs
2018-10-29 13:29:09
trivard

8

“Summer Writing in a Tourist Town”

All my life I’ve lived in tourist towns or cities. Perhaps that is a positive
2018-09-07 12:54:52
macnostic

8

“The Shedding”

The year Milo Corrigan turned twelve was the freak year of the Great Shedding when all over Westchester County
2018-08-22 12:56:15
lalagood

8

“A Change of Course”

What do you want to be when you grow up?  It is a question that we get asked almost as soon as we can speak.  W
2018-08-15 19:12:51
panedpdhotmail-com

8

About bonnie losak

Bonnie Losak is an attorney practicing in Miami, Florida, and an MFA candidate at Florida International University. Her non-fiction piece, “A Lack of Buoyancy” was published in Hippocampus Magazine. She has also published book reviews in Gulfstream Magazine and The Florida Book Review. Bonnie lives and writes in Miami Beach.