Lee is a probationary nurse on the unit. In effect, this means it’s his job to make sure that all the residents on the unit are up and dressed in time for breakfast in the dining room. That’s unless they’ve got a damn good excuse.
This doesn’t always get him a warm welcome from every patient. Especially not the one whose bedroom door he’s knocking on now, two knocks, loud, firm and sharp. “Ten to eight, Karen, honey,” he calls out. “You’re going to be late for breakfast, come on, move your ass. Make sure you’re covered up, I’m coming in in a minute.”
He counts to sixty under his breath, for form’s sake. Everyone on the ward knows he’s gay, but still you’ve gotta pay lip service to regulations, respect boundaries. Not that she does.
He’s the one with the little quiver of apprehension, opening up the door, peering in.
She’s squashed up in the corner — again. Not on the bed. Just crouching on the floor, with a blank look on her face like she’s gazing down into a bottomless ocean, into a fathomless, fathomless deep. Not a fathom to be had, not for love nor money.