I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
(Intermittent Waves Recorded From The Transformed Heart Of A Woman)
"Okay, where are we going Jake?"
"Your son said to bring her home, Mr. Siegfried."
Rachel and David looked at one another.
"Don't worry, Rachel. It's only temporary, until we can get you to someplace safe."
Shivering, Rachel laid her head on David's arm and closed her eyes. She really didn't care where she went at that moment. She just wanted to be safe, dry, and warm.
As she gathered her things together, putting them into her suitcases, Zenobia anxiously went to look out of the upstairs window, from time to time. Remembering the letter in her pocket, she reached in and took it out. She didn't care if she left without saying anything to Hal, but, she would never leave without saying goodbye to his father, whom she loved, dearly.
She hurried to his room and laid the letter on top of the pillow on his bed. Turning, she looked at his medication bottles, neatly lined up in a row, behind the glass door of the medicine cabinet. Having a trained eye, when it came to identifying medications, her eyes stopped and focused upon a bottle that definitely didn't belong. She opened the cabinet and pulled it out, reading the prescription date and the dosage. Fuming, she set out to find Carolyn, David's nurse, calling out her name.
Zenobia forgot all about packing her bags and getting out before Hal arrived. She went from room to room upstairs and then, downstairs, until she found Carolyn having coffee with one of the maids. Holding up the bottle, with the look of sheer rage upon her face, she confronted Carolyn. Knowing what it was, Carolyn gasped when she saw the bottle.
"CAROLYN?!...What is the meaning of this?! Are you out of your mind?! Are you trying to KILL Mr. Siegfried?!"
"I...I...NO! I-I-I was just t-trying to help him sleep!
"FOREVER?! YOU KNOW BETTER! YOU KNOW HOW BAD HIS HEART IS! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'D DO SUCH A THING!"
Carolyn stood up and became indignant.
"I was keeping close watch over him and his vital signs. I know what I'm doing! I'm just as good a nurse as you are."
"Well, if you are just as good a nurse as I am, then, you'd know that I'd never do such a thing!"
"Well, maybe if you weren't so busy being selfish and psychotic you could take care of Mr. Siegfried yourself! Maybe you should have looked before you leapt into bed with his son!"
"THAT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!"
"It's EVERYBODY'S business now that our lives are in danger and he's trying to protect his other baby's momma. Don't take it out on me because you can't hold his attention away from the competition!"
Carolyn felt it, but, she never saw it coming. Her face was burning and stinging from the blow of Zenobia's hand. It had been a quick, hard slap, that sent Carolyn careening, spinning and bumping into the kitchen table. The maid jumped up and ran to the other side of the room. Carolyn leaned over the table, holding her face, outraged, then, turned to return the blow. Zenobia held up her arm, blocking Carolyn's arm, then, pushed her away.
"I'M GOING TO SUE YOU, ZENOBIA!"
Calmly and icily Zenobia walked up to Carolyn and stared into her eyes.
"Go ahead and I'll make sure you lose your license and never work as a nurse again. Get out! You're fired!"
"You can't do that, Zenobia!"
"Oh, yes, I can. I may be the other baby's momma, but, I am the woman of this house. Pack your things and get out, today! I'll give you one hour to leave! Now, get out of my sight!"
Zenobia didn't know what came over her, but, she had lost control. With her fists balled, ready to enforce her command, she eased up and backed away from Carolyn, giving her enough room to escape. Snatching her phone and keys off of the table, Carolyn ran out of the room, sobbing. Zenobia, yelled after her.
"MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE ALL OF YOUR KEYS TO THE HOUSE, CAROLYN!"
The stunned and nervous maid, hurriedly began working, as if she were the one under Zenobia's fire and wrath.
Still unable to believe all that had just transpired, Zenobia sat at the table and calmed herself.
The limousine arrived at the mansion, right after Carolyn, disgraced and outraged, rode off in a taxi. When they reached the doors, Jake took Rachel out of the car and carried her into the house. He took her to a guest room in his wing of the mansion. Moments later, Hal's chauffeur pulled up and let Hal out. David was waiting for him, when he entered the mansion.
"Hal, you can't possibly expect Zenobia to...!
"The house is big enough for everybody..."
"That's not the point, Hal!"
"They never even have to see one another. Rachel will have her own nurse and we can protect her, here. Where is she?"
"Hal, you need to talk to Zenobia first."
"I've already talked to Zenobia. She agreed."
"What?! Zenobia agreed?!"
"Yes, Dad! Where's Rachel?"
"She's upstairs with Jake in the east wing."
Hal hurried and rushed up the stairs, taking two steps at a time. Jake was just closing Rachel's door, when Hal called out to him.
"Jake! Is she alright?!"
"Yes, Hal. She's pretty shaken and beat from the cold and rain, but, she's fine."
Nervously, Hal knocked on the door and waited for the sound of Rachel's voice.
Zenobia put her phone back into her pocket. She had called Dr. Acharya, explaining to him that Carolyn had to leave. She asked him to send out a new permanent nurse, as soon as possible, and a temporary nurse for now. She rose from the table to go finish packing.
Hearing all of the raucous, as she was walking down the hallway, she turned around and took another route upstairs to her room. Looking frantically around the room, she decided to just take what she had already packed. Closing the bags, she thanked God for the invention of the wheel, then, stacked the suitcases and strapped them together. As she rolled them to the elevator, keeping her eyes ahead of her, she resisted the urge to turn back, and refused to look behind her.
She got into the elevator, feeling overwhelmed, and stared up at the ceiling, on the way down, hoping she wouldn't have another conflict. Seeing one of the security guards, when she opened the door, she put her hand inside of her coat pocket and wrapped it around the small revolver nestled there. The guard greeted her with a smile and didn't ask her any questions. She proceeded to the front door, hoping the airport limousine she had requested had arrived.
Of all people, David Siegfried had to be standing in front of the door. When he saw her coming with her suitcases, his eyes met hers and her heart sank. Moving toward her, with arms stretched out protesting her decision, she could hear his pleading, but, she tried to block it out.
"NO, ZENOBIA! You can't leave! PLEASE, ZENOBIA!"
Zenobia stood staring ahead of her as he held her by the shoulders and pleaded with her. Afraid to look at him, she stared ahead as she replied.
"I have to go Mr. Siegfried. The limousine is probably waiting. Let me go, please."
David took her into his arms, crying and pleading. Two security guards came into the room, followed by Jake. One of the guards got on his radio. Zenobia knew that she had to leave before they sent her limousine away.
"I HAVE TO GO, NOW, MR. SIEGFRIED!"
Zenobia pulled loose from David's grip and turned around facing the guards. Reaching into her coat pocket she pulled out the small revolver.
"I'm going now and no one better try and stop me!"
Jake put his hands up in surrender and motioned for the other guards to stand down and not do anything to provoke Zenobia.
"WHOA, WHOA, ZENOBIA! Nobody here is going to stop you from doing anything. You're not a prisoner here. Let us just get Hal and..."
"NO! I don't want to see Hal! Just let me leave!"
"We can't let you leave here, unprotected, Zenobia. You know that... "
"I'm not the kind of woman who needs to be protected. I can take care of myself!"
"Well, we can see that...but... just let one of us go get..."
"NO! I WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE! I...I...I want to get away from all of this: this house; this city; this crazy Graves Family; this insane situation; and especially Hal!"
Just as another security guard was coming up from behind Zenobia, Hal came running frantically down the stairs, shouting.
"CAROLYN! WHERE'S CAROLYN?! RACHEL NEEDS HER!"
Everyone stood still waiting to see what Zenobia would do. Hal, walked into the room and was speechless.
The guard behind tried to approach Zenobia, but, she knew he was there. She spun around and pointed the gun at him, shouting...
Zenobia began shaking and crying. Jake knew he had to do something, quick. He stepped forward, but, she raised the gun and pointed it at him. Hal came to his rescue.
"Zenobia?! What are you doing?!"
He looked at her packed bags and then, knew why she felt threatened.
"Zenobia, I see you have your bags packed and you want to leave, but, let's do this the right way. If you want to leave, I'm not going to stop you and I won't tell anybody else to stop you. You're free to go, but, please, let me get some help for Rachel. She's in pain. I need to find Carolyn."
Zenobia wiped her eyes and tried to steady herself. She'd forgotten about Carolyn and their ordeal. Carolyn's words filled her with more pain, realizing that she was right about not having Hal's attention. Ready to break down in tears, she almost lost control, until Hal moved toward her. She aimed the gun at Hal, but, her nursing instincts got the best of her.
"What's wrong with Rachel?"
"I'-I-I don't know. Sh-She's shivering and moaning, holding her stomach. Can I go get Carolyn?"
"Carolyn isn't here anymore."
"Sh-She's n-not h-here? W-what did you do to her, Zenobia?"
Irritated at Hal's assumption that she had done away with Carolyn, having shot and killed her, Zenobia shouted at him.
"I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING TO HER. I FIRED HER!"
Zenobia looked at David and he looked at her, knowingly. Quietly, she repeated herself.
"I fired her."
"Okay, I'm sure you had your reasons, but, I need to get medical help for Rachel."
"Another nurse will be coming, today. I called Dr. Acharya."
"Rachel needs help, now, Zenobia."
Zenobia began thinking, while everyone around her looked at one another, wondering what to do next. And, just like that, Zenobia lowered her gun, put it into her pocket, and went into nursing mode. Taking her coat off, she began ordering people around.
"Call Dr. Acharya and inform him of the situation. What room is she in?... I said, what room is she in?!
Still in disbelief, Jake swallowed and finally spoke up.
"Uh...uh...east wing, across from my room."
Get me the medical tray from Mr. Siegfried's room and I'll need someone to get me some supplies out of the medical supply room. I won't know exactly what I'll need until I look at the patient. Get me the guard who has medical training, uh...Ri-Ricardo!
Still in shock, everyone stood still, unable to believe the sudden change in Zenobia, or, that she would want to help Rachel, after all she had been through.
"QUICK, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!"
Shaking her head at the bewildered men, Zenobia waddled to the elevator and headed for the east wing.
Published by Mishael T