“Well, hello nurse.” He sat back in the chair, coated in thick transparent plastic, squeaking all the way back.

“How many times am I going to tell you, I’m not a nurse, I’m a geriatric aid. Although I do have my degree in nursing…” She handed him a cup.

“I just wanted to convey; in my own way; just how stunning you are, Marguerite. Not many find women like you anymore; no no.” He threw the contents back into his mouth like a serving of liquor at a discount bar.

“Flattery will get you nowhere, Randall.” She smirked at him, pushing a car filled with little cups full of pills that could properly fill out the rainbow.

“Let me guess, ‘Nowhere’ is your last name, am I right hun?” He leaned forwards again, looking her nylon-covered legs up and down. Her pale orange uniform hugged her thighs and cut off just before the knee.

As she continued around the room, he fixated his gaze on her. Her dainty flats lead her around the room like a ballerina who had been practicing for a performance coming up, and couldn’t get the routine out of her head. The others sitting around the room took varied reactions to her presence. Randal’s eyes followed her as the cart slowly emptied, leading her out of the room.

A large sigh was released collectively from the room. “Do you really think you can ‘get a piece’ of that Randy? She could be your granddaughter.”

“My granddaughter is still a child, Marshall.” Randy fiddled in his back pocket for his wallet, containing more pictures and receipts than cash money.

“All of these girls here, children.” Henry, grumbled, tapping his cane on the ground to reinforce the point.

“You mean women?”

“No. They’re girls. You know I had three girls. I always wanted a boy. One girl popped out, then two, then three. After that I didn’t want a single extra, be it a boy or not.”

“And how old are your girls now, Henry?”

“The oldest one is 59. Can you believe it? Almost ready to retire herself…”

Randall stood up, attempting to escape the conversation he knew would only end in one of the men dazing off in the arm chairs. He headed back to the hall from the lounge, where she was behind the pharmacy counter, clipboard in hand, taking tally of the bottles on the shelves.

“How do you keep track of all of them? Those pills I mean?”

Marguerite jumped slightly at the surprise visit. “Oh, Randall. Well, I have them organized by shelf. Heart, blood pressure, digestive health, multi-vitamins. You know.”

“You got any Viagra hiding back there?”

“Yes. Well, its original use is as a heart medicine. You don’t need any though, your heart’s just fine.”

“That’s not all that’s fine. But you can prescribe me some anyways.”

“I’m not a doctor, I can’t prescribe anything. You know that.”

“Oh well, it was worth a try. You got anything else that’s fun back there?”

She looked around for a bit, then her gaze drew to the front. Her face lit up with a wide grin, “Well, here under the counter…” She paused for dramatic effect. Her head ducked down below the surface of the counter. Randall drew close and leaned his elbows on the hard surface.

“…This is where I put all the Skittles and M&M’s to bulk up everyone’s cups, just to make it seem like the prices we charge here are worth it.” She peeked her head back up.

She met face to face with Randall, who stuck out his lips to their extent, in a comedic kissy-face. She pulled back out of reflex. Randall stood there, eyes closed, expectantly.

Marguerite pulled a cord off to the side, allowing the heavy metal blinds to fall in front of his face, giving him a start.

Marguerite went door to door, knocking and waiting for a response. “Hello?” Someone called from the other side. She opened it a crack and poked her head in.

“Goodnight, Marshall.”

“Goodnight, Marguerite.”

Moving to the next door, the knock was answered by a “come in.”

She opened the door to Randall’s room, and was met with him lying in bed, short open with chest gleaming with sweat. He was breathing hard.

“What are you…” She stammered, almost turning around.

“No, wait, it isn’t what you think. I think I have a fever.” He responded, stopping her in her tracks.

“Okay, Ill call another nurse in to help you while I finish my nightly visits.”

“No, I want you.” He said, weakly.

She hesitated for a moment, before walking out the door. Randall looked down dejected, lying motionless before a pair of footsteps returned. Marguerite stood in the doorway with a small bucket and a washcloth.

Sitting down on the side of the bed, she wrung out the most cloth and started to wipe down his brow and face.

“Thank you hun, that really feels better.” He said, closing his eyes in comfort.
She worked her way down to his chest, rinsing the cloth in the cool water.

“You’re not awful yourself, when you’re not being a horn dog.”

He smirked, nodding his head and giving an affirmative grunt. As his breathing became less strained, she finished up, folding the cloth into a neat rectangle and placed it on his forehead. Carefully pulling up the covers over his knees, she took her leave.

“Attention residents.” Came the director’s voice, projecting over the sound of daytime television. “I regret to inform you that last night, Randall M passed. He did so in his sleep with a smile on his face, like we remember him. May god rest his soul.”

%d bloggers like this: