When the doctors and nurses came in five minutes later, Lois could feel butterflies begin to swarm in the pit of her stomach. She watched them closely as they lowered the handlebars and pulled the wheelchair closer to her bedside, releasing a small sigh when one of them took hold of both of her arms and the other gingerly held the cast on her leg. Counting down, they first helped her sit up, pulled her legs over the bed, and then gently guided her out of it to the wheelchair.
Lois hated every minute of it. She wanted to use that big cast on her leg to her advantage and kick the doctor in his smiling face and make a break for it… but knew she wouldn’t get anywhere. She couldn’t even get out of bed unassisted. If she was frowning before, her face completely fell when she finally sat in the wheelchair.
“There is some good news in this,
“Yippee,” Lois deadpanned. She shifted in her seat and set her good arm on the armrest. She couldn’t even move herself anywhere. When one of the nurses took the handlebars and began guiding her out of her room, Lois suddenly wanted that oversized pair of sweat pants she owned just so she could cover up her leg. It was humiliating.
When she was wheeled out into the hallway, she found herself face-to-palm with
When the doors closed and the elevator began moving, she heard him move to her side. He was squatting before her, one hand still holding onto the handle. He couldn’t have heard her…
“H-How’re you doing?” he asked nervously, but not without a trace of gentleness. He obviously knew what this was doing to her.
She turned to him and made a face. “I don’t like it.”
He adjusted his glasses. “I know. I could tell as soon as you came out of that room.” He took a long look at the wheelchair, and then looked at the wall to see how many floors they had left until they reached the lobby. “It’s not solitary confinement,” he reassured her again, standing and putting both hands back on the handlebars. “Think of it as… a very unique way to test your abilities.”
“I know you’re trying to help, but you’re failing miserably.”
“Sorry,” he mumbled. She could see him in her mind’s eye, fumbling with his glasses again or fidgeting with his coat like he did so often when he wore it. If those doors before her hadn’t opened, she would have tried to see him in their reflection just to know what he was doing. He began wheeling her through the lobby, but she put her good hand on the wheel to stop him. “Lois…?”
Around the corner she could see the streets of downtown Metropolis buzzing with late afternoon activity. She could see Lucy standing on the street corner doing her best to get a cab while holding Jason in her arms. She saw nameless faces scrambling to get to their destinations. Cars were whizzing by, like those taxis that were ignoring her sister.
The realization hit her as soon as she saw the world outside. Coming out of those doors would be a different
“You can do this, Lois,”
No I’m not.
“You just stay who you are. The people who really love you are going to see past the wheelchair.”
His words were meant for comfort, but somehow they only brought more fear into her being. Regardless, she lifted her hand and put it on her lap, allowing him to wheel her away and into her new life.
Darn the man and all his mid-western charm and knowledge. For thinking about making me feel better about this stupid situation that I got myself into… for being the great friend that he is.
Neither sister nor son noticed her at first. She was almost ready to sigh in relief before
Darn the man period.
Lucy turned and greeted her with a smile. “Hey, sis! How’re you feeling?”
No sarcastic jibes. No sarcastic jibes…“Wonderful. Like I’ve been ran over by a semi and beaten to a pulp for good measure.”
Way to go, Lois. What a wonderful way to start your acting career.
Her sister blinked for a moment before shaking her head. “Good to know you aren’t taking this hard or anything,” she drawled, turning back to the street and waving her hand in the air, smiling broadly when a taxi finally pulled into the curb. She opened the door and ushered Jason inside, then turned to
“Can you help me… ah,” she gestured to Lois.
“Do you have all of her medication notes?” she heard
Lucy patted her pocket. “Right here.”
“Good. Good. Is there anything you need me to do? Can I help you at all?”
Lucy took her time thinking about it. “Nothing comes to mind right away. Really, the number one thing she needs right now is rest. And, as much as she’ll hate me for saying it - that means there won’t be any trips for
Lois turned to Jason. He was staring back at her curiously. “Do you buy that, kiddo?”
He shook his head. “Huh-uh.”
“Mom doesn’t either.” As much as she could, she leaned her frame out the door and pointed to
“Not when you’ve been ordered to have a few days of rest. Would it really kill you to take it easy, Lois?” Lucy asked, leaning against the doorframe. Instead of waiting for an answer, she turned to
Lucy shook her head. “Nope. Doctors orders.”
Lois suddenly scrambled to the doorframe again. “Yes! Yes, please
“Lois,” Lucy stuck her head inside the cab. “You aren’t going to work while I’m around. It’s time for you to relax and not worry about anything.”
For a second Lois turned her gaze beside her. Jason’s presence in the cab was making it hard to voice her intentions to continue her investigation. She wanted to keep Jason as far away from Richard’s disappearance as possible.
Pleadingly, she met Lucy’s stare. “Please, Lucy.”
Her sister rolled her eyes. “Fine,” she turned and pointed a finger at
Lucy ducked her head into the cab doorframe. “And I’m expecting you to listen to him! You know you can be worse than Jason when it comes to obeying orders.”
Instead of being met with the expected retort, Lois smiled and nodded her head, looking genuinely grateful. “Thank you, Lucy.”
Her sister blinked and stood straight again. She looked at
Lucy waved off whatever he was about to say. He obviously didn’t know she was joking. “Nevermind. I’m gonna take her home now. Let’s hope the aliens inside don’t take over her again, okay?”
Without another word, Lucy joined Lois in the cab and gave the driver the directions to Lois’ home. When they pulled out into traffic, Lucy shook her head and smiled. “You’ll never change, Lois. You have to have something to do, and it’s always gotta be something to do with work.”
Lois stole a glance at Jason before turning and leaning closer to Lucy. “The laptop has nothing to do with work, Lucy.”
“Really? Hoping to have a winning streak in Minesweeper?”
Lois waited until Lucy was staring her in the face. All amusement washed away when the sisters stared at each other. Suddenly Lucy understood that whatever was bothering Lois couldn’t be discussed somewhere as open to gossip as a cab, and definitely not with Jason around. “When we get to the house?”
Lois nodded. “When we get to the house.”