Another snippet from my ongoing novel at NaNoWriMo…
Whew! NaNo is a real workout!
I have 21,277 words so far…
I could see Jennifer studying him with interest, her eyes wide as she spoke. "I'm pleased to meet you, too," she said extending her hand in what I hoped was friendship. It was important to me the two of them come to know and understand one another. I feared that in bringing Jennifer here I may have blundered. After all, she could find him to be of a criminal disposition while that was the farthest thing from my interpretation of him. Or he could not like her, and put me in an awkward position in the middle. So far, in my mind Joe and I existed as just the two of us, leaning on each other for our different needs–his to have a friend to trust and mine to have a patient who responded to my care. Now I was introducing a third party who could wreck the entire chemistry between Joe and me. I wondered if I would regret this move.
We settled in chairs and an uncomfortable silence filled the room. I felt a need to fill it. "Well, Joe, how are you doing today?"
"Okay. Really, okay, for a man with no life." He said the last phrase looking to Jennifer with an awkward grin. She nodded in understanding.
"It's been weeks since you lost your memory. I'm surprised it hasn't come back yet," she commented.
He shot her a fiery glance. "Well, there's not much I can do about that," he said.
Jennifer shifted in her seat as though uncomfortable. "Well, I mean. It seems like a long time. I suppose every case is different."
His eyes canvassed her. "Yes," he said, adding in a murmur, "Every case is different."
"So, how is Nurse Taylor treating you?" I asked, desperate to change the subject. I noticed Jennifer staring at the floor.
"She'll do, I suppose. Although I like you as my nurse better."
"Inspector McNair came by yesterday," Joe stated. "I wanted to remember to tell you. I have to say, I think that man is trouble."
"Well, he's just doing his job. What did you talk about?"
Joe looked to me with eyes glowing with a haunted light. "He kept asking me about that woman and if I knew whether she had any wealth. How the heck would I know?"
"Hummph, that sounds like our 'dear Inspector.'"
"I mean, I can't even remember my name. What would I know about that woman?" The expression of outrage on Joe's face convinced me he knew nothing of Rachel Fitzsimmons.
"Maybe he was just trying to jog your memory," Jennifer commented.
"Jog my memory? What the hell?" Joe's face flushed as his hands gripped the bars on his wheelchair until the knuckles turned white. "Are you telling me that cop is playing amateur psychiatrist or something? What right does he have to mess with my mind?"
It was Jennifer's turn to go pale. Gasping, she looked toward me in confusion, next bolting up from the chair. Wringing her hands, she paced back and forth before stating, "I think I need to go." Murmuring the remark, she walked toward the door.
Horrified, I whispered to Joe as I rose. "I'd better see to her." My worst nightmare had just come true.
"Don't bring her around here again!"
"No, I won't. I promise." I patted his knee and turned. Jennifer was already in the hallway. "I'll see you tomorrow, Joe." I paused. "Please, don't let what she said upset you. She meant no harm."
He didn't reply, so I left. Jennifer waited for me. "You didn't tell me he was a mad man!" she seethed.
Copyright 2005 JO Janoski