Dino could sense this was an uncomfortable subject, so he finished his meal in silence, threw out his trash and declared he was leaving. Kacy asked him for a ride, then kissed Deacon goodbye.
“I’ll be back later. You rest.”
“You too,” he smiled and closed his eyes as she went out the door.
Instead of going back to sleep right away, he turned on the TV and watched the news, which was fraught with war stories. Cartoon Network was insipid, so he switched to Discovery Channel. Ironically, it was a documentary about twins separated at birth, and their similarities. It amazed him how much alike they were, given the disparate circumstances of their upbringing. Deacon watched avidly until the program was over.
“I bet none of them ever fell for their brother’s widows,” he muttered darkly.
Stifling a yawn, he tried to get himself into a satisfactory position, but didn’t really have much luck. Having his foot up in traction wasn’t exactly conducive to comfort. He dozed for an hour or so before the nurse came in and administered his next shot. It wasn’t Cindy, she was on night shift, which had ended at seven.
“She’ll be back tonight around quarter to eleven.” This nurse was older and British, her accent clipped, but her voice was friendly.
“When will my doctor be by? More to the point, who is my doctor?”
“Doctor should be around soon, he’s started rounds already. His name is Dr. Connors and he’s the best in the business.”
The door popped sharply open and a tall, dark skinned man in royal blue scrubs and Crocs came in. His white teeth glittered in his chocolate colored face, his smile broad and welcoming.
“Good to see you awake, Mr. Stewart,” his accent bore traces of Jamaica. He shook Deacon’s hand, his grip firm and confident. “I am Dr. Connors. I believe I heard my name as I opened the door. Is she talking about me again?”
He winked at the nurse, who blushed and ducked out, saying she had other patients to medicate.
“All complimentary, Dr. Connors.”
The doctor waved the comment away happily. “It’s lies, everything lies. Don’t believe it. So, I suppose you want to know what I did to you?”
“I’m hazy on details. Past being pulled from the car and put on a gurney, I can’t remember.”
“Well, they called me down when you arrived, and I saw you about ten minutes later. Nasty break, but no bone fragments, it went back together neatly, just like a jigsaw puzzle. I put in a couple pins as a precaution. They can be removed at a later time if necessary. You won’t be competing in the Olympics any time soon, however,” he teased.
“How soon can I go home?”
The doctor’s expression turned thoughtful. “You’re young, strong, healthy. Your brother says he’ll hire a private duty nurse to look in on you. What he really said was someone to chain you to the bed for a few days.”
Deacon laughed heartily. How like Dino to say that.
“I suppose, baring any infection or complications, we can look at two days time?”
“I can live with that. How long will I be immobilized?”
“We’ll have you in a brace at least six weeks. We will have to see how well it heals up. This kind of break is actually two injuries; the break itself, and the puncture wound caused by the bone. The wound was rather extensive. You are lucky your wife got you here as quickly as she did. You were bleeding heavily. You punctured the vein that runs from your foot. Another ten minutes, and we might have lost you. You mind telling me how you broke it? Your wife was understandably incoherent.”
Deacon told him the entire story of their entrapment and his fall off the water fountain.
“I wondered about the signs of blunt trauma I saw. It’s a miracle you didn’t hurt yourself more, in an escapade like that. You are watched by a guardian angel, it seems.”
“Would have been nice if he’d kept me from breaking my leg altogether.”
The doctor chuckled dryly. “Sometimes, good comes from circumstances we’d never expect. Perhaps if nothing else, I have now a case I may write up for a journal article in the future.”
“Be sure to send me a copy.”
“I shall do that. Meanwhile, you rest and try to think happy thoughts. If I do not see you tomorrow, I will see you the day after. Any more questions before I go annoy someone else?”
Deacon’s last question made the doctor laugh so loudly, the nurse stuck her head in the door, telling him to keep it down.
“You have gotten me in trouble, Mr. Stewart. To answer your question, you must be very careful for at least a week, for the swelling to go down. Once that is over, a little careful planning and all is well. A newlywed couple should not be kept from one another’s embrace for long. Good day, Mr. Stewart.”
Deacon watched a little more TV, then dozed off until the lunch trolley rumbled up to his door. The same black aid carried in his tray, looking around furtively before she set it down. Concealed beside the plate, under the packet that held the napkin, was a giant size candy bar.
“Your wife said get you something you could actually eat, and slipped me some money. I didn’t have a chance to get much else but that. Here’s the change.”
Deacon laughingly waved the money back into her palm. “You keep it. I know Kacy would want you to have it.”
©2021 Dellani Oakes