Postponement of True Meeting
| Lance had just gone to the cafeteria, and Anna shifted in her bed so she could get a nap in. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, that was not to be. Anna turned away from the wall when she heard something rubber squeaking across her floor. She faced a young nurse pushing a girl in a wheelchair and pulling an IV stand along with her. Lance must have just gone to grab a cup of coffee. He returned just as the nurse explained their presence.
"I'm Sariah, and--"
"Autumn!" Lance exclaimed. The girl turned as much as she could and greeted him coolly. "Lance," was all she said. She seems withdrawn, he thought. She had been more friendly of late, but things were different this time.
"Maybe...maybe," Lance began hesitantly.
"What?" Sariah asked.
"Maybe this isn't the best time..."
"No, that's okay. Sariah worked hard to get me up here, and I won't waste her efforts. Sariah gently touched her shoulders and rubbed her back to help disperse the agitation. She understood what was going on, because Autumn had told her what happened the night before.
"Well then...Autumn, this is my daughter Anna."
"I'm in for eye surgery...so yeah, this is the surgical unit. What are you here for?"
"I'm on the fourth floor, the oncology ward."
"Cancer!" Autumn snapped.
Anna, unabashed continued, "So how did you and my dad meet?"
"Um, I'll tell you later, honey," Lance interjected quickly. He saw the pain in her eyes and didn't want to make her go through any more than she needed to. Something was terribly wrong, and he didn't want to make things worse.
"It's time to get you back to fourth anyway, Autumn," Sariah mercifully broke in. "we can come back another time." she finished.
Lance followed them out of the room, but when they turned a corner, he stopped them with a hand. I'm sorry," he said, "she's never been tactful and just blurts out whatever comes to mind. I don't know what's going on, but I'm willing to help if I can." How could Autumn possibly explain it to him?
"No, I'm getting tired, so I think I need to go back to my room--"
"Can I come visit you later?" Lance broke in.
"Yeah, but can you call first?" He offered a reassuring smile and turned back toward Anna's room.
"I hate flashbacks!" Autumn's tears accompanied her anguished cries. "and then just seeing him there...the spector of the monster in my dreams and flashbacks...I just can't stand it anymore!" She continued to sob as Sariah pushed her back to her room. Everyone on the oncology floor knew Autumn, and she didn't care that they saw her crying. It was embarrassing because she was hysterical, but at the same time, she didn't care what they thought. She just had to get it out. Maybe she could try to talk to Anna again, but she would wait for a time when she was feeling normal, whatever that was anymore.
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