Following heart surgery, Fiona spent a few days in hospital under the care of her doctor and nurses. She luxuriated in the attention, the kindness, the occasional blood taking.
After the requisite observation, though, she was discharged with little ceremony.
They informed her she needed to go home. They gave her a prescription for pain killers and statens. Then they put her on the curb.
Fiona stood there for some minutes. She didn’t want to leave. There was no one to care for her. She would have to make her own food, do some grocery shopping, clean the place a little, at least. She had left it in a bit of a state, and the cracked ribs and stitched slice in the middle of her chest were none too comfortable.
They had asked, as they discharged her, if they should call her a cab. She lied, saying she had plenty of friends to come pick her up. Now, she began the walk home. It would be a twenty minute walk. Not far, but too far for someone post-surgery.
But who could I call? she thought. Brenda? I haven’t spoken to her since university. Michael’s in Thailand, and he hasn’t returned a call since high school. Anyway, they said I should get back to walking.
So she set out, her chest hurting after a block. But she knew she had to get home, so she kept on walking.