Meeting at the Hospital (Episode 80)
Terry is waiting for Candy impatiently at the station in Chicago.
T: Come on, what are you doing, did you not get my note?
S: Come on Terry let’s get into the train now.
T: You know… I don’t think I will…
S: What do you mean… Terry…?!
Terry is walking fast towards Robert Hathaway. Susanna is watching him anxiously. She knows that he is waiting for that… that… Candy, and she wishes she could make the train leave straight away. Preferably with Terry on it!
Terry after a quick chat with Robert Hathaway and looking very excited he turns and gets on the train hurriedly.
S: (thinking) Oh, finally he is in there! I must find a way to keep him in till this train lea…
Terry appears again at the train door and jumps off it carrying his bags.
S: Terry what are you doing, we are leaving in a little while…
T: Have a nice trip…
S: What do you mean… Terry? She watches him get out of the station at a run, with her mouth hanging open.
Terry jumps in a carriage and tells the driver to take him to St Joan’s hospital as fast as he can.
Cab Driver: What is the rush? Are you hurt?
T: No, I am in labor if this is any of your business… MOVE, WILL YOU?
They are speeding through the city and finally arrive at the hospital. Terry shoots out of the carriage and into the reception area.
Nurse 1: Yes sir, can I help you?
T: I need to see a nurse…
N1: You are seeing one right now… how can I help you?
T: Not you… another nurse, I mean I …
N: Are you hurt?
T: No, I ….
N: Are you in pain?
T: No, I…
N: Then I am afraid no nurse will be able to see you today sir, have a nice day.
Terry is taking a few deep breaths to try and remain polite. “That’s it, keep it together Grandchester, you will be seeing her in a little while”.
T: Look. I really need to see Nurse Candice White Ardlay. I cannot even begin to describe how much I need to see Nurse Candice White Ardlay. Please could you tell me where she is?
N: Are you her relative?
T: What the hell has that got to do with anything?
N: Only relatives are allowed to see the nurses during working hours and only if it is for a serious reason…
Terry was losing it.
T: (gritting his teeth) OK, who is your supervisor, show me right now!
N1: Sure, it’s Nurse Flammy Hamilton over there, sir.
Terry turns to walk to the person she is pointing and stops short as he sees the same bespectacled bat that made his life miserable when he came looking for Candy the night before. Deciding that the world was against him, he turns sharply back to the nurse in reception.
T: OK, I will give you one more chance before I go to your su…
N2: Ah Doctor… welcome! (another nurse appears, grabs Terry’s hand and starts shaking it vigorously). We have been expecting you, what a pleasure it is to have you in our hospital. I’m Judith.
Terry recognizes the newcomer as one of the two other nurses that was in reception the night before and who had tried to help him.
J: (Turning to N1) Thank you, Jane, I will show the Doctor the way. (N1 is looking at Judith in disbelief but does not say anything)
The nurse is pulling him from the sleeve towards the front door. She shoves a white robe and a pair of glasses in his hands and a board with a few sheets attached to it with some medical looking… stuff on it.
J: Put them on and wait in the front garden… by the magnolia tree… quick before Flammy turns around…
T: OK. Uh… thanks! But she was gone already. He is walking out of the front door towards the garden when he hears the announcement on the speaker.
J: (on the speaker) “Nurse Ardlay, proceed to the front desk, please. Dr… uh… Andsom has arrived for you.”
C: (upon hearing the announcement she lifts her head from under a patient’s bed where she was trying to empty a catheter) Dr who???
Candy finishes quickly with her patient and dashes to reception.
C: Judith… who is…
J: Yes… Candy, the doctor is waiting for you in the garden… by the magnolia tree.
Candy is perplexed, intrigued and very curious. She runs to the tree and sees…
They both step forward to hug each other but there are a lot of patients, nurses and visitors around and they think better of it.
T: Candy, did you not get my note, why did you not come to the station?
C: I did, but the train was already gone! I thought I missed you… again!
T: Well, I am here now Freckles!
They look at each other sweetly, then they realize that people are looking at them. Candy looks away and Terry adjusts his glasses and turns the pages of his board.
T: Yes… this all looks very good, nurse… very good indeed… our patient should be ready to get out of here… what time?
T: What time is this patient getting out tonight nurse?
C: Oh… about 9pm.
T: 9pm?! Can’t you get out earlier? I mean… can he be released any earlier than that? He might want to go to dinner…
C: He can’t… he sneaked out to go to the theatre last night… he will have to make up for that time by staying another sh… day…
T: Damn it all to hell!
A couple of nurses and visitors turn to look at him indignantly.
T: I mean, if he is not responding then we will have to treat him with… with… (he turns the pages of the board again) sneakoutagain…ition?
C: I am afraid he won’t be able to respond to that treatment if he wants to remain at this hospital.
T: Well… hell! I am only going to be in town for another 24 hours if he does not respond to sneakoutagainition what am I going to do?
C: I would suggest we wait until 9pm and see how it goes.
T: And what am I going to do from now till 9pm?
C: (whispers) Well, since you are in the hospital you might want to have your ears checked!
T: My ears???
C: (in angry whisper) If you have heard me screaming myself hoarse last night while standing 4 feet away from you, we would not be in this situation now!!!
T: (in angrier whisper) Oh yeah? I don’t know if you noticed but there were about 20 other g…people there screaming themselves hoarse also and they were in closer proximity than you! It was impossible to hear anything…
C: Ha! You sure heard what Susanna whispered to you, I saw you smiling at her!
T: (perplexed) Who???
C: That weasel-looking blond who played … whoever you asked to marry in the play! Did you not leave with her last night? If you had not been so interested to hear what she was whispering, you might have heard me…
T: Susanna Marlowe?
C: Goodness, I can almost hear the honey trickling down your chin while saying her name…
T: You cannot be serious…
C: I am seriously serious, Mister! And then her being so adamant not to disturb you last night while you were supposedly sleeping! Did she help you tuck in?
T: What the bloody hell are you talking about???
C: I am talking about the time I came to see you in your hotel last nigh, how anxious she was that no fan of yours disturbed your peace! I bet she could not get rid of me fast enough to get back into your room!!!
T: You don’t know what you are talking about!!!
C: Oh, I don’t, do I?
They eye each other angrily ignoring the onlookers who are now watching them aghast!
Illustrated by Srta. Pecas
T: Do you want to go out with me tonight or
C: WHAT! I mean NO! You can go out with your precious Susie-weasel!
Terry thrusts the board and glasses in Candy’s hands and then gets the robe out and throws it on the ground in front of her.
T: FINE!!! I am leaving then!
Terry turns and walks towards the main entrance of the hospital.
C: (pointing to the hospital’s main gate to the street) THE EXIT IS THAT WAY!
T: I KNEW THAT!!!
He turns and walks out to the main street. Candy turns on her heels, sticks her nose in the air and marches into the hospital.
Terry marches angrily down the road for a few minutes thinking.
T: I don’t believe it! I just don’t believe it! I left a perfectly good reception party last night to go see her, I had to fight with that four-eyed vulture in there to tell me where she was, I froze my butt off waiting for her all night outside the stupid hospital thinking only how pretty she would look in her white uniform, I leave my job to stay here one more day just to see her in her white uniform and what is she doing? She tells me I have to have my ears examined because I did not hear her screaming last night in the middle of a screaming crowd!!! (he stops abruptly, turns towards the hospital and points at it angrily) I did hear you young missy, I just did not see you!
C: (in his head) So you need your eyes check too!!!
T: (aloud) Oh shut up, Freckles!
A couple of passersby look at him inquisitively and he glares at them.
They shake their heads and walk on.
T: (thinking) How the hell was I supposed to know that she was there anyway?! Was I supposed to have read the tea leaves to know that she was not in England anymore but working as a nurse in a hospital in Chicago, that she sneaked out of her shift risking dismissal last night to come and see me, that it was her indeed I thought I heard screaming in the middle of the screaming mob, that she went to the hotel to find me afterwards and met Susanna who God only knows what she told her…
T: (Aloud) OH. MY. GOD!
He turns on the spot and runs back at the hospital.
Candy in the meantime marched all the way to the third floor before she stood to catch her breath. She was still holding the board and the glasses and she hurriedly throws them on a medical cart without caring what else might be on it. She was still seething.
Illustrated by Srta. Pecas
C: (Thinking) I just can’t believe that after all I’ve been through last
night to see him he was waiting for me outside the hospital and now he left his
job to come and see me and spend some time with me…
C: (aloud) OH. MY. GOD!
She suddenly understands there is some sort of emergency going on because nurses and doctors are rushing about around her so fast they create a breeze that raffles her hair. But she stays rooted to her spot and watches everything as if in slow motion.
Meanwhile, Terry arrives back at the reception desk.
N3: Yes sir, can I help you?
T: I need to have my ears and eyes examined.
N3: Do you have an appointment?
T: No I…
Judith: Oh doctor …uh… Andsom! You are back! Would you like to see the same nurse or any of our nurses will do this time?
T: The same one, please… where is she?
J: I believe she must have reached the roof and taken off by now judging by the way she was shooting up those stairs…
T: Thank you… Judith isn’t it? You are an angel, thank you!
He turns to leave, then spins around again and grabbing Judith by the elbows he deposits a swift kiss on her lips. He then leaves her and starts climbing the stairs she pointed at, 3 at the time not even bothering to look behind him to see what the sudden commotion was all about. He stops on the third floor to catch his breath and spots Candy about 10 feet away from him looking at him in disbelief.
C: You are back…
T: Yes, I forgot to tell you…
T: I forgot to tell you… how beautiful you look in white…
C: Oh… thank you! I forgot to tell you that… you were wonderful last night…
T: (mockingly) Oh…!?
C: (blushing scarlet) in the play… I mean in the play…
T: (chuckling) Of course, what else? So… Will you go out with me tonight?
C: (smiling) I will…
T: OK. I’ll pick you up at 9 by the front door…
They look at each other for a few seconds smiling then at the same time they run to each other’s arms and lock themselves tightly in each other’s arms ignoring the havoc around them.
Narration lady/guy: Candy and Terry are finally together. It was as if their embrace tightened the bonds that bounded them together from the moment they met on that ship a year and a half earlier. Now nothing can separate them again…
Three floors below them, two doctors and five nurses are still trying to revive Judith…