I pulled into Heartwood Home’s and was unimpressed by the place. It was like all other nursing homes I’d been too; cheerful but dull. Enough to convince me that I had made the right decision by keeping my pill with me at all times, so if the time came, I could die painlessly and not have to suffer the horrors of a home.
The grass was unnaturally green and a chain link fence surrounded the whole building. It was a brick, one story and in the back were bright tulips and plastic benches. A tennis court was being occupied by two old men and a nurse wheeled around a smoker while talking animatedly on her phone.
I walked in the automatic doors and waited patiently for the nurse at the front desk to buzz me in. I walked in, pasted on my best fake smile, and told her I had a great aunt here.
She let me through with only the words that visiting hours ended at four. I glanced at my watch; I had a little over two hours.
I walked through the recreational room without stopping. The people that hung out in those rooms, I had found, usually weren’t close enough to death. Also, the fact that they were social was something I didn’t want to deal with. It usually meant they had family and they felt that interacting with modern people was good. I was looking for someone special. I wanted to find someone that kept to themselves and was lonely. I wanted someone with a certain air that said they felt they were better; materialistically if nothing else.
So I walked down the halls purposefully, I passed rooms that were empty and glanced into rooms that weren’t. I had to have good judgment, because to walk into a room meant that you would be there for a few hours probably. People loved to talk.
At the end of the third hall I was walking down, I found her. She was sitting in an office chair staring out the window. Her room was near empty, but it was only hers, she didn’t share it. The few possessions she did have were evidence that she had a decent life.
On her nightstand was a white porcelain jewelry box with purple jewels on the outside. She had a blue and gold painted teapot that looked very fragile right next to it.
There was one wooden shelf on the wall in which she had five different dolls. Each one must have cost her a pretty penny and were, I would find out, from five different continents.
So, taking a deep breath I walked up to the door and knocked quietly on it in three quick taps. She didn’t turn her head, she simply said, “What do you want?”
I smiled and walked in, “Hello, I’m Adilynn McGregor. I was wondering if you’d like to visit.”
“Go away,” came her husky voice.
I walked closer and touched her shoulder, she visibly flinched, “Ma’m are you sure?”
“You’re all the same, I won’t tell you.”
Now I was confused and I made sure it was evident in my voice, “I don’t understand, I just want to talk,”
Now she turned around and I gasped slightly at her.
Her face had scars crisscrossed on it, her hair was bright red and her right eye was red while her left was blue. But the scars on her face were what got to me, perfectly crossed, like someone had really taken the time to do it perfectly.
“You still don’t understand?” she asked gravely.