This is the third of a three part story by 10 year old Alice. Read Part One and Part Two first.
My view is hazy, but I can work out the blurry shape of a nurse, standing by my bed. My eyelids shut; the light was stinging my eyes.
“Hello?” The voice is soft. I decide to answer.
“Hello,” I answer.
“I’m Josie,” says the nurse, pulling up a chair beside the bed. “What’s your name?”
“Kieran,” I reply, chewing my lip.
“Well, Kieran, you’ve been through a lot,” she says. She feels my forehead. “You had a raging fever you know. How do you feel now?”
“Better,” I say, stretching my mouth into a pulled smile. “Much better. Thank you.”
“Oh, don’t thank me, thank those amazing doctors!” Josie beams. “So, why did you nearly run off like that? Well, crawl off really,” she says, chuckling.
“I didn’t like it,” I say, my lip spurting a little amount of deep red blood. “I don’t like hospitals.”
She looks at me empathectically. “A lot of people are scared of hospitals. But know, they are good places, they make you better.” She is talking to me like I am in Primary school, but she is nice enough, and I feel comforted. “I do not like to intrude on people’s privacy, but I must ask.”
What must she ask? I feel my face merging into a scared look. Then her face grows into a guilty expression.
“We found some cannabis in your coat pocket,” she says. “Are you aware of this?”
Pictures of police, and jail, and lonliness, and suicide pop up in my mind, so my mouth is ready and full of lies.
“No! I don’t know what that is doing in there,” I say.
My mouth may have been ready to burble out a million and one lies, but it wasn’t ready to say it right. I said it way too quickly, and she isn’t fooled.
“We just want to know. I very much doubt the police will even stick their nose into it. Cannabis is very low down their line of illegal drugs, and anyway, if you share some personal information with us, we can’t tell the police unless it is harming someone else. Do you have children?”
“I’m 17!” I say, disgusted.
“You should see how many 17 year olds come in here with their fully pregnant girlfriends,” she answer, shaking her head. “You’re on the mend, Kieran. A word of advice. All lives are precious, no matter how bashed or damaged they may be. Don’t waste it.”
And with that, she swoops out.