Shirley looked away when she saw him approach her bed. She closed her eyes and mumbled a short prayer hoping that he was not the nurse on duty that night. Sandy crossed her fingers too, and if she could, she would cross her toes. In fact, she’d cross her arms at her elbows and do anything that would save them the agony of having to be fed by him that night. It was not to be, however, because Bernard walked in with a trolley of food.
They called him ‘Bee’ for brutal although he thought that it was short for Bernard. He was callous and unkind. He did not seem to care that each of the girls were suffering from a life threatening disease. The girls feared him like a plague. They wished that they would at least get nurses who would be gentle with them and make them smile for the few months they had left but each new nurse was worse. Bernard had been there for about three months but they were yet to get used to him. He pressed on their wounds intentionally and failed to turn them when they needed to change positions so they would stay numb all night. He seemed to take great pleasure in administering injections and would be overheard asking the doctors for jab alternatives. He thought it made work easier for him since jabs would be administered fewer times in a day compared to jabs.
There was nothing like getting used to those nurses. The girls had learned to persevere but the worse the treatment got, the more they longed for their death. They were known to be care givers, comforters, consolers. Their sole responsibility was to feed the girls and keep them company during the hours they were not in the theatre or undergoing chemotherapy. They were entrusted with the happiness of the little girls but they had become their foremost cause of grief. All of them were inhuman except the newest addition, John, but they did not know who to chose between the devils they knew and the possible angel that they did not know. One thing was for sure; they would not survive under the care of anyone even an ounce more brutal than ‘Bee’.