Caring Christopher

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#13 I’m in trouble

Christopher

“What do you mean, there’s no space anywhere in town?” I ask nurse Jackey in a low voice, not wanting the boys to overhear. “She’s only got two more months to live at the most. You can’t move her to a hospice two hours from here, Jackey, you just can’t.”

“Look, Dr. Davids, I get that you want the boys to be able to visit her, but there are no vacancies anywhere in or near the city. The hospice we’re transferring her to is very nice, and-”

“No,” I interrupt her, using my stern doctor voice. “That won’t do.”

Jackey looks up at me and gives me a hard look. “You’re not my boss,” she says in a tight voice. “I get that you don’t like it, but I tried everything I could. There’s no place for her right now.”

“Chris?” Abby’s voice sound behind me, her small warm hand on my arm as she steps up besides me. “Everything okay?”

“No,” I grunt, dragging a hand over my face. “No, it’s not.” I explain the situation to her, and she nods in understanding, not looking surprised at all.

“My mom was in a group home two towns over for a few months before I found her someplace closer,” she says knowingly. “It’s tough.” Before I can ask her what she’s talking about and why her mother is in a home, she speaks up again. “Can’t we just take her in?”

“Take her in?” I repeat, blinking a few times to let her words sink in. “You mean… move her into our house?”

“Yeah, why not?” Abby asks like it’s the obvious thing to do. “I’m home all day every day, I only go out when the boys have school or I’m taking them somewhere. We could get a nurse for the hospital stuff, right? I don’t know what she’ll need exactly, but I’ve got some experience with taking care of people, back when I still lived with my mother. I showered her, cooked for her, made sure she took her medication… I’m sure I could take care of the basic things Dorothy needs, right?” She looks at nurse Jackey. “Is it possible?”

Jackey looks as shocked as I feel. “Yes, I mean, if Miss Pillar is alright with that, I guess it’s a possibility. It’s just very unusual for someone who isn’t family to volunteer to take care of a cancer patient when she’s in the final stages of her life.”

“We're nothing if not unusual,” Abby says with a wry smile. “What do you say, Chris? I’m up for it if you are. I know it’s a lot, but I don’t want the boys to lose any more time with their Mom. It’s not like I’ve got any plans for Thanksgiving or Christmas anyway, so I can be around every single day for as long as you need me to be. You don’t have to pay me any extra either.”

“I guess…” I shake my head in wonder. “Are you sure? That’s a huge thing to ask of you and I can’t take time off right now.”

“I’d love to do it,” she assures me, and I can tell she means it. Where has this wonderful woman been all my life? Is she for real? “So… should we go ask Dorothy?”

“Erm, yeah,” I agree, too stunned to form full sentences right now. “Sure.”

Abby walks into the hospital room like she runs this place, and pulls out her wallet to give the boys some money to get a treat from the vending machine down the hall. They’ve been here often enough to know where it is and not get lost, so I feel okay letting them go without supervision. Besides, all the staff on this floor knows the boys and keeps an eye on them when we’re here visiting their mother.

“Are you serious?” Dorothy asks when Abby tells her about our plan. “You’d do that for me? For my boys?” The moment we both tell her we’re serious, she starts crying. “I can’t believe you’d do that for me. You barely even know me.”

“We know your kids,” Abby says, taking Dorothy’s frail hand and squeezing it softly. “They’re lovely boys and they deserve to spend as much time with you as they possible can. I have to warn you though, it’s been a while since I last played nurse for anyone, so I think I’m a little rusty.”

Dorothy smiles through her tears. “I don’t care. We’ll manage. I’m not completely helpless, you know. I’m just… well…” She lets out a chocked laugh. “…dying.”

I leave the room to make arrangements for an ambulance to take Dorothy to our house tomorrow, so we can get ready for her today. No hospice for her. She’ll get to spend her last months on earth with her two boys, the way it should be. I’m grateful Abby thought of this, but I’m also nervous. Davy and Yoah are doing so good right now, and I don’t know how they will react to this huge change. I’m sure they will love spending time with their mother, but they will also get to see her at her worst, and I fear the shock will be even bigger for them when she dies than it would be if she was in a hospice.

“Chris?”

I turn around to meet Abby’s dark green eyes.

“Was I wrong to suggest this?” she asks, sounding worried. “Did I ambush you in any way?”

“No, no, I’m just… this is a lot to take in. I’m really grateful for you, Abby, you know that, and this is just above and beyond, even for you. I just hope… I hope this is the right thing to do.”

“We’ll get them counseling,” she says firmly. “And we’ll call the social worker when we’re home to make sure we’ve truly thought of everything. It will be difficult, but I don’t think for even a second it would be better for the boys to only get to spend a few hours a week with their mother.”

“What happened to your mother?” I ask her, unable to contain my curiosity and concern.

Her soft expression hardens. “Not now,” she says in a tight voice. “That’s not a story I like telling. Not now, okay?”

“Of course.” I’m not going to push her if she’s not ready to share this part of herself with me. “I’m here if you ever want to talk.”

“I know.” She steps towards me and holds out her arms. “Can I hug you?”

I pick her up immediately and hold her close, her feet several inches off the floor. She truly doesn’t need to ask me if she can hug me, but I think she partly does it just so I won’t touch her like that without her permission. I know she wants to be the one in charge when we hug, and I’m okay with that. I just enjoy her warm, soft body against mine, and the wonderful scent of her coconut shampoo.

I feel her lips brush my cheek lightly before she pulls away. It takes every ounce of self-control to make sure I won’t get a boner in the hospital hallway while I’m hugging my nanny, and I almost laugh at how stupid I’m being. Francesca and Aston are right. I’m totally hot for my nanny, and I don’t even care how wrong that is. She’s amazing. I’d have to be blind, deaf and braindead not to notice.

***

Yoah and Davy are over the moon when I tell them Dorothy is moving in with us. I try to explain to them why she’ll be here, that she’s very sick, and that she is going to die soon. Both the therapist and social worker Mary told me earlier to be honest to the kids. Still, they’re happy to have their mother living here, no matter what the reason is.

I know I’m doing the right thing, but it feels horrible.

After I’ve put the boys in bed and read them a million stories, I take a quick shower before heading downstairs in my sweatpants and an old T-shirt. Abby is on the couch, waiting for me with two glasses of my favorite red wine and a bowl of piping hot meatballs.

“You’re an angel,” I tell her, taking a glass from her.

“Today was hard on all of us,” she says, sinking back into the cushions. “I know I always need some wine and a snack to get over a day like this.”

“I guess we’re very much alike then.” I settle in besides her, making sure to leave enough space between us keep up the illusion that I’m being professional. I know she’s the nanny, but she’s also my friend. My confidant. The person getting me through the weirdest, happiest and saddest time of my entire life.

Abby takes a meatball from the bowl and grabs the sugar bowl from the coffee table, dunking the ball into it before taking a huge bite. She moans, the sound making my cock twitch. Quickly, I grab a pillow and pull it into my lap. I’m not going to ruin this nice moment by making her think I’m some sleezeball trying to get her into bed. I’d love to take her to my bedroom, obviously, but she means more to me than that.

“Do you like Grey’s Anatomy?” she asks, putting the TV back on. “I’ve got the box set and I just put the first DVD in.”

“Oh God, a hospital show,” I groan, sipping my wine. “Those are always so horribly inaccurate.”

“Then bitch to me about it,” she says with a grin, licking sugar off her fingers. “I’d love to hear you rant.”

“Are you sure?” I ask skeptically. “You haven’t seen ranty Chris yet, and he’s not very good company.”

“I think I can handle him.” She dips her fingers into the sugar bowl, licking them off with a loud moan. “God, I need to start working out again. I’m getting even fatter than I already was.”

“I think you look just perfect,” I say, blushing a little. I cover it up by taking a gulp of wine. “So… tell me about this show.”

We watch Grey’s Anatomy for three hours straight, and I spent most of that time pointing out inaccuracies when it comes to medicine. Abby looks at me with an amused smile every time I speak up, eating meatballs with sugar like it’s not the most disgusting thing in the world.

I think I might be falling for this woman already. No, I know I am. I’m in deep trouble.

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