The scene for this Chatterbox – hosted by Miss Rachel Heffington on her amazing blog The Inkpen Authoress – is from my novel, “Doctors & Daughter’s”.
Maria and Rose were passing through the wide lower hall of the building, clean and neatly arranged snowy linen piled high upon their arms. As they were passing the door to the head nurse's office it was swiftly opened from within disclosing Miss Reed, her habitually collected face a map of confusion.
“Nurses, would you please call Miss Worth-” then recognizing Maria behind the pile which partly hid her. “Oh, Miss Worth...I hardly know what to say, but...would you kindly step in here please?”
Sharing but one quick questioning look with Rose, Maria followed the head nurse toward the official apartment, her heart pounding madly as she did so. She had expected this confrontation for the last year, though it startled her that Dr. Owen would rather go to the officials without first speaking to her. Yet they were her superiors and no doubt he only was concerned in her breach of professional conduct or perhaps he had only heard rumor and was going to identify her. Completely according to professional decorum yet she still wished that he had addressed her at the first. Such were the thoughts that rushed in tumbling confusion through her mind as she went down the short distance of hall to the open door. Entering, she found to her further surprise that it was empty of any living thing save themselves and a sheaf of lilies–limpid and glowing, their swirled cups filled with light from the window high up in the outer wall.
“You may set those down, Miss Worth.” Miss Reed said, closing the door and motioning to a set of drawers against the wall by the entrance. Lowering the heavy stack to the cabinet, Maria turned once more to the head nurse. She was now seated behind her desk, hands nervously clasped upon the desk before her, looking at the girl. What a lovely nurse she was, the head nurse thought - the shyness of her early days with them transformed into a tremulous love for her patients that mixed with a determined strength of protection. It all conformed into a care that warmed the strict nurse's heart. Yet such things as she had heard of this supposedly sweet girl! How ill they combined with this quiet reserve before her! How straight and steady she stood beneath her gaze, her biting of the lower lip the only indication of her worry.
“Miss Worth, when you came to be with us we were told that you were simply a friend of Rose's who was in need of the work she had been trained to. Testing you, we found that you did indeed have experience. Yet now...I have heard...in short, there has come to me information that you were...that you are...if not lying...indeed practicing a falsehood.”
Maria's eyes dilated large in her face and she bit her lip. The perfume of the lilies suddenly became a crushing weight and the room seemed to tip unsteadily. No refuge. She knew that it had always been so. The chain of her history and that sorry piece of paper signed by her father's hand would always find her. For that which did not breath there could be no death, but it could pierce.
“Pardon me, Miss Worth? What did you say?”Maria's voice was chilled as her white lips as she answered, “I said that for all things–no matter how you tear them apart or throw them away from you forever–no matter how bitter they may be–there is a resurrection.”