Nelson was just finishing for the day when he knocked lightly on the office door, hearing Terri give her permission to come in. He opened the door, stepping inside to see her surrounded by paperwork.
“More budget reports?” He asked, a slight smile on his face.
“It never ends does it? What can I do for you Nelson?”
“I know you said Von wouldn’t be in today but, well you never gave me a direct reason for her absence. Is she okay?”
“Mm-mm, she’s fine.”
“She had a few viewings for her house today, the couldn’t do any other day so she asked me if she could take her day off today instead.”
“I see, how’s she doing? Has she found anywhere else to stay yet?”
“Not that I know off, I said she could stay with me but…oh you know what Von’s like by now.”
“Yeah, bloody stubborn.”
“Something like that.”
Nelson was about to turn to walk out before turning back.
“Terri I know she’d probably kill you for this but, you couldn’t give me her address could you?”
“Nelson.” She warned.
“I just want to help.”
“She won’t thank you for it, believe me I’ve tried.”
“Well she needs somewhere to stay, maybe you’re too close to her.”
Terri got a piece of paper and wrote down Von’s address before passing it to Nelson.
“Good luck, I think you’ll need it.”
“I’ll take the chance.”
Nelson pulled up just after 6pm outside Von’s, turning off the ignition before getting out. He made his way over the road and up the path to the door, knocking twice as he waited for her to answer, When Von opened the door, she had a look on her face that Nelson couldn’t quite read before she spoke.
“What are you doing here Nelson?”
“I was just in the neighbourhood, can I come in?”
She wanted nothing more than to say no, to be left alone but she could see determination in Nelson’s eyes, which told her he wasn’t leaving without a fight. She gave an exasperated sigh before standing aside to allow him inside.
“Thanks.” He said as he stepped inside.
He waited for her to close the door before following her through to the front room, packing boxes in the corner.
“What do you want Nelson?”
He could hear a slight annoyance in her voice as she stood in front of him, her arms folded.
“Well, I wanna help.”
“Help, with what?”
“With this Von, your situation.”
“I’m handling it Nelson.”
“Really, because it doesn’t look like it to me.”
“How dare you.”
“Von, I just want to help.”
Nelson stepped forward, knowing she couldn’t move as the wall was behind her.
“It’s time to admit to yourself that you’re not coping with all this, and allow the people who care about you to help you?”
“Who said I wasn’t coping?”
“You only have to look at you to see you’re not, you look exhausted.”
“Well of course I’m exhausted Nelson, I’m losing my home because I was stupid enough to stop and help someone who needed it. I should have just walked away, gone to my exam and then none of this would be bloody happening to me.”
Nelson could hear her voice break a little as she tried to avoid his gaze.
“Go and sit down, I’ll get us some coffee.”
Before Von could say anything, Nelson had escaped to the kitchen. She sat down on the couch, hearing Nelson clattering around.
“Nelson..” She yelled through.
She rolled her eyes as she waited a little longer before he appeared with two mugs in his hands, passing one to Von before he sat down beside her.
“Thanks.” She said quietly.
“Have you eaten?” He asked.
“No, I don’t really have an appetite right now.”
“You need to eat Von.”
“Maybe later…did Terri send you?”
“No, no she didn’t. I came here on my own volition.”
“You know why, Von it’s time for you t admit you need us. You can’t keep dealing with all this on your own. You’re losing your home.”
“That will teach me.”
“Don’t say you should have walked away from the accident again, you wouldn’t. It’s not the kind of person you are. You’re a nurse first and foremost, you did everything you could for that woman and her daughter.”
“It wasn’t enough though was it.”
“She never should have sued you, it’s ridiculous.”
“It was her way of coping, dealing with what had happened to her mother. She needed someone to blame and it just happened to be me who bore the brunt of her anger and hurt. I can’t believe I have to start all over again, at my age, god help me.”
Von closed her eyes, a small tear escaping, before Nelson reached for her free hand.
“Von, I want you to consider something for a second.”
“What?” She asked, looking up at him.
“Move in with me.”
“Move in…with you?”
“It’s not that crazy, is it?”
“We’d kill each other.”
“I don’t agree with that, sure it might take a little while to get used too one another’s habits but, I think it could work.”
“Why would you want me staying with you.”
“Because you’re my friend, and you’re going through some pretty awful stuff right now and I’m in a position to help. I care about you Von, and I hate seeing you like this. Stay with me, it could be fun.”
“Or it could be a disaster.”
“Well there’s only one way to find out, what do you say?”
Von sat for a few moments pondering Nelson’s proposal before coming to her decision.
“I’m willing to give it a try, but I’m not making any promises.”
“Great, that’s all I ask. Why don’t I help you move in tomorrow.”
“Thanks, I mean that. I know I don’t always appreciate the help.”
“Incidentally, how did you know where I lived.”
“Don’t be angry, she’s just worried about you, we all are.”
“So tomorrow then?”
“I’ll come by about 9am?”
To Be Continued…
Nelson arrived a little earlier the next morning to help Von move in, they managed to get most of her things in to the two cars which had helped a lot. When they arrived at Nelson’s, they spent the next two hours hauling everything in to his front room. They both stood staring at the boxes, Von suddenly speaking.
“Are you sure about this, it’s not too late to take it all back?”
“I’m sure Von, I know it will take time to get it all organised but we will, it’ll be fine.”
“Thank you…for doing all of this, you really didn’t have too.”
“Well it was either this or you ending up on the streets, and I wasn’t having that. Why don’t I make us some tea?”
“Tea would be good, thanks.”
As Nelson went to make the tea, Von started to take some boxes to her room, looking around she couldn’t believe it had actually came to this. Nelson appeared in the doorway, seeing Von standing in the room, her arms around herself as she stared in to space.
“I don’t know where to go from here?”
“The front room?” He joked.
“I’m serious Nelson, how the hell do I come back from this mess.”
She turned around to face him as he came closer to her, taking hold of her hand, as she tried to pull away.
“You will move past this, yeah it’ll take time but you will get back on top, and your friends are here to help you.”
Von was taken by surprise when Nelson took her in his arms, hugging her. He felt her tense in his arms, giving her a few moments before feeling her relax.
“Stop being so bloody strong all the time, you’re allowed to fall apart now and again, we all are.”
Nelson stood back, Von looking back at him, and nodding her head in agreement.
“Come on, lets get that tea and decide where everything is going.” He smiled.
Terri was in her office, reading and re-reading the letter in her hand when the knock at the door brought her back to reality.
“Terri, Mrs Archer’s ready to be discharged now.”
“Oh, thanks Charlotte.”
Charlotte stepped in to the office and closed the door behind her before taking a seat opposite Terri.
“What’s up, and don’t say nothing?”
“It’s official, they’re closing Ward 17.”
“Jesus, so what happens to everyone here?”
“They’re all being moved to other wards, they’ll all be getting this letter and informing them of their move.”
“Well at least they have a job, that’s the main thing, isn’t it?”
“Von…they’re sending her a redundancy package.”
“They can’t do that?”
“She has two choice, redundancy or she’s being moved to the children’s ward.”
“She won’t want that?”
“I doubt it.”
“Where are you going?”
“Emergency, so is Nelson. Reg is getting another ward clark position. I’m not having this.”
“No, Von has been a hard worker in this hospital for twenty years, I’ll be damned if she’s going to the children’s ward. She either comes with Nelson and I or…they’re not getting me.”
“What do you mean?”
“Either Von comes too, or I quit. I will not let Julia dictate to me who stays and goes.”
Nelson’s front room was beginning to look normal again, Von filling the bedroom fairly quickly. When he came to find her, she was just finishing off the last box.
“Hey, you nearly done?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“Great, you hungry?”
“Von?” He warned.
“What did you have in mind?”
“Anything you want, takeaway, Chinese, Pizza, Indian…you’re choice, I’m easy?”
“Chinese sounds good, let me get my purse.”
“No, my treat.”
“Nelson, you’ve already given me a roof over my head and I…”
“It’s my treat, for moving in day.”
“Do you want a drink?”
“I’d kill for a glass of…oh, sorry I wasn’t thinking.”
“Von, it’s fine. You can still drink.”
“No, coffee’s fine.”
“Von I don’t expect you to go teetotal for me, seriously, I can cope with alcohol on the house, I have before.”
“No, I don’t need it, really. Coffee’s fine with me.”
“Okay, won’t be long. I’ll order the food.”
Von packed away the last box when she heard her phone, seeing the message from Terri to say she was coming over. She made her way through to the kitchen to see Nelson making the coffee.
“Nelson, I just had a message from Terri?”
“Yeah, she messaged me too. She said she needs to talk with us both?”
“Should we be worried?”
“It did sound ominous, just as well I ordered enough Chinese.”
Nelson could see the worry in Von’s face. Coming over to her, his hand going to her arm.
“Von, stop worrying. She probably just wants to make sure you settled in okay, that’s all.”
“Look at me.”
She looked up, seeing the smile from Nelson.
“You’re fine, come and have your coffee while we wait for Terri and dinner.”
Von followed him through, taking a seat beside him on the couch, both exhausted from moving.
To Be Continued…
The Chinese had arrived before Terri had, Nelson had placed all the plastic cartons on the coffee table, while Von went and got plates and cutlery. The doorbell rang, Von looking up at Nelson.
“I’ll get it, you start plating up.” He smiled.
He opened the door to see Terri with a smile on her face which faded as quickly as it had arrived.
“Hey, this is an unexpected visit, we got some takeaway in, hope you like Chinese.”
“Yeah it’s great, hey…how’s Von?”
“She’s doing okay, I guess it will take a while to settle in. You okay, you don’t look so great.”
“Ward 17 is closing, it’s official, we’ve all been given our new placements.”
“You and I are emergency.”
“She’ll hate that?”
“It’s that…or redundancy.”
“They can’t do this Terri, not now. She’s going through enough as it is.”
“You think I don’t know that, I’ve sent Julia Archer an ultimatum, and I hope you’re on board with it, because I’ve already sent the email.”
“On board? With?”
“I’ve said either Von’s with us, or I’m gone.”
“Only if she doesn’t place Von with us.”
“Well good, I’m with you.”
“I didn’t include you Nelson.”
“I’m in anyway, I’ll quit too, then she’s really screwed. She’ll back down.”
“I’m not so sure.”
“Von’s been with All Saints for a hell of a lot longer than us, longer than Julia Archer. Von has the backing of a lot more staff members than she does.”
“I’m scared to tell her Nelson?”
“Come on, we’ll do it together.”
Von sat in silence after dinner, Terri watching her closely. Nelson was seated beside her, he placed a hand on her back as she took in the letter she had been handed by Terri.
“So that’s it then, children’s ward or nothing.”
“Von, come on…we’re going to fight this.” Terri said.
“How Terri, how can we fight this. It’s pretty self explanatory.”
She noticed the exchange of looks between Nelson and Terri, closing her eyes tightly.
“What have you both done?”
“Just tell me.”
“Okay, well basically I’ve more or less stated to Julia that if you’re not placed in emergency with Nelson and myself then I quit.”
“You what…don’t be so bloody stupid.”
“We have to do something Von.” Nelson added.
“Don’t tell me you’ve threatened to quit too?”
“You’re both idiots, for god sake…don’t do something you’ll regret, not for me.”
“Why not for you Von?” Terri asked.
“I’m not worth it, you two still have years of nursing ahead of you, don’t throw it away for me…it’s just…bloody ridiculous.”
Von got to her feet, walking away towards her room, slamming the door behind her.
Terri looked over at Nelson, signing as she drank the last of her coffee.
“I should get going?”
“I’ll try and talk to her when she’s calmed down.”
“I’m not giving up on her Nelson.”
“Me either, you know what Von’s like. She likes to think she can handle everything on her own.”
“You’d think she’d know us by now.”
“I know right.”
“I’ll see you both tomorrow.”
Nelson saw Terri to the door, saying good night before the door was closed.
Von came though the next morning, Nelson making toast as she poured some coffee.
“Good morning.” He said.
He heard her blunt response, putting the toast in front of her.
“I’m not hungry Nelson.”
“Okay, out with it?” He said.
“Whatever you want to say, I mean there is something, I know that much. I tried to talk to you after Terri left but you were either sleeping or deliberately ignoring me?”
“There’s nothing to say, you and Terri are not quitting on my account, end off.”
“It’s not the end off Von…”
“YES IT IS.”
Nelson was taken aback by her outburst, unsure of what to say at first.
“Get up.” He ordered her.
“You heard me….get up.”
Von rolled her eyes, really not in the mood for Nelson’s games.
“Nelson I’m not in the mood for this?”
“Neither am I…get up…now.”
Von sighed before she eventually got to her feet, Nelson coming around to her and taking her by the hand,a nd walking her out of the room.
“Nelson what are you…”
She followed him through to her bedroom, Nelson stopping in front of her bedroom mirror. Standing her in front of it.
“Now, what do you see?” He asked her.
“Tell me what you see.”
Von didn’t answer him, just stared him out.
“I’ll tell you what I see shall I. What I see is a bloody good nurse staring back at me. A woman who has put her heart and soul in to helping others and in my eyes, and in Terri’s…has been given a raw deal with the redundancy and we won’t stand by and let it happen.”
“There’s still the children’s ward Nelson.”
“Which you are not going to be happy going to every day, you know it and I know it. You should be in the emergency department with us, everyone knows that, even Julia Archer knows it…she’s just being a bitch.”
“After all that’s happened with the court case, I don’t even blame them for not wanting me in a more prominent department.”
“Well we do want you there, and if they don’t take…they don’t take us, end of discussion.”
“Don’t do this to yourselves, I’m serious.”
Von looked so defeated, Nelson, without think leaned in and placed a kiss to her forehead.
“We’re going to fight for you Von, even if you won’t…because you’re worth it. Now come on, breakfast it on the table.
Von watched Nelson leave, the kiss still lingering.
To Be Continued…