|Sissy was sitting with Jo when a different nurse pranced in. She had curly hair of a very rich blonde, rosy cheeks, and rectangular glasses behind which were her distinguishing feature: one blue eye, and one green one.|
"Hello, Joey." she grinned. "I am Dr. Summers."
Jo frowned. "You're a doctor?"
"How can you be a doctor if you're a woman?"
"Advances in gender equality." the young doctor replied airily, tossing her head so that a stray lock of hair flew out of her eyes. "I live in Die Blumen, by the way. Sort of a cross between a tenant and extended family - I'm no real relation, though."
"What's your first name, then?" asked the ever-curious Joey.
Dr. Summers grinned. "That's a state secret. Everyone calls me Flicker."
"Nice name." Joey said appreciatively. "I shall have to try and fit it into one of my books. Do I still do my books?" she added as an afterthought.
"Yup." said Sissy. "You're Quite Famous now, you know. You said once that your favourite review was from a newspaper critic who said you could adapt to children's changing tastes and still sound like you."
Joey smiled, a warm feeling spreading through her as Flicker unwound the bandage round her head and gave it to Sissy, who passed Flicker a clean one with her other hand and hurried out of the room with the used one, turning in the doorway.
"Bye Jo, bye Flick!"
"Bye, Sis!" called Flicker after her, before turning back to Jo as she deftly fastened the bandage and stepped back to admire her handiwork. "Sissy and I have known each other since we were fourteen. Long story, let's just say that we went to school together."
Flicker fussed around Jo for a bit more, giving her pills and numerous spoonfuls of vile-tasting brews. Sissy did not return.
"She's gone off to her next shift, on the kids' ward. Before you ask, yes, it's still supported by the Chalet School." Flicker grinned. "I was thinking that you might be able to have visitors soon. We wondered if Jack?" Flicker's rather odd sentence was greeted by a wide-eyed look of worry.
"Whyever not?" asked Flicker, taken aback. This was a situation that she had not foreseen - she had imagined Jo relaxing into the idea of being Mrs. Maynard, once she had got over the initial shock, which, admittedly, had been administered rather early - and it was likely to be an emotionally painful one for all concerned.
"I...I just couldn't face him, knowing we were married. I don't know what sort of a marriage we had, and I don't want to know. I don't want anyone going all soppy over me - least of all Jack!"
Flicker was silent. She didn't know what to say.
"I don't really want visitors." continued Jo. "I don't want to know what the world is like either." She sighed deeply. "I wish I could...could just...just..." She waved her hands above her head wildly, searching for the right words. "Just go back to sleep and wake up back in 1933, and not marry Jack, or have children, but stay at home - maybe travel a bit, I've always wanted to travel round the world - and write my books, and help Madge with the babies." She sighed sadly. "And I suppose I'd have to give up being friends with Jack, as well. I just...don't want him near me - wouldn't want him near me! - knowing we were to be married." She sighed again, looking upset. "It's a pity, really. He was such an excellent friend as well. Very supportive. It was easy to forget that he was an adult and I was not. He always told me that I should do what I wanted to do - what made me happy. Loads of other people were pressuring me to get married almost straight out of school." Then she shuddered as a thought occurred to her. "What if he was in love with me when...when I fell asleep?"
Flicker shrugged, palms upwards. "No idea. Can you imagine me asking him? He'd absolutely boll- wallop me!" She laughed, having remembered to mind her language in front of Joey just in time.
Flicker left as Reg came in. Joey's head was bursting with questions to ask him - did he have a connection to the family? What was it? What did he think of her children? What sort of a relationship did he have with them? What sort of relationship did she have with them? What were they like? The list went on and on - but she squashed them, turned over and pulled the sheets over her head. When Reg asked her to pull the sheets back so that he could inspect her head, he found her unresponsive. When he pulled the sheets back himself she did not look up at him, nor did she move when he asked her to. Puzzled at her behaviour, he left her to rest, and she made the only movement she had made since his arrival - to shoot back under full cover of the sheets.
Turning to leave, however, Reg heard her muttering.
"I whacked my head - I was stupid enough to whack my head, and I'm dreaming. It's a silly dream - of course this won't really happen. Fancy having so many children! I dreamed I was married to my friend Jack, and won't Marie laugh when she finds out that I dreamed this, and I dreamed that I had to stay in bed all the time, and I dreamed that they asked me if I wanted Jack to visit, and - oh! - I shall have to tell him that we can't be friends any more if he really does want to marry me, but I shall miss him so - he'll only ever be a friend - but I don't want to know what's happening, and what if I dream that somebody's died - Mademoiselle or someone - or that I never see Madge and Jem anymore, and this is a horrible dream and I want to wake up! I want to wake up! I want...to...wake...up!" Her voice had been rising as she spoke, and it ended in a shriek and a sob. Suddenly, Reg realised that she was crying violently. He sped back over to the bed and pulled the covers back, but she was like a mouse, and shrank back from him, holding her hands up in front of her to shield her, and so he put the covers back, deciding that she would be best left on her own to calm down if that was how she reacted.