Status: Weekly Updates

A Day at a Time


Gerald follows Charlie back into her apartment, it's half past one in the morning and they have just left the hospital where Charlie's mom will be spending the next few nights until they come up with a more permanent solution. Melissa will be spending tonight at the hospital with their mom and Charlie will take her place tomorrow night, since she is on shift anyway.

Charlie slumps down into her bed, fully dressed and lays on her back staring at the ceiling, blankly. Slowly, as to not disturb her, Gerald slides off his Prada loafers and leather jacket and joins her matching her position.

"I'm sorry about your mom," Gerald sympathizes, "She's lucky to have daughters like you though, yee?"

Charlie is silent for a moment before turning to her side to face Gerald, "You don't have to stay or say night things, okay? This isn't what we do, please don't feel like you have to be anything other than what you are to me."

Gerald is taken back by her abrupt statement, he rolls over to look her in the eyes but hers are closed and he can see a pool of tears sitting on the roots of her eyelashes, threatening to spill.

"And what am I to you, a good fuck? I want to help you Char, let me help you," Gerald offers his hand out and it engulfs her smaller one that had been resting gently atop the bedspread.

Charlie opens her eyes and a single tear escapes before she sits up quickly dropping Gerald's hand and wiping away any evidence that it had ever graced her face, "You can't help me, Gerald. I have to do this on my own. I came here to take care of my mother, not to make friends. I've gotten distracted and I had no plan for this. I should have been prepared. I think you should leave."

Something that Gerald understood very well was the feeling of wanting to be left alone. Just a minute of peace to piece together life and figure you're shit out. He nodded, sitting up along with her and keeping eye contact with Charlie, "Just tell me that's what you really want," he offers.

Charlie breaks eye contact and nods, leaving Gerald to collect his things and go. When he leaves Charlie is left to figure out what she can possibly do to make what is left of her mom's life as comfortable as possible. She worries about hospice facilities and how their nurses would treat the woman that raised her, remembering the horror stories that are spread around the medical field, of awful nurses abusing the power they held over their elders. That was why Charlie had moved across the country in the first place, to care for her mother with no worries. Unfortunately, to stay here she had to continue to work full time and is unable to be with her mother as much as she needs to be, evident by the situation that had happened tonight. Sure Charlie couldn't have stopped her mothers progressing illness but it should've been her there, not Melissa.

As she researches facilities online, she is left wondering how she would ever be able to afford to send her mother to one of these places. Eventually, she falls asleep with her laptop still running in front of her.

The following morning Charlie meets Melissa at the hospital to meet with the financial department. The woman working their case, Amy, greets them with a sympathetic smile and leads them to her office where the two take a seat across from her.

Amy pulls up Charlotte's file on her computer and a look of unease is clearly present on her face. Charlie scuffs under her breathe, wishing that the woman would at least try to hide her emotions and be professional.

Amy starts, "It appears that your mother is in need of a full-time hospice facility. I'm seeing here that her insurance is only willing to cover 65% of the cost, excluding transportation in which they will cover none. There are a few facilities in the area that do full-time hospice care but I hate to say that from my experience they charge $250-500 a day, this may or may not include any treatments or physical therapy."

Charlie nods, from her research last night it was quite apparent that hospice care for her mother was out of reach financially but from the look at Melissa's face it is evident that she had no idea.

Melissa's face turns from one of shock to anger, "How could you possibly expect anyone to afford that?" She exclaims, "What are the other options, she can't possibly come home in this state!"

Charlie grabs Melissa's hand that had been clenching the armrest and speaks up, "I think what Melissa is trying to say is, what else can we do? I can't possibly be home caring for my mother every day, I have to work."

Amy nods, understandingly, "Unfortunately, the most I can do is coordinate with the medical facility chosen and see if we can set up a payment plan. Otherwise, the hospital will only keep her for three days and she will be discharged home."

This concluded the discussion, leaving a lot of holes to fill for Charlie and Melissa. Melissa stormed out of the office angrily, making her way outside the hospital for fresh air. Once outside she slides down the brick wall, Charlie follows her and sits beside her, just as stressed but more level-headed.

"We'll figure it out, Mel," Charlie assures, "I'll find out more about this payment plan. Mom will be taken care of. Maybe we can take a loan against her house or something."

When Melissa doesn't respond Charlie squeezes her shoulder and stands up, "I have to go home and get ready for work. Go spend time with mom, okay? I'll be back soon, I promise."

Charlie comes back to the hospital a few hours later, freshly showered and equipt in her uniform. Her first stop is room 209, where she visits her mom, accompanied by Melissa sitting beside her in the armchair. Charlie makes her way over to her mother who lays in bed starring blankly towards the television and kisses her forehead, "Hey, ma. I just wanted to check-in. I'll see you in a little bit I just have to go see a few patients, okay?"

Charlotte lies in bed unresponsive to her daughter and Charlie takes a step back, giving her a tight, forced smile.

"Can I use your phone?" Melissa asks her before Charlie leave the room, "Mine's dead."

Charlie nods pulling her iPhone out of her pocket and handing it to Melissa, "Sure, I'll be back in an hour. You can just leave it on her table if you need to leave."

An hour passes, maybe even two. Charlie had been pushed in a million directions since she arrived, it must be a full moon because it felt like everyone in the city was coming in for some emergency. She had just stabilized a patient who had been hit by a car before she made her way back to her mother private room.

Melissa is still with their mother when Charlie enters the suite. "I called Gerald," Melissa admits, guiltily and Charlie furrows her brows.

"What do you mean, you called Gerald?" Charlie inquires, confused.

"Listen, he has more money than he knows what to do with! He didn't mind, he wanted to help us," Melissa says looking anywhere but at Charlie's face, scared to see her reaction.

"We are not taking money from him, Melissa! What were you thinking?" Charlie inquires, desperate and angry. At this point, she feels absolutely drained. The last thing she needs is to ask a man, whom she hardly knows for help.

"Where do you get off asking him something like this? You should have asked me first! I'm not okay with this," Charlie continues to stress.

Melissa glances at Charlotte who is lying peacefully in the hospital bed. She pulls Charlie out of the room by her forearm, "I'm sorry, okay. We need this, Charlie. Please," Melissa begs.

"I have to work. We can talk about this later. Give me my phone," Charlie sighs completely exhausted. She pulls her phone out of Melissa's hands before walking away.

A wave of guilt hits Charlie as she ponders how generous Gerald is, agreeing to give her sister money to care for their mother. She had just asked this man to leave, earlier. Basically accusing him of distracting her from caring properly for the woman that raised her. Another part of Charlie wonders why he would possibly agree to give money to her family. Was he expecting something in return from this? What could Charlie give him that he doesn't already have and what could he possibly want?