Continued from: With Drawn: Part 7 — Savage
Joanne Walsh sat at a table in the nurse’s break room at Mystic Mercy Hospital. The reason Joanne was sitting in the nurse’s break room was because she was a nurse. Joanne was leaning her head on her hand and she was looking down at a cup of coffee that she had yet to touch. She was sitting like this because she was very tired. But she was not tired due to a lack of sleep or because of physical exhaustion. She felt very tired because she was sad, and sadness can take a lot out of someone.
While Joanne sat like this at the table, another nurse named Molly Givens walked into the break room. Molly Givens could be called Joanne’s best friend, even though Molly and Joanne only really saw one another while working at the hospital. Molly Givens was from a place called Jamaica. Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean Sea. Because Molly was from Jamaica, she had a very distinct accent. She was also black.
The people that lived in Jamaica weren’t always black. What happened was that European men came on big boats and found all these great islands. The islands were filled with people that were like other aboriginal tribes of what would become known as America. They were very trusting and had yet to learn that people that came on boats usually intended to do something really bad to them. The Europeans wanted these people to work for them for free. And the Europeans could force these native people to work for free because they were able to harness gunpowder into weapons, where the native people in the Caribbean had yet to learn this trick. Anyway, the Caribbean people worked so hard that they died. Meanwhile, the Europeans were discovering more and more places across the sea, and more and more native people to kill. Only, after they killed these people, they realized that they still needed people to work for free in these new places, so they brought African people to these places to work for free. This was the beginning of something known as the slave trade. Slaves are people that are forced to work for free.
By the way, the above story is not the story that Ms. Washington teaches in her history class, true as it may be. And, incidentally, the person that kicked off the slave trade now has a holiday in America devoted just to him. This holiday is on the second Monday in October.
People in Jamaica are generally very social people, and this made Molly Givens very good at something that Jacob Grist was not good at. Molly Given was very good at understanding how another person is feeling emotionally. She can tell this just by looking at a person—the way a person’s body is postured, or by an expression that is on a person’s face. As soon as Molly walked into the break room, Molly was able to detect that Joanne was both sad and tired. Seeing this, Molly then did a very logical thing. She asked Joanne, “Are you all right?”
Joanne looked up at Molly, and Molly was able to tell from the look in Joanne’s eyes that Joanne was even sadder and even more tired than Molly had initially thought.
The eyes are generally the best way to tell how a person is feeling.
Joanne smiled at her friend. This smile was meant to let her friend know that everything was fine—even though it wasn’t—and that the person smiling wasn’t sad at all—which was also not the case here.
Molly was far too good at understanding a person’s mood to fall for such a ruse. Molly could easily see that Joanne’s eyes were still sad even though her mouth was smiling.
“I’m fine,” Joanne said.
“Bull shit,” Molly said in her heavy accent, making the statement sound like she was saying, “Bowl sheet.”
Bull shit is a term that accuses someone of lying. It’s usually meant in a rude way, but because Molly and Joanne were such good friends, it was not categorized as rude.
Joanne smiled for a very brief moment and Molly sat down at the table with her, Molly saying, “So what is up?” Molly said this in a tone conveying the same sentiment as the term bull shit, the sentiment that Joanne was to no longer lie to her friend about being fine.
And another thing, What’s up? was meant as an invitation for Joanne to tell Molly what was bothering her. Molly was not asking her friend what might be above her.
Joanne let out a large breath of air known as a sigh, and she said, “The usual. Jacob’s having problems at school. Dennis is having problems with Jacob.”
Molly said, “Has Jacob agreed to see Dr. Adams yet?”
Dr. Adams was a psychiatrist at MysticMercyHospital. Joanne had been trying to get Jacob to go and talk to the doctor.
Psychiatrists are people that a person talks to in order to try and solve problems. Often these problems are thought to be caused by a malfunction in a person’s brain. Sometimes the doctor can tell the person exactly how their brain is malfunctioning, and the psychiatrist can try and fix it. Dr. Adams, a psychiatrist, is very similar to Amanda Lansing, a psychologist. Dr. Adams just makes a lot more money. The difference has to do with the letters after their names.
Anyway, Jacob refused to go and talk with Dr. Adams. It turned out that Joanne was the one that would go and talk to the doctor.
Joanne said to Molly, “Jacob still won’t see him. He doesn’t understand the concept of talking to someone to solve his problems. When I say that Dr. Adams can help him with his problems, he thinks that Dr. Adams will literally go to the school and make the kids be friends with him, or he will make Dennis be nice to him.”
Molly said, “Can’t you make Dennis be nice to him?” Molly smiled when she said this. The smile was to show that Molly was being sarcastic. Molly knew that Joanne couldn’t make Dennis do anything. Joanne would have a better chance of stopping the rain from falling, which is impossible.
By the way, Molly had the same opinion of Dennis that Jacob had of Dennis. Molly also thought that Dennis was an asshole.
Joanne said, “I don’t know what to do about Dennis.” Joanne’s eyelids began to twitch and her eyes became glassy for a moment. This was happening because Joanne was about to cry. But Joanne was successful in holding back the tears. Joanne said this about Dennis, “He’s not the man I remember marrying.”
Molly smiled, but her voice was serious when she said, “Yes he is.”
Joanne looked at Molly for a moment, Joanne unsure what to make of her friend’s statement. Then Joanne said, “I know that you’re right, but I just don’t see how I…” Joanne paused, unsure of how to finish her statement.
So Molly finished it for her. Molly saying, “How you could marry such an asshole?” Molly said this with a smile but with a serious tone again.
Once more, Joanne was unsure how to react to her friend’s statement. Joanne was often confused when Molly said things like that. It is very confusing to have someone smile while she is saying something serious. Like telling a hard truth.
Joanne said to her friend, “How did I not see it before?”
Molly said, “See what? That Dennis is an asshole? You didn’t see it because you were grieving over David’s death. And grief can blind people. And you thought that Jacob needed someone. And you needed someone. And Dennis was there.”
“I suppose you’re right.”
Molly said, “Of course I’m right. I’m always right.” Molly said this with a smile, and this time her voice had a joking tone to match the smile. Then Molly said, “So what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know,” Joanne said. “I haven’t been able to figure that out yet. David was always the one to solve our problems.”
“Well, David isn’t here, so it’s time you started solving the problems yourself.”
Joanne said, “If only there was a way to ask him what to do.”
“Ask who? David? Well there isn’t a way to ask him anything. Not without a phone line to heaven. Nothing’s going to bring David back. Jacob needs you, not David.”
“I suppose you’re right.”
“Of course I’m right. I’m always right.”
Continued in: With Drawn: Part 9 — The Amazing Fleeing Sketchpad