The Mind Reader (2015)
The next morning, Chara felt the change in the energy level that emanated from Anita Kendricks room. Instead of the dark, painful energy that had fogged over the space, dragging Chara and the rest of the staff down as they passed it, the positive energy burst from it, filling the corridor several rooms down in either direction.
Chara was sure that she wasn’t the only one who felt the difference. She was also convinced that the positive vibrations helped her neighbors in the adjoining rooms as well.
Chara popped her head in the doorway before fulling entering the room. “Good morning,” she said. “Are you feeling any better?”
“Please, come in, Chara,” the patient said, nearly singing her words. “I can’t tell you how even two meals on the new diet has helped me.”
Chara asked if she were pain free. “Not yet, and far from it. But it’s the first ray of hope I’ve had in months. If this keeps up I’ll be up and out of here before you know it.”
Chara agreed. “All we need to do right now is to teach you about your new diet and we’ll be able to release you. But it’s important that you stay on your diet and you don’t cheat.”
The nurse had been looking over the patient’s chart. “It seems those pains the doctors’ tried to explain away as being all in your head were really quite a severe case of celiac disease. You really were in some tremendous pain by the looks of these numbers. But I’m sure the doctors have talked with you already.”
“They’ve mentioned something, but we haven’t discussed anything in length,” Mrs. Kendricks said.
Chara could barely hear Mrs. Kendricks talk as accented thoughts boomed throughout her mind. Dr. Jean Renault alert, she thought. The sensual delight she drunk in from his thoughts and flawless body the previous day were replaced with an expectation of dread.
Yes, dread. But she couldn’t figure out why she experienced it so strongly. She knew he was conflicted. One moment he thought of her as a possible romantic partner, the next she was nothing more than a stepping stone to use for his own promulgation to bigger and better things. She never expected herself to react so violently to him.
“Why, Chara,” the doctor said, even before talking with Mrs. Kendricks, “fancy meeting you here. Checking on our favorite patient, are you?” Chara not only thought she heard an overtone of sarcasm in his humor, but she clearly knew what lie behind those words. “She even performs follow ups with ease. She’d make the perfect partner for me. I hate following up on patients.”
Slowly, she was beginning to put together the jigsaw puzzle of his mind. Today, he was also thinking about a position he saw posted at a larger, more prestigious hospital which was looking for a skilled doctor to be its administrator. Accordingly to his thinking at the moment, Renault felt the position suited him to a tee. But he needed to prove himself in the realm of patient relations.
Chara got involved in reading his mind, to the point of excluding the conversation he was conducting with the patient. It appeared he had left his last position because they had suggested he polished his patient skills – his bedside manner as it were.
The good Dr. Renault took offense at the constructive criticism and immediately began a serious search for a new hospital. Chara wasn’t in the least bit shocked to learn this. In this short time she had known him, not much about this physician shocked her.
The bottom line, Chara suddenly thought, was that she was actually repulsed by this man. The full portrait of him was slowly coming into focus. He was witty and animated and he appeared on the surface to care about his patients.
As she learned today, even while he was talking to Mrs. Kendricks, he was using her pain and suffering to help get him to the next level of accomplishment he wanted. He didn’t seem to care in the least bit for this person as a human being. She was nothing more than another statistic he could stack to help his CV look good for his next job.
“Excuse me, doctor,” Chara said, nervous about interrupting his talk with Mrs. Kendricks, “I’m going to check on my other patients if you don’t need me for anything at the moment.”
“No, no, go ahead, Chara,” he said, barely looking at her. Between his demeanor and his selfish thoughts, she felt he was patronizing her. “We’ll catch up later. I want to discuss several issues with you, if I could, and get your opinion on them.”
“Doctor, I can’t tell you what a wonderful nurse this young lady is,” Mrs. Kendricks interjected.
“Oh, I know Dr. Renault said, “I know.” He finally looked up at Chara and smiled. It was the most insincere smile she had ever experienced in her whole life.