A Quick Fix (Part Four)

Several minutes later the nurse came in to check on the old man. She tapped his shoulder very lightly and he jolted awake, a frightened look on his face. He glanced quickly around the room, his eyes leaping from to my Dad before finally he settled his eyes to me. They stayed there. The nurse kept her hand on his shoulder as she explained something – I couldn’t make out much; it seemed like she had a hard time explaining it – but I don’t think the old man was listening. I don’t know. He just kept staring at me, glaring, firmly gripping the folded paper in his left hand as he rubbed the fingers of his right hand, over and over and over again, in a circular path on the creases that the fold formed, and I tried to look away, tried to pretend I hadn’t been watching him, but every time I glanced over I saw his eyes, still trained on me, and even though he was wearing his sunglasses I still felt his eyes reaching out at me – coldly, analytically, angrily – and then I realized I had pushed myself into the back of my chair, hard. I kept trying to look away, kept trying to think about the pens on the nearby table, or the chairs in the hall outside, or the chain text someone had sent me a minute ago that told me I’d die if I didn’t pass it on, but nothing had me like those eyes – and the more I looked the more I pressed back into the chair, further and further and further, past the point where there was no room for me to push back, well past it, but still I kept pushing myself back, further and further and further, over and over and over, and the old man never broke his gaze, never blinked, never wavered, not once. Not until the nurse left.