Neville groaned as he lay on his hospital bed. It wasn’t as though he were in actual pain, unless hunger pangs could be called pain. It was remembering the treachery of his good friend the doctor that made him despair. At least, he had thought of Mike as a friend.
“You are way overweight, Neville, and you know it,” Mike had said last week. “I’ve put you on diets and tried to help you, but until you take it seriously and help yourself, there is not much we can do for you.”
“I know, I know, but I think I am made this way, I can’t help it.”
“We’ll see about that.” Mike began writing on his notepad.
“Here, take this,” he said, giving Neville the piece of paper. “I’m admitting you to hospital for two weeks. They will take tests and put you on a strict diet, and we will see what the outcome is.”
So here he was and he’d never been more miserable. Nowhere near enough food! Nothing to do all day! Wouldn’t he be better off at home and being able to exercise? Not that he had ever exercised, but he could lie around thinking about it and pretending he was about to start.
A shadow loomed above him. Neville opened one eye to see an angel in white holding a plate of steaming hot food. The smell enveloped him and he thought he might faint. All good things come from above, the good Book says, and this must be one of them. He began to sit up.
“Here’s your dinner,” said the angel. He looked questioningly at her, surprised at the delicious sight of a full plate before his eyes. She didn’t see his expression as she hurried off to the other patients.
Waiting no longer Neville sat up and consumed with delight. Oh, how lovely was this pile of meat and gravy; how delicious these roast vegetables. This far surpassed the usual hospital meals, and there was absolutely no comparison with his usual fare of lettuce salads.
Neville put the empty plate on his locker and lay back satisfied. What had happened that they had changed their minds, he wondered?
A young nurse came by.
“Here’s your dinner,” she said, holding out his usual plate of salad greens.
“What? I’ve already eaten; someone brought me my dinner.”
A look of consternation came over her face. She looked around the ward in confusion.
“I don’t know about that,” she said uncertainly, “it must have been a mistake because this is your dinner. Eat it please, or I’ll be in trouble.” She picked up his other plate and disappeared.
Neville tucked in to the salad, enjoying it immensely as it joined his roast. He lay back against the pillows, full for the first time this week.
Mistakes happen, he thought, but I won’t tell anyone, and I’ll forgive them. He turned his face to the wall to hide his grin.
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