There it was again, a sharp burning pain in her left eye. "Ouch, ouch, ouch! What the heck is this?"
One hand on the wheel, the other on her eye, she continued navigating the back roads with twenty minutes to get to the interview for an Administrator. Each time the pain returned, it got worse, and to add blisters to a boil, her vision got blurry.
She had to be in top form for the interview. Casey knew she could accomplish much for the residents in Belleville Manor. There had been many issues, and complaints, in the last state survey. There were conditions that would be ratified if she were to take the reigns as head honcho. Her calling was with the elderly, as evidenced by her fervent desire to help these individuals at every turn. She gave them a voice, and made sure they were heard.
"Ouch!" She pulled the car over. Fumbling through her bag, she grabbed eye drops and squirted a generous amount. "Owwwwwwwwwww!"
It felt as if a flame licked her eye with a thumbtack pinned to her iris.
Her Jeep was tethering on the outskirts of a desolate area, with a small lake nearby. Casey's body tensed, as she heard a car stop directly behind her. Gripping the steering wheel, she immediately locked her doors, as a lady in white appeared.
"Can I help you miss?" She peered in and continued, "I'm a doctor… you okay?" Her voice was pleasant, quelling Casey's anxiety.
"It's okay, I’ll show you my Identification." She held her badge to the window-- Verona Jensen, M.D.
"Thanks, I feel stupid.”
"Absolutely not, you're obviously experiencing pain, in the middle of nowhere. Actually, under the circumstances, you're a lot calmer than I'd be." She smiled, before continuing, "Can I check your eye?"
"Oh boy, here's the problem," Dr. Jensen's voice was incredulous. "Please try not to move. I have to grab my tweezers. This will hurt for about a second, Ready? Here we go.”
"Owwwwww." Casey's shrill cry startled ducks nearby, taking flight, quacking mightily.
"I'm sorry. I warned you that it'd hurt."
Casey's pain subsided considerably, before she asked, "Why did you use tweezers?"
"A tiny thorn, almost near your iris, it penetrated, albeit, superficially. However, enough to create the sharp, piercing, burning pain."
"How the heck did that happen? I didn't feel it go in?"
"Probably a delayed reaction. It could have blown into your eye while walking, or driving. Who knows?” She opened a bottle of disinfecting solution, “One quick rinse and you’re all set.”
"Oh, that feels better. Wow, that was bizarre. Totally freaky, I can't believe that just happened to me. Thank you Dr. Jensen."
"No problem, glad I could help. I have to dash off, I've an appointment."
"So, have I." She laughed, then continued, "Although, I'm going to be late. However, I'm determined to get there irrespective of the time. I feel passionate about an opportunity that can impact the lives of residents. I just pray the person interviewing will lend me slack, as to why I'm late. You may know the place, Belleville Manor. I know I can help make the place a home for this special population, instead of an institution with problems. I want to be instrumental in allowing the residents to thrive, not merely survive. They’re special, and need to be treated as such. Apparently, there'd been incidents where they’ve been treated as thorns, and not the sweet roses they are. Someone needs to be there, to allow them to bloom in peace, as their petals begin to fall away, with dignity and poise. That person would be me."
"Casey Winston?" Dr. Jensen squinted as she tilted her head with a small smile.
"I'm not only a doctor; I'm the owner of Belleville. I've already seen your resume, and checked your references. Casey, listening to the sincerity that resonated from your heart, concerning your plans, and goals, I've already made my decision. As far as I'm concerned, you're the right person for the job. The previous administrator has been let go, and I need to fill this position immediately."
Casey stood frozen, her mouth ajar, trying to process what she'd heard.
Dr. Jensen smiled broadly before adding, "Casey, now that I've removed two thorns, one from my side, and one from your eye...can you bring your potting soil, and begin tomorrow?"
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