A/N: Modern day, for my English class. The nurse who treats Lady Macbeth. Feedback, please? It counts towards my GCSE, so I'd love some advice. Thanks!
I work here every day now. A large, rich house, owned by one of the most well known entrepreneurs. There are some suspicious stories about him, but most believe them to just be hearsay. Rumours. Unimportant.
I am a Nurse. A week ago, I was employed by Lord Macbeth himself, to care for his ill wife. He is trying to keep the news from discovering it, but they are already spreading rumours. Can nothing be kept secret once you are in the public eye? Each day, I enter through the back entrance, sneaking in whilst making certain that no one is watching. If I am seen, I may lose this job, and I need it.
He calls me now. "You! Nurse!" He has not bothered to learn my name; I doubt he thinks he needs to. I am only a temporary part of his life, after all. He can address me how he likes, and with the paycheck I receive for helping his wife, it is unlikely I'll protest.
"Yes, sir?" I respond, hurrying into the room, removing my coat and folding it over my arm.
He nods at the sight of me. "How is she?" He seems to love her very much; and yet, he seems distant from her, as if he cannot face her. Some are like this, of course, when their loved ones are ill.
I bit my lip before responding.
"She is no worse, sir, but she is not much better."
He curses, under his breath. "You will be watching her at night, now?" He asks, to confirm. I nod. I don't mind it, and it is clear this woman needs my help.
And now it is night. He sleeps, in a bedroom three floors apart, and she sleeps, alone and ill in this distant bedroom.
I help her change, and once I have got her ready for bed, I lay her down, and sit beside her, waiting for her to fall asleep in the dim lights. I have been given specific instructions by her husband. I must keep the lights on, slightly. She doesn't like the dark. I have to make sure she isn't scared or frightened.
I keep watch as carefully as I can. I won't turn from her, though I'm fighting sleep myself.
Hours pass with no event.
But then she moves. Her eyes snap open, and she stars unseeing around her. I feel uneasy. I get the feeling she's still asleep, despite her eyes searching the room.
She raises a hand up to her face, staring at it now as if it is filled with horror.
"Blood." She whispers, terrified. I wonder if I should wake her, yet I do not.
"Blood red….will they never be clean?" She cries in despair, shaking her hands and rubbing them as if to wash them, trying to remove the horrifying images from her mind. I am frozen in my shock, unsure.
"His wife…where is she, now? Her children…all alone, no one to care for them." She mutters to herself, still watching her hand with terror.
"Blood…running down his face…covered in red. Who'd have thought an old man would have so much blood!" She moans, tears escaping from her eyes as she rubs once again at her hands, feverishly, desperate to clean them.
This is something I have never seen before. As I think on her words, I grow cold….
"Who'd have thought an old man would have so much blood?"
I remember the events of two years ago, when a high up entrepreneur had been murdered in his sleep. They didn't understand why at first. It seemed he'd been stabbed. No one was caught, though most attributed the crime to his bodyguards.
But now, I was learning the truth.
"Too much blood!" She cried, sobbing. "Won't it go? Can't it be clean? Oh, your friend's blood is there! Covering us all!"
I feel almost sorry for her. But what can I do?
An anger burns in me as I think of the death of Macbeth's business partner. His son escaped the attack to later give evidence against three men who could be linked to the scene of the crime. Was this, too, the fault of the admired businessman?
She falls silent, and for a moment sits upright, still and unmoving, before beginning to fall down onto the bed. I reach for her, holding her and lowering her gently down as her sleep becomes peaceful, almost relaxed, though even now her tears fall, and her hands unconsciously rub against each other to remove the invisible guilt she sees as blood.
I step backwards, intending to leave, to approach the police about what I have learnt.
My oath stops me. I swore, once, to keep things confidential. To tell no one of the information a patient reveals. Yet how can I not? This horror, this murderer must be stopped. Is this what she asks for? Would she be clean, at last, if the murder was over? Tears reach my eyes as I see her, broken and mad, unable to comprehend reality anymore because of her husband's actions.
She is my patient, and, at the moment, I must do what's best for her.
So, still shaking, I swallow, and sit again beside her bed as she sleeps again. I cannot break her confidence. Not yet.