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This scene comes from my other work in progress with characters from In for a Pound. I call it Penny because it centers around Joshua’s aunt, Penny. In this scene she had just returned from the hospital after breaking her ankle during a fall on the ice. Buck is her brother, and Ken is his friend, whom Penny has taken a dislike to.
A couple minutes later, Penny was settled on the couch with her broken foot propped on a pillow. Ken made a fuss over wrapping a blanket around her, while Buck—typical for her brother—rummaged through the refrigerator.
“What do you want to eat?” Buck called.
“I’ll get something later. Don’t worry about it,” Penny said. The excitement of the evening was wearing on her. She was ready to be home alone and vegetate in front of the television. The difficulty of reaching the refrigerator with the bulky cast on her foot would have to be contemplated later, preferably without an audience.
Ken propped the crutches next to the arm of the couch. “I can stay here tonight, if you want to take the day shift,” he said as Buck returned to the kitchen with a plate of apple pie.
“Sounds good.” Buck handed to the pie to Ken and returned to the kitchen for a second plate and a glass of milk.
Penny reached for the remote. “What?”
“Ken’s going to stay here tonight and I’ll be here in the morning.”
Penny summoned her last bit of energy. “I don’t need you here.” She narrowed her eyes at Ken. “And I especially don’t need him here.”
“The doctor says you shouldn’t be alone for at least two days.”
“Pssht. I’ll be fine. I’ll probably sleep the whole time.”
“Then you won’t even notice he’s here.”
“He doesn’t need to stay. Put my cell phone on the table and I’ll be just fine. Your house is only a couple minutes away.’
“Those minutes will feel like hours if you fall and can’t get up.”
“I’ll survive.” Penny pushed one more time. She didn’t plan to get off the couch unless she had to go to the bathroom and she had an iron bladder.
“Penny, give it a rest. You aren’t winning this one.”
“Did I stutter?” Buck gave her the look that reminded her of their dad. The one she didn’t argue with if she wanted to leave her room in the next year.
She pressed her lips into a tight line. “Okay, but why don’t you stay tonight and Ken or someone else can come in the morning?”
“I can’t sleep without my CPAP machine, so it’d be a lot of fuss and it’s already late.”
Penny sighed. Defeated at every turn. “See you tomorrow.”
Buck kissed the top of her head. “Goodnight, sis.”
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