“I don’t want more tubes in my arms,” Mr. Reynolds had barked as Julia entered his room the previous day. He lay on his side, back to the door, facing the window. A tray of food, untouched, beside his bed.
“I’m Julia,” she announced.
“What do you want?”
“I’m here to help you with,”
Mr. Reynolds rolled onto his back and pointed with both hands to his distended abdomen, the only bulk on his long, lean body. “Can you make this go away?” he demanded. “Because if you can’t,” he looked at Julia for the first time, “then what do I—” his voice trailed off, harshness evaporating with each word. “Julia?” He sounded stunned. “Your name is Julia?”
As he spoke her name, Julia felt something akin to electricity charge across her skin. This man looked familiar, although she was positive she’d never laid eyes on him before. More than that, he felt familiar — as if her cells were re-attuning to someone long forgotten. She returned his steady, brown eyed gaze until she had to look away, dazed.