How to be British · Language

Carrier bag

Friday, June 16, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.

Carrier bag: 

Noun

A plastic or paper bag with handles. 

“She glides down the hallway. The click-clack-clicking of her stilettos echo a haunting tango down the hospital hallway, especially in contrast to the whisper-light treads of staff, rhythmic bleeps of machinery measuring vitals, and the blanketed stillness known to intensive care units. She passes the empty nurses’ station and keeps her chin elevated. 

When she reaches room 19, her hand molds to the nickel handle and presses downward. The machinery noises muted by the hallway expand and wrap around her as she enters the private room. She allows the door to close naturally behind her as she dumps her purse and laptop case haphazardly, but maintains ahold of the carrier bag.

Then she simply stares at the bed’s occupant.

‘You know,’ a voice rasps. ‘I always know when you arrive. You’ve a greepy glare.’ 

She snorts indelicately. 

‘Always my charmer, too.’ The voice croaks out a chuckle. 

The woman’s shoulders visibly droop and she edges toward the end table. She pours a cup of water, plonks in a new straw, and hands it toward her companion. ‘Drink.’ She orders. 

He grabs the offered beverage and guzzles deeply. As he nears the bottom, his eyes find her and he slurps exaggeratedly. 

She scoffs and moves to sit on a plastic-backed chair situated to the right of the bed.

Her companion chortles merrily, even after a coughing fit takes over. 

She tosses the plastic bag at his feet. ‘Your belongings for the next three days.’ 

‘Ta, my love.’ He grins boyishly. 

She examines him again and shakes her head, sadly. ‘Just get better, okay? No more disobeying orders from your captain. You honestly frightened me.’ She exhales jaggedly and leans forward, blindly searching for his hand. He gives it to her without wincing. ‘You’re lucky to have only a dislocated clavicle, torn ACL, minor smoke inhalation, and bruises; you very well could have punctured a lung or got a concussion and knocked out–‘

His hand squeezes hers and puts a stop to her spiral what-if game. ‘I know,’ he whispers, emotion clogging his throat. ‘I’m so sorry for frightening you,’ he apologizes and his brogue grows pronounced the further along he speaks. ‘Forgive me?’

‘I already have, you oaf,’ she giggles through her own tears. ‘But I don’t have to like it. And I am definitely not enabling such behaviour, do you understand me?’

‘Aye, lassie,’ he teases.

She can’t hide her fond smile, but she does lean over to smack his good leg. He shouts in protest, bemoaning his current predicament and she crosses her arms smugly.” 

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