“This is not at all how I pictured my Christmas going,” Aaron admitted from under the covers on his side of the bed.
It was Sunday morning, the day after Christmas, and he was still tucked in when he should have been out on his weekly walk along the river with his best friend.
“Same here, but I don’t mind it at all,” Holly confirmed from the other side of the bed.
Holly sat Indian style, above the covers, and fully clothed. She sipped her coffee, and smiled down at her best friend, who appeared to be in total agony. “How did you tweak your back?”
Aaron pulled down the covers a little so that he could see him shrug. The mere act of moving his shoulders brought a grimace to his face.
Holly couldn’t help but notice that he looked adorable in his pajamas.
Holly’s beautiful face morphed into a mask of concern.
“It’s a good thing I have a spare key then, and was willing to make a house call on the holiday weekend,” she replied with a cute giggle.
“You might need to work on your bedside manner, though,” he scolded her playfully.
She took a sip of her coffee, and then reached behind her to grab the plastic bag on the nightstand.
“Does my bedside manner improve if I point out that I brought you two bottles of Snapple and a peanut butter whoopie pie?”
Aaron’s eyes lit up, and for the first time, all signs of distress faded from his face.
“Thank you,” he said sincerely. “Your scores will be increased substantially. You know what? Bedside Manor would be a great name for a cheesy soap opera set in a medical facility..”
“Except you spell it M-A-N-O-R!” she cut him off excitedly. “Am I right?”
“Great minds think alike,” he conceded with his first smile of the morning.
Holly smiled, too, and her beautiful face lit up like a Christmas tree. She scooted a little closer to him on the bed as she rearranged her long legs to get comfortable.
“So what’s the plan?” she asked once settled. “I’m all for spending the day in bed with you, but do you think we should take you to Urgent Care?”
Aaron shook his head emphatically.
“No doctors!” he said forcefully. “You know I hate them. Dr. Holly is the only healthcare professional I need at the moment.
Holly chuckled and patted him playfully on the head.
“Thank you for making me a doctor, rather than a nurse.”
“We don’t discriminate here at Bedside Manor,” he informed her with a smile. “We are an equal opportunity employer. As long as our employees are willing to take daring risks to save our patients’ lives while also driving up the ratings!”
“Seriously, though, you can’t just stay in bed all day,” she informed him. “We need a plan of action.”
“How about we wait a few more minutes to give the ibuprofen some time to kick in?” he asked. “Then you can help me hobble downstairs where I can heat up my rice pack and apply it to the stricken area. And maybe you can monitor my progress while we watch a movie?”
Holly liked this plan. A lot. But she also had to put Aaron’s health before her desire to snuggle with him on the couch all day.
“Fine, but if the pain doesn’t get any better, I’m taking you to Urgent Care,” she warned.
“There’s that horrible bedside manner again,” he groaned. “But I’ll do that as long as you promise to stay with me the whole time.”
She’d sit with him as long as he needed, and gladly hold his hand while doing it.
“You’re such a big baby, but it’s a deal,” she acted like he was putting her out with his demands.
“Thank you, Holly,” he replied sincerely. “Let’s just give the ibuprofen another ten minutes. This is kind of nice, you know?”
She nodded. In fact, it was the best day after Christmas present she’d ever received…