The Perfect Community is an example of a good deed gone wrong. The lesson might be what starts as a good deed can end up going off the rails if we’re not careful. Enjoy Part 1 of this suspense and thriller. Thanks.
SIXTY-NINE-YEAR-OLD Carla Patrick sat with eighty-six-year old Edith Beckworth. They were inside Edith’s family room. Edith had a pen in her hand. Carla told her she was doing what was right and fair. Carla gave a nod toward a document on the coffee table in front of Edith.
Edith’s hand shook as she signed the document. Carla placed another document in front of Edith. Edith asked if they should have waited until tomorrow for witnesses of her signing the papers. Carla told her it was not necessary. The attorney would come to their house tomorrow to verify everything. There was no reason for her and her husband to drive around for this.
Edith said that was good. She had tired already. Carla told her she could rest soon. They had a few more to sign. She would then run her a bath and help bathe her. Then, she would stay until she fell asleep.
Edith perked up as much as she could. She put the point of the pen on the next document. Carla guided Edith’s hand and the pen to the line where she needed to sign. Edith complained about not being able to see straight. Carla told her it was the last one. She helped Edith sign it.
After the last document was signed, Carla spread the documents over the table. It looked as if someone had signed them and slid them away one by one and left them where they were.
“Now, let’s get you a bath,” Carla said to Edith. “You’ve done the hard part. We’ll take care of the rest.” She kissed Edith on the forehead. Edith reached up and put her hand on the back of Carla’s neck. She whispered that Carla was such a good friend to her and Guyford, her husband. “You two are great friends of this community. We love you for it.”
Carla went inside Edith’s bathroom. There were four bathrooms in the house. One was named Edith’s bathroom because it was equipped for her. Edith could use it without having assistance from anyone. Her freedom to be alone in the bathroom was great for her mentally. She still felt capable of taking care of herself. In her mid-seventies, Edith had noticed a significant decrease in her mobility. She and Guyford had that bathroom modified for her a year later.
Carla came back into the room with twenty pills in her hand and a glass of water. Edith was laying back in the chair. Her eyelids looked heavy. Carla stood over her. “Edith,” Carla whispered. Edith’s eyes opened. They looked weary. “Take your medicine before you fall asleep. Then, after you take your bath, you can get into bed.”
Carla gave her two pills to swallow at once. Edith would put the pills into her mouth and drink a sip of water to wash them down. On the fifth time, Edith asked if Carla was sure she had that much medication. Carla told her to keep taking them. That she would be asleep in no time. But, not before her bath. That was why she needed to hurry and take her medication and have her bath.
Carla sat beside Edith and took her hand and stroked it. Edith told her how good it felt. Edith said that she and Guyford were so lucky to have her in the community watching over them. Carla talked about when she first moved into the neighborhood.
Carla laughed and asked Edith, “Can you believe it’s been fourteen years already?” Edith mumbled the community was blessed with them moving in. “No. We were blessed to have you and Guyford as wonderful neighbors and friends.”
Edith’s hand slowly slid out of Carla’s. Carla stood up. “Edith,” Carla said. Edith opened her eyes. “Let’s get you to your bath.” Edith tried to stand. But she did not make it to her feet. Carla reached down to help her stand. Edith was too drowsy and heavy to lift her to her feet.
“I’ll be right back, Hon,” Carla said. She walked out of the family room to the dining room. Two men in their mid-seventies were standing and waiting. “Help her to her bath.” Carla looked at the men. “Where is Guyford?” The men told her in the bedroom asleep. “Let’s go then.”
The two men went to Edith and helped her stand. They helped her walk to the bathroom. Then, they set her on the toilet. The seat cover was down.
Carla told the men to turn around. She balanced Edith on the toilet and began undressing her.
“Guys, I need some help,” Carla said. “Hold her. I need to remove her gown. Just don’t look directly at her. Let her keep her dignity.” The men helped Edith to her feet while they looked away. Carla removed her gown. Edith swayed back and forth, naked.
“Be gentle with her,” she said.
The men helped Carla sit Edith on the side of the tub. The tub was half-full of warm water. Edith loved that temperature. She had told Carla she could soak for hours in warm water. Carla looked at the two men and nodded. They slid Edith down into the tub.
“Don’t drop her,” Carla said.
Edith’s body was almost submerged. The tub was deep and roomy. “Leave the room, please,” Carla said without looking at the men. Her focus was on Edith. Edith’s head was leaned back against the tub. The men lowered their heads and walked out.
Carla sat on the side of the tub close to Edith. Edith was lightly snoring. Carla turned on the water. The tub began to fill higher. Edith continued to sleep.
“You’re a good soul,“ Carla said. “We love you.” Carla leaned over and kissed Edith on the cheek. “Goodbye, old friend.”
Carla put her gloved hand on top of Edith’s head. She slowly pushed her head under the water and held it there.
Something tells me Carla may not be the first person people would call on to come and comfort them, once they got to know her.
I hope you enjoyed the read. I do look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
Thank you for stopping by and spending some time with me.