Bedside Manner: Finale

Bedside Manner: Finale

A Chapter by Bad Medicine

                Nicklaus had never liked funerals.  The last one he had attended had been for his father and grandfather.  There had been more friends than family present, barring a few distant cousins that happened to still live within driving distance.  He had felt so out of place " the 'friends' had been friends of the deceased.  He had known very few of them very well.  They had offered their condolences, of course, but, there had been no one truly close to him there.  He had received a few pats on the shoulder, or a brief hug from strangers that had worked with his grandfather at the private practice.

 

                They were strangers to him, though.  There were strangers at Gunar's funeral, too.  Most of the men were veterans " people who had served with him during the Great War.  They all insisted on shaking Nicklaus's hand, and telling him they were sorry for his loss. 

 

                Nicklaus had never liked shaking hands " especially with strangers " and he waited until Gunar's old war buddies were off talking amongst themselves before wiping his hands clean on a handkerchief.  He couldn't help but overhear the conversation, though.  They all talked about how brave, and funny Gunar was " it was a 'truth' that they espoused very enthusiastically to the man's nephew.

 

                All of the praise, in truth, made Nicklaus feel a little sick.  He hid it well, though, and tried to ignore gossip going around those present that his wife had left him, and taken Lukas with her.  It was true enough, yes " but, that didn't make it any less painful.  The tears that welled in his eyes at the thought of his wife and boy being gone at least provided a ready mask of sorrow when the subject turned back to Gunar.

 

                He was thankful when the funeral had ended.  All of the guests, all of the strangers, started to depart.  Even the pastor had soon gone.  It wasn't for Gunar that Nicklaus lingered at the Fleischer family plot " it was for Adam and Oswald.  His father and grandfather, he knew, would have been disappointed with what he'd done, and it was for them and only them that Nicklaus offered a silent apology for Gunar's death.  The white roses he'd brought were placed on their graves, not his uncle's, before he finally turned to head for the car, and a frightfully unknown new chapter of his life.



© 2012 Bad Medicine


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Added on February 29, 2012
Last Updated on March 12, 2012
Tags: Germany, WWII, family, violence, murder, nazi