-Chapter 7: Daily Activities-

"If you'll come over here," Dr. Strauss said, leading Bryce over to a bulletin board. "On here is the list of our weekly activities. As you can see, we have exercise in the mornings, followed by elevens which happens every day. After that, we ask a couple volunteers to help in the kitchen each day making the lunch. Those who aren't asked to help in the kitchen will either go outside and tidy the yard, or they will help clean up indoors."

Bryce noticed that these and a few other activities were listed on the bulletin board which read:


08 breakfast -

09 group - worship

10 exercise -worship 11 Elevens -

11:30 Morning Chores -

12 Lunch -

1 Afternoon Chores -

2 Reading Noon Gp Sports Cooking Class Noon Gp Garden Choir

3 Free Time-

4:30 Kitchen Chores -

5:30 Supper-

6:30 Kitchen Cleanup -

7 Free Time

8 Quiet Time

9 Bedtime

"You have to sign up for the sports teams, cooking class and choir," Dr. Strauss explained. "The chores will be assigned regularly. You've got dusting duty today. I'll show you where the cleaning supplies are located."

Bryce nodded in acknowledgement and followed the doctor to the supplies closet. Inside were dust rags, furniture polish, brooms, and steam cleaners.

"Excuse me," Rita said, taking a broom from the closet and heading off to do her sweeping.

"What needs to be dusted?" Bryce asked.

"All furniture and surfaces," Dr. Strauss explained. "Plus you need to use the furniture polish on any wooden surface."

"That'll take forever!"

"There's not as much as there seems to be," Dr. Strauss told him as he handed Bryce two rags and the polish. "There's less time to finish today than normal. So do what you can for now and you can finish after lunch."

Bryce hadn't done very many household chores in his lifetime. Dusting, on the other hand, was something he did regularly as dust particles weren't very good for the computers in his studio. Plus they made him sneeze. He could learn the other chores by observing the rehab center's other clients.

As he started to dust, he tried to shut out a memory that was starting to nag at him. He didn't know what it was, but it felt painful and he knew he didn't want it. He hummed tunelessly to himself to drown it out.

Dr. Strauss listened and guessed what Bryce was trying to do. He wanted to encourage the memory, but knew that it was too soon. He had to be patient with this boy just as he was with the others.

"Need a hand?" Ira asked, joining Bryce with another rag and beginning to dust a nearby table.

"Kind of fancy isn't it?" Bryce inquired.

"This used to be a casino," Egon said as his sweeping chore brought him into the area. "Some financial problems closed it down. Dr. Strauss and his group bought it out. The doc says he likes it because the big windows let in a lot of light and really make it cheerful."

"Not a lot of televisions in here," Bryce observed.

"It's distracting," Ira explained. "There are TVs in the two break rooms. They can be viewed during free times."

"Who runs the choir practice?"

"Sister Mary Shephard," Egon told him. "You thinking of joining?"

"I might. What sports are available?"

"Just cricket for now," Lucas said, beginning to wash a nearby window. "You know how cricket is played, right?"

"Yeah," Bryce said, recalling a joke his American-born mother had once told him. "Bowl a ball. Sip tea. Defend a wicket. Nibble a scone."

"Something like that," Ira laughed. "You look pretty fit for a nerd. You ought to try out for the team."

"Maybe I will," Bryce said as he continued to dust, using the polish on the wooden tables.

Whatever memory had started to surface was gone.

For now.

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