When my alarm went off I did not want to get out of bed, which I knew was not a good start to my first day of work. I did, however, force myself out of bed to get a shower, and eat; thank god I was getting paid daily. After work, I really needed to buy some food so I was not just eating cereal all the time. There was a honk from outside so I quickly pulled on my uniform and made my way out to the carpool.
I met Derrick Knight first; this was the man that starting today would be my boss. He was kind and was, as an added bonus, also rather good looking. Mostly he worked the day shifts, but like he told me I might have to do, he would be called in for an emergency at any time.
The biggest rule in the ward was not to ask too many questions about the patients. The stories we were told were all we could go on for treatment. If I was unable to help with the given information, then I was to look for him at any time. That seemed to be the only strange rule that wanted to plague my mind.
As we went through the halls I saw a few other nurses, but they were either busy or just did not care to meet the new girl. So, Derrick took me to a few of the patients I would be helping with. Mostly they were burn victims; I had to rub an ointment onto their skin to help promote healing and relief.
Kelly, one of the patients, was a curious teen that had taken an interest in me right off the bat. She had to know who I was, where I came from, why I was here, and as many details that Derrick let her squeeze out of me. I liked her very much and was sad when Derrick told me she was never going to get rid of the scars running down the length of her body.
The only nurse that I meet face to face with was Piper, a peppy redheaded spitfire of a woman whose favorite thing to do was play with the patients in the pediatric unit. She was happy to introduce me to the children and offered to go out drinking with me one night. Piper was going to be a joy around the drab hospital; hopefully, I had made a friend for outside work too.
As the weeks went by I began to have a routine of things I would do. Wake up, go to work, leave with Piper and hang out at her place or mine (even though she laughed at my small house at first), and then study up by reading medical books from the shelves from work. Then on Friday night I would go to the end of my street to the bath house and relax.
Things were beginning to go so smooth that it felt like living in a retirement town. It always seemed to be quiet and calm, like the sky before a good storm. That should have been my first hint, but I never listened to my gut.
One Friday as I went to the bath house I tripped and caught myself with a nearby tree, that aggravated the owl that was perched in and it dived at me and flew away. “God, what is with my luck tonight.” I brushed my hands off on my legs and kept walking. Maybe I just needed to unwind in the hot tub?
Unfortunately, as I got to the building I got to watch a man slip on the top of the steps and crash his way down the whole length. Dropping my bath things I rushed to him to see how he was, and what I could do for him.
Quickly I started to check for major wounds and broken bones, all without moving him much at all. Luckily I found only bumps and bruises; the worse bump, however, was on the back of his head. He started to come around and tried to get up; when I could not get him to stay put I figured it best to help him to a bench. Maybe he would let me call an ambulance to come get him to better check for injuries.
The man agreed to me helping him up; he was very unsteady and said he could not focus his eyes very well. That must have been some blow to his head to make him that starry-eyed. I watched him as I called the hospital; his eyes looked around dizzily as he tried to focus on me.
When the ambulance pulled up Piper stepped out and told me to come along too, the staff was shorthanded and I was already there anyhow. So I helped her get the man in the back and strapped in and we make our way to the hospital. I found out that night that Piper was a frightening driver when hurried.
We pulled into the hospital with sirens blaring, mostly because Piper forgot how to turn them off once in front of the door. Slightly confused as to what I should do next I decided to just follow behind the rest of the small staff as they wheeled him to get an x-ray. This was the first emergency I had ever had any part of and felt lost, though I tried hard not to show it.
Piper told me to strap the man on the table so he would not roll off as she took the x-rays. Quickly I did as I was told, but the man made it difficult for me by trying to grab my arms and hands to pull me up to his head so he could mumble something I could not hear. Repeatedly the man tried to talk to me, and each time I would try to reassure him everything was going to be alright, and that I was trying to help him.
My arms were starting to get a little bruised as his strength began to come back. Finally, Piper called in the only male on duty to help me restrain the man. Calvin, the male nurse, told me to go sit down as he helped Piper. With that permission, I went to the nurse’s ward to calm my frayed nerves, but once I saw the handprint bruises that were forming I began to panic again. If I could not calm myself down soon, how would I ever be a great doctor and help save lives?
I went to see Kelly for a moment; until I was paged to help again. Just the thought of seeing her made me smile and start to feel better.
Kelly was sitting on the bed as if she were waiting for me. Seeing her smile at me made me want to hug her. The empty bed beside her’s made a good place for me to sit and just chat with her. Calm was making its way into my body until Piper came in looking tired.
“Good God, Winter… where the hell did you find that one? He’s going on nonstop about how beautiful you are, and Calvin has a busted lip because we would not let him out of bed to go look for you.” Piper had her hands on her hips and almost looked sad if I did not know any better.
“Is he okay? Nothing is broken, right?” I did not figure anything was to bad wrong with him if he could bust Calvin’s lip.
“He’s fine, more or less, concussion and a few fractured ribs. He’ll live. But unless you know him if I were you I’d stay away until he’s healed.” Piper shook her head and left.
Kelly smiled at me, “Go home and get some sleep. I’m sure Piper will let you know if she needs you.”
Before I left I double checked that I was not needed for anything. Saddened that my first emergency was a total flop I trudged my way back home. I was in no way ready for bed, but I did pull up a pillow and daydream, well it was night but you get the point. All I could think about was that man falling down the stairs, and his strong grip on my arm. His dazed red eyes trying to look at me sent chills down my spine. I was nodding off, but his eyes kept popping up and frightening me awake again.
He was not the most horrible looking person I have seen, but his eyes just bothered me. The starkness of the red against the pale skin, tinted by moonlight, was just so sinister looking that I could not help that my brain thought such evil things about the poor man as I slept.