Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 19

It's time to go back to work. Tanya does her best to get herself ready to go.
Tanya did a load of laundry and picked up around the house. She had a short nap and a shower before she dressed for work and fixed her hair and makeup. She took extra care to make herself look nice for Morgan, though she knew he wouldn't care if she spiked her hair and pierced her nose. He liked her for who she was, not some image he had of her. Cliff had always tried to mold her into the perfect, little wife, and that wasn't who she was. She wasn't one to stay home all day and make babies and chicken pot pie.
She'd have liked a family, but there never seemed to be time with the schedule she kept. Now she was just as glad, because being a single mom with her hours, would have been miserable, most especially for the child. Maybe if things went well with Morgan— But she didn't finish that thought. He had no commitment to her other friendship and really fantastic sex. They could go their separate ways at any time. Thinking of permanence and children was silly and futile.
The clock ticked inexorably toward time to go on shift. She grabbed her keys and purse, going through her OCD ritual with the door. She smiled, thinking of how that must look to Morgan. But since it worked, she wasn't going to stop. She hadn't locked herself out in almost a year, and that was saying something.
The drive to the hospital seemed to move like molasses, but before she knew it, she'd pulled up into a parking space. She sighed, thinking of how tedious the night was going to be. Only the prospect of seeing Morgan at dinner time, motivated her enough to get out of the car.
Walking in the door, she heard sirens growing louder. It was 2:30, not quite time for her to go on shift, but she quickened her pace and headed toward radiology. She tossed her purse and jacket into her locker and checked in. She'd picked out the distinct sound of at least three ambulances and thought she detected a fourth coming quickly up behind them.
"Another multiple car accident," the head nurse said after getting off the phone with the emergency department. "Gear up, gang, it's going to be a long one. At least seven victims with multiple broken bones. Angie," she said to a passing volunteer, "put on a fresh pot of coffee, honey. Thanks. You've got time for a pee or a smoke," she told the doctors. "Be back in ten minutes."
None of them argued with her. Nurse Grace was a Navy nurse for over thirty years before taking the job as evening charge nurse in radiology. She ran a tight ship, and even the doctors knew better than to disregard a directive. She would gladly flay an M.D. as she would an L.P.N. and did so without batting an eye. In the short time she'd been at the hospital, Tanya had come to respect the woman's judgment.
Grace turned to Tanya, sharing a secret smile. "Feeling better, dearie?" she whispered as she looked around to see if anyone was listening.
"Beg pardon?" she matched the woman's manner, wondering why they were whispering.
"I had a long talk with your young man," she said quietly. "He said you were in need of a weekend of intensive therapy. I hope the relaxation sessions helped. You looked terrible the last time I saw you."
Tanya blushed from her neck to her hairline. "Oh, very successful, thank you for asking, Ma'am. I think probably the most successful of my entire life." She fanned herself, inhaling deeply.
"Really?" Nurse Grace looked rather surprised and raised an interested eyebrow. "You'll have to tell me more specifics later, young lady. In fact, I've a few suggestions I might just pass along to Dr. Fellowes the next time I see him. Judging by how the shift is starting, it will be at least once before the night's over. Run along and take the rest of your break, all hell will be breaking loose soon enough."
Grace had been disconcertingly correct. The next few hours were hell for the radiology and surgical departments. There were nine victims, some critically injured, others with only minor fractures. Tanya was busier than she could ever remember being, reading the X-rays quickly before sending them up to surgery. She babbled into her recorder so quickly, she hardly recognized her voice.
I could never have done this without Morgan, she thought more than once. Had she gone into the shift as tense as she'd been a couple days ago, she would have cracked up.
After the emergency films were examined, she got down to the routine of daily work, making reports for the doctors' offices with her evaluations. She had a thick stack to look over, but she took a short break before she started on them. Her feet took her up to the surgical floor, hoping to see Morgan. Perhaps she'd get lucky and he'd be between patients. However, she suspected he would be occupied for quite a while. She strolled up to the nurse's station and caught the eye of one of the nurses she knew. Melinda looked tired, but at least she didn't look despondent.
"How's it going?" Tanya tried to keep her tone light.
Melinda knew Tanya was referring to the accident victims. "Going well. We've done most of them, only the minor stuff to do now. The first couple were touchy, but the gang up here does good work. I swear, I think Dr. Fellowes has magic in his hands. He put together one guy that we thought for sure we'd lose. He's in checking on him now, but he'll be out in a minute."
"Mel," Tanya leaned closer to the perky nurse. "Does everyone know?"
"Know what?" Melinda was trying to be coy, but she wasn't succeeding.
"You know what I'm talking about, don't make me say it."
"No, just me and Grace. We covered for you both this weekend, perpetuating a myth." She winked. "You look better. I take it the therapy sessions were beneficial."
Tanya felt herself redden once more. She glanced down at her shoes, feeling the blood tingle the edges of her ears.
© 2020 Dellani Oakes

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