Don't Curse the Nurse!

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A little fiction – Indulge the blogger

on September 10, 2014

I feel my jaw pop as I yawn while staring at the clock. It’s only 5:30, and although it’s been two years, I’m still not able to reset the internal monitor that wakes me before sunrise. The silence in the house has, and as always, puts me in even more of an alert state. Entering the still-dark family room, I notice, abandoned on the coffee table, the pile of mail from yesterday. The manila envelope on top has the familiar English script logo of Draper Legal.

Good.

Despite the legal jargon that gives me a headache and makes me wonder if they are charging me by the word count, mail means progress — snail pace progress — but progress all the same. Two years should be long enough for Draper to settle my libel suit against Copeland Regional. It’s ironic that administration was so quick to accuse me of wrongdoing and so slow to respond to all Draper’s legal filings for settlement.
I’m going to bring them down, I think to myself. It’s been my daily mantra for some time.
Pushing the envelope off the top of the pile, I see the bold type from the flyer below staring back at me. NURSING, THE PROFESSION THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Phhfff

Jobs don’t change people. Or it would be better for me to say that jobs shouldn’t change people. People should go into their careers with their intellect and emotional maturity fully developed. The whole “Nurses eat their young” saying—there’s a reason for it. I have trained more than a dozen nurses and the first order of business is always to weed out the weak ones. There is no room for insecurity. Insecure nurses let their emotions drive their actions and their need to please impairs their ability to think independently. After pushing both pieces of mail to the center of the table, I head outside for some fresh air. I don’t want to think about nursing.

Dragging the sliding glass door open, quietly, so as not to wake Scarlett, I step out onto the chilly porch. In the pre-dawn, bedroom lights from neighboring houses have cut squares through the woods that surround the yard. Standing as still as I can, I strain to hear the barn owl that everyone says lives behind the houses, but hear only the whoosh of cars along the road that curves through the neighborhood. It’s been a year since Scarlett’s best friend, Trace, died in a car accident, a year during which Scarlett started drinking, smoking, and taking her anger out on everyone. Back then, when I had wandered out of my room in the too-early morning, I would find Scarlett sitting red-eyed on the couch staring at music videos with the volume turned down. She had stopped looking at me when we spoke. Scarlett only stared at a point inches above my brow.

She fought it at first, but after months of weekly counseling sessions, the new year brought with it a new, or renewed, Scarlett. She was still moody from time to time, but not more than I expected from a teenager. Now, we have a rhythm to our lives. I see the loss of a friend as a rite of passage for Scarlett, and I have a respect for the fact that she has gotten back on her feet. Scarlett is doing well in soccer and pulling out high marks in several classes.

Just over the trees, I can see that the black sky is beginning to lighten to deep blue. It must be close to 6:00 am. My showers sometimes wake Scarlett up, and I don’t want to rob her of her last thirty minutes of sleep, so I head back to my room extra quietly. Knowing Scarlett is sleeping peacefully across the hall gives me a sense of comfort that nothing else can replicate.


4 responses to “A little fiction – Indulge the blogger

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