The Night Shift
I thought the night shift would be lessÖlessÖemotional. But the past few days have brought me to the verge of tears more times than Iíd like to admit. Iím a nurse. Iím not supposed to let the patients see me worry. Iím certainly not supposed to let them see my pity. I first saw him as he talked to the doctor. I knew he didnít know I was there, but I was making my way toward the supply cart to get a pan ready incase he vomited. He looked so sick as the doctor told him about her condition. Iíve seen it many times. The strongest men turn to jelly when their loved ones are hurt. But this whole situation confuses me. We all know who they are and the events that brought them here. But I canít quite figure them out. From what I can gather, Mr. Lyman flew across the world with nothing but the clothes on his back to get to her. He didnít move for nearly ten hours. I offered water, crackers, a blanket, but all were refused. When Marissa took over the day shift, she found that all she could do was work around him. She said that Ms. Moss didnít seem shocked to see him here when she woke up. All the signs point to these two people being together. So I canít figure out why the photographer was here. Marissa said that the tension was so thick between the two men that she was glad Ms. Moss was medicated. Envied her even. She tried to make herself blend into the background while the two men were talking. Apparently, I think his nameís Colin; he came out and asked Mr. Lyman if there was anything between the two of them. Marissa said she nearly dropped her thermometer. Was he serious?! Could he not see it? Then Mr. Lyman said no! NO!? Was he kidding? Kidding himself is more like it. Colin or whatever his name is would have to be an idiot not to see the connection these two people have. Maybe heís not such an idiot. Marissa said he left not too long afterwards. I came on a few hours ago. When I came on tonight Mr. Lyman was gone. Thank God. It wasnít long after my shift started that it happened. Ms. Moss had developed a pulmonary embolism. The fear in his eyes as he rounded the corner and saw her; Iíll never forget it. I can only hope that Iíll find a man that wonít let anything stop him from getting to me. Mr. Lyman would have gone in the operating room, Iím sure, if the Doctor hadnít stopped him. Heís been sitting here for the last three hours. He stood, staring into the operating room for the first hour. At some point he ended up seated on the floor with his back against the wall. I hate to even disturb him. He looks so lost in his thoughts, thoughts of her that to intrude on him seems inappropriate.
ďMr. Lyman?Ē He doesnít move. Iím not sure he heard me. ďMr. Lyman, thereís a visitor here for Ms. Moss.Ē I can see his back straighten and his face harden.
ďCould you explain what happened to him?Ē He thinks itís the photographer. Poor man.
ďI think itís her mother.Ē His face turns to mine. I take a step back and the intensity of his gaze. Without a word he rises to his feet and I lead him through the halls and out to the waiting area. The older woman is pacing with worry by the nurses station. She stops once she sees him. Without a word, he envelops her into his arms and the two of them begin to cry. I have to look away before the sob escapes my throat. I thought the night shift would be less emotional.
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