I need you
Bernadette took to healing like a fish to water. Maybe there was a power inside of her that wanted, no needed, to help people. She learned about plants, what could save a life and what could end a life. There were so many tools to assist in surgeries, she just knew how they worked, and she hadn’t seen them in action yet. All the aliments she dealt with were commonplace. Cuts, dislocated joints and a few births. That had almost sworn Bernadette off having kids. Almost, as she held the sudden quiet child, she saw hope in the face. But was that in her future?
Healing could be a quiet profession, that’s what Bernadette liked about it. But, as she soon learned, there would be moments that pushed her over the edge.
She heard the screams first, screaming from the depths of someone’s being, the sound if ultimate suffering. The new healer in her knew she had to go find out what happened. But the bigger part, the scared child wanted to hide until it was all over. The logical side won, barely and Bernadette ran home.
There was a man lying on the table, bleeding and covered in burns. And to Bernadette’s horror, there was a pole sticking out of his neck.
“Bernadette, thank the Gods you’re here. I need clean water, bandages and a small knife…” Eleanor told her, expecting that Bernadette would spring into action.
But that was far from what Bernadette actually did.
All she saw was blood and burns and pain. It didn’t take much to know how he got in his current state. She froze, she couldn’t breathe, she wanted to close her eyes so she wouldn’t see the sight before her. But she knew the sights in her head would be ten times worse.
“Bernadette…” Eleanor was now standing in front of her, holding her face. “Bernadette, look at me.” Bernadette forced herself to open her eyes. “I need you. You can do this. You are the strongest person I know. You need to do this.” Eleanor sounded so confident in her, like she could take on the world.
Bernadette nodded and pulled herself together. Maybe she could do it.
“Now, bandages, water and a small knife.” Eleanor said, squeezing her shoulder.
Bernadette got the items and settled taking care of the burns. Eleanor worked on the pole in the neck. She had already knocked him out. Having an awake patient would only make things difficult.
They made good progress until Bernadette happened to move his shirt aside and saw his stomach, actually saw it.
She gasped and at that moment Eleanor removed the pole and locked eyes with Bernadette. Then she saw the wound.
“This man must think we are miracle workers.” She sounded unfazed. “Be ready with the bandages, you are going to do the stitches.” Bernadette nodded; at least she knew she was capable of that.
Shortly, Eleanor was done and gave Bernadette a nod.
Bernadette went to work, trying to stay focused on her stitches and nothing else. After what seemed like forever, she pulled her last stitch. Bernadette didn’t bother giving her work a last look, Eleanor did it for it. Right after she got the approval she needed, Bernadette fled the house.
She barely made it to the front gate before she emptied the contents of her stomach into the flower bed.
Bernadette sank to her knees and wiped her mouth. She wasn’t cut out for this career. She couldn’t handle having someone’s life in her hands.
Charles found her and helped her to a bench. “He’s going to live, you should be very proud of yourself.”
“My first and last surgery.” She meant it and no one was going to talk her out of it.
“That man is going to live because of you, he is going to be so grateful. People are going to come to you to save their lives.”
“But I couldn’t hold my stomach together. Good healers don’t do that. I felt all of his pain…”
“And that is the sign of a good healer. You feel their pain, and all you want to do is make the pain stop. You care. You have dealt with pain firsthand and you are the perfect healer.” Charles told her, meaning every word.
Bernadette smiled, that did reassure her, and maybe she could do it. She didn’t think anyone had the right words to help her figure out where she belonged.
“Thank you.” She told Charles. She was not going to let one negative reaction stop her. Maybe she was capable of magic after all.
About a week after that incident, Bernadette had grown exceedingly confident in herself. Maybe she had to be pushed to the edge in order to come back stronger. That seemed like good advice. Hopefully one she won’t have to apply to her life again.
She was sitting down to dinner with the family when a rock hit the back window. And somehow Bernadette was the only one who noticed it. She looked up and saw Derek standing there. He motioned his head to the door, pain and annoyance was on his face.
What did he do? Bernadette quickly excused herself and went out the back door. She found Derek leaning against a tree, holding his shoulder.
Instantly she knew he was in pain. “What did you do?” Bernadette only let herself sound a little annoyed. She was actually concerned,.
“Tavern fight, sailors do not fight clean. A few minor scraps but I defiantly dislocated my shoulder.” Derek told her, going to sit on a stump.
“So you need me go beat them up for hurting my brother?” She asked, positioning herself behind him. She needed to keep him talking and distracted. Patients were better like that.
“Absolutely not. You are not going into a tavern alone and you are not, I repeat not…” And he screamed when his shoulder clicked back into place.
Bernadette stood next to him. “Big cry baby.” She stifled a giggle.
“Well, you get hurt in a fight; I doubt you would take it any better. We are all just human.”
“So now I am going to beat up sailors?”
“No, no sailors ever. I mean it.” Derek gently tested his shoulder. “It only feels tender. Bernadette, you have magic fingers. “
Bernadette looked away and let a tiny smile cross her face. She stood up and became very professional. “Your instructions for recovery are as follows- no more fights with big bad sailors and be careful with the shoulder for a few days. Think you can do that?”
“Yes, I can do that. Thank you.” He stood up and kissed her cheek quick. “You family must be missing you. Go back to them.”