Chapter 3 - My Favorite Patient
I sped through my paperwork in order to leave on time, but ended up with forty-five annoying minutes left on the clock.
I had a date. It had been a while since my last one, and even though I didn’t have the greatest feeling about this one, I still planned to use him to end my dry spell if he seemed the least bit decent.
The schedule for the next two weeks was going to be a shitshow for Theresa to manage. Three shift change requests on top of a scheduled vacation and someone at the cusp of maternity leave, she was going to have to find someone new and requested me to opine on some of the applicants. Looking them over, I couldn’t help but try to find someone who seemed like me. Someone who could be a friend.
Denise and Tiffany started cackling so loud I couldn’t hear the music from my earbuds. It only added to the annoyance of running out the clock. I rolled my eyes and walked away to find somewhere quieter.
I walked past Ziggy’s room and saw he was working once again. I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I peeked my head in and knocked. “How’s it going in here, Ziggy?”
He smiled at me. “Better now. How are you, Sabby?” He couldn’t seem to find a nickname that stuck.
“Some people call me ‘Sabs,’” I told him as I ambled toward him.
“Friends? Or just people?” he asked. I didn’t answer. “Am I in trouble or is this a fun visit?”
“I figured you would be working and probably be listening to good music.” I glanced up to find an early scene of Fight Club playing on his TV. “Or watching one of the best movies of all time.”
“What can I say? My taste is impeccable,” he said with a smirk. “Feel free to join me.”
I strolled closer. “Scoot over.”
He raised an eyebrow as he moved over in the bed. I sat next to him, dangling my leg off the side. I sat the folder full of resumes in front of me beside his tray and lean back against the pillows to read through one. “You look comfortable in my bed.”
I smiled to myself. “Don’t get any ideas. I’m in the last hour of my shift and your room is much quieter than gossip central at the nurse’s station.” Edward Norton talked to Brad Pitt about single-serving friends. I love this movie.
“You look extra nice today,” Ziggy said. I had done my hair before coming into work, trying to keep myself from being late as I usually was. It lasted a whole two hours before I had to put it up anyway. “Do you have plans this evening? A hot date, perhaps?”
He grinned. “Who’s the lucky guy?” he pried. I gave him a sideways look. “Lucky girl?”
I chuckled. “His name is Max.” I looked over to find Ziggy staring at me like an intrigued girlfriend. “My best friend set us up. He’s a hedge fund manager and comes off a bit like a frat boy, but I’ll give him a shot.”
“You gonna fuck him tonight?” I laughed and patted the back of my hand against his arm. “Oh, come on. I’m stuck in this cock-clock of a place. Let me live vicariously through you.” He gave me a pleading look from behind his stereotypical thick-framed glasses. I gave in.
“I plan to fuck his little, frat-boy brains out.”
“That’s my girl.” He lifted his hand for a high five and I slapped it. “Give him my best,” he said with a smirk. I laughed and shook my head at him.
I read through a few more resumes while he worked, listening to Edward Norton as he’s definitely not punching himself in the middle of a street. After a while, I decide it is time to ask.
“Are you going to have any visitors?” I asked nonchalantly. He had been in the hospital for nearly a week and not a single person had come by to see him. He had no one listed on his contact sheet either. I looked over to find him ignoring my question be pretending to watch the movie. “You have friends, don’t you?”
“Sure, but not any I want to see me like this.” I wasn’t sure what he meant.
“What about family?”
“I don’t have much of that.”
“No parents? Siblings?” He turned his head and eyed me as if gauging my intent. “I’m not trying to be nosey. I’m just worried about you.”
“That’s very sweet of you.”
“Will you answer the question?”
He exhaled audibly. “I’m an only child, so no siblings. And as for parents . . .” He twisted his mouth like he was chewing on his words. “My dad died when I was a teenager when my mom was too busy getting high to remember I existed,” he said with surprising openness.
“Oh.” I tried not to sound as shocked as I felt. “Do you talk to her anymore?”
“Every few months. It’s been about six since the last time.”
“So, I assume you don’t want her here.”
“No need to worry her.”
“I mean, it’s not like I’m dying or anything.” He looked at me again. “Right?”
“Right. But it might be nice to have someone come visit while you are stuck in here.” I leaned my head against the pillow, attempted to emphasize my request.
He mimicked me, resting his head on the pillow and crossing his arms. “No one has asked where I’ve been. I’d rather people not know unless they have to.” I nodded. His hazel eyes scanned over my face as mine did the same. His nose was so perfectly straight, his jawline sharp and masculine. He was truly one of the most handsome men I had ever met. I wondered If he had been a model before becoming a photographer. “So, are we gonna make out now or what?”
I playfully groaned in disgust and he laughed.