The doctors and I managed to stabilize “John Doe” enough to be able to take him to the OR. Two of his bullet wounds were not necessarily too deep but the third placed closest to his heart required surgery to stop the bleeding and extract the bullet.
As I watched the surgical team prep him I grabbed one more set of vitals taking one more quick glance at his striking features before going out to speak to the two men that were with him.
For some reason he gave me butterflies. Not the good kind though like when you’re getting ready for a first date. No, more anxiety than that. Like a little voice inside of my head was telling me to run away as fast as I could, but part of me really wanted to stay. It was a mix of feelings that I was having a hard time processing. I could tell he was a fighter. By the amount of blood that he lost anyone else would have died a while ago now. But him, here he was, relatively stable; still unconscious, but stable.
Removing myself from the trauma room I rushed through the doors towards the waiting area in search of the two men that had come with John Doe. I managed to forget that my white fitted scrub top was now completely covered with blood, making the situation look worse off than it actually was.
I quickly walked towards the two men making them rapidly stand up in preparation for what I was about to tell them. They had a look of concern, desperation, fear, and… rage. I hadn’t realized that I was nervous to speak to them until I neared closer. I was usually pretty good about speaking to families. But now, I had a bad feeling. The emotions that came across the men in waves towards me made my stomach churn. Flashbacks started to pour into my mind. I’ve seen these types of emotions before, from him. When those emotions came out to play it meant nothing good for me. I quickly pushed all my flashback and feelings aside. There was still a job that needed to be done. But if these two men are giving me that same terrified feeling I had with…him, I needed to proceed with caution. I needed to think about what to tell them and how to tell them to try to make the best outcome for myself. My instincts kept telling me to run away though. They kept telling me that whatever I was about to tell them and how I told them made no difference. My gut told me that none of this was going to end well for me.
I continued to walk across the waiting room to them. Everything seemed to slow down, seconds feeling like lifetimes. It gave me a chance to take in their features as well.
The blonde haired man had a split lip and bruising to his face just under his eye on his cheekbone, nothing some ice wouldn’t heal. His hair is shorter on the sides than on top and somehow still neatly parted to the side. If it weren’t for the blood splattered across his shirt and the wounds on his face I would have never guess he was in any kind of an altercation. His pale grey eyes had a look of sadness and concern but as I neared the two men that look quickly changed into a harsh and murderous one. The brunette next to him seemed quieter. He had already taken off his suit jacket and the sleeves of his shirt were rolled up showing off his muscular forearms that were covered in tattoos of all colors. His black tie around his neck was now loosened, and the first button of his shirt undone showing off a little of his chest. His facial hair was thick and made him look older than he actually was. He couldn’t have been more than 20. His dark hair again was shorter on the sides than on top, was slicked back. His eyes were dark, almost black. They showed no emotion to them, it was almost ominous. Both men were strikingly handsome. But the closer I neared to them, the heavier the tension in the air became. My heart rate was spiraling out of control. I felt like I was going to puke. The blonde was the first to speak up.
“Tell me he’s alive. He better be alive,” the blond haired one half yelled at me with such forced I instinctively took a step back.
“Please, sit. It seems you two have had a rather long night.” I could practically cut the tension with a knife. Before I had a chance to say anything further the blonde haired man gripped onto my shoulders.
“If I wanted to sit down, I would have already. NOW TELL ME HE’S ALIVE” If he didn’t look completely sinister and insane before, he did now.
“He’s alive, in critical condition, but he’s alive. He’s been taken to surgery. Two of the bullet wounds were minor flesh wounds to say the least. The doctors were able to extract the bullets easily from those two. But the third one, the one closest to his heart requires surgery to stop the bleeding and get the bullet out. Now please just try to remain calm. I know this is a lot to handle. Just…tell me what happened.” As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I was going to live to regret it. With his hands still gripped tightly on my shoulders the blonde man took away any personal space that was left between us, his hot breath hitting my face as he towered above my short stature, his nose practically touching mine. I could feel the color in my face drain away as if he had already taken my life from me.
“You’re telling me that he is in critical condition and you’re out here why?”
“I only do the trauma part of it, the in-initial part of it sir” I stuttered. “The surgical team takes over from here,” I half whispered squinting my eyes shut trying to keep tears at bay and stay calm even though my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. As the words rolled off my tongue his hands dropped off my shoulders. Still tense I briefly opened my eyes to see his beautiful grey eyes go black and cold, colder than they were previously. I didn’t think it was possible. But the look I saw, the man was out for blood and I was just another sorry excuse for a human standing in his way. He grabbed something from behind his back. Before I knew what had happened I felt the cold metal of his gun aimed directly at my heart.
“I could give two shits less what you do and who took over. You are to stay with him and ensure that he stays alive. IF HE DIES YOU DIE. DO YOU. UNDERSTAND. ME?”
“Y-yes, sir…” scared out of my mind I stutter to respond. I pushed any bile that rose in my throat down attempting to calm myself.
“Good girl. Now, be a doll and show my brother and I here to the OR. Go the back way. We don’t need your little friend over in the nurses station getting all heroic and calling the cops, do we?”
“Good, turn around and lead the way.”