As I stood in the scrub room all I could do was pray. Pray for this night to end. Pray to make it out alive. Pray that no one else gets involved in this mess. Pray that I get to see Sofia again and just cry in her arms when this is all said and done. But mostly I pray that Dominic, who now lies on the table of the operating room, lives. I don't know what kind of man he is. I can only gather by the way that his brothers treated me that he isn't a good man. That doesn't mean that he doesn't deserve to live, right?
But the feelings I get around him. My damn gut feelings. Maybe he shouldn't live? Maybe I'd be doing this world a favor if I would have let him die. No, I couldn't think like that. I had no idea who this man was, what he did or how he ended up here. I needed to leave any preexisting judgment aside. I took an oath.
I space out the window watch the operation as I scrub up to my elbows with the scrub brush and soap. The threat from Marcello rang in my ear "if he dies, you die". How did this night go from boring and slow, wishing there were trauma cases coming in, to getting my hands covered in blood saving a man's life, to being in literal hell? I thought when I moved to a new city and started a new life that this constant state of being terrified would go away. And for the most part it did, until now. I let my guard down, if only for a minute. Look what good that did to me. My life hangs in the balance all because I let my freakin guard down.
I look across the operating room to the door just opposite the scrub room. Marcello held his glare at me, not taking me out of his sight for one second. I mean if I were them, I probably wouldn't trust me either. Let's be honest, it wasn't like My brain wasn't trying to plot ways out of this.
I finished scrubbing in, placed my mask over my face, tied the knot above my head and sheepishly walked into the operating room.
"Dr. Marks, I was hoping I could observe for awhile."
"Addi, what a delight! Aren't you supposed to be in the ER tonight? Not that I don't love having you watch my surgeries" Dr Marks exclaimed while keeping his head down but looking up just slightly over his glasses raising his eyebrows at the sight of me.
I had been known to sit in the OR on rare occasions, just to sit there and observe. So me walking into the OR right now was no true surprise to Dr. Marks. I've always loved learning and school. I always contemplated going back to school for my MD, but 'he' always prevented me from doing so. He always told me I was never good enough, or smart enough. So I took the opportunities where I could and sometimes that meant coming up to the OR to just sit and watch. It was interesting to see how traumas played out in the OR. Sometimes it was refreshing to see some of our most brutal traumas go into surgery and wake up looking better than when they had initially came in. Other times... well we knew it was all damage control. But the people we save in the ER we don't always get to see this side, the surgical side, of the process. It makes you realize that what you do matters. I know I'm not supposed to be in the OR, but Dr. Marks makes an exception for me. I mean what else am I suppose to do on a slow overnight shift in the ER? I may as well make the most of it, right? Of course I always carry my work phone on me if any traumas were to come in. Usually Sofia knows where I disappear to, and where to find me if anything major happens.
"Yes Dr. Marks I am. But it is somewhat slow tonight. It's well staffed down there. I took special interest in this trauma case tonight." I hesitated, my eyes glancing back towards the door at Marcello. "I would like to see him through to recovery. If that is alright with you?" I lied, straight through my teeth. I was never good at that. My parents used to tell me my lip would twitch in the corner when I lied. Luckily I had a mask covering half my face, so I was able to manage a poker face a little better than usual.
"Sure, Addi. I just took care of the damage one of the bullets caused on his stomach and sutured all that up. The bullet wound to the right lung was minor, no complications with that. Now, ah...." Dr Marks began to trail off.
"Is everything okay Dr. Marks?" his face, what I could see of it, had a look of concern.
"Yes my dear. Just concentrating on extracting this bullet near his heart. He is a lucky man. The bullet missed his heart by less than an inch. There is just a lot of bleeding present. I need help finding the bleeders. Can I get a little bit more suction?" Concentrating on what he was doing, Dr. Marks grew silent. I knew not to interrupt him at times like this. One interruption could literally mean life or death. And with the current stakes in the matter, my life and probably everyone else's life in this room, I shut my mouth.
I let him work in peace as I crossed my arms and shifted my weight onto my right leg popping my hip out to help me glance out the window at the two menaces that were, unfortunately, still lurking in the hall keeping an eye on me. I feel like I'm on death row. One mess up and I get a shiny new accessory in between my eyes.
Lorenzo was biting his finger nailed pacing back and forth in the hallway. Marcello, well, his eyes just said it all. It sent shivers up my spine again. He looked like he was out for blood. I didn't want it to be mine.
Ughhh, what was I going to do? I couldn't run. They followed my every move. If I try to run to grab something Marcello will sick his guard dog Lorenzo after me to ensure I safely return to this horrid situation I've been place in. Think Addi, think... I could- shit what is that noise?
I focus my thoughts back to the surgery before me. My ears focus to where the beeping was coming from, the monitor.
"Dr. Marks, he's BP is falling!" the scrub nurse shouted.
"Hang another unit of O neg, Nancy and push more fluids" Dr. Marks quickly replied like it was just another day in the office.
"Everything alright Dr. Marks?" I inquired nervously. At times like this I would follow in Lorenzo's steps and start sheepishly biting my nails. Unfortunately, my sterile wear was preventing me from doing that. So instead I shifted my hips back and forth as my heart rate reached its maximum speed.
"Oh yes, dear. Just the little bleeders caught up to him, nothing to worry about."
"Dr., he's having more frequent runs of V-Tach."
I knew that that meant, it was an omen. Something needed to be done and it had to be done fast or they were going to lose him.
"It's fine Nancy just hang the blood and the fluids. The quicker I get these bleeders fix, and the bullet out the better off we will all be."
As if Nancy the scrub nurse hadn't warned him soon enough, Dominic started to sustain in V-Tach. The well-controlled, calm room erupted into organized chaos. All I can hear is, "He has no pulse, he doesn't have any perfusion, start CPR, get the heart paddles ready and charged to 10 Jules" and the count of them doing cardiac massage on his heart their hands deep in his cracked open chest. I started to panic. "One..two..three........thirty, CLEAR!" My head started goes fuzzy and my vision started to blur. I could feel myself hyperventilate. My stomach rose up to my throat. I clutched onto my stomach feeling sick. No...no, NO. This cannot be happening. I don't usually pray, but this seemed as good of time as any.
Please, God. Please Dominic, you have to live.