“Hi, I’m Gemma and I’ll be your nurse today, OK?” I say as I look at the patient’s face. She’s bruised and has cuts on her eyebrow and lip. I think she might even have a broken arm by the looks of it, and she won’t stop crying.
“Can you tell me what happened?” I ask her as I start cleaning her wounds.
“I fell down the stairs,” she answers without looking at me.
I know it’s not true. I’m more than sure that she’s been beaten up by an abusive partner, I’ve seen it too many times. I was there too, many times in the past when my ex-boyfriend used to hit me, and I also used to make up excuses about what happened.
It’s not my place to ask questions so I’ll just make sure she’s ok and I’ll let her deal with it herself.
“Ok, we just need to take an x-ray of your arm to see if you’ll need a cast, as for the rest, your bruises will heal in a few days, and you have butterfly stitches that will come off alone. Is there anyone you want me to call for you? A friend? A family member?” I ask her in a lower voice. It’s not a part of my job but I feel for her. I know what it’s like to be in that situation, you take the blame, and you think your whole world is crumbling underneath your feet.
“My sister’s coming to pick me up. I called her earlier.”
“Good. So, you can go with Mick here, he’ll take a scan of your arm.” I smile at her leading her towards Mick.
She looks back at me and smiles a very faintly. “Thank you,” she says, and it fills my heart with joy knowing that she felt that I was trying to help.
Certain days can be very difficult here at the emergency ward. We deal with all kinds of situations, death being one of them, but because I was a victim of violence in the past, cases like these really get under my skin and they change my mood for the whole day.
It finally got a little bit quieter around here. We’ve been super busy today, and I still have quite a few hours for my shift to be over.
When I’m behind the desk doing some paperwork, I see three guys walking in. Two of them are bruised and with blood on their knuckles, so I’m guessing they’ve been in a fight. The other guy who doesn’t seem to be hurt, goes to the desk to register their names and I call them in straight away as there’s no one else waiting.
When they walk in, I realize they are probably college students. It’s very common for us to get college students here as our hospital is a very short distance from the college, so we get quite a few of them who got very badly drunk or overdosed or even hurt by getting in fights, especially on the weekend. Today is Friday so that counts as the weekend.
I take one guy in a cubicle with me, and my friend Stacey takes the other guy with her. While cleaning his wounds and stitching him up he starts telling me about the fight that he was having with the other guy, apparently, it was about a girl, and I just listen to him without saying a word. He’s still so angry I prefer not to get involved. I tell him to wait for another nurse to take him in for a scan and I close the curtain on my way out of the cubicle.
“Your friends will soon be out,” I say to the guy who brought them in while making my way to the desk.
“They are not my friends,” he says without even looking up. He’s sitting in a chair opposite the desk and his head is low, looking at the floor with his arms crossed. He is wearing a jacket and a cap, and I can’t see his face.
“A thank you would have been nice,” I mutter under my breath as I start filling up the paperwork.
When the guys come out one with a broken arm, the other one with a busted lip and a blackeye, they walk towards the guy who was sitting waiting for them, and he gets up and starts making his way behind them.
“Thanks,” he says as he walks by my desk.
I look up to see his face. He has gorgeous green eyes and a beautiful face. I smile at him, but he doesn’t smile back. He just walks out.
After a few hours, my long shift is finally over. It’s now 6 am and I can’t wait to go home, so I go in the locker room to change and grab my stuff. I look in the mirror and I see that my long braid looks nothing like it did when I had just done it hours ago, before my shift started. It’s a mess, with bits and pieces coming out of everywhere. My glasses are smudged from all the times I touched them and didn’t find time to clean them. I’m exhausted and I look like it. I can’t wait to go home, take a warm bath and go to sleep.
After a good long sleep, I wake up to my phone ringing. It’s my friend Cara. I smile when I see her name on the screen. I haven’t seen her in a while but it’s always nice to hear from her.
“Hey, what’s up?” I tell her as I sit up in bed.
“Hey, you. Please tell me you’re free tonight,” she says, and I sigh as I know what’s she getting up to.
Cara is my friend. We’ve been friends since we were 15 and we love each other like sisters, but for the past year she’s been in a serious relationship with Kevin while I’m still single, so we don’t meet that much. In the past when I was in a relationship, she was in a relationship too, so we used to go out together as couples, but being single now, I don’t go out with her and Kevin unless they set me up on a date, which is the reason she’s calling today I’m guessing.
“I’m free, but why?” I ask while smiling.
“Kevin’s friend just moved here a few months ago and we would like you to meet him. He still doesn’t have many friends here so it would be nice if you two got along, plus it doesn’t hurt that he’s gorgeous” she says giggling.
I shake my head in disbelieve. This is probably the sixth time they tried to set me up with someone in the past year, and all the other five were total assholes. I hope this won’t end up like all the other times, where the guy pretends to forget his wallet behind right after we get the bill at the restaurant, or the other guy who wanted us to get a hotel room after our first date, or the other guy who met his ex while on a date with me and left with her leaving me alone in a bar. I swear this is the last time I’m agreeing to this and I’m only doing it because it’s always nice to see Cara.
“I hope he’s nice,” I tell her while getting out of bed.
“He is. I promise,” she says. “Besides, I’m dying to see you. Haven’t seen you in over a month.”
“I know I’ve been busy with work and when I’m out I’m always at “trios”, you know cause of Olivia” I smile while saying it. Olivia is a very good friend of mine who lately took Cara’s place in my life as she’s also single, so I tend to spend my free time with her. She’s head over heels over a guy who owns a club with his two brothers called “trios” and so, we always end up going there so that she can see him and hope that one day he will notice her.
“Yeah, I know, tell me all about it tonight, OK? We haven’t been there yet, maybe we can all go together.”
“Sure,” I say
“I’ll send you a text with the address of where we are meeting tonight as Kevin and Darren are still deciding. By the way, his name is Darren.” She says laughing.
“I figured,” I answer as I make myself a cup of tea “See you tonight,” I say and we hang up.