“I’ll just wait until after they examine me, then I’ll call one of my brothers,” I say, although I’m not sure which one. They’ll all panic to some extent.
Hell, maybe I’ll just call an Uber to take me home. I am, after all, an independent woman.
Then why do I suddenly feel like crying and wish Benjamin was here at my side right now?
“You’re doing remarkably well, Sandy,” I tell my patient as I give her a gentle pat on the knee. “I want you to come back in three months. If things stay the same, I’m going to release you.”
“Thank you so much, Dr. Hewitt,” she gushes, reaching down and squeezing my hand. “You saved my life.”
“Well, you did all the hard work in recovery,” I assure her, but it never feels old when a patient tells me that.
Reaffirms my purpose in life.
Grabbing my cane from the door where I normally leave it while examining a patient, I walk out of the exam room, move to the next door down the hall, and pull the patient chart from the plastic holder attached to the wall. As I flip through, orienting myself to the patient inside, my phone alerts me to an incoming text.
A text from an incredibly beautiful and sexy woman who I can’t seem to stop thinking about these days. I gave Elena her own text sound using one of the pre-programmed tones called “Ripple,” which sounds like wind chimes.
The way Elena often makes me feel, and I realize how much I’ve romanticized this woman if I program her text chime to induce the same feelings in me that she produces.
Shaking my head, I pull my phone out of my lab coat pocket. We don’t ordinarily communicate during the day as we’re both so busy, so it’s unusual for her to text me. My curiosity has me wanting to look versus ignore.
My veins flood with what feels like ice when I read the text. Please don’t worry, but I was caught in the middle of an armed robbery at my pharmacy. I got hit in the head, and they’re taking me to Henderson Hospital. I’m fine, but I wanted to let you know I won’t be making dinner tonight. I’ll call later to update you.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I growl into the empty hallway. She’ll call to update me? She’s fine?
She thought a fucking text was appropriate to reach out to me?
I slam the patient’s file back into the folder. With long strides, I make my way to the reception desk. Three girls sit behind it. Before any of them can look up, I demand, “Where’s Dr. Aimes?”
“Number four,” one of the girls answers, but I’m already spinning away.
I make my way to the exam room, then take a deep breath before I knock. I’m bristling with rage, fear, and a weird, heavy weight on my chest.
Brandon opens the door, seeming surprised. Clearly the expression on my face concerns him as he immediately backs me into the hall, pulling the door shut behind himself. “What’s wrong?”
“Elena was caught in the middle of some type of armed robbery. She’s been injured, and I need to head to Henderson.”
“Go,” he says without hesitation. “I’ll cover your patients.”
That’s all I need to hear. “Thanks, man. I owe you.”
“I’ll think of something good,” he replies in an effort to make me smile. “Text me once you’ve been able to see her.”
I throw my hand up in a wave of acknowledgment.
I know I’ve rattled the poor nurse who is leading me through the small emergency department. I’d come in demanding to see Elena, flashing my neurosurgery credentials like a fucking snob. It got me quick entrance, including the nurse leading me straight to the trauma doctor assigned to Elena’s care.
He’s just exiting a patient’s curtained room, and the nurse makes a hasty introduction. “Dr. Peele… this is Dr. Hewitt. He’s Elena Costieri’s boyfriend, and he just drove in from Vegas to see her.”
“She’s due back from CT any time now,” Dr. Peele says as he sticks his hand out to me. He doesn’t seem aggravated to see me.
“What’s her status?” I ask gruffly. “I understand she had a head injury?”
He stares a moment before replying, “You know I technically can’t give you any information as that’s a breach of doctor/patient confidentiality. However, as a professional courtesy, she’s stable and doing very well.”
“Can you at least tell me what her GCS is?” I ask with annoyance. The Glasgow Coma Score is the first testing they would have done on her upon admission.
When he opens his mouth, I can tell by the expression on his face he’s about to deny me, but then his eyes go to something over my shoulder. Turning, I see Elena being wheeled into a curtained room.
I don’t hesitate, merely stride that way with my cane tapping on the tile floor, Dr. Peele on my heels. When I enter the curtained room, she’s chatting with the attendant who had just transported her back from radiology. Her gaze slides over to me, widening with surprise.