“There is always adoption,” he tells me, but I shake my head.
“I think I just need to go.” I get up from the chair and walk out of the office. My head is in a daze, and I keep my eyes downcast, not looking at anything but my feet. On the ride home, I feel like I’m on autopilot, just going through the motions.
Unlocking my apartment door, I’m happy my two roommates aren’t home. Closing my bedroom door, I flip the lock. My jacket slides off my shoulders, and my shoes get kicked off. I fall onto my bed, bouncing as my body hits the mattress. I turn onto my side and gaze out the window. Little beads of water trickle down the glass. Was it raining? My hands go to my stomach, placing my palm on the emptiness that is inside. Sterile. One word with so many different meanings, but to me, it means one thing. My dreams are broken.
Crying into my pillow, I feel the sobs rip from my chest as I groan out my pain. The pain of never having my own child; the pain of never being able to give my husband a child.
My dreams are shattered, just like my heart. I sob until I have nothing left inside me and my heavy lids close. My phone rings somewhere in the distance. All my hopes and aspirations gone. “I’ll never put someone else through this,” I say to the empty room as my eyes fight to stay open. “I will never tell anyone,” I whisper. “I will never.” And my eyes close as my dreams are of darkness. Running. I’m always running. Running after my dreams. Running away from love. Running. Simply running.
Six Years Later . . .
“Two hours, people,” I say to the people hustling in front of me. “Two more hours and I am off for four glorious days.” I lean back in the chair, turning in a semi-circle. I am sitting at the nurses’ station in the middle of the busiest emergency room in three counties.[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
“Four days off. I bet you get bored in about one day.” Dawn, another ER nurse, laughs at me.
I turn to look at her. “Not this time. I have a date with my bed and my DVR.”
She shakes her head as she continues to write on the chart in front of her. “How many patients do you have?” I ask her as I look over at the whiteboard that keeps track of the patients in the emergency room.
“You want me to take two? I only have eight.” I look over at the board, wondering if any would give me a challenge. We are a busy ER, but nothing urgent has been brought in. The phone on the counter rings.
It is the phone that the dispatch calls when an ambulance is on its way in. “Dibs.” Dawn does not even bother to look up when I jump up.
“Crystal speaking.” It’s routine to just give my name.
“Hey, Crystal.” I hear Carole’s voice on the line. “We have an ambulance coming in Code one, R-twenty-three. Status zero. ETA is three minutes.” Her voice goes quiet.
“Fuck.” I hang up the phone. “We have an accident victim coming in, and he’s DOA.” I walk around the desk and jog to the back where the ambulances come in. Holding my stethoscope, I look down at my black Crocs, taking in the outside sun. I haven’t been outside today, but it looks like it’s clear without a cloud in the sky. I spot the white ambulance backing in, and Dr. Arnold appears next to me. “I hate these calls,” I tell him.
Dr. Arnold and I started here at the same time. He’s the only doctor I actually like working with, and that’s only because he lets me do my thing. He lets me treat the patient and asks my opinion. “Hey, who knows. Maybe we can be this man’s miracle today.”
I shrug my shoulders, jogging outside with him as the EMTs pull the gurney out. “What do we have, boys?”
“We have a twenty-eight-year-old male, hit by a truck with an impact of ___ miles per hour. He was down when we arrived and initiated three rounds of CPR, shocked him twice, and injected a half milligram of epi through his IV. We intubated him on scene with ten liters per minute O2 at respirations of ten breaths per minute. Blood pressure is eighty palp, pulse forty-eight weak and irregular. No immediate changes and transported emergent,” one of the guys says as I look down at the patient. My heart stops or rather speeds up.
“Eric,” I whisper, and everyone stops moving, looking back at me. “It can’t be. What is the victim’s name?” I look at the two EMTs, waiting for their answer. Waiting for them to tell me it’s all a mistake.