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Unexpected Love Story (Love 2) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:51:03

“I’m going home. I need to shower before work,” I tell Walker who nods at me. “One more day,” I say to him as he nods.

Going home is worse than it was ever before. She left her things over yesterday. Her t-shirt that she wore yesterday morning is strewn across the bed. I pick it up and bring it to my nose, smelling her. Turning to sit on the bed, I slump my shoulders, my head down.

Getting up is almost impossible, and the day ahead is more painful. I smile when I need to, but it’s clear I’m not myself when even Olivia bails on me and sends in Mia.

I spend as much time at the office as I can, but even here, she’s everywhere. My phone rings with a weird number. “Hello,” I say.

“It’s Hailey,” she whispers. “Can you talk?”

“Yes,” I answer her, knowing she’s my lifeline to my woman.

“She’s coming in tomorrow. But,” she says, and I hear her inhale, “this is going against everything that we stand for. Usually, it’s us against the world, but,” she says and sniffles, so I know she’s crying, “but she needs her happy. She deserves her fucking happy, and a man who loves her more than he loves himself.”

“I do,” I answer, cutting her off.

“I think she’s going to leave.”

My heart speeds up, my palms sweaty and the phone almost slips out of my hands. “Leave? Leave to where?”

“Home,” she says. One word.

“This is her home,” I counter.

“Well, that answers all my questions. Now you need to convince her of that,” she says. “I have to go. She’s coming.” And she hangs up.

I text her instead of calling her back.

Text me if she leaves before tomorrow.

When I finally make it home, I don’t bother going upstairs to the bed. I fall asleep on the couch, hoping that it goes fast, and I can see her sooner. When I walk into the office the next day, I hear the nurses talking about how sick she looks, so they placed her in the chart room. I walk toward the chart room but am stopped by Ava with an emergency, so I go into the exam room, rushing to get to Crystal, but the universe has other plans for me. Because every single time I take a step forward to her, it pushes me back. I hiss out every single time someone tells me I’m needed. I’m standing in the exam room when I hear my name shouted.

“Dr. Walker.” I hear Emma shout. Walking out of the room, I finally see her, her eyes with dark circles around it, her face pale, so pale. Her lips even paler. She looks at me, but it’s like she doesn’t see me as she starts going down. I run to her, catching her right before she hits the floor.

I gave myself yesterday; I gave myself a day to mourn. I don’t look at my phone; I don’t pick it up when work calls to check on me; I don’t pick it up when I think it’s Gabe. I don’t look at it. I drift in and out of sleep all day, never moving from the couch. My body feels broken, it aches all over, but the worst pain is in my chest. My heart hurts, and no amount of pressure I apply to my chest makes it go away. The next day, I get up and continue my day. I walk in, looking down when they ask if I’m feeling better. “Getting there,” I say, going to my locker. I get to the nurses’ station, and Mia takes one look at me. “You still look like you’re fighting something, so why don’t you work in the chart room today?”

“Thank you so much,” I say, going into the room where we keep all the charts. If the patient is coming in, I pull their files. The morning goes by slow, and I hear Gabe’s voice a couple of times and hold my breath. I pick up my phone and call my grandmother, who picks up after one ring.

“Well, well, well,” she says, and I close the door.

“Hey, Nanny,” I say quietly.

“What’s the matter? What happened?” she says.

“I think I need to come home,” I say, my lips quivering. “It’s time to come home.”

“I’ll come down and get you,” she says. “I’ll be there tomorrow.”

“Okay,” I say quietly. I wipe a tear away. “I love you.”

“Be strong,” she says and then disconnects. I put my phone back in my pocket. Taking a deep breath, I walk out of the room, my stomach rumbling as I walk past the nurses’ station.

“Why is it so hot in here?” I ask as the back of my neck gets hot. I put the pen down on the nurses’ desk, turning around. The sound of my heartbeat echoing in my ears.