Shaking off her depressing thoughts, she finished her laundry and then settled in for a movie marathon. She had a secret weakness for the old Star Wars movies and watched one after another, staying up as late as possible so she could sleep in before her next night shift.
The next afternoon, her ankle felt even better. She stayed off of it until she needed to get dressed for work. Even then, she wrapped it snuggly for extra support.
Dark storm clouds obscured the sun, streaks of lightening flashing across the sky as she headed to the hospital. She hurried, trying to beat the rain, making it inside the hospital with mere seconds to spare before the sky opened up and rain pelted the earth.
She grinned at her friend Julie. “I thought for sure you’d be off today. Didn’t you work the past two days?”
“Tonight is my last of three shifts in a row, and then I’m off for four glorious days,” Julie responded. “Can’t wait!”
Julie was lucky to have purchased a townhouse on the lake. She’d gotten a decent price because one side had suffered a kitchen fire. If Larissa had managed to save more money, she might have put in a bid for the place herself. Although she was glad her friend had gotten it. Next year, she silently promised. Next year she’d have enough money for a down payment.
“Are you in the trauma room tonight?” Larissa asked as they made their way over to the desk. Debra was the charge nurse, and she looked harassed as they approached.
“I don’t know,” Julie said with a wry smile. “Guess we’ll find out.”
“I’m glad you’re both here,” Debra said. “We’re short staffed tonight, so I’ll need both of you to take a team and help cover the trauma room,” she instructed. “Larissa, you’re team one, and Julie, you’re team two. I have Jessica covering team three, and I’ll pitch in as needed.”
Larissa exchanged a wince with Julie before nodding. “Okay.”
“This is going to be a long night,” Julie muttered as they walked away to their respective teams. “I bet this storm is going to bring a bunch of trauma cases in. We’ll be running for sure.”
“You’re probably right,” Larissa agreed. Too late now to wish she’d gotten a doctor’s excuse. Although to be fair, she was glad she hadn’t called in, otherwise she would have left Debra, Julie, and Jessica to handle the ER alone.
For the next three hours, Larissa dealt with a steady stream of patients, and thankfully, only two trauma patients had come in. She’d taken the first one, and Julie had taken the second.
“Tag, you’re it,” Julie had joked as they passed in the hallway like ships in the night.
“I know, I know,” Larissa muttered. They were to take turns with the traumas unless there were two at the same time, and then Debra would come and assist.
Gabe walked into the ER at quarter to eleven, and she realized he was also assigned the night shift. The doctors worked eight-hour shifts instead of twelve, and she hadn’t really thought about Gabe at all until now.
Memories of their heated kiss made her blush, and she kept her gaze focused on the computer screen as he went over to the main census board.
“Okay, Mr. Harris, you’re all set for discharge,” she said, walking into her patient’s room. “Remember you have to follow up with your doctor first thing tomorrow morning, okay?”
“I’ll remember,” the elderly patient said as he stood. Mr. Clarence Harris had congestive heart failure and often forgot to take his medications, which then caused him to become short of breath. In reading his chart, it sounded like his son wanted him to go to a nursing home, but the older man kept refusing.
“All right, take care, then.” She helped him out to a wheelchair. Rick, one of their techs, came over to escort the patient outside.
“Hi, Larissa, I’m surprised to see you here.” Gabe’s voice broke into her thoughts. “How’s your ankle?”
She took a deep breath before turning to face him. “It’s a lot better, thanks. I have the crutches in my car if you want them back.”
“No rush,” he said with a shrug. The way he stood there with his hands stuffed into the pockets of his lab coat, she sensed there was more he wanted to say, but just then, their trauma pagers went off.