May 27, 2013
Though visiting friends and family is great, there’s really no place like home. It was so nice to be surrounded back in our house and neighborhood with family and Watchers. Rogue and Alexander were still not back, but when Amy spoke with Rogue, she said the latter sounded a lot better. So being home in Greece was really doing her good. We were happy.
Well, I couldn’t stay home forever. It was time to get back to work. Still remembering Alice’s vision, I went to back to the hospital. Bill Connolly had already previously told me the background and names of our new hire nurses, so I was looking forward to meeting them, finally.
As I walked into the hospital, I was greeted by our usual residents and nurses. I saw Betsy off in the distance speaking with a new nurse. This one was blond with long straight hair tied back in a professional bun. As if they felt my gaze upon them, they both looked over and Betsy’s eyes lit up and she ushered the new nurse over to me for the introductions.
“Good morning, Dr. Cullen. How was your time off?” Betsy asked with a smile.
“Good morning, Betsy. It was great just to spend some time with my family.”
“That’s great! Dr. Cullen, this Charlotte. She’s our Dallas cowgirl!” Betsy said with a wink and a smile. Charlotte smiled and held out her hand, which I shook.
“Welcome, Charlotte. I hope you like our little town and hospital here. I heard you graduated at the top of your class at SMU,” I said with a polite smile.
“Yes, sir! I love Texas and will have that in my blood forever, but I don’t like the heat. I actually love to ski.” Charlotte spoke with a true Texas accent.
“I am a pretty big skier myself—as are a chunk of my family,” I told her.
“Oh, that sounds grand. Maybe we’ll do some racing sometime after work to let off some steam.” Charlotte belted out a hearty laugh.
Just then two other nurses stepped off the elevator and were brought over to me by our NIC.U director. A third nurse who seemed to be helping a patient with paperwork also walked over until I was surrounded by nurses. The three new ones introduced themselves as Shandy and Carol from New York City, and Melanie from Vancouver. They were sweet women and with the way they were talking, I decided that they were in fact perfect for the NIC.U and told the director so, much to her delight.
So I had Charlotte working under Betsy and one more nurse to meet, who soon rounded the corner being walked toward me by Bill Connolly himself. She had curly blond hair and blue-green eyes. She smiled shyly at me. Since I’ve already met everyone else, I surmised that this was Ashley from Los Angeles.
“Carlisle, this is Ashley. She will be your other nurse, right along with Charlotte.”
“Welcome aboard, Ashley! Look forward to working with both you and Charlotte,” I said while shaking Ashley’s hand. She had a very firm grip.
“Thank you Dr. Cullen. I appreciate the warm welcome. I think Hanover is the perfect place for me,” she said with that same shy smile as she met my gaze.
“OK guys, time to get to work. Patients are waiting. I will see you later,” Bill ordered, clapping me on the back and heading back down the hall toward the elevators.
The NIC.U director took her new three nurses upstairs to get them acclimated to their new surroundings, while I had my two new ones waiting for my direction.
“All right ladies, this is a hospital so you’ll have to hit the ground running, but Betsy will be by your side if you get lost with anything. Let’s start off by seeing the patients that were admitted last night, remember to check their charts before checking their vitals. If medication needs to be administered, please make sure you have Betsy with you until you get a hang of things. Every hospital and office does things differently,” I said and looked up at them. They nodded to show they understood.
“Of course Dr. Cullen, that’s usually how it happens,” Ashley said.
“All right, if you don’t have any questions, here are the charts for the first 20 patients. Break them up amongst the two of you and away you go. Good luck,” I spoke, as Betsy handed them each, ten charts.
At that point I left them to their own devices and patients as I headed down the floor toward the cancer wing. There were some patients that I needed to see, and two that were being discharged. I had to speak with each of them one final time.
As I turned the corner toward the cancer wing, I looked back to see Ashley watching me. When I caught her eye, she looked down shyly and smiled. I smiled back. That I was used to; I’ve had many nurses have crushes on me, but my wedding ring always sent a clear sign that I was married and very unavailable. Still, I always thought it was flattering.
I worked a standard 8 hour shift and then got ready to leave. Betsy informed me that both of our new hires did an exceptional job and that made me incredibly happy. I was in a great mood as I changed out of my scrubs into regular clothes and headed toward my car, which happened to be a Porsche sedan. It was raining—no surprise considering we were in NH—so I jogged to my car that was parked right out front, but I still got a bit wet before I hopped in. As I turned on my ignition, wipers, and lights, I saw a familiar figure standing under an umbrella at the bus stop by the hospital, trying to shelter herself from the wind. I drove out of the parking lot and stopped right in front of her.
I lowered my window. “Ashley, get in! It’s pouring. I’ll take you home!”
“Oh no, Dr. Cullen . . . it’s okay . . . the bus will be here any moment,” she said.
“The bus isn’t always on time and you’re getting soaked!”
“That’s all right . . . I don’t want to impose.” She shivered.
“You’re going to get sick. Get in, that’s an order!” I said, frustrated. She hesitated for a brief moment, then hurried around the front and hopped into the passenger seat, still shivering. I turned the heat on.
“Thank you so much, Dr. Cullen. You . . . you really didn’t have to. I didn’t want to put you out,” she said gratefully, as her teeth stopped chattering. I put the car into drive and moved forward.
“Don’t thank me. It’s normal. Are you always that stubborn?” I asked glancing at her.
“Yeah, I guess. I’ve lived my life alone so I never really had to listen to anyone.” She half-laughed.
“Before we continue, where do you live so I actually take you to the right side of town?” I said.
“Oh, yes. I live in the Avalon apartment complex. I can give you the exact address if you’d like.”
“Not necessary, I know exactly where that is. Those are very nice apartments,” I complimented.
“Yes, I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them. I’m on the 5th floor and there’s 6 altogether. I love being high up, you can see everything,” she said with a small smile while we made our way toward downtown. She lived 20 minutes away from the hospital.
“That’s a good thing. Here in Hanover, the views are very nice no matter where you look, so the higher you are the better a view you have,” I agreed.
“You live in town doctor?” she asked curiously.
“No, my family and I have a house outside of town in the woods. We’re closer to Hanover High School.”
“Oh, I remember hearing about the tragedy. I cried when I saw it on TV. I wanted to jump on a plane and fly out to help with triage,” she said sadly.
“Yes, it was a very hard time for us here. Two children died on my watch. That type of stuff I don’t accept.”
Her eyes grew wide. “Those poor children. And their poor families. Goodness. It’s hard to watch people die—especially children. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t want to go to the NIC.U, I can’t look at children in such fragile states.”
“I know the feeling. My niece was actually in one of the classrooms that was heavily attacked; they lost 6 children plus the teacher in that room alone.”
She gasped lightly. “Oh my lord. She’s all right, I hope.”
“How did she survive?” she pressed.
“A classmate of hers dragged her into a closet and the two of them hid in there. That young lady saved her life. They’re best friends now,” I told her, remembering how Michelle saved Nessie and how that brought the Volturi and then the Watchers into our lives.
“I don’t understand how people can just take others’ lives like that. It’s sick. Absolutely sick,” she said vehemently.
I didn’t disagree with her. “What can you do? We’re only another 10 minutes away from your place. Not much longer now, you must be exhausted after your first day,” I said, trying to lighten the mood.
“Oh that’s all right, no rush. I’m enjoying your company Dr. Cullen. Dr. Connolly was right about you.” She spoke the words shyly.
“Uh oh! What did Bill say? Don’t believe half of it,” I said pensively. She giggled.
“No, no, it was all positive and good. He said you were incredibly intelligent, caring, and funny,” she said brightly.
“I’m funny? You need to be careful with Bill. He’s the biggest prankster in the hospital. Once he gets to know you and figures out your sense of humor, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll find a whoopee-cushion in your scrubs! Believe me; he’s scared the crap out of me a few times with that thing!”
She was laughing as I explained Bill’s antics. “Wow, sounds like a very fun working environment! I like that. The lighter the better, considering how somber some days may be.”
“Yes, I agree. I love working there. Sometimes my family thinks I would live at the hospital because it actually has a lot less drama than my house!” I said honestly.
“You have a big family, I take it?”
“Yes, they recently—or most of them rather—flew the coup and went to travel along with a few of our neighbors. My wife and I thought we had died and gone to heaven. Peace and quiet!” I said with a laugh.
“Wow sounds great. I wish I came from a large family—or any family, really. Being an orphan isn’t fun,” she said softly.
“Orphan? Oh my dear—I’m so sorry.”
“Eh . . . it’s all right. I’m used to it. I grew up learning how to rely on only myself. And I know that in order to excel in life, you have to work extremely hard and be willing to do anything in order to get what you want and are striving for.” She spoke passionately. We’d reached her place by then. I put my car in park.
“Sounds like a great positive attitude,” I said.
“Yes. Still though . . . having a real family, and a big one at that, is a great thing. Having a loved one to come home to is an amazing feeling. Your wife is very lucky. I wish I had something like that,” She said wistfully.
“Oh my dear, you’re very young. It’ll happen for you soon, I know it,” I promised her with a big smile. She looked at me hopefully and smiled too.
“Besides,” I added, “I’m the lucky one. My wife is perfect. I’m sure I bug the hell out of her sometimes, though. I love her more than life itself.” As I was speaking, I thought I had seen a hint of disappointment cross her face. But it was so fleeting that I was sure I imagined it.
“Such is life right?” she said.
“Absolutely. Well, my dear, we are here. You’re home and it looks like the rain has abated a bit, so you can run into the lobby.” I pointed toward the sky.
“Oh wow, I hadn’t even realized the car had stopped,” she said, surprised. She gathered her stuff, including her flimsy umbrella.
I smiled and she said, “Well thanks again for the ride, Dr. Cullen.” Then she hopped out. “See you tomorrow!”
“You’re welcome. Have a goodnight and yes see you tomorrow.” I locked the doors, made sure she made it into her lobby before driving off.
All in all I had a great day. I liked the nurses we hired. They all were exceptionally good. Even the NIC.U was running more efficiently. As I drove home I smiled. Little did I know, that that day was going to set off a chain of events so mind-boggling, spooky and horrific, that it would turn not just my family but the whole town of Hanover upside down and catapult us into the spotlight yet again . . . and not in a good way . . . in the worst way.
Please LIKE Carlisle’s Diary on Facebook by clicking HERE