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ill-fated love

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I am looking at him, the person who is responsible for wrecking my family into pieces and who have made me an orphan now at 12years old. I want to smash the television but I want to see him so that I could remember his every detail as one day I want to see him weep as me. My aunt who sat beside me said, ‘Debbie, what do you want to do now? Your parents got no money and I am not sure you would get much from their insurance. As we got 3 kids and your grandmother to take care, I don’t think I can take you in. Your uncle and I have decided to call government for your care.’ As she has decided pretty much everything, I turned my attention to TV nodding my head as yes.

TV reporter has started reporting the news again for the 100th time, ‘A couple has been killed by a man who has reportedly told police that he killed them as he can’t digest the happiness of the family. Luckily the couple’s daughter has survived as she stepped out of her home to buy something at a near by store. It’s shocking to learn that this family has recently moved to this part of the city and they never knew that they would get killed by someone who stays near by their house. It was reported that the killer has used hammer to kill both of them. People are praising the efforts of the detective who handled the case for his fast pace in finding the criminal.’ And like that my parent’s photos are shown on the screen.

2 weeks passed and I am now sitting in front of a women, the so-called child services officer taking in all of my details to allocate me to a foster home. I sat there waiting looking around, when I heard a knock on the glass door. I turned around when the lady opposite to me waved her hand saying come in. I saw a kid walking in with a gloomy expression. The child services officer said, ‘Hey Noah, take a seat. Let me fill in Debbie details and Debbie, meet Noah. Noah, this is Debbie.’ Saying that she turned her complete attention to the screen in front of her. I extended my hand to him; he shook it gently and went back to looking around just like me. And that’s exactly when the TV outside the room started showing about my parent’s case. I mumbled out saying, ’I want to kill him’. Noah looked at me and said, ’whom?’. I pointed to the face on TV. Noah looked at me asking, ’why?’. I pointed towards my parent’s photos on the newspaper saying, ’my parents’. He then turned his attention to the floor. He stayed silent for few minutes saying, ’do you what’s the best revenge is?’. And this time I gave him my complete attention. He continued, ‘Kill his family just like what he did to you.’ Me: ’But how would I know where his family is?’ Noah: ‘you are looking at it’. I couldn’t believe what I heard from him. Just to confirm I heard it correctly I asked, ‘you are saying that you are his son?’. He nodded. I stayed silent. After sometime I was told by the officer that some other officer is going to pick me up and drop me off at my new foster home. When I was leaving the room, I didn’t look at him but I could see that he didn’t raise his head even once after he spoke to me.

After 10 years:

Its been 4 years since I moved out of foster care. Sometimes I got lucky with my foster parents and sometimes I didn’t. I started working part time since I am 16 and managed to get by with my living. I lost my family but I never lost the hope in life. I miss them terribly but I know that I have to get by with my life. People still ask me how I feel about living when I lost my entire family. I just smile at them. I made few good friends from school and nursing college. Life is going by and now I am a nurse who is about to start a new job at a hospital tomorrow. I placed flowers at my parent’s memorial. I could see some dry flowers. Guess, aunt must have visited them. I sat before their memorial, ’Hi Mom, Hi Dad… How are you doing? I came here to tell you some good news. Guess what, I banged a job. What mom? Are you thinking how was it possible for your lazy daughter? (with a smile). I miss you guys.’ Memories of the night I lost them hit me. Every time I think about the killer, I remember meeting Noah. He must be couple of years older than me and I sometimes wonder how he is doing? Did he end up being a jerk like his father? No, I don’t think so. But who knows? I cleaned the grave and left saying good bye. By the time I am home my best friend Claire was waiting for me. When she saw me; she got up saying, ’I came bearing gifts’ and took the wine bottle out. I laughed saying, ‘you are the best’

The next day I reported to my new job and one of the seniors started showing around the hospital as part of the training. ‘so, this is the nurse locker room/resting area and from tomorrow you will be trained in the emergency room. You will have one direct superior whom you can seek help for anything. Come on, lets go to the ER.’ I followed him to the ER and by the time we opened the doors to ER, it was very hectic. I could see people waiting outside while bleeding and patients coming in through by ambulances. It’s like a different world altogether after walking into that door. Amidst all of this, I could see a doctor yelling at someone in front of everyone. Suddenly the hectic room turned silent watching them. ‘Did I tell you to inject that medicine to him?’. The guy who is being yelled has his back to me. He didn’t respond back. Doctor: ’speak up, did I tell you to do that?’. He nodded saying no. Doctor: ‘you are an intern; your duty is to follow what I tell you. Did you think you can play doctor as you have finished your degree? Are you responsible for him if something happens?’ He is still looking the floor. Doctor: ’you are on bed pan duty for this week. I don’t want to see you go anywhere near treatment during this week. Check the urine samples and send it to testing for the labs. Now go, get out from here.’. The guy simply walked out of the room. From behind, the way he is walking doesn’t show any remorse for what he has done. He is walking with straight face and with his shoulders up in place. After this, the room has returned to the usual hectic sounds as before.

I came to cafeteria looking around to eat. The guy who showed me around before came behind me saying, ’do you want to join us Debbie?’ He is accompanied by some other nurses. I gladly accepted his invitation and went with them.  Once we got our food and settled down, the nurse besides me said looking at everyone, ‘did you know that Mr. Donovan has yelled at an intern in the ER today?’. The guy who showed me around before nodded indicating that he knows. She continued, ‘I heard that because of that Intern the patient is now alive. He has injected the injection to stop his breathing seizures at right time or else that would have leaded to heartache.’ Everyone nodded and the topics drifted to other topics which I know nothing about. The rest of the day has passed meeting new people.

The next day, I started working at ER. It took me some time to react quickly for the emergency patients. But now I got a hang of it. Its Friday night and I was told that this is the worst day in the week as we get more accident cases on Friday nights. As told, by 11PM all the doctors are so busy including the interns. When I just finished cleaning the wound for a patient, a guy walked in to the ER with blood on his hand and fell unconscious on the floor. Me and the other nurse, Jenny rushed to him and laid him on the bed. We could see that there is an injury on his hands and nothing else but his BP and pulse is dropping out rapidly. I couldn’t find a doctor free and I was rushing to the phone to announce code blue. While I was walking to the phone, I saw a white coat walking out of the door. I immediately ran to him and held his hand. He was startled and looked back. At the same time, I was trying to catch breath and looked at him to see who I was holding. Our eyes met and he looked at me as if he is seeing a ghost. As I was short on breath, it took me 5 seconds to form words but I pointed him to the bed saying patient. He removed my hand from his hand and walked towards the bed. The patient is getting worse, he took the scissors from the kit and cut down his clothes. He started examining his chest; he took out a syringe with needle and injected it on the patient’s lungs removing the needle out. The patient breathing started getting normal bit by bit. He turned to Jenny saying, ‘contact orthopaedics for his hand injury as it looks it need a surgery and wait for the duty doctor to get a doctor allocated.’ Saying that he left the bed.

As I am still looking at him in awe Jenny told me,’ He is Noah the intern that got scolded by Mr. Donavan. He is still in the outs to do any treatment but glad he picked up the case.’ That name hit me, Noah, but isn’t it a very common name? what are the odds of meeting a murderer son at my work place and that too as a doctor. I guess zero. It is a very common name and I don’t think he is the same Noah as I once met. I told myself that. The rest of the night went by so quickly and by the time I came out of the hospital after the night shift, I was ready to go home and curled up on bed. While I was walking to the car, I saw Noah walking opposite to me. I guess he came out to pick a coffee and heading in to the hospital. We crossed paths but he didn’t even look at me. After crossing him, I turned back calling out, ‘Hey…’ He turned around and saw me with a blank expression. Me: ’I just finished my shift. Would you like to join me for a coffee?’ He pointed out to his coffee without a word. Me with a smile: ‘Its ok, I see you already having your morning coffee. Great work. I mean what you have done before to the patient. Thanks. I am Debbie by the way.’ I extended my hand; he shook it gently without a word and turned around to head on his way. I stood there, I felt Déjà vu. Its exactly the same when that young kid shook my hand 10 years ago. I told myself again, it can’t be…

Days went by, I see Noah in the ER. I assist him with the patients too but other than that we never spoke a word. I just want to know if he is the same Noah I know. Its been pestering me for days so I decided to dig up a little. I went on a date with Liam, the other intern just to know about Noah. Unfortunately, Liam doesn’t have a clue about Noah. They hung out few times but he doesn’t know any of his family details. Liam did mention that Noah is visiting his family this weekend so I take it he isn’t the Noah I know. Even though some part of me is very anxious to know how he turned up, I guess the other part of me doesn’t want to see him at all. I relaxed.

Work kept me busy and one day we were given comms that an emergency patient who is been injured by a blunt object is arriving shortly. Its very common for us to get comms when the ambulance doctor or nurse believe its necessary. The patient has arrived and I am helping out Noah to get her intubated. The duty doctor advised to get her an MRI scan to assess the damage to her brain and advised the medication need to be injected. As we are carrying on with the necessary treatment. Patient had gone into cardiac arrest due to heavy blood loss. Noah and Liam have started doing CPR taking turns. But I could see the straight line on the monitor indicating no pulse. Duty doctor said it’s done and to stop doing the CPR but Noah kept doing it. Duty doctor: ’Noah, it’s enough. Its too late.’. Noah kept continuing it. I could see sweat on his arms and forehead. The doctor allowed him for another round of CPR and shouted, ‘I said Stop Noah.’ With that he did and he was breathless but he kept his eyes on the patient. Duty doctor: ‘didn’t I tell you its too late? Now pronounce his death.’ Noah didn’t utter a word and still struggling for breath turned his attention to the glass door of ER. Duty doctor: ‘Patient Name: Maria Time of death:9.00PM. Noah meet me in the duty room in 10 minutes.’ With that the doctor left. He is still looking towards the reception area and I turned to see what he is seeing. A 10-year-old girl was waiting there holding the police hand looking here. Noah then followed the duty doctor without a word. I was filling out the necessary details as I took the patient in when ambulance arrived. That’s when I realised that the girl is the daughter of the deceased. I guess Noah knew it by the way the girl is looking at her mother. I looked around to find Noah in my break time but I couldn’t find him.

I grabbed couple of instant coffee drinks and started looking for him. As I was looking around, I went into stairway. After walking up the stairs for two floors, I saw him sitting on the steps thinking something. I went behind him slowly and sat on the top step saying, ’Hey…’ He saw me and gave me a faint smile giving space for my legs on his step. I extended my hand with coffee. He took it saying, ’thank you’. Me: ’what did the duty doctor say?’ Noah: ’He gave me a warning note’ Me: ‘Why didn’t you stop when he said so?’ Noah: ‘To let the child see that we tried our best till the last moment.’ I stayed silent and he said, ‘you can’t be this kind to me.’ I looked at him in surprise. Noah: ’Remember I told you what’s the best revenge is?’. He looked at me in eyes saying, ‘Breath Debbie… Breath…’. That’s when I realised, I am not breathing. I thought I am going to have a panic attack. Noah took my hand in and started pressing some points on my hand and after few seconds I felt I am able to see him clearly again. Everything including that night memories hit me so hard that my eyes started watering. I got up feeling disgusted that I spoke to someone that share the same blood of who killed my parents and made me an orphan. I walked away from there controlling my tears.

I thought it would be pretty hard to work with him in the same ER. But it wasn’t, I made sure that I don’t even recognise him as a living entity for me to acknowledge him. And he knows that as well. I thought he would be concerned about my actions but quite opposite to that he made sure our paths aren’t crossed. Even though I continue to do my work my eyes still follow him when he is around me. Yes, I don’t consider him as a living being yet still, I feel I am being drawn to him. But the feeling behind that is nothing but pure disgust. How can a murderer son end up being a doctor? After ruining a family, how could his family end up being a life saviour. I told Claire everything, she heard me out without any remarks just like how a true friend does. Noah has a unique character. He makes people believe that he is a timid person who does what he is ordered to do. But he actually does what he wants to do. No intern ever got so many warnings as Noah, as all of his work here will be assessed for his final grading and yet he is never worried about his specialization. I believe his sly nature came from his father.

I just started my shift and comms indicated that a traffic accident patient is arriving in soon. Right after the patient has been transferred from ambulance to bed, I saw Noah coming in for the patient as he was the duty intern that evening. Noah checked his entire body with FAST/ER FAN (device used to check internal organs for any sort of internal bleeding. Mostly used in ER) and told Jenny to induce pain killers. Jenny: ‘Should we get a scan to check for internal injuries?’ Noah: ’No, it’s too late. He won’t make it. Our duty is to just make sure that he passes away with as little pain as he could feel’. I checked the pulse meter. I turned to Noah saying, ‘what are you talking? His Bp and pulse looks good. How can you decide that he is going to die without providing any treatment?’. Noah turned towards me saying, ‘its too late. As you could see the bloating here on his stomach it shows that his spleen has been damaged and there is a lot of internal bleeding. Soon he will go into shock and if he is moved into surgery right now, he won’t be able to endure it as his upper arm shows needle marks indicating he might be taking insulin. And even if I am wrong, he is been pressed hard to the steering wheel which have caused lung rupture too.’ Noah is still explaining when I said, ‘so are you giving up without even trying?’ I moved aside from him mumbling, ‘you are just like your father. Waiting to kill people’ and moved to get another doctor. By the time I got another doctor, the patient has passed away. Noah is about to announce his time of death when I interrupted him saying ‘wait, I want to know if he could have been saved if he was treated.’ The doctor beside me was confused as hell but did a check again and confirmed it’s a lost case due to heavy internal bleeding and walked away. Noah has announced the time of death but I still can’t believe that Noah is correct. While I stood there, head nurse came in asking me to join her for a chat. Apparently, I was given a warning note as I raised a doubt that the patient hasn’t been treated correctly in front of the rest of the people which could jeopardize hospital’s reputation.

I came home that evening with a worst mood possibly ever. Claire came as I asked to join her for a drink as I badly need one. I told Claire everything and as usual she heard me out. Then she said, ‘Debbie, you told me that you don’t even want to acknowledge him as a human being. But how come we are only talking about him for the past few days.’ I looked at her giving a sarcastic expression, ‘Because he is right in front of me where ever I go.’ Claire:’But isn’t that what you said that you would ignore him?’ I gave her an angry look. She gave a mock expression with her hands up indicating that she is backing off and not to get angry yet she continued, ‘Sweety, hatred is a form of feeling too. You have some feelings for him and that is why you keep searching for him to find a reason to hate him more. Do you know that there is a famous quote by Alford that ‘hate is an imitation of love’’ I didn’t even let Claire finish before I took a pillow and started hitting her as hard as I can. Claire with a smile said, ’ok… ok… I will not talk about it’ and after few minutes we settled down with both of us trying to catch breath. Claire:’ Debbie, I always have a doubt. How did he recognise you? Its been 10 years he saw you but he recognised you. Didn’t he?’ Me: ’I don’t think so. Everyone at my job knows that I am an orphan and he know my name. so, I guess he put those two together.’

Even after days, the words Claire said didn’t leave my mind. Is that true? Am I really trying to find a reason to hate him more? Don’t I hate him enough already? Am I trying to step on the feelings I had before I knew who he is? Did I even have any feelings for him? God, how come my life got so complicated because of one person. While I was going through enough turbulence in my mind, an emergency patient with fire accident came in. It was decided that the burns are second degree and immediate step to be taken by ER has been started. All the wounds are being cooled down to stop the burning process. It was Noah who is assisting the duty doctor including me and few other nurses. We completed the wrapping; IV process and the bed has been closed in to avoid further contamination as few of the wounds have deep burnt tissues. The worst part of the burnt patients are they gain consciousness even when they are heavily sedated for their pain management. At that point where they fight between consciousness and unconsciousness, the pain they undergo scars them psychologically. We have to let them know they are not alone but it is very hard for one person to do it except they are his family. But Noah did. Even after his shift Noah stayed back and monitored the patient continuously to make sure his sedative levels are strong. He stayed besides the patient bed holding his hand and patting it gently at times. As its an ER ICU, none of the family members of the patients are allowed. Noah never left the bed until he is transported to burn center. Does he really have that sort of empathy? How is it possible? How could a person who brutally killed someone could father a child that got deep emotions? All of this including Claire’s words started making me go crazy. I feel I am escaping my own emotions so I decided to talk with Noah.

I texted to Noah’s number asking him to meet at the cafeteria for a coffee. I was waiting for him and suddenly I was nervous. Why did I ask him to meet? What’s there to talk? I got up to leave before he come but I saw him walking towards my seat so I sat back. He came and sat opposite to me. we both didn’t speak for few seconds. Noah: ‘would you like something to drink?’ I nodded saying no. Silence filled in again. He didn’t rush me asking what’s the matter? He sat there as if we got all the time in the world. I cleared my throat forming sentence in my head, Me: ’I am sorry for what I said the other day’. Before I could finish, he waved his hand saying ‘don’t bother about it’ Me: ‘I try to forget what happened in the past…’ He interrupted me in the middle, Noah: ’I understand how you feel Debbie and there is nothing wrong in it. I applied to a different hospital far from here to finish my internship and its been approved. This is the last day for me here. Debbie, I know you hate to see me around but your presence always soothed me. When I saw you the first time when you hold my hand, I thought I might be mistaken but your eyes, I never forgot them. You were always in my mind. I am sure your parents would be happy to see you turn as this wonderful woman. All the best Debbie and I know this might not make a difference but I am sorry for what my father has done to your family. Bye Debbie.’ After saying that he waited for few seconds to see if I want to say something but as I was still looking at floor, he got up and left. I saw him walking away from behind, the same way I saw before that shows he is confident enough to handle this world.

10 years later:

I still work at the same hospital and I am used to all kind of surprises in the ER by now. Life has been the same, I still got Claire on my back but guess what she met her love 5 years back and is now a proud mother of 2-year-old daughter. Her husband is so sweet that he allows us to have girl’s night every fortnight. My dating life has been very minimal, like 8 years ago I dated Liam for 6 months or so but we both know that we don’t fit each other so we broke up but remained as good friends. Other than that, I never dated anyone but that doesn’t seem to be a problem to me where as Claire is trying so hard to set me up with her husband friends. As I was about to finish my shift, I got a message from Sue, the administrator for a quick meeting. I head to the office and took a seat. Sue: ‘hey Debbie? How are you doing?’ Me: ’Good Sue, how are you?’ Sue: ‘Good… So, Debbie its been 10 years for you here right? We are planning to promote you as an assistant Head nurse at ER. But the only condition is that you will need to relocate to a near by town which is 2 hours far from here. ‘By seeing my confused expression, she slowed down,’ Debbie, this is a great opportunity. You will get a salary hike and free accommodation. As its only 2 hours away, you can always come back here for weekends.’ I didn’t reply back. ‘sit on it for couple of days and let me know.’ I came out thinking I have been here in this city for my whole life and the few people who care for me are here. Should I leave here just for couple of bucks?  But then I realised I need a break from here. Even though its been 10 years every time I go into stair wall it reminds me of Noah. Every time I sit alone in the cafeteria, I remember him walking away. Even though it’s been only few months I worked with him, this place is filled with him. And the other reason I need to get away from here is Claire. Man, she is so determined to get me married by next summer. Every time she brings in a blind date, it’s getting harder to lie to her face and reject them. So, I decided I need to take this new job and its only 2 hours away I can always come back if I need to.

I drove my car there and went to the hospital directly. It is a very small hospital compared to the one I worked in the city but being a small town, I guess this is the biggest hospital for the towns around. Once I reported for the job, I headed to the hospital accommodation nearby. Its an apartment complex, with two houses on each floor. The apartment is amazing, it got a balcony with sea view. Somehow this place feels magical, I decided to take a walk to look around this place. I looked around, saw few restaurants and a beach nearby. Hospital is at a 10-minute walk distance. I took breath in closing my eyes and happiness filled my head. As I was walking towards the apartment, I saw someone getting off the car and entering the complex. I gasped, I felt that I have seen that walk somewhere. So similar to Noah. Can it be? No… I am overthinking again. How many times has this been? Every time I sit alone and look at someone from behind, I compare it with Noah. As Claire said, I need to stop obsessing about him. I decided to walk for another 10 minutes and walked around the apartment complex. As sunset creeped in, I went in and got into lift. Once the lift beeped indicating that my floor arrived, I looked up when the doors started opening. I can’t believe what I am seeing… Noah… Maybe he has freshly showered, his hair is still wet and he got his hands on his hair rubbing off the excess water. As I didn’t move, he looked up. I could see a genuine surprise in his eyes. As the doors are about to close again, I came back to this world. I pressed the button again to open the door and got off the lift. Without looking back, I went into my apartment and closed the door, falling to the knees against it.

As I couldn’t sleep the previous night, my eyes have been red and tired by the time I came to the hospital. I was walked in all the regulations of this hospital and was shown around. I didn’t see Noah anywhere around. I guess as I work in ER, I won’t see him. As I stepped into the ER and walked toward the administrator desk. I saw someone standing there. I know that back. I could recognise it even in a room of 100 people. My heart beat raised, I felt I am walking towards him and not to the counter. As my eyes are glued on his back, someone placed hands on my shoulders shouting, ‘Boo..’ I got startled and felt a jump in my heart. I got hands on my heart and looked back to see with wide eyes. Its Chris. The guy I worked with few years back. As he was so loud, the entire ER is looking us including Noah. Chris gave me a bear hug saying, ‘Hey Debbs… Debbs… it’s so nice to see you here? Wow… you look great… how come you got that pink on your face? Are you blushing?’ Apparently, Chris is oblivious that everyone in the room are looking at us. I managed to say, ’Hi…’ with a smile.

Chris asked me to join him for a coffee and as I don’t want to be here with Noah watching me anymore, I quietly followed him. After a coffee and a good 30 min chat, I asked him ‘Isnt that Noah? The guy standing there at the counter?’ Chris: ‘wow Debbs… you laid eyes on the most sexist man in this hospital within few hours you came here’. I know he is saying it for fun but I felt a hinge of churning in my stomach indicating disgust. Chris continued, ‘Yes he is Dr.Noah. He is an ER specialist in our hospital and is on call most of the time even when he isn’t working. He is been working here for the past 6 years and is very famous for his treatment style. Most of the girls around here asked him for a date but he go out to have dinner with them and rejects them in a style even the rejected doesn’t get hurt, which is the other point he is famous about. By the way how do you know him?’ Me: ‘I worked with him when I started my career and when he is an intern’ Chris: ‘So you guys come from long history.’ Again, Chris doesn’t mean any ill but his words made me choke. We came back to ER and rest of the day I didn’t find Noah anywhere around. I came back to the apartment and sat down thinking how am I going to live from tomorrow? His dad smashed my life in one blow and now he is eating up my remaining life like a termite. I called Claire and told her that I met Noah here. She was silent for few minutes and said, ‘May be you guys have some unfinished business and that is fate is bringing you together.’ Me: ‘yes, an ill fate is bringing us together’ Claire: ‘DO you want to come back? I am pretty sure you can say something and get shifted’ Me: ‘No, I don’t want to run away like him. I hate his presence but I want to get through it and live my life.’ Claire: ’That’s my girl. Now go and eat something’ Me: ’give my love to my niece’ Claire: ‘sure will do’

Even though hospitals changed, How ER work is always the same. So, I got adjusted at my work pretty quickly. I see Noah pretty much all the time as he is one of the popular among ER doctors. And ER specialised doctors are mostly Trauma surgeons and ER generalised doctors. Which mean they pretty much do everything that comes into ER If needed a baby delivery too. They go through high intense training to be a registered ER doctor. I am dazzled to know Noah was able to do this. Every morning we have a staff meeting for 15 minutes. That’s the time I see Noah, as he is the reputed doctor and me being assistant head nurse, I need to get guidelines from him for every patient chart. So, I can’t avoid him and I don’t plan to. While I was going through all this turbulence, I wonder what Noah would be thinking and then I got my answer soon. I was walking by the main administrator voice when I heard Noah name. My legs stopped taking another step and even though I know it’s wrong, I couldn’t resist myself from listening to it. ‘Did you know that Dr.Noah has asked for relocation and if it’s not approved then he would resign?’, ‘what are you talking about? He can’t leave here. So, what did the chief doctor say?’ And I didn’t feel like listening any more. I walked away. What? Noah want to move? It is me who should avoid? How dare he behave like that with me? I was so angry that I want to talk to him right there. I looked around and found him at the ER counter looking patient’s chart. I went to him and said ,’Can I talk to you for a minute?’ He looked up from the chart and nodded. He waited for me to go first so that he can follow. I didn’t know where we could talk personally so I brought him to the parking lot. ‘I heard that you requested for relocation.’ He nodded. ‘who are you to avoid me? Did you think I came here to be treated like this?’ His confused expression says that he can’t understand what I mean. Noah: ‘I don’t want to make you uncomfortable…’ This time I didn’t allow him to finish. ’So you are running away. Don’t you have guts to stay in front of me and face my wrath?’ He looked at me as if he is seeing me for the first time.’ Don’t go as once you said the best revenge is to kill his family. I want to get my revenge, stay here and see how alone I am because of your father. I want you to go through the pain having me in front of your eyes every second to remind you that your father is a criminal. You might be a reputed doctor now, but your blood, what’s running in you comes from a murderer and I am here to remind you that.’ After saying that I didn’t wait for another second and walked away.

While I was walking, I could sense tears in my eyes. Did I really mean what I said to him? How can a person be responsible for what someone else has done just because he is his family? I sat in my car and looked myself in the mirror. I want to be genuine for the first-time regarding Noah. I think I am hurt because a part of me is happy to see Noah again and I can’t bear to think that Noah doesn’t feel that way. I feel I am wronging my parents to think like this about Noah. Why? Why can’t I hate him? we never spoke. We didn’t have any moments between us but why? Why do I always think about him and why do I like to be in his presence? I took sometime to calm myself and came back to ER. I didn’t see Noah around that day.

Weeks went by and I got habituated working with Noah and I guess he did too. Today I woke up late and I am pretty sure that I am going to be late for the staff meeting. I came by as fast as I can and by the time, I opened the door, the meeting has already commenced. I apologised and took the seat. I saw Noah checking his time and back to my face. If I am not mistaken, I could see concern in his eyes. Whatever? Right now, I am short of breath and I would like a cup of water. But I’ll wait until the meeting is finished. Noah got up at his turn to talk and started walking around the room explaining the current patient’s surgeon’s allocation and when he came to my seat, he placed a water bottle near me while he is still talking. He has done that in a casual way that no one else around found it absurd but me… my heart beat fastened rapidly. The thought of Noah watching my every move made me happy. That entire day passed by in an instant.

That evening after my shift, I saw Noah outside the apartment block. I walked in and waited for him at the lift. Not sure why I did that, maybe I am curious to know which floor he lives in. I saw him on the same floor as mine on the first day but I never saw him again. He came in and gave me a small smile when we both were waiting for the lift. After getting into the lift, he pressed the button same as mine and didn’t ask me for the number. So, I guess he knows which floor I live. We were so quiet until we both got down and he again smiled before going to his door. I walked into my apartment and I felt a twinge of amusement to find that Noah lives in the same floor as mine and its only both of us that lives in this entire floor. I decided to follow my heart. I cooked pasta and dressed up neatly. I went to Noah’s door and knocked. After few seconds, Noah opened the door. He is dressed in simple white shirt and black tracks. He got concerned look on his face. I blurted out immediately asking, ‘would you like to join for dinner?’ pointing to my apartment. He is confused for a second and said ‘let me grab my phone and keys.’ I nodded and waited for him to lock up the door and we both walked to my apartment. Once he is in, he sat at the dining table looking around. I asked him ‘wine or beer’. He looked his phone to check something and said ‘beer, I am just checking out to see if someone is on call duty before I consume alcohol.’ I nodded my head as understood.

I served him dinner and he ate with gusto. Some men try to care about their appearance before women while they eat but with Noah, he doesn’t mind anything. He owns this confidence that he knows what he is doing. We spoke only few words during dinner. After dinner, we stepped into balcony with our drinks. I want to start a conversation as he is busy looking the lights and sea. ‘So I heard you reject women after having dinner with them when you go on a date’ He smiled and said ‘I make sure they don’t get offended for liking a jerk like me.’ Me: ‘So we had dinner and I guess just the rejection is in the process’. He saw me in my eyes to check if I am being serious. As he could see a hint of smile in my eyes he said, ‘this isn’t a date and you never liked me so I don’t think that is how its going to end today’ I started this for fun but his remark has made me lost my energy. Noah got a call and he is talking. I decided that there is no point in keeping it myself. Noah came back and stood beside me. Me: ’What if I say I like you. How is it going to end?’ He didn’t utter a word. He said, ‘I think we should call it a night’ and he stepped into the house from balcony. Me: ‘so it did end up with rejection’ He turned back saying, ‘Debbie, are you out of your mind? I think you are trying to make fun of me that I am wrapped around your finger.’ Me: ‘what are you talking about?’ I stepped into the room as well. Noah: ‘Don’t tell me you started this topic without having a clue that I love you’ My eyes went wide with surprise. Noah: ‘Don’t tell me you didn’t know. Everyone around the ER knows how I feel about you. I don’t know what you did to me? but 10 years ago I left there because I can’t stop myself coming to you and now when I want to leave again you said I need to go through the pain as you are. I am going through a lot Debbie. Can you imagine falling for one woman whom you can’t have. Can you imagine seeing her in every woman you meet and every place you go? I know what my father has done to you and I can’t forgive myself for wanting you. So, if you are trying to make fun of me or create more pain than what I have, then I guess you have succeeded.’ With saying that he is walking towards the door to leave the house. I don’t know what I am feeling now. Happiness or pain? I don’t know which one is dominating. I went fast and hold his hand. He looked at me, ‘I love you Noah…’ I could see that his eyes are gleaming with happiness but he removed my hand from his and said, ‘we are never going to work out Debbie. The guilt I have, would never allow us to be happy. What we have is an ill-fated love.’ Saying that he left the house. Guess it really did end with rejection.

We still work together in the same ER and we both behaved as if that evening never happened. That evening we received a patient with severe head injury. As we got him on the bed and when Noah was trying to check his injury. We saw a woman walking in towards his bed. She took a gun out and pointed at Noah saying, ‘stop what you are doing.’ Everyone around got alert seeing a gun. It took me a moment to realise that what I am seeing is for real. Noah took his hands off the patient. She said, ‘No one dare to move until he(patient) dies in front of me. If everyone co-operates with me then no one would get hurt’ She looked at me saying, ’go and lock the door now.’ I didn’t move. She said, you might think I only have one gun and she opened up her jacket. She got hand grenades in her jacket. She said, Now move… close the ER doors now.’ Me: ‘I will but I can’t do it alone. I would need my fellow nurse to help me to do that’ she looked at me suspiciously but said ‘don’t dare to do anything funny or else I would blow up everything here.’ I nodded and asked Chris to join me. When we went to the doors to lock, I winked at Chris pointing towards the code black button near the admin desk. Chris nodded in understanding. I walked towards the desk when she yelled, ’where are you going?’ I pointed to the desk saying, ’getting keys to lock up the door’ she said ok. I went to grab the keys and pressed the code black button below the desk. It immediately sends signal and message to the police indicating that there is a terror attack in the hospital.

Once the doors are locked, I came back and stood before Noah. Even at a gun point, Noah didn’t quiver. Noah: ‘I am not going to treat him believe me. And if you want, I can actually speed up his death’ She said, ‘No, I want him to die in a painful way slowly.’ Noah: ‘Ok… but the injury he has made him unconscious and even though his body is in pain he cant feel it as his brain has shut it down’ She said,’ I don’t believe you’ No one uttered a word for the next 10 minutes and a voice from the hospital mic started saying,’ please put the gun down now, we know that he killed your daughter but what you are doing could jeopardize other people lives’. I looked back at her and Noah. We both looked at each other for few minutes. Me: ’Did he kill your daughter?’ she didn’t respond back. Me: ‘I lost my parents for a murderer too’ That grabbed her attention. Me: ’I lost them when I was 12 but I moved on. If I didn’t then I wouldn’t be here. I was once told that the best revenge is to kill the family of that murderer but that same person allowed me to think, what difference does it make if I become a murderer too. Would my parents be happy about it? Would your daughter be happy with what you are doing? Whatever this guy has done to your daughter, would it really require you to stand here and go to jail? ‘she is looking at me and she dropped her hand from Noah’s head. The hospital mic kept going about negotiations. She walked towards me and pointed the gun at me saying, ’shut up’ Noah: ’look no one needs to get hurt. His pulse and BP indicate that he is brain dead. We just need to take him off the ventilator and he would pass away in seconds. So please allow me to remove the ventilator’ She looked at Noah and said, ‘which one is the ventilator?’ he pointed towards the mask on his mouth. She removed the mask with one hand. The pulsometer started going down slowly and indicated straight line in less than 10 seconds. Noah: ’he passed away. Now please surrender to the police and no one needs to get hurt.’ She smiled and pointed gun at her own head. Before everyone realised, what she is doing, Noah pushed her hand and by the time she fired, I felt a piercing pain on my hand. I looked down to see that I was shot down on the hand. As the blood was gushing out, I fell to my knees with pain. Chris and the other nurses held her down and someone opened the doors and the police came in quickly.

Noah came towards me and yelled at the nurses to bring the medicines required to stitch up my wound. He lifted me up and carried to a near by empty bed and placed me down. He gave me a sedative and quickly worked on the injury. As I was sedated, I feel a bit tipsy and I felt Noah is incredibly hot in his white coat Me: ‘hey… Look at me…’ Noah looked at me. Me: ‘Do you know that you are so hot’ Noah: ’And do you know because of whom you are laying down here?’ Me:’You saved her’ Noah:’ at the expense of you getting hurt’ Me: ‘Hey… look at me…’ Noah finished up wrapping the wound and looked at me. Me: ‘I love you’ Noah: ’you are under anaesthesia’ Me: ’Will you kiss me?’ Noah: ‘Do you really think we will be able to put everything behind? All the past? All the guilt? All the pain?’ Me: ‘I already did when I have fallen for you and who said we need to put everything behind? Let’s overcome the pain together by loving each other.’ He looked into my eyes and kissed me. Wow… is this how a real kiss feel? Noah (with a smile): ‘you are sedated baby…’ and like that I fell asleep in peace.

Noah and me are driving to visit my parent’s grave. We have been dating for 6 months and everything seems perfect in my life. Once we are at the memorial grounds, I could see Noah leading the way before me. I started cleaning the graves and I suddenly turned towards Noah asking, ’how do you know that this is my parents grave?’ He mumbled for few minutes before saying, ‘ I always visit them when something important happen in my life.’ Tears welled up in my eyes and I kissed him with my arms around his neck. Our ill-fated love helped us overgrow our past and be together.

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