Coming soon is my new stalker series, starting with Afraid in the Dark:
I'm starting a new series I hope you will all enjoy. Here's a sample of
Afraid in the Dark:
"Beautiful office," Melanie murmured.
"Thanks," Julia smiled, glancing about the room. "I like to keep it like my home, I'm here so much of the time."
"Good idea," Melanie smiled and nodded.
"Now, I've read your resume and I liked everything I read about you, but honestly, a resume tells us little about the person. So, tell me about yourself, Melanie."
Surprised she was interested, and the casual way she used her first name set Melanie more at ease. Melanie sat back in her seat and tried to relax a bit. She related a lot of personal information about where she was from, her family, her small-town upbringing. She informed her of her college and night classes in nursing school. And then she stopped and looked at her. "That's about it. I don't lead a super exciting life I'm afraid."
Julia seemed to soak up the information and file it somewhere mentally.
"Why did you want to work in Pediatrics?"
Melanie leaned toward her desk, "Because I think having babies is the sweetest thing on earth and because I’m an only child and haven't had the opportunity except a few occasions of babysitting to know as much as I'd like to about babies. Kind of like an education in them to work with them when they are so little. I've loved medicine ever since my dog was injured and I nursed him back to health. Seeing people get better is a pure pleasure. But working with babies should be very enlightening."
"I see you aren't married?"
"So, you've had little experience around them huh?"
"I guess you could say that. I've babysat and I've patched a lot of skinned knees and owie's. But bringing a child into the world to me sounds like a life changing moment, and I wanted to share in the happiness it brings."
"Well, it isn't always pleasant, I have to tell you this. Sometimes babies are born and don't do well. Sometimes they are born dead, can you also see yourself handling this kind of situation too?"
Melanie sobered to some extent, "As a matter of fact I can. I think the parents would need a compassionate person to help them get through losing their child. I actually had an experience once in just such a case. She was a cousin and she was mortified when she woke up and realized her baby had died during delivery."
"Oh, tell me about it?"
"Well, her pregnancy was normal everything looked good, but during delivery they found the baby's heartbeat was weak and as it was born they saw it was the cord wrapped around it's neck. Although the doctors worked meticulously to save the child, it was simply too late. Her mother was hysterical, her husband not much better, so I stepped in and sat with her for the first two days afterward. I tried to uplift her and encouraged her to think about trying again. Because we were close to the same age I suppose I related to her better than most. When she left the hospital she had accepted the baby's death and so had her husband, but she felt uplifted that I and her doctors encouraged her to try again. After she left the hospital I went and talked with her mother and gradually the woman began to accept what had happened too. I think all babies that die, go to heaven, and it is encouraging to think that way. That you'll see them again, in time." Melanie finished. "Do you think that's too dumb?"
"Dumb? Why no, I think that is exactly what the mother and father need to hear, often. I think you will be a real asset here. You show a lot of compassion and that is what is needed at a time like that. As long as you don't become too attached to any one child."
"Well, most don't stay that long anyway, do they?" Melanie asked curiously.
"This is true. You know, I've had a few nurses that weren't compassionate at all, and it makes things even more difficult."
"I can imagine it would."
"As a new nurse, you would be required to put in some extra hours off and on, how do you feel about that?"
"Well, I'd love it for a while at least. I need to save and buy some furniture and a better car." She smiled.
"Are you seeing anyone at the moment?"
"A boyfriend you mean?"
"Sort of, he works here at the hospital."
"Oh, maybe I know him then?"
"Oh Dex, I know him. But I didn't know he was dating anyone."
"Well, we just sort of hooked up you might say. I just moved into his apartment building. We are good friends really, haven't known him long enough to call him a boyfriend."
Julia smiled. "He's a nice young man. Now, let's talk about your work. Working with babies is not a cushy job like some seem to think. And even though they are little angels at that point, don't go thinking this job is easy. They get fussy, they have problems and sometime only sometimes we lose them. Can you handle that?"
Melanie stared soberly at her. "I think I handle death well, ma'am but to lose a baby, must be the saddest thing on earth, for the mother, especially."
Julia seemed to react to that, "Yes, well, it is. And many times it's just as devastating for the father."
Julia studied her resume closely for several long seconds. There was a long silence, giving Melanie the opportunity to size up her new boss and decide whether this would be a good match for her.
Julia was stern, but friendly. Approachable came to mind. She liked the fact that she could actually talk to her. She hadn't counted on that.
She was also a lovely looking woman, with blonde hair that shone, clear blue-green eyes and a figure most eighteen-year old's would die for. She kept a clean and organized office and the many pictures she had on her desk spoke volumes of getting along with a lot of different kinds of people. In short, Melanie decided that she liked her.
Julia laid down the paperwork and stared at her now. "First off, I'm strict about cleanliness. We wash our hands many times a day as we are handling precious patients. We do things methodically so there are no mix-ups. We don't get too attached to them, as they are not ours. This is very important and something the last nurse in your spot did not adhere to. She was way too personal about the babies. We cannot do that. We can enjoy them for the time they are here, but we cannot allow ourselves to get too attached to them."
Melanie nodded. "I understand."
Now she knew why the nurse had been fired, or at least she thought she did.
"Everything will get to be a routine here after a while and the job is easy and enjoyable most of the time. As long as you remember the things I teach you, there will be no problems. I run a tight shift, but also a personable one too. If you need time off, please don't hesitate to talk to me about it. If you know ahead of time, you might want to discuss it with one of the other nurses taking your shift. We work together here. I'm very approachable but I don't have time for drama, so keep that to a minimum."
"Now, let's take a tour around the floor so you can get used to your surroundings, meet a few and get back to filling out more paperwork, issue you a badge and put you to work."
She met several doctors, Dr. Peters head of Pediatrics, Dr. Simon, Dr. Wentworth, and Dr. Lyons. She also met a few nurses, most of them were friendly.
It took until noon to view all the offices and rooms. Finally, they went to the nursery where she had to put on scrubs and mask, wash her hands and arms, and then go inside to meet the babies.
Melanie's heart warmed to each of them, but Julia was showing her the name tag systems, and the charts and regulations they had to adhere to. It was a lot to take in and when they finally went back to her office, she told her to go downstairs to the lunchroom and get something to eat then come back and she'd issue her supplies and a long list of do's and don'ts.
Melanie went downstairs and finally found the cafeteria. It was packed with nurses and doctors and even visitors to the hospital. Mulling over the two important women she'd met this morning she liked Julia best. She was direct, and to the point, but also interested in her and fair.
Mrs. James had been unapproachable and hard to define in one sentence. The menu had a variety of things and Melanie just grabbed a sandwich and some soup, grabbing some tea and lemon, she found a place to herself and was busy watching the crowds of people coming in and out of the cafeteria.
When she spotted Dex he came over and sat with her.
"So how did it go?"
"I got Pediatrics." She smiled.
"Great, so you've met Julia? That's fantastic. I'm a little surprised since the majority do get stuck in ER for a while."
"Yeah, it was a shock to me too. I like her a lot. And I think Julia must have been shorthanded was the reason I was sent immediately to her." She told him.
"But, I was informed by Mrs. James that I’m taking the place of another nurse who was fired from Pediatrics."
Dex's face changed. "Norma Wells, oh yeah, we've all heard about her."
"Well, great, I haven't. Why don't you tell me about what happened?"
Dex shrugged. "She'd been here ten years. Good nurse. But she kept to herself a lot. Wasn't friendly. No one liked her much. As time went on she was very controlling of the babies in the ward. Julia noticed her spending her breaks rocking one particular baby. She watched her closely too."
"Why was she fired?" Melanie asked point blank.
"She got too involved with the babies. There was one she wouldn't let any other nurse rock her. She insisted. It got to be she'd neglect other babies while this one seemed to take up her time. Julia noticed. We all suspected Norma might try to take the baby."
Melanie's eyes widened. "You don't mean it?"
"She tried. She was almost out of the hospital when they caught her."
"And she didn't go down quietly either. She kept telling them it was her baby."
"How did they know it wasn't?"
"She wasn't married, and never had a baby."
"So, what happened to her?"
"Julia fired her when she was released on bond. Norma lost it that day. She screamed for her child, who had luckily gone home by then. Julia had to call the cops to come get her."
"The day she took off with the baby, wow, that was a day no one around here will forget. Everyone in this hospital knew about her before that day was over. They chased her through the halls of seven floors before they caught her. She'd gone completely nuts."
"That's so sad, Dex." Melanie murmured. "Is she still in custody?"
"No, she escaped and no one has seen or heard from her since. They've been keeping surveillances cameras here at the hospital. They think she'll return here and try to take another baby. The baby she was after was a preemie, so naturally has been here a while, but she was released and gone home now. That's a good thing."
"Yeah, I see why…"
Then a tall good-looking black doctor came to their table. "Well, you are holding out on us Dex, who is the cute girl?"
"Melanie, this is Dr. Rod Covington, Gynecologists from the fourth floor. He's quite the ladies' man, so watch out for him." Dex teased.
Ron scooted Dex's tray over and joined them. "Melanie huh? You working here?"
"Yes, started today." Melanie smiled, "Pleased to meet you."
"Same here, and don't be a stranger." He smiled at her.
"What department are you in?"
"Pediatrics." She returned.
"Oh yeah, we'll be seeing a lot of each other then." He grinned. "I knew Julia had someone in mind to replace Norma, now I know who."
"Don't let him fool you. He has a girlfriend in ER and she'd can him if she knew how much he flirts with all the new girls." Dex glanced at his buddy.
"Gloria trusts me."
"Sometimes I wonder why." Dex teased.
"She will after this weekend. I have a ring," He whipped it out of his pocket and displayed for both of them to see.
"Wow, that's not a ring, it's a rock." Dex whistled.
"Been dating for five years now, it's time bro." Rod chuckled.
"She's a lucky girl." Melanie smiled.
"Think she'll like it?" He asked her.
"Any girl would like that," She chuckled.
"So, how long you known my friend Dex, here?"
"Not long, I moved in the same apartment building."
Rod looked at Dex, "You have all the luck."
"Yeah, I think you are right." Dex smiled.
The intercom called Rod's name and he shook his head. "Well, at least I got some food in me first. Gotta run, nice meeting you Melanie, look forward to working with you too."
"Thanks." She smiled.
"See ya, bro." Dex shook hands with him and he left.
"I guess I better run before someone calls me too," He told her. "See you later."
"Okay," She smiled.
He winked and left.