At The Raleigh (Niki & Gerald Go Out for Drinks)

Chapter 49 In an upscale restaurant overlooking Santa Monica Bay, I’m standing behind a long table. Every seat is filled with PICU nurses, and staff from other departments celebrating Kris’s bridal shower. Above the chatter and laughter, Kris holds up a scanty piece of lacy lingerie, a gift inciting a round of cell phone photos […]

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You Remember What Night Shift’s Like (Niki & Kris Talk)

Chapter 48  The following morning, I gave report to Kris, beginning with what I hoped she would interpret as an apology, “Kris, I just want to say again that I’m really happy about your engagement. You must be super excited about going on tour with Spider.” She smiled, and then added shrewdly, “Thanks Niki, but […]

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Rashes & Fevers (measles admission)

Chapter 47 Once I clock in, there isn’t time to contemplate Kris’s engagement, Simon’s remarriage, Amber’s pregnancy, or Corey’s move to Seattle with his family. As charge nurse, I took the call from an ER nurse requesting three beds for immediate admissions. “Three beds? What’s happening down there? Was there a bus accident?” “No, but […]

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Moving On (more changes)

Chapter 46 Taking Maddie and Kaylee out for dinner distracts me from the sadness of saying good-bye to Corey in the mall. We watch movies in the family room until I’m too tired to stay awake. In bed, alone in darkness, I listen to their laughter until sleep overtakes me. The next morning I deep […]

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Your Problem Arises (Niki Confronts Corey)

Chapter 45 As soon as I realize I’ve bumped into Corey, I turn to run back into the women’s restroom, but he caught me by the shoulders before I reached sanctuary. “Let go!” I hiss. A woman shoulders past us, looks back, but determines I’m not in danger so she keeps going. “Niki, will you […]

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A Trip to The Mall

Chapter 44 I get home from work and fall into bed without showering first. Troubled about Corey, and tired from a long nightshift, I toss and turn through fragments of terrible dreams I can’t remember. After several hours I give up all hope of restful sleep, and lie awake in the darkened room. The extra […]

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Angst and Cake (Niki’s smiling face)

Chapter 43  “So what happens to Melissa now, Grant?” “The hospital can file a complaint against her with the Board of Nursing if they choose, but that’s unlikely. She isn’t named in the suit, so she’s off the hook for that. Like I said, Dr. Straid filed against the hospital to protect his financial interests. […]

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An Awkward Silence (the trouble with bullies)

Chapter 42 Melissa took a sip from the glass of water in front of her before speaking. “It was supposed to be my night off, but I came in extra at 11 for an eight hour shift. There was a sick call, and when they got a third admission that night, the charge nurse asked […]

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A Tiny Diamond in Her Nose (The deposition)

Chapter 41 Extending his hand to introduce himself, Grant stood up to meet the nurse and hospital lawyer as they entered the conference room. Then he introduced me as part of the legal team. I don’t know what I’d expected, but I was surprised the nurse facing deposition appeared to be in her thirties. Like […]

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The Wrong Side of a Sentinel Event Review (Niki empathizes)

Chapter 40 I woke up in Raquel’s and Grant’s guest room when a bright shaft of morning light slipped between the honeycombed shades and into my eyes. This never happens at home where I’ve installed black out shades in my bedroom, because I work night shift. My hand, tingly-numb from sleeping on it, reaches for […]

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