Call Lights Magazine: Looking for Real Nurses (Niki & her friends apply for modeling)

Chapter 30 Walking into the staff lounge, I find Kris, Liz, and Kathy laughing and talking excitedly. “Here she is,” says Liz. “I bet Niki will come with us.” I head towards the phone to clock in and ask, “Go where?” Kris holds up a magazine. “Call Lights Magazine is looking for real nurse models for an […]

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Buy Yourself Another One (Foraging for food on night shift)

Chapter 27 While getting ready for work I struggle over wearing my hair loose around my shoulders, foregoing the usual scrunchy-bound topknot I wear when I haven’t bothered to wash it. “Pull it together, jeez,” I reprimand myself. “He’s still married. Don’t set yourself up like this.” Pulling into the staff parking lot, I look […]

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Simon’s Turn (Simon talks back)

Chapter 21 “Yes you are, Niki.  You’re wrecking our home.” Simon, seated across from me in the family room hadn’t moved a muscle, but the power of his words hit me like a punch to the stomach: breathless, and unable to speak. My bravado was gone. Defeated, I crumpled into the chair, fighting back tears. […]

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The Most Important Thing (Niki makes a decision)

Chapter 16 Corey put his arms around me, holding me close. My face nestles in the warm triangle where shoulder meets neck, and I can feel his carotid pulse beating against my cheek. He smells like soap and water, clean and nice. I place tiny kisses against his smooth neck, tears welling in my eyes. […]

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Two Separate Worlds (Corey tells Niki how he feels)

Chapter 15 Corey’s hand is warm, and dry, its nails clipped and clean. I left my hand on the diner table under his longer than I should. “Hey Niki,” he said. I withdrew my hand. “Um, we should go. Thanks for the bacon, Corey.” I put a ten on the table as Corey flagged the […]

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It’s Not Like You Work Five Days a Week (Twelve-hour night shifts are hard on marriages)

Chapter 14  For the third night in a row, I returned to the PICU. Shortly after shift report, the father of the child I told how to ask for pain meds for his kid walks in carrying three large boxes of pizzas. He sets them in front of me, on top of the nurses’ desk. […]

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Collusion (Niki coaches a parent on talking to doctors)

Chapter 13 The next night I returned to the PICU, and found that the eleven year-old transferred to the regular pediatric unit on schedule. As predicted, Dr. Eubanks not only discontinued the Fentanyl infusion before the transfer, but the puny IV morphine pushes too. It was out of my hands now. Or so I thought. Later […]

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