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 […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

For Whom the Phone Rings (Niki does ‘wine by phone’)

Chapter 10 After working a night shift, my soundest sleep occurs between 10 am and noon. At 11 am the ringing of our landline phone wakes me. Drowsily, I pick up thinking it could be the school calling about Maddie. What if she’s sick, or hurt? But I forgot, the school only has Simon’s and […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (Niki gets a speeding ticket)

Chapter 9 After charting on the fourteen-year-old boy with the AVM, I left the PICU to the well wishes of my coworkers: “Get some sleep, Niki. Good job.” As usual, I leave through the Emergency Department exit, glancing around before remembering that it’s after eight-thirty; Corey went home over an hour ago, and I stood him up […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

Something Goes Wrong (Nice families always have the sickest kids)

Chapter 8 Besides my fourteen year-old head trauma there is only one other patient in the PICU.  Because that one is stable and expected to transfer to the regular pediatric unit in the morning, staffing for our night shift dropped down to two nurses, Kathy, and myself. The fourteen year old’s parents had been at the bedside […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

The Center of This Body’s Universe (Niki needs caffeine and meets a nice family in the PICU)

Chapter 7 I can’t tell if my headache is caused by too much sleep or not enough. Without coffee my night shift tuned body doesn’t know whether to wake up, or go to bed, since neither daylight nor darkness have circadian relevance anymore. Caffeine, not the sun,  is the center of this body’s Universe. I […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

Call 911 (Niki comes to the aid of a family in distress at the grocery store)

Chapter 4 The rest of that shift was uneventful. Once dayshift arrived, I gave report on the new admission, and my other patient too. I wash my hands, use the restroom, and wash my hands again. Never get into a car with a full bladder. I leave the hospital by the ER exit on my […]

Continue Reading →

Comments Off

A Good Shift (Niki introduces two coworkers)

Chapter 2 One good thing about working twelve-hour night shifts in a Southern California hospital is driving against traffic for the commute. Californians don’t measure commutes in miles, but by how long it takes them to get there. Everyone knows to stay off the freeways, and take surface streets. I pull into the hospital staff […]

Continue Reading →

4 Comments