Bruises Not Scratches (Niki Discovers Something Unsettling)

Chapter 58 “Raquel, it was absolute mayhem. The little dog took off down the hall after the bunny, and then the charge nurse called Security to help round them up. Of course, Security didn’t have any idea of what to do. Eventually, two officers cornered the animals, grabbed Rocket, and the pet therapist gathered up […]

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up (Niki’s easy shift )

Chapter 57 One of my two post-open heart patients has discharge orders. The better part of an hour is spent reviewing the discharge instructions with her parents, and observing them practice drawing up the right amount of each of the liquid home medications using syringes and a cup of water. This demonstrates they understand the […]

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How to Sabotage a Shift (Niki Meets a Service Dog)

Chapter 56 Never, ever think your shift is easy and you may go home early. It’s the quickest way to sabotage it. The shift started well enough. I did vitals and passed meds for the two post-open heart patients first. They each have private rooms, and I chatted a bit with their respective parents. Transferring […]

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I Hate This, All of It (Maddie Talks to Niki)

Chapter 51 “Maddie, open the door.” “Go away!” “Maddie, I know you’re upset, but we need to talk.” “I don’t want to talk. I hate you! And Amber, and Dad too!” “Maddie, I’ve heard Amber’s side of the story, now I want to hear yours. Please open the door and talk to me. 
” I […]

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Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons & Green Clovers (Maddie Acts Out)

Chapter 50 Simon and Amber were married. The baby is due soon. Maddie is silent regarding updates about the birth, however. Shortly after the wedding, she stopped talking about home life with her father. I know something’s brewing. Kris married Spider Rodrigo, and left the PICU to tour with Kushion. Her day shift position is […]

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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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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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