Happy April! We’re already a third into 2015 … Wow!
Enjoy the latest installment of “Specialton.”
John kept the two secrets from the team, although it was extremely difficult to concentrate. He was exceedingly worried about Evelyn, since her sickness had been non-stop since the weekend started and she hadn’t left the bathroom when he went out the door. He desperately wanted to send everyone home at noon, but he had another important meeting at 1:00. “By 2:30, I’ll be home to her,” he thought as he muddled through research, paperwork, and phone calls.
Mary Anne knew he was worried without asking. She kept a straight face though so as to not give any hint that something was awry. No one seemed to notice, at least not yet. She also knew that the two of them would likely announce their big news together, so she just buried herself in her work.
At noon, John gathered the team together for a quick staff meeting.
“I have some news to share with all of you. Unfortunately, Evelyn has not been well since Friday and we are not sure what is going with her just yet. We will very likely go to the doctor together tomorrow; we are both very worried based on her symptoms and the duration of her illness thus far.”
John paused. Everyone looked concerned, but no one even dared to raise a question. It appeared the whole staff was holding their breath.
“With that said, I want everyone to take the afternoon off, and then just be on standby at home for tomorrow. I will call Mary Anne first thing in the morning, and then she will take the lead of contacting everyone based on what I tell her.”
His voice started to show emotion, which was extremely out of character. John was not one to make his emotions known, except for the brief periods of anger and frustration. He was also very mum on his personal life, although becoming involved with Evelyn changed that part very quickly. He took a deep breath and cleared his throat before continuing.
“Please keep the two of us in your thoughts, especially Evelyn. We are a team and I want to do everything in my power to keep us together – We’ve come so far already. We will fulfill our vision, I just know it. But it would not be realistic not to say that there aren’t roadblocks with a journey like this. We’ve hit several already and got through those, and this is just one more that we have to face. All of you are wonderful and I appreciate your patience, understanding, and mostly importantly, thoughts and prayers. Hope to see you all on Tuesday.”
No questions, just worry. Everyone crowded around John in a group hug. John received handshakes and nods that sent him racing back to Evelyn.
He was even more alarmed when Evelyn didn’t answer him as he stepped in the house. He dashed to the bathroom, where Evelyn was virtually in the same position where he’d left her just mere hours ago. She looked up at him and managed a smile, but didn’t say anything. He followed her eyes to the toilet bowl, which was red.
John had Evelyn lying on the bench seat, covered in a blanket and a trashcan on her chest like lightning. He took a breath after he laid her down – He went back up the walk, made sure the lights were on and the doors locked. His hands were shaking like leaves when he went to start the engine. Evelyn’s left hand reached out to touch him. He caught a glimpse of the ring and her eyes, and that stopped him cold. He left the keys in the ignition, bent over and kissed her forehead, eyelashes, and lips before starting the engine. After that, he didn’t remember the drive to the hospital.
He squealed to a stop in front of the emergency doors and ran to find a nurse.
“My wife – er, fiancée, is pregnant. Uh, four months along, I think. My name is John Alspice.” John ran a hand through his hair and had to steady himself at the nurses’ station.
“She’s had occasional morning sickness since the conception, but it turned severe on Friday. She’s barely eaten or drank anything since Friday morning and I came home from work at 1:00 today and found blood in the toilet. I drove her straight here myself – We live about 5 miles away.” He took several breaths and stared at the nurse.
Her calm was impeccable. “Of course, sir. Let’s get your fiancée on a gurney and we’ll take good care of her. What’s her name?”
“Evelyn. Evelyn Adams. Please hurry – I’m afraid she’s dying.”
“Right away, sir. Thank you for bringing her in so quickly. We’ll get her in an exam room and then we’ll set to some paperwork, okay?”
John could only nod. He watched from the nurses’ station as several orderlies, the nurse he had spoken to, and a doctor wheeled a gurney out to the car. The doctor carefully lifted Evelyn and the blanket on to the gurney with great care, before wheeling her into the nearest exam room around the corner.
The nurse, Jenny was her name, came back five minutes later to the station. John was still standing there. To him, five minutes felt like three hours.
“Sir? John, you’re in shock. I can assure you that Evelyn is getting the best care. We do need the name of her doctor so we can contact him right away – We think there may be something wrong with the baby. Let’s get you in a chair right here, okay?”
John paled and his knees buckled. The hallway started to spin white and gray as Jenny kept talking to him, leading him to the nearest chair in the waiting area. He felt for the arms of the chair and collapsed. She ran to get him some coffee, water, and an aspirin. John felt very much like he did after he smashed all the drinks and glassware against his office wall.
“Jenny – I’m going to be sick …”
Jenny held the wastebasket as John hurled everything he had.
“John, I know you’re scared. Evelyn is going to be okay, I promise. Are you feeling better? If you’re okay for a few minutes, I’ll go back and see how they’re doing in the exam room, okay?”
John nodded and his eyes showed part relief, part thanks. He was incredibly grateful but couldn’t speak it. Jenny patted his hand and bustled away.
The next thing John knew, Jenny was shaking him awake. “John? There you are. You must have fallen asleep. Are you feeling better? Your color’s started to come back.”
John focused on Jenny’s face and nodded. Jenny smiled and sat down next to him.
“Good news, John. Evelyn’s been stabilized. We’re giving her all the fluids we can – She was severely dehydrated from the sickness. She’s certainly not out of the woods yet, but she’s more comfortable than she was. I can’t tell you how important it was that you brought her in when you did. If you had called for the doctor or an ambulance and waited, we probably would have had a dead body in that exam room.”
John felt the waves of nausea again – He felt how Evelyn had probably felt, but hers was easily ten times worse than his. He was able to suppress the feelings, but only with several strong sips of water. He took a deep breath before speaking. He swallowed another sip of water. Jenny was so patient – She was made to be a nurse.
Jenny patted his hand. “One more thing – They won’t let you see her until the doctor arrives and examines her. I wish I could tell you differently, but we want to make sure that the baby is okay before we let you in. If only you were married …”
Jenny stopped and met his eyes. John was frustrated and weak, but his eyes only spoke graciousness and peace. She squeezed his hand and patted his shoulder. “If you need anything, I’ll be right there at the station. Just call my name and I’ll come to you. You sit here and rest. I’m sure it’s been a traumatic day, to say the least. We’ll let you know when you can see Evelyn, okay?”
John just nodded and gave her a small smile. “Before – Before you go, can you go to Evelyn’s room and tell her that I love her?”
Jenny felt her eyes mist with tears. “Of course. I’ll come back to let you know what she says. Now get some rest.”
John dozed off sitting up. He started dreaming about their wedding and the baby, the neighborhood, the groundbreaking ceremony that was just two weeks away. He was picturing Evelyn in a gorgeous white gown, but he couldn’t tell if she was still with child or not. That thought suddenly caused him to sit up, almost catapulting himself out of the chair and onto his knees.
Jenny saw everything happen – It was a slow night at the hospital – and rushed over to help. She was able to get John back into the chair before she ran to refill his water cup. He gulped it down quickly and looked at Jenny. His eyes were full of tears. He sniffed and brushed his eyes. “Sorry – I’m usually not emotional …”
“John, it’s perfectly fine. You’ve been through trauma. I know that it’s upsetting that you can’t see Evelyn right now. The doctor still hasn’t arrived, and we’re not sure if he’ll come in tonight since it’s late.”
“What time is it, anyway?”
“Almost midnight. You slept for several hours, which is good. You have a choice though – You can leave and go home to your own bed, or you can wait here. I can’t tell you when they will let you see her, though. I can get you a blanket and a small pillow so you can either sleep on the floor, or you could push two of the chairs facing each other so you can at least lie down. I’ll go get the blanket and the pillow from the closet; be back in a jiffy.”
John made a mental note to write a letter to Jenny after this was all over – Her compassion and strength was amazing, and he couldn’t express in words how much everything meant to him at that moment. Then he drifted back into restless sleep.
Jenny woke him ten minutes later to help him get as comfortable as possible. She was able to scrounge up two pillows and one of the better blankets. She helped him push two chairs together so it resembled some sort of a bed. John was able to stretch out a little, using the back of one chair and the pillows as a makeshift headboard. Once John got settled under the blanket, Jenny gave him one last set of encouraging words.
“My shift ends in a few minutes. I won’t be back until tomorrow. I’ll let the other nurses know that you’ll be here for the next day or so. I really hope the doctor can come soon, he must be out of town – Normally most doctors are here by now to examine their pregnant patients. I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you, Evelyn, and the baby. Try to sleep as much as possible. The cafeteria will be open at 6:00 tomorrow morning for breakfast. I’ll see you soon, John.”
John nodded. “Thank you, for everything. You are one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. I really appreciate it. Thank you, Jenny.” He felt his voice cracking.
Jenny dipped her head at him and hurried off, likely to clock out and go home after such a long shift.
John leaned against the pillows, said a prayer for Evelyn and the baby, and fell into a fitful sleep.
When John awoke, there was light. His eyes fluttered open, and he was met with a mixture of harsh fluorescents and some sunlight. He tried to stretch. Every part of his body was sore, this was certainly not the way he was used to sleeping. However, he felt improved over yesterday. He was tired, but less nauseous and calmer. He hadn’t been paged during the night, so that meant the doctor hadn’t come.
There was a new nurse at the station. He slowly rose from his chair bed and stretched. She came over to greet him.
“Hi, John, I’m Mary. Jenny wrote us a note last night that you’d be here. I’m awful sorry to hear about your fiancée, Evelyn, and the baby. I hope the doctor can come this morning – I know both of you are anxious to see each other. Evelyn is doing a bit better, but the doctor’s examination will tell us more about what’s happened and what to do next. Can I help you to the cafeteria?”
John smiled. “Just show me the way – You have work to do, I’m sure. Thanks for everything so far. See you soon.”
John helped himself to coffee, orange juice, some bacon, and a small portion of eggs. He was alone in the cafeteria, except for the workers and one doctor. John made no attempt to be sociable, but the doctor came over just before departing.
“You’ve been here all night, haven’t you? Worried about your girl?”
Come back next week for more!
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂