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Wozers

Holy its been awhile since I’ve posted. So I’ve started taking some courses at a new writing school in my area and it has come to my attention that the title I originally had for ‘Til death doesn’t fit any longer. The next day I happen to be listening to a song called I choose you and it hit me; I choose you would be the perfect title. So that’s what I did. My teacher loves it.

I’ve also started a new project recently called Saving Brianna. Bullying is a big problem and I for one don’t tolerate it therefore I decided to write about it. The story is about a young girl who’s struggling and it is her twelfth grade buddy who sees the problems and asks her teacher if she’s been tested. The teacher who is bound by confidentiality confirms she has but the problem is that her parents don’t believe that there’s a problem.

After her buddy (based on me) graduates from college she meets Brianna again and does everything in her power to make learning what she finds difficult easier but there’s another problem she’s bullied. Although the school has a non tolerance for bullying some of the children thing that shes’ getting what they believe is special treatment (thanks to the classroom teacher her makes Brianna feel bad for having to go into the resource room for special help.) it isn’t until the special education teacher gives a presentation that sort of calls out the teacher in a sense. (I wish I could go back and do this to a certain teacher I once had who did the same thing to me and ripped a short story I had been working on but I can’t.) Although this is a work in progress I really like this project. So stay tuned I might have something to share… You can find the new book and new cover here https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/i-choose-you-8 If you’d like to purchase it I’d suggest getting the first and second book as it is in a series. All my books are available by clicking my name

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Posted by on May 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

New Chapter

Chapter Thirty-Three

“Anthony??” My voice was quavering, to my own surprise. “Are you in there? It’s me! Open the door; we have to tal-”

The door swung open. “Sheila! What’s the matter??” Anthony asked anxiously. I found myself gazing directly into the slightly worried eyes. I was surprised at the tremor of pleasure that ran through me at sight of him.

“Can I come in?”

Anthony hesitated. “I was just about to go out, but-” He stepped back to allow me entry. “You sound . . .” he hesitated. “. . . upset. Did something happen at work?” He finished finally.

“No, not that I know of. It’s my day off. I just . . . I had to talk to you.” I paused to look at the man I once loved, and still did love, my eyes wandering up and down his body. He was dressed in jeans, a black t-shirt and white sneakers. He wore his usual baseball cap, but no glasses.

“Talk to me?” He said. “The last time you came to talk it was not very pleasant for either of us.”

I stood my ground. Scott was right, one date wouldn’t solve all are problems “I know that and I regret it. If I could go back I would, but I can’t. We need to talk,” I said firmly.

“About what?”

“Us.”

“There is no us, Sheila,” said Anthony. “It seemed as if you made that perfectly clear. You tried to give back the ring. You accused me of something that I’d never dream of doing. IF it was my fault, which it wasn’t I would be liable for the mistake, and while I’m not one to blame nurses for mistakes, the nurse was the one overseeing the dosage, as I read it out to her. She told me she was a third year, not a second year. I went to Anna about it. She knows.”

I folded my across my chest and waited. Seeing that I wasn’t going to take the hint and leave. Anthony sighed and turned to shut the door, unaware that my eyes were greedily following the movement of every muscle in his back as revealed by his taut shirt.

‘Why had I never before noticed how . . . hunky . . . Anthony was?’ I wondered

“What do you want?” Anthony’s quiet voice interrupted my thoughts.

I took a deep breath. “To apologize. I thought after what you found out you did something to prevent me from taking care of Harry, but when I look back at it now I realized it was a simple mistake that anyone could have made. You were exhausted. Apologizing is the only thing I can do at this point Anthony. I don’t know what else to do to fix this. I never intended to end our relationship. I was angry about what you did. I did despise you. I did think Harry wanted me back. But now that’s changed. I need you now. I always have. I should have gone to you first. I needed you. Not Harry. I know that now.”

“Do you not think I felt the same way when I saw you kiss him?”

A fleeting expression of pain crossed Anthony’s face and he half-turned from me. “Anthony… I know your upset with me. And I’m sorry I let it go that far.” I took another step forward and placed a determined hand on his arm. He shrugged it off, however, folding his arms defiantly across his chest. He raised his head and finally met my gaze, his eyes stony. Stung by the coldness in his face, I added as if the words were wrenched from me, “I can’t bear it. I can’t lose you.” Her voice was beginning to shake. “I just . . . can’t-“I choked, unable to go on.

“Sheila,” said Anthony uncomfortably. He unfolded his arms and shifted his weight from one foot to the other. His expression had softened, but he looked miserable.

Anthony shuddered. Moving quickly, he turned his back and hurried from me, hunching his shoulders as if to ward off the pain that had pierced his heart. Keeping his back to me, he stepped into the kitchen. He walked over to one of the counters and placed his hands on it, leaning on his arms. Biting my lip, I gave him one last look and turned to go. I hadn’t taken more than two steps, however, when suddenly I whirled and almost ran into the kitchen after him. I had to do something to fix this; otherwise my life would never be the same.

“I can’t do it, Anthony,” I said in a low voice. “I can’t walk away from here knowing that our relationship is over. I can’t take care of one of my new patients without you. I need you.”

I stood and watched him. I could see his chest rising and falling rapidly; my words had obviously affected him deeply. I felt a small jolt of triumph; he didn’t want our friendship to be over, either. That would make it easier. I was going to be able to persuade him to start from scratch. For the first time it occurred to me I really might be on the verge of losing him forever.

“I can’t…” He paused eyes looking straight at me. “Which patient? You’ve never asked for my help like this before. Is it something you can’t handle or–”

“Well I’ve never found myself in this position before. I’ve never been known as a nursing officer even as a lieutenant. It was always nurse. The day I came to see you I was called to the C wing. They needed an officer stat. There was a young officer. Double amputee. He’s like nineteen or twenty. Even younger. Constantly talks about football, his girlfriend, younger sister; the only one who isn’t enlisted in the military and his parents. Wants to end his life because he thinks he’s a burden. I haven’t been in to see him for a few days since I’ve been off.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen him too. Toby. Nice kind. He actually smiles for days after your visits. Tell me you had Brody in there with you.”

“No. As I said they needed me stat.” I explained.

“Oh gosh.” He said. “That certainly explains it. I shouldn’t have been so hard on you. But that doesn’t make your words sting any less.”

“Anthony . . . .” I said, and my voice was hoarse. He shook his head, not speaking. “Anthony. Please . . . .” I breathed. “I know what Amanda did to you. And I know what I did to you, both of which are unforgivable. But please. I know my words were inexcusable, and if it was in any other situation you could have got me in a lot deeper trouble than just not speaking to me. They were in the heat of anger and I didn’t mean them.”

He turned to face me, but wouldn’t meet my eyes. He straightened his shoulders.

“NO!” I burst out. “You-I can’t! I-” I choked. “I love you. I want to make this work, just as much as I know you do too. Harry knew that when he left me. He wants me to be happy. And he knew I wouldn’t be happy without you. And I haven’t been.”

***

I froze. For a minute there was no sound in the room. Finally he said with painful slowness, “What did you say . . . ?”

“I love you,” I repeated. And it was true. I was no longer struggling to figure out how I felt about the old flame that had entered my life after so long. As soon as I said the words, I felt a sense of release. I had never been more sure of anything in my life: I wanted Anthony. And I didn’t know how I could have been so blind not to realize it before.

“I know I made a mistake. I know you’ll probably never forgive me but I need you. The ring is the last link to us. I took it off because I thought it was over. I was angry not at you, but at the situation. I was angry that Toby had been put in his predicament. I was angry that Harry was snowed with medication. I took it out on you and that wasn’t called for, so I did the only thing I could, give you back the ring. But when you didn’t take it back, I knew that there still might be a chance. But I couldn’t put it back on so I stuffed it in my jewelry box and forgot it, until a few days ago. Krista looked me in the eye and said, I need to decide what I want, there’s nobody standing in your way. Every time I think about what I’ve done to you the flood waters fill me and I can’t control my emotions. I will promise you, that my first time, and only time I ever planned was with you. I know I let things go too far, and I never meant to let it get out of control. It’s high time I put it back on, so this will never ever happen again. If you still want to. When I read Harry’s letter again I realized he was letting me go. He’s seen us together. When I was with him, it was as if I was second priority. His men came first. I should have known he’d do this again.”

****

‘Damn it Brody why do you have to be right about these things. She shouldn’t have had to see him like that alone. Who knows what it could do to her emotional state.’ I thought to myself. She was right, I needed her too.

She began walking towards me, speaking rapidly. “I never realized how much I love you until I lost you. I’ve missed you every day that we’ve been apart. Every morning when I wake up my first thoughts are about you, and you’re the last one on my mind before I go to sleep at night. I can’t bear the thought of you walking out of my life, Anthony. Holding me as I lie in your arms. Being at home with my brother is great. Having the kids greet me in the morning is great, but there’s one thing missing. I’m sticking out like a sore thumb over there. I mean I’m the aunt, but I’m not as happy as I once was, and the kids are noticing. They’re constantly asking where ‘Uncle Anthony’ is and when can they see ‘Uncle Brody again. I’ve run out of excuses.”

I still hadn’t moved or spoken. I moved around in front of her, looking searchingly up into her eyes. “I-don’t know what to say, other than I understand. I’m feeling the same.” I said huskily. “I’ve tried to live my life without you for the last ten weeks, but had it not been for my brother I don’t know what would have happened. I’d like to see the kids too; I mean I’ve grown attached to them, not only as their doctor but as a possible uncle too. I’d like to make this work and it sounds like you want to make this work too. I don’t suppose you have plans Friday?? I’m off; we could maybe try that dating thing again.”

“Yeah, I’d like that.” she said with a smile. “So would you like some help with the dishes?”

“Yeah, that would be good. Somehow I got behind and they’re about to attack.”

“I thought you said you were going out?” I said. The dishes had to be soaked before they went into the dishwasher, or they’d never be fully cleaned. They looked as if they hadn’t been washed in a few days, and forgotten about.

“I was, but that was before I realized that if I had left, I would leave the one thing—person behind that meant more to me than life itself, and that person Sheila, is you.”

“So you were going to reenlist?”

“It crossed my mind yes. It’s the only other thing in life I have. And when I thought I lost you I panicked. Like your childhood home, the military is what I can use as a safety net so to speak. But if it means leaving you, I’m not going to do it. Not anymore.”

She pulled a small item from her jean pocket. “I don’t want this to spoil our relationship Anthony. I don’t know what I’d do if you left.” She slid the ring back on to her finger. “I wasn’t kidding when I said I can’t let this fall through the cracks. Please don’t leave. I was mad when I found out what you did. But it also made me realize, you felt the same way.”

“I’m not going anywhere.” I promised. After laying the last pile of dishes in the sink full of hot soapy water we headed to the living room where we just talked.

***

“Anthony!” Before my horrified eyes, Anthony’s body was bathed in blood. Two of his for limbs were missing. “NO!” I surged forward, but hands held me back. I fought to break free, even as tears scalded my cheeks and my cries rendered my throat raw.

“Sheila, it’s me; Anthony. Wake up! It’s a dream… just a bad dream!”

“Anthony?”

I looked down and fell back to the pillow. He was fine. He was not the young solider back at the hospital.

“Do you want to tell me about it?” He asked pulling me close.

“Ever since I was called to attend to that young boy the double amputee, I can’t stop thinking about him. The dream is about his injury, but it wasn’t him that was hurt, it was you.”

“This is why you’re not supposed to go see patients like that alone. It’s because you’ve connected with him, but are putting one of your own in his place.” Anthony agreed. “It’s the first time you’ve had to deal with such an injury as a nursing officer wasn’t it?”

“Yeah. In fact since I started working here, as a Nursing officer it’s the first time in six years I’ve had these sort of responsibilities. I mean I can handle it no problem. They needed an officer stat. I didn’t think of going to find you. That will teach me to be in control before talking to a senior outranking officer.”

“You’re not the first or the last person who’s reacted that way. You’re still blaming yourself aren’t you? If I had I known you had gone to see him sooner I would have been there with you. Even a senior nursing officer needs comfort. That was the emergency you went to deal with wasn’t it? That’s why you couldn’t help with the medication rounds.”

“Yes,” I admitted. I rubbed my eyes.

As I looked on him now, I knew more than ever that I didn’t want to live without him again–. Anthony was my life, and though we had reclaimed the missing parts of our souls, there was still emptiness within the bond wasn’t strong enough to survive, not yet.

“Shh. I know. Let’s not worry about that now. We’ve been through this already.”

“It’s just that… I really had given up on us. My head was spinning and when I realized there was a medication error I—.” The emotions caused the words to jam in my throat.

“I know Sheila. I know. And I forgive you. You just have to forgive yourself.” He stroked my hair and kissed the top of my head. His hands slowly wandered down my body. I sighed deeply, losing myself in the gentle caress. “Would you like to… go back in time?”

“Heck yah.”

****

Hours later my alarm woke me at four forty five. I groaned, but as I was about to push myself out of my warm nest of covers I felt something move beside me. Sheila had slept next to me, it was late by the time we had finished talking and while we had both agreed we could start with a clean slate; the passion and need for the other was still there. The night before had proved that. For the first time, in a long time I was sleeping better than I had been without her.

I looked down at her as she slept, all tangled hair and sprawled limbs. Not quite the picture most people had of Captain Sheila Grey…not the one that I’d had of her either, until early this morning when she’d fallen asleep exhausted. I’d been watching her since she had surrendered to sleep, smiling softly as I memorized how she looked when she dreamed, when she rolled over. She snored slightly; at times she ground her teeth.

She was only human, and I was glad to see it. Somehow, over the years, I’d begun to believe otherwise. I had begun to believe she was some mythological creature, out of my reach. But now I realized that she was indeed human, her nightmare proved that. She had connected with the young officer and while she had faced the challenging task of going to see him without a MO present she had done her duty.

I yawned, tired to the bone. I wanted to sleep, to curl next to her and close my eyes, but some stronger–or was it weaker?–part of me insisted I stay awake, watch her until the alarm went off. Because this moment had been long in coming, and I wasn’t sure what would happen when she woke up. I really didn’t want her to wake up. I could be happy if she just lay next to me forever, if I were given the rest of his life to study her, to touch her gently without waking her. If the morning light would never come.

She moved restlessly, and I realized she was close to waking. Sighing, I slid down in the bed, moved close to her and pulled her against my body. She felt so good, her skin touching mine, her cooler body against my warmth. She made a sleepy noise, and turned over, burrowing into his chest. I felt my throat catch, as I wondered if she had any idea who she was in bed with.

I looked down, realized that Sheila was staring up at me. Her eyes were unreadable. “Good morning,” I said carefully, trying to stop his arms from tightening around her reflexively. I expected her to pull away.

She didn’t. Just continued to stare at me, her blue eyes were calm, serene. Finally, she gave him the cocky half-grin that I loved. “Good morning. Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Sorry.” I tried to grin, saw her eyes soften at my expression. “I’ve missed you,” I said, choosing honesty, even though I knew she might run from it.

She touched his face gently. “I’ve missed you too.”

She had not pulled away, seemed in fact to be pressed closer against me. “Last night was…” I wasn’t sure if I could do it justice.

She nodded. “Long overdue.” She said finishing my sentence for me for the first time ever. “Yeah. I agree. Where are you going? We don’t have to work till three.”

“I really need to go for a run. Do you want to come?”

She groaned. “I suppose I probably should before you make it an order.” She agreed. “But I need to shower first.”

***

I grabbed the lamppost. My feet ached. My back ached. My knee injury was playing up. And to top it all off, it had still been dark when Anthony pulled me out of bed. I took another series of deep breaths, “You’re killing me here. I recall you promising to go easy on me today.”

Anthony who was almost at the other end of the street, rolled his eyes before running back to me. “Hey you’re the one who wanted to come with me and this is slow by military standards.” He reminded me for the twentieth time. “You going to live?” He handed me his water bottle since mine was dumped when I fell over a hidden root.

“Yeah. I just have to make sure I do this every morning from now on.”

“I think I can handle that.”

***

This thing called love I just can’t handle it

This thing called love I must get round to it

I ain’t ready

Crazy little thing called love

I found myself unable to get the tune out of my head as I walked down the hall heading to the C wing. Brody had been right. We just needed time and patience to fall in love once again. I had taken more time than normal today to select my uniform. It wasn’t the normal scrubs but my military uniform, since I had opted to cover the military unit since they were understaffed. Pitifully understaffed. Thankfully and surprisingly Scott understood my reasoning and was thrilled that things were going in the right direction

“You certainly look happy.” A voice said from behind me.

I jumped startled by her unexpected presence at the time I needed her. She was like that though always there when someone needed her.

“Hey Anna.” Without me knowing it I had reached my destination. But I had been standing at the nursing station, trying to figure out why I couldn’t enter the room. He was a patient.

“Are you alright Sheila?” She asked her voice full of concern.

“Have you seen this patient?”

“No. How bad is he?”

I swallowed. Surely Anna had much more experience with this sort of thing than I did. “Double amputee. Second suicide attempt. The medics barely saved him. I haven’t seen him for weeks. I just can’t keep thinking about him.”

“Yeah. I’ve heard the nurses talking about him constantly. They’ve dubbed him ‘The kid’ because he’s so young. Barely eighteen. You’re not working on this unit right now are you?”

“No ma’am I’m not. But I was going to ask if I could switch. Daniel’s okay with it. They’re understaffed. It’s Anthony’s request.”

“Of course it’s alright. Make an appointment with me and I’ll switch you over. If it was by request then it’s something you don’t have to worry about right now. Do you want me to go in there with you? You shouldn’t go in by yourself.”

“I’ve already done that the day I snapped at Anthony.” I confessed. “In fact I had a nightmare about him but instead of it being the young solider, it was Anthony.”

“Oh Sheila.” Anna said. She pulled me into a hug without a second thought. “It’s no wonder you’ve been so— out of character. I’ll go in there with you.”

My eyes widened. “Are you sure? I could page Anthony. He told me this morning he’d meet me here. I should have gone to him in the first place.”

“Are you talking about the SMO?” A voice asked from behind me.

“Senior Medical Officer. Another name for a doctor, with an officer status.” Anna translated and answered before I could, “Yes.”

“He’s inside, sitting with the kid.” The nurse, who I had never seen before said. It seemed everyone was using the nickname ‘The Kid’ rather than his name, Toby. “If you’re the SNO he’s been waiting for you.”

“SNO?” I questioned. It was apparent I was no longer used to working in this sort of environment; the terminology had left my memory banks.

“Senior Nursing Officer.” Anna translated once again. “It’s another name for a nurse who’s a Military Officer. Senior because you’re the highest nursing officer on the unit. It’s a charge nurse. My role is the chief nursing officer since I’m the highest in the department. It’s the same thing as Nursing Director only it’s a term used in the military. It was suggested that you didn’t get a increase in ranking because it’s said that a Major is a harsh serious nurse, who doesn’t spend time with patients and usually does paperwork.”

“Oh, right. Why don’t I know that? That may describe you in a way Anna but harsh isn’t you at all.”

Anna laughed. “I can be when there’s a need for it. Two reasons you weren’t told any different and you have a lot more than work on your mind right now.” She guessed. “Let’s go in.”

***

The minute I entered the room I was welcomed with a warm smile from Toby. He was the spinning image of Harry; however he was much younger no more than twenty at the most.”Ah there they are.” Anthony said with a smile. “Good timing. He’s been asking for you.”

I smiled, “Hello Toby.” He had told me to call him that rather than Private Brice. The name sounded familiar but I couldn’t put a finger on it.

“Hello Ma’am.” He said smiling.

“Please, it’s Sheila. I’m an officer, but sometimes I find it’s less intimidating for my younger patients. I admit you’re the youngest military personnel I’ve taken care of. How are you feeling?”

“Okay, I suppose. Would you be able to do me a favor?” He asked.

“Of course. Call your Mom?” I guessed. It was something I wished I could ask some of the other nurses but until recently I didn’t know she was already right in front of me.

“Yeah. I know I’m supposed to be brave and stuff but I really need her right now.”

“Of course. I’ll be happy to call your Mom for you. Nobody has to be brave all the time.”

“That’s not what my father constantly tells me. And Captain Grey.” He continued, forgetting my request to call me by my first name. He was very disciplined in respect. I nodded. “I thought about what you said about the new prosthesis. I want to try them. I’m sorry for the way I treated you when I first met you. I think you mentioned you have one, in your knee but you hardly notice it anymore. I want to get my life back.”

“You were in shock. Confused about what was happening because nobody took the time to sit down and actually speak at your level. Until I did of course. It’s understandable. You probably haven’t dealt with many female officers have you?” He shook his head. “But you’re right. I do have a prosthetic in my knee. I did adjust, with a lot of help from those around me. It’s not the same as your injury but I did need a prosthetic. It was one of my own who did the surgery, and he is very close to me. I only notice it when I overdo it.” I said with a smile. “I’ll go call your mom. She’ll be very happy that you’re alright.”

“Thanks. Can I request something else of you Ma’am?” I nodded. “You’re the only one that seems to give a damn about me, would you be my primary nurse? I know it’s a lot to ask but…”

“Of course. I’ll be happy too. I’ll make a note in your file. I’ll make sure the nurses know that you’re concerned about certain things in regards to your care. And I’ll put a stop to the nickname.”

“It’s not the nickname that bothers me ma’am it’s the talk I hear about not walking again. Not playing football, being rejected by my family and friends.”

“Well, you will walk again. If you want it, it will happen. Nobody is going to stop you other than yourself. As for your family, well it can go both ways really. But the nurses have no right to talk about that sort of thing behind your back.”

“No, they don’t.” Anthony agreed. “I guess we’re going to have a department meeting. We are the highest ranking officers in this unit. That’s why we’re senior; next to Anna of course. Sorry Ma’am I didn’t notice you were in here.”

“You’re forgiven. I’ll also prepare a memo to post on the board and gather some ideas for your use at the department meeting. I have a funny feeling neither of you have been department heads; or at least the highest ranking in the department.” Both Anthony and I nodded.

***

When Anthony and I got back to the ICU the speakers were filled with music. The song “Kiss the Girl” was from the movie The Little Mermaid. It brought a smile to both Anthony and my face when we both realized who was responsible for this unexpected surprise. Brody. But I had to admit it was a nice surprise.

The visit with the young officer had not been as emotional as it had been the first time I had gone to see him, but unlike the last time I wasn’t the only one visiting. And that helped a lot. The injury was traumatic. When the song finally finished a crowd gathered around us. But just for show, Anthony did kiss me, but not passionately. That would be saved for privacy.

“Brody?” Anthony said

“Yes Anthony.” He said moving with slow steps to hide behind me as if I was a shield protecting him from the enemy or more appropriate his older brother.

“Did you have something to do with that?”

“Yes, Anthony I did. Hey, I told you I’d do almost anything to get you back together right? Well I thought because you love Disney Movies a fact about you only I know I thought it would be appropriate. Besides everyone knows you’re specialty is a Pediatrician. And nobody knew it was for you. I played it from upstairs.”

“Yeah. You did. And why are you hiding behind Sheila?”

“Because she outranks me and will protect me.”

“Well I outrank her. And she doesn’t out rank you that much. You’re the same rank. All I was going to say was thanks. We couldn’t have done it without you. We’re not back to where we were yet, but we’re very close.”

“OH okay. You’re welcome.” Brody said with a laugh, and slowly headed to check on his patients. He stopped in his tracks. “So that’s what you were doing last night when I came home.”

Neither of us answered. At least for now we’d keep that to ourselves. If we could help it.

***

 After borrowing Anthony’s office I phoned Toby’s mother who as I expected was relieved that her ‘baby boy’ youngest of five children was alive. I wasn’t about to give details over the phone and while it was family these things always were much easier when you were face to face as it was easier to comfort the emotional mother. With a promise to call her with any other updates she was going to make plans to fly out from Washington within a few days.

***

I walked, didn’t run down the corridors heading to the other wing. “I was paged.” I told the nurse at the desk.

“I don’t know who you are ma’am.” She snapped going back to her ‘charting’ via the computer.

I sighed, this was one of the main problems I had not knowing everyone. I scanned the unit until I saw Anthony signal me. “What’s wrong? I was paged.”

“I know. Dragon Lady is on the prowl again and I thought the charge nurse would be best suited to solve this problem. She won’t talk with me. I’m just a Medical Officer. I know nothing about how to run a unit. That shows her what she knows.”

“You’ve got that right.” I placed a hand on his shoulder, telling him without words I’d try to help. “Mitchell!” I called. “What’s the problem now?”

As the charge nurse I was also responsible for trouble shooting issues between nurses and solving patient care concerns an issue that I would be tackling as soon as I finished with this nurse. She looked at me as if I had two heads. She was a bit older than I was, her hair was in a perfect bun and her uniform had been pressed, “I don’t know who you are ma’am or who put you in charge but this is my unit.”

“The name is Captain Grey. I’m the Senior Nursing Officer on this unit now. Anna will make it official when she comes down later. You’re not the CNO. She is. If she ever wanted to be. For that position you have to have more qualifications then you’ve got. Now we can solve any issues you have now, or wait for Anna to get here. Now who gave you the right to change the way we run things around here? This is a civilian hospital which just happens to have a specific set of units for military personnel. There’s no reason for it to run differently than the other parts of the hospital. Those of us with high ranking status, which at the moment is Anthony and myself are what could be the department heads. We go by the standards of the directors of our departments, nursing and medical.”

“Well I’ve always believed that even if you’re a Nursing Officer you have to be ready for anything therefore reading during the shift is unacceptable.”

“Well that’s your opinion which sadly I don’t agree with. I’ve worked at a military hospital for several years, but it runs just like any other hospital. Only difference is you work alongside of other officers and you’re title is different. The tasks are different and you’re dealing with military along with their families. This unit shouldn’t be any different, except for one thing, it’s in a civilian hospital; there’s no reason for it not to be run according to the handbook. And secondly when a Medical Officer who happens to have seniority over you tells you to do something, I’d do it if I were you. You can go on your break now; we’ll be having a meeting in twenty minutes at 18:00 hours. Entire nursing staff. It’s not an option unless you’re off work.”

“Whatever you say Ma’am.” She said as she stormed out of the department.

With the phone call out of the way and the fires out of the moment my next task was the nursing meeting. I had done this several times; however this was the first time I had been chosen to lead as Nursing Officer. Apparently there was a difference between charge nurse and Nursing Officer.

“For those who don’t know me yet my name is Captain Sheila Grey and I am the senior nursing officer on the unit. I have also been given the role as charge nurse. Next to me is Major Anthony Gray who is the senior medical officer. Next to him is Captain Brody Gray, who is second senior medical officer; if nobody already knew they’re brothers. My last name is spelt with an E while theirs is spelt with an A. And before the rumor mill starts going again Anthony and I are engaged. We just had a misunderstanding that temporarily knocked us backwards. It seems things have gone back to where they’re supposed to be and have re-established the relationship.” I shifted uncomfortably in my chair as my knee started to throb but I ignored it.

“I’ve called this meeting today, and will keep it as short as possible to bring up some concerns. First of all you’ve all been given a copy of the handbook drafted by Anna Mackenzie who is or would be the Chief Nursing Officer in this Hospital. Second of all it has come to my attention that there are nurses taking about the patient in room 280C known as ‘the Kid’. He has requested I act as his primary nurse and the talk about him behind his back stop. It brought down the boys spirits but he feels that he had to end his life since he felt nobody cared.”

The nurses groaned and started talking among themselves as if they hadn’t been listening to what I had said. I wasn’t used to working with nurses with so little respect for their patients.

“That’s enough!” I cried. “I know he’s a young patient and many of you have not had education in pediatrics, however he is military and in need of care. I will be drafting a memo for all of you over the next few days and when I find out who started the gossip about me they will be dealt with accordingly.”

I turned to Anthony who was the highest ranking officer present. “Anything else you need to add sir?”

“Yes, actually. It may be a unique situation taking care of a young officer such as Toby but I assure you, he needs as much care as anyone else in this department. The talk stops now. If you don’t listen to Captain Grey, you’ll certainly be dealing with me, or the head of this hospital. Dismissed.”

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

reposting snip

Please note; This is a work in progress. Comments are welcomed. Scene from ‘Til Death Copyright 2014

I came back from DC feeling – reflective. It was good that Anthony and I were again on the best of terms; it hadn’t felt right being at odds with my future husband. And his jealousy over Harry was understandable – and actually rather sweet, in its way. But the thought of Harry stole the slight smile from my lips; I was going to have to tell him that I was being assigned to other patients and that he would no longer be in my care. It was what Anthony had wanted – and it was reasonable enough, really; but I was pretty sure that Harry wouldn’t like it.

Well; he could just not like it, then, couldn’t he? After all, what did I owe Harry Kenyon? He had walked out on me those years ago and gone off to play the hero, leaving me all alone – and devastated. Well; now it was his turn. Not that it was exactly Harry’s style to be devastated; his self-regard wouldn’t allow for it in all likelihood.

And then I frowned at the thought; I was being unfair to him. His men plainly worshipped their CO and he had, after all, won all those citations and awards; if he was a hero then at least he wasn’t playing at it; he was the real thing. And did that then give him the right to walk out on me – and then stroll back into my life with that same old Harry look on his face? The trouble was that he had charm – in spades – and it always got to me; that and the undoubted chemistry of the acute physical attraction between the two of us. He didn’t even pretend to hide it – but I’d been more careful. Or had I? Maybe I had let it show more than I should have; Anthony hadn’t gotten that insanely jealous for no reason, had he? But, either way, it was over – and it was high time to let Harry know of that. I braced myself up; no time like the present…..

***

Lieutenant Johansson was on duty at the desk; we spoke of Washington and she congratulated me – and I thanked her. And then I couldn’t put it off any longer.

“How’s my patient – I mean Captain Kenyon?”

She smiled at me – a rather knowing look, I thought.

“You mean He-Man? Yeah – the name spread after his pack visited him; nice bunch, I thought. Good name for him, too – suits him.”

“Hmmm. How’s he doing?”

“Quiet tonight – I haven’t had to shoo him back to bed or caught him doing press-ups even once. Maybe he’s been missing you, Captain?—or should I say Major.”

Again that arch smile: I forced myself to smile back at her – vowing to myself that it was indeed time to end all this talk about Harry and me. I knocked; no answer – but I opened the door anyway: this needed to be done.

He wasn’t on the bed; he was stood over by the window looking out on the darkness of the gardens below. He was, as ever, wearing the least possible clothing – and I suppressed a smile; this was a serious matter. He did not turn around – surely he must have heard me?

“Harry?”

He still remained facing the window; I saw his shoulders heave once.

“Leave me; I don’t want company.”

His voice was heavy – weary-sounding; not at all like himself.

“Are you all right? You sound –”

“Fine; just go, Sheila. Leave me alone.”

He still wouldn’t face me – and that voice was scarcely his at all. I took a couple of steps forward.

“If you need help dealing with the pain –” I winced at my crass words; not the right thing to say: Harry would never admit to being in pain – and never took the suppressants offered him.

But, this once, he didn’t comment on my words. I knew then beyond doubt that something was wrong. So I took a deep breath – and three or four more paces – and drew level with him. His back was as so tense that I could see the outline of every last muscle – and a shiver seemed to pass through him.

I laid a hand on his arm – and he whirled fiercely towards me with an expression which made me step back in alarm; for an instant I thought that he was going to strike me. If he did I knew how to catch his arm to prevent it from hitting me, but I didn’t want to hurt him. But even more shocking was his face – how it had changed – how he had changed.

“For God’s sake – leave me!”

“Harry! What’s wrong? You look –” I couldn’t say it – even though it was true. “Let me help you.”

“Help me? How? There’s no-one who can help me; there’s nothing to be done – not anymore.”

He was quivering with tension – and his eyes were wild, his hair disheveled. He shook my hand off his arm and again turned away. I had to try and reach him – somehow.

“Harry – please. Come and lie down and tell me all about it; I just want to help you – you know that. You were fine a week ago.” What could have possibly happened while I was away?

“I told you; there is no help – it’s too late by far! Nothing can change it – or make me feel better about it, so don’t waste your breath. Just go – Go!”

“I can’t; not with you in this state; how can I? Nurses are trained to take care of patients, not only emotionally but physically as well. What’s wro–“

“Get out!” His anger was wild, unreasoning – but I could tell that it wasn’t really directed at me; at least not me alone.

“I’m not going anywhere; I’m staying until you tell me why you’re so upset.”

“Do I have to throw you out?”

He came towards me, his face red and his chest heaving; I was afraid of what his anger, his strength might do to me – but, more, of what it was doing to him.

“Listen,” I said desperately. “If you get violent then they’ll come and restrain you, sedate you against your will. Is that what you want, Harry? Is it?”

“I’d like to see them try!”

“They will – and I don’t want you getting hurt – not after all the time I’ve spent trying to get you to rest and let your wound recover. So you listen to me right now, Harry Kenyon!”

I don’t know how I kept my voice level; he scared me – but I couldn’t call for help or they’d do to him what I’d warned – and I wasn’t having that.

He glared at me with fierce green eyes – and then turned abruptly away and leaned on the windowsill, his breathing rapid as if he had been running. And there we remained, each of us, while the long, long minutes ticked on over in a heavy silence.

“Harry –?”

“What?”

“Can’t you tell me?”

“No. You won’t understand.”

“Why not? I trust you; can’t you trust me? Someone once told me it helps to have someone else shoulder your weight. Even He-Man can’t take the load by himself.”

“Oh – I trust you; but there’s no need for you to be part of this. No need at all.”

“Part of what? What, Harry? Is it – bad news – about your men? Is – that it?”

My own heart was racing and my breath short; the tension was unbearable, the silence between us like the depths of a well. His hunched shoulders rose once – and fell again; I heard a sound deep within his chest – and that decided it. Setting all caution, all professionalism apart, I reached out and embraced him from behind.

“How could you possibly know?”

“You’re not the first person to lose someone. I’ve been known to read people even if they’re not willing to be read.”

For a long, long moment he was tense and quivering; I could feel it all through him, that tautness – and again I feared that he might turn on me. Instead he slowly, very slowly relaxed; the terrible tension which racked him ebbed away and he sighed a long, long breath. I held him close, though still his head was down, his face away from mine. And then he spoke – slowly at first and then with more fluency; and as he spoke I hugged him closer, feeling the beat of his heart through our conjoined bodies. And it was harrowing to hear his words as he told me what had happened.

“– And it was his first independent mission behind the lines, too; his very first. And his last –” I felt that spasm pass through him again – and his voice was soft as he went on, telling me of horrors in his well-timbered voice, so that I too shivered as if with cold. “It never should have happened; if I’d been there in command then it never would – could – have. But I wasn’t there; I was here, safe instead while Robbie –”

I felt him swallow hard – and my heart invaded my throat. Robbie – the same young-looking Lieutenant who had come to me to express his concern – and admiration – for his commanding officer; that same officer who I held tight in my arms as he told me of what had been done to poor Robbie. My eyes stung with tears as the visions of the same cruel punishment of what they had done to Anthony nearly thirty weeks ago came flooding back to me as he spoke. Could they be connected somehow? I couldn’t see how but anything was possible.

“They worked on him for three days and nights – spared him nothing because he told them nothing – nothing at all. So they carried on – and on – and still he wouldn’t speak; and then Fuller’s men arrived and drove them off and did what they could for young Robbie. But it wasn’t much – and he was in a terrible state – so they rigged a stretcher and set off back in the night to get him to help. And they did it, too – God knows how – but they got him back. But – but – he didn’t last the night. The field station medics did all they could – Fuller told me that – three times. But the lad was too far gone – and he died just as the sun came up –”

I held Harry even tighter, as if willing my strength into him; I could feel a shudder pass through him. “Poor, brave, eager Robbie. He couldn’t wait to get out there – couldn’t wait; he begged me for what he called another chance after he got separated and lost the last time.”

“I know,” I said very quietly. “He told me.”

For the first time Harry faced me – and his eyes were far too brilliant for him not to want to shed the tears – but no tears came.

“He – told you?” he whispered. I nodded, still holding him, looking up into his grief-ravaged face.

I wiped the stray tear from the corner of my eye, “After his visit, he wanted to thank me for all the care I gave you. He told me about your nickname and how you didn’t give up on him when he needed you the most. And that you went after him – and that’s how you got caught and hurt like this –”

“Yes – and I would have done it again– before they could hurt him: but I couldn’t – because instead of being there, in command, I was being held here!”

“Harry,” I said softly to his anger. “This is not your fault.”

“It is! If I’d been there –!”

“You don’t know that – how can you? I’ve played this blame game myself several times, but I come to the same conclusion. There was nothing else I could have done. He’s on the other side of the world at the moment.”

“I never leave men behind – never!”

“Nor did Lieutenant Fuller and his men; they went for him and got him back.”

“Too late! The boy’s dead – and not yet twenty- five! I let him down –”

“Harry – you didn’t! The boy told me all about you – how much you meant to him. He made me promise to get you well and back to them as soon as possible–“

“There! You see? If I’d been there –”

“With one working arm? Harry, I know you’re upset by this terrible news – so am I – but think about it for a minute. What good would you have done? You’re still here because you’re hurt – not because you’re malingering or hiding. You’d never do that – ever. Blaming yourself for what you can’t control is – pointless.”

“I should have been there! I’m supposed to be the unit’s commander.”

“You were – are – where you should be. And I’m here with you. I’m sorry it had to happen while I was gone. Look at me, Harry; come on – look at me. That’s better.” I tried to smile for him; it was a pretty feeble effort – but it must have meant something, for he suddenly tightened his arms about me and lowered his head, resting it on top of mine as we stood holding each other up.

“Sheila –” he sighed – and again, “Sheila.”

And I held him close and felt his warmth and his indignantly beating heart and the tickle of his hair on my neck: and the exact moment when his head moved and his lips sought mine – and we kissed.

And Harry, proud, heroic much-admired Harry the commanding officer was gone; in his place stood a vulnerable young man, both wounded and hurt – and now riven with guilt and grief. And this Harry moved me far more than the other Harry could ever have done – because this Harry needed me. And because of that then I too was caught: he was mine and I was his – and everything changed.

****

It was late. No longer was I Captain Anthony Gray MD I was now Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Gray MD.  Brody, my brother was now a captain, taking my old command status. Not wanting to head back to the unit right away I headed through the garden which Daniel had said was the long way back to the unit. Glancing up to the second floor where Sheila was working I noticed that most of the rooms were dark, other than Harry’s. Typical. He had problems sleeping. It wasn’t unusual for his sort of injury I supposed but he had been in hospital over three weeks. But on a second glance to the lit room I saw two figures at the window, a female who looked exactly like Sheila and a shirtless male. Harry! They were kissing. I had to act. I had to act now.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Writers Notebook

I don’t know if anyone actually does this but recently I came across a book called notebook know how strategies for the writers notebook. It goes through how to set a notebook up used for “practicing writing.” as its for elementary students however it can be really used for anyone.  But why I like it is it actually helped me make my own Writers notebook in order to organize my writing notes that I’ll use for my novels. Heres how I made mine

First of all you take a composition notebook (the kind with the sewn spine simply because you can’t rip out the pages. After skipping two pages in the front make a table of contents this will allow you to keep track of what kind of topics . After skipping a page I wrote the heading what is a writers notebook. Everyone has their own definition. For me I’m using it for a project notebook. After skipping another page I went on to the heading Rules For Writers Notebook. Rules like write every day, and date each entry can be helpful reminders to make sure you actually do it. Also the privacy. I had a really hard time sharing my projects with others when I first started however now that I’m actually comfortable sharing, its getting easier. But sometimes there are things that I don’t want to share. Scenes that I’m working on but aren’t quiet ready for the public to see yet therefore keeping them in a writers notebook allows me to keep them safe, so I don’t forget and people won’t read it.

After skipping two more pages I began section one (there’s four sections in total at least in mine.) The first section I have is Ideas

the second section is characters, setting and point of view

the third section is plotting

and the fourth section is writing

You don’t have to follow this format as its suited for my needs. I also printed out a cover page for the project I’m working on and pasted it on the cover of the notebook. This will be kept in my Project Binder (which contents the draft of the project I’m working on for easy access)  If there’s anyone who wants to try this to keep themselves organized when they write please feel free. Composition books can be found almost anywhere. I find dollar stores, Walmart and target are the best places to get them Walmart has generic composition books for like two dollars bother hard and soft cover. The dollar store at least in my area has two comp books for five dollars (name brand) and generic brands for 1.25. The easiest way to keep the sections separated is by using removable tabs that you can find anywhere either plastic or paper. Just remember to leave two pages blank in the front and two pages blank in the back, just to keep your stuff private. You never know who may find it. Have fun. Until next time. Keep writing!

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Quick update.

Hi Its me again. Trying to fix my blog with the help of a friend. What I am trying to do is make it so everyone gets a notification through email. Let’s just hope the changes I’ve made actually work

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

I’m back!

Image

This is me and my aunt on her wedding day

Wow its been a long time since I’ve posted here. Last year was a very hard year for me. Not only did I have a bunch of dental work done, but in September of last year nearly a day or two after what would have been her first anniversary (sept 9th or something) my aunt died. It turns out that a life time of smoking caused the worst sort of problems you could have. Lung cancer. Stage four.

My parents had just seen her a few months previous and she seemed fine. But in September (of last year) my uncle phone and asked dad to get back. He told me that she needed minor surgery. But I didn’t expect her to have cancer. I have never smoked, never will smoke and am leery about anyone who does. In fact it bothers me when they smoke in a non smoking area like the bus shelters. But there isn’t anything I can do about it. It is by far a personal choice and I respect that. But smoking kills. It even says it on the pack. I know that she’s in a much better place now and  is watching over me but its not fair. I’m thankful for those around me. Those in my chat group, who while I may never meet them in person have been very comforting. But that was nearly a year ago, shouldn’t I have got over it by now? Yes, but it still hurts to think about it.

This year has been a bit better. While I miss her very much I think about her all the time. In fact even from heaven she kicks me in the butt.  In January I stepped my writing up a bit and published my books. Some sort of impulse said do it. And I believe it was my aunt from wherever it is she is. In fact I didn’t publish just one. I published three of them. Home Is Where The Heart Is, Family Forever (which is now the second book in the series) and the powers with in. I’ve sold a whole ten copies, including one hard copy. In December I plan to publish two more books. ‘Til Death which is the second book in my Love and Honor series. And Family first which is the first one in my family series. (which doesn’t have a name yet) So All is good now. Hopefully if anyone is still reading this they know that I’m doing good now. If you’re interested in getting my books you can get them at Kobobooks.com http://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/Search?Query=Christine+kwasniewski That’s it for now.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Its been a long time but I plan to do better

Okay so its been awhile since I’ve posted. Well there’s a reason for that, my muse. Some people say a muse is the angels watching from above but as a writer we know that a muse is the creature who has the power to give us ideas and inspiration. It can only be seen by his or her writer. My muse came to me in the form of a monkey tentatively named JJ. And during the month of May there was a short story contest which he did not allow me to focus my attention on, he focused all my ideas on my longer work. Sure that’s not an excuse, but it will have to do for now. Oh and if you are someone who knows me you know that I spend most of my time working on my projects. Okay that’s all I have time for now. I will certainly try to keep up on this.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
The Misadventures of a Writer

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