My eyes scan the room.
I stare at the glass cabinets filled with medication and a single metal desk with a small lamp on it. My look passes past some documents and files laying on it, right to a big white mug with a logo on it. ‘Whitmore Medical Center’. I stare at the coffee stains on it and feel my legs shake.
I feel so weak. My muscles tremble as I reach the cabinets. I open the door and stare at the labels and unfamiliar words on it. I groan. I couldn’t just pick any and take it. Well, I needed a needle first. My lips lift in a sarcastic grin. I think I could find a couple of needles easily enough. After all, I was in the nurses’ room. I turn around the small bottles, looking for a name I do actually recognize. I smile for real this time. Morphine.
Yes, this should work just fine. I take the little container and hide it in my pocket. I stare at the shelf, indecisive. I needed more. I reach for the next one and hear the door behind me.
What are you doing here?!
The voice is raised and belongs to a man. I turn around and look up at him, his tall frame towering ever mine. He must have been about 6 ’1 tall. Which was a big difference when compared with my humble 5′6. I stare at him, not able to move or even say anything. My mind was so tired and I wasn’t prepared for any interruptions. I was only supposed to get in and get out. He wasn’t a part of my plan. Then again none of this situation was. I open my mouth wanting to say something but then it starts again. The voices pick up. I could only ignore them for so long and now that I could no longer feel the relief from finding what I wanted... I hear them. They’re shouting. Complaining. Some of them turn cruel.
I stare at the guy and I know what he sees. Wide eyes, fear, and terror slipping out. He looks surprised by my reaction and furrows his eyebrows.
Who are you?
My lips move but nothing comes out. I look at him for a moment and then my vision disappears. My feet buckle under me and I fall to the ground. The last thing I remember is hitting the cold tiles. And then nothing.
Are you alright?
I look up at him, barely seeing his face in the light. He sounds worried. My mind is confused. I try to make sense of what’s happening. He reaches for me and when he touches me the pain subsides, the voices fade a bit. I sigh with relief. I can’t believe what’s going on. I take a breath to steady myself before I let my voice out.
No, but I think I feel better now, thank you.
You’re thanking me? For what? For not calling the police right away or making sure you didn’t break anything by falling to the ground?
I blink and try to massage my temples with my free hand. I don’t try to break away from his hold. I just try to survive one more day without falling apart.
Chose one above, the unnecessary things you can scratch out.
Oh, we got a funny one here. Good that your sense of humor is still intact because everything else seems to be broken.
I groan as nausea takes over.
Don’t I know it. You don’t have to tell me twice... can you help me up? I promise not to run away... well, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t.
He smiles and helps me stand up. My legs shake as he leads me to a chair. He holds my wrist and checks my pulse. He frowns and then flashes a small flashlight at my eyes. I try not to scream from the blinding light and instead quickly close them.
Your pulse is really low, your pupils are dilated and your reflexes are slow.
Who are you, the doctor?
A nurse actually.
A male nurse?
Do you have a problem with that?
I shake my head and hope that it won’t fall right off.
Not in the slightest. You’re just behaving like a doctor. That’s all.
Yet you seem very surprised.
Don’t take it personally, I’m just in a lot of pain lately. So none of my reaction will be normal... so, sorry.
It’s his turn to look surprised. Maybe he thought I was an asshole. Well, he wasn’t that far off.
My name is Charlie. Care to explain what you were exactly doing here?
Well, Charlie dearest, I was stealing.
Honesty, an interesting approach. Can you be more specific?
Preferably, morphine would be my salvation, but in truth, any strong painkiller would do right now.
I smirk but then I frown again. I notice that the voices are getting louder and quickly grab his wrist. He looks surprised at me and then at my hand. He slowly pulls it away.
What are you doing? Because if this is some lame version of flirting and getting out of trouble, then it’s not really working.
Please, just for a moment. It hurts less when you touch me... or when I touch you. I don’t really know how it works.
What are you talking about...?
Please, just for a minute, then maybe later I can walk out of here on my own feet - I growl - and not on a wheelchair or in a black plastic bag.
I grind my teeth as the pain increases. Why in the hell is it so bright in here? I try to take slow breaths, so everything slowdowns as well. There is a moment of silence when I think nothing will ever get better but then I feel his fingers on mine. Sliding against my skin and grabbing my hand. I sigh in relief.
Can you explain to me what’s actually going on around here?
Not really, but...
If I don’t take anything from here and surrender to the cops, can I keep you then?
Yes, as a pet, or a houseplant.
What, not even as a boyfriend or your boy toy? Oh wow, I see your sense of humor is still doing well.
Hmm, I wish I was joking. But whatever medical miracle you doing here, it’s definitely working...