One Tiny Miracle...(10)

By: Carol Marinelli


‘And I’ll just stay in for one night?’

‘If all goes smoothly, which I’m sure it will. I’ll see you in the morning.’ Celeste smiled. ‘I’m back on at seven.’

‘You work too hard,’ Fleur fussed. ‘I know it’s what you girls do now. Still, I hope your young man’s at home with dinner waiting so you can put your feet up.’

‘I shall!’ Celeste smiled and then blushed as she realised that Ben had come in. ‘’Night, Fleur.’ She walked over to Ben. ‘I don’t want her worrying.’

‘Sorry?’

Celeste hurried to explain. ‘Well, it’s just easier to sometimes let people think that there is a Mr Mitchell at home...’ Her blush darkened as it was only then she realised Ben would have neither known nor cared that she had just been caught fibbing to Fleur. ‘Have you heard anything about Matthew?’

‘That’s what I was coming to tell you about. I’m heading home, so I just rang ICU. I didn’t get a chance till now. Apparently his pupil blew in Imaging. They got him straight up to theatre and evacuated a massive subdural haematoma—so I came to say well done. It was a good pick-up—a lot of people might have hesitated seeing as his symptoms were so fleeting.’

‘How is he now?’ Celeste asked, warming at his praise. Matthew’s brain had been bleeding, the pressure building inside his skull, causing his symptoms. It was the scary thing about seemingly benign head injuries—and the reason patients were often admitted for observation afterwards. She had read about it, studied it, learnt about it, but now she had witnessed it for herself. The chore of regular neuro obs would never be considered a chore again.

‘On ICU. It will be a good forty-eight hours before we know anything, but there is hope...’

Which was always nice.

She handed over her patients and headed for home in a car that was making more new and rather worrying noises. She slowed down at the gates and indicated left for the block of units. She climbed out of the car, leaving it idling, too worried to turn off the engine, because one day it surely wouldn’t start again! Absolutely bone weary, she opened the gates and then realised someone had pulled up behind her.

‘I’ll close them,’ Ben called out, which he did, and she drove another hundred yards and then pulled on her handbrake and climbed out of her idling car again to open the garage, because the landlord was too mean to put in automatic doors.

‘I’ll get that.’ He walked over from the gates and made light work of the garage door, and even waited till she had driven inside and closed it for her as she walked out.

Which didn’t sound like much, but every stretch was one less stretch that she had to do and she was so tired that all she was was grateful.

‘Thanks for that.’ Celeste was too weary to even summon a smile.

‘No problem,’ Ben called, heading back to his own car to repeat the ritual for his own garage. And still he didn’t deliver a lecture. Still didn’t check that she was okay, or ask if she was sure she should be working.

Had he asked, Celeste thought, as she let herself into her little unit, she might just have burst into tears.

She had to eat, but she was too tired to cook, so she had a bowl of cereal instead.

Then a very quick shower. Knowing she’d regret it if she didn’t, she put out a fresh uniform for the morning, checked her alarm and slipped into bed, too tired to worry, too worn out for tears or even to think really.

She had to be back there tomorrow at ten to seven!





            CHAPTER THREE

BEN DIDN’T WORRY.

He was concerned for his patients at times, but he didn’t do worrying.

The worst day of his life had happened a long time ago and he knew things could never be that bad again, so consequently he just got on with things, didn’t fret or dwell—or, well, worry!

He hadn’t in years.

Yet there was this niggle now and, no matter how he tried to ignore it, still it persisted.

His second day at Bay View Hospital and the floodgates had opened.

One drowning had been brought in as well as victims of a multiple pile-up on the beach road. It was over forty degrees and people were collapsing everywhere. It was just one of those days where everyone ran to keep up and everyone worked up to and beyond their limits.