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  • Mallory posted an update in the group Group logo of Erotic CollaborationsErotic Collaborations 6 years, 5 months ago

    NICOLE – THE KNIFE’S EDGE

    Finally, I relaxed my hands and took in a breath for a few seconds longer. Then I clamp the vein, slinging the tie around it, I pull at it.

    “Clamp!”

    Fisting my hands to steady them, I keep working around the swabs turning red, redder, fast, faster.

    “Call for six more bags, NOW.”

    No, no, no, no.

    “Get the O negative.”

    “MORE Celox. Pack them in here!”

    “Terry, WIPE,” I turn my face toward him to get the splatter blood from my visor.

    “Why are the suctions so fucking loud?” I try clamping more. The hissing of the machines rattling my brain.

    The battle continued: more stitches, more swabs, more hands in her abdomen, more blood, more instruments.

    More tension.

    More failure.

    “Bolus her with more adrenaline! Keep it coming, watch the time.” I look up at the numbers dropping, flashing, alarming.

    The blood loss relentless, as are my hands in cardiac compression.

    She is grey and waxy and all I can see are my hands pushing to pump her heart. The pool of blood expanding while the rest of my team shrink away.

    “God damn it, Nicole. Call it. It’s over.”

    I can barely hear Jillian over the sound of my breathing. My arms come to a stop as I stare again at the flat line on the monitor.

    “Time of death, 17:39,” I declare.

    My body becomes rag doll like as Terry pull off my soaked gown to cover my scrubs with a clean one.

    “Do you want me to call Alex for you?” he asks.

    “No,” I shake my head, “he’s out of the country.”

    He looks hard at me, squinted lines around his eyes deepening, before glancing at the door.

    “I’ve got it. You get out of here.” I tell him and I walk out to tell the family.

    ==============================

    “Nic, there you are. Terry texted me about what happened. How are you doing, the truth? Where are you?”

    “Hi. I’m gonna fire his ass. I’m okay. I’m in the locker room. I’ll leave for home in a few.”

    “I am getting the next flight home.”

    “NO, don’t do that. I will be fine. You just landed, didn’t you?”

    “Yeah, we’re in a cab, headed to the hotel. I’m coming home, Nic.”

    “Sweetheart, I just have to get through the night. You can’t make it; the flight is at least 9 hours.”

    “Nic, I am so sorry. This was bad timing for me and Rachel to take this trip.”

    “Don’t come home, Alex, just …you guys just have… a good time. For me. I have to go, my car is here.”

    “Do whatever you have to do, Nic. Nickie, please.”

    In his pleading moment, I could not continue and I push the hang up button.

    I curl tightly into the corner of the backseat, my heart racing, rapidly thudding against my chest, body trembling hard and I can’t seem to draw air into my lungs. I wanted to feel the sharp edge of the knife, but not that of a #22 blade into my bronchi. I watch in my mind Alex and Rachel entering the Le Meurice, and the replay of the tie cutting through the wall of the vein, weakened by the infiltrating tumor, initiating the massive hemorrhage.

    I think this is the first time I actually accept Charles’ extended hand to help me out of the car and into our building. By his startled look, I think I really gripped him.

    “Thanks, Charles, I am not feeling well.” I say softly before getting into the elevator, willing myself to just make it up to our apartment.

    Kicking off my Birki’s, I run to the bathroom at another wave of nausea. I picture him leaning Rachel over the hotel vanity. I dry heave into the sink. Tears burn and flood my eyes, I retch again while my stomach wrench violently. Nothing comes up. Nothing left of the breakfast Alex made me 15 hours ago. Breathe, Nicole, breathe.

    It is so cold in here. Why is it so cold? After I turn on the hot water to fill the tub, I drag myself to the kitchen to get coconut water and ginger candy. Stripped of the sweat soaked clothes, I lower myself into the tub.

    They tell you in medical school, that when you break the news to the family that your patient died, you are supposed to be as straightforward and succinct as possible. The first time I had to do this, my chief came with me. He said I had nerves of steel and that I was going to become a great surgeon because I was an iron pillar and yet I can give the family my humanity. Medical school teaches you to tell them the patient died and be as brief as possible about the facts surrounding the death. They tell you to be compassionate and then malpractice suits teach you to be unapologetic. But nobody teaches about the grieving process for the physician. Nobody told me that the only thing that works is the weight of Alex’s body covering mine, and then I am not alone in my grief. The only thing that works is the sound of his mouth breathing against my ear, and then my crisis heart calms down to pace.

    I get out of the cooling water, shivering in the bath sheet. In Alex’s closet, I dig out one of his many black t-shirts from the hamper. I put it on. I dig out a second one and put that on too. As my hand reach at the door knob, I see our bed and I see him in bed with Rachel in Paris. The plan was to give our very young woman a normative romantic experience. The plan was to simultaneously give me a lesson on edge retention of the knife. I retch again and pull the door shut, collapsing onto the bath sheet heap on the floor, wrapped in his t-shirts, surrounded only by the walls of his clothes. Unable to control the shaking or breathing, I reach for my cellphone.

    I wake up the next morning gasping so loud it sounded like I screamed. Arms immediately tighten around me from behind. I flip around. Adam captures both my hands and breathes against my face and hair. His warm body presses against mine, he lets go and reaches back with one hand to bring my head onto his chest. His fingers slowly stroking my hair. Stroking. Twisting softly…. brushing it away…….from my cheek….Stroking….. Twisting softly….around his….