A Nurse's Passion for murder

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 08, 2016

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Submitted: September 08, 2016

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A Nurse’s Passion for Murder


 

By: Kyle Alan




 

 












 

 

Chapter One


 

Boston’s Mercy Hospital’s emergency room staff was frantically trying to handle treating the injured from a five-car accident; Maria Buchanan, the head charge nurse, took care of the situation in her usual cool, calm, and efficient manner. From the nurse’s station, she made certain that the emergency room patients had orange tags hanging from the edge of their gurney.  The orange tags meant someone had checked that patients injuries and started the proper procedures and summated the proper paperwork.  There were nineteen injured people in the emergency room waiting area and Maria had completed eighteen forms in twenty minute.  She had the situation under control.

“Hey,” a man of about fifty with blood dripping down the side of his face, yelled from his gurney in the corridor.  “Someone better get over here and help me before I bleed to death.” He ordered. Maria looked at the man and noticed that that he didn’t have an orange tag hanging on the edge of his gurney.  She looked around for someone to send to him but everyone was really busy assisting other patients. She clipped the completed forms together on her clipboard and hung it on the side of the nurse’s station. Maria grabbed some gauze pads and rubber gloves from the nearest cabinet and carried them over with a white metal bowl to the agitated patient. There was a 4 inch gash just above his temple that was bleeding profusely but, she knew he would live.  She put on the rubber gloves and ripped open a half dozen gauze packages and gently cleansed his wound. “Hey, lady, cut that out, that hurts!” he said. He then turned his head towards her and she could smell the scent of stale alcohol and bad breath She tightened her stomach uncomfortably. Maria sighed and asked “what is your name?” My name is Anthony Phillips.” He responded. “Well, Mr. Phillips I dislike drunks.” She said. “You will be just fine.” She assured him while throwing the bloody gauze into the bowl.  “Just stay quiet and one of the doctors will look at you soon.  You have to sit up for a few minutes so I can wrap a temporary bandage around your head.” She said.

She grasped him behind the neck to help him sit up. He held on to Maria for support while she wrapped gauze around his filthy hair. Then all of a sudden his right hand shot out and reached down between Maria’s legs. He shoved his hand quickly up her thigh. Maria dropped the gauze roll and quickly pulled away. Mr. Phillips rolled back violently and tore her white nylons.

He laughed. “Hey babe, I thought you were a bitch when you were sitting behind the nurse’s station, but you’re actually kind of cute when you’re mad.” His foul breath brought nausea to her throat.  He leaned over to wrap his other arm around her ass rear end and pulled her in tight to continue his probe up her thigh inside her pantyhose. She froze in his hold, only able to push slightly on his arm.  The adrenalin exploded in her chest and stomach but, she felt weak and helpless in his clutch.  She tried to push with all her might against him, thrashing her head from side to side to look for some help from someone but, there only some of the other injured.  Panic flashed in her head and eyes as his hand gripped its way up her thigh and found her panties. Pulling that aside when a blood curdling scream escaped from Maria’s throat. It was more a series of breathless yelps that kept going an octave higher to high for sound.  As his fingers forced themselves inside her clitoris she finally pushed herself away and landed sitting on the floor a few feet away.  Mr. Phillips laughed and smelled his fingers then rolled onto his back and passed out.

Maria looked desperately around at the other injured but, they couldn’t help. Her chin quivered and the tears streamed down her face, embarrassing her. Just then two nurses ran down the dimly lit corridor towards her.

“Maria, Maria. What happened?”  The bigger of the two asked, getting on their knees next to her. She tried to speak, but broke into sobs. She pointed at drunk, now lying comatose, the gauze hanging from head and dripping blood down the side of the gurney, unraveled on the floor.

The nurses stood on either side and pulled her to her feet, and then half dragged the trembling Maria into the emergency room. Over her shoulders they looked at each other in bewilderment.  The bigger nurse took Maria’s hand and slowly walked toward one of the four cubicles to find an unoccupied one. Judy, Maria’s closes friend looked her in the eyes and asked “What happened?” as she adjusted the drip of an IV bag.  Maria gave no answer.  She has never seen Maria in such a state that she finished quickly with her patient and went to the cubicle the two nurses brought Maria into.  She gave them what happened at a glance and they gave her a shrug in reply. Judy pulled the curtain closed and walked them over to Maria sitting upright in a black swivel chair next to an empty black patted gurney. Judy crouched down beside Maria and put her arms around her and hugged her tightly as she wept. Judy whispered to one of the nurses. “Can you two go finish your rounds and I will take care of Maria.” They nodded yes over Maria’s shoulder. Then they quietly pulled the curtain aside and left, each of them with a puzzled look on their face.

Judy then stepped back and looked professionally into Maria’s wildly darting eyes while she opened a box of tissues. Maria’s Pupils enlarged her jaw muscles throbbing as if she were chewing gum. Her heartbeat was racing and she was breathing rapidly, fingers alive and trembling. This was the beginning of and anxiety attack. A fast shot a valium was called for before she lost total control.

“Are you going to be okay?”“Oh, I’ll be fine now, Judy.” She blew her nose and tried to smile but managed only a painful grimace. She averted her eyes to the floor to escape Judy’s assessing stare. Soon big tears started running down her cheeks again, stopping briefly on her chin and proceeding heavily to the floor. She covered her face with her trembling hands for a few seconds she took the Kleenex from the box that Judy held out to her. She dabbed corners of her eyes and blew her straight, patrician nose, before wrapping the tissue inside a clean one. She stood up and threw it in the waste basket in the corner of the cubicle. Then she rubbed her hands over the front of her uniform trying to straighten some of the creases. She was still trembling like a shake weight, but the color was returning to her face and cheeks.

Judy watched her closely while wrestling with the decision to call a doctor in or not? Maria seemed to regaining some control.

“Maria let’s go down to the cafeteria and have a cup of coffee.”  

“No, Maria said to quickly and she bit down on her teeth as if she was ashamed of her hastiness and obvious hysteria. “No.” She answered slower. “I don’t want to be around a lot of people right now.”

“Well, how ‘bout the nurse's lounge?”

“What about the emergency room? All those people need me…”

“Maria, how about in your office, you can watch everyone from there until you regain your composure,” Judy said.

“All right just until the shivering goes away.”

Judy led her from her cubicle and gave a stern eye and commands to the other nurses as they passed who had heard about the incident and were staring at Maria.

The activity in the dimly lit corridor was back to its normal beat of stoic patients clutching pained parts of their anatomy while shuffling to one of the four rooms for relief. A custodian was mopping the floor free of the blood that had spilled from Mr. Phillips (the drunk’s) wound. He had gone to one of the rooms for treatment. He received stitches and then he was released back on the street just in time for happy hour, Maria picked up the drunk’s papers. They listed him as a John Doe because he was unconscious upon entry. She grabbed a pen of her desk and crossed out John Doe and wrote in Anthony Phillips. No bail hearing for him. Because head injuries meant no sobriety test, Maria started to tremble again. Judy alertly steered her into the glass cubicle the head nurses office and closed the door behind her. Her office was an eight by eight room decorated in traditional office furniture with a poster that said. “Only you have the power to follow your dreams.”  

Then all of a sudden Maria started crying again.  The pitiful bleats of a person on the edge of control but unable to make the last few feet. Her fists clenched in rage as she paced the office, alternately hanging them on her sides and holding them to her face.  “I’ll just go get some water for the coffee.” Judy said quietly.

Maria had her back to Judy, nodded and waved with one hand.

Judy went to the machine and poured some hot water through. “Karen,” she called to one of the young nurse and the end of the counter. She turned.  “Can you please page Dr. Brenan and ask him to report here A.S.AP., Okay?”

“Sure.” Karen reached for the house phone near her on the wall. “Anything I can help with.”

“No, Thanks. Just tell him that it is in-house.”

Dr. Brenan, the resident psychiatrist, arrived in the emergency room within fifteen minutes. He was a small man and was completely balled on top, with narrow shoulders, and a prominent nose that was slightly bent to the right. He was saved from homeliness by his big, gentle, brown eyes.

“What’s the problem?” He asked one of the nurses.  “Maria was grabbed by some drunk,” Karen offered with a shrug as if saying it was an everyday occurrence and that it was nothing to get upset about. “She is shaken, and crying, in there.” She nodded and pointed over her shoulder at Maria’s office.  “Thanks Karen.” Brenan said as he walked passed her. He knocked and opened the door to the office.

“Hello ladies.” He said cheerfully. “How are you on this lovely day?”

Maria nodded and her tense eyes flicked back and forth between him and Judy.

“Hello, Dr. Brenan. What brings you around?” Judy asked.

“I was just checking up on one of the patients and I smelled coffee.” He laughed.

“The drunk?” Judy asked.

Brenan saw the anger register in Maria’s eyes.

“Uh, yes,” Brenan answered.

Maria’ breath became short and fast.

“He attacked Maria.” Judy said,” and she’s upset.  I don’t want to leave her alone. Dr. But I really have to get back to my patients. You both know how that is. Please excuse me. “I’ll call you later Maria,” Judy said as she rushed off. Dr. Brenan looked at Maria, deciding on the best approach to use in this situation.





 

****

 

Knowing that nurse Buchanan is very private, professional woman, he decided to remove her from the glass enclosed office where people were staring in at them as if they were a bunch of animals on display in a cage at the zoo.  News of Maria’s attack had traveled quickly.  The two nurses that found Maria knew her as an efficient, calm, and totally in control charge nurse whom they worked under and seeing her in this state of mind must have given reason to all the rumors flying around.  Maria was equally upset over her behavior in a situation she should have been able to control.

“C’mon, Maria let’s take a walk down the hall to my office where we can talk in private.”  He said while he held the door open for her.  “Really, Dr. Brenan, It’s nothing. Thank you for your concern, but I’m fine. I really just need to stay here and attend to these forms.”  She said as she held up the disorderly bunch of papers she’d taken from her desk.

Dr. Brenan watched her eyes, the slight twitching of the lids and the trembling of her hand holding her work indicated to him that she should not be in the E.R. right now trying to perform her job.

“Just walk with me Maria to my office for a few minutes, please.” He is voice was as gentle as a spring wind, but empathetic at the same time.

Maria walked in silence out of the E.R. next to Dr. Brenan and handed the papers to Karen.  She remained silent until they entered his office. Maria walk in first and looked around the lavishly decorated office and noticed a brown Italian leather sofa in the corner and a comfortable ergo chair in front of Dr. Brenan’s Glass toped Mahogany  desk. “Please have a seat.” Dr. Brenan said.  She looked around once more and chooses the chair.

“I’ll be fine doctor, really. I don’t want to waste your time.” She said as she sat upright in the chair and folded her hands neatly in her lap, she waited for the doctor to get organized with his paper and pen.

“Why don’t you tell me what happened today with the drunk patient that attacked you, Maria.” Brenan as he leaned back in his brown swivel office chair waiting for Maria to speak.

“I’m not really concerned about the attack, doctor. That’s over and done.  I handled the situation.  I’m more upset about the fact that I was so shaken afterwards and that my nurses had to see me out of control. That’s not like me at all, you know. I’m supposed to present an image to the nurses I am in charge of and there I was crying, and shaking on the floor.”

“The reaction you experienced was quite normal, Maria, under that kind of trauma.”

“No, Dr. Brenan. I am a charge nurse, trained to be in control of all situations. Did you see all the nurses gawking at me? They thought I was some kind of ‘crazy lady’ out of control and I have to have their respect to be able to work in the ER. As a head charge nurse, how are they going to respect me no?”

“Maria, but you haven’t told me how it happened and how you feel about the attack,” Brenan said as he leaned forward and tapped the end of the pen on the note pad on top of his desk.

“I was humiliated! That filthy, fucking drunk grabbed me under the nylons, that bastard!” she said as her voice became louder.

“Let me tell you something, Dr. Brenan. What that asshole did to me today, that scum, who thought he could touch; it reminded me of what was done to me when I was a kid.  I shouldn’t have become so upset, but that man when he attacked me, it was too much like an old incident that flashed before me.  But don’t worry doctor, I’ll handle it. I’m fine.” She said as she managed a half a smile.

“Let’s talk about it, Maria?”

“Forget it, doctor, really. Thanks for your help and concern, but I’m fine. I really have to get back to the ER.” She stood up. Her voice was calm and quiet now, her controlled demeanor apparently back to normal.

Dr. Brenan watched as Maria tightly holding the stainless steel doorknob, poised for flight.  He couldn’t help but be taken in for momentarily by her beauty.  That shiny, chestnut brown hair , those full red lips, and that hour glass shape outlined by her crisp, fitted white uniform…

“Doctor, did you hear me? I have to leave now.”

The good doctor reddened over his unprofessional thoughts.

“All right Maria,” he then wrote something on the small pas in front of him, ripped it off, and held the form out for her to take. “At least take this prescription for valium, in case you feel nervous for the next few days.  Would you like to come see me to discuss today’s attack and your other incident another day?  It might do you some good, Maria.  You seem quite disturbed. Maybe this attack set something off?” He paused but Maria Said nothing.  “When would you like to come see me again?” he said as he looked at his appointment book and looked directly into her eyes, his pen poised above the book waiting for a response from her.  Maria looked at Dr. Brenan tightly and stern.

“I don’t want to discuss it any further.”

“Maria, it might help you to avoid repercussions from the past that you mentioned.  It might help just to meet and just talk about it once or twice a week.”  He was saying as Maria walked over, grabbed the prescription and went back to the door. Then she turned to Dr. Brenan and said.  “I’ll take care of this myself, doctor... Good day.” She said as she turned the doorknob.

“But how Maria, these things take time and effort.  We know more today about this kind of abuse.  Why try and handle it alone?” Dr. Brenan spoke quickly.  He was just trying to his job.  Maria kept her hand on the doorknob. She turned her head over her left shoulder to face the doctor.  For a brief moment her hazel eyes flared, and then they narrowed slightly, turned dark, and ice cold. She stared at the doctor, I’m going to get rid of it one of these days doctor. I’ll kill him.” The doctor shuddered and asked “kill who?”

Something in those piercing eyes made him believe her.  “Could Nurse Buchanan really kill someone?”  

“Not Nurse Buchanan doctor. The little girl he did that too.” The doctor blinked.  He was unprepared for those icy eyes. She changed moods. “Just kidding doctor,” she said as she turned and left the office.

“Oh of course;” Brenan smiled unconvinced and perplexed








 

Chapter Two

 

Maria took Dr. Brenan’s advice and did not return to the Emergency room for work.  She went her locker in the nurse’s lounge for her black wool coat and her black and white, silk, scarf that she wrapped around her neck.  She pulled out her valise and relocked her locker.  She left a note on Judy’s locker that she’d call her later.  She knew her friend had just been trying to help by calling in the doctor.  Maria felt strangely calm inside.  It made her feel a bit fearful when it first appeared at Dr. Brenan’s office.  When she said she would kill him. It made sense and calm had descended.  Now it felt perfectly normal.  She would kill him. He deserved it for abusing a twelve year old girl.  For all those terrible day that he’d dragged her to her bedroom and raped her, beat and sexually molested her.  Oh vengeance, how sweet it is.

She decided to make one stop before leaving the hospital for the day. Maria walked down the blue and white corridor leading to the drug supply room at the end of the surgical ward.

As she passed the other staff, she nodded politely and kept walking, although some of the other nurse’s tried to stop her and engage her in a conversation about the attack.  She could sense there, own tenseness over the incident.  Attacks like that happened, but not at Mercy, that they knew of.  She remained calm despite their inquiries. The Dr. Burges joined in step beside her, leering.  

“Dr. Burges, is there something you want to say?” She stated abruptly and walked faster.  

“No, I just wanted to make sure the goods weren’t damaged in the assault.”  He winked and eyeballed her up and down.  “Wouldn’t want any bruises on your body.”  He said as her turned down a wing and walked away laughing. Maria was to focused on getting to the supply room to allow Burges’s comment bother her.

She stood in front of the wood door for a moment, quickly looked up and down the corridor to make sure no one saw her.  She punched in her code into the electronic combination lock and turned the doorknob to enter the drug supply closet.  After flicking on the light switch, Maria locked the door behind her.

She leaned back against the door, looked around at the selves and breathed a sigh of relief. In front of her was an old wood desk with a sign in sheet. She pulled a pen from her pocket signed her name and then picked up the drug manifest. The Curare; It was located on the left hand wall on the top shelf.

For some seconds, she experienced a curious happiness as she stole the curare form the hospital supply room self.  She cradled the small bottle in her hand, checking to see that it contained a sufficient dose of the paralyzing poison.  Assured that it was enough, she placed the medication down gently on the black and white silk, scarf she had removed from her neck.  The she put the deadly potion into her open briefcase on the counter.  Maria stood on her tiptoes and stretched her arm high above her head to the fifth self for a hypodermic needle kit.  Her fingertips fumbled for the plastic wrapped needle, they tweaked the edge and pulled the plastic wrapper slowly and carefully from the box.

The sound of the keys being pressed on the combination lock broke the silence.  In a panic, she dropped the kit on the counter.  She fumbled with it, picked it up, and shoved it hastily into a side pocket of her briefcase just before the door to the supply room opened. Hoping she was hiding her panic, she turned from her briefcase and looked innocently into the long, narrow face of Dr. Michael Burges.

“Well, Maria Buchanan! I never expected to meet you in here!” he said with mock surprise.  Maria eyes narrowed angrily.  Her full, sensuous lips tightened into a grim, phony smile while she watched his calculating eyes undress her.  He shut the door and walked toward her.

“I wondered what you were doing in here, and with the door closed.”  As her reached for her arms, Maria stiffened and stepped backwards into the counter to escape Burges’s grasp.  She gripped the edge of the counter top and shifted slightly sideways to shield the briefcase from his view.  He shifted with her placing an arm on either side of her head, palms against the wall while he planted his feet in front of her and pressed his tall, lean muscular body heavily into hers.  He rubbed against her white uniform. She could feel the bulge in his already tight pants getting hard.  “What are you doing, Maria?  Stealing drugs? Have you been keeping a secret or something?”  He laughed lecherously into her face.  Maria glared contemptuously at his slack face and looked pointedly at his imprisoning arms.

“I’m filing my prescription from Dr. Brenan.” She answered sarcastically, hiding her nervousness.  “Do you want to see it?”

“No, I don’t care if you steal drugs.”

“What do you want Michael?”  He grinned and leaned more heavily into her and took on hand of the wall and pulled the loosely fastened nurses cap of her head.  He unclasped the large barrette from top of her head holding her long, raven hair and it cascaded down her shoulders.  Burges took some strands in his fingers.  “You look much sexier that way he said thickly.” He moved forward to plant his thin, dry, lips on hers.  Maria jerked her head aside.  She put both hands on Michael’s chest and pushed him back.  “Doesn’t be such a jerk,” she spat. Maria made an abrupt reach for her briefcase, but Michael grabbed her hand and forcefully placed it on his crotch and said “Do you feel what you are missing.” “Yes two and half inches of nothing.” She

said sarcastically.

“Don’t play hard to get with me. When are we going to get together, Maria?” he demanded, the lust shining in his eyes.

“Stop, you’re hurting my hand.” She wrenched it free.

“C’mon on Maria, you know I have been after you ever sense I arrived here.  Burges had been haunting her since he residency at Boston’s Mercy Hospital as an internist began eight months before.  He had slept with just about every nurse he wanted to, and some patients, but Maria continually avoided him and ignored his advances. She shuddered and pulled from Burges’s foul smelling breath.  She found his actions and force disturbingly similar to today’s incident.

“So, are we going to get together, or what Maria?” her repeated in a low growl.  “I, I don’t know Michael.” She said as she turned and reached for her briefcase.  “All your after is my body and I need more than that.” She said as she closed the case and gripped the handle.  Michael gently closed his hand over hers.

“You’re not getting out her ‘til I get an answer young lady! Am I going to get what I deserve from you or what?” she gave a brief, resigned smile.

That did it! The calm descended again. She grinned.  “You leave me no choice, Michael.  I guess I’ll have to give you what you deserve next weekend.”

“No kidding?” Burges asked.

“No, no kidding, Michael.  I can see that if I don’t give you what you deserve, you’ll never leave me alone.”

Michael chuckled.  “I’m glad you finally see it my way.”  He pulled his hand of hers to wave it across his face arrogantly.

“Oh really, I had no idea I was in the presence of a genuine star,” Maria said as she pulled the briefcase to her said and pressed passed him.

Michael grabbed her arm and released it quickly.  “When do we meet?”

“How about next Friday and the Atrium Club about nine, nine thirty;”

“You’ve never been loved like I’m going to love you.  You won’t regret this.”

“You might.” She smiled and reached back for her cap and barrette, flipped the lock on the door and stepped passed him.  The case slammed against the closing door painfully twisting her wrist.  When she got to the elevator she quickly pulled her back into a tight bun and clasped the barrette into place.


 

Chapter Three


 

Maria drove mechanically onto interstate 83, distracted by the day’s happenings with Mr. Phillips (the drunk) and then Burges.  They had unknowingly unleashed the buried fear and distrust of men left over from her childhood.  The familiar tremble she thought she had outgrown returned to her hands and legs.  When she was a teenager, her mother had taken her to a doctor because of the recurrent trembling and weakness.  Maria’s hands would shake so violently and her legs would lose their strength to the point where she would collapse.  The doctor had explained that it was a nervous condition which would occur when Maria was very agitated.  He asked about any shocks or traumas.  Her mother couldn’t remember any, but Maria knew the problem had started when her step father began to molest her.

She Drove down the country road and turned right on her blacktopped driveway. At the end of the driveway was a white Cape Cod style home with two dormers, black and white stripped awnings, and black shutters. There was a similar style home two miles down the road. Her house was on the corner next to a wooded lot. On county roads B and C right where the two roads meet. As she drove down the poorly lit quarter mile blacktopped drive, she noticed her neatly tailored lawn was begging to show bursts of color from annuals hanging from window boxes, from the perennials that she planted in two large circular flower beds in front of the house.  She even had an old steel bathtub under willow tree that was beginning to show bursts of color also and in her back yard she had an in ground pool that was fenced in and beautifully landscaped all the way around the pool. She was concerned that the exceptionally cold weather this year, considering it was April, that it was going to kill some of the plants. Maria parked her car in the two car garage.  As soon as she entered the house and closed the door, Mr. Cat, her blue tailed Siamese, rubbed his plump furry body against her legs and purred happily.  “Hi, Mr. Cat.” She grinned and bent over to lift him.  She hugged him to her chest, scratched the underside of his neck and smiled at how his purr accelerated to a motorboat sound. Mr. Cat was Maria’s best friend. She set him down and he followed at her heals when she went to turn the heat up on the thermostat in the living room.

“I’m so sick of being cold.” She told the cat as she pushed the heat up high. It’s spring and still feels like winter. Sometimes I wish I was back in California where the sun always shines. No never! I will never go back to where I grew up, cat.  I swore when I left at 18 that I’d never return because my stepfather must still live there and I ever ran into him, I’d kill him, for all the times her hurt me like those men today.

She walked down the hall and hung up her coat in the closet and put the briefcase on the self above it before she went in to the kitchen.  “Boy, what I day I had! I need a drink!” she spoke to Mr. Cat, still following at her heals, as if he understood. She walked into the kitchen it was decorated with roosters, maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances, and a 12 by 12 slate tile floor. She walked over to the cabinet next to the sink and pulled out a long stemmed, Gorham crystal wine glass and a bottle of Chamblee from the refrigerator, poured herself the wine and carried it up the dark cherry wood stairs with her to her bathroom. She took a sip and placed it on the Brass glass topped table beside the old-fashioned, lion-footed tub. Her bathroom was exquisitely decorated with real white marble and real glass tiles with brass fixtures. She made sure no expense was spared. She leaned over and adjusted the ornate handles to turn on the water as hot as she could stand it, to ease the tension in her muscle; then she added lavender scented bath salts to calm her nerves. She picked up the glass from the table, took one huge gulp, put down the empty glass, and stuck her hand in the water to check the temperature.  It was hot!

She walked into her bedroom, and put a Rachmaninoff CD in her stereo and turned the volume to five. Heavy piano notes filled her white and blue striped room that was decorated in early American furniture. She walked over to the closet and took out her fluffy, gray, terrycloth bathrobe from the closet and took it into the bathroom, hung it on the hook behind the door, then turned toward the full length mirror. She unbuttoned her uniform, stepped out of it and flung it behind her onto the floor in a heap.  She looked at herself and wondered why she felt the way she did right now.  At least she has fought the drunk and escaped his clutches.  She looked down at the gaping hole in her pantyhose.  Her face wrinkled distastefully and shaded red with shame and anger, her eyes filled.  The scene with the drunk flooded her mind.  She peeled off the damaged pantyhose with her fingertips and threw them into the wastebasket.  She felt dirty.  Standing with her feet apart, she bent over to inspect the inside of her thighs, checking for bruises, as she rubbed her hands between her legs to feel for painful spots. There were none.  She removed her lace bra and panties and violently through them into the wastebasket, screaming.

“You bastards, all of you.” The attacks today triggered feelings of rage from twenty years earlier which she had blocked.

Maria eased herself slowly into the steaming water.  The radiators hissed and Mr. Cat lay complacently near the half closed door, his tail twitching to the somber Rachmaninoff.  She leaned back and rested her head on the tile; warmth flooded her body, relaxing her, cleansing her; she took a deep breath and let it out slowly, loosening every muscle in neck and shoulders.  She repeated the exercise three more times than laid back and thought about the day’s incidents. A vague sense of anxiety gnawed at her stomach and intruded her sense of well-being.  The stereo clicked off. The silence increased her anxiety.  She breathed deeply the way pregnant woman do, huff, huff, huff, puff.  Three times and the anxiety decreased.  Absently she worked a washcloth over her arms and legs, unaware that the attack today had been like ripping the scab off an old wound.

She took another deep breath and splashed the warm water over her body.  The wine hit her and she felt fully engulfed by the warmth of the bath.  She felt, calm, relaxed, and safer now.  Her, Cell phone rang, she jumped.

Maria whipped her hands and quickly over to the table and grabbed her cell phone.

“Hello?”

“Is this Maria?” a male asked.

“Yes, who is this please?”

“It’s Alfred Simpson, from the club.” There was a silence from Maria as she tried to place him.  “Remember Maria I have seen you there much and I’ve wanted to go out with you. Remember tall, slim, handsome, blonde guy you wouldn’t give your phone number to last week when I asked you?” Maria had no recollection of who he was; there were so many handsome men at the club with whom she danced on Friday night.

“Well, I didn’t want to give you my number then I didn’t want you to have it! Alfred? Did you say? How did you get my cell number?”

“Billy.”

“Billy?” it figures. Billy would do that. And to think that she once envisioned herself in love with Billy.

“Maria, I’d like to take you out sometime soon.  Please don’t hold it against me that Billy gave me your number.”

“I’m busy taking a bath.” She was indignant. She tried to remember Alfred.

“Maria, I am really sorry about disturbing you.  Should I call back later when it’s more convenient for you?”

“No.”

“Will you go out with me tonight, Maria? Dinner, a show,” She suddenly recalled Alfred Simpson. He was handsome. His dancing, Ricky Martin style, caught everyone’s eye attention at the club. Alfred Simpson. Hmmm;

“I could see you at the club after nine.”  The gnawing sense of anxiety returned when she gave in to his persistence, although he did seem nice on the phone.  “I have made plans to meet a friend of mine tonight at the club.” Maria hadn’t decided to go out until that moment, but she was sure Judy would meet her.

“I still wish we could go out somewhere, just the two of us, and get to know each other better, instead of that noisy club.” Maria wasn’t sure what he meant by that statement.  Her nervousness increased and she didn’t understand why she was even making a ‘date’ with Alfred.

“Alfred may I call you Al?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“Al, you will have to wait until another time, I do find you attractive so I might get together with you.”  She was cool, but seductive in her reply. That seemed odd to her.  Why didn’t she cross the jerk off? A friend of Billy’s couldn’t be trusted. But he seemed nice enough on the phone, perhaps last Friday he had too much to drink. “I have to go now. I’ll see you tonight.”

“Hey, I’ll pick you up.” His persistence was annoying her. “Al. Good-bye. See you later.” She added.  She closed the phone knowing he’d be at the club tonight.

She stepped out of the tub and patted herself dry and grabbed the robe that was hanging on the bathroom door and wrapped it around her, Mr. Cat meowed at her feet.

“I’ll feed you in a few minutes, Mr. Cat,” she bent down and him a light scratching on the top of his head. The phone again, a thought flashed through her mind that it might be Al, calling to cancel because it was only a joke, maybe even Billy was involved, but she didn’t want to believe even he would do that.  Billy obviously had no interest in her anymore.  Maria grabbed her phone from the table next to the tube and walked over to her bed, sat down.

“Hello, she answered tentatively.”

“Maria, hi, it’s Judy. Are you okay? The phone has been ringing forever. It wouldn’t even let me leave a voice mail. This is the second time I called.” She said nervously.

“I’m sorry Judy was on the phone with someone from the club.”

“Don’t worry Judy, I’m fine now.” She lied.

I just walked into the house, Maria.  I got your note on my locker that you’d call me later, but I had to make sure you’re feeling okay now. I felt terrible leaving you today, rushing off, but there were patients in the ER. That were waiting to be attended to and Dr. Brenan was there…”  “It’s okay Judy. I understood.” Maria answered honestly.

“How did you make out with Dr. Brenan?”

“All right,” her tone was very matter of fact.

“I don’t mean to pry Maria, but what did you mean when you said the drunk was like your stepfather.”

“I don’t want to talk about it, Judy” Maria spoke kindly.

“I am sorry Maria. I was wondering if it wouldn’t help to talk about it.” Nurse Judy was speaking now.

“That’s what Dr. Brenan said.  It’s just that I’ve never told anyone. It’s too embarrassing and I have always felt guilty. Like I caused the abuse because I was bad.”

“You know that’s not true, Maria.  You couldn’t help being a victim of, what was his name? Judy was going to help pull the painful past from her friend.

“Dick. He was a very cruel man, Judy.  Knowing what I know now I would say he was probably a psychopath.  He used to beat or molest me or and threaten to kill me if I told anyone, but enough of this talk. Judy that was a long time ago, are you going to the club tonight?”

“You mean you feel like going out after today?” Judy was very surprised.

“Judy, what good is it going to do me to say home and dwell on it, it would be better to get out and hear some music and do some dancing?”  Maria lied again.  She wouldn’t tell Judy, or anyone, about the rendezvous with Al.  She would just pretend she had met him there accidentally and see what the evening would bring.  The gnawing feeling of anxiety over Al bothered her.

“But maybe you need to stay home and relax. Maria you are taking medication…”

“How do you know, Judy?” She was perturbed.

“Well, uh, I ran into Dr, Brenan and he mentioned it.”

“Forget it, Judy. I’m fine, really. I don’t even need the valium. I took a hot bath, and…

“Maria, sorry, I didn’t realize it was 7:30 already.  Meet you at nine.” Judy knew it was not worth spending more time trying to get her friend to let out the trauma of today’s incident.  Maybe another time she’d try again.

After she closed her cell phone, Maria sat for awhile figuring what she was going to do with Al. It was obvious he was determined to be with her, but she was afraid of her own feelings toward him now and other men who might try to hurt her.






To Be Continued














 


 


© Copyright 2017 Kyle Alan. All rights reserved.

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