Monday, April 22, 2013
Chapter 2- Second Part
Chapter 2- Second Part
My first semester has swiftly flown by. But I can’t say it has been an easy breeze either. I’ve had my share of headaches and sleepless nights. I knew the academic demands would be challenging but when long hours of hospital rotations are added to this mad equation, the pressure is multiplied by tenfold. I pray that I will be able to endure the remaining long years ahead.
On my non-hospital rotation weekends, I spoil myself with visits to the local botanical gardens or walks along the fine white sandy beaches. It doesn’t sound too exciting for most people my age but it’s my ordinary way to cope with stress. While walking the length of a beach one vacant Saturday, I discovered a secluded spot just a few miles away from the dormitory. I was destined to stumble upon. This place is hardly or never occupied by vacationers or locals. It’s my secret retreat for studying or just relaxing my overstressed mind and body. The area is cleverly hidden by colossal coral-covered rock boulders with sharp rugged surfaces. Shady palm trees naturally grow in all the right places, allowing the brilliant sunlight to perfectly strike only certain areas.
After such a crazy-ass week of finals and extended late hours at the hospital, I’m more than ready to visit my secret hide-away. I pack a small picnic lunch, my iPod and a cozy flannel beach blanket and head out by myself. I feel somewhat guilty about not sharing this exclusive spot with Amelia and Richard but I figure they can find their own special place.
I neatly lay my blanket over the soft powdery sand to forge a beach bed under two shady palm trees. No oversized umbrella is needed. I shuffle through my iPod’s playlist for Relaxation Music and tap Play. Enya’s angelic voice is undeniably soothing. I lazily lower my stressful body down and close my over-fatigued eyes. “Ah… this is the life.” My arms and legs stretch out freely, enjoying the cool-humid breeze. I convince myself to take a quick cat nap first and then study for the rest of the day when I’m replenished with new energy.
My body eagerly rests like it’s been deprived for weeks, maybe months, savoring every precious minute of it. It doesn’t take long for me to reach REM state. I’m in a peaceful sleep coma until an alarming sensation of wet fingers lightly grasping my right ankle seizes my attention. It suddenly kills my brief snooze into relaxation. My ears are occupied with faint moaning sounds coming from beneath me, not my earphones. Am I having a hallucinating dream? The exhaustion combine with the heat has completely overtaken my drained mind, I think to myself. It seems and feels real but is really real? I abruptly open my heavy lids to confirm, squinting and blinking against the glaring sunlight until I could focus my burning watery eyes. Horrific screaming from within me follows without any control. “Oh my god, oh my god and holy shit! Who or what the hell is attached to my ankle?”
There’s an unconscious man lying prone on his abdomen with his right hand attached to my ankle. I can’t see his face or chest to determine if he’s still breathing or not. I’m hoping and praying that he’s not dead. I quickly pull my quivering right leg away from him and hug both my legs tightly against my chest. My body is defenselessly rocking back and forth. “God, why me? Why now?” My mind runs for its wits but my body remains stationary and dumfounded.
“Cool it Lily and put yourself together!” I mentally slap myself, gather my sanity and immediately crawl to his side to assess his condition. I flip him over onto his back and remove his lifejacket to release his body from its confine. His face is covered with sand so I gently finger stroke it off his cheeks and forehead. My heart unexpectedly flutters with desire from the sight of his alluring face. Where is this coming from? I shake my head several times to brush off this ridiculous attraction. I lift my blanket off the ground, shake the sand loose and prop his head up with it. Then I exert all my might to roll his heavy body into a recovery position and obtain his pulse rate and vital signs. “Thank Jesus, he’s alive!” The man is suffering from dehydration. I quickly call my assigned hospital to send an ambulance over for his rescue.
I sit by his backside to wait for the paramedics while maintaining a vigil watch over his weaken body. My heart hasn’t stop hammering since I first encounter this stranger. It’s crucial for me to regain control of my madness. This man needs my professional care. This is what I’m trained to do.
After thirty minutes or so, the paramedics arrive with their emergency kit. They lay his frail body on the stretcher and quickly start an IV. They transport him into the ambulance and insist I drive in the back with them to the hospital. I’ve never ridden in one before. The ride is jerky, which is to be expected, due to the horrible road conditions as well as incoming traffic. Several times I almost fall forward because of hasty stops they make for reckless drivers and crazy pedestrians. The loud siren continuously blares in my ears…I’ll definitely have this annoying ring in my head for several days to come.
His sun-chapped lips beg for my attention. I wipe a moist towel over them, pealing his lips apart. He responds to it by lightly licking the moisten path with his tongue. I hear him softly mumble something under his breath but it’s incomprehensible. Is he trying to tell me something? Why do I have this lustful desire in my gut as I watch him trace his sensual tongue along his lower lip? Again, I’m guilty of admiring his lean defined face which is heavily covered with dark bristles. What am I doing? I force these forbidden thoughts out of my head and continue to monitor him for signs of progress.
We thoroughly inspect all his pockets for any form of identification. There is nothing but his initials ‘C.B.’ on his platinum cufflinks that distinguishes him. His costly designer suit is perfectly tailored to conform to his fine body. I also notice an expensive gold watch on his left wrist. One of the ambulance guys makes a repulsive comment about his Rolex watch costing over $75,000.00. Wow, I can’t imagine anyone crazy enough to spend that much money on a small watch. He has no wedding band on his ring finger. And why am I checking for his eligibility status?
Right away, I fabricate a quick personal assessment of him, persuading myself to forget these unexplainable desires. He’s probably arrogant, self-centered and enjoys an affluent lifestyle. Everything is catered to him. He’s not married therefore he has commitment issues. This incident has perhaps sabotaged his plans of meeting one of his many swimsuit model girlfriends. He has a different flavor for all his needs. He never lacks the company of a beautiful woman. I’m willing to put my money on this fact.
I have a character flaw of judging people based on their materialistic appearances- similar to those who stereotype people with tattoos. It’s a terrible trait that I’ve inherited from my mother. I’m not proud of it. Many unanswered questions flood my mind about this mysterious man as I sit and stare at his languished body and striking face. Even though he’s not my type, why am I drawn to him? Not that I have any guidelines for the perfect type. I think to myself.
We finally arrive at the hospital and he’s quickly transferred to a private room. Since his identity is unknown, the hospital has maintained the highest level of confidentiality for him. Two eager female nurses begin to remove his dampened clothes, first the jacket, then his vest and dress shirt and finally his pants and boxers. I catch myself examining his gloriously lean, muscular, naked body in an unprofessional manner as I nervously bite my thumb nail. I secretly yearn to walk over to his side and trace my fingers along his entire body, not sparing any areas. He is endowed in both length and girth, I shamefully note.
I’m disappointed when they quickly dress his distracting ripped, athletic-type body with a unisex hospital gown. Where is all this lust coming from? Am I finally experiencing my suppressed teenage hormones? Seriously, I need a good smack to knock some sense back into me. I eventually convince myself to smother these crazy, erotic, mental thoughts and resume my role of assistant attending resident.
I walk over to his bed and examine him closely. He is indeed a fine-looking male specimen. Stop it! I place my two fingers on his radial artery and obtain his pulse rate, 55. I assume he works out from his healthy rate and his perfect muscle tone. There I go again losing my train of thought. I quickly release his wrist and step away from his bed. I think I better let the nurse complete his physical assessment. I’m not thinking straight. For reasons I can’t understand, this man is slowly breaking down my invincible barrier I’ve worked years to build and reinforce.
Dr. Stanford, the lead physician, orders a comprehensive lab workup for my mystery man after the nurse reported her evaluation. He responds well with continuous IV fluids. I decide to keep my distance from him, only observing his condition from his medical chart. I would hate for Dr. Stanford to witness my unprofessional gawking of our patient. Besides, I’m not quite ready to face him when he becomes conscious.
I leave specific orders with the nursing staff. He is to remain rested in bed and to personally call me if there are any notable changes. This isn’t standard practice, of course. But then I’ve never been irrational attracted to any patient or man before. I’m usually in a hurry to leave the hospital but not this evening. I long to be near C.B., a nickname I gave this mystery man, obviously from a distance. But unfortunately, other obligations are waiting for me back at school. I have three lecture classes to attend, starting early tomorrow morning. “School must come first.” I remind myself.
I’ll attend my classes and swing by tomorrow afternoon to visit him. This will give me an entire day to prepare myself for our first face to face encounter. I have to be confident and professional. I cannot allow him to see my weakness for him. I give myself a 'go team Lily' pep talk.
And now, the tough challenge is to get through tonight and tomorrow…
***Pictures are shared from Pinterest***