The night sounds and smells traveling on the air told April that it was truly summer in Mississippi. The traffic, just off the clinic grounds, told her it was highway 90 running there. It was the same as everything else at the clinic. The highway was the old version of highway 90. The one that wound it's way through town, not the new one that by passed, the bypass. The heat and humidity were worse than any April remembered, but then it seemed to be like that every year.
April was 48 years old and for over half of her life, she was either a nurse, or learning how to be a better nurse. First she became an LPN because it was the only school she could afford. Then the US Army offered her a scholarship, if she agreed to serve three years after she graduated.
After her RN, and two tours in Afghanistan she saved some cash. The cash, and the proceeds of the new GI bill, she was able to get a masters degree in nursing. She could have done it in three years, but she went to the longer four year NP specialty. She did that for two reasons, she had the tuition money from the army, a part time job with a local urgent care clinic, and finally she had a cop boyfriend who was recently divorced.
It worked out really well until someone shot her cop. No it didn't kill him, but it probably would have been better for her, if gun thug had been better at his job. instead of killing him, it made him reassess his life's direction. Of course when he did that his wife and child seemed more important that a piece of ass.
So here I am ten years later, and ten pounds heavier, she thought. She found herself still working for the clinic just outside Biloxi Mississippi. It was the clinic where she worked part time while she pursued her NP degree. She had worked at that clinic until the day she received her medical license in the mail.
She had more practical experience than any doctor in the area, which the clinic owners loved. They got someone who was trauma triage trained, for the salary of a Nurse practitioner. She had always planned to got to work somewhere else, but she just couldn't seem to leave her boyfriend Brad. She had started on the night shift, and just stayed with it after Brad had gone home to his wife.
April dated several men, most of them were on the fringes of the Clinic's orbit. Some were cops, some firemen, some military men, mostly they were men who weren't likely to ask for a commitment. It just seemed to work best that way.
"I need some help here," a black male about thirty said pushing his way through the line. April looked up and saw him almost dragging another black main into the clinic.
"Someone call an ambulance I will try to help him till they get here," April said as one of the RNs on duty helped the man onto a gurney. They quickly rolled him into a cubicle and pulled the curtain.
"Don't you call no one," the man who brought his friend in said. "Anybody shows up and she dies. He said pointing the gun at April. He followed his friend and the two nurses into the curtained off treatment area.
"You can't be in here," April said to the man.
"I ain't leaving my boy," he said pulling a pistol from behind his back.
"You need to put that away right now, it makes me nervous, and I have work to do," April said.
"If you don't fix Bobo, this piece is gonna make you dead. Bobo dies, you die. You understand that bitch?" he asked.
"Yeah, I'll do what I can," April said as she began to work on the young black man. To the RN she said, "Go get me a GSW tray stat." She really hoped the gunman would let her out and then tjhat she would run like hell and take everyone else with her.
"If you are not back in two minutes, I kill the doc," the man with the gun said.
The RN left the room. "You know if you kill me, he is for sure going to die," April said that as she began exploring the wound and clamping off the worst bleeders. "He needs a surgeon. I have got him stable enough, so that he has a chance, if you let me call an ambulance. If you don't he is going to die for sure."
"Save him. He is a tough kid. He can walk out of here if you stop the bleeding," the young man with the gun said.
"No he won't. He needs a resection of his damaged artery. He is going to die, if not from the blood loss, it will be a blood clot to his brain. Only chance he has is a real hospital." she repeated.
"If he goes to a hospital, we both are going to die," the kid said. "You sure without a hospital he will die?"
"In about ten more minutes all kinds of bad shit is going to start happening. Why don't you take to the woods out back, and we will get him to the hospital. Don't go home, or to anyone you think is your friend. You can make it, if you run now." She said all that as she hung a bag of universal O type plasma. She continued to soak up the blood making it look even worse than it was. She just threw the used swabs on the floor to heighten his sense of horror.
The RN came in with more instruments and took a look around at the carnage. The floor of the examining room looked worse than Saturday night in a West Virginia red neck bar, she thought.
April waited for the RN to say something stupid, but she kept her head down and pushed the fluids. April continued to clean up blood and make moves like she was doing more, but there was nothing more she could do without lots of blood. The kid needed surgery that she didn't dare do on her own.
"He is crashing," April said to the RN. She knew it was a lie, but her RN managed to look terrified. "You know the ambulance and the cops are on the way. You need to run, if you are going to have any chance at all."
Without saying a word, it must have all finally struck him because the gun thug turned and ran out the door. April had half expected him to stop and shoot them all on the way out. "Call the paramedics and the police. Tell them we are going to transport a GSW to the ER in Biloxi. He is going to have some tissue damage due to a clamped artery, but that the second choice had been exsanguination," April said to the RN.
After the patient headed for the Biloxi Regional Medical Center, April walked into the shower stall and washed the blood of her body. She wondered about the blood on her soul.
"You got a kid with a runny nose waiting to see you," the RN said from the doorway.
"Okay break out the Benedryl," April said before she followed the RN back into the clinic's treatment room. The shift ended with a sprained ankle on a seriously drunk teenaged boy. April turned in her paperwork and walked out the clinic door.
She pushed her magic button and the car's horn beeped and the lights flashed. Since the sun had been up for over an hour, she walked to the beep. She got into the ten year old car, then found the two year old mp3 player button. She started the car and player at the same time.
She exited the parking lot with the music playing at a mind numbing volume. Louis Armstrong was grinding out the soulful, 'I went down to Saint James Infirmary'.