Unraveling – Part 117

by Elizabeth

“Hi Mel,” Libby said when her childrens’ nanny answered the phone, she smiled when she heard her sons laughing in the background

“I’d like for you to take G, M and Z out for dinner, I made a reservation at Quinn’s for 6:30.  N will be at a practice debate until 10:00 o’clock – he said he’d take of his own dinner tonight.”

Mel laughed at Libby’s evening orchestrations, “You realize you employ a nanny, right Dr. Morgan?”

Libby smiled  listening to Mel, “Yes, and I couldn’t live without you, but having your help doesn’t absolve me of responsibility for knowing where my children are – and making a dinner reservation wasn’t all that taxing.”

She tried to put her phone into her pocket, then realized she was still in scrubs.  She looked around her office in virtual disbelief; so much  had changed since she had admired the sunset sky from her window a mere seventeen hours prior.  The pillow and blanket John had used were lying neatly folded on the couch – she picked them up to put them back into the closet, but stopped and pressed them gently to her face – she could smell him.  She drank in his fragrance, losing herself to time and space.  He’d really been here, it wasn’t another dream she’d wake from alone.

On her way out of the hospital, she stopped by the ICU to check on her patients.  John smiled when he saw her, but concern for his brother was all she could see in his eyes.  Being a doctor is cruel when someone you love is desperately ill; you know too much for the deliberate ambiguity of treating physicians to comfort you, as it is supposed to, and too little to save them yourself.  It is a vulnerable place, a place where you realize just how powerless you truly are – the degrees you hold, the white coat, where you went to school, who you saved last week – mean nothing.  The emotional torment, the fear in your heart, the unquiet mind are all as acute as they are for everyone else who must wait, and hope.  But for everyone else, there is no reasonable expectation that they should be able to save the ones they love … and that expectation makes waiting and hoping a living hell.

Paul called while she was on her drive home, he sounded tired but well.

She got into a bath, and pushed the button that would fill the room with the sounds of Mozart.

  When she was clean, and more peaceful than she had been in many months, she took the pillow and blanket John had used in her office from her bag.  Wrapping herself in the blanket and lying her head on the pillow …

She immediately fell into a deep and restful sleep.