Perfect Flaw

Perfect Flaw by Robin Blankenship Page A

Book: Perfect Flaw by Robin Blankenship Read Free Book Online
Authors: Robin Blankenship
reported complaints upon arriving that, on the current sheets, had disappeared. They were all healthy. Why were they in a hospital? I would ask Julia. I was sure Julia would know.
    I realized I left both trays in the room. The cooks expected them in the kitchen so they could clean them for lunch. I dropped the clipboard on Doctor Clemens’ desk and rushed into the room to grab the trays. Mr. Stevens looked up from his book and offered a worried smile.
    “Jane,” he said softly, “how are you?”
    “A little tired, actually.” I admitted, trying to cover my guilt. What I had done was very against the rules. “I guess I get worn out keeping up with you!” He laughed. I picked up his tray and scurried out.
    I almost ran into Julia, coming out of Ms. Marie’s room. Miss Marie had two rooms actually, all to herself. She was Julia’s assignment and took up most of her time. She looked exhausted, and I knew she would always put Ms. Marie’s health before her own.
    “Well good morning, Miss Julia.” I said, carefully, aware that whatever she left in Miss. Marie’s room must have been an emergency.
    “Good morning, Miss Jane!” She answered, but it deteriorated into a cough.
    “Please ask the doctor about that.” I frowned at her. “Is Miss Marie all right?”
    “I don’t know.” Julia said. “Everything the Doctor says is gibberish to me. They want me to grab a defibrillator, though, just in case.” She coughed again.
    “I need to talk to you.” I said and dropped my voice to a whisper. I had to get it over with. “I saw the patients charts and they’re not right.”
    “Shhh!” She hissed at me. “You’re not supposed to do that!”
    “I know! I’m sorry.”
    She nodded as if I’d repented enough. “I have to get back quick. We’ll talk about it tonight, okay?” I nodded and she swept back to Miss Marie.
    But she didn’t come back to the dorm with us. I waited up all night, fiddling with the itchy port. Finally she snuck in, closing the door quietly behind her. A few of the other girls murmured in their sleep.
    “Julia!” I hissed at her.
    “Shh!” She hissed again. “I am only here to change my uniform. I can’t stay.”
    “What’s going on?”
    “Ms. Marie isn’t recovering. Doctor Clemens told me if she doesn’t get better he’s going to try something highly experimental. He needs help so I’m going to go back.” She sounded almost excited as she buttoned her clean, white shirt.
    “How are you going to get in? The scanner won’t let you.”
    “The technician turned it off. I can get in. Now go to bed. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
    She coughed into her elbow then took a moment to ruffle my hair. I could see her white uniform glide past the beds and out the door. She turned the knob so the tongue wouldn’t make a noise as it closed.
    The next morning I got up and disconnected my port. The machine beeped and then was quiet. I rubbed my eyes and groaned. I felt even more tired than I did when I went to sleep. I guess all the excitement from the night before got to me. As I stood up the door opened and one of the nurses walked in. Everyone froze. You would have thought a tiger had appeared in the door. It might as well have been. No one came to the dorms but us. She held the door open with one hand, as if she didn’t want to be completely in the room with us.
    “Ladies,” she started, as if she had to get our attention. Her red uniform stood out like a spot of blood in the pale room. “I am here to inform you that Miss Julia passed away last night. The stress of caring for Miss Marie was too great and affected her heart. We have truly lost a great healer and our hearts go out to you. Those closest to Julia may take a day to grieve. Miss Jane?”
    I looked up, surprised. “Yes?” I tried, but my throat had completely dried. I coughed and tried again. “Yes? I’m here.”
    She turned her red attention to me. “You will be reassigned to Miss Marie, beginning today. That is

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