THE SURGEON SOJOURN
Stephanie's hands are shaking in the cold as she walks into the office. It is clear she is in need of something hot to step down the effect of the blizzard outside the walls of the Clinton Welsh International Hospital premises. The Air-Conditioners cannot be turn off for any reason on the insistence of the Hospital's policy hence they provide alternative heating for the staff and patients of the hospital, heating cubicles numbering about eight on every floor of the hospital totalling about one hundred and twenty. Unwilling to go all the way to the other floor and possibly face the same disappointment as she has faced on the ground floor where her office is strategically situated, she decides to take some hot coffee to substitute the heating cubicle but as though it is not her day, she is met by another disappointment. All the variants of coffees served at the hospital at the moment do not appeal to her taste.
Stephanie's astonishment is brought on by how exactly all other variants are still very much available when she arrives but the one she wants and enjoy finished few seconds before her arrival at the hospital's coffee stand.
Irked by the situation, she picks up her car keys even though she knows leaving the hospital at that moment might be risky on so many levels-she might have patients waiting for her, she might have an accident under the unfortunate weather, she is not officially on break and she might get queried or worse still relieved of duty if she is found out by the management of the hospital. She would usually do things that strikes everyone as daring and sometimes just plain absurd so when the other staff see her leave the hospital and drive out of the premises, they neither ask no questions nor bother themselves but leave it to the management who have eyes on the entire premises and never miss a move from any staff except of course in the toilet and surely enough they see her leave. The consequences of her actions from the end of the management would come in the evening when she returns or they would allow her the privilege of having a good night and spoil her morning the next day with her letter of 'your services are no longer needed at this hospital' connoting dismissal.
When she sets out on the journey, it is a horrifying trip driving through the blizzard as visibly is so poor, she can hardly see. She prays so hard to be back at the hospital in one piece but it seems her prayers does not cover her car as while she hits a lot of things that damage her car badly including road blocks, railings and a couple of times, a few road-crossing creatures.
It takes about a visit to over fifteen stores and twelve hours of driving to make her give up her search and decide to settle for the lesser coffee brand.
Just as she is driving back to the hospital painfully meandering her way through the thickening weather, she unfortunately and fortunately rams her car into a somewhat inconspicuous store by the corner of the road going unconscious. The storekeeper takes her out of the car and unto the ground to get some air. The storekeeper, Jane Alvin watches her for a few seconds and realizing she has not regained consciousness, decides to give her the kiss of life (Mouth To Mouth Resuscitation).
It feels awkward to her but there is a life at stake and it is the only option available as there is no one else around in the store at the time as the storekeeper was just reconciling the books in order to leave for home before Stephanie rammed into the store. She succeeds in getting her conscious after about six huff-and-puffs of oxygen. Regaining consciousness, Stephanie asks holding her head while squinting,
'Whe-Where am I?.....Who are you?....What happened?..'
'Calm down, darling. One question at a time',Jane Alvin says softly. 'You had an accident'
'Oh no', Stephanie screams whisperingly as a result of the headache. 'I need to get back to the office immediately'.
Jane Alvin smiles not with an intent to ridicule Stephanie's predicament but because she wonders why someone would still think of work after such an unwholesome occurrence. She watches Stephanie stagger a little way off before fainting again.
When Stephanie regains consciousness, she is surprised to see Jane behind the wheel of her SUV and wonders what is going on. Just as she is trying to wrap her aching head around what is going on, they come by the Welsh International Hospital. Jane drives in, screaming for the attention of the staff around. Immediately, a couple of nurses assist her in leading Stephanie into the hospital.
Having been informed of the accident by Jane , the hospital puts Stephanie to bed-rest for four hours with the help of sedatives in drip form. When she would wake up, her letter of dismissal would sitting on the small mahogany cupboard-table beside her bed just by Jane. Jane hopes and prays that she wakes up strong and healthy.
'Please, you just have to wake up. From the much I have seen, you are a hardworker and I am sure it devastate your company to have them lose you. I do not know you but it would still hurt to watch a human being die before my very eyes so please stay with us', Jane whispers softly trying so hard to prevent herself from bursting into tears. What Jane does not know is the fact that Stephanie is a staff of the hospital and the letter on the table by her bed effects her termination of appointment with immediate effect.
After four hours of sleep, Stephanie wakes up from the induced sleep yawning and turning to see Jane, she gives a smile that suggests appreciation of the kind gesture of being by her side all through. Jane returns the smile.
Sitting up on the bed, Stephanie notices the white envelope on the table by the bed. Confused, she inquires of Jane about the letter. Jane says the letter was brought in by a doctor and he said it looked important.
'A doctor of this hospital....?', Stephanie asks terrified as she frantically opens the envelope to unveil its content.
'Oh no...This can't be', Stephanie screams and faints again having read it is a termination of her appointment as a staff of Clinton Welsh Hospital.
Confused as to what is going on, Jane picks up the letter to read and she is just as shocked but does not faint. Instead she quickly decides to recommend Stephanie for temporary employment immediately she wakes up pending when she would be able to secure another job for herself.
When Stephanie wakes up, she is skeptical at first about the idea but looking at her letter of dismissal once more, she decides to accept the offer. It seems a blessing in disguise as she seems to enjoy working with Jane surprisingly because asides the fact that it is an interesting job to kill time with while she looks for one that would fit her career as a surgeon, she is home to the best coffee in the region.