The E.R at Mercy Hospital reeked of antiseptic, the foul odour stinging my nose each time I inhaled. I moved restlessly in the hard plastic chair, unable to get comfortable. Man, I hated hospitals. The smell that was overpowering. The bright white walls that lay bare, devoid of any decoration. The nurses that exuded fake cheerfulness every time a potential patient came in, only to resort back to their sour selves the minute they thought nobody was watching. And lastly, the sick or injured people that crowded the waiting room, all agitated at having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor. Luckily it was only half full tonight, and there were only two sour nurses at the reception counter, one of whom had begrudgingly helped me with my paperwork seeing as my right hand was injured. I noticed a box on the form that said "Please let us know if you are experiencing any of the following". Underneath that statement were a series of boxes one could tick if they applied. Bleeding heavily was at the top of the list. Having already been waiting for over thirty minutes, I found myself wondering if the haughty nurse had ticked that box or left it blank. I stared down at my injury. The thin sweater I'd wrapped around my hand to staunch the bleeding was soaked, with blood beginning to slowly trickle down my arm and drip rhythmically onto my jeans. Well, this was just craptastic. I cursed inwardly at the now red sweater. An hour ago it had been a crisp white, and my favourite too. Maybe I should have listened to my best friend Courtney and bought the black one instead. At least then it might have been salvageable. Blood washed out of black a whole lot better than it did out of stupid white.
Jigging my leg impatiently, I looked around for something, anything, to amuse myself with until someone finally noticed the girl bleeding all over the hospital floor. A bunch of outdated magazines sat on the table in front of me, and seeing as how my options were so limited I reached out to grab one - with my right hand. I barely managed to stifle a yelp as a sharp pain seared my hand, all the way to my fingertips. Good god! What an idiot. I cradled my hand, trying to make the pain recede. And to think, when I first got here I was inwardly complaining about the dull, throbbing ache that had settled in. Please, come back! It was so much better than the burning pain I was feeling now.
I glanced up as a male doctor wearing light green scrubs strode into the waiting room consulting a clipboard. Come on, I thought, sitting up in anticipation. It had to be my turn. How much was a girl supposed to suffer before she was granted medical attention?
I sighed heavily and slumped in my chair as yet another name that wasn't mine was called. A middle aged woman with a whimpering toddler in her arms stood, looking mighty relieved, and followed the doctor through the double doors.
I ground my teeth at the injustice, silently fuming. Sure, her baby had a cold. But was she bleeding profusely? No, she wasn't. I continued to glare at the double doors as someone pushed through them and into the waiting room. It was a boy around my age, maybe a couple of years older. His jeans were ripped and bloodied in several places, and his once white singlet was also smeared with blood and something black. A fierce scowl dominated his face, but surprisingly it didn't deter me from noticing how bright his blue eyes were, or how well his tawny skin matched his dark hair, which was tied in a short ponytail at his neck. Such an unusual combination of features, yet he was undeniably, well, hot. Transfixed by his raw beauty, I watched as he draped a dark hoodie over one shoulder and gingerly touched his bandaged bicep before limping toward the exit. Unfortunately, he must have felt a pair of eyes on him because halfway there he stopped and looked in my direction. Flustered at the sudden attention, all I could do was gape at him, mouth opening and shutting slightly as he raked a quick gaze over my dishevelled appearance. Expression unchanging, he continued on and out of the building.
Ugh! How embarrassing. I must have looked like a fish out of water with my lips flapping like that. Sighing heavily, I rested my elbows on my knees and hung my head, my honey brown locks acting as a curtain around my face. Tonight definitely wasn't my night. Drops of blood began hitting the white tiles and I watched them form a tiny puddle at my feet. Growing bored quickly, I was reduced to counting the specs of blood as they hit the floor.