Book 2 Teaser

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NOTE: This chapter was originally posted as a faux-Epilogue to make people think this was the end of the story so I could surprise them with the announcement of the sequel at the end of it. The previous chapter, Chapter 20, was the final chapter of Alex's Girl. This is a rough first draft of what is the first few pages of the sequel, which I have already posted. You CAN read this version, but you might as well go read the new, updated version titled 'Lost Then Found.' Thanks for reading!

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It was a quiet night in the ER where Dr. Alexis Sterling was working the graveyard shift. She chose to become an ER doctor because it was chaotic, nerve-wracking, and loud. It was distracting. She liked being distracted. The only thing good about quiet nights was that it meant people weren't doing idiotic things that got them sent to the ER, at least not to the level that they usually did. The bad thing about quiet nights was that Alex had to actively struggle to keep back thoughts that threatened to wriggle their way from the deepest, darkest recesses of her mind and towards the light.

After all, Alex worked in the hospital where Valerie Greco had died seven years ago.

Sometimes she had the strangest thoughts. Like what would Val look like if she were still alive? Alex could only imagine that Val would have become even more beautiful as she matured.

Alex kept thinking of a poem she had read once. It was called, Slowly by Donna Masini, and it went, "How slow the body is to realize you are never coming back."

My name is Alex Sterling. It has been seven years. My body has not forgotten her.

Alex could still sometimes feel the softness of Val's skin beneath her fingertips, the feeling as her fingers weaved into Val's hair. She could recall the way Val's lips felt when she pressed her own against them, the feeling of Val's arms wrapping around her neck, the way Val would sit against her as they sat on her couch.

Sometimes, when Alex was in bed, half-asleep, she could evoke what it felt like to hold Val to her, to tangle their legs under the sheets, to feel Val's hot breath roll across the skin of her neck.

It was a curse, Alex had decided. Val felt like the human equivalent of a phantom limb. Alex's heart remembered her too well; felt her where she was not.

Thoughts like these are why Alex hated quiet nights.

"Alex!" It was Dr. Persaud, the doctor Alex had been training under the last two years. Alex, now 32, was still completing her final year of residency. Persaud mostly left her alone, knowing she was more than capable of handling the ER without him at this point in her training.

Alex turned away from her patient, a young boy who had thought riding his bike off of his roof into a three-day-old pile of snow would somehow end well.

"Yes?" She asked, smiling at him. She liked Persaud a lot, maybe because he reminded her a bit of her late uncle. There was something warm, wise, and fatherly about him.

He was a short, extremely gentle older man with bronze skin and dark but kind eyes. He was balding and had a bad comb-over, but he was one of the most intelligent men Alex had ever met, and she had been ecstatic when assigned to him.

Persaud glanced briefly at the patient "Hello young man." Then he turned and gave Alex a grave look. "I just got a call. There are several ambulances en route."

Alex's smile dropped into a frown. Several ambulances? "Why? What happened?" 

She had a feeling she already knew.

Persaud pulled off his glasses and wiped them with the bottom of his scrubs top. "Gang violence," he said, "the usual. Survivors are being sent here."

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