Chapter 2

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Melanie headed back to curtain 2 with a wheelchair. She could hear them talking but their voices were too low for her to make out what was being said. When she pulled back the curtain all conversation ceased. The three friends had been leaning over the bed, talking to Brian. They all immediately stood up but they all looked like they were hiding something.

"Are you ready?" she asked. Brian stood.

"Yes! Let's get this over with." Melanie approached the bed to help him but the fourth guy got there first. "I can manage myself, Sal," he said.

"Fine. Just get in the damn chair," he groused.

"Do me a favor," Brian said back to him. "Go change your tampon while I do this. Maybe that will improve your mood." Sal glared back at him as Joe and James snickered.

"You can just go if you want to, Sal," Joe said. "We can stay and make sure he gets home."

"No way," Sal immediately shot back. "I'll never hear the end of it."

"We'll be back in a little bit," Melanie said, looking at the other guys as she began pushing the wheelchair. "Feel free to go to the cafeteria while you wait."

"So Melanie," Brian said, as she wheeled him into the elevator, "are you from New York?" He had a very thick accent which Melanie was growing to love the more he spoke.

"No, I was born and raised in Ohio."

"What brought you to New York then?" he asked.

"Work. I was offered a job here and couldn't pass it up. I had never been here prior to coming for an interview."

"How long ago was that?" he asked, genuine interest in his voice.

"I moved here almost eight months ago."

"And how are you liking it so far? Do you live here in the city?"

"I love it here. The city and the hospital. Never a dull moment. And no, I don't live in the city. I'm in an apartment on the west side of Brooklyn. Everything is too expensive in Manhattan. I had debated on Staten Island but it would have been a much longer commute."

"I live on Staten Island!" he exclaimed. "Lived there most of my life. But I was born in Brooklyn."

"Small world," she said as the elevator doors opened.

She wheeled him down the corridor to a set of doors labeled RADIOLOGY. After getting him settled there she smiled and said "I'll be here waiting when you're finished."

He smiled back, saying "I can't wait." Melanie felt herself flush again and turned to leave.

A short while later Brian was wheeled back out. He smiled when he saw her. "All set?" she asked him, taking a hold of the wheelchair.

"So what time do you get off work?" he asked.

"6:00. Why?"

"Do you want to grab a drink later?"

"Ummmm...we're not supposed go out with patients," she said.

"Well in a little while I won't be a patient."

"Yeah but..." she started to say, before he interrupted.

"It's just a drink. C'mon. C'mon. What harm could it do? C'mon." He was persistent but in a charming sort of way.

"Well, I guess one drink wouldn't hurt. Where do you want to meet? And when? And how?! You can't drive."

"Yes I can," he said, lifting his right leg. "I only need this leg to drive with. I have a stick shift but I can borrow Sal's car. It's an automatic."

"Are you sure? Maybe this isn't a good idea," she said, trying not to sound like she wasn't interested.

"No, really, it's cool. Sal lives on Staten Island, too. Not far from me in fact. He won't care, trust me."

"How long before the X-rays are ready?" Brian asked as Melanie wheeled him back into the cubicle. The room was empty.

"Should be within the next 30 minutes," she said, helping him out of the wheelchair. "Looks like your friends took my suggestion."

"Yeah, so while they aren't here how about you give me your number? I'll call you later and we can work out the details. I'll drive into Brooklyn."

"Oh you don't have to do that," she said. "You're injured."

"It's not that far of a drive. I'm on the southeast side of SI. I asked you out. I should drive to you." Melanie wrote down her number on a piece of paper and handed it to him. He quickly shoved it in his pocket as his friends approached.

"Dr. Andrews will be back shortly with your X-rays," Melanie said. Brian winked at her as she closed the curtain.

A short time later Dr. Andrews approached Melanie with a chart. "Mr. Quinn just needs to have his ankle wrapped and then he can be discharged," he said, handing her the chart. "No breaks, just a sprain. I give him a scrip for pain meds. Remind him to get that filled. He said he didn't want to take anything. And remind him to keep pressure off that ankle."

As Melanie approached the curtain she once again heard them all laughing. "You guys never stop, do you?" she said with a smile. "Is this how it is all the time, non stop laughs?"

"Pretty much," said James with a laugh.

After wrapping the leg and issuing reminders she handed Brian a pair of crutches. "I hate these things," he muttered. "Such a pain in the ass."

"Well stay off the ice in the future," Melanie said to him with a wink and a smile.

"Oh don't worry, no more ice skating for me!"

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