Work was not going well that night.

I was stuck filing all the intakes and that meant just sitting in a cold, quiet room putting charts together. It sucked. I wanted to be out on the floor, but I also didn't want to deal with anyone, so I guess I couldn't complain.

I couldn't stop thinking about the story about Steve's friend.

This guy is coming to live with us, for who knows how long, and he's killed people and has no memory and was tortured. I mean...seriously, this is insane.

I kept imagining what he looked like.

Fat, Hairy, Slobbish.

Maybe a tattoo here and there, but not a quality one.

Glassy eyes, greasy hair, camouflage 24/7.

Diet of doughnuts and full sugar soda, chain smoker.

Super beer belly, hard drinker, very depressing.

Creepy as hell. Watching me through a hole in my shower door.

That was pretty much my image in my head of this guy. I don't know why, but that's what popped in. I never had any good experience with military people, especially the PTSD kind. The ones we got at the ward were just like I described, and a few other techs and I would play rock, paper, scissors in order to find out who had to take care of them. They usually smelled bad and didn't brush their teeth. It really sucked.

I admit I was really sheltered. I was raised to believe anyone who didn't believe as we did or look like us or act like us were heathens...sinners. So, I guess I had a narrow mind, but in my own defense, I also wasn't ever exposed to anyone outside of my own community of 253 people.

"Gabe, can you help me something?", Brenda asked as she popped her head into the office I was filing the charts in.

"Yeah, no problem. What's up?", I replied, following her out of the room.

We walked down the hallway together and I grabbed my stethoscope out of my pocket and hung it around my neck. I hated wearing it around my neck, but we were told by HR to always have it on, in case we needed to emergently check vitals. Like it takes that much more time to pull it out of a pocket.

Brenda was talking, as she held a chart, and I wasn't paying much attention. I was tired. My eyes hurt and felt heavy. I had 2 hours left and just wanted to go home.

"Gabe?...Gabe, are you listening?", Brenda asked as she nudged my elbow.

"Yeah, I'm sorry...what did you say?", I asked her, feeling embarrassed.

"I said I need your help with the new intake charts, the registration nurse just threw them in a box and sent them up, they are all over the place.... Are you okay?", she asked me, looking concerned.

"Yeah, yeah, no I'm okay. Just tired. I can't sleep lately.", I responded, hoping she wouldn't suspect I was riddled with anxiety over my living situation.

She and I went to the intake office and there was a box full of charts and papers and nothing was organized. I saw it and wanted to scream. I wanted to go home, go to sleep and get under my covers and hide. I knew I had to go home and meet this new roommate of mine, but I was ridiculously worried. I didn't want to deal with a creepy roommate or someone who was going to ask a lot of questions.

After we were done with charts, I noticed I had exactly 10 minutes left on my shift. I was so anxious to leave, I could hardly sit still.

As soon as the lights out bell chimed, I knew it was time for me to go. I was thankful, 11PM is typically when we start getting the highest influx of patients. I just didn't have the energy to deal with them that night.

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