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Chapter 3 - Lost

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Trigger Warning: Blood.

This is a work of fiction. The following chapter contains dramatized scenes for the sake of entertainment. This does not contain accurate medical content, does not provide medical advice, and is not a realistic example of medical practice.

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By the time nine o'clock rolled around, the ER was a madhouse, just as Corbin foretold. I cringe remembering my last run in with him, but luckily, I've had minimal time to think about it since then. If it wasn't for the reminder on my phone, I would have forgotten to take care of my most important patient.

I slip into the supply closet and open up my pill pocket. Shaking them into my hand, I toss them back and follow with a swig of water.

I'd rather people not know about this. I'm a noticeable underdog with or without it.

Before I enjoy the quiet isolation of this room, I force myself to go back into the chaos. "Reece!" someone shouts from across the room. Someone? Who else would it be?

I trot over to Corbin who is donning a disposable surgical gown. Seeing him put on clothes reminds me of what he looks like without them. My cheeks warm at the thought. "You called?"

He sees me and rolls his eyes. "Don't look at me like that," he scolds. "Adults have sex, Reece. Get over it and learn how to knock."

That makes it worse. "Yep, sure thing."

"You said you wanted to learn something, now's your chance." He grabs gloves from the bin. "We just got a call that a GSW is en route."

My eyes widen. "A gunshot wound?"

"That is what GSW stands for," he says.

"When is it" Corbin running down the hallway both interrupts my question and answers it. I hurry to put on my protective layers and run after him down the hall.

The adrenaline courses through my veins as we stand in the alleyway waiting, my heartbeat matching the patter of rain against the concrete slowly blurring to the distant sound of sirens.

My adrenaline turns to sickness in my stomach. I turn to Corbin and ask, "Is there anything I should know about trauma response?"

Corbin gives me a quick glance. "Move fast and try not to kill someone."

The ambulance pulls up, and not a moment later, the doors burst open and the EMT lowers a stretcher with a man bagged and covered in blood.

No, not a man. That's a boy.

"Andrew Haggarty, seventeen, gunshot wound to the chest," the EMT lists as we wheel him inside. "He's hypotensive and his oxygen at 80 and dropping. We lost a pulse twice on the ride," he says directly to me.

The EMT lifts his hand from the patient's ribs, a spurt of blood following. Instinctively, I cover it with both hands just in time for us to make it into the room. "Page the OR, grab two bags of O-neg," Corbin barks in an even tone. "Lift on three. One, two . . ."

We shift him to the gurney, two nurses scrambling to hook him up to the monitors. Corbin cuts the boy's shirt open and silently assesses the damage with a measured expression. I wait with my heart in my throat for instruction.

A nurse comes over with an intubation tray. I eye the scope and turn to Corbin. "This is your show now, Buttercup," he says.

"Mine?" I gasp. "You think I can do this?"

"No," he answers. "But this is your chance to prove me wrong." Yeah, no pressure.

My eyes dart over his body, his chest almost steady under my hands. A full semester of school runs through my head.

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