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Chapter 2 - One of Those Nights

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A/N: 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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Dr. Corbin stands with his legs a half-step too far apart, his hair only a shade lighter than his black scrubs, his green eyes appraising me while the sneer stays plastered on his lips. "Your name's Reece?" His eyebrow cocks again. "Like the peanut butter cups?"

I've never heard that one before. ". . . Yeah."

"Then let's get a few things straight, Reece." He crosses his arms, revealing a tattoo of what looks to be a snake poking out from beneath the rolled sleeves of his undershirt. "You work for me, not with me. You will speak when spoken to, otherwise, I do not want to hear shit you have to say," he lists. "You will do exactly as I tell you when I tell you, no questions asked. Get in my way, you're done. Piss me off, you're done. Kill a patient, you're fucking dead." He glares at me. "Got it?"

Okay, dude. Chill. "Got it."

"I have enough bullshit to deal with today without you adding to it," he grumbles. Yeah, you aren't the only one. "Don't fuck up my day by making me babysit you."

"Okay."

He turns and begins walking away. I follow him like a lost puppy, having to jog every few steps to keep up with his brisk pace. We take the stairs and he trots down them, never looking behind him to see if I'm still following. His pager goes off twice while we're in the stairwell, gaining nothing but a glance from him.

When he opens the door at the bottom, he stops and finally looks at me while he holds it open. "Are you straight out of school?" he asks.

"Yes." I walk through and he follows.

"Which one?"

Reluctantly, I answer, "UT Southwestern."

"Texas? You're from a state school and you beat out candidates from Johns Hopkins?" He laughs while his pager goes off once again. "You got something to prove, don't you?"

The feeling of insecurity pangs in my chest. I absent-mindedly fiddle with my fingers again. "I guess so."

We walk through the atrium lobby toward another set of doors. "Have you worked in an emergency department before?"

"No."

"Then you better brace yourself, Buttercup," he says as he pushes the doors open to what looks like pure chaos. "You're gonna learn today."

I only make it three steps in when a nurse runs past me with an IV in hand. A desk sits in the middle, beds on all sides, rooms with glass doors along the far wall. The sounds of people talking, complaining, and groaning in pain barely distract me from the near-constant ringing of a telephone. Forget worrying about whether I'll be able to stay awake. There is no lack of stimulus here.

He looks over his shoulder at me. "Keep up and don't get in my way."

I nod. I follow Corbin, trying to find a pattern to the running and noises that surround us. He hands a folder to a nurse at the station. She was past middle age and I assume has the experience to match her years. She looks unaffected by everything going on around her. I pulled out my notebook to take notes. "These are the lab results for bed three," he says. "Lucky for us, it's regular staph, not MRSA." 

"Good news," she responds, though no look of excitement reaches her expression. 

"Dr. Corbin," a nurse gets his attention. "Mr. Miranda in bed five is still complaining of intense pain."

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