The lady behind the computer slapped her hands down on the keyboard. “Do you not see me assisting these people? You’re going to have to wait your turn.” The high pitched voice that had called her only fifteen minutes filled up her last nerve with irritation. That response did not sit well in her stomach. Nia rolled her eyes and stormed off toward the automatic doors. “Ma’am! You can’t go back there!” Nia heard the word security being yelled out right before the door closed behind her.
The lights around the nurse’s station glowed like it had its own halo. A few nurses and what appeared to be a doctor stood in a group to the side. As she looked closer the nurses circling the extra long doctor looked like interns. She could see the mix of anxiousness and complete confusion on each of their faces. The smell of fear evaporated off of them. But they drank in everything he was saying like it was their air supply. On the right side of Nia a nurse in Betty Boo scrubs wrote names in red on an easel board. Blue, pink, and gray curtains covered each opening to the eight or nine cubicles representing rooms for patients coming into emergency. Her pupils swiveled around to some automatic doors that read ‘surgery’; below that ‘personnel only’. Her eyes remained fixed on those white letters as she slammed through the doors. The smell of disinfectant hit her nose. The white walls seemed to mock her as she stood at the end of a long hall; she thought she had walked into an asylum instead of the surgery hall. She only was able to get to the first plexiglass window before a hand gripped her shoulder pulling her backwards. Bryan’s body lay without motion but for the occasional tug from the doctors. Everyone moved around so fast.
“Bryan!” she screeched.
Her blood curdling scream made one of the doctors look up. “Get her out of here! This is a sterile environment!” he demanded.
“Ma’am, you can’t be back here!” Nia’s body flew to the cold floor. She looked up and looked into a caramel sistah’s eyes. Her large dark brown eyes seemed to swallow everything they focused on. “My man is in there,” Nia whispered. Tears already had formed in her eyes; she swallowed not wanting to give the time of day. The black nurse softened her grip on Nia’s shoulder as well as around her eyes. The fear in Nia’s eyes blazed through the wall of tears.
“I know baby girl, but I can’t let you in this area. You can contaminate the sterile rooms. Come on I’ll help you up.” She put her arm around Nia’s waist and lifted her up like she was a porcelain doll. “I’ll take you back to the waiting room and I will personally give you updates myself alright? Don’t trust these other nurses. You know they don’t give a damn about us, you know what I’m saying?” Nia nodded in agreement. She was right, all of the nurses that had not given her the time of day moments ago now looked her up and down with their noses so far up their faces it became a part of their receding lines. “See, they act like we carry some disease, it don’t make no sense.”