The phone blasted off, startling the doctor, who was focused on her computer. Seeing it was from a nurse, she immediately answered the call.
“Dr. Martinez, we have an emergency patient.” The nurse’s voice indicated urgency and panic. “She’s bleeding a lot. I think it’s a miscarriage.”
Gabriella didn’t need further elaboration to get up and snatch her white coat from the rack. She put it on, and it flapped as she headed for the door in a hurry.
“I wasn’t sure if it was the right call, but I only thought of you when I found out who the patient is. ”
The hesitation in the nurse’s voice made Gabriella slow down.
“Why? Who’s the patient?” she inquired with a little nervousness.
“Do you remember that lawyer who ended up in the news with Mr. Mar--”
“Focus on the patient, Nurse May,” she cut the nurse off before hearing the entirety. She already knew who the nurse was referring to.
She dropped the call and came running to the emergency ward.
A woman lay on a hospital bed, and she was crying miserably because of the pain. The sound of her cries pierced everyone’s heart in that ward, including Gabriella’s.
She had always dealt with every patient as professionally as she could. Inside the hospital, a patient was just a patient to her. And she was proud of her rigid clinging to that type of professional behavior.
Gabriella looked at the patient, and her chest contracted from the pain. She wasn't just any patient.
She was that patient. The type of patient who could compromise her work ethic and professionalism.
She lifted the quilt covering the lower body of the woman. The sheets that were once white were now painted bloody red. The patient's lower body was covered with blood, and it was a ghastly sight.
It indicated a sorrowful truth. Her baby was gone.
When the patient recognized her doctor, she cried out through the pain. “I want another doctor!”
The nurses in the room shared meaningful glances. Gabriella remained unfazed by the patient’s attitude.
'She's just a patient, just a patient,' she repeated in her mind like a chant.
“I’m sorry we can no longer save your baby,” she said with enough amount of stiffness, at the same time, empathy.
The patient continued sobbing, and she held her tummy.
“You have to undergo an operation for us to clear your uterus and minimize the damage.”
Gabriella hid her hands inside the pockets of her coat. She had a peculiar feeling she would see someone she didn’t want to see in that ward. Though her rational mind screamed at her that it was impossible.
She looked at the nurse who called her to the emergency ward. “Nurse May, get an OR and prepare for surgery. Where is her guardian? We need the consent form signed.”
As she waited for the nurse to answer or the guardian to suddenly appear, Gabriella prayed in her heart that the patient’s guardian wasn’t the one she had in mind.
Anyone. It could be anyone. She didn’t care.
Just not her husband.
“I’m her guardian.”
Her focus shifted to the one who had just entered the ward. The man glided into the room with confidence.
His thin lips were pressed into a single treacherous line. His smoldering eyes met hers, slowly consuming her like a candle. Then the corner of his mouth curved up, but his smile never reached his eyes.
His hand-made suit was wrinkled. Stains of blood were visible, and he didn’t bother hiding them. The contours of his side face were as defined and sharp as a knife. He approached the bed calmly, his hands under his pockets and his eyes dull and indifferent.
Gabriella's heart sank to the floor as she stared directly into the man’s deep eyes. She should’ve known praying had long lost its ability to grant her wishes.
Nurse May frantically handed the consent form to him. He grabbed a pen from his coat’s interior pocket, and Gabriella watched as he signed his name.
It sounded cold and harsh. It was the perfect name for its apathetic owner.
She maintained composure amid the scrutiny of his taunting eyes and said to the nurses, “Call me when we’re ready for operation.”
Gabriella spent the next two hours inside the operating room. It was sad that they lost the baby, but there was nothing she could do other than make sure the mother was no longer in danger.
She sighed in relief and moved her head and shoulders to relieve her muscle pain.
“Finish this up for me,” she told the doctor assisting her.
“Yes, doc,” the other doctor answered.
She got out of the operating room, took off her mask, and threw it in the bin along with her surgical gown. As she washed her hands, she couldn’t help but dwell on her complicated feelings. As a doctor, she wasn’t quite sure if her patient’s miscarriage was something she should be relieved about.
“I won’t ask about the surgery. I’m sure you did well.”
She flinched when she recognized the low, cold but pleasant magnetic male voice from behind her. She didn’t have to turn around.
For three long years, her entire being had been trained to recognize the voice’s owner.
After drying her hands, she slowly turned around and saw him leaning against the wall. His presence was domineering even though they were a few feet apart.
With a cigarette butt between two slender fingers, he brought it to his mouth and blew the smoke out.
“Again, I’m saying this as a doctor. Take smoking out of your life before it takes the life out of you.”
“Nice quote,” he mocked and immediately blew her concern away as he blew another smoke that gave haziness to his handsome face. “Is there nothing about the fucked-up situation I brought here that you want to ask?”
Gabriella stripped her face from emotions, just like she did every time he was in front of her.
“What about you? Nothing to explain?” she retorted with nonchalance.
She waited for him to give an explanation. Foolishly, she would’ve believed whatever excuse he gave. Even if it was a lie.