They had a list of names.
But names are only words and words are lies. She understood that soon enough.
Up all night with a critical patient in ICU, the cramping had started.
It never stopped.
Red blood and red wine. She tried to wash away the one with the other as she flushed their dreams away. Just a bit of macerated tissue. Why did it have to hurt so much?
He was on call. So far away, saving lives. But he could not save this one.
Please come back to me.
She would not ever tell him, she vowed. Never. She would not give him that burden to bear. She would make up her own story to tell for another day.
Just hold me.
An empty bottle, fear and loathing.
She wanted to hate him but could not so she hated herself and she fought and bit and spit to drive him away.
But he would not go.
She had failed at the one thing she was made to do, the one thing she wanted to succeed at more than anything else in the whole world.
To be loved.
So she sat on the floor in the bathroom alone and cried enough to fill the tub, remembering his kiss. That kiss. She bathed in her sorrows, the salt burning all of her wounds until she was numb.
Finally she was numb.
Then she rewrote her own story…
Deeps in the wilds of the Amazonian rainforest, she shouldered her rifle. Her eyes stung with sweat. She wiped her brow as she surveyed the tree line up ahead. It was lurking there, just beyond the shadows….her demon. She could feel it its gaze upon her, watching. It always surprised her, coming when she least expected it. Her finger rested calmly on the trigger, even as her heart pounded loud in her ears. She would be ready this time. There would be no sleep for her tonight.