The cop tugged on my arm and I numbly walked out and climbed into the ambulance with Nova. As she fought with the paramedics all the way over to the hospital about not wanting to wear a neck brace, I thought about what had happened. Sure, I’d stood up, but I could have done something sooner. Maybe if I had…
I spent just enough time at the hospital to make sure that Nova wasn’t going to choke and die on her own vomit and to make sure that she was checked into a room for overnight observation before rushing back to the front desk. “I need to see Doctor Everett or Doctor White,” I said breathlessly, my voice high with adrenaline. We were going to solve this problem once and for all.
The nurse at the front desk didn’t even bother to look up from her computer. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but our doctors and surgeons are very busy people. Do you have an appointment?”
“No. But I have to see them. They’re my doctors.”
She pointed over to some armchairs covered in plastic vinyl and frowned at me. “Then I’m sorry, but you’ll have to wait until someone is available to see you. I can’t guarantee that it’ll be Doctor Everett or Doctor White, either.”
“Please,” I said, narrowing my eyes. I would not be waiting today, not for another second. “It’s an emergency. Please, you have to call them.”
“Miss, you’re in a hospital. It’s always an emergency. So I’m sorry, but you’ll have to wait like everyone else.”
I took a deep breath. What was the extension Doctor Everett had told me I could reach him at? I was just supposed to tell someone that it was about the Percival case if I ever needed to see him. This was as good a time as any to test out that theory. “I’m being honest here. I need you to call extension 426 and tell Doctor Everett that Mina Percival needs to see him. It’s about my case.” Now the nurse looked up at me, her face slightly terrified and her mouth opened in shock.
“Right away, Miss Percival,” she said, hurrying behind a wall. A minute later, I heard a rushed, “Doctor Everett, please call extension 426 and come to the front desk. Doctor Everett, extension 426 and come to the front desk.” She came back to the station’s counter and smiled at me. “Can I get you anything to drink, Miss Percival?”
“No, I’m fine,” I said, my stomach churning at the thought of food or drink. I didn’t think I’d be able to handle it. As she started tapping away on her computer again, Doctor Everett walked up casually, while Doctor White skidded around a corner and crashed into a cart. She picked herself up and jogged over to us.
“Mina,” she said happily, untying the scrub cap that hid her hair from view. She took off the glasses she was wearing and tucked them into the pocket of her lab coat, which lay haphazardly along her shoulders. She adjusted it and shook my hand, smiling widely. “Sorry for the delay, I was in surgery.”
“Let’s go to my office to talk,” said Doctor Everett, placing a hand on my shoulder to propel me forward. “It’ll be more private.” He led us down the hall to a room done up in muted greens and browns, with a large glass desk and several black armchairs. He settled into the desk chair on one side of the table and gestured for Doctor White and I to sit in the armchairs. “Now, what seems to be the problem?”
“Tell me more.”