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25 4 ~ Gina Gina watched Emily pick her way towards their bench, skirting shallow brown puddles glazed with ice. That girl could use some color. Rouge, maybe? A purple scarf? Emily sat down and opened her lunch bag. “Okay morning?” “Max is failing. Even sedated, he’s such a professor. Today he lectured me on the political significance of his Bar Mitzvah Torah passage. He claims he remembers every Hebrew word, seventy years later.” Gina peeled her orange, trying to keep the skin intact in one long strip. That made her think about Granny Teisha, and Granny brought the sadness full circle back to Max. She hoped Emily wasn’t tired of hearing so much about the old guy. “You’re Jewish, right? Did you have a Bar Mitzvah, or the one that girls do? “A Bat Mitzvah? No.” Gina waited for more, arranging the snake of orange peel back into the whole round shape. Granny used to do that, then she would fool the kids, offering them an empty piece of fruit, throwing back her head and laughing as it fell apart. When Emily didn’t elaborate, Gina asked, “What about your morning?” “New patient,” Emily said. “The pregnant woman from the Frozen Babies case.” “No kidding? How did it go?” “I’m not sure. You know anything about her?” “Just what I read in the paper,” Gina said. “A religious cult, wasn’t it? They worship the solstice, all-night bonfires, like that. Some kids died and I think her husband ’s in jail.” Gina popped an orange segment into her mouth. “What’s she like?” “She’s okay. It’s a bizarre situation. I’d like to help her, and her baby. But I don’t know how to act. I have to meet with her probation officer. I’m a nurse, not a cop.” Emily frowned. “You should have gotten this assignment. You’re better at the complicated stuff.” “No, thanks.” But Emily might be right, Gina thought. Emily was a good nurse, smart and compassionate. But sometimes she seemed frozen herself. Gina had once 26 ~ House Arrest asked if there had been someone special in her life. Emily had mumbled about someone named Chad, her supervisor at the nursing home in Portland. He had urged her to apply to nursing school and helped her get a scholarship. When Gina asked what happened, Emily said it didn’t work out, then started describing how Chad quizzed her for exams by making up funny ways to memorize the bones of the wrist or the Krebs cycle. Well, she would probably never know what happened with Chad, because that girl certainly liked her privacy. Gina offered Emily the perfect husk of orange on the palm of her hand. Emily laughed. “Your hand skills are wasted in this job. You ever think about going back to the OR?” “Nah. I love these hours, spending time with my boys. And guess what? I like my patients awake.” Gina drank from her thermos. “What about you? Do you ever want togobacktolaboranddelivery?” Emily seemed to search the dark pond surface for an answer. “I miss the births. Sometimes I think about becoming a midwife. But I’m not sure about going back to school.” She turned to face Gina. “So what do you think about Mrs. Newman. When I saw her again yesterday, nothing had changed. She refuses to bathe, doesn’t eat unless she’s fed.” Emily shook her head. “She needs residential care, but Marge won’t do anything about it.” “It’s tricky. She’s the supervisor.” “All she cares about is losing the business. I’m thinking of calling Mrs. Newman’s doc on my own.” “Have you documented everything?” Emily nodded. “You bet. Every detail of Mrs. Newman’s behavior and every word of my conversation with Marge. You’re the union rep. Can’t you do something?” “Not really. The union can bargain for benefits and safety issues, file a grievance if you’re treated unjustly. But this is a professional issue.” Emily rubbed her nose hard, like Gina had seen her do before when she was worried , but then she grinned. “So, you mean if I call Mrs. Newman’s internist and tell him the situation and Marge fires me, then the union can help?” “Sure.” Gina laughed, then got serious. “Is that your plan?” “Do I have a choice? Marge already said to drop it, and you know how strict she is about getting...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781597094429
Related ISBN
9781597094993
MARC Record
OCLC
835770696
Pages
216
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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