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<!--Can you read this?-->
<!--“This,” Dr. Pine said as she held up a small tear-shaped mask, “is called an anesthesia mask. Now I know you’ve read all the papers about this, and I can see you’re…less than excited.”
 
 
Renée glared at her, brushing her short black hair out of her face. “That’s the understatement of the day.” Her mom gave her a look and she fell silent. The doctor just smiled.
 
 
“It’s OK, Mrs. Conner. Her anger’s not uncommon. The poor thing was just pulled out of a car accident, for heaven’s sake! She’s lucky that her right arm was the only thing that ended up broken. Now, here at Sterling General Hospital, we have a little project.” She pulled out her phone. “Now, here are some recordings of people as they’re put under anesthesia. I’m usually the one that takes them. ‘Course it has me running all over the hospital, going ‘Don’t start yet, this has got to be filmed!’” She chuckled, her green eyes glittering in the lights.
 
 
“Why do you have these?” Renée said, eyeing Dr. Pine skeptically.
 
 
“Well, we know most people don’t like having this kind of thing read to them, so with consent we have these videos taken to make the whole ordeal look more natural. Less scary.”
 
 
Mrs. Conner smiled. “Well, that sounds like a fantastic idea! Let’s watch some videos.”
 
 
Renée rolled her eyes. “Not interested.”
 
 
''“Renée.”'' Mrs. Conner smiled through her teeth. “We’re ''going'' to watch some videos.”
 
 
“I’m not interested.”
 
 
Her mom waved her off. “Can we see some, doctor?”
 
 
“Well…it really depends on what Renée wants to do.” Dr. Pine said, giving Renée a small wink. “She is the patient, after all.”
 
 
“But I’m her mother.”
 
 
“I know, I know, but I think it’d be better if Renée felt comfortable watching them too. Maybe she’d feel better if she knew that her school friends were in these videos?”
 
 
Renée sat up. “Th-they are?”
 
 
“Oh yes. You didn’t think that you were the only one hurt on that drive with your friends that night, did you? I’ve got their videos all right here, on file, grouped together so you can see them-if you’d like to, of course.”
 
 
Renée sighed and looked at her mother, who was smiling at Dr. Pine as if they’d known each other for years. She glanced at the room’s wall clock in its right corner, a small hand-embroidered pillow on her windowsill, and her favorite stuffed animal-a teddy bear in a nightcap and pajamas. She took a deep breath in, letting her head sink back into her pillow.
 
 
“Go ahead. Play them.”
 
 
Her mom smiled and rubbed her shoulder, as if to say, ''I knew you’d come around.'' Dr. Pine grinned. “Alright then! So which video do we wanna start with?”
 
 
“Uhhh…Jack.”
 
 
“Jack Donovan! Wise choice. Boy broke 7 of his fingers, we needed to fix that. He was sitting in the back with you, right? In the car, the night of the crash? Really, the only thing between you was-”
 
 
“Could we just play the video? “
 
 
“Oh, yes, of course. Sorry!” She giggled and pulled up the video, and Renée found herself staring at Jack, the one who’d always said nothing bad would ever happen in his quiet little town, now being wheeled away on his hospital bed to an operating room, Dr. Pine frantically trying to catch up behind him. Renée watched as Dr. Pine, out of breath, grabbed onto the bed’s sideboard, and the camera’s focus shifted to Jack’s face. His eyes were closed, and he was muttering something, but Renée couldn’t tell what.
 
 
As he was wheeled into the operating room, she found out.
 
 
He sat up, eyes open, and started screaming, “DAD! I WANT MY DAD!”
 
 
Dr. Pine set the camera aside and readjusted it so the viewers could still see her and Jack. “It’s going to be fine, honey. You’re at the hospital, you’ve had an accident- “
 
 
Jack grabbed her gown. “Where’s my dad?!”
 
 
“Just relax.”
 
 
“WHERE IS HE?!”
 
 
In that moment, Dr. Pine grabbed a syringe full of something and fed it through his IV. He let go of her gown and stared at his hand as he looked up at the doctor.
 
 
“W-w-where- “He muttered, struggling to talk as he was lowered back down onto the bed. “W-w-what did you- “
 
 
“It’s going to be okay.” She said, caressing his forehead. He looked back at her, his eyes struggling to stay open.
 
 
“I- “
 
 
“Shhhh.” She put her finger to his lips as his eyes closed and the video stopped. Dr. Pine looked at Renée with a smile. “He was a fighter, that one. But, in the end…” She shrugged her shoulders. “Anesthesia wins. Now, anesthesia can be administered via mask or syringe…”
 
 
Renée looked at the doctor in horror as she explained the different methods of putting people under, but she wasn’t listening. Her breath was shaky, and her heart felt as if it was going to break out of her chest. Trying to relax, she put her hand on her heart and took a deep breath in. As she looked up at the doctor, she let it out.
 
 
“Can we watch my sister’s video next?”
 
 
“Sure! Lila Conner, pretty little thing. 6 years old! She was in the back with you, right?”
 
 
“Yes.”
 
 
She pressed play, and Renée’s heart broke. Tears were streaming down Lila’s face as she wailed, and the camera shook as Dr. Pine pulled something out of her purse-a little red blanket with butterflies on it. Red was Lila’s favorite color and butterflies were her favorite animal.
 
 
“Sweetie, look.” The doctor put the blanket on her body. “Your favorite.”
 
 
Lila wiped her nose on her sleeve and looked up at her, eyes glistening, then at the camera, then at the blanket. With a tearful gasp, she threw the blanket at Dr. Pine and sobbed even louder. The doctor stumbled backward as Lila entered the operating room. She came to her side and put her hand on Lila’s shoulder.
 
 
“Sweetie, I’m gonna need you to stop crying, okay? Just try to relax.”
 
 
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Revision as of 00:02, 17 November 2020

Forums: Index > Writers' Workshop > The Operating Room


The Operating Room



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