October 18, 2013 by Lyn
To Lilfluff’s Prompt
Late June, 2004
“Did you ever think this is where you’d be?”
Jo shoved her boss’s sleeves up to her elbows and held the gloves ready, the Working to sterilize everything prepared on her lips.
“Addergoole? I said no four times before I said yes. Ready.”
Jo gloved and sterilized her. “Where were you, before you were here, then?”
“Nursing in a high school. It was certainly less hands-on than this. The patient?”
“Is just about ready for you, or to murder someone. She’s better off than the last two we had.”
“But that doesn’t mean well-off, I understand. That’s one thing that I like better here.” Caitrin sighed. “At least hear, I can see them through the whole thing. I don’t have to rely on some judgmental prick of an OB-GYN to get them through the birth.”
There was a story there. Jo held the door and didn’t ask. Not now, at least.
Over beers that evening, though, with Mendosa, the story came out on its own. “It’s not like high schools didn’t have teen pregnancy, you know. Not to the level that we have it here, of course, but the advantage here is – if we’re going to say there’s a short-term advantage – is that I can help them.” She drank down a long swig of beer. “I couldn’t always, then. Even though I had all the proper credentials, their parents would sometimes… there was this once.”
More beer. She finished the bottle and moved on to another one; Jo opened it for her without a word.
“Her parents brought in this horrible OB-GYN, and he would. Not. Listen.” Her shoulders shook. “I managed to save their lives. Afterwards, quietly, on the sly. But then… then I accepted Regine’s offer.”
Jo took a long swallow of her own beer; across the table, Maria did the same. They spent a moment in silence, thinking about choices.