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Nobody is in the mood to talk to anybody.
We’re all minding our own businesses.
One is on the phone. The other is in her mind.
And I am in this Book.
I am in Room 89, wondering who did it.
A woman? Really?
Mama walks in – nobody hears her or even sees her.
I think she’s trying to determine who she should approach first.
And she’s probably wondering where her baby is.
Because there are no babies in here, all the beds are empty.
Nobody looks up. Nobody moves. We are all so still.
Phone. Mind. Room 89.
I flip the page over.
For a second, I’m back at work and Room 89 dissolves into words in a Book.
I’m furthest from the door – she can’t be talking to me.
I look up.
She recoils – I wonder just what the expression on my face must look like.
Do I look as displeased as I feel? Because it’s all surreal and I’m both here in this moment and there in Room 89, where a woman has been found dead in a tub filled with sulfuric acid.
“Yes?” I say, my expression unchanged. She doesn’t speak. I stand up and my expression becomes blank. Her voice is barely above a whisper. She apologizes for disturbing me. I can see she’s already regretting coming to me instead of the other two.
She’s looking for her baby. Of course.
I get that information and I’m already in my seat before she’s left the room. I’m already settling back into Room 89.
And then I wonder – if maybe she thinks we’re rude.
She probably feels glad to be out of there.
I’m thinking, rather her baby be here because we’re the lowest form of care – our babies are getting better, not worse.
But I don’t say that out loud.
Nobody wants to hear that.
And my mind leaves the unit behind and I’m back in the Book.
Back in Room 89.