"Natalie, make sure 623 gets her meds before she's discharged. And make sure she doesn't have anything to eat after breakfast; she's scheduled for chemo at noon. She likes to hide chocolate under her pillow and eat it when she thinks no one is looking. Oh and 614 spiked a fever around 2am, I gave him 30cc's acetaminophen and I've monitored him every hour since."
I glance at my watch.
6:58 am. Just 2 minutes left of my shift and I'm off to Dallas for a girl's weekend with my best friend.
"Bexley, I have this under control. Go. Have fun. You deserve a break."
Damn right I do.
I nod my head in agreement with her before throwing my purse over my shoulder and step on the sixth floor's elevator. I was mentally making a list of all the things I needed to finish packing as I watched the Pediatric wing disappear behind the elevator's closing doors.
Swimsuit. Phone charger. Toothbrush. Henry the Duck pillow pet.
Don't fucking judge me.
The ding of elevator's arrival at the lobby interrupted my thoughts.
Don't forget tampons! My subconscious reminded.
Stupid Mother Nature. I didn't sign up for a membership so why does she continue to send me a monthly gift? And it's not even the good kind of gift!
The automatic glare of the sun shining through the lobby doors let me know I needed my sunglasses before venturing outside. Now if only I could find them in the bottomless pit better known as my purse. Stopping short of the hospital entrance, as I rummaged through my bag for my aviators, I felt my phone vibrate in the pocket of my teal scrub pants.
Ah ha! I mentally shouted as my hand landed on my sunglass case. Quickly pulling the Aviators out of their shell, I reached in my pocket and swiped my phone to the right.
"Guess who just landed in Dallas?" I heard the excitement in my best friend's voice from the squeal on the other end and reminding me just how much I missed her.
"I don't know, Drake?" I jokingly ask as I slid into the driver's seat of my car.
"No, he's actually in LA. Saw him at the Vogue party before I left." Knowing Hailey she probably did party it up with Drake now that she's currently one of the top campaign models in the world, always walking one red carpet event after another. A smile crept up on my face as flashbacks of the days where we both dreamed of our faces being on the cover of every magazine were mildly interrupted by Hailey's voice. "Please tell me you're in your car and on your way to Dallas?"
I wish I could've said yes to her question, instead I pressed the hands free nob on the steering wheel of my Mercedes and backed out of the parking spot before responding, "Not quite. I was on call last night and had to go in. I'm just now leaving the hospital." I heard her sigh loudly so I started again, "Don't be mad. I'll be there soon. I just have to run home and finish packing."
"You know I can't be mad at you for saving the lives of adorable littles Bex. But seriously that hospital takes up all your time. You should've just signed that modeling contract and moved to New York. Just because your parents moved to Milan from LA didn't mean you had to move to boring ass Texas of all places ya know."
Inwardly I roll my eyes and groan at the mention of the life I could've chosen. She knew exactly why I didn't take that modeling contract but yet constantly nagged me about it
"Hails, do we have to go through this again? You know why I moved, besides it could be worse. I could've moved to South Dakota...if it actually existed" I chuckle at my own comment. I had this theory when I was twelve that South Dakota didn't exist because I'd never met anyone from there. Absurd theory I know, I was young...give me a break.
"yeah yeah yeah.... That piece of shit bastard Crawford, I know. Now back to your explanations for not being on the road yet."
I swiped the turn signal switch upward, letting the dickhead who'd been riding my ass for the last ten minutes know that I was turning.
"I'm sorry. I'm pulling into my driveway now. It'll take me thirty minutes tops to finish packing and then I'll be on my way" I say calmly while putting my car in park. Truth is I would love a power nap right now, but I knew how impatient my best friend was. "The only thing that could prolong that timeframe is my bed, but instead of taking a nap after working the 12 hour night shift I just finished, I'll chug a RedBull or five just for you."
Laughing at my sacrificial comment, Hailey told me to hurry my ass up, to wear something cute, and to call her once I was leaving my house before hanging up in typical Hailey fashion.
Three hours, forty-five minutes, two Sugar Free Red Bulls, and two restroom stops later, I took the exit off the freeway to downtown Dallas towards the Omni Hotel where I was meeting Hails. The excitement of seeing my best friend after three months causing my stomach to do back flips. Either that or I was extremely hungry.
Two Valet greet me as I pull up to the hotel, one offering to grab my bags, the other sliding into the driver's seat but not before graciously taking the twenty dollar bill I handed him as a tip.
"Welcome to the Omni Dallas Hotel Ms. Lane. I hope your trip was delightful" The tall brunette man behind the concierge desk, whose name tag read Bill, greeted. "Ms. Baldwin is awaiting your arrival in the Penthouse Suite on the 31st floor. Josh here will escort you with your bags."
I gave him a small smile and a nod before following Josh to the elevators.
Weird. I don't remember giving Bill my name and the hotel room was under Hailey's alias name.
"Josh, how did Bill know who I was?" I asked curiously while , stepping inside the elevator.
Following suit, Josh presses the elevator's PH button and scans his badge for access once the doors closed.
"Ms. Baldwin gave every staff member a photo of you and asked us to treat you.." he paused for a minute and used his fingers as quotations, "like the Queen of England."
I shook my head and let out a chuckle, "Of course she did. This is Hails we're talking about." I shifted my purse from one shoulder to the other. "Well I'll make sure you and the rest of the staff get a very generous tip from her. The service has been excellent so far. Thank you."
Josh scanned the key card once more when we reached the 31st floor, held the door to the massive suite open, and placed my bags inside. I kindly thanked him while digging out another twenty-dollar bill from my wallet, handing it to him.
"Hails?" I cooed, walking into the sitting room area, admiring the lavishly decorated suite, which reminded me a lot of my parent's summer house in the Hamptons.
Damn I miss that house.
"Finally, damn I was beginning to think you took your bed up on that offer and gave your pillow some major head!" a voice from the balcony called out. I shook my head in amusement at my best friend and her way with words as I made my way to the glass door. Suddenly I was tackled by the blur of what is my best friend and now entrapped in the biggest hug her thin frame could muster; I managed to let out a wheeze. "Hi best friend!"
She unravels herself and holds me at arm's length, looking me up and down as if she hadn't seen me in months. Which was true because facetime doesn't do shit except show off double chins. "So now that you're here. I have some news. But first we drink to being reunited." She releases her grip on me to grab 2 glasses and a bottle of Dom from the table behind her, skillfully filling each to the rim without spilling a drop before handing me a glass, a wide smile showcasing her perfectly white teeth. "Here's to you and here's to me. The best of friends we'll ever be. And if we ever disagree, well, fuck you and here's to me."
I let out a giggle at my best friend's toast while we clinked our glasses together, tilting our heads back allowing the chilled bubbles of the champagne slide down our throats until the glasses were empty. I immediately refill them once the familiar taste of my favorite champagne leaves my mouth. After all it was a girl's weekend and it's been a while since I let loose and had some fun so dammit that's what I'm doing.
An hour or so later, Hails and I are finishing our second bottle of Dom (we're lushes, I know) and caught up in conversation about her family, my life in Texas, my most recent anxiety episode, and her last modeling gig. She lectures me on how I should start dating someone like she always did and we lightly touch on the topic of her other best friend, whom I'd never met personally, but I felt like I knew all about him from all the stories she's told me over the last year.
"Speaking of, I hope you don't mind but I kind of invi..." She began before I interrupt her.
"Hold that thought Hails. Gotta pee." Jumping up from the balcony lounge chair I began to realize just how many drinks I'd had. Damn, alcohol always hits you when you stand up.
Nope, you're just a lightweight. My subconscious chimed in.
I leap over the white tufted ottoman in the sitting area with the grace of a prima ballerina. Okay, maybe not that gracefully but close enough I could've been an understudy at least.
Eat your heart out Misty Copeland.
Once in the bathroom, I shut the door and flip the light switch only to glare at myself in the elaborately lit mirror.
"For fucks sake I look rough" I mumble to myself before tripping over the plush rug that lay on the marble floor. I look down at the white fuzzy piece of cloth like it has three heads, "Seriously?"
After regaining my balance, I successfully make it to the toilet only to realize that I'm wearing a romper.
Should've worn that new maxi dress you bought last week.
Rompers are the worst things to wear when drinking. Why? Because it's difficult as hell to maneuver in this particular situation. I focus on the task at hand while rolling my eyes and handle my business. That's when I noticed another issue.
I forgot a tampon.
"Oh Mother fucker. HHAAIIILLLLSSSSS. HAILEYYYYYYYYYYY" I wail, waiting for an answer. "HAILEY RHODE BALDWIN I NEED A FUCKING TAMPON!!" Still no answer.
Shouldn't have drank so much champagne, then you would've remembered. Now look at you.
So I sat. Drunk as a hell on the toilet and stranded without a tampon.
Why does time seem to pass by super slow when you're in need of something? Not to mention drunk and in need! After what felt like forever, there was a knock at the door. "Took you long enough Hails! Slide a tampon under the door please!"
In a matter of seconds a pocket sized, pink wrapped tampon was sliding under the door and across the floor. "Thanks doll! Be out in a minute"
Now that things were all taken care of and my hands were freshly washed, I fluff my long blonde hair, wipe the eyeliner from under my green eyes, pinch my cheeks to bring a little color to them, and prance out of the restroom like a boss and admiring my new Louboutin wedges my mom sent in this week's care package. Then, I collide with another body.
Whoa, Hails. Lay off the gym. Guys like a little jiggle in the right places.
Redirecting my gaze from my feet to the other person's I notice it wasn't Hails that I ran into.
"Shit. Sorry." I mumble more to myself than the other person.
"Bex? What the hell took you so long?" Hailey questions, walking in from the balcony but stopping abruptly at the sight before her.
"I, I see you met Justin....um Surprise?"