TITLE: A Flick of the Switch
GENRE: Adult Fiction
When the hospital settles a controversial case and removes the life support systems for a viable baby, Emily, a nurse recovering from the death of her own premature baby, flicks the respirator switch back on. Relying on lessons learned from her unscrupulous estranged husband, Emily must lie, steal and manipulate to keep the baby hidden until he can breathe on his own, all the while risking her own dreams of becoming a doctor.
I have to stand by while a baby dies. He’s not mine.
I duck into the bathroom the first chance I get. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is buzzing with activity and some well-meaning nurse is sure to offer sympathy if I grab a cup of tea in the cafeteria.
Thick heels clop on linoleum.
The door opens. I slide into a stall and sit. There's not enough time to lift my cheap brown loafers.
“Emily, is that you?”
It's Rosy, my only friend here at this hospital. “I've been looking for you. Did you see all the protesters out front?” she says.
“Yeah. News travels fast.”
Silence. I flush the clean toilet. I can’t hide forever.
Rosy follows me to the sink. “Honey, you look greener than your smock. Makeup?”
I rifle through my purse to avoid meeting her eyes.
Rosy hands me some powder, which I dab around my face. “You don't have to be in with Baby M. I can go instead.” She touches my sleeve.
“No, I was there at his birth. He knows me, better than his own so-called mother. And I've got to be able to handle this or I'm in the wrong job.”
“Give yourself a break,” Rosy says. “I'm sure if Nurse Vance knew what happened to you, she’d take you off the assist.”
My breath catches so I force the words out. “No, I’ll do it. But I don’t get why the hospital is pulling the plug on a viable baby.”