| Jamison stood open-mouthed, surveying what he could see. Blankets covered her, so all he could see was her face. It was ravaged with pain, anger...and maybe hatred. What had happened? He wanted to know every detail, but he knew this was not the time to ask.
"I'll have to ask all of you to leave..." Sariah turned to the men in the room.
"I don't want that freak in here!" Autumn screamed with an accusing glance toward Josiah. He appeared untouched, and Sariah was glad he seemed to understand where the anger originated. Instead, he left with Jason and Jamison, leaving Abbie and Sariah to untangle the whole story along with the complex medical problems related to this nightmare.
The two nurses looked at each other, uncertain of just how to proceed. They had no idea how she would react to anything. The sweet, gentle girl had turned into a raging, unpredictable hurricane. They both uttered silent prayers, not knowing they prayed for the same thing in unison. They slowly uncovered Autumn, explaining every step along the way. They had a good idea of...what else had happened that night.
"We will have to take you to radiology to make sure there isn't any internal damage--"
"there is always damage! Don't you get it yet?" Autumn interrupted harshly.
"I know, Autumn," Abbie said sympathetically, "the worst of the pain can't be viewed with x-rays or scans." Josiah, who knew what needed to be done, tapped on the window to get a nurse's attention. Abbie was informed that Autumn's favorite x-ray technician was available and Josiah specifically requested her. The nursing supervisor hurried to Autumn's room when Josiah conveyed the whole thing.
When Carrie Kimball saw the grave expression on Josiah's face, she knew something was terribly wrong. She was filled with trepidation, then horror, as Autumn's tale unfolded. She went to the girl's room at once.
"Sariah, you're still here?" she asked, incredulous.
"Don't worry, I don't want overtime!" Sariah snapped. Carrie opened her mouth to say something, and then thought better of it. She knew Sariah's words weren't aimed at her; they were in response to the stress of the recent events. Besides, she had been "on duty" for seventeen hours thus far. Just then, the technician entered to take Autumn to radiology."
"Who's that?" Autumn questioned sharply.
"It's Nancy," the woman responded softly.
"Oh, I guess you can take me," Autumn grumbled.
"so what happened?" Abbie asked anxiously.
Jason and Sariah explained the various parts of the story, punctuated by Abbie's horrified gasps.
Lynn awoke to the glaring sun in her eyes. She groaned as she rolled over so her back was to the window. She was so darn tired! She had taken Lance to the nearest emergency room. She really wanted to go to the hospital where Autumn was being treated to get the whole lot of them fired...and then some! However, she had to get him to an ER as soon as possible. That was fifteen hours ago. Lance had slipped into a drug-induced sleep as soon as they returned to his flat. Lynn looked at the clock. She had only gotten three hours of sleep! She was so tired and hungry. Then she remembered why the whole thing had affected her so profoundly. She remembered that she hadn't told Lance yet. Great, she thought, just one more thing to... Well, that was all Autumn's fault anyway. That was why they had to get back at her. Lynn knew revenge was an immature game, but she just had to play, and Autumn deserved Lynn and Lance's twisted recreation. Would she tell Autumn about what she had done? Yes, she decided. Autumn hadn't suffered enough emotionally; Lynn would inflict the same pain upon her that she and Jason had used to destroy Lynn. They had made her look outside herself, and they tried to tell her of things that brought fear. Worst of all, they revealed her so-called weakness and her darkest secrets. That act alone justified all of Lynn's actions.
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