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Twenty-second of February.
Aro. Just checking in, are things alright? You’ve been rather quiet and I’m a little worried.— D.C.
Tenth of March.
Hey, you right love? Please talk to me.— D.C.
Twenty-fifth of March.
Araura. Can I call you?— D.C.
Thirty-first of March.
I’m worried Aro!
Fifth of April.
“Hey, this is Araura. Leave a message and maybe I’ll get back to you.” Beep* A failed phone call.
Delia was well passed mildly concerned now. She stood in her works office, a rather large raised island surrounded by a glass partition that was situated in the middle of her ward. On all sides, there were cubical curtains, beds and along one wall, a line of single patient intensive rooms, where two of her clients rested, connected to monitors wired up to show on the screen on her desk. She stared right through the glass, at the bed directly opposite, not really seeing it. Her eyes had shrunk into her head as she clutched her phone, having just read the text from Araura and tried to call but instead had gone to voicemail.
She glanced down at her phone screen again and reread the few letters Aro had sent. It was weird even for her. She often came out with a funny line or quote or photo out of nowhere just because she thought it would make her day.
She thought back to the last time shed seen Araura and sighed, regret bubbled in the put of her stomach making her feel slightly sick. Was there a better way to break up with someone? She wondered silently. Is there any nice way to dump someone? A beautiful human being like her Araura? A woman who had genuinely loved her? She mused internally. Surely not, or there would be no good sad music… And now, it was like she and Aro had never known each-other, life Araura had walked off the face of the earth never to be seen or heard from again. Only the world moved on without her. But Delia’s world screeched and grinned on as though in the teeth of a gale in her absence. She occupied her thoughts even when she was with her boyfriend, whom she loved. She played on her attention when she tried to focus it on her patients. Araura occupied space in her head like a squatter she didn’t have the heart to evict.
It was five to three, the next shift would arrive soon and Delia would hand over her four clients, count their stock of medications and then she would clock off and leave. She glanced at the telemetry dancing across her screen, then it rang.
The name Jack flashed up on her screen as her phone buzzed in her hand. She glanced up at the clock and answered it.
“Hello, Delia speaking.”
“Hey, Diels!” Came Jacks deep husking voice. Delia felt a very slight pang of regret wash over her as she remembered Araura calling her that.
“Jack. I’m just about to finish work, but I think I’m going to go to Aros, check on her. I’m really worried…” Delia explained.
“You sure. She might just be studying. It’s exam time you know.” Jack asked.
“Yes. Trust me, honey, this is not like her. Somethings up. Hey, keep your phone on alright?” Delia instructed. “I love you.”
“Okay Diels. Hey, I love you too. Call if you need anything.” He hung up and Delia followed suit just in time to be tapped on the shoulder by a strapping young stocky man dressed in blue scrubs whose name tag read Nathan.
“Hey, Nathan. I’m Delia. Before I hand over, you have one discharge during your ****, Garry’s going home in a few hours. Just as soon as his taxi gets here. He’s all ready to go and as soon as he is, that bed needs to be ready to take someone else. You may need to get one of the ward hands to help you.” She prefaced her handover with the warning and he nodded accent.
Together they talked through the folders of each of his patients. She explained to him the importance of watching the telemetry for any anomalies and pointed out to him the quivering she had been observing between the complexes of one of the E.C.G. lines across the screen.
He nodded and yelped and baed her good evening, waving her off.
“Go home, get some sleep.” He said with a smile. She tried to smile back but it left her eyes untouched. She hurried to her locker and gathered her things.
A verge sense of dread prickled in her soul as she defended the stairwell and exited the hospital into the fiery evening sun. As she got into her car, she glanced again at Arauras text. She pressed voice call again, starting her car and pulling out of the lot into the steady stream of traffic.
Another voice mail tone. This time Delia recorded a message.
“Aro. You need to pick up the phone, I’m on the way over.” She told the phone before hanging up and letting her music take over the sound void in the car. The strings of Queen bringing Aro further into the forefront of her attention.
When she pulled up outside Arauras block and ascended the stairwell to flat seven, she knocked rather aggressively on the door, noticing the small pile of mail gathered at the door.
She peered into the front window into the living room and gasped.
It was in a state of chaos. An utter disgrace. A mess of cast-away clothing, blankets and books littered every surface and her plants had begun to wilt. Dishes too were strewn about and a lie buzzed about the window. The front room was dark and clouds of dust swirled above the coffee table. As Delia gazed further into the flat, she saw Araura, slumped ver the desk blankets draped over her like shrouds.
Delia banged on the door harder as alarm bells drowned out her inner voice and injecting a dose of entropy into her usually logically ordered mind.
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