When Jessica woke up she could not help but think about how carefree life seemed in her dreams. She sat for awhile trying to fall back asleep so she did not have to face her real life as it fell apart in front of her.
Once it was clear that there was no more sleep to be had, Jessica climbed out of bed with a sigh. When she went into the living room she was instantly tackled to the ground. Jessica struggled to escape her attacker, looking for anything she could reach to defend herself. The only thing she could find was a chair leg. She grabbed on and pulled, trying to escape. The only thing she managed to achieve was moving the chair closer and topple it over onto the person’s back.
“Ouch!” It was Ashley, the new roommate. “What was that for?”
Jessica relaxed, and apologized. “I guess I am a little high-strung right now. I didn’t realize it was you.”
“Where have you been?! I was worried sick!”
Jessica realized that Ashley had probably never been informed about what happened. She decided to go with the short version; “The hospital.” Jessica stood up and walked over to the couch, where she sat down.
“Oh my god! Are you okay? What happened? Why didn’t you call me? It has been days, and I hadn’t heard anything from you!”
Jessica smiled. The two had just met, but they had become fast friends, even though Jessica was so busy and tired all the time. “I’m fine. There was a robbery at work. I went with Kenzie, my trainee, in the ambulance, and once I got to the hospital I passed out. They kept me for observation even after I finally woke up.”
Ashley sat next to Jessica, “Were you hurt?”
“No, I guess it was just the shock, and my exhaustion. But now I have the distinct pleasure of calling up my boss and finding out if I still have a job or not. The lobby was probably closed off for awhile after the shooting–”
“Shooting?! You didn’t say there was a shooting!”
“Yeah, the robber shot Kenzie in the shoulder. She is alright now. I think she already got released too.” Jessica said it as calmly as she could, even though her lip was shaking as she thought about that night.
No matter how hard she tried to hide it, Ashley could tell. Without saying another word, Ashley gave Jessica a big hug, and Jessica broke into tears on her shoulder. The girls sat like that for a long time. When Jessica finally lifted her head and loosened her grasp, she sat up. “I guess I should make that call now.”
Ashley took Jessica’s hands, to stop her, “First, get a tissue. Go splash some cold water on your face, and I will make you some eggs and bacon.”
Jessica smiled and muttered, “Thank you.” She got up and went to the bathroom to make herself presentable.
After breakfast, Jessica was able to think a little better. She hadn’t realized how hungry she had gotten after days of hospital food. She called her boss.
“Hi, Ms. Thomas? It’s Jessica. I was just calling to let you know that I am ready to get back to work.”
“Oh, that’s great! I did hire someone, but training has been tricky; I have been working every night since it happened and I am sooo ready for a break, if you could come in tonight that would be great – since Kenzie hasn’t worked here long enough, we had to let her go, but I suppose if she told me she could come back back and fill in other shifts or something… but that doesn’t concern you any, we are just glad to have you back, oh my– I didn’t even ask how you are doing! The hospital won’t tell me anything about either of you, even though I asked so many times and told them who I am, as your employer it seems like I should have a right to know when my employees should be released, but they have privacy rules and things, anyway I hope that you are feeling alright, once the new guy is trained -tonight should be his last night, so you can take it easy – you will be able to ease back in if you want to, or you can dive right back to full-time if you would rather do that instead, but thank you for coming in tonight, my husband will be glad that I don’t need to go in to work, have a good one, and get some rest!”
“Thanks- and she hung up.”
“Well, is it good news at least?” asked Ashley
“I guess. At least I still have a job. But I’m not really sure if the rest is good or bad. They hired someone, so now I only get 40 hours. Yay I get some time to rest and things, but I need that overtime more than ever now.”
“Well, maybe you can use those days off to find a second job.”
“Yeah, at least that would get me more hours, but I would have to work 3, 8 hour shifts at base pay to cover the lost 2 days of overtime. So I will end up working more anyway. Hopefully I can work something out with the hospital for payments and get a better-paying job I guess.”
Ashley took Jessica’s hand, “Not today. Today you are rested, and I will have you back by the time you need a nap for work. Today we are enjoying ourselves. We are going to find something fun to do that doesn’t cost a cent.”