Tom Benjamin was tired. His shift at the hospital would be over in a couple of hours. He only wanted to find a quiet place for a few minutes to rest. This wing was for patients in for long term care. He could always claim he was checking on some of the sicker ones. A rather thin excuse, but the floor nursing supervisor was a good person and would back him up. She understood that an intern’s life was a hard one. God, he was tired. He’d set his phone to wake him in fifteen minutes. A brief nap in the visitor’s chair and he’d be good to go again.
He chose a room at random, pushed open the door and entered the room of a comatose patient. It was a private room and long past visiting hours, so who was the dark-haired woman sitting in the visitor’s chair beside the bed? She didn’t seem aware of him as she checked the time and then returned to viewing the patient, a young man who may never get out of that bed, even if he woke up. His family hardly came to visit anymore. He’d been in that coma for five years.
“Excuse me,” Tom said. “Who are you and what are you doing here?” The woman glanced at him and gave a tiny smile. She really was an attractive woman. If only he had some idea of who she was. He glanced towards the phone. He really should call security.
“Waiting.” She turned back to the patient. That only answered one of his questions. Who was this woman? Why was she here? He looked at the patient, who seemed much as he always was, still and quiet, unmoving. Well, his spinal injuries were extensive.
“What for?” He pressed, coming further into the room. “Who are you? Why are you here?”
“I’m waiting for the correct time,” she replied without looking at him. “It’s all right, Doctor Benjamin. Nothing will happen before it’s time.” She checked her time piece against the clock. “Just another minute or so and you won’t need to concern yourself with me any longer.”
“What the hell does that mean? Who are you?” He reached for the phone by the bed.
“Who are you going to call?” she asked.
“You don’t need them.”
“Why shouldn’t I just call security.” She chuckled.
“They would think you were crazy. I won’t be here.” She leaned forward in the chair. “Soon, very soon.” She looked at him. “I’ll be gone before they could get here. Ah, it’s time.” She reached out and touched the patient’s head. “I’m Death, by the way.” The alarms on the patient’s monitoring equipment went off as he suddenly flat-lined. The woman vanished and Tom jumped to check the patient.
“Code Blue Room 412!” Blared over the PA. Tom worked with the nurses who arrived even though he was sure that the patient was gone. It was the beginning of his relationship with Death.
To be continued…