She was waiting patiently for the elevator to ascend, when her heart plummeted as the floor dropped instead.

“What’s happening?” She asked frantically. She was thrown against the cold steel wall by the force of the elevator and slammed her head. The sound ricocheted off the walls like a bass drum. She held onto the railing so tight her knuckles turned white.

She could feel the elevator plummeting faster and faster in her stomach. She instantly got dizzy as everything around her became a blurred cloud colliding with a rush of anxiety. Then she heard a crash, followed by silence. The elevator stopped falling.

She stood up, hovering over the door, trying to pry it open. The silence was interrupted by her pager. She had to get back to the hospital for her shift.

Ugh I don’t have time for this. April thought to herself.

April was a third year resident. All she knows is surgery. She has become accustomed to being the girl who can’t hang out because she’s always on call or the girl who runs out mid date because a trauma is about to roll through the emergency room. She spent more hours inside the hospital then she did in her own home.

She felt helpless as she slid to the floor with her head in her arms. Her pager went off sixteen times in ten minutes. Her phone was in her car because she came home from 36 hour shift last night and was so exhausted she forgot to bring it with her. She regretted that now. She paged them back 911. But none of her coworkers would know that she was stuck in an elevator and stupidly left her phone in the car. How could she tell them that with a pager?

She could feel her anxiety rushing through her veins. She was immediately overcome with guilt. She was needed at the hospital, probably for a trauma, even though she had spent the last 36 hours straight with trauma surgeries; a tour bus had slid on black ice and rolled four times before crashing into a tree. Six people were brought into the emergency room and each one of them had died.

Three were dead on arrival, and one had a heart attack. The other two were awake then they came to the ER. They kept asking about how their friends were doing. The other two looked like they had superficial wounds, but then the internal bleeding started and one stroked out.

“Dr. Peters, wake up….” a voice faded in.

“Uh, Dr. Peters…wake up!” The voice said again.

April opened her eyes. She was in an on-call room at the hospital. Her friend and fellow resident Marc was standing over her.

“Huh…?” April said groggily.

“You’re needed for a consult. Did you have the elevator dream again?” Marc asked.

“…No….” April replied, hoping he’d drop the subject. But they met eyes and she couldn’t lie to him. “Yes. I don’t wanna talk about it.”

“You don’t have to talk about it to me but you need to tell someone. Maybe they can do a sleep study on the 9th floor.”  He whipped back

“I’m fine. I was stuck in an elevator last week and it’s just freaking me out a little. I’ll be ok.” She said

“I promise.”

 

Photo by Richard Jaimes on Unsplash

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