The day is over. You go home to your silent house. You set your phone down. You step into the shower. The water is hot, but you don’t care. It rolls down your skin like white hot fingers trying to fillet you. You feel the water free your stray hairs. You feel them glide down your body with the water, down your abdomen and back, down your legs, to get caught in your toes, and then lost down the drain and to the world beyond. You stand there while the water grows cold, your skin gets waxy, and your fingers turn to raisins. Beads of water drip off your eyelashes and nose..
What if you just stayed there forever?
Would anybody notice?
Only your coworkers. When you failed to show up for work the next morning. “Does anyone have her number?” the Charge Nurse would ask, and maybe a couple people could say yes. “Could one of you try to get ahold of her?” And a text message will go out, something light hearted like, “Hey, where are you?” or, “You’re late for work!” And then the wait. And the concern starts, because the staffing numbers are off. And then the anger starts, because you ‘no call, no showed’ and now they’re short staffed. And when morning report is over, they try to call you. But no one answers. And then the Charge Nurse will call Staffing, or the House Supervisor, “we had a no call, no show. We’re short.” And the House Supervisor will say they will see what they can do and get back to her. In the mean time everyone goes to work as usual.. Minus one body..
But you don’t. You turn off the water after 15 minutes. You stand in front of the mirror, but see nothing. The steam obscures the image and you can’t be sure you are even standing there. The house is silent. Nobody came knocking. Your cats look at you like they just saw you 15 minutes ago. Your phone shows no messages, no calls. You flop onto your unmade bed, wrapped in a towel, hair dripping. You hear the sound of traffic outside, the fridge humming in the kitchen, your own heart beating, or is that the clock on the wall.. The day is over..