PAGE MISSING-will try to rewrite
Jill and Robert met at the hospital Christmas party. Jill was a labor/deliver nurse, and Robert was the head resident of pediatrics. She saw an extremely handsome man with brown hair and blue eyes standing alone by the buffet.
"Hi, I’m Jill," she said, introducing herself.
"I'm Doctor Sheffield," he said looking around, trying to find a way to extricate himself from what he knew would be a meaningless conversation.
"You look sad," she said.
Robert was surprised and answered with a casual, "Yeah."
She reached out and touched his arm.
"I lost a patient today," said looking surprised that he had actually said that.
"Let's get out of here," suggested Jill. The hospital food isn't even edible. Want to get some fresh air?
She turned and walked toward the door and followed her like a puppy, surprised at his reaction to her.
how hard it is to see a child die and wonder if there was something you could’ve done. It wish I could say it got easier, but it doesn’t,’
“Great,” he said despondently. “Sometimes I wish..” He looked away again.
“You wish?” Jill prompted quietly.
“1 don’t know. I don’t want to burden you with my problems. 1 probably just need some sleep. I’ll see you later. Robert turned to walk toward his car.
“Wait!” she called. Robert stopped and looked at her gratefully but hesitantly. “If you need to talk, I’m a good listener. Do you want to go somewhere for coffee?”
“Actually, that sounds great. I’ll meet you at the diner around the block.”
”I”ll see you there,” Jill said as she walked quickly toward her car.
It was a cold, clear night with the winds blowing the newly fallen snow making it seem a blizzard was brewing. It was a typical winter night for New England, and Jill was chilled to the bone by the time she reached her car. But it wasn’t her icy discomfort she was thinking about. She felt a warm glow inside, fueled by the fact that she was meeting Robert for coffee. It was him, not the hot coffee she was anticipating that warmed her all over. It had been almost a year since her breakup with her ex-fiancé, and since then she had shut herself down, not letting anyone
in. Instead she poured everything into her work, into the women and the babies she took care of everyday. But now it was as if the sun had finally risen and started melting the ice in her heart, the ice that formed the day her ex-fiancé left her just one week before their wedding. She felt she could trust Robert, and that scared her a little. But he seemed so lost and vulnerable, and she wanted to help him.
They arrived at the diner at the same time and the wind blew them inside where the warmth hit them in a welcoming rush, melting the snow that clung to their hair, forming droplets that dripped Onto their faces like tears. A rather buxom waitress seated them in a booth, and they took off their coats while looking at the Christmas decorations still hanging on the wails. The smell of coffee wafted through the air, while an old Neil Diamond song was playing on the old, beat up radio that sat on the front counter.
The waitress came to the table, plopped down two cups and splashed coffee into them. “Ifs a cold one out there tonight. You’re going to need this,” she said and sped away.
“I guess we ordered coffee,” said Robert, feeling his melancholy mood lift just by being in her presence.
‘1 guess we did,” Jill smiled, taking a sip. “It’s not fancy, but the food is good and the service is excellent.”
They chatted for a while, about the weather, how they had celebrated Christmas, about the hospital.. It was as if they had known each other forever. Jill felt like she had been reunited with a long lost friend. Finally, she brought the conversation back to his patient. “How old was he?” she asked softly.
Robert sighed. “He was seven. This was his third round of chemo, and he seemed to be doing very well this time.” The waitress came by and refilled their cups. “1 just wasn’t expecting it,” he continued. “One day he was fine, the next he was in a coma. “ He sighed again, and looked down into his cup. “The hardest part was telling hi s parents. They had suffered infertility for ten years before having him. He was their world. I don’t know how they are going to survive this. I... I know what it’s like, in a way.” He looked up and Jill could see the pain in his eyes. “My younger sister died of leukemia when she was eight. I was eleven. My family fell apart after that.”
Jill was touched by his candor, and filled with compassion for the pain he has suffered. She reached out and held his hand. "I’m so sorry." stroked his hand with her thumb and say, "It's not your fault."
Robert's blue eyes stared into her brown ones, tears forming at their corners. "Yes it is,” he said resolutely. "I couldn’t save and I couldn't save him. I never should've become a doctor." HE pulled his hand away and started putting on his coat. "I'd better go. I'm sorry. He was gone before Jill could stop him disappearing into the black, starry night.