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in_personal_confrontation___vladimir_khakhanov

Art by Vladimir Khakhanov

Reese didn’t intend what happened next, but it happened just the same. With each seemingly slow and deliberate step he took towards her, she felt a mounting terror. Yet, she couldn’t move. It was as if her feet were frozen to the floor. Along with the freezing sensation, she felt something else. It felt to her as if the air pressure around her was rising rapidly as he closed in on her. If he felt it too, he didn’t show any reaction.

He was now standing right in front of her, looking into her eyes with his full rage now unveiled. A vein throbbed in his forhead as he reached out his hand towards her. That’s when suddenly, by a force uncanny, he was thrown back forcefully and silently onto the bed.

In the same moment, her colleagues standing by in the hallway came rushing in with their eyes on her. Seeing she was unhurt, they turned their eyes to Mr. James. Seeing him resting quietly in his bed, they gave her a puzzled look.

“Why were you screaming,” asked Andrea in a huff.

“I wasn’t,” Reese replied.

“Oh, it was you alright,” she retorted.

“I’m sorry,” said Reese, her voice inflecting her confusion. “I didn’t realize…”

As her voice trailed off, she wasn’t sure what to say. Had the last moment been all in her head? An occurrence brought on by stress, possibly. Either way, the nurses had heard her scream even though she never heard it herself. The silence thickened as she struggled to come to some sort of logical conclusion.

Andrea looked at her with concern.

“I would send you home, but you are the only competent assistant we have on duty until the next shift arrives,” said Andrea with a sigh. “Why don’t you take a short break. Step outside and get yourself some fresh air.”

“Okay,” Reese said quietly as she slowly backed out of and away from Room 26 and Mr. James who appeared to be resting peacefully in his bed.

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