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Whiskey Nights & Tequila Sunrises

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Reese’s eyes flew open the the next morning. Looking around, she could see that she was home and in her own bed, wearing last night’s clothes. Breathing a sigh of relief, she started puzzling the pieces of the night before together.

Her car, she recalled was still at Ricks. Bartender Travis had been kind enough to call her a cab and get her home safely. The strange man at the bar hadn’t quite been hitting on her, but he certainly didn’t leave her alone either. She quickly realized he was already drunk shortly after she sat down waiting for her first drink – the first of what would be too many – to be made. The man was muttering something, it seemed to himself. But Reese was beginning to become familiar with that uncanny feeling that things are not always what they seem.

Shaking of that sense of unease, Reese’s attention snapped back to the present moment as she grabbed her keys and her phone. Wonderig if she had enough cash for a cab back to Rick’s, she started fishing around her purse looking for her wallet when her fingers brushed up against the crispness of a fresh business card. Not remembering how it got there, she grasped it and pulled it out.

David Allen Rickman

That was it – just a name printed in black Times Roman on a manilla-colored card. Flipping it over, she expected to see more information – but seeing the back was blank she remained unsatisfied and confounded. Realizing that she had twenty minutes to get to her car and then to work, she tossed the card back in her back without a second thought as she called herself a cab.

Reese made it to work on-time with two minutes to spare. Thankfully, the cab driver had been quick and the traffic light that morning. Scurrying up the stairs, she punched in right on time and out of breath.

“You alright,” asked Andrea.

“Yeah, just overslept a little this morning,” Reese said. “I was afraid I would be late.”

“We were afraid you wouldn’t show,” Andrea replied.

“Oh, I wouldn’t do that to you guys,” Reese said with a sigh, catching her breath.

“I know you wouldn’t,” Andrea said with a smile. “But after what happened yesterday, nobody would blame you.”

“What do you mean,” asked Reese. The unpleasant incident, or perhaps non-incident that may have happened or not happened in Room 26 the previous morning returned to her memory.

“It’s just,” began Andrea. “We all know how stressful it is to work in this place. And you Assistants have a hard job to do – we all do. But you are the ones with your feet on the ground, so to speak. You interact with every patient and take the brunt of the abuse.”

“It’s all part of the job,” Reese stated plainly. “I knew that when I started.”

“Yeah, but anticipating something and experiencing it are two different things,” said Andrea knowingly. “Nobody would blame you if you took today off.”

“Well, I’m already here – and I would rather not go home where a literal laundry-list of chores is waiting me,” said Reese lightly. “I might as well stay and work where I get paid.”

Andrea smiled.

“You have such a good attitude,” she said. “I wish I could figure out how to instill that attitude in my kids. They consider employment a chore and not a priviledge.”

“Maybe if they didn’t work retail, they might have a change of heart,” Reese said smiling back.

“You’re probably right,” Andrea said laughing as she handed Reese her clipboard with the day’s list of patients.

“Is Traci back today,” asked Reese with a hint of desperation in her voice.

“No, but we were able to get an Assistant from the Resource Team for the day,” answered Andrea.

“Excellent,” said Reese breathing a sigh of relief.

“She is sitting in the Commons Area with the patients,” explained Andrea. “She has worked in Psych before, but I want her to shadow you for the first set of rounds to be sure she is up-to-date on our latest policies.”

“I can do that,” Reese said with enthisiasm as she left the office to find today’s Temp.

 

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