Being a nurse in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts was easy. Being a nurse with borderline personality disorder was not that easy. For Angela, life at the hospital was filled with emotions and sights that made her insides twitch. To cope with these strange sensations she could not quite comprehend herself, she made a habit of silently watching family members bidding their loved ones, who had no chance of making it out of the hospital alive, farewell with tear-stained eyes.
“Angela?” A voice behind her snapped her out of her daydream.
“Um… Sorry… Yes?” she stuttered as she looked at a first-year resident who seemed to panic.
“I was told to find the dispensary but I am not able to locate it! Would you be able to help?”
Angela gave the quirky-looking young woman one look and felt herself relax. She loved feeding off the panic and, although it may seem strange, heartache of others.
With a huge smile, Angela said, “Why sure, I would help you, but the dispensary is not on this floor…”
Before she could utter another word, the first-year student seemed to cringe with panic and jogged off. Angela turned and walked in the opposite direction. A few steps to the right, she glanced at the big, gold letters scrawled on a door reading DISPENSARY.
When she came around the corner, she bumped into a firm chest. As she looked up, she melted. Her husband always seemed to appear whenever she needed him. They had their ups and downs, but for some reason, he always seemed to calm her nerves.
“Bo! I am so happy you…”
Angela’s gaze fell upon a woman standing behind him, heaving.
“Bo…” the woman whispered. As Angela turned to the woman calling her husband’s name, she noticed that she was pregnant… and in labour.
“Bo? What is this? Did you bring your ex-wife to the hospital? Why can’t she get the one who knocked her up to bring her?” Angela sneered.
She had never liked Bo’s ex-wife and didn’t sugar-coat the fact at all.
“Honey, Kristina… She… The baby…” Bo seemed panicked.
At that moment, another nurse stopped to help Kristina sit down on a wheelchair as another labour pain gripped her gut. With gritted teeth, Kristina’s eyes fell on Bo as she was wheeled to a delivery room.
“Bo?” Angela said again.
“Angela, I… I should have told you… Kristina truly wanted a child of her own… I mean she wants a child… And she wasn’t willing to just have any random person’s child…” Bo had a hard time finding the right words as he looked into Angela’s glaring eyes.
“And what does that have to do with you? She is your ex-wife, so what concern is who she is having a baby with of yours?”
“I… gave my sperm to her. She opted for In-Virto and I helped her.”
For a few moments, Angela processed the information she had just heard her husband tell her.
Then, after taking a deep breath, she said, “So, are you telling me that she is about to give birth to your child? Your ex-wife is about to give birth to your child while I, your wife, am infertile?”
“Honey, please. If you put it like that… This is not what this is about. I know the abortion you had all those years ago left you infertile. But as we discussed, I love you just the way you are. This thing with Kristina, I was only trying to help her…
Angela interrupted Bo, “Help? How do you call that help? That does not even make sense! Bo, you just gave your sperm to your ex-wife without telling me about this! We are married! Does that count as something!”
“Listen, I… I know this is not the way you would have wanted to find out about this… I would have told you if…”
“If what? You have a healthy child? Are you sure the child is even yours?”
Feeling the rage rise in her, Angela stormed off towards the nurse break room. Happy that the room was empty, Angela took a pillow from one of the couches and screamed into it. Never in her entire life had she felt a sensation like this before. Yes, she had felt very angry but nothing like this. It felt like electric shocks were tormenting the insides of her body and brain. She struggled to think clearly and although her therapist told her to try and differentiate between every feeling she was feeling at a particular point in time, all Angela could feel was anger and jealousy. Anger at her husband for keeping the situation a secret from her and jealousy at both Bo and Kristina for sharing life between them that she knew she would never be able to share with Bo. And in Angela’s eyes, it boiled down to one single thought… Revenge.
As soon as the word revenge popped up into her head, Angela slowly moved the pillow away from her face and stared into the distance. Then as if in a trance, she placed the pillow back onto the couch, smoothed it out and wiped the tears from her face. A smile started to play around the corners of her mouth as she walked towards the door; ready to move through the corridor towards Kristina’s delivery room.
“Angela, I need you to take care of this for me,” a file with patient details were piled into Angela’s arms.
As she looked through them at the nearest nurse’s desk, she noticed that her patient was a young lady, also in labour. To Angela, this was a classic case of teen pregnancy. She had seen quite a few of these cases over the years and secretly loved watching the uncertainty on the young mother’s faces as their newborn babies were placed with other families directly after birth.
Angela, putting her own feelings aside, walked over to the young girl’s room. There, she found the girl riddled with labour pains. Her mother, whom Angela quickly summed up to be a rich lady, seemed embarrassed to be in such a situation. As Angela tended to the drip beside the bed, she could hear the mother making a phone call to what sounded like an attorney.
“I am having a baby and all you can do is make arrangements for my baby to be taken away!” the young girl cried.
“Please,” the mother begged, “The family adopting the baby drove all the way from Connecticut and they are waiting. We just need the attorney to get everything in order for them to take the baby home.”
Angela looked at the young girl as she wanted to hear her response, but her answer was cut short by another pain.
“It won’t be long now,” Angela commented as the young girl was prepped for delivery.
In another room across the corridor, Kristina was giving a blood-curling scream as her baby entered the world. Just as Angela wheeled the young girl’s newborn baby out for an APGAR test, another nurse wheeling Kristina’s baby fell into step behind her.
“Two new heart’s starting to beat at the same time, how great is that!” the nurse gushed, clearly happy to have to seemingly healthy babies born at the same time.
Angela couldn’t bring herself to look at the baby Kristina had just birthed. She knew she would see her husband in that child and that alone made her hate every single ounce of what lay inside the crib beside her.
A short while later, Kristina’s baby was wheeled back to her room and the young mother’s baby was wheeled to the nursery. Kristina, who seemed joyful at hearing her baby’s cries for milk and the young girl, armed with adoption papers to hand over to the family, seemed to give Angela an idea.
What if… Angela’s thoughts began to wander… What if the baby Kristina took home wasn’t Bo’s after all…
“I would say it was a great day for the labour and delivery ward, don’t you think?” one of the nurses commented as she walked past Angela with a smile.
“Yes, great day…” Angela echoed back.
As Angela would be working the night shift that evening, she had enough time to go through both Kristina’s and the young mother’s medical charts. They were both to be released the next morning. Kristina would be able to take her baby home and the young mother would be able to rid herself of the grievous mistake she had made by having her baby accompany another family back to Connecticut.
She checked on the young mother’s baby in the nursery, who seemed to be sleeping peacefully. Then, Angela walked to Kristina’s room, where she peeked in through the door. Kristina was asleep and so was the newborn baby. Feeling threatened by the bundle in the crib next to Kristina’s bed, Angela slowly walked over to get a look at the baby’s face. What she saw made her insides boil.
She picked the baby up and got a closer look at it. Funny enough, she thought, the little creature looked a lot like the young mother’s baby…
Suddenly, as if her legs and arms had a mind of their own, Angela excited the room with Kristina’s baby in her arms. She looked up and down the corridor to see if anyone might be watching. No one was there. She moved towards the Nursery with the sleeping child in her arms. She kept walking until she stood next to the crib where the young mother’s baby still lay; sleeping. Angela lowered Kristina’s baby to where it was mere inches away from the face of the baby in the crib. Yes, they looked alike. They looked very much alike. With one swift movement, Angela moved the baby from the crib and placed Kristina’s baby in its place. Both babies squirmed but within a few moments, both dozed off again.
Without looking back at the baby she now despised, Angela left the nursery with the young mother’s baby in her arms. She walked back to Kristina’s room and placed the baby into the crib next to the bed. At that moment, the baby started screaming.
Startled at the sudden noise, Kristina awoke and looked at the nurse standing beside her bed. As the cobwebs of sleep left her mind, she realised it was Angela. As she had no idea that Angela was her ex-husband’s new wife, it did not bother her to have Angela tend to her.
Kristina looked over to her crying baby and frowned, “Strange, I thought I had that cry already stitched into my mind. Earlier today, she cried in a much more low-pitched voice.”
Kristina began sitting up straight to get a better look at the baby but Angela stopped her, “Do not worry, better you lie down and get some rest. That is what the night staff are here for. We ensure all the babies are cared for while their mothers gather their strength.
As she said this, Angela gently soothed the baby’s hands and within a few seconds, she stopped crying and began breathing deeply; ready to sleep again.
When the crying stopped, Angela moved over to Kristina and in a seductive voice, she whispered, “I am going to prescribe a light sedative to help you sleep a little better. Do not worry about a thing. When you wake up in the morning, you and your baby will be ready to start your lives together…”
Angela watched the fluid she injected into Kristina’s drip reach the tip of the needle where it entered her body. Within a few moments, Kristina’s eyes drooped and she gently lay back onto the cushions.
Tomorrow… Angela thought… Tomorrow morning, bright and early, you and your precious little baby will go home. You will create memories and a new future together. You’ll be happy; I can promise you that. But I can also promise you that I will be the happiest of them all.