The Ties That Bind – Episode 14

Characters from the serial, Evelyn and Simon walking in front of a castle.

“Evelyn? Shall we get on?”

Evelyn tossed the empty cup into the bin and turned back to Christine, who’d spread a number of leaflets across her desk.

“I know you expressed an interest in midwifery,” she was saying. “But you have plenty of other options . . .”

The words floated round in Evelyn’s mind. The leaflets blurred in front of her eyes.

“I’m – I’m sorry, Chris, I can’t do this just now.” The words came out almost without her knowing it.

“What is it, Evelyn? Aren’t you well?” Christine sounded concerned.

Evelyn covered her face with her hands, embarrassed and ashamed.

“I just – I need more time to think.”

“I thought you said today would suit you?”

“I did. It does. I mean, it did, but a – a lot happened at the weekend and –”

“But it was Sunday afternoon before I phoned you.”

“I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel ready.” Evelyn clasped her hands firmly on her lap to try to stop them shaking.

“Would it be possible to reschedule? If I could have more time to think . . .”

“Your applications should be in soon,” Christine reminded her.

“Yes, I’m aware of that.”

“Evelyn, has something happened?” Christine was still concerned. “Do you need to talk to someone?”

“No. No. I mean, yes, I do, but it’s all right. I – I just have a lot on my mind.

“It’s nothing to do with work,” she added hastily.

“I see.” Christine quirked an eyebrow. “So may I ask what’s on your mind, other than work?”

“I didn’t mean that,” Evelyn said desperately. “I mean I have a lot of pressures at the moment – personal matters.”

It was the wrong thing to say. Christine fixed her with a steely glare.

“This is a very busy ward, Nurse. I need to know I can trust my team’s ability to concentrate and leave personal matters at home.”

“I’m sorry, I – yes, of course.”

“I’ll postpone this discussion for two weeks, by which time I hope you’ll have reached a decision,” Christine said crisply, tapping the appointment into her on-screen diary.

“Now, I suggest you take a ten-minute break to collect yourself and then return to your duties.”

“Yes. I – thank you.” Evelyn didn’t trust herself to say any more.

She stumbled from the office and fled down the corridor to the staff room.

What a disaster! Of course, Christine was right.

If Evelyn’s problems were disturbing her, how could she be trusted to deal with what was expected of her at work?

A nurse had to keep her wits about her. She’d had that drummed into her when she started her training years ago.

Perhaps she wasn’t cut out for nursing any more.

The bleak thought scalded her brain more than her coffee did her lips.

She sat for a moment, cursing Phil for stirring up all this mayhem, and herself for being foolish enough to meet with him.

“Emergency coming in, Nurse. Traffic accident. Three casualties,” a voice called suddenly from the doorway and Evelyn was on her feet in seconds, geared up to join her colleagues.

The team sprang into action – this was no time for distractions or doubts.

By the end of Evelyn’s shift, one of the injured patients was being brought out of surgery and the other two were patched up and in the recovery ward.

As she changed out of her uniform, Evelyn felt tired but comfortable within herself.

It was satisfying to know that she’d done her best and to be confident that she’d done well.

At least that was one less worry. Nursing definitely was the career for her!

To be continued…

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