#Chapter 176: The New Doctor
Enzo held my hand until the last moment, only releasing it just moments before the portal closed. I wanted to hold onto him and jump through the portal with him, but I knew that it would never work. And he was right: I needed to stay here. There was still much to do.
“Are you gonna be okay?” the Fullmoon girl, Myra, asked.
I nodded, blinking back my tears. “I’ll be fine,” I said. “Thank you.” I couldn’t bear to have anyone look at me, however, so before anything else was said I quickly turned on my heel and walked away.
A mist had settled on the forest that morning. The air was cold and almost damp, and the sound of the leaves crunching underneath my feet was a comfort. As I painstakingly walked
back to campus, I just kept focusing on that sound to keep my mind off of Enzo.
He would be okay. At least, that was what I kept telling myself. But if he wasn’t okay… I didn’t know how I would get to him. I knew that he told Myra not to open any portals for me in case I got any grand ideas, and she was loyal to him as his cousin and as a follower of his father. She wouldn’t budge if I asked; I was sure of it.
Therefore, if anything happened and Enzo didn’t come back, I would have no way of finding him. Even Luke was still missing after he saved Enzo from Edward. I didn’t even know if Luke was still alive. For all I knew, he was a pile of dust somewhere. At least his curse would be over, but it still pained me to think about that.
When I finally returned to my apartment, Lori and Jessica were waiting for me. They instantly saw my puffy face and my red eyes, and stopped me before I was able to go and hide in my room.
“We’re not letting you lock yourself in your room and cry in bed all day,” Lori demanded, folding her arms across her chest. “Come on. We’re going to the infirmary.”
My face went pale. “The infirmary?” I asked. Even just the thought of going there made me sick. It reminded me too much of Tiffany.
“Nina, we have to go,” Jessica said, sounding a bit more gentle than her girlfriend. She reached out and rubbed my arm with a sad look in her eyes. ” Students are injured. They need their school doctor.”
“Plus, we can’t waste any time looking for that antidote recipe,” Lori added. ” Don’t worry. Jessica and I will stay with you.
I took a deep breath, then nodded
reluctantly. Even though the infirmary was the last place I wanted to go right now, they weren’t wrong. There was still much to be done. I had promised Enzo that I would work hard to keep the infirmary running and to create more of the antidote.
“Alright,” I said, trying my best to hide the tremor in my voice. “Let’s go.”
Together, the three of us made our way over to the infirmary in the cold morning air. When we arrived, the main window was still shattered, so the first thing we did was sweep up the broken glass on the inside and outside of the infirmary. After that, we slowly began to make our way around the infirmary and pick up scattered supplies, putting them back in their rightful places.
Lori and Jessica chatted the entire time, even joking a little to make me smile. Jessica played some music on her
phone for us to listen to, and after an
hour of cleaning, I had to admit that I
was feeling a little bit better already.
Around noon, we opened the doors to
the public. Lori made a large sign to put
outside directing anyone with injuries
to come in and have them looked at,
and unbelievably, students began filtering in rather quickly. I found myself focusing entirely on the task of tending to students’ injuries, checking their temperatures, and handing out medicine, and eventually realized that it had been a few hours and I had been so busy that I hadn’t even thought about Enzo. Perhaps keeping me busy was really a smart move on Lori and Jessica’s part.
By the time the stream of students slowed to a trickle, and eventually. stopped, it was already almost dinnertime. “You did good today,” Jessica said
gently as we finished cleaning up.
You’re a good doctor, you know that?”
I couldn’t help but smile a little bit at my friend’s kind words, and without saying anything, I wrapped my arms around her neck and hugged her tightly. Lori came over too and hugged both of us at once. When we pulled away, there were tears in all of our eyes.
“Thank you guys,” I said as I wiped the tears away with the back of my hand. “1 needed this.”
“It’s what Tiffany would want,” Lori said, gesturing around at the cleaned- up infirmary. “She’s probably watching us right now with a smile on her face.”
I stared down at the floor and let out a deep sigh. If only Tiffany were here… Her death’had been so sudden, so quick. I didn’t think she suffered in those moments, thankfully, but it was such an unnecessary death. Tiffany was the sweetest, kindest, most caring person I ever met; she didn’t deserve to die so young.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Lori, Jessica and I all jerked our heads up to see one more injured student standing in the doorway with a sad look on his face: Justin.
“I hope I’m not too late,” he said.
“N-No, not at all,” I replied, waving him in. “Are you injured?”
Justin nodded and made his way over to one of the infirmary beds, where he sat down with a bit of a wince. “It’s my leg,” he said. “I think something must have happened at some point. I’m not sure. I don’t remember.”
I grabbed my medical bag, already back
into full doctor mode, and went over to
him with my brow furrowed. He tenderly rolled up his pant leg to reveal a gash on his calf. It looked like it was beginning to get infected, judging from the green pus and the redness around it. I nodded to myself and sifted
through my medical bag for gloves, which I put on, then retrieved a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a large tube of antibiotic ointment and crouched down in front of him..
“Is it okay if I touch it?” I asked.
Justin nodded and gritted his teeth while I dumped a good amount of the rubbing alcohol on some gauze and dabbed it on his leg. I then smeared a bunch of the antibiotic ointment on the gash, and wrapped his leg with clean gauze and an ace bandage.
“It should be okay,” I said, standing and peeling my gloves off. “Just a little infected. Here.” I retrieved a bottle of penicillin from the shelf and handed it to him. “Take one of those twice a day preferably with a meal. Keep me updated, okay? If you get a fever or anything, come and see me.”
Justin nodded once more and stood. His face was a little flushed, but his eyes were warm. “Thank you, Nina,” he responded. I managed a weak smile as he made his way over to the door.
But just before he left, he stopped and
turned to face me
“Nina…” His voice faltered for a moment, and his face got even more red. “I do remember one thing from when I was stuck as a rogue.
“Oh?” I asked, raising an eyebrow and
feeling intrigued. “What is it?”
Justin’s eyes averted to the floor. “I remember your face,” he said. “Clear as day. The whole time, all I could see was your face, smiling back at me.”
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