Part 1 – Read First
Yvonne sat in her loft alone after her run, staring out of the window. Sometimes she would think back on her life and fan the flames of anger inside of her, but the line of cocaine she just had probably doesn’t help either.
She was taken away from her mother at three years old. Apparently, she couldn’t raise her, and smoke crack and be a prostitute, so Yvonne became a casualty of the 80’s. Malnourished, dirty and forgotten, she was sent to live with a foster mother that only cared about the checks she received from the State of Texas.
With the other children watching out for her, Yvonne was adopted by the Barrington family when she turned five. The Barrington’s had kept her all of six months before she was deemed uncivilized and unworthy. No amount of therapy, patience and discipline could keep Yvonne from becoming a terror. A child with behavioral problems didn’t fit the mold, so she was returned to sender, address unknown. That angry little girl, too young to understand, grew up to be an angry young woman looking to feel wanted by someone. Anyone.
She began dating older men when she was sixteen, getting everything she could out of them. Yvonne was smart and saved her money. When she aged out of the system, she was going to do all she could to become something other than a drug addicted prostitute like her mother.
Marissa walked through the automatic doors of the hospital with the biggest smile on her face; nothing was going to bother her today even though she was running a little late after the beautiful night with Jonathan. She went straight to the locker room and checked the schedule. Hospital administration always had her bouncing around, but today was one of her favorites, she was in Pediatrics. She put on her light pink scrubs and went to get her ID out of the front pocket of her purse. Then she dumped her purse over on the bench and searched through all of her junk. No ID. Marissa dismissed it and figured she left it at home. A paper one would have to do for the day, and she would have to phone ahead and be buzzed in everywhere but no big deal.
She went on her rounds with Dr. Benson and when it was lunch time she sat down in the cafeteria with her chicken salad sandwich and vegetables. She decided to text Yvonne:
Hey hun! What are you doing today?
I gave myself a day off lol. And don’t hey hun me! Spill it! What happened last night?
We had a wonderful evening, so wonderful… I let him come home with me.
WHAT!!! Was it good to ya??
More than good lol
I’m glad you found someone you like babe.
Me too 🙂
Yvonne couldn’t help but roll her eyes, even though she set them up and told Jonathan exactly how to get in her pants, it still annoyed her. Marissa has been getting everything handed to her for her whole life. When they met in Nursing School six years ago, she honestly liked Marissa; they became friends through study group and remained close all the way to clinicals.
Marissa clipped on her badge their first day at the hospital together. “Marissa Barrington,” Yvonne said with her head cocked to one side, “I know that last name are you related to Frederick and Claudia Barrington?”
“Yes, they’re my parents,” she said dryly.
“Well, aren’t you lucky…” Yvonne held back her disgust. It was a shock to the heart, and she was trying to control herself, especially when Marissa just shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly. How could she be so ungrateful? Wasn’t her life easy: private schools, vacations, she probably got into college on her last name alone and nursing school proved to be a breeze as well. She had reaped the benefits of a charmed life that wasn’t even hers to begin, so how dare she be ungrateful and nonchalant?
Yvonne’s whole life was a struggle, from day one, and she couldn’t help but wonder what made Marissa so much better than her? She vowed to herself that day, she would ruin every Barrington she knew, and Yvonne would start with Marissa.
“What are you doing in my office? Who even let you in here?” Jonathan said a little louder than he should have.
“I think the receptionist is scared of me,” Yvonne laughed. “Just give me what I want and I’ll leave.”
“I don’t know about that. What are you going to do with it?” he pressed.
“Do you really want to have this conversation again, Jonathan? That’s none of your business. What will be your business is if I put a stop payment on that check I gave you yesterday.” Yvonne folded her arms, as if daring him to say something.
“I just want your evil ass out of my life,” Jonathan reached in his side drawer and handed her Marissa’s hospital badge. “She trusts you, you know.”
“You don’t know her like I do,” Yvonne turned to leave.
“What has she ever done to you, to warrant whatever you’re about to do?” he said curiously.
“She stole my life.” Jonathan could swear he saw pain in her eyes.
Later that evening, Yvonne put on the navy blue scrubs she purchased after leaving Jonathan’s office, hoping she remembered what color was right for working in the Recovery Unit. She plopped on the ridiculous curly wig that looked exactly like Marissa does when she did her signature wash and go. Yvonne was counting on whoever was in the Recovery Room tonight to be sleep deprived and happy to take a break when she got there. Honestly, no makeup and this wig, she looked like Marissa minus ten pounds. She snorted the three lines of coke she had on her dresser and gave herself one last look.
She drove to the hospital and made sure to park close so she could make a quick exit. Strolling right passed the front desk, the emergency room and the night security guard, straight to the elevator like she belonged there. It wasn’t hard; this was the same hospital Yvonne did the one semester of clinicals with Marissa, before she failed out of school. She pushed the button for the sixth floor, where all the surgery patients went to recover.
Yvonne buzzed herself in with Marissa’s badge and immediately went to work. Marissa rarely worked nights, so she was counting on this lady not remembering what Marissa looked like.
“Do you need a break — Bea?” Yvonne asked, looking at her badge.
“That would be great.” Bea rubbed her eyes.
“You go ahead, and I’ll keep watch… I’m just going wherever I’m needed tonight to pick up extra hours,” she gave her best interpretation of a shy smile.
“I’ll be back in thirty minutes; I’m just going for coffee and to rinse my contacts,” Bea rose from her seat and walked around the desk, she paused before exiting, “You look like you’ve lost some weight since I’ve seen you.”
“Running,” Yvonne shrugged.
Yvonne had thirty minutes to do what she came to do.
As soon as Bea left out of the double doors, Yvonne started going from bed to bed looking for the perfect candidate. Everyone was still sleeping after their surgery or groggy, and they wouldn’t remember much, if anything at all. She took out her necklace and unscrewed the top half of the cross, one last bump for courage.
The next morning, Marissa got to work and as soon as she stepped through the automatic doors, a police officer stepped in front of her.
“Marissa Barrington?” the way he said her name sent chills through her body.
“Yes?” she couldn’t even pretend she wasn’t scared.
“Can you come with me?” he said coldly.
“Sure, what’s wrong?” she tried to control her voice but her mind was racing with all the possibilities.
“Just come with me please,” he said even colder, if possible.
She was escorted to the top floor of the hospital and placed in a conference room by herself. After what seemed like an hour, her supervisor walked in, a nurse she couldn’t remember the name of and three people in dark suits and blank expressions that she didn’t recognize at all.
One of the dark suits spoke first.
“Maybe we should get the officer to step in the room,” she didn’t wait for anyone to agree with her before she peeked her head out the door and flagged down Officer Freeze.
“What is this about?” Marissa practically shrieked from the anxiety building inside of her.
Her supervisor spoke next.
“Marissa, a patient in the hospital died last night because he was given the wrong medication after his surgery. Your name and badge number were the last to be logged on that patient’s file,” her supervisor explained.
Marissa eyebrows almost met in the middle of her face. “I lost my badge somewhere in the last two days.”
“We reviewed the security footage, and you were clearly under the influence,” one of the suits spewed the accusation with toxic venom.
“Wait, you don’t understand, I wasn’t on the schedule. I worked yesterday during the day without my badge, but I was home last night, all night.” Marissa cried.
“At 10:26 pm, it’s clearly you on the footage until 11:08,” she whipped out an iPad with the video already pulled up and pressed play.
Marissa saw what looked like her on the screen with only half the thighs. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing and started diagnosing herself. She could’ve had some sort of a psychotic episode while wearing Spanx or blacked out while wearing Spanx or has started sleepwalking from all the stress but to kill a patient? It just wasn’t possible.
“That’s not me,” Marissa started to bawl.
“Well, Bea said she left you in the Recovery Room while she went on break,” her supervisor tried to confirm. Bea started to shake her head, “I’m not sure anymore. I was really tired, and my contacts were dry.”
“Well, Marissa you will have to be put on suspension until we can investigate and get to the bottom of this. Wait here, we will have someone bring your things from your locker.”
“When will I get to come back to work?” eyes still full of tears.
“There is no definite date in which the investigation will be done; if we decide further steps should be taken, you may not be eligible to come back,” another suit said matter-of-factly.
“Can I see that until you come back with my things?” she said pointing to the iPad.
Everyone left the room; Marissa tried to catch her breath and focus before she threw up all over the conference table. She didn’t want to embarrass herself. She pressed play on the video and watched it from beginning to end.
“Those aren’t even the shoes I wear to work,” she said out loud to herself, “who is this person?”
She wiped her eyes with the back of her sleeve and pressed play again. In the end she saw it, but it couldn’t possibly be who she thought it was. There was no stopping it; she lost her breakfast all over the iPad and the conference table.
Jonathan drove to Marissa’s house unannounced she answered the door with puffy eyes and the smell of cigarette smoke hit him in the nose.
“I’m actually glad you’re here,” she gave him a hug.
“You weren’t answering my calls, and I got worried. You’re not regretting —?”
“No,” She cut him off, “but I need to go take care of something. If I don’t call you in a couple hours, please call the police.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!”
“WHAT?” she practically screamed.
“Just tell me what’s going on.”
“The whole world has gone insane and I think my best friend is murdering people dressed as me! I can’t even wrap my head around that! And they wouldn’t even listen to me and suspended me anyway!!” She rambled and walked back and forth in the front hallway. “No one listens to me when I speak, EVER! I’m so tired of it. I just need to know what the HELL is going on!”
“Start at the beginning,” he said, following her into the living room
Marissa explained everything to Jonathan from the moment she walked into work that morning. When she was finished he just sat there with his head in his hands, rubbing his temples.
“I know, I sound insane but I think it’s her!”
“I definitely know it’s her. I need to tell you something, but you have to promise me you will listen to the whole story.”
Jonathan didn’t know how she was going to take this, but he had to tell her, someone died because of what he did and whether Yvonne meant to kill someone or not, he had to tell Marissa his part. His little sister became very ill last year and was diagnosed with Stage III Uterine Sarcoma. He’s always taken care of his parents and his sister because his salary could allow it. After a year of treatments, long stays in the hospital, the trips back and forth to Houston and all the surgeries, he was depleted, even with insurance. So, when her cancer came back, he wasn’t going to be able to swallow all of the expenses like last time. Of course, he would do anything to save his sister’s life.
Yvonne gave him 20,000 dollars to take Marissa’s ID, and she had more work for him to do but wouldn’t tell him until the time came.
“…but I wasn’t expecting to like you as much as I do,” he sighed, “I’m sorry Marissa.”
“Sorry? Are you sorry? Get out… just get out,” she was going to throw up again, “you’ve been lying to me since the moment I met you, how do you fuck up someone’s life you don’t even know?!”
“GET OUT!” she screamed at the top of her lungs, Marissa sat there with her eyes shut tight and her hands over her ears. She didn’t want to hear another word or another lie. What did she ever do to anyone to deserve this? No one knew what she had been through, and no one cared to ask because her last name was Barrington.
She could only think of one thing to do; Marissa had to call the one person she never wanted to admit any fault to but the one person she trusted the most, her mother. She would know what to do. She would know how to make their souls burn in the middle of hell without even being in the same room.
She sank to the floor, crying, the weight of confusion and betrayal threatening to crush her. Marissa dialed the number she had been dialing for help since she was five years old.