Free, a Novella
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The diminutive nurse seated before Olivia appeared to enjoy taking rudeness to new heights.
“This is the Critical Care Unit. We simply cannot have anyone off the street waltz in here and upset our patients. Mr. Averest is a very sick man and needs his rest.”
Olivia let the obvious insult pass, but was tiring of this chick’s attitude.
“I’ve told you who I am, showed you my identification, and told you why I’m here. If you cannot allow me in to see Mr. Averest, perhaps you can tell me who his physician of record is? I’ll speak with him or her and get written permission to see Mr. Averest. Will that satisfy you?”
The nurse smirked.
“I thought you said you’re a lawyer? Then you should know it’s against the law for me to give you patient information and – “
Olivia cut her off.
“It’s against the law for you give me medical information, and I haven’t asked you for any.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter anyway because Mr. Averest’s attorney left express instructions for staff not to speak with anyone about his condition or let anyone see him.” The irritating woman stood, adjusted her smock and walked to the other end of the counter.
“Did I stutter?”
Rage gripped Olivia. She’d had enough of this self-important little twit.
“Did this attorney have Mr. Averest’s power of attorney, or legal documents appointing him as guardian?”
The nurse’s face fell.
“I don’t know, but- “
“So, you’re telling me you allowed someone to just waltz in here off the street and tell you what to do without knowing if they even had the legal right to?”
The nurse’s face went from pink to a deep shade of red.
“I-I…he said…” she reached for the phone. “I’ve had enough of you! I’m calling security!”
Olivia crossed her arms on the counter and smiled.
“Please do. And while I wait for them, let me tell what’s going to happen next.”
The woman stopped dialing and glared at Olivia.
“After I’m escorted from the building, I’m heading back to Spring Falls… and the judge who assigned me to this case. I will tell him how uncooperative you were, and how you refused to allow me to see Duncan Averest or even tell me who his physician is, making it impossible for me to do the job he appointed me to do. I’ll also tell him how you caused me public embarrassment by having me removed from the building. I know this judge. He hates people getting in his way. So, guess what? He’ll get on the phone and talk with this hospital’s administrators and warn them to get their legal department ready because I’ll be returning with a pile of injunctions and contempt of court citations. And one of them will have your name on it,” she glanced at the woman’s employee badge for the first time, “Katrina.”
Olivia grabbed her laptop bag and purse and headed for the elevators. “I’ll wait over here for security.”
“He’s in 3502.”
Olivia fought to keep the smile off her face. She turned and looked at the woman, then glanced down the hallway of patients’ rooms. Returning her gaze to the woman who had given her such a bad time, Olivia almost felt guilty for the fear she saw in her eyes. Almost. Without another word, she went in search of room 3502.
Attempting to shake off her encounter with Nurse Know-it-all, Olivia stopped abruptly when she entered 3502. Her anger returned with a vengeance when she realized she’d been deliberately given the wrong room number.
She was going to bury this hospital in contempt of court citations!
“In the Best Interest of the Child”
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