Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Unreliable Third: #3
It was late at night when one of the researchers, Doctor Jackie Strider, went through the files. It was 12:35 in the morning and no one else was on the floor. She was so intent on going through them that she didn’t see anyone watching her from the nurses’ station just down the hall. The nurse crouched down a bit so Jackie couldn’t see her and she strained to see what she was after.
Less than five minutes later, Jackie found something and she slipped it into the front of her blouse. She pulled her sweater close, looked around furtively and hurried away down the hall to the supply room.
The nurse waited a few minutes before she slipped over to check out the files herself. Jackie had been rummaging around where Doctor Blader keeps the files on his research patients and the Johnson file was in a state of disarray. Tammy Johnson was one of Doctor Blader’s current research subjects.
When the door shut in the corridor the nurse stepped out of the alcove and looked down the hall in time to see the back of Jackie’s head through the glass. She immediately retraced Jackie’s steps and used her key card to access the supply room. She used it again to open up the drug cabinet and she began to examine the contents.
The nurse quickly closed up the cabinet and walked out to the lobby and looked up to see what floor the elevator was on. It had stopped on the fourth floor – the patient’s floor. A few minutes later it went down to the ground floor.
After a few minutes the nurse called the elevator, rode it up to the fourth floor and then walked directly to Tammy Johnson’s room where she closed the door behind her. A short time later she left the room and looked to see if anyone was around. Seeing no one, she picked up the phone and dialed Doctor Blader’s home phone number.
She was in panic as she told Doctor Blader something terrible happened to Tammy Johnson. She did everything she could to revive her, she cried, but to no avail. Doctor Blader tried to calm the nurse, telling her he understood she and Tammy were close friends but she had to pull herself together now.
She took a deep breath and explained to him through tears what she witnessed earlier that night. She told him how she followed Jackie’s steps that led her to the lifeless Tammy Johnson. She told him she suspected that Strider had something to do with Tammy’s sudden death. After all, her research had reached an impasse while his was producing glowing results.
Doctor Blader would inform Tammy’s husband on the way and advised her to call the police. Detectives had already arrived by the time he and a stunned Sam Johnson walked into the clinic.
The lead detective explained to Sam that it looked like an intentional overdose was given to his wife and that a squad car was on its way to pick up a suspect at that moment. He told him he could go up and have some time with his wife before they took her to the morgue and he asked the nurse if she would be so kind as to accompany Sam to her room.
As the elevator door closed, the nurse slipped her arm around Sam’s waist and gave him a squeeze. Sam looked down at her and smiled.