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An angry husband looks for his wife in the hospital

Sarah loves her job, but she is shocked by the number of bruises on a woman who comes into her emergency room. What happens, though, when the person who hurt them goes to the hospital?

Sarah stood with her back against the hall. In one hand she held her half-empty coffee cup, and the other held her ear. It had been too busy at the hospital, and she was ready to put away her clothes for the night. She still had a few hours to go, though. Sarah was ready to take on the last few hours of her shift after a quick trip to the bathroom.

Vanessa was standing at the kitchen island. She grabbed the last bits of lasagna from the dish. When she was ready to go to bed, Ron was already in front of the TV. A lot of beers had been drunk since before dinner while he watched the game. He was mad at the TV.

Vanessa flinched, absentmindedly stroking her arm, which was still a little tender from the incident the week before. She was still trying to convince herself that Ron did not mean to hurt her; he was just rushing out of the house, and she was on the way, so in his haste, she was shoved against the coat stand in the hallway.


He apologized later, and she accepted it. But it wasn’t the first incident.

“Vanessa,” he called from the living room.

“Yes?” she replied, walking to him with measured steps.

“Don’t you want to sit down and watch the game with me?” he asked, gesturing to the arm of the armchair he was reclining in.

She nodded silently. Ron put his arm around her and cuddled. Somehow, Vanessa fell asleep. The next thing she knew was Ron shaking her awake.

“Come on, wake up, Nes,” he said, pulling his arm away, almost making her fall off the armchair.

“Sorry, I think I’m just wiped out from the week we had,” she yawned.

“Yeah, me too. Let’s get something to eat before we go to bed,” he said. “You know how drinking makes me hungry.”

She went into the kitchen, throwing the bottles away under the sink.

“Why didn’t you wash all the dishes?” Ron demanded, looking at the sink.

Vanessa explained that she was doing them, but he called her. The fear was rising, giving her goosebumps down her arms.

“And that’s supposed to be an excuse?” he began to throw the beer bottles one by one into the bin. She looked down at the feet and shook her head.

“Look at me,” he demanded. His voice was low and dangerous. “It’s not difficult, Vanessa.”

She sighed.

“What are you sighing for?” he demanded from her. “What are you so fed up with?”

Vanessa shook her head again.

“Can’t speak?” he asked.

Then, without warning, Ron threw the casserole dish through the kitchen. It hit Vanessa straight in her abdomen. First, she was blinded by the force and the pain that ran through her body. Then, the sight of the shattered glass and leftover lasagna made the kitchen look like a crime scene.

“Clean up this mess,” Ron ordered and returned to the living room.

Vanessa cried but went into action. As she was wiping away the last soap suds in the sink, Ron walked in, throwing the container of chicken bones across the counter.

“Hmm,” he said, inspecting the kitchen. “Are you satisfied?”

Vanessa nodded.

“Good. I am, too. Let’s go to bed. But you need to shower first. You smell like food.”

Vanessa stood in the shower, letting the hot water relieve some of her pain. She looked at her fingers, covered in little cuts from the shattered glass. She saw that the casserole had already summoned a large, angry bruise across her ribs on the left side.

“Enough is enough,” she whispered to herself. As if she had conjured him, Ron banged on the bathroom door.

“Hurry up,” he said.

Vanessa got into bed slowly and pretended to sleep. She had to wait until he fell asleep to go to the nearest hospital. His snoring quickly took over the room, and she took her shot. She drove to the hospital and muttered an inaudible “help” from the orderly standing next to the ER door and passed out.

Sarah had just returned to the ER when two orderlies wheeled a woman in. “What happened?” she asked as she put her stethoscope into place.

“No idea, Doc,” the orderly explained what happened.

“Let’s find her name,” Sarah commanded.

Nurse Samantha reached for the woman’s purse and found her wallet. “Howard. Her first name is Vanessa,” she said.

Sarah nodded in acknowledgment and ordered everyone to start treating her. The doctor noticed the bruise on the patient’s abdomen. Her heart sank.

Vanessa woke up feeling groggy, but her body felt like her own again – the pain was there, but it was more of a dull ache. A nurse walked into the room.

“Hi, I’m Samantha, Dr. Silverman said to page her the moment you woke up. Is that okay?” Samantha asked her.

Vanessa nodded. Soon, she was transferred from the ER to a different ward, where she told Dr. Silverman everything that had happened. “Thank you for listening,” she told the doctor once they had filled out her paperwork and she had gone over previous injuries.

“Of course, that’s what we’re here for. And we can talk about your plan of action later. You rest now and try not to move too much,” Sarah nodded understandingly. She squeezed her hand and left.

For the first time in a long time, Vanessa felt safe.

Sarah changed into her scrubs and coat and went onto the floor that poor Vanessa was admitted on. When she walked around the corner, she saw that an irate man confronted Nurse Samantha.

“Hello?” the man said condescendingly. “I’m her husband, and that means I am entitled to be with her whenever I please,” he barked at Samantha.

Samantha looked like a deer caught in headlights. Sarah had to save her.

“Sir, is there a problem?” Sarah asked him, looking at Samantha.

“Here is Dr. Silverman. She will explain everything to you,” Samantha told him.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Silverman,” Sarah said.

“Ron,” the man barked. “My last name is Howard.”

A cold shiver ran down Sarah’s spine. Of course, he would show up. She knew he would at some point.

“You are holding my wife somewhere in here, and you are not letting me see her. Honestly, who does that?” he continued.

Sarah looked at him, trying to understand what type of mood he was in. She needed to be careful of how she dealt with him. People like Ron Howard were always tricky to deal with, and Sarah knew she could handle herself, but she had no idea how he would react to her. That was the concerning part.

“You’re her husband?” she asked.

Ron held his left hand up, which was covered in band-aids. Sarah knew it was masking the aftermath of one of Vanessa’s ‘incidents,’ as she had said. Ron held his ring finger up, clear for Sarah to see the gold band glimmering in the light.

“See?” he said, tapping at it with his right hand.

“Do you know what happened to your wife?” Sarah asked him.

“My wife is perfectly fine, all right, Dr. Silverman?” he sneered. “There is nothing wrong with her. Whatever she might have told you in there, that’s a lie, right? So, I am taking her home with me. All right? Give me all the paperwork right now.”

Sir, I’m sorry. But your wife needs treatment at the moment,” Sarah said.

The angry husband wasn’t satisfied, but before he could complain more, the reception desk telephone rang, distracting them for a second.

Ron pushed past Sarah, but she thought of something quick. The doctor explained the situation, saying that Vanessa had a gastric ulcer and needed to stay or she would die. He was unhappy and tried to intimidate them, demanding they release his wife. The nurse and Sarah nodded.

“Very good,” he said as he stalked down the hallway.

Samantha asked Sarah if the patient really was that sick, and the doctor confirmed her suspicions. “Her problem is much more serious, but I cannot talk about that right now,” she added.

Sarah rushed to her room, avoiding Ron, and saw Vanessa in bed. “Mrs. Howard, I talked to your husband.”

Vanessa was shocked, and she retreated to the bed as if to get away. But Sarah stopped her from panicking. Her patient wanted to run away, but Sarah said that wasn’t the solution.

“But he bribes everybody, Dr. Silverman. No one even wants to listen to me!” Vanessa cried. But the doctor had a plan. She produced Vanessa’s files and her medical history. With that evidence, the hospital had the obligation to report it to the police for domestic violence.

But Ron walked into the hospital room with Dr. Mitchell in tow. He acted like nothing was wrong, but Sarah intervened, preventing him from getting close. However, Dr. Mitchell said that Vanessa was no longer Sarah’s patient.

Surprisingly, Dr. Mitchell said that Vanessa had nothing, and Sarah understood what Vanessa had been afraid of. Still, she tried to stop them, but Dr. Mitchell outranked her, and he ordered her to go home. She was fired. That was the most shocking.

With one last painful glance at her patient, Sarah left the room. Ron and the bribed doctor stayed in the room, but she wouldn’t allow them to win. She met Samantha at the stairwell and pretended to fall so the nurse would admit her into a room because she had a plan.

Meanwhile, Vanessa couldn’t rest in her room. When the hospital lights dimmed, Ron returned and talked sweetly, but his voice was deadly.

“My fists are itching,” he said in a low voice. “It’s time to teach you the lesson that you deserve.”

Except, when Ron went to bed, Vanessa was not there. It was Sarah, hidden beneath the covers. The doctor taunted him while Ron demanded to know where his wife was. “What is this?” he asked, furious.

“This is where you go to jail,” Sarah replied.

Ron didn’t believe her, so she clicked on her phone and replayed the threatening things he had said a second ago. He became even more enraged then.

“It’s over, Ron,” Sarah said. “You are going to pay for all the pain that you caused your wife.”

At that moment, a policeman entered the room, arresting Ron. Vanessa appeared in the doorway, and he had the gall to beg her for help.

“Babe! Babe, please! Tell them I’m innocent,” he said. “We’ve been through so many things.”

“Yes, Ron,” Vanessa said. “We have been through a lot. Bruises. Broken bones. All of that will heal. But I will never forget what you did to me.”

The policeman took Ron away while he kicked and screamed.

Vanessa embraced the doctor and thanked her, and they saw how another policeman dragged Dr. Mitchell away. He threatened to sue everyone, but no one listened.

Sarah put her arm around Vanessa.

“Come on, let’s get you back to bed,” she said.

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