The Redheads of Mmm...Doctor!

Title: Perfect Stranger
Author: Elizabeth

I wake up to a gentle shaking and soon realize its Alex. I look up at her and she looks scared. We're still in the er. Kerry has called Oncology three times in the last hour and they still haven't come down. I motion for Alex to sit up in the bed and get behind her. She leans down into me and I wrap my arms around her. She asks, “How much longer until I go up?”

“I don't know, honey. Kerry's been calling since you got here. They must have a lot of patients. They're trying to find a bed. She's leaning on them though. I think she got Robert involved.”

“Where are my parents?”

“They went to eat. I insisted. They seem like nice people.”

“They like you.”


“Yep. They said so when you went to the lounge to break down.”

“How do you know I broke down in the lounge?”

“Oh come on…who goes to the lounge for any other reason?”

“Well I'm glad they like me. You should get some rest. You're going to need it.”

Alex lays her head back and I hold her while she goes to sleep. I sit and think about all that is going to change for us, but that hurts so I just sit. I sit until her parents come back. Carol smiles, “Did you eat at all Susan?”

“I'm not hungry.” She shakes her head at this but doesn't say anything. I am about to tell her I'll be fine when Kerry comes in the room. It doesn't occur to me that she is still here when she was supposed to be working a day shift. “They're ready to take her up now. Susan you look horrible. I'm taking you home. We'll come back tomorrow. Let them get her settled and then you can come tomorrow and visit her again.” I don't want to leave but the way Kerry is looking at me I realize I have no choice. I wake Alex up. “Honey, they're taking you up now.”

“Okay. You're coming?”

“No Kerry's going to take me home. You and your parents have to straighten some things out. Get some sleep and I'll be here tomorrow. If you really need me just call and I'll be here.” Alex is crying now. I look around. “Can we be alone for a minute?” The room empties out. I take Alex's hands in my own. “I know you want me to stay and believe me I want to stay too. But I won't be any help right now. They have to get you ready for a bone marrow transplant. I'll just be in the way. Besides, Kerry has made it perfectly clear that I'm to go home with her and sleep. She's going to feed me and take care of me and these doctors will take care of you. And I'll see you in the morning.”


“Yes Honey?”

“I love you.”

I smile. It's the first time someone ever said those three words to me that it has a real meaning. I take her face in my hands and kiss her, the most passionate kiss I can muster.

Kerry and the others come back in and I watch as they roll her away. Kerry puts a hand on my back and whispers, “She'll be fine.” I hang my head. “I hope so.”

“No, she will Susan. She's strong and we caught this early. Everything is pointing towards a healthy recovery right now.”

“Her parents aren't a match are they.” This is not a question. I already know because I sneaked a look at the chart. I fell I have to ask it anyway. Kerry looks at me and then says, “Lets get you home.”

I am silent as we go to the lounge and Kerry packs some stuff up. I don't say a thing as we make our way to the car and get in. Tears are streaming down my face and I know if I talk I will hiccough like a little five year old. I'm looking at the window because I don't want Kerry to see me like this. Kerry looks at me and I know she can see my reflection. I feel a hand on my leg. “Susan, no her parents aren't a match, but she has a sister who she is in close contact with. You must have heard about Jill one time or another?” I nod. Alex mentioned her the night we stayed up talking. When I think of that it occurs to me how little time we spent together and how hard I fell for her already. The thought brings up another sob that provokes Kerry to squeeze my leg. “Well Jill is on her way with her daughter and husband. Jill and her daughter can both be tested. It's going to work out.” All I can do is nod again as the tears fall. We drive the rest of the way in silence until we get to a house that isn't mine.

“Kerry what are we doing here?”

“Oh come on Susan…you don't expect me to leave you all alone in your state do you?”

“But I don't even have any clothes.” I am wining by this time and I know it.

“You'll sleep here. I have clothes that will fit you and I'll drive you home tomorrow before we go to the hospital.”

I give in. We walk in the house and the first thing I notice is Sandy isn't there. “Kerry where's Sandy?”

“Oh…long story. I don't want to get into it.”

“You broke it off.”


“But…the baby.”

“Look, I had a baby for me not her.” Kerry looks at me and her face softens. “You were right. I do still love Kim. Eventually I'm going to talk to her about it. Just not now.”

I nod and Kerry starts pulling things out of the fridge. An hour later I am sitting at the table with a bowl of soup in front of me and Kerry watching me intently until I eat a bit. When she is satisfied I ate enough she shows me to the guest room, sees me to the bed and leaves with a final “Call me if you need me”

I am woken up the next day to the smell of coffee. I get up, pull on last nights clothes and make my way downstairs. Kerry is there toasting bagels and dancing to the music on the radio. It's quite a sight until she looks at me and turns the scariest shade of red I've ever seen. She clears her throat, “Do you want a bagel?” I shake my head. Kerry says, “Wrong answer.” And puts a bagel on my plate. I take three bites and drink the coffee she offers me.

A glorious hour later I am headed back up to Oncology with flowers in one hand and a smile on my face. This is my last day off so I am going to spend it with Alex. I get up there and am immediately stopped by a nurse. “Can I help you?”

I put on an even braver smile, “Hi I'm just looking for Alex Keegan. She was taken up last night.”

“I see. And are you family?”

“Uh…no, not exactly. Look if you just get Carol or Bill they'll say I'm allowed in.”

“Well I'd do that if they were here, but I believe they went to pick up her sister. Now if you aren't family I'm afraid I can't let you in.”

My mouth drops. I turn and head down to the er, making it there in record time. I find Kerry, who does not see me until I am upon her yelling, “They aren't letting me in! I knew I shouldn't have left. See what happened now? This is just lovely Kerry! Fix it right now!”

Kerry seems to be getting over the shock I gave her. She picks up the phone and makes a call. In my rage I hear her say something about meeting them there. She grabs my arm and leads me back up to oncology. We get there just as Robert Romano is stepping off the elevator. “Okay what one is it?” I point the nurse out and stand back to watch the show.

“Excuse me? Yeah you. What's your name, Sandra? Okay Sandra you listen to me. You see that woman right there? Yes the one with the flowers. Now you remember her face and you let your other nurses know that she will be allowed to stay with Alex Keegan for however long she wants to. And if you have a problem with any of that you can come see me and we'll work it out somehow, but I don't suggest you do that. Have I made myself clear?” The baffled nurse nods. She then takes me and shows me to Alex's room.

Alex is sleeping, looking smaller and paler than last night. I bring a chair over and take one of her hands. She wakes up and looks at me. She smiles. “I was waiting…for you to get her.”

“How are you?”

“I'm tired. My parents are gone to get Jill.”

“I know. Lie down and sleep. I'll be right here.” Alex puts her head down and I stroke her cheek until she falls asleep. I sit there watching her and listening to the beeps of the chemo coming from the stand next to me. Everything is fine for the moment.