I had been working at the hospital for two months when I first heard about her. The unbelievably gorgeous woman in room 410. Nobody knew exactly what had happened to her and how long she had been there – all we knew is that it had been a long time. Such a long time that no one came by to visit her anymore.
‘Not even her family? Like, doesn’t she have anyone?’, I asked the other nurse on call the night I found out about her.
‘Nope. And I also heard some really weird shit happens in her room’, she replied just before leaving to tend to a patient, without giving any further explanation.
But what was considered to be ‘weird shit’ anyway? I started asking around the hospital about the patient in room 410. No one could give me a definite answer and none of the rumours surrounding her condition seemed real. Someone heard she got into a coma after snorting some fairy dust at a dive bar in north London. Another nurse told me she was admitted into care after a suicide attempt that involved a spindle. Then I heard the chief nurse saying it was her godmother’s fault she was there in the first place, but refused to discuss the matter any further.
‘It would be very unprofessional of me!’
‘Well, I’m way beyond that’, I thought to myself.
Differently from what I had heard in nursing school, the night shift at that hospital wasn’t busy at all. It was almost way too boring. Not much to do, just check on some patients now and then. I had a lot of time on my hands. Before I knew it I went full-stalker on her.
When no one was looking I went inside room 410, took her chart and used my phone to take a picture of the information in it. I thought I’d use it to look her up on social media or something. It didn’t say much, but at least now I had a name and a date of birth.
Instead of just walking away, I lingered in the room for a moment and just looked at her. She was in her late thirties now but she looked like she was 18. I wondered what her skincare routine was like – back then when she was awake and all. She was in a private room, with top quality linens and her pyjamas were silk, so she most likely came from money and used Dior cream on her face. That’s why there were no wrinkles. Either that or, you know, the coma. Maybe being in a coma prevented you from ageing? Who the fuck knows.
Anyway, she was beautiful. Pale white skin, rosy lips and luscious blonde hair, the kind you’d see in a Pantene commercial. ‘How is this even possible?’, I said under my breath while feeling my own greasy hair that I washed every other day using the off-brand shampoo you can get at Boots.
If no one came to see her ever how come she looked so well taken care of? It almost looked like she had that fresh look that can only be achieved with a 30-minute makeup session – done by a professional, OBVI! Maybe that was the weird shit the other nurse told me about. How was it possible that a patient in a coma, with no one to look after her, managed to look better than any other healthy woman walking around the aisles of that hospital? It could only be witchcraft.
I came closer to her bed. Even though her skin was pale, it had a kind of a glow. Her eyebrows were perfectly designed and her eyelashes were long and naturally curved. ‘I bet this bitch never felt the pain of having her lashes pulled out in a curler.’ I suddenly was overcome with jealousy. I started fantasising about her life. She looked like the kind of person who owned property in north London. She definitely had flat-in-zone-2 kind of money. Her pantry was probably filled with groceries bought at Waitrose and her closet most definitely had a selection of Burberry coats. I wondered how many followers she would have on Instagram, if she was on the platform. Damn, I wanted to be her.
I was then drawn to her lips. They looked incredibly hydrated for someone in a coma for over a decade. A thin layer of lip gloss seemed to be applied to them. I wanted to touch them, but more than that I wanted to know what they tasted like. All of a sudden I felt shy. I knew I wanted to kiss her, but I didn’t know how to do it. Should I just lean over? Grab her by the neck? Just a peck on the lips or go all french on her?
I took a deep breath and rested my left hand next to hers on top of the bed. With my right hand, I took a lock of her hair and placed it behind her left ear. As my lips approached hers, my heart started pounding. I knew that what I was doing was wrong. I didn’t have consent, I could be accused of abusing a defenceless patient and lose my job. But I was long past caring. I closed my eyes and went for her lips. I kissed her. As our lips parted I went for another one, but this time I wanted to suck on her lower lip. As I pulled it into my mouth, I felt it.
She grabbed my hand.