Doctor Brown and Nurse White

Doctor Brown and Nurse White

A Story by R J Fuller
"

When is who we see not entirely who we see?

"
"I have your medication, Mr. Fitzsimmons."

"Thank you, nurse, but I thought the doctor said what I was already taking was sufficient."

Still smiling, the nurse fiddled with the handle on the tray she held bearing the small container of pills. 

"It's as prescribed by the doctor, Mr. Fitzsimmons."

"Very well, nurse." 

Mr. Fitzsimmons reached out and took the prescriptions off the tray. As he did so, he caught the nurse's nametag pinned above her pocket: NURSE WHITE. 

"Could you hand me a glass of water, please, nurse, to wash down these pills? They are rather big, aren't they?"

"Certainly, Mr. Fitzsimmons." 

She poured a glass of water from the pitcher and turned back to him, handing the glass to him in the process. He nodded and began gulping the water. He slowly swallowed the gulps. 

"Thank you, nurse."

"You should feel better in no time. Anything else I can do for you, Mr. Fitzsimmons?"

"No, thank you, nurse. That will be all."

The young woman all but glided to the door as it opened and an older woman entered. 

"Excuse me."

"Quite allright," the woman said as the door closed behind the nurse. 

"She give you sponge baths, Fred?"

"Oh, you are funny, Alice."

"How are you feeling?"

"Much better."

"You seem concerned about something, dear."

"The nurse that just left. I've never seen her before."

"Should you have?"

"I've been here two days now. Figured I'd be aware of who comes in here and who goes."

"You want me to find out who she is?"

"Perhaps you better," Fred stated. "She gave me some new medication to take. Her tag said her name was White."

Alice walked out of the room and down to the nurses desk. She didn't see the nurse she'd encountered when she entered Fred's room. 

"Excuse me, but where's that young blonde nurse with the big blue eyes?" she asked the seated woman. 

The woman looked at Alice, rather perplexed. 

"Is she on this floor?"

"Yes," Alice said, "I saw her coming out of my husband's room just now." 

The woman seated looked at another woman for a spell, then turned back to face Alice. 

"Ma'm, I don't believe we have anyone like that working on this floor. Certainly not in this area."

"But I just saw her. My husband did, too."

The nurse picked up the phone and summoned the doctor. 

"Doctor Weston, please come to the nurses desk on the fourth floor or dial this extension." 

The other attendant looked to Alice. 

"You just saw her come out of your husband's room?"

"Yes," she said. "He said she gave him some different meds to take."

The phone buzzed. The seated nurse picked up the receiver. 

"Doctor Weston, this is Sheila. We seem to have a rogue nurse on our hands. Mmm. Yes, well, she gave a patient some medication to take, but we don't know who she is."

"Frank said her nametag said Nurse White," Alice suddenly interjected. Sheila looked at her. 

"Mmm-hm," she said into the receiver. "The . . . the wife here said her tag read Nurse White. We don't have a nurse named White on this floor. I don't even think there is anyone on staff in the hospital named White."

Alice looked worried. 

"Okay," Sheila said. "Okay," she repeated, hanging up the phone. "Doctor Weston is on his way here to see your husband about this, but you saw her as well?"

"Yes, I did," Alice answered. "Perhaps I should go wait in my husband's room." 

"You said she brought your husband some new medication," the other nurse said, staring at the computer monitor.

"Oh, yes. That's correct." 

"According to his records, there hasn't been any more medication prescribed for your husband since his admittance."

"Oh, dear," Alice fretted. 

"I think we better go check on him," the standing nurse said. "I'll be right back, Shelia." 

"Okay, Maggie, but I guess be careful."

Maggie smiled at Sheila then began walking to Frank's room with Alice right behind her. The phone buzzed again, so Sheila still at the desk answered it. 

Followed by Alice, Maggie entered Frank's room. 

"Excuse me, Mr. Fitzsimmons. Your wife said there was a nurse who brought you some medication. Did you take it?"

"No, I didn't," he answered. 

"You didn't?"

"No," he replied. "I didn't recognize her, so when she turned to get me some water, I tucked the pills under my pillow."

"Mr. Fitzsimmons, that may have been the smartest thing you could have done," Maggie stated. "May I see the pills, please?"

"I would show them to you, but I can't."

"Why not?" 

"I just gave them to that doctor that was in here. She said she was responding to a problem about a strange nurse in here earlier."

"Did you get the doctor's name?" 

"Yes, of course. It was Weston." 

At that moment, the door opened and an elderly black man in a white coat came into the room. 

"Mr. Fitzsimmons," Maggie said, looking at the doctor and turning back to Frank, "this is Dr. Weston. Dr. Weston is a man."

Frank looked worried. 

"Then who was in my room the second time?" he asked. 

"I came to check out this medication you were given that isn't on the record as being prescribed to you." 

"He didn't take the pills, doctor, but he gave them to a phony doctor who said she was Dr. Weston."

"She was a black woman," Frank added. 

Dr. Weston had already taken out his phone and was waiting for a response. 

"Security," he stated, "we have two false persons in the hospital, both last seen on the third floor. Description?"

"Very beautiful blonde lady and a rather elderly black woman," Frank said, since he had seen both of them. 

Weston repeated the description over the phone. 

"And the nurse's nametag said her name was White."

"Nurse goes by the name White, and the black, female doctor posed as Dr. Weston, using my name."

Weston hung up the phone, then departed the room, Maggie going out behind him. 

Alice stood near her husband's bed and looked fretful. 

"What's happening, Frank?"

"I don't know," he replied. 

Alice turned to look out the window, to just look over the parking area, the grounds, and there was the blonde nurse named White casually strolling toward the building. She looked around, then just before she vanished from view, she looked up and made eye contact with Alice. She walked into the entry area, out of Alice's vision, then slowly she walked back out to be seen and looked up to Alice. 

And she waved and smiled, then journeyed back to the entry.

"Frank," Alice said, terrified. "Frank! That nurse is outside! She's coming back into the building! She saw me and waved!"

"Hurry, Alice," Frank said, "run and tell them at the nurse's station you've seen her."

Alice made her way out the door, leaving Frank alone in the room. He turned and look at the bedside table, where the half-drunk glass of water he had consumed earlier still sat. He looked to the door, wondering if Alice would be able to tell them in time. What if one of the two menacing figures came back to him? They both seemed to be targeting him for some inexplicable reason. He looked at the glass of water again, then reached for a notepad and pencil sitting on the tabletop. He quickly began writing, then saw the door slowly opening. He tore off his note, then put the pencil and pad back on the table, folding the paper and tucking it under his watch band. 

"I told them, Frank," Alice said as she entered the room once more. "They were summoning security to that area right away to see if they could . . . . Frank? Frank! FRANK!" 

Alice sat in a chair brought from the nurses' station, covering her face with her hands, sobbing uncontrollably. 

"How could this happen?" she said between tears. 

"We're sorry, Mrs. Fitzsimmons," Weston said. "We got to Frank as soon as we could. There was just nothing we could do. If we had only gotten there sooner."

Police were mulling all about the room now, checking for any kind of clues. 

"Mrs. Fitzsimmons," Weston started, "we really think you should stay here tonight, at the hospital, where you will be here if you get too upset."

"And we'll put a guard on your room, Mrs. Fitzsimmons," an officer said. "They targeted your husband. You may be next." 

Alice looked up from her sobs and spoke. "I don't know who they are. I saw the nurse, but I didn't recognize her." 

Another officer approached. He spoke to the first officer. 

"Well, Mrs. Fitzsimmons," the first officer said, "it seems your husband has provided us with a very interesting clue. In fact, we know now who we are dealing with?"

"I don't understand," Alice said, blowing her nose. 

"Your husband placed a piece of paper under his watchband where neither Nurse White or the phony doctor would find it, depending on whoever it was that sought to drug him. He wrote down that her fingerprints would be on the water pitcher. We just checked them in our files. They belong to one Doctor Euvessa Brown, so we're able to put out an APB on her."

"Then who was the phony Doctor Weston?" Sheila asked. 

"We don't know that yet," the officer replied. "She obviously took the medication Euvessa Brown had left to try to keep anyone from finding out it was possibly harmful."

"Oh, my poor Frank," Alice sobbed. 

"Mrs. Fitzsimmons," Sheila spoke up, looking to Weston. He nodded. 

"What?" 

"Mrs. Fitzsimmons, your husband is okay. Whatever was done to him wasn't fatal. We managed to get to him in time after all." 

"But Doctor Weston said--" Alice started, looking to Weston. 

"We felt it was necessary until we could learn who was after your husband," Weston said. "Now we just have to learn why." 

"Well, doctor," the officer began, "Euvessa Brown had a rather unscrupulous history of sorts. She may not have felt she needed a reason." 

Sheila led a tearful Mrs. Fitzsimmons away to be with her husband.  

Weston stood with the officer when once again, another officer approached him with a phone. 

"Well, now we know who we are looking for," the officer said. 

"How's that?" Weston asked. 

"Got a picture of Euvessa Brown."

The officer held it out for Weston to see. 

Weston looked at the picture and took on a confused countenance. 

"What's wrong, Doctor?"

"I don't understand," he began. "That's an African-American woman." 

"So?"

"Frank Fitzsimmons said the nurse who touched the water pitcher was a white woman."

"So how did a white woman's fingerprints get listed as a black woman's?"

"It isn't possible for them to be the same woman," Weston stated, straightening up his glasses. 

"Unless Euvessa Brown was up to more than anyone realized," the officer replied. 

The two men simply stared at one another, then looked again at the image of Dr. Euvessa Brown. 

At the end of the hallway, out of their view, a woman wearing a head scarf and overcoat stepped into the elevator and the door closed.    

© 2021 R J Fuller


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Added on February 11, 2021
Last Updated on February 11, 2021
Tags: mystery, doctor, nurse, murder, escape, fingerprints, suspect