4 - Accusations

4 - Accusations

A Chapter by MeBAuthor
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Dr. Staci Cohen finds herself in serious trouble because of her heritage.

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She was fully aware of the looks she was receiving whenever she passed the nurses station. How could she not be aware of the looks? They were there wherever she turned, whether she wanted to avoid them or not. They were all trying not to be so obvious, but that is what made the looks as plain as day. Some of the nurses would look away too quickly, and some of the aides would just gape at her openly as if she wouldn‘t notice. Only the ones who called her friend would give her an encouraging smile, or a concerned look.


Then there were the ones who had a different look. It was the look that wondered how she could be so calm and continue to go on about her day as if nothing had happened.


Staci Cohen wondered that herself, but realized if she even so much as stopped to think about it, she would lose it and cry like a baby. She had to keep herself busy. Perhaps that was one of the perks of being a doctor. There was always someone who needed her attention. So if she concentrated on her job and checked in on each one of her patients staying at Albany Medical, she would be able to keep her cool.


So Dr. Cohen smiled at people, and held her head high. Those who knew her well did not see that familiar sparkle in her eye which usually accompanied her smiles, but for the most part, it worked. She was able to put the horrible morning behind her and move forward. At least for a short time. Unfortunately a quiet moment came, and it came with the personal visit from the CEO of the hospital.


Staci expected his visit. Richard Manning was the type of man who cared personally for all of the staff, and was more than willing to do everything in his power to help. In her case, it was more than the exception. He had been her mentor and had been with her since she came to be on the staff at Albany Medical. He was like a father to her. The only reason she dreaded seeing him in her office would be the temptation to hug his neck and weep bitterly.


She truly expected her visit with Dr. Manning to go smoothly, but this day had been full of firsts for her. It was only going to get worse.


She stepped into her office, knowing he was waiting for her there, and as she closed the door, she smiled at him. It was a smile of hope for a better day. She was about to greet him when he got right to the matter at hand.


“Would you care to explain the fiasco that happened in Emergency Room 4 this morning?” he demanded, turning to face her.


Staci nearly froze where she stood. She was stunned by the tone of his voice, and even more shocked that it was aimed at her. The tone was extremely harsh, and he had never used it on her before. It made her feel as if she had done something wrong. Manning was a tall man, towering over her by nearly a foot, but never had he seemed so intimidating as this moment.


She found herself swallowing back a lump of fear. “I’m…having a really bad day today.” She hesitated, then slowly made her way to her desk. She felt oddly comforted to have something in between her and the severe looking CEO. “I was attacked-”


“You were attacked?” Manning snapped. “Mr. Musad told me you attacked his father, who was your patient until he died under your care.”


“What…?” Staci stood behind her desk. She felt like she was going to be ill. “That…that isn’t what happened. Please tell me you don’t believe I would ever attack-”


He sighed wearily and turned away from her. Finally, he shook his head. “No, Staci. I do not believe you attacked any one. But…you didn’t have anyone else in the room. It was just you, Mr. Musad, and the patient.”


“No…no, there was someone else. There was his brother.”


“Whose brother?”


“Mr. Musad’s brother. They were both in there and…and they wouldn't let me leave. They would not let me call for help.” Then, everything just blurted out, and in spite of herself, a tear did manage to trickle down her right cheek. “One of them kept me pinned against the wall while the other one just stood there by his father, letting him die! He-he stayed by the door and made sure no one entered. By the time anyone was able to get in, it was too late. Their father died. They wouldn’t let me help him, and they knew I could have…” She whispered the last part, as if still unable to grasp it ever happened at all. “They let him die.”


“Staci, did anyone see this man holding you against the wall?”


She hesitated. “No.”


“No,” he repeated. “Are you aware that no one even recalls seeing this other man you say was in the room with you?”


“Oh, come on…Someone must have seen him.”


“If someone saw this man, no one is saying they did.”


Staci swallowed again, trying desperately not to lose it now. “Richard, please. This man held a knife to my throat! They both threatened to kill me. They told me it would be better that their father die rather than to receive care from a-” She abruptly stopped. She sucked in her lower lip, turned her back toward Manning, and looked away. She closed her eyes and tried not to cry. Not now!she cried within. Please, keep it together. Staci, hold on!


“What is it?” Manning inquired. “What did they say? They would rather let their father die than to receive care from a…what?”


She turned her head a little. “A Jew,” she said softly.


Manning was silent for a moment. Finally, he said, “Staci, your patient died. No one saw this other man you say was in the room.” He held up a hand as she turned to face him. “I’m not saying I doubt you. If you say there was someone there, then I believe you. But Mr. Musad wants to press charges against you. He claims you attacked his father and he was only trying to keep you from him.”


“That-that’s crazy.”


“I know it is.” He paused. “You’ve got some trouble coming your way over this, Staci.”


“Why? Be-because I’m a Jew?” She shook her head in complete disbelief. Never had she felt like wanting to die than she did at that moment. “I-I don’t understand this. No-not any of this! I was only doing my job. I-I was doing what I’ve been called to do. These men barge into my life, tell me they’d rather allow their father to die th-than to let me help him because they hate me, and they hold me hostage…and it’s my fault?” She sighed. “Do I even look Jewish? I mean, what makes me a Jew? On my mothers side, yes, I am Jewish. My father isn’t. I was born and raised in the United States of America…right here in the state of New York. I never gave it a thought about being a Jew. But today…today I come to work and am told I am hated because I'm a Jew. How crazy is that? It…it doesn’t make any sense to me.” She looked across her desk at Manning, searching for an answer. “Does that make any sense to you?”


To her surprise, Manning did not respond to her questions. Instead, he said, “See the lawyers. Talk to somebody from Counsel right now, then go home. If you don’t come in tomorrow, I’ll understand. You probably should take some time off after today.” He headed for the door. Before he left, he said, “Let me know what Counsel decides.”


Then, he was gone.


No good-bye’s. No I’ll be here for you if you need me. He simply walked out of her office as if she were a disease. Like she was a bug he didn’t want to catch. Staci fell into her chair behind her desk and buried her face in her hands. She couldn’t hold it back any more. She let the tears fall and her shoulders rocked with her sobs. As she cried bitterly, she thought of her older sister and wondered if she had ever come across such hatred.


What would she have done?


Maybe it didn’t matter. Who could ever stand up to such adversity? She certainly couldn’t. Staci Cohen suddenly felt horribly abandoned and alone, and she couldn’t help but wonder if this was how Jewish people were supposed to feel.



© 2010 MeBAuthor


Author's Note

MeBAuthor
The photo represents Dr. Staci Cohen.

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Added on October 9, 2010
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Author

MeBAuthor
MeBAuthor

Wilton, NY



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