A to Z Challenge: V is for VOICEMAIL

posted in: Various Musings | 0

For the A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge, I’m writing a story, aiming for 1000 words a day (every day except Sundays). Continuing today with the next part of the story about the character Codie Snow.

If you’re new to this series of posts, you might want to start here:

Codie awoke with a hell of a headache, but sweet Slade had set her alarm before leaving their apartment, and she managed to make it to work on time.

God, she hated working as a nursing assistant. She worked in one of the local nursing homes—she’d considered working for the pricks at the hospital, but she was afraid of getting lazy and complacent and waking up one morning past forty, wondering why the hell she’d worked there half of her entire life, wasting her youth away doing something she’d hated. That had been a huge part of the motivation for going with Pete on the ride-along. She wanted something exciting, challenging, and halfway fun. After shadowing Pete, though, she wasn’t sure being a cop was what she wanted. She knew she’d have to try it another time or two to find out for sure.

She knew CNA work was not what she wanted, though. Not by a long shot.

Ugh. Codie felt sorry for the people she helped—many of them weren’t even wanted by their families, but some of them were just too difficult to care for. Some of them needed to be changed several times a day, and it wasn’t like changing a baby’s diaper. Quite a few of them were mean and hateful—not that Codie could blame them. She fucking hated being here, so why wouldn’t they? At least she got to leave every day.

Worse, though, was the nurses she worked for. What a bunch of nasty bitches.

Elaine, the worst of them, was the Charge Nurse of the day. When she was running the show, everyone was grouchy, because Elaine made them all feel like they couldn’t do anything right. As usual, though, Codie just tried to ignore her, even when a fellow CNA tried to coax her into gossiping and grousing all day. She tried to remember that Elaine should have her respect due to her education and her experience, but Codie hated her…and her caterpillar eyebrows. Thank God for the eyebrows, because they reminded Codie that Elaine wasn’t perfect.

See, that was something Codie had realized after several years of working there. Sure, she could complain and mutter and mumble behind her shift leader’s back—something she’d done a long time ago—but it never helped the situation improve, and it certainly didn’t make her feel any better. She found that if she simply shoved a piece of gum in her mouth and chomped on it, taking out her aggression on the chewy pink sweetness between her teeth, it wasn’t so bad.

Today, though, it was getting to her. And she knew it was because she’d already had a taste of freedom. When it was time to go, Elaine stopped her. “Hold up, Snow,” she snapped from the nurse’s station. “Did you finish your final rounds?”

“Yes. And I let Latisha know that Mr. Graham will need checked again in about half an hour.” Elaine wanted to pretend like the CNAs under her charge were stupid and lazy, but they always checked with each other when changing shifts. None of them liked surprises, so they all kept one another informed.

But Elaine obviously didn’t care. “You finished your charting?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Codie knew it grated Elaine’s nerves when she called her ma’am, so she did it as often as needed.

Elaine didn’t give away her displeasure, but Codie saw the corner of an eyebrow move ever so slightly. That made her satisfied. “Let’s check a couple of your charts.”

“I’ve already clocked out. They’re fine.” Elaine stood. “And if they’re not, I know you’ll be sure to go over them with me tomorrow. I just want to go home.” Codie didn’t flip her the bird, much as she wanted to, but she started walking toward the front door.

“What the hell’s the matter with you today, Snow?”

Codie wanted to tell her that she was ready to tell the nurse to shove Codie’s job up her ass, but without a plan, she couldn’t take that risk. So she told her the other half of what her problem was. “I don’t feel good today.”

And who cared if it was her own damn fault?

* * *

After going to bed early that night and going to work the next day, falling back into the old routine, Codie felt restless and knew she had to quit her job. There was no way she was going to be a certified nurse’s bitch for the rest of her life. She needed more out of life.

And she knew, while she sat at the kitchen table that night, stabbing at an innocent piece of lettuce, that it was more than her love life. Sure, she’d been agonizing over Slade and Pete, trying to decide who’d be the better guy to end up with, but she knew that she needed to get her own life together first.

She needed to be happy sans a man first.

So it didn’t help when Pete called her later, just as she was getting ready for bed. It might have been late, but no way was she letting him go to voicemail. “You remember all the different scenes we went to the other night on my shift?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I can’t say much except…check the paper tomorrow.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“Not even a hint?”

She could hear the firmness in his voice and it made her feel tingly as she remembered his tongue against her lower lip. She let out a slow breath and closed her eyes, hoping to keep it together. Before she opened them again, Pete said, “You gonna come on a ride-along again soon?”

She couldn’t help but smile. “Maybe.”

“I could show you a lot more.”

The giggle that ruptured from her mouth couldn’t be stopped. “I don’t think so. I pretty much saw it all, I think.”

“On patrol, Codie. Man, your mind went in the gutter fast.”

Her voice sounded strange to her own ears, throaty and full of desire. “I thought you liked it that way.”

He chuckled, but she could hear it in his voice too. “You tryin’ to get me in trouble?”

“No…but, um, I just wondered what you were doing for lunch.”

Fortunately, Pete understood that Codie meant his lunch break, not hers…


UP NEXT: W is for WAITING

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