My Story of Rebellion Against an Evil Nurse

I bolt straight up as if an electrical current hit my body and slide down the bed.

The knock on the door of the room beside mine meant I was next. I run out the door and weave my way through, in, out, and between legs of the big people who routinely stroll this hallway. My little damaged heart beat wildly in my chest, but my mind focuses on the room at end of the hall.

This big, glorious place filled with round tables and chairs is my safe haven, my refuge, my cleft in the rock. My salvation from Nurse Ratchet, the plump lady in the ugly blouse with pink and blue smiley faces printed all over it. Sure, she would enter my room with a smile to match, but in her hand was an instrument of torture. Not death, which would be a relief, but pure torture, and she enjoyed it.

Nurse Ratchet got me the first time. And she almost got me the next day, too, only because I didn’t know to expect a daily dose of persecution. I underestimated this woman’s capacity for and enjoyment of evil.

I am so naive and trusting at 2 years old.

But I managed to kick and wiggle out of her grasp. The element of surprise works both ways. She didn’t expect me to rebel. Maybe her tyranny runs unchecked everywhere else in this building as she forces compliance among the other little timid souls, but Nurse Ratchet just met the heart of a warrior in room 214.

No way would I allow her to catch me unaware for the third day in a row. Mama ain’t raising no fool. My little legs pump and grind down the hall, and I am thankful for non-slip socks on the slick linoleum floor. I see the sign over the entrance to my place of refuge. It’s a big word, not one I’ve learned on Sesame Street —

C-A-F-E-T-E-R-I-A

But yesterday I deduced from the thick aroma of home cooking and the plethora of tables and chairs that cafeteria is a place where parents enjoy food while Nurse Ratchet torments their kids with needles.

As I quickly survey the room, I spot a young man laughing with his wife while struggling with his orange sherbet push up.

I feel you brother, that plastic stick hurts like crap trying to push up the orange goodness. The secret is letting it sit for a minute and thaw ever so slightly. How has he not learned this yet?

I’d love to yank it from his hands and demonstrate, but I didn’t escape here for an orange push up. A quick glance behind me confirms my expectations. Nurse Ratchet, in hot pursuit, shakes and shimmies her bulky frame down the hallway, pointing her needle at me like we were playing a game of cops and robbers.

Good Lord, woman, you’re going to put someone’s eye out with that thing, and I’ll get blamed for it. Mom will ground me from the Speed Racer TV show for a week.

But I have to hand it to Nurse Ratchet; she’s amazingly spry for her age and size. Maybe I’m not the only warrior on this floor fighting against her tyranny.

I spot a round table with a family of four and drop to the floor. I scramble under the dad’s chair and wedge his legs apart with my arms and make my way to the center of the table.

With a deep swallow, I push my heart back down into my chest, and try not to breath.

I’m safe, finally in my fortress.

Note: This story is an overly dramatized work of creative nonfiction. According to my mother, I was in the hospital at 2 years old with a minor heart condition and I did run out of my room when the nurse came to administer a shot. That’s about all I know to be true. I am new to creative writing, so I thought I would use this personal experience to practice. I welcome your constructive feedback in the comments.

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