The police reacted exactly as one sees them do on the television. They told the Intensivist, “She has probably got the dates wrong to return to work. Nothing to worry about. She’ll turn up next week most likely.” They did however, because of the close relationship that the police have with intensive care staff and probably nurses in general offer to check motor vehicle accidents and whether any had involved a car bearing Enid Pearson’s number plate. That search thankfully came up negative and we all had to just sit and twiddle our thumbs whilst we waited. We were all convinced that something sinister had happened to her. She was so focussed on work we had been surprised she’d even gone on holidays. Her work we believed was her life. The tea room conversation was of nothing but her disappearance and what foul play had befallen her.
Every day someone visited her flat to see if there were any signs of life but neither Enid or her car were there.. No-body knew of any friends outside of those she had at work and her daughter was not contactable. After a week had gone and still no sign the police agreed to put her on the missing persons list. We were all furious that a whole week had been wasted. They told us that her bank account had not been touched for two weeks and there was no sign of her car.
Another whole week passed and even the optimists were now fearing the worst when into the ward walked Enid Pearson wearing a smile from ear to ear and waving an envelope in the air.
“Where on earth have you been? We’ve been worried sick.”
“Why? You knew I was on holidays.”
“But you were due back two weeks ago. We’ve had the police searching for you.” Enid’s smile started to falter as she took the brunt of our anger full on.
“Bbbut I was due back today.”
“You were due back on the 10th”
“Well that’s today.”
“No….. today’s the 24th. You are two weeks late.”
To our surprise Enid burst into laughter. Uncontrollable, roll around the floor with tears pouring down your face belly laughter. It was infectious. We laughed with her when really we wanted to shake her. When she could finally talk again she said
“I don’t believe it. I forgot to come to work.” She giggled like a school girl and blushing said. ” I’ve met someone. He’s just perfect. Just like Sylvester Stallone. I love him so much. I’m in love and I forgot to come to work. And” she said waving the envelope “I’m resigning, getting married and moving to the Solomons.” Our faces dropped in disbelieving amazement. The wide, happy smile was back on her face and I noticed her eyes no longer had the cold look they had when I arrived in ICU but now had the soft look of someone madly in love.
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