Falling Without Gravity

by Connor Zimmerman on February 14, 2020


A heartbeat scan that ends in a heart
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

by Clara Howard ’20

“Hellooo, earth to Marina?”

Marina blinked, the fog of memories and laughter lifting at the voice of the attending on-call and the surrounding sounds of the hospital. “What?”

Dr. Li frowned at her. “Are you okay? That’s the third time you’ve spaced out on me this shift.”

Marina shook her head and shoulders, the way a bird might settle its wings after a long flight. “Sorry, I’m fine. Just have a lot on my mind today.”

“Did you want to talk about it?”

“Not really,” she replied, smiling a little tightly. “Well, not right now, at any rate.”

Dr. Li nodded and leaned forward, resting his forearms on the counter of the nurses’ station. The new position brought his face closer to where Marina’s head was bent over a pile of charts she was supposed to be reviewing. “So, what do you want to talk about, then?” He asked, his voice quieter.

Marina rolled her eyes, a small smile playing with the edges of her mouth. “I don’t really have anything that I want to talk about right now,” she responded, her voice just as low.

“Really, absolutely nothing?”

“Not that I can think of.”

“No special plans for the weekend?”

She shrugged, the smile growing wider with the exchange. “Not really.” She glanced up at him then, struggling not to laugh at the way his eyes sparked with mock outrage.

His eyes widened as he gaped at her. “You wound me, Marina Blair,” he whispered, the mirth in his eyes belying his words.

Marina did a subtle sweep of the space around them before leaning in closer to Dr. Li, making as if she were about to divulge a secret. “Good thing you’re a doctor, then, and can patch yourself up,” she whispered back.

He burst out laughing, clapping a hand over his mouth as his shoulders shook. Marina sat back, her grin turning smug as she watched him. He shook his head and matched her gaze. “So little sympathy for the injured, Nurse Blair?”

“Only when the injured is you, Dr. Li,” she quipped, even daring to shoot him a wink.

“Sounds like someone needs to help you work on those bedside manners.”

“Oh really?” Her dimples came out in full force and she leaned forward again. “And I suppose you’re offering to be that someone?”

His deep brown eyes seemed to smolder with heated promises as he looked at her. “I suppose that I am.”

Her smile turned slow, curling at the corners like a cat in front of a fire. “Then I suppose—”

“Marina, have you seen the chart for the patient in room 207?” Nurse Jenkins interrupted, her nose buried in a bunch of files as she turned the corner and walked up to the nurses’ station. She looked up to see Dr. Li straightening the pile of charts in front of him and Marina searching for a pen. She decided not to comment on the blushes staining their cheeks.