Security wasn’t allowed in the hospital rooms, but the hallways of the maternity ward were all on camera. Claire’s job was to monitor, keep the hospital safe. She’d been watching one mother in particular. The woman had a premature birth—Claire watched the incubator rushed down the hall to the infant ICU, the tiniest newborn inside, tubes everywhere. Now she watched the mother walk up and down the hall, several times a day, wheeling her IV pole with her. Up and down, back and forth from her room to the NICU. Even through the grainy footage, Claire could tell she was a small woman. Her hospital gown came nearly to her ankles.
Last April, Claire had been rushed to the hospital. Heavy bleeding. Her husband, away on business, stayed on the phone with her, his voice pressed against her ear, hot on her cheek. Her nose filled with the thick hospital smell of plastic packaging and cleaning supplies. She curled up on the bed, her knees to her chest. The nurse forgot to bring her a blanket. When the doctor entered the room, she knew. She knew before he even said a word. It was the slope of his shoulders, the… Read more »