It was the first day of winter in Boston, Massachusetts when a blizzard broke out.
Schools were canceled & those who worked in hospitals, banks & grocery stores were told to stay at work until further notice.
I work at a hospital as a full-time medical assistant.
I was working with one of my patients when I heard a knock on the glass window of the door.
It was Nina, another medical assistant.
Nina had long brown hair, with freckles & oil brown skin, but today she had her hair in a bun.
I finished checking my patient's vitals then reported to the hallway where Nina was.
As we both stand in the hallway talking.
Doctors & nurses rush by us with stethoscopes hanging from their necks.
"What's going on?"
I ask cautiously
"The news is saying it's not safe to drive on the roads there's a blizzard happening as we speak."
Nina says while shaking her head nervously.
I walk towards the front desk where Madison the receptionist is watching the news on her phone.
"Madison what's the news saying?"
Madison without eye contact says "No one can leave where they are. The roads are way too slippery to drive home"
"So we're stuck here?"
I say while starting to panic.
I felt a tad of sweat appear across my forehead.
Madison shrugs her shoulders.
A nurse named Pamela approaches me.
"Are you ok Patricia?"
"I just saw on the news that we are stuck here!"
Pamela grabs my hands to calm me down.
"Don't panic it'll be ok. It'll only be for a few hours. They set out some food & warm covers in the break room, you should go in there"
"Are you ok to walk?"
Pamela asks me as I nod my head yes.
As I walk through the dreadful hallway I smell the scent of death. You would think that I would be used to it by now since I've been at this place for 20 years! but, god that smell still makes my stomach turn.
It was until the point I became dizzy.
I stop in the middle of the hallway to take a deep breath.
I close my eyes & fantasize about something other than being stuck in this place.
The beach with the sounds of waves & the feel of the sand that touches my feet.
5 mins later I open my eyes & intend to make my way to the break room.
when I finally arrived at the break room I see a room full of medical employees drinking hot tea as a warm comforter lies on their backs.
I walked to the table with all sorts of foods laying on a tray. I grabbed a carrot while dipping it with ranch.
"It's crazy, right?"
The voice came from Doctor Newton
He was about 6 feet tall with brown shaggy hair.
I say with a mind full of confusion.
"The blizzard! They're saying that we will be stuck here for at least 6 hours! "
I look at my wristwatch that read 1:15 pm.
"Yea I saw the news"
"Are you ok? You sound a little dreadful"
Doctor Newton asks while snickering.
"I'm fine it's just that I never thought that I would be stuck at my job for 6 hours! I was planning on laying in my warm cozy bed"
Doctor Newton rubs my shoulder to comfort me.
"Yea but it'll be over before you know it. Cheer up eat some food & drink some hot tea. It's not better than your cozy bed but it'll keep you warm in the meantime."
I grab a comforter & walked towards Darlene the surgeon. We've been friends for 5 years!
"Hey, how are you holding up?"
Darlene asked me while drinking a hot cup of tea.
"I don't know how to answer that question honestly"
I let out a force of laughter.
Darlene leans forward.
"I get ya! But I'm kind of glad that I'm here for a few hours. I get to have some time away from my husband & kids!"
"Are they home safe?"
"Yes, they are. Schools were canceled before the blizzard even started & you know that Jerry works from home."
"Well, that's good!"
"Hey they put a movie on in one of the empty rooms wanna go watch?"
I replied yes.
Darlene & I walk the hallway while engaging in a conversation.
"So do you have any more patients for the day?"
"No Mr. Parker was my last patient for the day.
Wait the staff is still required to work?"
"Yeah, we are stuck here for 6 hours! Might as well make money! I mean if that wasn't a requirement the staff would be running around like a chicken with its head cut off!"
when we made our entrance into the room.
There was a projector playing "Halloween"
The horror movie.
Darlene & I found a seat then started to watch the extremely loud movie.
"Do you have any patients left?"
I ask Darlene while talking over the movie.
"DO YOU HAVE ANY PATIENTS LEFT!"
The nurse that was sitting behind us told us to Shush.
"Yes, just one. I have to go check on him in a few more minutes."
"I'm gonna run to the bathroom"
Darlene gives me a thumbs up so I could know that she heard me.
I walk out of the loud room & closed the door quietly.
I reach in my pocket for my phone & see a text message from my mother that read "I hope that everything is alright the weather is terrible!"
I texted my mother back so that she would know that I was alright.
As I walk into the lady's room I put my phone in the pocket of my scrubs.
I wash my hands & exit. I began to make my way back to the movie room.
As I walk by many doors I see the one room that isn't allowed to be entered.
I stand by the closed door wondering what could be in there.
when I first started here the manager had told me to never enter this room.
She never told me why & when I tried to ask the other medical assistants about it, they wouldn't give me a solid answer either.
I looked around to see if anyone was coming.
I didn't see a single soul.
The hospital felt empty
It felt like no one was in there but me!
That could've been my paranoia.
As much as I wanted to explore the room I didn't! I was too hesitant.
Instead, I made my way into another room that I never entered!
The room was a regular patient room.
The bed, computer to record the patient's information.
I then began to look through the drawers & found a picture of a woman & a child.
I don't know why a photo like this would be in a patient room.
Maybe it was left behind accidentally.
I couldn't identify the people that were in the photo but it seemed as though they were mother & daughter.
"Are you lost?"
A voice of an elderly nurse stood in the doorway.
This elderly nurse was named Evelyn.
I was told that she's been a nurse here for 40 years!
She always had a mean streak to her.
I became so startled that I dropped the photo on the floor.
That was the only word that could come out of my mouth.
I was too nervous to speak.
The nurse enters the room & picks up the photo from the floor.
"No one is allowed in this room."
when I finally found the words to speak.
I said with confusion "I didn't know. I was only warned about the other room."
"You've been here 20 years correct?"
"Yes that's true"
"So you should know the rules of this hospital"
I become angry by the know-it-all tone of voice that this nurse was using that I intended to think of so many ignorant things. I wanted to break the ice that she has replaced for a heart.
but instead, I said "Like I said I wasn't aware of this room is off-limits. Next time I'll know."
I awkwardly leave the room & returned to the movie room. Once I returned I see the credits of the movie on the projector.
"The movies over?"
I say while Darlene walks towards me.
"Hey what took you so long?"
"The movies over already?"
"Yeah, when you & I came in it was already near the end". (Darlene looks at the watch on her wrist & notice that she is late for her patient).
" ugh, I gotta go! I'll see you around"
Darlene says while hurrying out of the room.
I look down at my watch again but this time it read 1:45 pm.
I roll my eyes due to how slow the time was going.
I began wandering the halls again, trying to find something to do to make time go by faster.
As I walk by the rooms of the patients.
I stopped once I seen Nina's office.
Nina is sitting at her desk.
I slightly knock on the open door to Nina's office.
"Hey, come in"
Nina says while smiling.
"Hi, how's it going? Still busy?"
"Yeah I was, now I'm finished for the day"
"Yeah, it would be even better if I could get in my car & drive home! But I guess that's not the case today."
"I know I'm trying to find something to do. I feel like a bored child that is trying to find something entertaining to do."
"I guess we all feel that way. No one wants to be stuck at work during a blizzard"
"Can I ask you a question, Nina?"
Yeah sure, what is it?"
"Have you ever tried to take a look in the rooms that you haven't normally entered?"
Nina raises her eyebrows, gets up from the desk to close the cracked door.
"I haven't, why?"
"Um because I think that it's weird how it's all of these rooms in this hospital that we are not allowed in. I've been here for 20 years! & I don't know what's in those rooms? It's a bit unusual don't you think?"
"Well, I'm sure there's a reason why the people in this hospital haven't entered those rooms. Plus we are strictly here to take care of those that are sick that's much more important than those rooms."
I fold my arms & sit with a disgusted look on my face.
Nina notices the disappointment that occurred on my face. So she tried to make light of the situation.
"Look, Patricia, do not worry about unimportant things, just sit & relax until it's time to go. Or you can help me with the files?"
"No, I'm just gonna go get me a snack out of the vending machine. I'm not in the mood for more work."
"Ok well be careful."
I got up from the uncomfortable chair that I was sitting in while Nina sits at her desk filing paperwork.
As I put the quarter in the coin inspector, I stare at the door of the room that no one normally goes into.
It was two feet away from the vending machine.
I press B2 on the vending machine which was for the snicker bar. As I grab my snicker bar from below I think to myself.
I should just go to see what the room is like.
There's nothing else to do on this boring day.
I looked around to see if anyone was coming around the corner.
when I didn't see anyone I walked quickly to the door & entered as fast as I could.
As my back touches the door I look around the darkroom.
I switch the light on that was near the door.
I moved from the door to observe the room.
There was a sink with tissues & hand soap.
I open up the drawers of the sink & see disposal masks & paper towels.
I close the drawer & on the side of my eye, I see a closet.
The closet looked the same as the ones in the other rooms but the difference was the closet had no padlock on it.
I walk towards the closet & twist the knob.
I slowly open the door & see a closet full of belongings.
I saw a red Prada bag & inside of the Prada bag was gum, a lighter, sunglasses & the wallet of the person it belonged to.
The license read "Deborah Robinson"
Date of birth was 07/23/56
The Identification card was old because the expiration date read 1/02/2005.
That's how long this purse has been in here?
Why did the hospital have this?
Was this the lost & found room?
How come we weren't allowed to come into this room?
The more I look in the closet the more things I find.
I saw a gold necklace that belonged to one of the patients 2 years ago.
2 years ago a woman lost a gold necklace in the waiting room while waiting for her appointment.
She asked the hospital have they seen the necklace & no one could find where it went.
But why would they keep these things?
Why hold the patient's belongings.
It was until the point I couldn't look anymore.
I closed the closet & ran out of the room as quietly as I could.
I needed answers but who could I go to?
Nina? No!. Darlene. Darlene!
I run through the hospital trying to find Darlene's room.
I find Darlene's room & run inside.
Breathless I say "Darlene I need to talk to you"
Darlene stands up from her desk.
"Patricia, what is going on?!"
"I just left out the room. The off-limits one.
Well, you won't believe what's in there! There's a closet in the room with patients' belongings! There was a Prada bag with a state ID that expired 16 years ago!"
Darlene walks from behind her desk to talk face to face. She removed the glasses that were on her face & placed them on her desk.
"I can't believe that you entered that room without getting caught haha"
"What's so funny? Why is there a closet full of peoples belongings"
"I don't know Patricia. I guess there's a thief in the hospital who steals from the patients"
"Don't you think we should report it to the police?"
"No, I think we should just do our jobs & not worry about those things."
"I'm not gonna lie it's gonna be hard for me to once I saw that room."
"What if they were the belongings to the patients who are deceased?"
"Well, why didn't they give the belongings to the patient's family?"
"They probably didn't have any family to give it to"
During our conversation the light in the room became dim.
I look up at the light & it blows out.
"Oh no the blizzard mustve got to the electricity."
Darlene says while opening up the door to her office.
All of the lights were out in the hospital.
All of a sudden a voice on the loudspeaker said "sorry staff about the electricity that is out of our concern. The good news is you are free to go home the blizzard has stopped for about an hour now. The roads are a lot safer to drive. I hope you drive home safely & we'll see you tomorrow"
The medical staff goes to their lockers to get their belongings & headed out of the hospital.
"Meet me at my car"
Darlene whispers to me as I put on my coat.
I stand by Darlene's car as she places her purse on the passenger seat.
The staff of the hospital is wiping the snow off of their cars.
"Whoo, it's cold out here!"
I say with a shiver.
"I know I'm sorry. I just wanted to let you know that I wasn't trying to come off cold-hearted. It's just I was told since my first day to not go in there & so when you told me. I didn't have the words."
"It's fine I didn't take any offense to what you said. I just thought it was weird that we didn't know what was inside of that room that's all.
No biggie I'm just glad that we are finally leaving this place."
"Yea, well you have a good night."
"You too safe drive home."
I walk to my car with the keys in my hand & the gold necklace around my neck.