Submitted into Contest #202 in response to: Write a story about lifelong best friends.... view prompt


Black American Fiction

Kimberly W, Walker


Re: ER trip yesterday

Dear Hospital Administrator:

Yesterday I was discharged from room 413 in the ER department at the University of Virginia at 7 a.m., which was okay after being there from 3:30 p.m. the previous day. Because of my insurance and my paralysis, I have to be transported by ambulance to and from. Given that I am a quadriplegic, a specific protocol needs to be established not just for me but for the safety of all patients.


1.       No one should be ignored when they have had to result to yelling. Please help me in 413 for assistance.

2.       Knowing each patient's situation or mental status and ability and putting in place ease of access measures such as a touchpad call bell or a sip and puff; simple comforts during their visit.

3.       Check on patients at least one time within 2 hours

4.       Never discharge from the system until actually leaving the building

If just these suggestions had been followed yesterday, I would have had a pleasant experience and would not feel the need to write this letter. After my yelling, can someone please help me in 413? Someone just closed the door without anyone asking what I needed. I laid there for 3 hours past my regular medication schedule without it. I would have been in serious trouble if I had not been given Toradol just at shift change for kidney stone pain (the results of my diagnosis…)

I can understand that I had been discharged, but this is a risky practice to be discharged from the system before actually being able to leave the hospital. Although my nurse finally responded four hours into her shift, she was attentive, but by then, my pain was worse than when I arrived, and the friendly attitude angered me more because I knew she knew my problem. I didn’t appreciate the amount of time my cries went unanswered….

I have been a resident of Charlottesville since 1983. I’ve worked for UVA-ER, and I know the standards UVA strives for, and unfortunately, yesterday, everyone working from 7 a.m. until my departure at 12:30 p.m. dropped the ball. Many people don’t have the luxury of seeking Care elsewhere, me included, so I felt the need to bring these suggestions to your attention.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time this kind of occurrence happened. I eagerly await your response to what will be done to change these practices. I chose to remain in Charlottesville some 38 years ago because it is pretty here, and I think UVA is a great teaching hospital. I don’t think a few unpleasant experiences are the norm, but I can’t be the only unhappy patron…

Sincerely upset,

Kim W.


Dear upset patient:

I am as upset over your treatment as you! No written communication would be an appropriate reply, so please accept my invitation for a sit-down meeting to take the “obvious needed steps for reforms.” Set your time between the hours of 9-4 any M-F

Looking forward to meeting with you,

Betty Taylor


Can we meet tomorrow, 6/5/23? It’ll be a fitting birthday gift. Can we do 1 p.m.? I need your address and any other information to inform Logistics Care about this appointment.


Happy Birthday, in advance! That sounds great!


Appointment: 1 p.m. With: Betty Taylor Where: West Complex of UVA-Third floor Room 3d Phone: 434--4-0900


THANK you, See You tomorrow!


Wouldn’t you know it’s one of the last two offices on the old side of the original hospital, Accessible by traveling across a busy, nonstop unprotected crossover? Would it qualify as an emergency meeting or appointment? Appointment; I have to catch an ambulance.


 (calling Logistic Care) Logistic Care: I’m Caroline

Appointment for: Kimberly W. Walker

Where: 1215 Lee Street Charlottesville, VA 22903

Phone: 434-4-0900

When: Tomorrow

Logistic Care: I’m sorry to deny this because we require at least a day’s advance notice.

Hold on; it’s only 9 a.m. Sunday, June 4. I’ve given ample notice. My appointment was just made at 8:55 a.m., for 1 p.m. tomorrow. I’m sure you can check your schedule for any opening before 1 p.m. Please, tomorrow’s my Birthday, and no one would schedule a consult with an administrator on their Birthday if it were unnecessary!


Caroline: Okay, Noon pickup  Ref# 0001-6566. Happy Birthday in advance!


Thank You. I’ve heard that 3x already today!

(A loud knock on my door!) 11:45

On my Birthday, Betty Taylor stands in my living room, saying: “I couldn’t wait until one o’clock if I were right! Or If I was wrong, I'd have time to get back. Well, I knew yesterday! Your voice sounds the same way, angry or happy! You’re the only one I know that can do that! Do you know how long I have been looking for you? I took a chance last night and sent you a FB Friend Request from my old account with my maiden name. After Pete grew up, I guess you didn’t have a reason to come home anymore.”

Shut up and hug me; You still talk too much! When you have something on your mind.

(A 30-year overdue passionate embrace)

Girl, not a day went by that I didn’t miss your quietness. Wait, I need to cancel my ride.

(calling Logistic Care) Logistic Care: I’m Caroline

Wow! Caroline! I need to cancel my appointment at 1, please. My appointment was changed to a home visit.

Caroline: Okay! Cancellation approved!

Thank You! (click) (Laughing among friends!)

Pete told me about your last name this morning… I sent you a FB Friend Request right before you walked up! Glad you did some investigation too! I kept in touch with Momma Tiller. You know she’ll always be a Hicks to me! She still calls me her daughter-in-law. No one will ever take the title away from me in her mind. You all are my forever sisters! Who would’ve thought you would become a hospital administrator? You hated Biology much more than…. I did!

Betty chuckled,” Luckily, J passed it with a “C” my second time. I read your book, ...Blessed Beyond Belief……WOW! I loved it! Your details were impeccable, and you slept through the first and second periods, English and Spanish.”

Osmosis…The baby took notes! Ha -ha -ha!

After a month in a coma and a broken femur, I wrote that book when I was released from the hospital.

Who would have thought one of us would be a Mrs. Taylor? Pete told me about your husband’s heart attack. How is his health now? 

He will be okay if he sticks to his diet and takes his medicines. I can’t raise my husband like I did my son.

Girl, you have not changed. You’ve been my best friend for 30 years, even when we were not in touch; you were on my mind…Poochie!

June 11, 2023 05:26

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Tom Skye
18:18 Jun 17, 2023

This story caught my eye while I was scrolling because of the UVA/Charlottesville mention (I lived there 8 years). Really interesting read. Creative with structure. Enjoyed it. Thanks for share.


Kimberly Walker
06:40 Jun 18, 2023

Although primarily true, I turned it into fiction by changing the people and their response to an actual situation. My best friend for over 40 years now will never outgrow "Poochie," her childhood nickname.


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Mary Bendickson
13:02 Jun 11, 2023

Heartwarming story true or not. I know some parts are true. Blessings to you.


Kimberly Walker
16:18 Jun 11, 2023

Poochie is real, and we've been friends since high school. Her job is fiction.


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