A woman entered the restaurant. She paused just inside the door- making sure everyone had time to catch a glimpse. Her well-manicured nails pushed her charcoal hair behind her ear as she strolled toward the bar. Each man locked eyes with her as she picked up her compact to check her makeup.
A tall man in a dark suit approached her with a smirk.. She looked away while raising her hand, “It’s Jessica.”
The man took her hand and kissed it. “I’m Brandon.” He brushed his fingers through his slicked back hair and squinted as the dimly lit room made it difficult to see. “You’re..beautiful.”
Brandon pulled Jessica to a nearby table. “We will take two gin and tonics.”
A man glanced over from the bar. Jessica’s eyes shifted his direction. Brandon grabbed Jessica’s hands from across the table and pulled her towards him. “ How are you?”
“I’m great..it’s just.”
“It’s just what?” Brandon held his breath, words attempted to roll out of his mouth.
Her eyes once again shifted toward the direction of the bar.
Brandon’s hand reached under Jessica’s chin. “Tell me who that is.” His face moved close to hers.
“A man of my past.” Pushing her hair behind her shoulder she smiled.
Music took over the atmosphere of the room. Click, clack, click, clack. A blonde woman with hazel eyes walked in. Stray hairs scattered across her head. Her lipstick was slightly smudged.
Brandon stood up and whipped his seat against the wall. CRASH!
“Are you leaving me?”
“I’m a sucker for blondes, sorry Jessica. ” Brandon puffed his chest as he spoke with a dark voice. The room grew darker.
“My name, is Leila”
“Brandon, Doctor Brandon.” He extended his arm while holding his phone. They gazed into each others' eyes. Eventually they swapped contact information and parted ways.
The next morning, while Doctor Brandon was conducting heart surgery, he overhead his phone ringing in the back room. Leila. “Clamps” Leiiilaaa. “Forceps.” Leilaaaaa. “Scalpel.” Leila. He sliced open the chest cavity.
“Leila, my Leila.” He composed the words to his own song as he completed surgery and stitched up the patient’s chest cavity.
Walking over to the sink, the anesthesiologist tapped him on the shoulder. “What were you doing in there, we almost lost someone.”
“I have a date tonight.”
“Get your head together. You have one more surgery.” The anesthesiologist pushed his fist into Brandon’s back.
“I will, man.” Brandon dashed out of the room and a group of nurses gathered around him.
“Woman. In her 30’s. She’s taking an Anticoagulant.Suffers from Arrhythmia. May have to conduct an ablation surgery.”
He rapidly progressed down the hallway to the next patients room. Nurses wrapped the mask ear loops around his ears and slid on his gloves. The routine ablation went quickly.
The surgeries had finished for the day and it was time to go home. Walking through the emergency room on his way out, he passed Leila.
“What are you doing here?”
“My grandmother, she’s in a coma. We got in a terrible car accident.”
Leila nodded and put her hand through Brandon’s hand. They gazed into each other’s eyes.
“Leila. Is there a Leila here?” A booming voice shouted in the direction of the waiting room.
Standing up, Leila walked toward the voice. “I’m here, I’m here.”
A nurse asked Leila to come with her down the hallway toward her mother’s room. “We ran a few diagnostics. We aren’t sure when she will come out of the coma. You should talk to her as much as you can. You never know when she will wake up.” She looked over at her frail grandmother laying there with a myriad of machines encircling her bed. Her grandmother’s hands were cold when they laid in hers.
Brandon peered his head in the doorway. “Do you want to go down to the cafeteria to get a drink?”
Leila nodded with a quivering lower lip.
While in the cafeteria they discussed Brandon’s job, Leila’s grandmother and everything in between. They were captivated by each other. Quickly, they decided they had to meet again the next day.
Leila and Brandon parted ways. She rejoined her grandmother and sat with her as long as she could. Beeping echoed throughout the hospital floor. A cold sadness was felt in her grandmother’s room. She leaned over and kissed her grandmother’s hand. “I hope you wake up soon, I love you grandma.”
“You need to leave, it’s 10PM.” A stern voice spoke in her room.
“Grandma, I’ll be back tomorrow.” She leaned over and gave her grandmother a hug- still no response.
Leila was on her way home when she saw an orange light. Her car quickly became enveloped with soot. It had been a long night in the hospital so she rubbed her eyes. Her foot on the pedal hit the floorboard. The car’s engine revved as the orange light grew brighter.The siding on the house began to crack and she saw a man fall amidst the flames. “BRANDON!” She parked the car and lunged out toward the kneeling figure. “Brandon, Brandon!?”
The hungry flames attempted to swallow Brandon. Eager to save the man she had started to fall for, Leila laid on the ground along the edge of the fire as it flickered. She reached her hands out as ash blew in her face. Coughing she screamed, “Brandon, it’s me! It’s Leilaaa!”
The fire cracked in Brandon’s face as he attempted to stand up. He started to crawl and slowly pushed his arms under him to try to stand up. He reached forward toward a hand coming closer to him. “Leila?” He wheezed multiple times. Smoke had surrounded him. All he could see was her face. Staring lovingly at each other Leila pulled Brandon’s weak body from the remnants of the house.
The both laid in the grass gasping for air as the ambulance and fire department began to arrive.
“Ok, Ok. This is the last time. I’m done.” Leila attempted to smile.
“CUT!” A voice shouted. “Alright everyone, that’s a wrap on day three. Hey Jake, you better do some push-ups before tomorrow’s shoot or I’m getting the stunt double to play Brandon! Ha. Valerie- looking beautiful as always!”