He’ll Never Know

Across the crowded hospital lounge our eyes met. For me it was an instant spark that left my heart fluttering in my chest. I had never felt that way before and I have met a lot of guys working at the hospital. As an entry screener I am the first one that people meet the moment they walk in the door as I have to screen them for COVID. For the longest time I had to screen employees to and I would see who all the nurses referred to as Doctor Hottie. With his blue eyes, tan complexion and dark wavy hair I was immediately attracted to him.

We had passed each other once or twice before when I worked as a nurses aide the previous year. We passed each other in the hallway and he would smile and say hello. That was quite unusual as most doctors just flat out ignore nurses aides. If you are a nurse they acknowledge you because they have to. But the aides who are referred to as patient care techs are invisible. I had grown used to being invisible so it knocked me off balance when he actually acknowledged that I existed. A few times our paths crossed I told him it had to be fate and he just smiled and laughed.

Even with masks on I could tell he was amused by my sense of humor. I mean in this day and age when there is a horrible virus sickening many, a world divided by race and a presidential war and just chaos you have to have a sense of humor in order to keep your sanity. One day when he was quickly rushing out the door I stopped and asked him his name. It was of course a long name but he told me to call him by his nickname. I took that as a sign that maybe just maybe there was hope. When it comes to love I am as unlucky as they come. I have been in a relationship in thirteen years.

The last time I sat next to a man I liked it ended badly. Not only was he three hours late for our date but he spent most of the time looking on his phone and messaging someone else. I was angry and agitated. It ended with the guy telling me it wasn’t going to work because not only did he live two hours away but me being a single mother was also an issue. So I was of course disappointed. I found myself wondering why relationships are so much easier for some people than others. I mean after all it didn’t work for my parents who divorced after seventeen years and are now both alone because they don’t even want to think about another relationship.

However, for some their marriage is perfect, their dating life is perfect or at least that is how it appears. Whatever it may be I would like to have something like that someday. At thirty-nine I am not getting any younger and let’s face it when you are a single mom men usually run for the hills. However, I still have hope that one will give it a chance. I was hoping that would be Doctor Hottie. So one day while in the cafeteria I spotted him and decided that it would be the perfect time to talk to him after all every time usually saw him he was in a hurry to leave. Well it didn’t work out the way I had hoped. He acted irritated and when I tried to talk to him he said “Not trying to be rude but I have to get back my patients.”

So there I stood humilated and feeling stupid. The last time I saw him I was screening a bunch of patients when out of the corner of my eye I caught him watching over at me as he was coming across the lounge. A few days later when I came back to work I would later learn that while I was working at a different building he had left and took a job at a different hospital three hours away. My heart sank because I knew I would never see him again. I would never get to really get to know him or even find out if he had felt that same spark. So here I sit wondering if our paths will ever cross again or if it just wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps I already know the answer but that doesn’t keep it from stinging.

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Destiny Pifer

Destiny Pifer is a published author who is currently a contributor for Pandemic Diaries. Her work has also appeared in various anthologies.