I is for Irina: A to Z Writing Challenge

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“Miss, what is your relationship to Mrs. Ilyushin?”

Breathlessly, I said to the ER nurse who was checking the woman’s vitals, “UhIwasjustpassingbyandstoppedtoadmireherhousewhenI heardhercryforhelp.”

“So you are not related?”

“Uh, no ma’am, I’m not related.”

“Well we need some next of kin.”

“I think I found next of kin,” interrupted the police officer. “She is widowed, her two sons are dead, and it seems she only has an elderly sister left who lives in New York. She is calling soon.”

I walked away to use the bathroom and then came back and sat in a waiting room chair next to a mother with a young boy who was profusely sneezing in my direction. As I decided to move to another part of the waiting room when a nurse came in and asked me, “Did you ride in the ambulance with Mrs. Ilyushin?”

Affirming her question she said, “Follow me.”

We left the waiting room (thankfully) and walked to a window with a chair that was in a row of windows and chairs, and marked on a protruding wall as Patient Check-in.

Being told to sit down, I faced a young lady named Natasha who began to ask me questions about who I was, where I lived, and  my financial status when I stopped her. “Uh, why I am being asked these questions?”

With a surprised pause she said, “We have to have some contact information for a responsible party for financial reasons.”

“Well, what about her sister in New York?’

“She has a sister in New York?”

“Yes, go ask nurse Donna at the ER desk.”

I quickly extracted myself from the chair only to face nurse Donna as I turned back toward the ER waiting room.

“She wants to see you. Come with me.”

As I approached the curtained cubicle which contained a woman with a Russian sounding name I heard, “Матір Божа, будь ласка, допоможіть мені і помилуй мою душу.” (Mother of God, please help me and have mercy on my soul.)

Turning to me as I moved the curtain to walk in and face her she said in clear English, “Alice, I am Irina, th-thank you for helping me. I still need your help.”

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