“Alyssa.” A voice echoed.
It was midnight. Alyssa knew this because she looked at her rose gold Kate Spade watch every minute on the minute. She had fifty-five minutes until she could clock out, head home fall into her bed and doze off on reruns of Grey’s Anatomy.
Alyssa grabbed the paper off the printer, “You are not the father.” She tri-fold the sheet and slid it into an envelope sealing it with tape littered with the word confidential.
“Who’s not the father?” Quinn reached for the letter.
Alyssa looked up with ease not fretting even though she was on the second to last floor (the last floor which so happened to be the morgue) in the Austin General Hospital. She knew that heavy voice. It was the same voice she heard since Bio 101.
Alyssa held the letter close to her B-cup chest, “What part of confidential are you having a problem understanding.”
Quinn reached for the letter then hesitated remembering the last time he tried to attain something laying on her chest. Grazing the side of Alyssa’s breast while trying to grab his cellphone out her hand was an awkward situation he didn’t care to repeat. Although he wanted to touch, he wanted to touch her a lot. He dreamed and daydreamed about touching her, every part of her olive-toned body but he didn’t want it to be an accident. He wanted her to want his touch; yearn it.
“The con of course.” Quinn scrunched his face.
Alyssa rolled her auburn eyes of course he didn’t understand the con in confidential since he was suspended for two weeks for tweeting about a student’s STDs lab reports. She plopped down in the wheeled lab chair, “How was Pulse?”
“Same old, same old. Dancing and drinking.” Quinn scratched at the five o’clock shadow growing around his sharp chin. “Cairo did his thing as usual.” He said matter-of-factly, and then his posture hardened. “Harmony had some drama though.”
Quinn leaned his tired body against the gray countertop littered with sterile test tubes. “Good guess.” He grinned.
“Not a guess, an observation.” Alyssa covered her mouth as she released a light yawn. “He’ a waste of her time.”
“The bitch is back.”
“I’m not being bitchy.” She rolled back to the iMac at the end of the aisle. “I’m telling the truth. They have zero in common besides being black and hot.”
Quinn looked up at the artificial light shining down from the ceiling, “What do we have in common?” He bit his full bottom lip hating that he let those words slip out.
Alyssa tapped her finger on the wireless mouse. What did they have in common? A lot. There were almost too many things to count. If she made a list she would probably start with: their intellectual intercourse. They could talk for hours about anything from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta to the Republican Presidential Debates.
The iMac woke up bathing her face in light. Her stomach turned with uneasy rumblings. She gripped the countertop slowly swiveling the chair around swallowing hard. “We’re friends.” She smiled robotically.
“We’re friends.” Quinn air quoted then lazily dropped his arms.
“Yes.” She laughed nervously studying her nail polish free hand and when she raised her head back up Quinn was standing inches away from her. A shiver tingled up her spine as she pulled in his tantalizing cologne, cinnamon and bergamot. All thoughts scattered from Alyssa mind as she lost herself in the butterscotch flicks of his honey eyes.
Quinn gripped his warm hands around Alyssa’s soft arms raising her to her feet. He grazed his hand along her smooth jawline then cradled her chin. He placed his lips against hers tasting the sweetness of her breath against his tongue. He pulled his mouth back leaving her pouting lips wanting more. “Are you sure friends is all we are?”
She touched her lips still feeling the imprint of his.
“Alyssa.” A voice beckoned. “Alyssa.” There was the voice again.
Alyssa dropped her hand and Quinn was gone. She scanned the lab, where did he go. She was just staring at him. He kissed her. He was standing right in front of her.
Her ears picked up a faint noise. What was that? Beeping. She rubbed her eyes dazzlingly.
“Alyssa.” The voice called again. Wait that was a familiar voice, she’d heard that melodic tone before.
Alyssa opened her eyes drawing in the bright florescent light. She held up her hand looking at the long clear tube hanging from it.
“She’s awake.” Harmony said standing in the doorway cradling two coffees and one tea. She placed the cups on the table and rushed to the bed.
“Where am I?” Alyssa rubbed her forehead cringing as her hand grazed over the sutures from her hairline to her eyebrow. She tugged at the white gown looking under it wondering where her bra was.
“You’re in the hospital.” Lela patted Alyssa’s IV-free hand.
“The hospital.” Alyssa tried to pull herself up but the sharp pain that stabbed through her ribs stopped her. “For what?”
“You—” Safiya stopped then dropped her head in her hands. “I can’t” She leapt up wiping tears from her eyes. “You tell her, Har.”
Alyssa looked at Lela who stopped patting her hand graduating to a full on tight grasp. “Tell me what.” Alyssa looked up at Harmony standing at the end of her bed.
Harmony gripped the hard plastic rail of the hospital grade bed. “Last night, when you clocked out something happened.”
“What?” Alyssa trailed her tongue over her teeth.
“There’s no easy way to say this.” Harmony lowly spoke. “I wish I didn’t have to.”
“Spit it out.” Alyssa demanded.
Harmony rubbed the tears from her eyes. “You were raped.” The melody now vacant in her voice; it was dull and low.
Alyssa sunk down in her bed like a wilted rose. She closed her eyes as sorrow and anger flowed from them. “Leave me.” Alyssa whimpered. “I want to be alone.”