“Samantha! Can you open your eyes for me?”
Whose voice is that? wondered Sam. She groaned, not yet ready to wake up.
“Good. She’s coming around,” said the same voice again. “Samantha, open your eyes please. We need you to wake up.”
She frowned and tried to move her head, but she couldn’t.
“God, she’s not going to wake up!” wailed a female voice … her mother?
“Nurse Kennedy, take her out until we can get Samantha awake and calm,” commanded the voice.
Thank you Kennedy, she thought in her head. She heard a door close and it got quiet, except for the soft rhythmic beeping sounds in the background. But those she didn’t mind, they were lulling her back to sleep. She just wanted to sleep.
“Mr. Jefferies, maybe if you can talk to her she’ll respond,” said the same kind voice.
She heard some shuffling and then Levon was talking to her. “Sam, sweetheart, it’s Levon. We really need you to wake up.”
Sweet Levon. She must be in the place between dreaming and waking. “Wanna sleep,” she slurred without opening her eyes.
“Oh thank God,” the words rushed out of Levon’s mouth. “Baby, please open your eyes for me.”
She felt him squeeze her hand. “No, sleep….” she repeated.
“Samantha. This is Dr. Rosebrook.” Oh … the kind voice from my dream, she thought, wait, how did he get here? She was pretty sure wasn’t dreaming anymore. “Can you hear me?”
“Mmm hum,” she responded and turned her head towards the voice, trying to figure out what was going on.
“Good. Samantha, you’re in the hospital. You had … an accident … it’s time to wake up.”
An accident? Finally, she decided to open her eyes so she could make sense of what was happening and get rid of this weird dream. As soon as her eyes opened, she quickly shut them again.
“I’m going to turn off the lights so it won’t be so bright,” said the same gentle voice. “Okay. Now, you can open your eyes.”
She was afraid, but did as he said and slowly opened her eyes again. That’s when panic set in. Something was wrong. Very, very wrong. “Where am I?”
“In the hospital. I’m here with you Sam,” said Levon.
“Levon?” She croaked out his name, “What happened.” She tried to turn her head to look at him better. It hurt, making her wince.
“Welcome back Samantha,” said the dream voice from her other side as he gave her a kind smile. “I’m Dr. Rosebrook. I’ve been taking care of you since you arrived. I just need to ask you a few questions.”
“Okay,” she said quickly, and looked to Levon for help. He looked completely miserable.
“Do you remember what happened before you … fell?” asked the doctor.
“I fell? Where?” That was probably why her head hurt.
“It’s okay Samantha,” he assured her, “it’s normal not to remember. What’s the last thing you do remember?”
“I don’t know.” She closed her eyes and tried to think. “Cooking maybe?”
“That’s right,” said Levon. “She made dinner last night.”
“Good, what happened after that? What else can you remember?”
Sam barely shook her head. “Was there an accident?”
“It appears you may have overdosed and fell. Mr. Jeffries found you passed out in your home at the foot of the stairs and called 911. There were a few … complications … but everything seems to be okay now. Your vitals look good and we’re running some tests. We’ll keep you overnight to be sure because you might have a concussion.”
“I’m so sorry Sam,” said Levon as he softly kissed her forehead. “I’ll just go get your mother now.” She could tell he was extremely upset.
As he walked out the door an image of him leaving flashed through her head, sending chills through her. She knew this was likely part of her missing memories, but there was still a lot more missing.
She didn’t have time to think about it because her mother returned with Ragnar. That’s when Sam realized she was attached to an IV and monitors were stuck on her chest.
“I was so worried about you,” said her mother. “Thank God Levon found you! You could’ve died!”
“Mari, calm down,” warned Ragnar, “You’re just upsetting her.”
“Yes, Mrs. Odinssen,” interjected a nurse who was fiddling with her IV, “she needs to remain calm. If you upset her, we’ll have to ask you to leave again.”
“Samantha,” said Dr. Rosebrook, “I’ll be right back. I’m going to see if the test results are complete. Kennedy will stay with you until I get back.”
She didn’t want to be alone but she didn’t want her mother and Ragnar either, at least until she understood what was going on. “Where’s Levon,” she asked her mother, “I need him.”
Her mom gently brushed back her hair. “It’s complicated darling,” she replied.
“Can you please ask him to come back?” begged Sam.
“We’ll go talk to him,” said Ragnar with a pained look on his face. “He’s in the waiting room. Come with me Mari.”
No sooner had they left, than Dr. Rosebrook walked back in. “Hi Samantha. How are you holding up?”
“Scared. I just want to know what happened.”
“Okay, as soon as your family gets back, then we can talk. I’d rather you had someone with you, perhaps Mr. Jeffries.”
As if on queue, Levon walked back in along with her mother and Ragnar. She felt immensely better just having him there.
“Great, here they are,” he said and waited for everyone to get settled before he continued. “Samantha, the toxicology report confirmed you overdosed on Valium and alcohol. You have a few scrapes from the fall, but it doesn’t look like a concussion. You’ll be a little sore, but there’ll be no lasting damage.” Then he glanced at Levon before continuing. “Except, I’m sorry to have to tell you Samantha, we couldn’t save your baby. Because of the bleeding, I felt you needed to know sooner rather than later. I didn’t want you to panic.”
Sam looked at Levon. Baby? His jaw was clenched hard. He clearly already knew what Dr. Rosebrook was talking about, as did her mom. “What? … No …” Sam started to hyperventilate.
Dr. Rosebrook leaned over and took her hand. “Samantha, listen to me. Slow down your breathing. Deep slow breaths. In and out, you can do it.”
She concentrated on the sound of his gentle voice, mimicking his slow in and out breaths. When she began to breathe normally he continued. “I’m so sorry. I know this is difficult …..”
Baby? thought Sam as the doctor droned on, I was going to have a baby? Levon and I were… Oh god. Levon … no wonder he’s so upset.
“… the good news is that you’ll still be able to have children in the future,” continued the doctor. “The ObGyn doc will walk you through what to expect with the D&C. It should only be an hour, two tops before they’re ready for you. Then you’ll be taken to a regular room.”
Sam was horrified. Tears streamed down her face. Clearly the doctor thought she knew she was pregnant. God, she’d been pregnant? They said she overdosed. This was her fault. She had a baby growing inside of her. Levon’s baby. And now it was gone. Before she ever got to love it. It suddenly made her feel empty and alone. And now she understood Levon’s reaction. Why he didn’t want to be with her – could barely even look at her. He was disgusted. How could she blame him?
“I’ll give you two some privacy,” said Dr. Rosebrook, “Mom, Dad, you should give them some space too. If you need anything, just press the call button.”
When the door softly clicked shut and they were alone, Levon sat on the bed with his head in his hands. “Why didn’t you tell me you were pregnant?” he asked, his voice thick with emotion. “I came back to … I came back and found you. There was blood – and dammit, at first I thought you fucking tried to kill yourself! But instead you freaking mixed drugs and alcohol AGAIN. And this time, instead of just hurting yourself, you killed our baby Sam.”
His last words cut deep. “Levon, I didn’t know,” she whispered, barely able to speak. Then the rest of his words registered. He came back? He’d left, she’d remembered that from earlier. “Oh god. You were going to leave me? Levon, I can’t do this alone, I need you.”
Levon stood up and turned to leave. “We’ll discuss it later. I just … I don’t think I can stay and watch you self destruct Sam. I’ll send your mother back in to be with you, but I need to get some air and think. I’ll come back in the morning.”
Sam couldn’t do anything to stop him. All she could do was watch as he walked out the door. She was terrified because she couldn’t do this alone, she desperately needed him.
4 hours later….
Sam woke up in a private room, no longer in the ER. Her mother was asleep in a chair across the room. She remembered they had taken her to surgery not long after Levon left. Before they’d come for her, her mother told her everything that happened. It was ugly.
“Good, you’re awake,” said a nurse as she walked in the door and proceeded to take her vital signs. “How are you feeling?”
Sam didn’t bother to answer and shrugged.
When she was finished, she continued her monologue. “You might have a some slight cramping, but you should feel better by tomorrow. Just try to get some rest while you’re here. I’ll let the docs know you’re awake and they’ll be in shortly.”
“How long do you think she’ll be here?” asked her mother.
“She might be released tomorrow,” replied the nurse while she entered Sam’s stats into the computer. “She’s doing well physically. But they might keep her longer. I really can’t say for sure.”
Sam groaned. “I just want to go home.”
“Honey, you need to come stay with us,” said her mother. “You shouldn’t be by yourself.”
“I won’t be. Levon will … wait … did he tell you he was leaving me?”
Her mom sighed and waited for the nurse to leave before answering her. “He said you two fought. We all discussed it and think you’ll be better off with Ragnar and I where you can get the care you need. I’m really sorry you can’t seem to make it work with anyone. Levon is so sweet too.”
“It takes two Mother. Dax cheated and Levon – he probably is too.” She remembered that was what they fought about. Things were beginning to come back a piece at a time and matched up with what her mother told her.
“And why do you think they both did?” she continued. “You’re clingy and needy Sam. Levon said this wasn’t the first time you passed out either. We really don’t want to see you in rehab. That would destroy you for years, if not for good. And just when you’re coming into the prime time for your career. The series that Ragnar is working on, it would catapult you to the top. Movie deals would follow. God, I really thought you were mature enough to live on your own, especially with Levon there to guide you. Apparently not.”
“You have no idea what I’ve been going through, so don’t even …”
Her mother sighed deeply. “Darling, calm down. Ragnar wants you to stay with us. He’s worked hard on this deal, and we need to be sure you don’t do anything else that might jeopardize it. And so far, all of this unpleasantness is flying under the radar. He went to pick up your phone and a change of clothes. So as soon as the doc gets in and releases you, you can come straight home with us and not have to go back there yet.”
Her mom frowned and looked at her own phone. “What the hell? Why is your father calling? Fuck. If that ER doc leaked this I’m going to have his license.”
“Daddy’s calling? Oh god! Daddy! Mom, I’m supposed to go to Newcrest. What day is it?”
“You were going to Newcrest? Why on earth would you go there during the winter?”
“Mom! I need to call Daddy. Can I please just use your phone?”
Before her mother could respond, the door opened and a couple of doctors walked in. “Hi. Samantha Murdock? I’m Dr. Montgomery, the doctor assigned to your care, and this is Dr. Jeng. She’s a psychologist and will be doing a psych evaluation. Then he looked at her mother, “Ma’am, we need a minute alone with Ms. Murdock, if you wouldn’t mind stepping out. It won’t take long.”
“Sam?” asked her mom with a look that said she wanted to stay.
There was no way Sam wanted her in there. She wanted Levon, but sadly that ship had sailed. “No,” said Sam, and her mother left in a huff.
“Ms. Murdock, as you know, the results of the toxicology tests showed Valium along with alcohol in your system. Has this ever happened before? Do you often mix these?”
She remembered the time that Levon had come home and put her in the shower. No, it wasn’t the first time she washed down a Valium with wine, She had done it several times. Then, her mother’s words about Rehab came back to her and she panicked.
“No,” she finally said, “this was the first time.” She couldn’t be isolated in Rehab. She wouldn’t survive it.
“Hmmm. You’re sure?”
Sam nodded afraid to speak.
The doctor sighed impatiently. She knew he probably didn’t believe her. “Fine. We’ll need to keep you overnight for observation. But Samantha, if you continue down this path, you will damage yourself irreparably, or even die. If you plan on more children, I don’t think I need to tell you the effects drugs and alcohol have on an unborn fetus. I’m going to go now and leave you with Dr. Jeng. If she concurs, then you’ll be released tomorrow morning.”
Sam didn’t like this new doctor and his condescending attitude frightened her. “Why isn’t Dr. Rosebrook my doctor?”
“He’s the ER doc,” he stated with zero emotion, “I’ll check on you in the morning.” Then he turned and walked out.
Once they were alone, Dr. Jeng addressed her. “Ms. Murdock, I was brought in because it appears you are emotionally unstable, possibly suicidal, and an addict. Your case is compounded further by the stress of your miscarriage.”
“I’m not an addict – or unstable – or suicidal!” said Sam, terrified of being put away in some rehab center. Or worse.
Dr. Jeng looked at her and sighed. “Then tell me, if you weren’t trying to end things, why did you overdose, or even drink being pregnant? That’s completely self destructive behavior. Or a cry for help. And, what of the baby’s father? His absence here is telling. Even more reason for you to be distraught.”
“You have it all wrong!” cried out Sam, “I didn’t know until this morning that I was pregnant. Never would I have done anything that would’ve harmed my baby. You have to believe me.”
“Oh?” she said, still sounding unconvinced. “Dr. Rosebrook said you were quite upset when he told you that you lost the baby.”
”God. Of course I was. Imagine finding out you are pregnant, and in the next breath that you lost it.” Sam was fighting hard to keep control so the psych doctor wouldn’t think she was insane and lock her up. She held tight to the blanket to keep her hands from shaking.
“Ms. Murdock, you need to talk to someone openly and honestly about your addiction.”
“I’m not addicted!”
“Says every addict,” she mumbled quietly, then wrote something down.
“Wouldn’t I be having withdrawals if I were an addict?” reasoned Sam, “I’m not an addict.”
“Even if you aren’t addicted, you have clearly abused alcohol and drugs. At this point, my recommendation would be admission to the rehab center in Brindleton Bay. You should easily be able to afford it, plus their specialty is dealing with … celebrities. You’ll be in excellent hands. I’ll make a call to see if they have an opening.”
Sam’s heart was beating out of her chest. No way. She couldn’t be sent off alone. “No, no please….” she begged, “I can’t…”
“Of course you can. You heard what Dr. Montgomery said, but evidently, Ms. Murdock, you need to hear more hard truths. I can clearly see you’ve been coddled and protected your entire life. Placed on a pedestal. Everything’s been handed to you. You have the life most people strive for. Well, hear this – you aren’t any better than anyone else. The difference is, we have lived our lives and learned to deal with the bumps in the road without resorting to alcohol and drugs to make us feel better. We deal with it, make adjustments and move on. Like adults are supposed to do. But you? No. Your irresponsibility caused you to lose your baby and almost cost you your life. Now, it’s time to wake up and grow up. At least you have the means to get help and perhaps recover from the pitiful mess you’ve already made of your short life. If not, you’ll just be another statistic.”
A/N – I want to give a shout out to CitizenErased for letting me borrow Dr. Rosebrook from her legacy, Ashes to Ashes. He was perfect for the kind, understanding ER doc.