Amy was actually leaving the hospital at a decent hour.
Not that it mattered. She’d go home, shower, eat and pass out just to do it all again tomorrow but for the sake of those around her, she could pretend to have a life. Maybe one day soon, she’d actually get one.
Daniel and Gabe were in the Resident’s Lounge talking sports when she walked in to change and retrieve her purse. Daniel shot her a look that was neither pleasant nor unpleasant. If she were the type to keep score, speaking of sports, she’d have no idea how. Last they’d talked they’d aired some things out and then Nate started speaking to her again, and Daniel had flipped on her. It was getting tiring.
She decided to shower before changing back into her street clothes. It would have been just as easy to go home and shower but she was stalling. The hospital showers were nicer than hers anyway. Going home to an empty apartment was easier when she was bone tired and could fall straight into bed. This time of the night, residents would be either leaving or eating and crawling to an on-call room for some rest. That meant the lounge would be busy. Perhaps she would linger and make an attempt at some human interaction. The impulse was not in her nature but she was tired of being lonely and tired of being broken and attracting brokenness. Admittedly, she had no idea how this worked but being a little friendly with her coworkers couldn’t hurt.
Fresh from her shower and dressed in the clothes she’d arrived in, she exited the ladies lockers to find a nearly empty lounge. So much for making friends.
Daniel was curled up on a leather chaise cursing softly at his iPad.
“Are you alright?” she asked.
“I keep losing my connection, that’s all. Trying to talk to my daughter before it gets nuts in here and I can’t have a private conversation.”
His iPad made a ringing sound and Daniel turned his shoulders away possessively as is to shield the screen from being seen. Amy could take a hint but she took her time gathering her things, even taking a few minutes to brew a cup of tea (that she didn’t need) just to slow her departure.
“Daniel?” said a woman’s voice, with a very strong accent.
“I’m here, Jules. Can you hear me? Put Adelina back on please.” he demanded impatiently.
“Fine, look, we have somewhere to go so talking quickly. I’m getting shower while you chat,” she barked in broken English.
“Do whatever you want,” Daniel dismissed her and then his tone changed completely. “Hi, princeza!”
“Hi, Papa!” her little voice was high pitched and sweet. Amy’s insides liquefied and once again her heart ached a little for the predicament Daniel was in.
“Where are you, Angel?” Juljana had mentioned they’d be “out of town.” Something about a job interview for her boyfriend. It made him seethe that they traveled with him. Jules insisted on calling him her fiancee’ though there was no chance that she’d be able to marry him unless Daniel granted her a divorce. There was no chance of that unless she came back to the States bringing Adelina with her. That was his one leverage point but so far all it was earning him were regular calls with his daughter.
“We’re at a hotel Papa at Mama’s ‘ami.’ There’s a pool.” She sounded excited.
“A hotel where?” Daniel asked confused.
“Mama’s ami,” the little girl repeated again.
“I don’t know what that is, baby girl. What’s an ‘ami’?
“I dunno,” she shrugged. “And Papa, they bring cake… to your room!”
Daniel laughed. In spite of the situation, he made the best and enjoyed the few minutes he had talking with his baby. ‘Mama’s ami’ momentarily forgotten.
Amy begrudgingly dragged herself from the lounge, no longer able to just hang around without completely letting on that she was eavesdropping. She made an attempt to waive a good night to Daniel who completely ignored her. He was bright and smiling for once and for once, Amy understood.
She was almost to the elevators when a memory hit her out of nowhere. She turned and hightailed it back to the lounge and burst through the door. Adelina was singing a song to her dad who was beaming and clapping along. Amy jumped over his shoulder and interrupted.
“Hi there, Princess,” she cooed.
“What are doing?” Daniel grit his teeth, continuing to smile.
“Trust me.” she kneed him in the thigh below the frame of the iPad so the little girl couldn’t see. “My name is Amy what’s yours.”
“Adelina! Who are you?”
“I’m a friend of your daddy’s. I work with him at the hospital. And I couldn’t help but overhear that you’re in a hotel. Aren’t hotels fun?”
“Yes!,” the little girl agreed with enthusiasm.
“Where’s your mama?” Amy asked.
“In the shower.”
“Oh, okay. Hey, can we play a game?”
“Do you know what a scavenger hunt is?”
“I’ll say something like, ‘show me a lamp’ and then you have to find a lamp in your room and show it to me. Okay?”
Adelina nodded enthusiastically. This sounded like fun.
“Okay, first… find me a menu. Do you know what a menu is?”
“Yes!” she squealed and slid off the bed and over to the nightstand between the two beds. “Here it is!”
Daniel’s eyes got wide when he saw it. Plain as day on the top of the menu was the word Delivery and a Florida phone number.
“They’re in Miami,” Amy said under her breath. “What do you want me to do?”