The Davis Effect


Tate Weston watched the waiting room of Maine Medical Center.

There was a woman and her young son, about five years old, waiting to hear about the results of her husbands angiogram. A group of men stood around, laughing with one another as they waited to hear from Dr. Dominguez about their drunk friend’s surgery after he fell down the stairs and broke his leg. Usually, scattered families and friends sat or stood around the entire waiting room, eyes either glued to their phones, the floor, or the TV, nervously hoping whoever they were waiting for were alright.

This time, however, most of the room were distracted by the family who sat in the corner by the large window. A woman sat in the ugly green chair, staring off into space, and her eldest son paced around, talking loudly on the phone to–Tate assumed–their lawyer. The middle son sat a few seats away, staring out the window as the sky poured rain down onto the city of Portland. The youngest son, whose much darker complexion would make anyone assume he didn’t belong to the family (though Tate knew better), sat next to him, drinking coffee that looked like it was from the cafeteria. He glanced at the TV every few seconds as the news anchors from every channel reported about him and his family, more specifically, his father.

Immediately, they perked up as soon as they saw Dr. Reed and Dr. Harris, the cardiothoracic and neurosurgeon, respectively, walk out of the double doors that led to the O.R. and towards them. Dr. Harris took her lavender scrub cap off.

“We went in preparing for the worst,” she said, not noticing that everyone else had tuned in. “The bullet was lodged in his frontal lobe and we recovered it, but we won’t know more until he wakes up.”

“The one in his heart tore through his aorta,” Dr. Reed continued. “His heart arrested twice but...he wouldn’t go down without a fight.”

“So, he’s going to be fine?” The woman whispered.

Dr. Reed nodded. “Yes, for now. We’ll watch him overnight as the next twelve hours will be critical, but he’s alive.”

It seemed like the entire waiting room sighed in relief as the tension immediately dissipated. Tate couldn’t help but smile as she watched the Davis family hug one another and proceed to follow the surgeons to the ICU, where Senator Davis was being held.

“You gonna go home yet or what, Tate?” Nurse Sarah asked. “Your shift ended an hour ago.”

“I know,” she nodded, turning towards her. “I just wanted to know the outcome of the surgery.”

“Didn’t we all,” she muttered.

“Goodnight, Sarah,” Tate smiled, grabbing her purse and waving goodbye.

“Goodnight, Tate.”