In Seattle, the crime rate was much lower than other West Coast cities like Los Angeles. Best friends Claire Thompson and Jules Chang were out to teach one of their co-workers a major lesson. Alice Casters had been one of their professors back in nursing school. She was no longer their professor and they were equals in the workforce. Alice had been trying to prevent both girls from graduating on time. Rumor had it; Alice was upset because she had been passed over for a promotion. The person doing the recommending ten years ago was Claire's mother and the one who got the job had been Jules's cousin.
Since then Alice did whatever she could to ruin the girls' morale. Claire was frustrated that she couldn't counter Alice's attacks nor save Jules from being persecuted because, Alice started having a thing against Asian people.
However now the time had come. Claire and Jules would team up and get Alice back for what she did to them and anyone else that came to their rescue.
The time seemed right, when Alice started sweet talking and then suddenly blasting the new interns.
Claire hinted for Jules to go first.
"Hey Alice, could I speak to you?" Jules said barely suppressing a grin.
"You cannot call me Alice!" she snapped back.
"Yeah like you are the queen of Seattle!" Jules scoffed.
Claire came forward.
"Jules and I aren't going to let you do the same to these interns," Claire stated firmly.
"Look Claire Thompson finally has a voice!" Alice scoffed.
Jules and Claire exchanged grins instead of grimacing.
"Look Alice, what you did was wrong. You weren't the right one for the job. They needed someone younger and more modern," Jules stated.
Alice rolled her eyes at them.
"What can you two do? Only been here two years and think you can outwit me? I have the power now. Now go do your jobs and let me do mine," Alice scoffed.
"Excuse me, Ms. Casters, I need to speak with you," someone said coming towards them.
Alice didn't see who was coming, just waved her hand pretended not to hear.
Jules and Claire mouthed," Yes!" before rushing off.
Dr. Milford tapped Alice on the shoulder.
She turned and looked at him baffled.
"You didn't administer the proper dosage. I had to get two nurses to fix your mistakes. Now that doesn't say much for the years you have been here. Shape up, otherwise you'll be demoted," John Milford stated before walking away.
Alice caught up to Claire and Jules.
"Trust me one of these days; you both won't be able to go up against me. You think you have won? I intend to keep my job and reputation!" Alice stammered.
"Well if you keep your reputation up Alice, we won't have to do anything," Claire stated.
"Yeah we'll just sit here and watch all the action," Jules said with a wink.
Alice yelled at the top of her lungs and rushed off to go ruin someone else's day.
Alice Casters disappeared for a few days thereafter. Everyone hoped she had finally gone on vacation. Claire and Jules began hearing gossip about Jared Milford; he was the only child that was mentioned by John Milford. He usually tried to keep his personal life separate. However Jared had just started his residency in another hospital across town. Jules decided Jared seemed like a nice guy. She started to prim Claire on.
"I hope Jared decides to come visit his Dad. It will be such a magical meeting between the two of you!" Jules exclaimed.
Claire eyed her friend in surprise.
"What about you? He might be your type, who knows?" Claire stated.
Jules rolled her eyes.
"Claire, I go on dates all the time. You on the other hand, haven't really dated anyone seriously in quite some time," Jules retorted.
"Jules, I cannot just but hopes on some guy I haven't met yet!" Claire exclaimed.
Jules looked at her firmly.
"Listen Claire, it's all right to have dreams. Please dream my friend!" Jules declared before heading off to get ready to punch out for the day.
Claire still had two hours to before her shift ended. She went to go check on her patient George.
Ten minutes before, her shift ended, there was a big commotion amongst her co-workers.
An accident victim had been brought in.
She saw a saddened glance from one of the EMTS and realized it was bad. She then looked down and saw her dear friend breathing her last breaths. Claire fell to her knees next to the stretcher.
Claire sat in the hallway holding her knees to her chest. Jules's last words rang in her mind.
"Keep on dreaming Claire. You have to go on for both of us. Oh and don't forget to torture Alice and make sure you meet Jared," Jules said with a faint smile.
A moment before she died, she whispered," I'll be watching over you. Whether you like it or not, you are going to have a life Claire."
Claire didn't how she was supposed to go living without her best friend. Only time would tell if Jules still remained in spirit.
The three days following Jules 's death passed in a blur. Claire took a week off to regain her composure.
Unfortunately, Alice Casters decided to return in Claire's absence.
When things started to get bad, Jules appeared in Claire's dream and urged," You need to go back there and fix things now!"
Claire awakened surprised but felt relieved that her friend remained with her in spirit. She would have mixed views about this later on of course.
(Musical inspiration by Linkin Park)
She returned to work, filled with a bit of strength. Jules used to work with her to save the day. Now Claire was alone.
Claire approached the scene ten minutes before Alice's shift was to end.
"Alice could I speak with you?" Claire said firmly.
Alice turned to face her.
"I knew the day would come that you would be alone. Shame it wasn't you that died in an accident," Alice scoffed.
Claire bit her lip and stared at the floor before looking at Alice fiercely.
"You wouldn't want to hear what I really wish, so let me get to the issue at hand. You have three complaints filed against you hence the bad behavior you exhibited this past week," Claire stated firmly.
Alice gave her surprised look.
"Claire I'm quite sure I would know if anyone had filed a compliant against me," Alice quipped.
Claire smiled slightly.
"Well how could you know if they were just filed this morning?" she inquired.
Alice gave her an astonished glance.
"You are lying to me," Alice declared.
"Believe what you must Alice. Your days as head nurse are numbered. The administration is all ready looking for your replacement," Claire stated.
Alice was about to have a go at her when John Milford arrived.
"Casters, its two minutes until you punch out. I'm sure working overtime will not be in your best interests at the moment," he stated.
Alice stomped off.
John turned to Claire.
"Nice to have you back," John commented.
"It's great to be back," Claire said.
The following week was difficult. Claire had to fight off Alice's antics until she was officially fired.
The full report took a week to compile.
Jules appeared on the luscious day.
"You have been working hard Claire. Don't worry after today Alice will be gone and someone special will enter your life," Jules said.
Claire rolled her eyes.
"Jules you do understand I'm the only one who can see you?" Claire exclaimed.
Jules tipped her hat on her head.
"You know it's too bad we didn't live in the Midwest or something. Wouldn't be romantic to riding and some handsome cowboys saving us from our horses throwing us off?" Jules commented.
"Nice thinking Jules. I see no romantic encounter coming here," Claire mumbled.
Jules gave her a firm look.
"Remember you are living for the both of us now. You need an extra special romantic encounter or two," Jules quipped.
"Jules you know my lack of a track record. Please don't..," she trailed off.
" Shh! Someone is coming. I'll see you afterwards," Jules said before disappearing.
Claire sighed before returning back to work.
After Claire finished with George, who proposed to her in his delirious state, thinking she was his girlfriend from fifty years before?
Claire made sure he was settled for bed and headed out towards the lobby. She felt exhausted but she couldn't let the handwork take its toll, at least not yet. She needed to be there when Alice was escorted out.
Claire didn't notice the stranger arrive. She was too intent on seeing the retreating figure of Alice Casters.
He stood a few feet away. Some invisible force lured him towards her.
Claire felt dizzy and soon everything seemed to turn grey, then she blacked out and hit the ground hard.
The stranger was by her side first. He made orders for an IV and bed to be set up. He bent down by her side and lifted a strand of hair from her face. He felt something then, but he didn't know what it was.
Claire awakened to see Jules by her side.
"Tell me I have been dreaming, and you are really alive," Claire said.
"Sorry, the truth is, this is your romantic encounter. I just came by to make sure you are ready," Jules said nonochantly.
"I collapsed or something. I don't want them to consider me insane or anything," Claire stated.
Jules pouted and pretended to be insulted.
"That's no way to treat your best friend!" Jules exclaimed.
"Sorry I didn't mean to..," Claire trailed off trying stifling the lump in her throat.
Jules smiled sympathetically at her.
"Claire it's all right to be upset. I know you miss our talks and rants about all the people we hate. Oh and I do recall that you always hated being the damsel in distress. Don't worry your doctor is a total hottie Come on girl! You get to be touched by some hunk. Since you work here, you won't even have to pay for it!" Jules exclaimed.
Footsteps were coming closer to the room.
"Okay Claire, you don't need me to stay any longer. Enjoy your romantic encounter part one," Jules quipped before disappearing.
She wearily turned towards the door to see if Jules was right.
There stood a young doctor. He gave her a warm smile.
"Why does she have to be right all the time?" Claire thought to herself.
"Hello Ms. Thompson, how are you feeling now?" he inquired.
"I'm fine. So why did I faint?" Claire inquired.
"Well I'll introduce myself. I'm Dr. Jared Milford," he stated.
Claire stared at him with her eyes popping open wide.
"I presume you have heard of me. Well I'm only here for a few days while my father goes on a very well needed vacation. I heard your break was cut short. You are suffering from dehydration and perhaps lack of sleep. Word has it you lost a close friend recently. I'm sorry for your loss. However you need to take care of yourself. I'm sure your friend wouldn't want you to waste away," Jared stated.
Claire nodded briskly.
"Well I was wondering when I could go home. I mean I have nothing major wrong with me," Claire stated.
"I would like to keep you around for awhile. Just wait a half-hour. I need to check up on a patient. I need to examine you before letting you go," Jared stated firmly.
He turned and exited the room.
Jules reappeared in the room.
"So was I right or what?" Jules inquired.
"You were right," Claire grumbled.
Claire looked at the IV tube tapered to her hand.
"Pull that out and he sure will have to tie to this bed," Jules said with a grin.
"Jules, I seriously don't like being here like this. There are patient far more serious than me. He should be concerned with them not me!" Claire declared.
Jules rolled her eyes.
"Do whatever you wish my friend. I'll just enjoy the show of you resisting medical treatment," Jules quipped before disappearing.
Claire pulled out the tube and lifted the blanket from her legs.
She reached under the bed and grabbed her shoes.
"Thanks for not hiding them!" Claire whispered.
Of course Jules's plan wouldn't work if the shoes weren't there. She wanted Claire to have her second portion of a romantic encounter.
Claire stumbled out into the hallway.
Jared was discussing a case with another nurse, when he noticed Claire walking away.
"What is she doing out of bed?" Jared muttered.
He started to rush after her.
Claire turned to see him gaining on her.
She started to walk faster.
"Claire Thompson stops in your tracks!" Jared yelled after her.
Claire ignored him and continued on her way to the nurses' station to grab her things to go home.
Jared reached her and grabbed her wrist.
"Where do you think you are going?" Jared exclaimed.
"I'm leaving. My shift was over awhile ago," Claire exclaimed.
"Do you know how long you were unconscious? You were out for three days!" Jared exclaimed.
"What? You have to be kidding me!" Claire stated.
Jared gave her a firm look.
Claire's heart sank. He wasn't lying to her.
"Now I want you back in your room! I'll take you home once you are medically cleared," Jared assured her.
He kept his promise. He took her home and they shared a silent moment that wasn't awkward or anything. It can be assumed both of them realized they were brought together by a force. Claire thought it was Jules, Jared thought it was destiny. Perhaps it was a bit of both.
Things took off between them. It was inevitable.
A few months later, they had just finished a rough day in the OR. Claire felt fatigue but felt hopeful that she could make it home. After all Jules was watching over them all.
Jared stumbled out of the locker room. He hadn't had a good night's sleep. His father had started his own clinic, therefore Jared had started taking over at the hospital.
"Claire I cannot believe you still has enough energy to walk as fast as you does," Jared said as he finally caught up to her.
"What's wrong doctor? The first time we were introduced you seemed to keep up with me just fine," Claire quipped.
Jared smiled slightly.
"Guess I'm not myself since that day," he commented.
Claire smiled brightly. She reached over and touched his forehead.
"You are a bit warm. Here take a seat in this room and I'll get a thermometer," Claire stated.
Jared slumped onto the examining table.
Claire returned and stuck the thermometer in his mouth. He kept on giving her weird looks.
She grinned at him.
"Role reversal. Now I get to be the boss," Claire quipped.
The thermometer beeped and she took it.
" Hmm. Well Dr. Milford you have a 101 degrees. I suggest a few hours of rest will do you quite well," Claire stated.
He grabbed her wrist.
"How about a kiss?" Jared smiled mischievously.
Claire rolled her eyes.
"You haven't even asked me out yet! Besides in my case, it's more exciting if you just..," Claire trailed off.
Jared kissed her.
"Go for it," Claire finished. She looked at him solemnly.
She hesitated for a moment then she kissed him back.
She stood back.
"Well are you going to ask me out or not?" Claire inquired.
"You know I would love to just propose to you right now. I was smitten since the first time I saw you," Jared admitted.
Claire blushed as she tried to leave.
"Hey I love you. Come meet my family this weekend," Jared called after her.
Claire turned around.
"Are you serious?" Claire inquired.
"Yeah I am. First help me get better, then I'll take you out to the best places Seattle has to offer," Jared promised.
Claire put her hands on her hips.
"What do I have to do for you?" she asked.
"Well maybe a massage, some chicken noodle soup and stay up late keeping a damp cloth on my forehead," Jared rattled off.
"Darling I won't be able to stay up taking care of you. However I'll make that soup once I take you home," Claire stated.
"Fine let's go before my heart breaks," Jared said.
Claire slipped her hand into his as they reached the parking lot.
"You okay to drive your car home?" Claire inquired.
"I didn't drive this morning. My car was getting serviced today," Jared quipped.
"Fine gets into mine and I'll take you home," Claire stated.
Claire made him soup and placed it on his bedside table.
"Here you go Jared. Call me if you need anything," Claire stated as she got up to leave.
"Wait a second honey!" Jared called out.
"What's with the endearments?" Claire inquired.
"You started it by calling me darling. You know I like it when you call me that," Jared stated.
"Then I shall call you darling until I breath my last," Claire stated.
Jared leapt from bed and stared at her firmly.
"Don't say that. I just realized my feeling for you. Promise me you won't leave me yet," Jared pleaded.
Claire looked at him solemnly.
"Don't fear darling. An angel from heaven is watching over us," Claire said.
She tucked him in and headed home.
Two months, Claire was to meet Jared's family. Sure she had worked with his Dad, but his mother was who she was worried about. Claire didn't have to fear. Jane Milford was welcoming and liked Claire from the instant they met.
Jillian and Jack, the twins respected their older brother's choice and were elated that he was finally serious with someone.
Claire smiled up at the heavens and thanked God for making her friend an angel. Jules appeared and flashed her smile.
Within the next three months, Claire would say yes to a marriage proposal, plan her wedding and dedicate a plot in Jules's name.
She kneeled in front of the plague that had just been delivered.
Claire sighed. It was nice having an angel watching over her, yet she wished Jules could be at the wedding as her matron of honor and that she could have done the same for Jules someday.
"Wish you could be here physically, Jules. I owe you big time. You guided me to love and you never got a chance," Claire sobbed.
Jules appeared before her.
"Hey Claire. Don't cry for me. I'll get another chance. In the mean time I'm romancing all these young hunky angels," Jules joked.
"You are only trying to make me feel better," Claire quipped.
Jules rolled her eyes.
"Yeah well, what are best friends for? Besides the Big Man up there promised I'll get another chance," Jules stated.
Claire smiled slightly.
"I hope your romantic experience is twice as wonderful as mine, whenever it happens," Claire stated.
"Thanks. You should get some sleep. I'm sure you wouldn't want to be the only one with puffy, red eyes at your wedding," Jules quipped.
Claire nodded before getting up and heading back to the last night in her apartment.
Claire had chosen a white, Vera Vang replica for her wedding gown. Jules had pointed it out when she had been torn between dresses the month before. She never felt so beautiful and happy at the same time.
The whole Chang family arrived and was seated on Claire's side of the pews. It was a bright sunny day and everyone was happy. Of course Jules's physical absence from the scene didn't go unnoticed. Claire shed a few tears before she walked down the aisle.
By the time her father gave her away, Claire had regained her composure. They exchanged vows and slipped the rings on each other's fingers. Before they knew it was dark outside and time for the reception.
"I love you honey," Jared whispered.
"Love you forever darling," Claire said before wrapping her arms around his shoulders.
An angel from heaven had brought them together and she would continue to watch them as time passed them by.
Two years later...
"Honey, do you really have to go in today?" Jared inquired.
"Darling, I have to go in today. You are feeling much better and our vacation isn't until tomorrow," Claire replied.
"Fine. Just hurry back. We still need to pack," Jared said as he pulled her in for a kiss.
Claire smiled as she pulled back.
" Actually it will me doing the packing while you tell me what looks good and what I need to throw out," Claire commented.
Jared rolled his eyes.
"You know me too well. Just hurry back," Jared pleaded.
Claire gave him a peck on the cheek.
"I'll try. Depends how soon my replacement comes in," Claire stated.
They exchanged I love yours and she headed out.
The day turned out to be rough. A nursing home resident had been brought in because of neglect on part of her son to check up on the nursing home's quality.
The son had called in at the hospital and had been hassling Claire for the past hour.
"Sir, I'll get your mother's file. Please wait a moment," Claire stated firmly.
"Claire, I have some bad news. The patient in room 302 has just slipped into a coma," Marianne reported.
"Oh goodness. What was the patient's name?" Claire inquired.
"Janet Peterson," Marianne stated gravely.
"I have her son on the other line. I'll let him know," Claire stated.
She had just finished talking on the phone, when suddenly a patient in his wheelchair started to have a seizure.
Claire rushed over to help.
As she approached him, however some force pulled her back.
His arms and legs were moving erratically.
Claire later realized, Jules had stopped her for a reason.
A week later, after returning from her vacation, Claire would get her blood work done. She was two months pregnant.
Several Months Later...
Claire sat in the rocking chair, holding her now sleeping infant son. Jules appeared.
Claire smiled at her friend.
"I have everything, I could ever want all because of you," Claire whispered softly.
"Remember you are living for the both of us. My godson is so cute!" Jules declared.
She leaned over and kissed his forehead.
Claire stared at the doorway.
"Do you think Jared knows you visit?" Claire inquired.
She had never breached the subject with her husband.
"I believe he has a linking. Of course he won't find out for some time. Anyway my cloud bed is awaiting me. Take care of Jake," Jules stated.
Claire looked down at her son, Jake. He was sleeping soundlessly. Her son had no idea how lucky he truly was. However in due time both of them would truly realize they were perhaps more than just lucky.
It was one of those rare Saturdays that both Claire and Jared had off work. The past few years and brought no more children to the couple, but they were content. After all, Jared's mother had the twins several years after Jared was born.
Jared needed to help his sister move into her new apartment, so Claire decided to take Jake with her to the supermarket.
"Mommy, I don't want to go to the supermarket!" Jake wailed.
Claire gripped his had firmly.
"Jake you get to pick our dinner tonight. Daddy needs to help Aunt Jillian today," Claire stated.
Jake remained calm.
He occasionally inquired about a few foods and why some people were fatter than others. Suddenly he grew quiet.
Claire was so used his inquires, that she had to turn to look at him.
"Jake are you all right?" Claire inquired.
Jake stood staring past his mother.
Claire looked in the direction, he was staring off into.
"Everyone stay down! This is a hold up!" a man and woman declared. Both were wearing masks.
"Oh great! The modern Bonnie & Clyde!" Claire thought to herself. She grabbed Jake and ducked down.
It seemed like a protective shield had covered them.
"Thanks Jules," Claire whispered.
Two hours later…
Besides for a few scrapes and bruises all the shoppers exited the building just fine. The only ones in deep trouble were Bonnie and Clyde.
Claire convinced the EMTS that she and Jake were fine, besides for being shaken up.
She relayed to them that she was a nurse.
Of course they hadn't seen the bullet whiz past them earlier; otherwise they would believe it was an Angel from Heaven that saved them.
Claire pulled into the driveway.
"Great your Dad will be home by now," Claire stammered.
Jared had expected them home before he was.
"Claire was you at the supermarket?" Jared exclaimed as he ran out to them.
Claire exchanged glances with their son.
"Yeah Daddy. Mom called out to Jules and she saved us," Jake responded.
Jared turned to Claire.
Claire looked into his eyes. He knew. Maybe it was Jules that told him or just maybe he had realized on his own.
"It was an Angel from Heaven that saved us," Claire simply stated.
Jared embraced his family.
He looked up into the sky and silently thanked God for making Jules their angel.
An angel from heaven,
Was once on this earth
As a true friend,
Yet she continued her duties
In the afterlife,
Protecting those she cares about most.
She made sure her friend went on to live life
For both of them
In the end, all was well
They lived in harmony.