Let Me Fall After Her
Chapter 3 "A Neurotic Situation"
Anna sat with her legs tucked under her on the couch. As she
watched Kerry pour coffee for them, she tried to form her first
"Kerry, I'm still a little confused." She knotted her
fingers together and tried to speak casually. "What were you talking
about out there? What did Carter do exactly?"
Kerry looked up with a mixture of uncertainty and concern.
She quickly sat down across from her and clutched her coffee cup.
"Anna, I'm not really sure if I should be saying anything."
"Does it have to do with Carter?" Kerry only nodded. "What
"I'm not sure if he'd want me telling you."
"Two Valentine's Days ago, he and his med student were
attacked here in the hospital." There, she'd managed to spit it
out. For the longest time, she couldn't even speak of the day. Anna
didn't say anything. "Lucy, Lucy Knight, she was his med student.
She had a patient who first had a headache then became disoriented
throughout the day. Carter was supervising her, however, I'm not
sure he was doing such a good job. They ruled out meningitis and
called for a Psych consult. Only Psych never came. Lucy sat with
him, the whole evening. And he stabbed her. The staff was having
their Valentine's Day party. They had the music on so damn loud,
nobody heard or saw anything happen. Later, though, Carter went to
look for Lucy. He went in the room, and the patient stabbed him in
the back. Twice."
Anna couldn't fight the tears that came to her eyes. Oh my
god, she thought to herself. How could this have happened?
Kerry continued, wanting to get the whole story out before
Anna said anything. "We didn't find them until a long while later.
They both lost a lot of blood but Carter managed to pull through.
Lucy, on the other hand, didn't. She died while they were trying to
repair a pulmonary embolism near her heart. Carter blamed himself
for her death. For months he acted like nothing was wrong, that
everything was fine. And for some reason, we all believed him.
Every once in a while, people would ask how he was doing, and he'd
always say the same thing, that he was fine. And we believed him,"
she added with a laugh. "We believed that he was okay, that
everything was normal. It didn't turn out so normal, though.
Something had changed him that night. He got himself addicted to
The door opened and Carter walked in as Kerry spoke the last
sentence. He stopped quickly, his eyes darkening as he saw the
figure sitting on the couch, near tears. The Styrofoam cup of coffee
that was in his hand fell to the floor. A full second passed before
he realized what he did and he quickly went to pick it back up.
"Anna," he managed to say. Nothing more. A million emotions
flew through him. First it was anger. Then surprise, confusion, but
in a few seconds it was back to anger. He recalled hearing Kerry say
something about an addict. Was she telling Anna about him? The
realization made him even more furious. How could she tell her
that? It was his own damn business, and he didn't want anyone else
hearing about the mistakes he'd made in his past. He would tell
them, in his own time.
Noticing the pause and awkwardness, Dave stepped forward
eagerly and introduced himself.
"Hi, I'm Dr. Dave, and you are?" He held his hand out for
Anna to shake. She stared at it, then laughed slightly and got to
"Anna Del Amico," she answered, taking his hand and giving it
a firm shake. Dave grinned back at her, instantly infatuated. She
easily looked away from him to Carter, her stomach already sick by
the look on his face. She really had no idea how he was going to
react when he saw her again, but she'd hoped it wouldn't have been
Carter watched the interaction between them, a searing rage
of jealousy building inside of him. He swore it would be the worst
if Dave and Anna got close. He and Dave had kept up a friendship at
work; he wasn't about to allow a friend date someone whom he loved
with all his heart. True, being absent from Anna had allowed his
feelings for her to settle down considerably, but seeing her again
made them roar back up in a flash. And he didn't know how to handle
As she looked from Dave to him, a sledgehammer pounded his
stomach and he felt nauseous.
"I have a patient," he said to no one in particular. After
fixing Anna with a flaming gaze, he turned and left.
"John, wait." Anna broke away from Dave and ran after him.
She caught up to him in front of the ER doors, making them an easy
audience for all that watched from the desk. He stopped and slowly
turned to look at her.
"Don't be mad at me for coming back," she said.
"I'm mad because you left in the first place," he growled,
keeping his voice down. He was well aware of all the people who were
watching, and didn't care to be seen under the microscope. But
either Anna didn't notice, or she didn't care. She stopped him from
leaving, grabbing him by the arm.
"John, don't be mad at me for anything," she said loudly.
"I'm sorry I left, but it was good for me. I had to go back to
Philly, I didn't belong here. You of all people should understand
"Why, because Max didn't want you here?" he asked testily.
She pursed her lips. After all these years, Carter still
despised her boyfriend, Max. Just because he screwed up a couple of
times with drugs. Carter hated him for that. He was so sure she
deserved someone better.
"It had nothing to do with Max. I still can't believe you
hate the guy. So someone uses drugs and all of a sudden he's not
perfect enough for you? You gave Chase a chance, hell, you even did
it yourself!" The last statement was out of her mouth before she
even had a chance to stop it.
Carter's eyes turned cold, deeply cold. His face paled and
he visibly trembled.
"Fuck you, Anna." Quickly he turned and shoved open the
ambulance bay doors going outside. This time, Anna didn't bother to