[Book 1 of Complicated Trilogy]
“It may not be perfection, but it's complicated.”

Warning: Yellow—Contains mature content. Cursing is not censored.
© Copyright 2014-2018. All rights reserved. I do not own the picture I photo shopped as the cover.


15. Sign of the Times


Got to hand it to Zayn. He's got a nice office.

Had. He had a nice office.

All those judgmental eyes that were staring at me as I walked down the corridor earlier today. Gossip just spread like wildfire around this hospital. Everyone figured out who was going to replace the doctor that has been at the top for four years. Pretty obvious since I carried my belongings to his former office. When I got to my newly awaiting office, the glass window of the door already said my name and titles:

Alanna Fernandez, MD, RT(R)

Hospital Medic Manager

The door was left slightly ajar. Was I going to receive the keys soon? I pushed the door open with my hip, realizing that I just answered my own question. He still has them.

I place my box of things that I had packed onto the wooden desk. "Why, if it isn't the new medic manager herself. Congratulations." He reached out and tried hugging me, but I roughly pushed him away. "Whoa Alanna, what's got your panties in a twist?" He furrows his brow.

Returning the same facial expression, I spoke coldly. "Save your bullshit and hand over the keys." I begin to take out a desk calendar and a small potted plant from my box. I scoffed. "I thought you'd be gone by now. Was this just an elaborate excuse to get me to beg for you again?"

He frowns, his eyes becoming glossy. "Look, I already said that it wasn't intentionally going to hurt you. Also, I already apologized." He sets down the keys to the office on the desk. "I don't know why I even bothered to clean the office for you. I guess I should just lea-" I yanked him towards me and crash my lips into his.

Part of me was mad at myself for even kissing him. The other half wanted to forgive and forget. As soon as he registered what was happening, he caressed my face, slowly intensifying the kiss. It sent me back to where we were two weeks ago. After the convention, we– Oh my God.

I broke away. "Sorry, I..." Zayn seemed confused, still in a daze from the kiss. "There's someone else I-I'm seeing."

He raised his eyebrows. "Oh really?" He became quite bothered at my comment. He crosses his arms and looks away.

I sighed. "Look, I'll be the mature one here. Even if you did hurt me emotionally and mentally, I forgive you." He meets my gaze, eyes widened in surprise. I went back to decorating my new office and hung up some of my favorite paintings on the bare, dark blue walls. I hung each painting using a clear push pin.

As I reached over for another push pin to hang up a painting, he grabbed my arm and pulled me into him. "Zayn, what are you-"

"You thought I wasn't being mature?" He frowns. "Alanna, I begged for you to forgive me. And you didn't believe me. Now I'm leaving and you're not mine." He kisses my cheek gently. He had his arms around me, his hands resting a little too low on my lower back. It crossed my mind for a second, but it didn't bother me. What bothered me was the bigger picture of this situation.

"Zayn." My mind is definitely playing with fire now. I placed my hands against his chest.


"So you're heading back to music, huh? Any chance I can score tickets when you're in town?" I bit my lower lip.

He just smiles. "Well, there is a chance. You just need to do me a favor."

"Anything." Shut up! Quit being flirty and desperate! He leans in closer and kisses me. I was starting to kiss back, when he suddenly stops altogether. He left me in a daze. I realized what he did and grit my teeth. "Tease. Get out of my office."

He lets go of me and stands by the doorway, blows a kiss at me, and laughs on his way out of my office. And hopefully the last time I ever see him in here.

I couldn't believe that happened just 20 minutes ago.

Just now, I was able to pop a little confetti thingy – I never figured out the actual name – and dubbed myself officially moved in to my new office. My new job really wasn't much of a difference. Just the same old, same old. Yet, now I'm subjected to complete copious amounts of paperwork. This hospital is not keeping up with the times. Heavily sighing into my paperwork, I laid my head down on the pile.

"Should I get the coffee maker started?" I lifted my head up. It was Keisha, my long time best friend and fellow colleague.

I just grinned. "Oh hey Keke." I went to start the coffee maker. She had taken two weeks off from work. I can't blame her – she has her 2 year old son watched by her mother-in-law since her husband also works full-time and never gets to spend time with her son. "How's Kayden?"

"He's fine. How about you? How's the new position so far?" She handed me a mug from one of the cabinets. We've been friends since high school, and knowing Keke, she always wanted to know what's up. I summed up my entire trip with Zayn, even our little encounter today. I made her swear not to tell another living soul anything, even Dalia. "Girl, I thought that you would end up with Zayn. You kept saying that in high school too."

I shrugged my shoulders. "I don't know, Keke. Someone else has my heart at the moment." Apart from intentionally kissing Zayn today, I knew that it was only to say goodbye and nothing more.

We kept drinking our coffee and caught up a bit until we were interrupted by another nurse, peering in from the doorway. "Keke, you're needed in the maternity wing." I looked down at my mug. Had I just been drinking it without sugar or creamer? Shit.

Keke picked up her mug and looked at the male nurse, raising her brow. "Really? I just got back from the maternity wing." She drank the rest of her coffee and placed the mug into the small sink. "We can talk later Alanna. Oh, and here. I parked in your spot." She handed me my car keys and left. "WE NEED MORE GOD DAMN MID-WIVES IN THIS HOSPITAL!"

I laughed at her comment. Maybe I can pull some strings around...

I forced my attention back to the dreaded pile of paperwork. Let's see. Most of these are just to update patients' medical records. But wait this is the receptionists' job–

"Oh thank God." Nurse Rosalie runs into my office. "Sorry doctor, we gave you the wrong paperwork. Here, I'll take this." She took the entire pile and handed me a cream colored folder. Rosalie fled before I could thank her. Well, that's one less incident to document.

I opened the folder to find a chart that lists patients who needed X-Rays done today. Next one is a 37-year-old woman who apparently swallowed her engagement ring. Why do I always get to take the strangest x-rays ever? Some of these people should have some common sense. Like don't place an engagement ring in something that your soon-to-be fiancée is going to consume.

After two hours and some laxatives, I had about four more x-rays to perform and one ultrasound. They were all pretty standard and I thanked the stars they weren't like the first patient and her ring. Fractured bones, dislocated limbs, and the person with the ultrasound had their appendix ruptured. What surprised me the most is that he didn't feel any pain at all at that point, even when we rushed him to the emergency wing – what the hell kind of nerve damage does this guy have?

I walked back into my office, relieved that it was my lunch break. I grabbed my phone, purse, and car keys.

"Paging Dr. Fernandez to the ER! Dr. Fernandez to the ER!"

Looks like lunch will have to wait. Can't we have more doctors on duty?


I eased myself back down into my desk chair, trying to muster all the strength I had left, physically and mentally. "Doctor Alanna Fernandez, you have a call on line 2."

That deserves an eye roll, yet I'm too exhausted for that. I picked up the wireless phone and hit the second line button. "Hello, this is Doctor Alanna Fernandez. How can I help you?"

"Hello Dr. Fernandez. It's Tony Dragon, the administrative manager of the hospital. I'm calling to see how you are doing with your new position."

My face relaxed a little. "Oh, Mr. Dragon. Good to speak with you again. Yes, I'm doing well." There was a brief pause so I spoke again. "Anything else I can help you with?"

"Oh, don't work too hard. Your position is only a formality and your only other task is to obverse the hospital. Caring for patients is your main priority. Did I uh, make myself clear?"

"Yes sir. I completely understand. Have a great day Mr. Dragon." I was going to hang up, but I remembered about Keke. "Could we by any chance have more mid-wives in the mater-"

"I believe I have discussed this with Ms. Ellington. All other nurses in the maternity wing are getting training done. I'm sorry to cut this short Dr. Fernandez, but I have to go now. Have a great day."

"Thank you, you too."

As soon as he hung up, I slammed my head against my desk. I looked up and glanced at my Apple Watch. It's only 7:45? I grabbed my phone, put it into the pocket of my lab coat, and mentally prepared myself for the complete round I'm making of the hospital. I was about to head out, but someone knocked on my office door. "Come in."

"Can we talk?" Wow, her majesty has graced me with her presence. Dalia would never show up when she was on vacation. She must feel bad that she fucked up. I didn't argue with her. I let her have seat – at this point, there really was no reason to deny her request. After all, I did have some time to spare. "I'm sorry that I didn't call you back or shoot you a text, but I-"

"Dall, everything is fine. Really," I took out my left over lunch from the fridge and ate the rest of a half-eaten sub. "I did ignore some of your calls. We're even now." She didn't continue to ask why, which is something she doesn't do too often. She asked if Louis could stay with us for a while. Hell, I didn't even care at this point. If she's happy, I'm happy.

After almost an hour spent blabbing about issues at home, Dalia finally left. Apparently she was going to the Chicago Institute of Art with Louis and didn't want him to wait so long. Something about a late night gallery event. Finally locking the door to my office, I began my quest to observe the hospital surroundings. Did I really make everyone in each wing of the hospital that nervous? Eye contact is something that almost everyone avoided. Did someone spread a rumor that I'm vicious all of a sudden? In the event that someone bravely made eye contact, I smiled at them and they returned the gesture. So far the only problem I've seen is that one of the 3rd level hallways needed a light fixture changed.

I decided to keep going, and I didn't really see much of anything else. I stopped at the hospital's pharmacy on the 2nd level to pick up my prescription of anti-anxiety medication and sent a text to Harry.

To: Harry <3

What you up to Harry?

Sent 7:50 PM

From: Harry <3

Well, I turned down a trip to the art museum.

Now I'm just sat on your sofa watching Netflix. –H xx

Received 7:51 PM

"Hey Alanna, here's your prescription of Xanax." I looked up from my phone. It was Jamie. It's been a while since he's been back to work. He was on medical leave not too long ago. Terrible how things spread in this hospital, and I'm not referring to diseases.

"Oh thanks Jamie. How are you feeling?" I took the vial.

"Considering how almost everyone called my room the 'Jamie suite', not so well." He crossed his arms. "But yeah, my kidneys are fine."

I inspected the contents of my medication. "My prescription wasn't for 120, Jamie. I can't change my own prescription."

He shushed me, pulling out a note from the top drawer from behind the counter. "He said to give this to you too."

Hey love. I increased your dose of Xanax before I left. This should last you until the beginning of next year. Jamie will confirm that you picked up the prescription. I'm curious if your significant other will get jealous over Xanax? Ha, that would make my day! I love you so much. I hope you know that.

-Zayn Xx

P.s. If you ever change your mind, you know where to find me. I would love to kiss you again.

I think my eye started twitching when I thanked Jamie for my prescription and walked away. As soon as I was out of his peripheral vision, I crumpled the note and threw it away in the nearest trash bin. Instead of heading to the maternity wing or the ICU to inspect, I took the elevator all the way to the roof. I ran out, slammed my hands onto the railing, and screamed my lungs out.


But in pure amazement, I didn't have the guts to say it out loud. I just continued to yell until I was content. I breathed in the fresh Chicago air – amazing what technology can do to treat the atmosphere – and turned around and headed back inside. No one noticed that I slipped away to scream on top of the roof. I just minded my business and continued observing the hospital.

From: Harry <3

Well, I turned down a trip to the art museum.

Now I'm just sat on your sofa watching Netflix. –H xx

Read 8:13 PM

To: Harry <3

Sorry I'm replying late...what are you watchin'?

Sent 8:13 PM

From: Harry <3

Um...My Little Pony...

I couldn't find anything else to watch... –H xx

Received 8:14 PM

I couldn't help but let out a chuckle when he wrote that. My Little Pony? Ha. He's so adorable. There wasn't much left to do but go back to my office and write down a detailed report of my observations. I just hated the thought of having to go write that. Well, it was going to be an email sent to Mr. Dragon. I looked at my phone. Writing an email from my iPhone could be easier than going back to my office. As I drafted the beginning of my email, it hit me.

I still had the maternity wing and ICU to cover.


"I'm home." I sighed. Slamming the door shut, I slipped out of my shoes. My Little Pony was playing on the TV, yet there was no one else in sight besides my purple comforter on the sofa. Dalia's bedroom door was wide open. Peering into her room, it hit me. She went out with Louis.

I collapsed onto the love seat, not wanting to take another step. My eyes closed and I began to slowly drift away into a deep sleep. Oh God, when did this loveseat become so comfy? So peaceful...


"Hmm?" I slowly opened my eyes to find Harry standing next to me, still wearing his teddy bear pajama bottoms.

He grins. "Welcome back," He goes to the sofa and sits down, picks up the comforter and wraps himself up with it. "Do you want to watch My Little Pony?" Harry asks me, adjusting himself back onto the sofa before holding out the purple comforter for me.

"Hold on for like, five minutes..." I sprinted to my room and changed into my pajamas: a baggy T-shirt and athletic shorts. When I came back to the living room, he still had his arm out. "Have you've been like since I left?" I sat down next to him, his left arm wrapping my torso as I wrapped us both up in the puffy sheets.

"Mhmm. It was only three minutes." He kissed my forehead.

"God, I love you..." I muttered.

"Sorry, what was that?" His grip around my waist got tighter. I stayed silent. "Come on love, please tell me." He leans in and kisses my cheek. "Terrible to keep secrets from those whom you care about." I met his gaze, and he moves a strand of hair behind my ear. My lungs felt as heavy as lead. I kept staring at his clear green eyes, wondering why he cares so much about me. Seriously, we haven't known each other that long.

"Okay, I think you've watched enough My Little Pony for today." I logged out of Netflix and turned off the television. I moved over and sat in Harry's lap.

"How was work?" I rolled my eyes and scoffed. "I see..." He wraps his arms around me. "Do you want to go to bed?" I nodded.

Harry picked up my comforter and we walked to my room. I hung up my lab coat in the closet. "I have no idea how Zayn could do his job."

Harry stayed silent, moving a hand through his hair. He stared at me while I kept complaining about my job. "Um, is that shirt what I think it is?" He begins to grin.

I looked down at my shirt. It was probably the only shirt I have ever owned of the band. Glad it was after Zayn left. Ugh...I don't want to even think about his name right now. Harry just continued grinning, exposing his adorable little dimples. "Huh. No wonder you wanted to share a bed with me." He gave me a quick wink.

I scoffed. "Don't make me change my mind about this, Styles."

Harry's expression quickly changed. "That reminds me..." He stood from the bed and scurried out of the room. I moved towards my left night stand and pulled open my drawer. I really need a smoke. As I was about to 'light' my e-cig, it dropped to the floor. Harry walked back into my room, carrying my blue basket full of clean and folded laundry.

"Harry no." I bent down to pick up my e-cig. "Why? We haven't known each other long and you did my laundry for me."

He placed the basket on the floor and sat cross legged on my bed. "Well, I had to do my laundry. So I thought I might as well do my part since I'm staying here." It was the sweetest thing anyone has done for me all week. I pulled up the basket and began to put away my clean clothes. "So I'm guessing the reason why your baskets are labeled because Dalia has taken your stuff before?"

"Yeah. It's happened way too much." I put away the last of my socks in my drawer. I placed the basket on the floor and sat on the bed next to him. I gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you so much Harry."

The next few minutes were spent in silence, but not awkward. Happy silence. Just me smoking my cigarette, and Harry holding my right hand. The comforter only covered our feet, Harry thinking that the e-cig would catch it on fire. Honestly, everything in the house is fireproof. But seeing him this protective is really adorable. I mean, there's a reason why everything was fireproof. Ugh. Every time I think about that day, it makes me think of every single terrible thing that's happened in my life.


I turned off my e-cig and threw it into the nightstand drawer. It had died. Great.

At that point, there wasn't much to do but go ahead and sleep. Harry had already fallen asleep, his hands resting against his sides, sleeping in a sort of sitting position. I nudged him awake so he wouldn't stay like that all night. With heavy eyes he laid down on his side. He covers himself in the purple comforter. I hesitate a bit before doing the same. Do I really want to go to bed now?

Depriving myself of sleep would only result in a mixture of caffeine and prescribed anti-anxiety medication. Who am I kidding? I never seen a day in my life where I didn't have to turn to caffeine for energy. Okay, maybe when I was a kid. But still.

"Aren't you tired Alanna?" He whispers, while his eyes remained closed.

"Well, I am. But I don't know. I just..."

"Don't you have work in the morning?" He wraps his toned arms around me, pulling me into him. He rests his chin on my shoulder. His lips delicately touch against my neck.

I slowly turned around in Harry's arms to face him. "There's this antsy feeling that I'm getting Harry, I just can't put my finger on it."

"That doesn't answer my question, Alanna," He kisses my nose. "Did you want to do something?"

In that moment, I remembered what I wanted to do as soon as I got home.

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