DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Karen A. Bates and is reprinted from Nuages One, published by Checkmate Press, 1983. Checkmate Press is the property of Karen A. Bates. This story is Rated PG.

Please Leave Us

Karen A. Bates-Crouch

If there are three words in the language I dislike more than any others, they are 'please leave us'. No matter how much time, effort or emotional involvement I've invested in a situation, when the time comes for the cards to be laid on the table, so to speak, Leonard McCoy inevitably turns to me and says, "Nurse Chapel, please leave us".

It's like they forget I'm a human being with feelings, with needs to be satisfied. To the three of them I'm no more than an additional fixture in the sickbay. I can hear the salesman now: "And this is our Nurse Chapel model. She can be coordinated to match any decor".

What would they do without me? Would they even I notice was missing? McCoy is the chief surgeon and medical authority on the ship, but I'm the invisible strength behind him that makes his job easier. I'm the one who makes the preparation, assists, cleans up, keeps the records, and takes the guff he dishes out when things don't go smoothly.

I guess those kinds of things don't count for much compared with what they have between them. Sometimes I wonder why I bother sitting up with Spock, or go out of my way to make certain everything is as perfect as possible for McCoy, or keep track of Kirk's special diets and requirements. What's the point?

It's me. This is the type of person I am. I can't become an unfeeling, uncaring or inefficient person just because it would make my job less complicated.

I realize they see my presence as an intrusion, but I wish they weren't quite so blunt about it all the time. On the other hand, I guess I shouldn't be so sensitive about it. I should become callous to their indifference, unconcerned about their opinions. I should rise above their pettiness and selfish attitudes ... remain apart from all situations ... leave my feelings behind in my quarters the moment I walk through the doors of sickbay ... treat Spock as I would any other patient.

But I can't. For to do so would be to lie to myself and become someone I'm not. I can't be the kind of nurse they want and still look at myself in the mirror each morning.

So, instead of changing myself into something I can't be. I'll have to grit my teeth and grow accustomed to hearing the words, 'please leave us'.