Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse

The rising bell clanged, Cherry carefully wrapped the covers around her ears, turned over and went back to sleep.

When she awoke again, her eyes fell on the clock and she leaped wildly out of bed. She had overslept a whole half-hour! It was really late! Half-asleep, she dashed automatically for the maple chest of drawers and collided with a chair instead. Then Cherry remembered. Of course — this wasn’t her old room — this was her new room in Crowley, the residence for seniors and graduate nurses! Starting this morning she was a senior — and she was late! Cherry scrambled into her clothes as the clock ticked loudly and warningly. She ran to the closet and pulled out a crisp blue and white striped uniform, with black chevrons on the shoulder. Late or not, Cherry stopped for breath and a moment’s gloating over those senior chevrons.

Then she dashed over to the mirror and slammed her nurse’s cap on her head. A breathless girl of twenty looked back at her — a slim, lovely girl with black eyes and black curls, and cheeks and lips so red they had earned her her name. She struggled to get her apron tied, but the bow balked. Outside in the corridor, instead of the usual bedlam of nurses, there was a pronounced silence — they all had left for breakfast long ago! “It’s still me,” Cherry marveled at her reflection. “Cherry Ames, from Hilton, Illinois, a senior and not changed a bit! Still tardy!”