She tells me, at the start, that the reason that we have been called is that she fell over. Her friend is comforting her in the bedroom, but she's crying and her mascara is running.
“I just tripped over”, she tells me.
I look her over, it seems that there is nothing too seriously wrong with her on the physical level. But still she seems upset, sitting quietly, then suddenly bursting into tears.
Her boyfriend comes with her to the hospital, he strokes her hair and tells her that it will be alright.
Something in the front of my brain tickles, his actions seem 'off' somehow – not in any way that I could describe, but in some vague way his actions ring as false.
They argue about a phone – she wants to phone her dad, he won't give her the phone.
Now it's not the front of my brain that is tickling, it's my whole body.
We get to the hospital, the triage nurse looks at her and seeing no obvious injury sends her to the minor injury waiting room. I voice my concerns, but the nurse still thinks that the waiting room is the best place for her.
It's busy and loud, not the best place for this young, tearful woman.
Before we get there she turns to me and, between sobs, tells me that she and her boyfriend were arguing and he pushed her. Pushed her hard.
I head back to the nurse, I explain that I'm really not happy to sit her out in the waiting room as she has just admitted to me this domestic abuse. The nurse now agrees and we sit her somewhere quiet.
Before I leave I crouch on my haunches in front of her and hand her a tissue, she's still crying. I offer to call the police for her, but she refuses. I tell her that the police have specially trained teams, that there are people that she can talk to. She still refuses.
The best I can do is show her how to use a hospital phone to call her father.
I leave the hospital, walking past her boyfriend who is pacing outside.
“Will she be alright?”, he asks me.
“I'm sure she'll be fine”, is the only answer I can give.
And inside I feel powerless.