A Shoulder To Cry On
As Nick entered the surgery waiting room one early afternoon he was somewhat surprised to see the figure of Melody standing outside the surgery doors – after spending all morning trying to raise her over the phone with no response he had assumed that she had ran out for the day. Their earlier disagreement had turned out somewhat heated… only serving to support Nick's opinion that she wasn't ready to be accredited yet… far from it, but as he took notice of her jerky figure, her back to him as she pressed herself up against the glass, he realised that she was crying, and despite being in the knowledge of the type of welcome he could expect to receive, he still couldn't bring himself to leave her crying. Managing to negotiate his wheelchair and the double doors to the surgery entrance, he made his way outside.
"Melody?" He asked carefully as he approached, although he knew that she must have known that he was there. It could hardly have escaped her notice as he struggled to manoeuvre the heavy wheelchair through the front doors, he would use the crutches more often if it wasn't so tiring to do so, and they made his arms ache madly.
"I don't want to speak to you!" She cried, revealing to him her tear stained face for only a moment as she said so before burying it within her hands again, and turning away, chest heaving as she was overtaken by her sobs.
"Are you alright?" Nick asked, unperturbed by her hostile response, and was somewhat surprised to find the young woman looking at him thoughtfully. Melody shook her head before returning to sob into an already damp tissue.
"Do you want to talk about it?" He asked.
She remained silent for a moment, almost indecisively, sniffing convulsively between emotional upheavals before drying her eyes and nodding her head silently.
"Come on then." Nick spoke softly, so as not to upset Melody further, "Come through to the consulting room."
Nick noticed Melody limping slightly as he followed, but thought that he would hear what she had to say first before asking her about it, as he caught up with her, overtaking her swiftly before showing her through into the consulting room.
"So what's the matter?" Nick asked, welcoming Melody to sit down before continuing, "This can't all be about my recommendation?"
"No." She sniffed, doing her best to compose herself.
"Care to tell me?" He enquired, head lowered subtly, with raised eyebrows and a trademark reassuring smile – trying to gage her reaction to this.
"I'm sorry." Melody responded after a moment, looking at Nick directly as she spoke. "It's all just been too much for me lately."
"Is it the dissertation?" Nick asked.
"No…well not just that." She faltered with a suppressed sob. "It's personal."
"Well you know Melody," Nick explained. "you can't let your personal life interfere with your professional one… all the more reason why I don't feel that you're ready for accreditation yet."
"Well you could at least try to be a little more supportive!" She suddenly snapped back angrily. "If you were half the mentor Joe was…"
"I can assure you I've been as supportive and accommodating I can be under the circumstances." Nick responded calmly. "You're just not ready yet."
"But… I've worked so hard!" Melody sobbed.
"You're not doing anything wrong Melody." Nick tried to reassure her soothingly. "Sometimes it just takes time…"
"But…" Melody pleaded. "I know I deserve this, I'm sorry I've let you down over the dissertation I know, but I can get it done. If only you could just give me something to help relieve the pressure at the moment. I know I'm ready for this!"
"I'm sorry Melody." Nick sighed. "I could… but I'm not going to."
"But why?" She asked, almost desperately.
"Because it's not the answer Melody…" Nick persisted patiently, determined to get through to the young Junior. "but I can be here for you if you ever need to talk." He offered.
"Oh, talk, talk, talk, that's all you ever do!" She cried.
"Hey you two, is everything alright in here?" George suddenly popped her head around the door. "You can hear the shouting half way up the corridor, you're going to frighten the patients away."
Melody turned her back on George so as to conceal her tear stained face, although she still noticed her trying to scrub the stains of mascara from her cheeks in the corner.
"Melody?" She asked her young colleague with concern.
"She's fine George." Nick cut in, recognizing the expression upon Melody's face change as George spoke. "Could you just get her a glass of water please?"
"Thank you George…" Melody turned to face her now, cheeks pink from rub marks, although all trace of tear stains and mascara now gone. "I'm fine… a glass of water might be good though."
"Fine, hang on here for a moment and I'll get it for you." She smiled as she vacated the room.
Melody dried her eyes one final time with the damp tissue in her hands before tossing it in the bin and snatching another one from the box conveniently placed on Nick's desk.
"Feeling better now?" He asked.
"A little." She nodded.
"What happened to your shoe?" He frowned, momentarily changing the subject as Melody appeared now to be somewhat calmer.
"I… I hurt my foot." She explained. "Umm, I kicked the car in a temper." She persisted in response to Nick's look of concern and slight bemusment at this. "I only took it off for a few seconds, it hurt, I just wanted to take a look at it… a couple of kids threw it in the river when I wasn't looking."
"Want me to take a look at it?" Nick offered.
Melody shook her head.
"I'll get Archie to take a look at it later then shall I?" Nick asked.
"No, not Archie!" Melody adamantly protested. "It's fine… I'm fine!"
"Well if you're sure?"
"I am." She concluded.
"Just one more thing then Melody." Nick asked as she got up to leave. "Why not Archie?"
"It's personal." She explained.
Nick simply nodded in understanding.
"Thanks Nick." Melody suddenly turned to face him as she made for the door. "But this doesn't change anything. I'm still going to fight for me accreditation, and I am going to make a great GP someday."
"And I hope that you do." Nick nodded. "I'm sure that you will... when the time is right."
And with that Melody finally departed, closing the door behind her.