The Last one

It had been a long day. Pulling a double shift is never easy-but it's worse when all you can think about it going home. Today was one of those days, his mind was elsewhere, and it had been from the moment he woke. If he could he would have taken the day off, but no he was on call, there was no way around it. Besides tomorrow he was going to be in theatre all day: watching one the most important procedures in medicine; first hand: a heart transplant. A day spent assisting in one of the most spectacular medical advances of the modern world. No colds, rashes, aches, broken bones and worse of all: hypochondriacs. No sir. None of this. This is one of the many reasons why he loved surgery. The patient was anaesthetised and out cold-to put it bluntly. There was no need for exchange of pleasantries, or listening to the panic ramblings. No when it came to surgery the patient just lay there and the surgeon just got to work. Surgery was his passion: derogatively known by the rest of the medical world as 'cut and run' he actually loved it. Surgery is an art-form, he always said that there was something beautiful about how a beating heart taken from someone and placed into another could buy him years may be even decades. Surgery takes real stamina and real skill. That's why he loves it.

The day seemed never-ending. Sure, it was coming to the end of the semester and yeah that meant more assignments, more revision, more stress. But that wasn't it, she was prepared, always did her best under pressure. What had made the day seem never-ending was that her throat had been tingly all day, her eyes increasingly watering with passage of each hour and her head as though it was a beating drum. She would have gone home, in fact she would have stayed home that day but today they-her class- had the privilege of meeting Professor Simmons: the Einstein of her generation. The great mind that had changed the direction of mathematical probability. Mathematics- in her eyes, there was nothing better. Ok so she wasn't saving lives but numbers played an integral part in everyone's life, whether you liked it or not. Fact. Besides: everything made sense, it was simple, everything had a formula, and there were no grey areas. Chances are if the answers didn't match then something had gone wrong; there was no two ways about it. One right answer. That is it. As simple as that. Quite frankly that is exactly the way she likes to live. There is something mesmerising about solving an equation. It's an art-form. It takes precision, persistence and a clear path.

It was nearing 6.00p.m when he was told that another patient had been pencilled in. He couldn't help but growl as he set his bag back down, along with the picture of his mother, not even bothering to re-adjust his tie, he told the nurse to call the patient in. This was one of the many drawbacks of clinical duty-timing. Technically he was now off duty, but until the next doctor turn up, or the patient waiting room cleared (whichever came first) he had to remain. And despite wanting to walk out he had to push past his annoyance and pay heed to the 'last one': hoping that it was a simple cold.

She had to admit, when she clapped her eyes on him that he was really good looking. He was rather like a TV doctor; with his perfect hair, that smile and of course the rest of him-though she did note his tie was lopsided- she could tell he worked out-a lot. It wasn't that she made it a habit of hers to check out her doctors but there was something here that left her pondering. Of course he had that same doctor arrogance she had come across many a time- med students were always hitting on her. But there was something different about him. She could sense something much darker, it definitely involved pain. His eyes told her that much, they were intense, hiding a pain. When she had entered the room she noticed a picture frame on the desk, it was crooked, as if it was just placed there. It was of a woman, in her mid thirties, blonde, very pretty. She would have assumed girlfriend (he looked too young to be married, besides she had noticed his fingers and no ring) but she had had enough time to look at it before sitting down and the image was faded, it was an old picture. But more so- what she noted was that he shared the same eyes as the woman in the picture. That same intense gaze.

It's not like he hadn't seen pretty women before. He had, he was a successful, young doctor, and naturally he exploited that, a little. But there was something about this blonde that had him completely fascinated. The walk of confidence, the nonchalant stare, the proud persona she carried-it felt all too familiar. He couldn't help but notice her, her hair perfect, fell across her shoulders, she was petite, but all of that, he imagined was a farce, she appeared far more feisty. Nothing about her-he could tell- was meek. When she had started speaking, he knew immediately what was wrong with her: the common cold, it had been going around. But instead of him stopping her mid sentence, writing her up a prescription and telling her, she will be back to herself in no time. He instead waited and listened to her. He listened to her intently: she spoke calmly, though he could detect a definite annoyance at the timing of her ill health. She was a Uni student, he had seen her stuff her ID into her bag as she sat down. He couldn't blame her for the annoyance- if anything it made him smile. It was exactly what he would have felt like if he had taken ill at the end of his semester.

Was he smiling? She was sure she had detected a smirk, sure of that. Did he find her misfortune amazing? What kind of doctor was he? She had taken her time explaining to him how she felt, she didn't want to leave any tiny detail out, in case it cost her. It was her final year after all and she was going to come out on top even if it killed her. Besides wasn't this his job? He was paid to listen and not sit there grinning at her misfortune. She had a hunch that it may just have been a cold; it was typical for her throat to flare up right before the blocked nose. But he hadn't yet interrupted her to confirm her suspicion. She watched him more closely now, he didn't actually look that old. If anything he could easily be mistaken for a final year med student. The fact that he was taking his time in diagnosing her surely fit that bill.

He hadn't really been paying attention to what she was saying, but rather more to how she was saying it. Her voice sounded croaky and she was speaking softly: the symptom of a pounding headache-he knew. And he was positive that he could now detect some worry in her voice. He found the transition from super confident to now worried: adorable. It was only when she edged closer in her seat waiting for a response from him, that he realised she had finished talking. It was simple he had to tell her it was a cold, sign the prescription and let her be on her way. But something stopped him and he asked her question that fazed her.

She had answered, she told him she was final year student at Eden hills, (beyond that she didn't think he needed to know more) and then she sat back as he made his way over to her with his stethoscope. He had warned her that it would feel cold but he had clearly forgotten to mention that it would be like ice. She shivered slightly, he apologised, looking rather embarrassed for a doctor. She felt butterflies in her stomach- surely because she was ill she tried to convince herself. It had to be that. But no matter how much she reassured her already tired mind, it was not prepared to believe her. Nor was the fact she was sure he had leant in to smell her hair. She waited silently as he read the BP monitor. He scribbled a few notes- she noticed he lived up to the doctor stereotype- and then he looked up at her, this time smiling- she mentally kicked herself as she noticed he had the most beautiful smile she had ever seen.

He finished writing up the prescription and ripped the sheet form his pad, handing it over to her with a huge smile, but before she could take it from him he added: "I told you to take the day off this morning, doctors orders, you wouldn't have felt this bad with all the bed rest"

She flashed him her infamous smile as she tore away the prescription, stuffing it into her bag: and responded rather forcefully: "and I told you, I couldn't, I had a lot on,"

He sighed heavily, switching of the desk lamp. Grinning like fool as he whisked up his mothers picture placing it in his bag, and as he made his way round to her, he informed her: "well it's a good job we're both finished up for the day, because now I will run you a bath, and make you some chicken soup. Which, you will not only enjoy, but love."

She looked deeply into his eyes while she took his free hand into her own interlocking her fingers with his and responded: "yes doctor."

Dating a doctor was hard work but one thing she would never tire of was how fabulous he was in taking care of her-whether she asked or not.