Numb

Dr. Miranda Foster could still hear Dr. Jordon's voice in her head. "I can understand that you're angry." No, you don't understand. Miranda's temper flared and she felt like she wanted to erase her superior from existence. My father left my mother and I days on end so that he could sleep with you! Trembling in anger, the female fellow left the transplant wing and walked up the stairs to the roof. Miranda felt the cold wind on her face. It was only the second week of November, and the cold was fierce and cruel. She hated November. It was the month when her mother had died, and when her entire world had changed. Miranda's father had immersed himself in his work, leaving his young teenage daughter to her grief and hidden rage. He hadn't even noticed when his wife's funeral was, but he had attended it, briefly. Miranda, with some friends, had to plan it all herself. She hadn't cried that day, even with rain pelting down her face. She was angry, angry at her goddamned father for abandoning her and her mother. It was now, sixteen years later, did she realize that her father hadn't loved her mother, despite his reassurances. He had loved Dr. Sophia Jordon, his student. Numbness still pulsed through Miranda's veins as she thought of the ethical laws her father had broken while sleeping with his daughter's future superior. Hadn't he thought at all?

I don't understand anymore. Miranda wondered if her mother had known during her battle with pancreatic cancer. She must have. Why else had she stiffened every time her daughter had asked her where her father was? Miranda felt angry tears welling in her eyes, but she brushed them away until her eyes hurt. She didn't think that Andy or David knew – otherwise David would say so, and Andy would have avoided the topic of her father. Miranda remembered as a little girl, waiting for her father to come home. He had loved her mother then. She could still remember the simple kisses they would give each other. That had stopped when Miranda had reached twelve years old. Maybe that's when the affair started, Miranda thought. She suddenly realized that she felt tired. It was as if that her entire body was sedated, and for a moment, she couldn't think. Miranda covered her face with her hands. It was her father who had encouraged her to be a surgeon. Since her mother's death, she had thought that she would be able to save someone else's mother when the surgeons couldn't save hers. It was now that Miranda realized that what she really wanted was to heal herself – heal the broken piece inside her. Most doctors felt that way, Andy had explained. He would know, Miranda thought, thinking of her friend – and mentor – with a frown, remembering of how the tall attending would stay at Three Rivers for days on end...so much like him. Then she felt a pang of guilt. Andy's parents were dead; they had died when he was twelve years old, four years younger than Miranda had been when her mother had died. The topic wasn't known by many, and Andy had been quiet about it, and hadn't explained how they died or where he had lived after their deaths. He very rarely spoke of them, something – ironically – Miranda did with her father. I'm lucky to be able to complain about my father.

I couldn't make my mother or father better, when they died. I couldn't make them understand that I still loved them, despite my antics. Swallowing glass, punching signs, cutting myself, and running away. I couldn't tell them I loved them despite their mistakes. Miranda still couldn't believe the moral ethics that her father had broken, regardless of the pain that she and her mother had suffered. Despite her rage from his betrayal, her respect for him, the very man who had created Three Rivers and her father, lingered still. I wish I could understand why my father did what he did.

She saw Andy in the hallway after she left the roof, wearing gloves to prepare for Koul's surgery. He must have noticed the redness in her eyes and the tenseness in her jaw, because he asked, "Miranda, are you alright?"

"I feel numb," she said, and not waiting for him to answer her, she exited the surgery wing, leaving the very mess her father had created.