Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot and the original characters.

Chapter 1.


'Hello. I'm pleased to meet you. My name is Santana Lopez, well actually it's doctor Santana Lopez. Yes, itis true, I am a doctor. A woman doctor. It's more common for a woman to be a doctor nowadays, I know, but back when I was young it was not. I had to fight to gain the respect of my town and the people living in and around it. Do you want to hear my story? Very well. Sit back and relax and let me take you on a journey, back to when the west was wild and indians roamed the countryside and white, red and black people were fighting constantly for the land and the right to be free. It is also a story of love, unconditional but untraditional love. A hidden love.'

December 1885

Santana Lopez was a twentytwo year old woman living in the city of Boston. Her family was a minority. In fact, she did not know any other Hispanic families in the city. All her friends were white. So was the entire school of Boston Woman Medical College, and all her class friends. In fact her friends consisted of her class friends, and the occasional family friend. Her father was a doctor, and he had insisted at least one of his children would become one. Since there were no boys born into the Lopez family, he decided that his youngest daughter would become one. So he enrolled her in the Boston Woman Medical College and she loved it. She loved to study. To learn about the human body, and how to cure different medical conditions and to learn everything she could.

Her ability to handle patients with care and patience was fast growing famous. She knew exactly when to be kind and gentle and when to be firm and persuasive. She gained popularity by her fellow class friends, and when the graduation came with prom she was asked to accompany one doctor Jesse St James. He was a nice man, nice to look at and nice to chat with, and he was very polite and proper, yet he had a certain arrogance that came with confidence and talent. He was also quite a charmer and was not short of female company to any event. In fact, many women were honoured to be his company for any occasion. Santana knew this, yet she felt nothing towards him. He was nice and polite and did everything correct, yet Santana was not drawn towards him.

As the evening of prom arrived, doctor St James came to pick Santana up from her home in Boston, she almost dreaded the evening. She knew she should be lucky to have him at her side for the evening, and yet she couldn't be. It was mandatory to be there however, so she had no choice but to go. She sighed as the put on her coat and made sure her hair was properly done, and her dress wasn't wrinkled where it shouldn't be.
Doctor St James were standing by the door, waiting for her to come with him. He smiled as he spotted her coming down the grand staircase.
'Good evening doctor Lopez' he said, 'are you ready for the party?'
She smiled back at him and nodded as she descended the staircase.
'Yes, yes I am doctor St James.'
'Please, call me Jesse' he said.
She nodded, 'Alright, Jesse. If you call me Santana. ' She smiled. She hated titles, but it was necessary she behaved tonight. She could, and often did in her home, throw quite a fit and be really feisty. It was her latin blood.
She sighed silently and took his extended, offered, left arm with her right hand and let herself be escorted out of the house and down to the waiting horsedrawn carriage. The driver waited at his seat.
It was snowing as it was getting closer to Christmas, and it was really cold out. The driver looked like he was cold up where he was seated and Santana pitied the man, and the horse. The horse was a ragged, but well cared for chestnut gelding and he stood with his head low to try to get cover from the snow.
She sighed again silently and entered the covered carriage followed by Jesse. The carriage was set in motion and they rolled slowly through the snowy streets of Boston. The sound of the horses's hooves were muffled by the snow, but it was audible enough to hear.

'So Santana, what do you want your field to be now that you have graduated?' Jesse asked, trying to evoke a conversation with the Hispanic woman.
'I'm not sure yet' she replied, trying to uphold her politeness. 'I've been thinking about wanting to open my own practice, but seeing I'm a woman and latin at that, I doubt I would be able to. I refuse to give up though. I will find something for me.'

'I no doubt you will' he replied, smiling his sweet smile at her.
Santana almost rolled her eyes at him. She knew she should be happy to have him by her side, but no matter how much he tried, no matter how much she tried, she just did not like him. He still hadn't done anything wrong, but she was just waiting for it. She got invitations from men pretty often, but she also knew what they were really after. Why would this man be any different?

Once again she sighed silently. She just wished the evening was over and done with so she could start working with her father the next day as he had promised her.

The carriage arrived at the ballroom where the party was being held. As they exited the covered carriage, the snow started to fall a little bit heavier and the couple hurried inside to get shelter from the snow and wind, and to get a bit warmer. It had been cold in the carriage as there were no windows nor doors to it. Jesse helped her down the the tiny step and onto the ground before they both hurried up the small set of stairs up to the entrance of the hall where the party was full on. As they entered, people were everywhere, and they all seemed to know Jesse in one way or another. Santana sighed once again silently as she noticed that she was being a little bit pushed aside from the lights that were on Jesse St James. She behaved though, and as their coats and hats were placed in the coatroom, Jesse offered her his arm once more and they entered the ballroom. It was huge, square shaped with one side covered by an orchestra and the other three walls were covered by small sections of tables and chairs for people to sit and rest once they've had enough of dancing for a while.

Santana followed Jesse into the room and accepted his invitation for dancing.

Her right hand in his left, and his right hand on her waist while her left hand on his right shoulder shouldn't feel so bad, but it did. To Santana. She kept the facade up, behaving like she should and in all honesty she did try to have fun with Jesse, so she kept up the smalltalk with him, or anyone else that might talk to her. She danced whenever he wanted, or if someone else occasionally asked her to dance. She really tried. She kept her smile up, drank moderately and danced all evening and well into the night, but she just could not muster up the feeling of joy and happiness in her. Deep down she knew why, but she couldn't admit it to herself. It was not alright. It just wasn't.

'So Santana, what do you think this patient suffers from?' her father asked her as he stood with her next to a bed in the hospital where he worked. He was also the co-owner of the hospital, which meant he worked alot. He had now helped Santana to get work in the hospital as well, as a doctor, now that she had her diploma.

Santana went through the symtoms in the patient's chart and quickly disovered that he suffered from a kidney infection.
'That is correct' her father said, beaming proudly at her. She smiled back.
She roamed the corridors with her father and doing rounds together with him to get into it as quickly as possible. She already loved the work, and she didn't mind that it was sometimes heavy or monotone. She was finally doing what she wanted to do, and she was still learning. Her skills when it came to calming a patient down were put to test everyday, and she was well liked by patients as well as staff, something she herself found odd. Even her father sometimes commented on it, as he knew how feisty she could be.

It was just after Christmas when she started working and now on New Years Eve, she was meant to have time off to attend to the family party they threw every year on this day. A way to reconnect with their friends they haven't seen throughout the year, as well as maybe tie some new friendship bonds. This year her father had invited Jesse St James to be her company for the evening. She had heard about it just the day before and she was not pleased with her father going behind her back like that but there was nothing she could do but obey her father.

She tried to find reasons not to attend the party, but her father and mother would hear nothing of it. She was going, and she was being acompanied by Jesse St James. He was a respectable young man in their eyes, and clearly a nice man for her.

As the party grew closer, Santana got more and more antsy and more and more irritated. The maid helped her to get dressed in one of her nicest dresses, she hated the corsets but she knew they were fashion and she was made to wear them.

When she was dressed, she went downstairs, only to find Jesse standing there below the staircase, waiting for her while chatting casually with her father. The party was about to start and the servants were ready to walk around with their trays of drinks and things to eat.
As she descended she tried her best to keep the well-behaved facade up and she pasted a fake smile on her lips, hoping Jesse saw it as genuine. She knew her father would see right through her, but she could not muster up a real smile for the life of her at the sight of him.

The evening was long in Santana's eyes, but she tried to have fun once again. Jesse still had done nothing wrong, and yet she felt like she was being trampled in a room full of people where noone did anything to help her. She felt trapped with nowhere to run.
Jesse was polite, dancing with her and asking her if she wanted something to drink or eat or even rest her feet for a bit every now and then. He was the perfect gentleman. Santana almost slapped herself for not being able to like him. It wasn't that hard, or rather shouldn't be this hard.
'Santana, are you having fun?' Jesse asked after a few hours, she looked up at him and gave him her best, fake smile.
'Of course I am, why shouldn't I be?' she asked, raising her brow as she looked him in the eyes.
She was an excellent liar, she'd perfected the art over the last few years. Just like that she could just look anyone in the eye and tell them lies and make them believe they were true. She could do it to anyone and they believed her. Everyone, but her father. He could see the truth.
'Just wondering if you are, that's all' he seemed to believe her and smiled his sickenly sweet smile that made Santana's stomach twitch, and not in a good way.
'Of course' she said once more.
'Another dance?' he asked her.
She nodded. She was getting tired but this was required of her, and after all it was new years eve. She needed to get out of the hospital and books and all that and have some fun for a change. She knew that.
As the dance drew to an end, she was escorted back to the table they had been sitting at, and Jesse lifted her hand to his lips, softly kissing the back of it before thanking her for the dance. She just nodded and smiled at him again, lifting a glass of water to her lips, sipping it.
Jesse asked her mother for a dance while Santana rested for a couple of dances. Her feet were really starting to kill her, and all she wanted was to get her shoes off her feet, out of her dress and just lay down in bed and sleep.
Time was getting closer to midnight though, and as the ball was ready to be dropped everyone stood up with a glass of wine or champagne ready to toast for the new year.
Santana stood with her father, mother and Jesse as the countdown started. Jesse smiled at her, she smiled back as genuinely as she could muster.

Suddenly it was midnight and everyone was cheering and toasting and wishing each other Happy New Year. Santana sipped her glass of champagne and tried to look interested in all the well-wishes when all of a sudden her father just slumped down on the ground, the glass he was holding falling to the ground shattering into a million pieces.
'Ricardo' her mother cried as he fell down.
Santana and Jesse were both quick to her father's side and tried to figure out what was going on with her father. He was barely breathing so they loosened his tie and opened his shirt to give his airways some room.
'Quick, we need to get him to the hospital' Jesse told the servants that hurried to get a carriage out for their master.

They arrived to the hospital, a servant having been sent in advance to set everything up so they could start working on doctor Lopez upon arrival.

Everything was ready for them, and doctors St James and Woodlea was working on doctor Lopez, after having shoved Santana out of the examination room. She was his daughter, there for it was inappropriate she was there with them.
She waited outside, getting updates from a nurse every once in a while. Her mother and brother and sister were waiting with her in the waiting room. Hours went by and the sun had started to rise. Suddenly the door to the examination room opened and doctor St James came out. His face looked worn and tired as he wiped his hands on a rag he held in his hands.
'So, what's going on?' Santana wanted to know as she got up at the sight of him.
Doctor St James' facial expression was neutral so anything could've happened in there. Suddenly it fell and he shook his head slowly.

'I'm so sorry' was all he said.
Santana felt it as her entire world came crashing down. Her father was the only thing that kept her going to med school, the only thing that kept her in the family. She wasn't that close to her siblings or her mother. They respected each other but there were no fondness or real caring between them, at all. What would she do now?
She broke down in sobs on the chair she's been waiting on for hours. Jesse explained what happened to them, but Santana was the only one really understanding what he was saying, because he spoke in medical terms alot. He wasn't that good with patients, or with loved ones, and especially not breaking bad news to loved ones.
Mrs Lopez and Santana's siblings were watching Jesse speak, but to them it sounded gibberish. They all looked to Santana for explanation. She tried to gather herself as much as she could before starting to explain terms they could grasp, leaving out the latin and medical terms and spoke more in English and as much in non-medical terms she could.
'Mother, Santiago, Maria' she started, 'What Jesse is trying to say is that father died of a bleeding in the brain. They couldn't stop it. They went in and tried to drain the blood but it wasn't mendable. He died.'
At the last words, they all broke down into tears, including Santana. Jesse stood there, amazed at what Santana had been able to do in so few words. It was sad news, but she was able to tell them what happened in terms they could understand. He could never do that. He almost got jealous of that ability. He watched them all cry, and walked up to Santana, placing a hand on her shoulder.
'I'm really sorry' he spoke in a low voice. 'We did everything we could.' Santana nodded at his words, but they sent very little comfort to her.

A few days later the family was standing at the cemetary as the priest read what was usually read at funerals. People gave small speeches in memory of doctor Lopez. Santana stood there, not able to form sentences.
At the wake later on, friends and co-workers and fellow students walked through the door to pay their respects to the family. Santana was quiet still, said very little and only spoke when spoken to. Her mother found it odd and she just asked her to get a hold of herself. They had to entertain their guests. Santana just looked at her with empty eyes.
'Oh for heavens sake Santana. Just get a hold of yourself. We have guests that wants to pay their respect to your father. Let them. Don't be quiet.' Maribel told her daughter.
'Yes mother' was the only words that came out of her mouth.
'See, there's Jesse over there. Go talk to him. After all, he tried to save your father.'
Santana flinched at her words. She almost burst out yelling at her mother that time, but didn't. She was quiet and did as she was told.
'Hello Santana' Jesse greeted her as she walked up to him.
'Hello' she said and tried to put on her fake smile for him. She didn't succeed very well.
'Santana, it's alright to grieve. He was your father.' Jesse said in a low, soothing voice.
She nodded but fought back the tears that had threatened to come for days now. She hadn't cried since that day at the hospital and vowed she wouldn't again.
She was a strong, young woman, but yet she was weak. Noone knew her secret. Not even herself at this point. What would happen when the world found out?

A week later Santana saw an ad in a newspaper. A little town called Lima in Ohio was searching for a doctor. She was tempted but didn't exactly know if she wanted to take that on all by herself. Besides, who came up with the name Lima for a town. Not to mentiont it was in Ohio. Not exactly known for the refine things in life. The ones she was used to here in Boston.
The thought lingered in her mind however, and she couldn't let it go. Maybe she was meant to go there. Maybe she would find what she was searching for there. She knew something was wrong, something was missing in her life, but she had no idea what it was. She just knew it was something. She laid awake all night trying to figure things out.
The next morning she went to the post office and sent a telegram to the town, hoping they had a post office at least there. She was informed that they did.
She went home after that and tried to come up with alternative ideas if she was denied it. She knew she couldn't live at home anymore. Her and her mother did not see end to end and she knew she had to leave.
Noone knew of her plans, and she intended to keep it that way. She would tell them when and if she got a positive response from Lima. Not until then, and not until she was about to leave. She knew she would never hear the end of it if she told them what she was going to do.

A/N I know I have other stories to write, but I think I will focus on this one at this time. I hope you will like this story. Feel free to review. I love reviews. They help me write. Please no flames.