Ruth Long’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: In The Famly Way
Last patient of the day. He glanced at the chart on the door and smiled. One of his favorites. But the smile faded when he entered the room.
Leaning against the counter, he said, “Good afternoon. Forgive me while I get my bearings. You’re not who I expected to see.”
She smiled, the warmth of it reaching her brown eyes. “Lindsay got hung up at the school and asked me to bring the baby for his follow-up.”
He was quiet a moment, taking her in. Few traces showed of the years that had gone by. Trim. Vivacious. Confident. Casually dressed. Lovely as ever. “So, you’re the mother-in-law?”
Her laugh was infectious. “I try to keep the fire-breathing to a minimum.”
He glances at the children. “I should have known they were yours. They have your eyes. Just didn’t know your married name.”
“Well, I’m back to my maiden name now.”
He wanted to grab hold of that like a kid on Christmas morning, but let it go. “So, what’s it like, being a grandmother?”
“Wonderful. If I’d known just how wonderful, I’d have skipped parenting and gone straight to grand-parenting. Don’t you agree?”
He lifted the baby off the couch. “Wouldn’t know. Don’t have children of my own.”
“Oh but - ”Her hands stretch towards him. “I’m sorry.”
“Me too. Sort of puts a blight on my credentials as a pediatrician, doesn’t it?!”
She shook her head. “Not necessarily.”
“Come on. It’s like a car salesman who rides a bike. But it’s not like I planned it that way. I wanted the job and the kids and the picket fence. Just didn’t pan out.”
Why was he telling her? Wasn’t like she’d opened the door on the conversation. Must be more tired than he’d thought. Long week. Busy schedule. Boring life.
She sat beside the toddler and stroked her glossy curls. “Trust me, Dr. Jacobson, I know all about plans going awry.”
He finished checking the baby’s ears. “All clear. He’s good as new.”
“So, that’s it? We’re free to go?”
“Ben, maybe a lifetime ago, things didn’t come together. But I’m not going to leave this office without taking a chance. So, would you like to get a cup of coffee sometime?”
He looks at the little faces a long moment before lifting his eyes to hers. “Marian Caldwell, I’d like so much more than a cup of coffee but that’s an awful good place to start.”
A reader by birth, paper-pusher by trade and novelist by design, story-telling in my passion. If you enjoyed reading today's story, please consider checking out my blog bullishink.com, joining my creative community sweetbananaink.com or participating in the madcap twitter fun @bullishink.