Anton’s friend, CV, isn’t feeling well. In fact, he keels over when the two of them are fishing. Worried about him, Anton takes him to the hospital. Of course, CV knows him under the name Donald Winthrop (he has several aliases). Little does he know, he’s about to meet a very special someone—again.
“Here’s Dr. Lister,” Dr. Smithers said, smiling at someone behind him.
Anton turned around and the smile wavered. He found himself less than five feet away from Tabitha Levi.
“Dr. Lister, this is Donald Winthrop, Mr. Carpenter’s medical surrogate, and neighbor.”
“Pleased to meet you, ma’am,” he smiled, holding out his hand to greet her.
Stiffly, she took his hand. “Mr. Winthrop. A pleasure.” Her grip was hard. “Delighted to make your acquaintance.”
His fingers tingled, turning dark red before she let go.
“Doctor.” His smile waned, as he did his best to pretend he’d never seen her before.
Dr. Smithers ushered Tabitha Levi―Dr. Lister―into the cubicle. Anton leaned against the wall, trying to slow his pulse and catch his breath.
Susie popped her head out the door. “They need to talk to you, sugar.”
“Yeah. Of course.” Taking a deep breath, he followed her inside.
“Here’s Donnie,” CV said, wheezing slightly.
“You okay, Old Man?”
“Hard to breathe,” CV gasped, clutching Anton’s hand.
“Doc?” Anton’s eyes found Tabitha’s.
“Let’s get him upstairs,” she ordered. “This is now emergent. Book me an OR, Susie.”
“Yes, ma’am.” She picked up a phone, talking rapidly.
The doctors got the gurney moving. Anton was allowed to walk with them as far as the surgical ward.
“Mr. Carpenter?” Tabitha said sharply as the old man’s eyes fluttered.
“CV, can you hear me?” Anton asked loudly.
His friend gasped, clutching his hand harder as he struggled to breathe. Anton trotted to keep up. He rode with them, but had to stop at the red line outside the surgery doors. He watched as CV was wheeled into a room.
“You’ll be okay, CV,” he called as the door slid shut.
“You can wait in here,” Susie said, taking his elbow.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
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