The next morning, I’m able to wake up at a luxurious seven in the morning. (I was lying to Brady last night. I don’t have any surgeries this morning.) I stop by a coffee shop to get a caffeine infusion for myself, Sheila, Harper, and even Philip. They put the piping hot drinks in one of those trays made to balance four cups, and I arrive at work an impressive fifteen minutes before my first patient.
“Coffee!” I sing out to the empty waiting room. I feel good this morning. Like I could keep going for the next two days without stopping. “Brought one for everyone!”
I spot Harper and Sheila at the front desk. I remember Harper’s dinner last night with Sonny, and I plaster a smile on my face. “Harper! Let’s see the ring!”
Too late, I notice Sheila shaking her head at me. Then I see Harper’s puffy eyes. Uh oh. Sounds like the dinner last night didn’t go quite as planned.
“Are you okay?” I ask gently as I rest the coffees on the desk.
Harper looks up at me. The whites of her blue eyes are bloodshot, and her button nose is pink. “He dumped me.”
“Oh, Harper… I’m so sorry…”
Her eyes fill with fresh tears. “He wasn’t taking me to a nice restaurant to propose. He was taking me there so he could dump me and I wouldn’t be able to make a scene.”
“You should have made a scene anyway!” She shakes her head. “What’s the point?”
“The point? The point is that you make him pay. You make him—” I see the expression on Harper’s face and realize that I’m talking to the wrong person. “Listen, you could have any guy you want. And now you can focus all your energy on your studies.”
“Nora is right,” Sheila speaks up. “Harper honey, you’re gorgeous. You’re way too good for him. Mark my words, in a month he’s going to beg you to take him back. And you are going to say no way.”
Harper offers a brave little smile.
Philip waltzes into the office at that moment, whistling a little tune under his breath. Philip likes to whistle. He even does it during surgeries. It drives the scrub nurses batshit crazy.
“Hey.” He skids to a halt when he sees us standing all together and Harper’s teary eyes. “What’s going on here? Everything okay?”
“Girl talk,” I snap at him.
He grins at me. “Like, you’re talking about your periods…?” I could strangle him sometimes. “No.”
“Sonny broke up with me,” Harper blurts out.
“Oh.” Philip manages what is actually a very empathetic expression. “I’m sorry to hear that, Harper. But I’m sure you’ll find somebody else who is even better.”
It would have been such a nice sentiment if he wasn’t pointing to his own chest when he said it.
“Will you get out of here?” I snap at him.
Philip rolls his eyes, but he goes on back to his office, although not before taking his coffee. Harper reaches for a tissue to dab at her own eyes. Fortunately, she wasn’t wearing any mascara. I’m not sure how she gets her eyes to look so beautiful without any mascara.
“I’m okay, Dr. Davis,” she sniffles. “I promise, I’m fine.”
I look at her doubtfully. She does not look fine at all. But everyone is right. Harper was too good for Sonny. This is the best thing that could’ve happened to her. Even if she doesn’t know it yet.
“Listen,” I say. “On your lunch break, I want you to take the business credit card, and I want you to buy yourself a great lunch, and also… buy yourself a present. Something decadent.”
Harper laughs through her tears. “I can’t do that.” “You can and you will.”
At least I’ve gotten a smile out of her now. She takes the coffee I bought for her and so does Sheila. I grab my own cup, then I head for my office. I thought I’d have a leisurely fifteen minutes to drink this, but now I’ve got less than five minutes to gulp it down before Sheila comes to grab me.
I log into my computer to check labs, but the computer is being slow booting up. While I’m waiting, I grab my phone and browse a local news
website. I scroll down the screen, looking at the headlines. I pause when one catches my attention:
Local Man in Critical Condition After High-Speed Motor Vehicle Collision
I quickly skim the article. Although it doesn’t mention him by name, they confirm the location of the accident. It was definitely Callahan. He was clearly seriously hurt when he smashed into that tree.
A lump rises in my throat. It’s entirely my fault. Of course, if he hadn’t been following me and trying to scare me…
Maybe I should go check on him. The article mentions he was brought to the hospital where I work. I could bring him some flowers. Of course, if he’s in the ICU with a tube down his throat, he probably won’t appreciate it.
I hear a knock at the door and nearly jump out of my seat. I look down at my watch and curse under my breath. How is the first patient in a room already? The waiting room was empty just a few minutes ago.
“I’ll be right out!” I call.
Then I hear another knock. “Dr. Davis?” It’s Harper’s voice. “Can I come in?”
I take another long swig of coffee. “Yes, come on in.”
Harper cracks open the door just a bit and peeks in before she slides through the crack. “Um, Dr. Davis… the, um… the police are here to see you.”
I almost comically spit out the coffee in my mouth. “The what?”
“There’s a policeman.” Harper wrings her fists together. “He said he needs to talk to you right away.”
She just shakes her head.
My thoughts are racing a mile a minute. Why are the police here? What could they possibly want to talk to me about? Does this have to do with Henry Callahan? Did they trace my 911 call and want to blame me for the collision?
But I know one thing. I can’t say no. “Send him in,” I say.