So graduation has come and gone and all of us are off to our next big adventures. We were off to college, Derek got a big baseball scholarship at one of the top schools and it had a great medical program so I went with him. My parents couldn’t have been happier that I was going to med school and that Derek and I were going to be together, I think my parents would have loved it if we got hitched after high school. I on the other hand had something needing at the back of my mind and I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Was it that I really didn’t want to be at the same school as Derek or was scared to be away from him or something deeper than that I just can’t admit or accept? I told myself that it was just being away from home and not knowing anyone but Derek, but I knew I would make friends fast and school work would come easy to me since I have always done well with school.
Classes were going well, but Derek and I were not doing as well. We had been fighting a lot; mostly it was me starting the fights over little thing like the color of the shirt he was wearing. I would cancel dates with him saying I didn’t feel well when I felt just fine I just didn’t want to see him. The feelings I had for him in high school were not there anymore; they had just vanished and I wasn’t sure why. I would find myself imaging this wonderful life but the person that I was with was not Derek but I couldn’t make out who it was. We broke up in our junior year and I really was ok but Derek was crushed. I went on dates with other guys and they were all great but I always found something wrong with them. Something was missing but I just could not put my figure on it. One day while talking to one of my friends, Tasha, about why I couldn’t find the right guy and saying that there has to be something wrong with me, that I think I’m being to picky. She said maybe it’s not a guy you’re looking for maybe you need to find a good woman. What the hell was she talking about; there was no way I wanted to be with a woman, I liked men and that was all there was to it. I just couldn’t find the one that made me melt.
“Tasha, there is no way that I find woman attractive.”
“Why not; have you never just been like ‘wow, she is hot?’?”
“No, well; ok, once when I was in high school.”
“So give me details girl.”
“It was nothing; she was one of my friends that I hadn’t really seen for a while.”
“Oh come on there has to be more to it.”
“Well I was kind of finding her attractive, but that was just the hot sun making me all loopy.”
“Shit girl you had the hot's for the girl, so what did you do?”
“Nothing I pushed it out of my mind and never thought about it again.”
“Damn girl you need to open that door up and jump through it with both feet, you may find what you’re looking for.”
“No way, I like guys and that’s the end of it; plus in my town I wouldn’t be able to show my face.”
“Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit let’s not get the country bumpkins all upset with you being who you want to be. Life is too short to worry about what other people think CJ you need to find what makes you happy, and if that is a woman then go for it, be damned with what the town folk think.”
“No I just haven’t found the right guy yet, but until then I will just be happy dating men, not women.”
“Ok, ok I hear you; you country girls are an odd bunch never wanting to mess up that perfect little dream you have.”
“Nope, we just know what we want and we won’t settle till we get it.”
So for the rest of the time at school, I focused on school and let my romantic life be what it was; dormant until one day in the fall of my last year I met Brad. Brad was working on his medical degree too, we had been in most of the same classes from the start but I never noticed him. He asked me out for coffee and I said sure, since I could probably get some class notes off of him. We hit it off and started to see more of each other. Come to find out he was from my home town, but went to a different school; that’s why we never meet. Brad and I had a lot in common and had no shortage of stories to tell. It was great; I had finally found my Mr. Right and I was happy. We graduated from college and we both wanted to be closer to home so we went back to our home town to finish our studies. Life was fantastic, I decided that I wanted to be a Physical Therapist and opened up my own office in town. Brad was all for it and encouraged me every step of the way. He was starting his surgical internship at the hospital, so all was as it should be; we were happy, had our dream jobs, nothing could ruin this. Until Brad wanted to get married. I keep telling him we should wait till he was done with his internship so he had more time to work and study, I thought planning a wedding would put too much stress on him. Brad was ok with that for now, but was getting impatient and wanted to start the wedding plans now. I was sure I loved Brad, but there was still something missing and I just didn’t know what it could be. Brad couldn’t take it anymore. He gave me an ultimatum; that we get married in the next few months, or he was leaving for someone that really wanted to be with him and marry him. I couldn’t agree to getting married, I just wasn’t ready. So with that he left and once again I was left with wondering what the hell was wrong with me Brad was perfect, yet I couldn’t give him my all.
It has now been two years since Brad left me and I have yet to find someone to share my heart and soul with. I’m 26 years old single and a workaholic. Life seemed to be just passing me by all I seemed to do is work, and I felt as if I would never be happy or find that one special person to share my life with. This morning was like any other morning; I really didn’t want to go in to work today. I just wanted to stay curled up underneath the covers and not have to see all the happy people in town when I was so miserable. But I had to go in I had a new patient coming in. So I dragged myself out of bed and went through the motions. I got to the office tell Jill just show the new patient to my office when they got there. A few minutes later there is a knock on my office door, I was expecting some overweight farmer or little old lady that just didn’t know what their limits were and now I had to put them back together. So with a bit more irritation in my voice than I expected, I said comes in. When I turned around, waiting to see the farmer or old lady standing there, I about fell out of my chair because it wasn’t the farmer or even the little old lady. It was Deena standing there with that smile on her face that made my heart skip a beat.
“Oh my god Deena you’re my new patient? How the hell have you been, and when did you get back into town?”
“Would you like me to answer your thousand questions or are you going to come give your old friend a hug?”
“Oh Shit same old Deena still a smartass, get over here and give me a hug stranger.”
When I stood up to hug her I couldn’t help but look at her and she hadn’t change since the last time I saw her so long ago. I put my arms around her so tight that she asked if this was the way doctors hugged, or was I trying to crush her? We laughed so hard that it seemed that we had never drifted apart and we laughed like that for what seemed like hours. Then we stood there like two deer caught in headlights for several minutes not knowing what to say to each other. I did notice though, that she was looking at me like she had been looking at me that day on the field our senior year.
I felt my cheeks get flushed and my heart felt like it was going to jump right out of my chest and do the southern jig right there on the floor in front of us. I hoped that she didn’t notice it; I had to get her to look away because I was getting lost in those eyes of hers, and this was so confusing to me that I just needed to get back to business.
“So Deena what brings you into my office, and how long have you been back in town? Oh I already asked you that didn’t I?”
“Yep, ya sure did, well as you know I followed in the family tradition and joined the service right?”
“While during one of my deployments I got hurt, and it still bothers me and I need some more therapy for it. When they gave me my referral to this clinic I saw that it was your clinic so I had your assistant keep my name off the paper so I could surprise you. Plus I have been back for several months and really wasn’t sure you would want to see me since we drifted apart in high school, and I really didn’t want to see Derek either. Plus I have been busy getting the ranch back up to speed since mom and dad moved to where my brothers were.”
“Well you look great and I should kick your ass for not coming to say hi sooner, as for Derek we broke up a long time ago.”
“So are you married, have any kids, you know that future you always planned did you get it?”
“No; not married, no kids, it’s a long story just didn’t find the right person.”
“As I have always said, the right person will walk through the door when you least expect it and knock you off your feet before you know what hit you.”
Before I could catch myself, I blurted out something that I swear came out of nowhere.
“Yah maybe; you never know today could be that day.”
As soon as I said it, I saw that Deena looked away quickly and got red, I hope she didn’t think I was talking about her; but in the back of my mind, somewhere deep, I was hoping it was her. Jesus, I was going nuts; what the hell was I thinking.
“Alrighty then why don’t we get started, tell me what the problem is and we will go from there.”
“As I mentioned, while in the service I was hurt.”
“Ok so what happened?”
“Well I became a medic and as you know we have to move soldiers out of danger under fire.”
“I didn’t quite move fast enough one time and I was hit in the shoulder.”
“Wow, what happened?”
“I would rather not talk about it.”
“Ok how about you jump up on the table and let’s see what I can do for ya.”
“So you want me to jump on the table, well if you insist.”
Deena took a step back then she actually jumped on the damn table, at that moment I remembered she would take thing literal as a kid, even if she knew what we meant and she gave me that look like, ‘you said jump’. I just shook my head and said, “Same old Deena, you haven’t change a bit.”
“Get down you dork, so I can look at you shoulder.”
“Well fine, ya grumpy puss, let’s do it your way.”
“Take your shirt off so I can get a better look at that shoulder of yours. Here’s a gown to put on I’ll step out so you can change.”
“Damn CJ, we used to change in front of each other all the time plus I lost any modesty that I may have had in the military; plus you’re a doc, you see half naked people all day long.”
I turned around anyway, not sure why; she was right though. We did see each other half naked or naked all the time when we were kids, but for some reason today it was a totally different story. As I turned, I heard Deena let out a little laugh. I think she was making fun of me.
“Ok ready when you are, Doc.”
I turned to face her and her head was lowered; maybe she thought that would be easier for me, but I could still feel her eyes on me and looking right into my soul looking for something. I could have looked at her shoulder from the front, but I needed to get those searching eyes off of me right now; and so she could not see that I was flushed. I moved to get behind her, although I couldn’t take my eyes off of her the whole time. She is sitting there needing me to help and all I could think of was how stunning she looked and my head was spinning. This woman has me all turned inside out. I can’t be having these thought about her. I finally got my head clear enough to actually do my job. As I took in the sight of her I saw that she had a scar that went the length of her left shoulder with a hole just at the end. I couldn’t help but run my fingers across her back I wanted to see if it was as soft as it looked. I felt her shudder under my touch.
“Sorry did that hurt?”
She almost whispered it.
“No it’s mostly stiff, I don’t want to lose any mobility with the work I have to do on the ranch I need the full use of my shoulder.”
I couldn’t stop running my hand along her shoulders and neck and I really didn’t know why. I just had to touch her. My heart was pounding in my ears and my head was yelling, ‘what do you think you are doing, knock it off’. I quickly pulled my hand away and moved to the counter and began to write in her file, my hands were shaking so bad I would be surprised if anyone could read my writing. My head keep yelling at me, ‘get your ass out of here before you do something you may regret,’ but my heart was telling me a different story. Nothing like your heart and mind going to war about your happiness.
“You ok CJ?”
“Uh ya, I’ll get my assistant to start you on some exercises and I’ll see you twice a week for a month. Alrighty then I’ll talk to ya later.”
I got out of that office so fast I almost knocked down one of my other patients as I bolted for the door.
© Copyright 2017 Southern Jean. All rights reserved.
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