Tuesday, August 27, 2013
It's Tuesday, So I Shall TEASE You!
“You don’t look very Italian,” I say in my best asshole voice. It comes out sounding choked and weak, even to my own ears.
She laughs softly. That musical sound has sharp teeth that break the tear in my chest wide open. Her conspiratorial wink is just more salt shook over that raw, gaping wound.
“My grandmother was Norwegian,” she leans in close to whisper like it’s some kind of state secret. She straightens back up, then clears her throat as she leafs through the file she’d brought in with her.
My file. The one Mrs. Cramer handed April earlier. The one that no doubt has my sad, sad story splashed across its pages.
I draw in a deep breath and watch her closely. Soon, the shift will occur. She’ll go from being a kind, friendly woman to the pity monster, all polite condolences and oh, you poor dear eyes. Any minute now.
Her eyes scan the file. A page is flipped and then another. She purses her lips as she reads, but other than that, there is no outward sign that she’s just been brought up to speed about my own personal tragedy. Instead, she eases the folder closed and raises that same smile back up to me.
I cringe before I can stop myself. “A real page-turner, huh?”
She doesn’t laugh at my joke. Really, there’s no time for her to respond because a sharp rap on the door jolts us all upright.
A tall blonde kid with an arm cast looms in the open doorway. All the blood drains from my face as I stare at him, my mouth hanging open. He doesn’t look like me, not at all. With his shiny gold, shampoo commercial hair, vivid green eyes and broad frame, he’s physically everything that I’m not.
Looking at him, I can’t help but feel as though I’m staring into a mirror, one that can see straight through to my soul. Deep purple oceans spread out beneath his eyes, attesting to countless nights spent doing anything but actually sleeping. Sharp cheekbones that slash across his face and the blunt angles of his jaw and chin announce his poor eating habits. Hard lines dig trenches over his forehead, dozens of years ahead of life’s normal schedule.
A sudden, overwhelming urge to reach out to this other boy—one who is so obviously as lost and tortured as I am—floods through me. It’s completely insane, but I get the feeling that he shares my agony in some essential way, that he’s the only one who can completely understand every terrible truth I’ve lived these past weeks. For that one brief moment, I wonder if maybe we could help each other.
For just the briefest of moments, anyway.
“Kiddo, what are you doing here?” Dr. Santorini leaps from her perch and just about tackles the guy. Her son.
Just like that my moment of sympathy disappears. What could he possibly be depressed about? His mom is alive and well and fawning over him even now. One tiny little knock on the door from him and she just can’t get away from me fast enough.
First, some asshole steals my mom, and now, this asshole steals the doctor lady from me.