For the latest installment of Good Enough (Part 6) click
**Please note: This text is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Moments later I was loading Nate up in the vehicle to go back to the hospital to get the medical file and x-ray faxed to Ben.
I hated that I was obeying Ben like a dog with his master, but I knew that not giving Ben any extra ammunition against me would be my best bet in the long run. Getting off the phone with him only insisting to be sent these documents was another battle which I felt I had won.
The hotel wasn’t far from the hospital and I found my way back there surprisingly quickly. We walked through the sliding glass doors and were immediately greeted by the blond haired nurse who had helped to cast Nate’s arm earlier.
“Mrs. Lloyd, is everything ok with Nate?” she asked, her blue eyes were concerned.
“Oh yes, he’s fine, thank you. I, uh, well this is a bit complicated, but…”
She continued to look at me, nodding compassionately. I was struck by the thought of how young she was and how uncomplicated her life must be. I was hit with envy for a moment thinking that in a short while she would be off shift and going home to what was most likely a fairly simple and happy lifestyle. She was young and beautiful and had her whole life ahead of her. Standing next to her, I felt like a grungy, old housewife whose had been robbed of the very chances this young woman now had.
“What can we help you with, Mrs. Lloyd?” she said softly, placing a hand on my arm and jolting me out of my thoughts.
Worried I had been standing there without speaking for an awkward amount of time, I spoke quickly, “I need to have Nate’s medical file and x-ray sent to my, uh, husband. He’s a doctor.”
“Oh, ok. I’m sure we can do that, but you’ll need to speak to Dr. Castinos to have him sign off on them.”
“Dr. Castinos?” I didn’t recognize the name as the doctor who had treated Nate.
“Dr. Hayward, the doctor who you met earlier and who casted Nate, has gone off shift. Dr. Castinos is on now. I can bring you back to a room to wait for him. He’s just with a patient,” she explained.
I nodded and we followed her into the back area of the emergency ward. She found us chairs and leaned over to ruffle Nate’s hair. “He won’t be long,” she said smiling at the both of us before leaving.
After an hour I began to wonder what her definition of “long” might entail. I had run out of ways to entertain Nate and he was starting to get bored and cranky, as was I. It had also been a long time since either one of us had eaten.
Suddenly a voice came from the doorway, “I am terribly sorry, Mrs. Lloyd. This is inexcusable to keep you waiting this long.”
I looked up in the direction the voice came from and was shocked to see a dark-haired, blue-eyed young man in green scrubs standing in the doorframe. He didn’t look much older than the nurse with the confused idea of time. He held out his hand, “I’m Dr. Castinos. Please accept my apology for keeping you waiting. There was a breakdown in communication I believe.”
I shook his hand which was cool. His handshake was firm. “How can I help you today?” he asked, gesturing for me to sit back down. He perched on the edge of the bed and patted the bed for Nate to hop up beside him. Nate quickly obliged.
Trying to recover from my shock at how young and inexperienced he appeared, I told him what I needed.
He nodded, his blue eyes searched mine. “I can help you with that. It’s no trouble at all. Is there anything else you need?” His voice was filled with concern and I figured he knew, or at least assumed, what the situation really involved: a grungy, beaten down housewife who had left her cheating husband and who had no clue where to go or what to do next.
I shook my head, looking away. “Just sending the file and x-ray would be a big help.”
“Absolutely; I won’t see another patient until it’s done.”
I couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief, “Thank you.”
“It’s my pleasure.”
I stood up and held out my hand for Nate to take. He hopped off the bed. Standing up as well, Dr. Castinos held out his hand again. “It was nice to meet you, Mrs. Lloyd.”
I shook his hand, “It’s Isabella. Thank you for your help.”
“My name’s Mark. Please contact me if you need anything. I’m at the hospital most evenings.”
I smiled and nodded. He turned to Nate, “And you, little buddy, you take care of that arm. Do me a favour and come back when I’m working so I can take it off and see how strong you are after.”
Nate giggled and looked up at me, “Can we Mama?”
I looked at him, “We will see Nate. We may not be in Perspect when it’s time for it to come off. We only stopped for a rest, remember?”
Nate’s face dropped and I immediately felt bad. I could feel Dr. Mark Castinos’ eyes on me.
Getting down on one knee to look him in the eye, Dr. Castinos said, “I have an idea, Nate. Why don’t we get some ice cream in the cafeteria? I have a break coming up. Maybe that might cheer you up? Only if that’s ok with your mom, of course. ”
I started to object, but Nate looked so hopeful I didn’t want to disappoint him any more than I already had.
“We can get ice cream, but then it’s back to the hotel and back in bed for you.”
“Great,” Dr. Castinos said. “Just give me 5 minutes and I will meet you guys there.”
Nate and I walked to the cafeteria and chose a table near the window. Minutes passed and I was beginning to think that Dr. Mark Castinos wasn’t going to show up.
“There he is, Mama!” Nate said, pointing towards the doorway as Mark breezed into the room and jogged over to the table.
Pulling a chair out he sat down beside me. “I am completely sorry once again. I, honestly, am never late.”
I tried to smile. “It’s ok. Today isn’t your day, I suppose.”
“I wouldn’t say that,” Mark said smiling and meeting my eyes. Turning to Nate he said, “What kind of ice cream are we having little buddy?”
“Chocolate!” Nate shouted, raising his arms over his head.
“Chocolate!” Mark yelled back, also raising his arms above his head. I couldn’t help myself, I had to laugh and it felt good.
A few moments later, Nate was busily eating his huge dish of ice cream and Mark and I were drinking coffee.
“I took a few moments to fax those files myself,” he said softly leaning over the table and glancing over at Nate.
“Thank you. I appreciate it,” I said.
“I also thought that I should call your husband’s office, just to make sure that they were received.”
“Oh, ok. You didn’t have to do that, but thank you for that too.”
Mark cleared his throat before continuing, “I spoke to his secretary to verify that the documents were received, and they were, and she also indicated that Dr. Lloyd wanted to speak with me.”
My throat caught as I said, “Ok…” I wasn’t sure where this was going.
Mark shifted a bit uncomfortably, “Dr. Lloyd, your husband, requested that I recommend a psych evaluation for you.”
My face flamed a bright red. Even here, in Perspect, Ben was determined to humiliate me in whatever way he could. Tears sprang to my eyes and I looked away, biting my lip. Staring at Nate to concentrate, I took a deep breath. Looking back, Mark was looking at me intently.
I didn’t know what to say. I knew that if a psychological evaluation was what Dr. Castinos thought I needed, it wouldn’t be long before I would have to take Nate back home to Ben. No one would let a crazy woman keep a child, especially when that child had just recently suffered an injury.
“I told him in no way did I think that was necessary,” Mark said softly, “At least not in my professional opinion and from what I have observed.”
I brushed the tears away which threatened to fall from my eyes. Folding my trembling hands in my lap, I looked up at Mark. “Thank you.”
“You don’t have to thank me. I know you’re not crazy. I hardly know you, but I know you’re not crazy.”
I looked at his sweet young face for a long time. Sometimes people can surprise you.