Friday, July 10, 2015

Skin and Scars Chapter 2



Chapter 2


Later on that same day, Julia was starting to feel better and more like herself. Her best friend and fellow flight attendant, Holly, had come by to see her, and after spending a few hours in the hospital room, Julia had become stir crazy. Julia convinced her friend to take a few laps around the hospital floor. The small room was confining, and Julia needed to get out of it.

“I’ll just say it, Jules…you look like shit.” Holly said flatly.

They were walking together slowly through the halls, and Julia rolled her IV pole stand alongside her.

“Jeez, Hol, don’t do me any favors!” Julia let out a small laugh. “One shower wasn’t enough; it’ll take a few more before I feel like myself again.” She smirked.

“Hey, at least you’re out of that awful cotton gown.” Holly nudged Julia gently as they walked.

 “Thanks again for the clothes. I appreciate it.” She looked down at her outfit. Julia could have kissed her friend directly on the face when she showed up with a bag of Julia’s own clothes. Getting her soft zip up hoodie, a couple comfortable tank tops and t-shirts, a couple pairs of loose drawstring pants, fresh panties, a bra, a pair of Havaianas flip flops, and socks felt like receiving a million bucks. Her black rolling travel suitcase she used on work trips was in her trunk during the car crash, and Julia assumed that’s where it still was. She had her purse, and its important contents, and the uniform dress and shoes she came into the hospital wearing, but neither were worthy of putting on again.

“Don’t mention it,” Holly smiled. “What you should really be thanking me for is convincing your mother and father to not hop on next flight from Washington to here when she heard the news.”

Julia rolled her eyes and nodded. “Yes, yes, yes….thank you for THAT, too.” Her mother was great, wonderful, and supportive, all traits she was thankful for, but her mother was also overprotective. She was glad Holly had talked her down and convinced her parents not to come. She didn’t even want to imagine what sort of crazy her mom would have gone if she would have seen her laid up in the hospital bed. Her dad was more mild mannered, and understanding. He balanced out her mother well. Still, when Julia talked to them, she explained that she was all right, and that it wasn’t necessary that they fly in.

Julia placed a hand on her side as they made their way around a corner. “Ya know….this whole car crash stuff? It’s really putting a cramp in my style.”

Holly laughed. “Yeah, I know it is. Let’s sit,” she stopped at a set of chairs along the wall.

Both women sat, and Julia shifted, trying to find a comfortable position.

“So, talking to my insurance company earlier was pretty miserable.” Julia said as she eased back in the padded chair.

“Shall I give them a call, too, Jules? Because I totally can.” Holly laughed and patted Julia’s knee playfully.

“Very funny,” Julia replied. “They’re giving me a rental for now, and they said my car will most likely be a total loss. But the other driver was at fault, and thankfully had insurance, so I think it will be alright.”

“I still CANNOT believe that stupid girl was DRUNK.” Holly held up her hands and shook them in mock frustration. “She better be glad you weren’t hurt worse.”

“I still CANNOT believe that this even HAPPENED,” Julia said with an exasperated sigh, then she turned slowly to her friend.

“Is it bad that I’m kind of glad she had to spend the night in the clink?” Julia cracked a smile.

Holly threw her head back and laughed. “No, Jules, not bad at all. Gosh, I’m glad your sense of humor wasn’t affected.”

Julia smiled and started to stand carefully. “Come on, Hol. Let’s go back to the room, before you get us kicked out of here.”

Holly helped Julia with the IV pole stand as they walked towards the room. “I’ll smuggle you in a cheeseburger and fries for dinner, and you can tell me more about this hero doctor you so coyly mentioned earlier, too.”
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“Ok, wait a minute. You are telling me that the guy who was there at the crash is the same one that came to see you this morning?! And that he’s a doctor here?!” Holly munched on French fries from a fast food bag between questions.

Julia sipped from a bottle of water and nodded. “Yes, same one. And yes, he’s really a doctor here. Apparently he’s a physician in another building or something.”

Holly smiled and tossed the fast food bag aside. “Tell me everything. Is he cute? Older? Tall? Married?!”

Aaron.

His handsome face flashed in her mind.

Julia couldn’t help but laugh, but reached for her aching side when she did. “Ow, stop, Hol. It hurts.”

“I’m sorry, Jules, but this is important! A doctor came to your rescue at the scene of an accident, and then went out of his way to come check on you in your hospital room afterward.” Holly exaggerated her words as she spoke.

“Yeah, because he’s a doctor. He probably does it all the time.” Julia waved her hand around, downplaying Aaron’s actions, not wanting to think about anything further than the fact that he was simply a Good Samaritan.

“Oh, stop it. Now spill it. Cute? Older? How old? Tall? Wedding ring? Inquiring minds want to know!” Holly scooted closer in her chair and propped her bare feet on the edge of Julia’s bed.

Thoughts of the previous night at the crash flashed through Julia’s mind. How Aaron had tried to keep her calm after opening the door, and how he urged her to keep talking to him when she wanted to just sleep. She remembered feeling so safe during those moments, and like it was all going to be ok. She then thought back to when he came by earlier in the day. He had been so nice to her, even teasing her for a moment and making her laugh. He seemed really smart, confident, and secure, and lest she forget that he was quite handsome.  She thought about all of those things, and then she thought about the fact that he had been in a wheelchair, which did not seem to be a temporary type of situation, given that he looked so comfortable moving in it. She was curious, and wanted to know why he used it.

Julia stalled on answering her friend, picking up the burger she had in front of her and slowly taking a bite and chewing it fully. “Ok, well…”

Holly sipped from her soda straw in suspense.

Julia took another bite, and chewed slowly. “Yes, he’s cute.”

Holly raised an eyebrow. “Go on.”

“As in, I’d say…ruggedly handsome? He probably hasn’t shaved in a couple days, and I doubt he uses any hair product. You know what I mean? Like, rugged.”

“Rugged, yes, got it. More details about his face, Jules, COME ON.”

“Uh…ok…brown hair, bluish eyes I guess, great nose, perfect teeth. But not, like, fake perfect, but, more like, he probably had braces, and he’s probably lucky enough to not need them whitened.”

“Mmhmm, I’m listening. Sounds pretty attractive. Keep going. And faster.” Holly motioned for her to pick up the pace of the details.

“Um. He dresses well; manly, but professional. And he’s got these big, broad shoulders, too.” Julia motioned the size of Aaron’s upper body with her hands.

"Uh huh….” Holly was almost entranced while listening to the description.

“Age…I’m not really sure. Older than us I’d guess. Maybe 33, or 34?”

“Ok…” Holly kept sipping her soda.

“I wasn’t looking for a ring, so I don’t know if he’s married or not. And maybe he is. He probably is. I don’t know.” Julia put the burger down onto the bedside table, feeling full.

“That’s ok. Unsure on the marital status is ok. So, is he tall? Short? Medium? What?”

Julia cocked her head to the side. “Ha, well, see…uh…” She shifted to sit up straighter. The one detail about the wheelchair seemed to be awkward for her to say. “Here’s the thing.”

“What?! Just tell me!” Holly laughed.

“I don’t know how tall or short he is.” Julia shrugged.

“Huh? What do you mean you don’t know? You saw the guy, didn’t you?!”

Oh, just say it. Out with it, girl. You’re being ridiculous.

“Yes, but…uh…he was…sitting in a wheelchair.” Julia finally said.

Holly immediately pulled her feet off the edge of the bed. “He WAS?! Really?! As in, his own?”

Julia half smirked, and nodded. “Yes, really.”

“What kind of wheelchair are we talking here?” Holly leaned forward.

“Oh, Holly, I don’t know!” Julia leaned her head back. “A lightweight manual one with two big wheels, very modern looking. Not one like someone who is elderly would use…”

“And is it a…permanent type thing, or…?” Holly trailed off.

Julia gave a small shrug. “It didn’t look to be a new thing, so I’d say yes, I think it might be. But I don’t know for sure.”

“So, do we know why?” Holly pulled her soda to her mouth for another drink.

Julia shook her head. “We do not.” She thought back on watching the way Aaron moved in the chair, and how she noticed his legs hadn’t moved at all. “But If I were guessing I’d say that he might be…you know…maybe paralyzed.” She shrugged; unsure.

Holly sipped her drink some more. “Ok. But he’s a doctor. And you said he’s good looking. And everything else seemed to work just fine, right?”

That made Julia crack another smile. “Well, yes, of course.”

Holly was silent for a moment, and looked like she was thinking. “You know what, Jules? Who cares about the whole wheelchair thing? It’s not that big of a deal. I think he’s into you. He seems nice, and normal.” She leaned back in the chair once more, and propped her feet on the edge of the bed.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa…That’s getting way ahead of the game here. He’s not into me. He doesn’t want to date me. I’m not even sure I want to date him. He’s just a nice guy.”

Julia was happy being single. She had a crazy schedule; sometimes being on the road for a week or longer when she was on extended trips. The guys she met and subsequently dated didn’t understand her life. She had dated a whole lot, though, and had a couple serious relationships behind her, but she hadn’t been focusing on meeting a guy and making a life with him. She was satisfied with dating when she wanted to, and not being committed to anyone. She had a routine, and a rhythm to her life, and she liked it that way.

Holly elaborated. “A really nice guy. You don’t have to know if you want to date him. You’re single, you can do whatever you want. Just get to know him more.”

Julia reached for her bottle of water and then settled back against the bed.

“I mean...find out if he’s married first, but then get to know him.” Holly said with a wink.

Julia shook her head. “I have a lot of other stuff going on in my life other than getting to know the hot doctor, Hol.”

“Yes, you do, but I’m just saying that I don’t see you have a reason not to. That’s all.” Holly raised her hands, resting her case.

Julia shook her head and attempted a laugh. “Oh, just eat your fries and quiet down.”
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Julia spent another night in the hospital, but by nine o’clock in the morning the next day, her doctor had come by to tell her that she was being discharged. He said he was happy with her progress, and that he was confident she would heal just fine. He gave her some prescriptions for some pain medication, and said his goodbyes. Fortunately, x-rays had shown that there was no damage to Julia’s neck or back from the impact, but she had a referral to a chiropractor just in case she had any discomfort.

She waited for the nurse to come by and finish up the discharge process, then she was on her way. Dressed in another set of comfortable clean clothes, with flip flops on her feet, not a stitch of make up on, her hair thrown into a messy bun, and still feeling very sore all over, Julia took her time as she carried her belongings down the hallway to the elevators. Holly was meeting her downstairs to drive her home. She entered the elevator, rode it to the bottom floor, and stepped out. She started to cross the lobby of the hospital, making her way to the front sliding glass doors.

A deep male voice stopped her journey. “You’re getting sprung out of here, huh?”

Julia looked up and watched Aaron push towards her in his chair from the other end of the lobby. He was grinning.

Aaron! It’s him. And I look like crap. Again.

He had on grey pants, with a white button up shirt, rolled up to his elbows, just like they had been the day before, with a black belt, and black shoes. He wore his stethoscope again, and the name badge. His hair was messy as it had been before, and Julia guessed it was probably day three of him not shaving; his facial hair was scruffy, but neat.

“Yeah, finally. They think I’ll make it.” She said with a smile and a nod.

Good grief, he looks great. And you’re wearing stretchy pants. Awesome.

He slowed to a stop a few feet in front of her. “It was touch and go there for a while…,” he said, joking.

She gave a small laugh, and glanced towards the sliding glass doors, looking for Holly’s car, which wasn’t there yet.

Take your time, Hol. Take your time.

Julia was barely five feet three inches tall, and she immediately noticed that Aaron sat fairly tall in the wheelchair. She was still taller than him standing at her full height, but she didn’t dwarf him even from his sitting position. She thought he might be pretty tall if he were standing.

“What’s the recovery looking like?” Aaron placed his hands on his wheel rims.

“I’m supposed to rest for a couple weeks, be careful around the stitches in my head while washing my hair, take pain medication as needed, eat ice cream, and watch Netflix.” Julia smirked.

Aaron chuckled. “That’s exactly what I would have prescribed, too.”

They watched each other for a moment, eyes locked on one another.

“So, you’re seeing your primary care physician for a check-up on the concussion and stitches?” Aaron asked.

“Uh, well…that’s what he said I should do, but I’ll be fine. I probably won’t go.”

Aaron leaned back in his chair, and shifted. “You won’t go? You’re one of those patients?” He teased her.

“Well, no. I mean, I’m sure I will be fine, the stitches are supposed to dissolve. But, it’s just that I don’t have a primary care doctor, so I don’t see the point.”

Aaron laughed again. “Ah, I see.” He paused for a moment, studying her. He then leaned forward and reached for something under his chair. He pulled out a white rectangular card from a pouch attached to the underside of his seat and handed it to her. “Here. My card. It just so happens that I’m a doctor. You know, if you feel like you should get a check-up, you can make an appointment with me.” He said with a nod.

She took the card, her fingertips grazing his for a moment, and looked at him.

Doctor. He’s a doctor. He’s giving you his business card.

She looked down to read it.

Mountain Crest Hospital and Medical Center
Dr. Aaron C. Evans, M.D.
Family Medicine
Building C, Suite 208
Office 303-536-7655
Cell 303-878-4931

Cell phone number? Oh no. He must be one of those really great doctors that doesn’t care if you call them at midnight with a mysterious symptom. Great. Just great.

Julia slid the card into the pocket of her zip up hoodie. “Thank you.”

“No problem.” Aaron said with a smile.

Julia glanced towards the doors again, looking for Holly. Aaron followed her gaze.

“Waiting on a ride?” He asked.

“Yes, my friend is supposed to be here soon.” Julia adjusted her hold on the bag she carried, feeling the weight starting to irritate her cracked ribs.

Aaron noticed her shifting. “Let me take that.”

“Really?” She asked, tentatively handing over the bag.

“Yes, really,” he said with a small laugh. He took the bag and placed it on his lap.

“Thanks, Aaron,” she said with an appreciative smile.

He’s just a nice guy, Julia. Nice guys do nice things. Stop reading into this.

Aaron nodded. “Well, I wasn’t sure if you would still be here. I came over to check on you again.”

Did he just say that? He came to check on me one more time?

Julia felt her face flush and hoped Aaron didn’t notice. “And here I thought you were just here for the good coffee from the cafeteria…”

He laughed. “No, no…not a coffee drinker.” He glanced to the hospital doors. “Blue car?”

Julia was lost in thought, still stuck on the fact that Aaron said he had come to check on her. “Huh? 

Blue car?” She asked when she came to.

“Does your friend drive a blue car?” He cocked his head towards the doors, and gestured with his thumb.

“Oh! Yes!” Julia said, realizing Holly had arrived. “That’s her.” She carefully reached out to take bag her bag from Aaron, but he placed a hand on it.

“I’ll walk you out.” He said coolly, before putting his hands on his wheels and pushing forward.

Julia turned and kept pace beside him. The automatic sliding glass doors opened, they exited onto the covered sidewalk, and they stopped a few feet from where the blue car was parked alongside the curb. Julia watched as Holly got out of the car.

Ok, this is happening. Holly is going to meet Hot Doc.

“Hi, Hol. Thank you for picking me up.” Julia noticed that her friend kept glancing at the guy who was next to her, and knew that Holly was putting the pieces together.

“Oh, don’t mention it…” Holly said with a smile, then she turned toward Aaron. “Hi, I’m Holly. Her ride.” She stuck her hand straight out, and Aaron shook it.

“Well, good to meet you, Holly the Ride. I’m Aaron.” He flashed a smile.

“Oh!” Julia said. “Uh, Holly, yeah…this is Aaron. He’s a doctor here.” She introduced him to her friend as though Holly had no idea who he was, despite their lengthy conversation about him.

“Yes, a doctor who insists that you come in to get checked out.” Aaron turned his chair toward Julia, and looked up at her.

Julia nodded. “Ok, ok…I’ll make an appointment.”

Aaron smiled. “Good.”

Julia glanced towards Holly, who was listening intently to their exchange. Her friend raised her eye brows in surprise and silently mouthed “Oh my god.” Julia tried not to laugh, and looked again at Aaron.

“I’ll take that off your hands now,” she said as she gestured to her bag he still carried.

Aaron handed it to her. “Get some rest, Julia. And I’ll be expecting to see your name on my appointments next week, too.” He gave her another one of his wry grins.

Julia inched closer to the car. “Yes, Doctor.” She said with a smile. She opened the passenger side door.

Holly stepped over and took the bag and Julia’s purse, before opening the car door and placing them both in the backseat.

Julia slowly and carefully eased her way into the seat.

Holly got in the driver’s seat, and started the car. “I looked, and didn’t see a wedding ring on him. You’re making that appointment, Jules.”

Julia turned and looked out the window at Aaron, who had raised his hand in a goodbye wave. She gave him a small wave as well, then watched as he effortlessly spun around and headed back into the hospital.
Julia nodded and looked at her friend. “Yes, I think I might be.”
_________________________________________________________________________________

Well? What did you think? Comments, feedback, hate mail, all appreciated!
Another chapter next week!

36 comments:

  1. I really liked the chapter, it had great flow and read smoothly, thank you for the update! I eagerly await the next update!

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  2. Awww I really love the second chapter a lot!!! Keep writing, please!
    <3 D.

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  3. I`m in love in Aaron :-) The chapter was great and I`m waiting for the next part (Saturday?)...

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    1. I hope to post the next chapter within the week. Be on the look out!

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  4. Ooooh, loved it! Can't wait for the appointment with the doctor. With any luck, she'll have to be referred to another doctor soon because, doctors aren't supposed to date patients ;) . Also look forward to hearing what Holly has to say about the good doctor! I'm sure she'll make sure Julia makes that appointment!

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    1. You loved it?! Wow, thank you! Keep reading to find out! : )

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  5. I enjoyed the back story of Julia. And I liked seeing the support of her friend Holly.

    Can we get Aaron's point of view? What's he thinking or doing?

    Anyways, I was very excited to see this chapter!!! Please update again :)

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    1. Thank you for reading!

      More from Aaron's POV -- got it, note taken. : )

      Will update soon.

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  6. OMG!!! Love it!!

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  7. Good story but I am uneasy about her having even one appointment with Aaron. For the majority of American doctors this is a no-no, even if she is discharged early in the game.

    There are plenty of other plot devices that could get them together.

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    1. Keep reading to see what happens next. : )

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  8. Another great chapter. Would love to "hear" Aaron's POV as well. Look forward to next chapter, hopefully soon. :) Thanks for posting.

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  9. Wonderful story so far! Great characters.

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  10. LOVED IT! I do hope that Aaron wont be her doc. Dating patients is unethical and I kind of like to think of him as a moral dude

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    1. Stay tuned to see what happens next.... :-)

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  11. Yes, please keep writing! It's a pleasure to read and I can't wait for more!

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    1. I can neither confirm or deny that further chapters have already been written. ;-)

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  12. Great story - I'm looking forward to the next part!

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  13. I really like this and I'm super-excited for the next chapter! Thanks for the great story. :)

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  14. interesting start!

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  15. New story. I liked it. Hope to read more soon.
    Tc

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  16. OMG! Can't wait to read what it'll be like for her when she discovers Hot Doc's paraplegic sexiness, dangling feet, stubborn legs, spasms, stairs, transfers and all that included...

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  17. Very promising story, interesting characters so far (more particularly Aaron !) and pleasant writing style. Hope you'll post regularly. Don't keep us waiting :)

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