"Remy, I'll ask you again. I need Mr. Walker's file," Dr. Kendrick said.
When the doctor rapped his knuckles on the desk, Remy finally bolted to attention.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I'll get it right now." Remy knew she flushed a bright red. Jeepers, she thought, what's with me? I've never been this disoriented at work before. But she knew the problem. Jeremy. And Barbara. How could she forget Barbara? For some reason, she couldn't get either one out of her mind.
She felt her forehead and wondered if she were coming down with something. She wiped her hand across her skirt, before selecting the patient's file from the large wall unit in the file room.
When she returned to the reception area, Dr. Kendrick had disappeared. She figured he had gone back into the examining room. She slipped the file into the slot on the door and rapped lightly to let him know it was there.
Irene had called in sick, so Remy was alone in the office. She glanced around the waiting room. Four patients, and it was barely 9:00 a.m. She sighed. It was going to be a long day. She grabbed her mirror from the desk drawer, turned away from the patients, and examined her face. Yes, she was definitely flushed. And sweaty. Too sweaty.
"Dr. Kendrick's office," Remy said, when the phone rang. There was no reply. "Hello." Still no answer. She knew someone was there; she could hear breathing. "Dr. Kendrick's office," she repeated.
"Okay, then," she mumbled, "be like that," before delicately replacing the phone.
By the end of the day, the office phone had received three hang-ups, all showing as "unknown caller" on the display. One call might not be unusual, she thought, but three? Her mind immediately went to Jeremy and Barbara. Could it be one of them? But for what purpose? Then she realized they didn't know where she worked, so it couldn't have been them.
Remy's stomach flip-flopped when Brian's face flashed before her. He was her previous boyfriend, and he hadn't been happy when she broke it off with him. They had had an on-again, off-again relationship for almost a year, and she knew his emotions were still raw. Could it be Brian calling? He lived the next town over, in Ridgemount, a good hour away. Distance was part of the reason for their breakup; he didn't want to move and neither did she. The other reason was abuse, physical and mental. The latter was the main reason, of course. How could she commit to someone with a temper like his? She knew that was why she didn't want to move to his community. Something held her back and after she initiated the break-up, she realized what it was. If she loved someone, an hour wouldn't have been a problem. She could have commuted to her job or she could have found another job. Nurses and medical receptionists were in demand; she'd have no problem finding employment.
The last patient closed the door.
Dr. Kendrick appeared before her. Dr. Samuel Kendrick. Sam, as he liked to be called. The expression on his face made her realize she could be up to a job search very soon. She would relocate in a flash if she found someone she loved who lived in another town. There was nothing keeping her in Langford.
"How about a drink?" he asked. "Wind down from the day. I know it was hectic without Irene."
"Ah...no, but thanks. I'm tired." Why do I have to give him an excuse? No should be enough.
But "no" was never enough for Dr. Samuel Kendrick.
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Catherine A. MacKenzie