What did you say your Name was? – A Novel, Chapter 6

(Fiction)

For Chapter 5 click here:  Chapter 5

To go to chapter 1 of the novel click here: Chapter 1

(Author’s note: This chapter has multiple pages. Please click the number at the bottom to continue reading the next page)

Owen had settled in Miami because of the monsoon like climate — hot summers and warm winters. They were a diversion from Oklahoma. Although Oklahoma was not known to have severe winters like the North, Owen liked the ability to run every day including in the winter months. He had obtained a degree in Pediatrics from the Medical School of the University of Miami. He liked it there and decided to settle.

After completing his internship and residency at the Miami Children’s Hospital he joined a medical practice with five other doctors. He was the youngest and soon realized that his philosophy of practicing medicine differed from the other doctors. After two years he started his own practice.

It wasn’t easy at first. He had to work hard to get established. It helped that some of his patients from the joint practice came over. Then word of mouth spread and he started getting new patients. He opened his office at 8 am and closed at 5 pm. Although, there would always be someone needing more attention, or if a patient came late it would push back the rest of the appointments and he would end up working way past five. In the morning, there would generally be two or three patients waiting. Today, in the month of August 1980, there were six. It was possible all Moms were trying to get the physical checkups for their kids prior to school opening. Owen was busy.

His fifth patient, Devlin, had a temperature. His mom Jodi was worried he would miss the opening day of the school.

“Nothing to worry about,” Owen said reassuring Jodi. “It could be exhaustion, all that outdoor summer activity.”

“Are you going to prescribe something?” Jodi, asked.

“No. He’ll be all right. Let him rest and drink plenty of fluid.”

Owen escorted the boy and his mother back out to the waiting room. A familiar face he couldn’t quite place smiled at him from the back of the room.

“Do I know you from somewhere?” Owen asked, approaching her.

“I hope so,” the lady replied smiling. “I can’t believe it’s you. When I saw the name on the door I thought of you but never imagined it actually was you. You haven’t changed a bit.”

Then it dawned on him that he was talking with Agnes — Rachel’s roommate in Malawi. She looked different, he thought. Maybe because of the new hairstyle, he couldn’t say. It had been almost ten years.

“Are you here with your child?”

“No, no. I was visiting Jodi and thought I would come along to give her company. ”

“Jodi?” Owen said with a quizzical look. Then he said, “Of course, Devlin’s mother.”

“Are you related?”

“We are first cousins. She’d been asking me so long to come see her new house. I took her up on that.”

“Well, good to see you.”

Owen was trying to figure out some way of extending the conversation, but was at a loss. He started going back to his office but hesitated and walked towards Agnes.

“We need to catch up,” he said. “I’m sorry I’m kind of busy today. Is there some way I can contact you later?”

Agnes gave him a number.

“Thanks,” Owen said. “Are you going to be in town for a while?”

“Yes. Until next week, then I scoot back home.”

“Where’s that?”

“Cleveland, Ohio.”

“Wow. All the way up there.”

 

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