By: Tamara Black

“That’s crazy, man. What was it like?”

“About what you would expect.”

He laughed. “You better get extra credit for that shit.”

“Right?” I turned back to the lifeless body in front of us. “We should do this.”

“You don’t sound too excited.”

“Oh, I am, but I can’t get this woman out of my mind.”

“Did she look fine?”

“It’s not that, but yeah, she did. Her husband died in Afghanistan.”

“Damn, that’s messed up.”

“Yeah. She’s a CNA, but that’s not going to be enough money to support her.”

“You should talk to Professor Johnson.”


“He’s doing this study of new single mothers. If you ask her survey questions a couple times a week, she gets paid.”

“That’s not a half-bad idea,” I said.

“I have good ones every now and then.”

I picked up a scalpel and prepared to cut the body lying on the table in front of us.

“Let’s get this over with.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

An hour later, after examining the interior of a body, Reggie and I parted ways. He went back to our apartment just off campus. I wanted to go home and relax for an hour before hitting the books again, but instead I headed to Professor Johnson’s office to talk to him about the single-mother study.

If I could get Stephanie signed up for it, she could get a little financial help. At the same time, I would be able to get to know her better. While I’d seen way much more of her than anyone should see on a first meeting, her mind intrigued me more. We had a chemistry hard to describe in scientific terms.

Only a few people were out walking the main street through campus as I headed toward the Medical Sciences building. The sun had begun its descent in the Western sky, but it wouldn’t get dark for another few hours. I had plenty of time to talk to him then go back to the hospital to check on Stephanie and Danny, her new baby.

I opened the glass door of the Med-Sci building and walked inside, a smile on my face. She named her baby after me. The thought danced through my brain, making me feel like a King of all the world. A few sorority girls giggled in the lobby as I passed them on my way to the bank of elevators.

After pressing the up button, I glanced around, moving my hands from front to back, always trying to burn a few calories. The elevator door opened. I got in and hit the four for the top floor. On the way up, I stared at my reflection in the mirrored walls. I need a haircut and a shave, I thought, stroking my chin.

My life as a med-student didn’t afford me much time for any single task. I had so much to learn about time management. A hidden bell rang, and the door slid open. I stepped out and turned left, heading to Professor Johnson’s office at the end of the hall. He was the King of the Med-Sci- building and held my future as a medical professional in his hands.

I knocked on the glass of his office door twice.

“Come in,” he called from the other side.

“Hey, Professor Johnson,” I said after opening the door. “Could I talk to you for a minute or two?”

“Do you have an appointment? These are not my scheduled meeting hours.”

“No, I don’t, but it’s kind of an emergency.”

He sighed. “Very well. Come in and sit down.”

I took a seat in front of his desk. He clasped his hands together as he stared at me.

“Well, what is your emergency? Someone you know overdose?”

“What? No. I’m trying to help someone I just met…”

“Let me guess,” he interrupted. “The woman you helped earlier today.”

“How did you know about that?” I asked.

“It’s all over Facebook,” he said. “And I know people at the Cleveland Clinic.”

I nodded, remembering the power he held over my life.

“Her husband died in Afghanistan, and I heard about your new mother study. She’s a CNA, so I think she would be helpful for you.”

“I see.”

He removed his elbows from the desk and sat back in his high-backed leather chair.

“I can give her the surveys or whatever.”

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