“I’ll be back in an hour, I’m headed to lunch.” I step into Kyle’s office, as I slide my coat. I’m forced to reach beneath the lightweight fabric, to free my braid from its confines. Kyle looks up, his glasses perched low on his nose as he works through some unfinished paperwork.
“Is it that time already?” With a nod, I lean on the door frame, folding my arms over my chest.
“Yeah. You’re only working half a day right?” Kyle removes the glasses from his face, dropping them on the desk without a care.
“Yeah, Maya wanted to have dinner with her parents tonight. You know how that goes.” He rolls his eyes, running a hand over his features, I have to chuckle at him. Maya is a sweet girl and has a tendency to be needy. Everyone has their own quirks, I suppose that’s one of hers. All I can say is that it’s a quirk I’m happy to avoid.
“I wish you luck my friend.” With that as my parting message, I turn to head for my truck. A heavy breath slips past my lips as I rub at my eyes, my keys jingle together in my face. A late night emergency call came early in the morning, forced me up and out of bed at o’dark thirty.
With the clinic set to open at seven, there really wasn’t any sense in going back to bed. The emergency line brings in extra business but is a pain in the ass for the one set to manage it. Since it’s my week, I got lucky with the disruptive wake-up calls.
I met Kyle in our second year of veterinary school, we’ve been friends to this day. We both talked about owning our own practice and set out to create the one we have today. Since we opened close to three years ago, we’ve garnered a loyal clientele base.
Making it easy to stay busy between emergency calls, regular check ups or the minor mishaps that occur day to day. Getting onto the road, I head towards the small fixer upper house my brothers had found on the market. At the time I was still in school, I didn’t have the extra funds to rent a house close to campus, much to my dismay.
Sure I could’ve gotten roommates, but I’m not a fan of that idea, it’s unsettling. Call me weird. The house is sparse, only measures in around 1,300 square feet. Because of its condition, my brothers had haggled payments for a bargain price. Lucky for me it was livable.
I had spent a lot of my downtime, using my brother’s aid to get it into a better state. The place still needs work, a lot. That didn’t stop me from late night and long days of work to keep the progress continuous. I’ve never been one to shy away from hard labor.
Between the house, school and attempting to get my practice, it’s been a struggle that has left me satisfied, in theory. Since I focused most of my time on being an adult or at least attempting such. I didn’t do any socialization - avoided it most days.
Most college students were going to parties or dates, I went the complete opposite way. Now I pay the price with no social life. I spend most of my evenings at home alone, in an attempt to figure out the next step for my life.
Like the practice, since I had only three years interning at a local veterinary office, it took time to build up our client list. Now both Kyle and I are interested in the business’s future. Both of us have plans that lead it to move in different directions.
He wants to focus on small, and large pets, while I want to incorporate exotic animals. So now I am left wondering if it would be best to sell off my part in the practice. Start another clinic that focuses on more of a diverse set of animals. I glance in the mirror only to be met by my droopy eyes.
Last night’s wake-up call left me with less than four hours of sleep, not what I prefer to work on. Between that and the hairs that are going white on top of my head makes me feel like I’m a lot older than my birth certificate says.
I’d like to believe that I have the classic Native American skin, deep chocolate hair. Honey hazel eyes, the typical rounded jaw, and high cheekbones that complete my appearance. My parents love promoting our Native American heritage. We have the classic tan, the light brown and red undertones, my family and I are on the darker side of the spectrum.
Getting back to my house I just want to grab my lunch and go to bed. That desire isn’t a plausible thought. Since Kyle is only there until I get back I am left to manage the place by myself, with the two other employees who work today. I’m ecstatic to have extra help. At least I’m lucky enough to love what I do so it makes it easier to drag myself into work.
The practice isn’t large, we only have five employees. Two veterinarians, Kyle and I, two assistants, and one desk clerk. Sadly our desk clerk is on maternity leave, with any luck should be back at the end of the month.
I head straight for my kitchen sighing as I remember another nuisance that’s shown itself. When I first got the house, the heat worked. It was already a decade old, and since I’ve had it since my second year in college the heat isn’t the youngest. A few days ago it was kind enough to stop in the middle of the night.
I’m lucky enough to have a wood stove, a slight stockpile of wood left over from a nasty blizzard I had stocked up for. Finding the number for a local HVAC company, I call them as I pull open my fridge, to grab the paper bag lunch I’d prepared.
The basic contents of a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich, a small bag of chips, an apple spill out onto the counter. I start the long and drawn-out process of attempting to get someone out here. Between my busy schedule I aim for an appointment weekend mid-afternoon, no matter what I’ll need to leave work early, yay.
As it would appear early morning is when I’m lucky enough to have a technician come out. I’ll have to update Kyle on what is going on, I’ll be late to work Saturday, I guess. Sitting down I stare out my kitchen window and wince at the unkempt lawn, I shake my head.
Everywhere I look I see something else that I need to do, there aren’t enough hours in the day. I take a bite out of the apple, and study my simplistic kitchen, thankful that it works, unlike the heat.
I drop my head on the cool counter thankful for the slight reprieve in the throbbing migraine I’ve garnered. The option to sit for a few more minutes before I am due back at work sounds like the best decision for me. I’m genuinely pleased that the weekend is already close.
The clinic is open six days a week, brings home a good paycheck. Sunday is the one day we all have off, my last day for emergency calls is Saturday thankfully. I lift my head to rub at my face, I have to stand to head for the sink. A splash of cold water would be great right now.
Splashing cold water on my face, my hands rest on the edge of the sink, I just stand there for a moment. Allowing the water to drip from my face. A slow breath leaves my lungs as I grab my dish rag and wipe the excess water from my face. I should get back to work before Kyle leaves.
Stepping into the bathroom I touch up what little makeup I do wear, mascara, chapstick. Occasionally I’ll go the extra step and put on the rest of my makeup for a night out. Eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, I have to admit that my nights out are typically with family.
I have to roll my eyes at the thought, ideally I’d have more of a social life. It’s fairly sad that I call being social, dinner with family. After locking my house I get back in my truck, to make the journey back to work.
The ride back to work is spent in an internal debate, what I want to do with the practice. Maybe I should talk to my family, see if they have any advice. Because I need to be realistic, I don’t have all the funds I need to put into another practice.
I have no clue what I’m going to do about this. Pulling up to work I check the time, thankful that I’ve arrived with five minutes to spare. I step out of my truck, lock it, and head for the clinic.
“Hey, welcome back Dr. K.” Ellie, my assistant who had volunteered to operate the front of the house. I smile at her, with a nod. Almost everyone I have ever met has given me a nickname, either Kimmy or K. No one cares to say my full name Kimana.
My brothers both share unique names, Machakw, which everyone just calls him Mac for short. And then we have Abooksigun, or Abe, he hates his name. I find it hilarious how my parents named us all after animals, Abe a wildcat, Mac a bear, and then myself a butterfly of all things.
It’s kind of funny my siblings and I share these unique Algonquin names, and my parents are Kathleen and Joseph. Doesn’t that earn some odd stares? Introduce yourself and then your kids, it’s a tale to tell. One I think they love to share.
“Thank you, Ellie, has Kyle left yet?” She shakes her head at me, before she can answer the man himself enters.
“I’m heading out now, tell Kimmy-” Kyle stops as he turns the corner and spots me. “Never mind, I got a call from Jesse, he’s got a cow down can you go look at her?” I’m glad that I hadn’t taken off my coat just yet.
“Yeah, did he say anything else? How long has the cow been down, any symptoms?” I turn retracing my steps with Kyle back outside, as he fills me in.
“Said she was down when he checked this morning around six-thirty, as for the symptoms she wasn’t herself, kicking at her belly, stumbling.”
“So far it sounds like grain overload.” Kyle nods in agreement, he stops at his car, talking to me over his hood.
“It’s Jesse, it’s not all that far-fetched. I’ll see you later.” I wave and unlock my truck to get in again. Kyle pulls out before me, I wait to get on the road. Thinking about all the other times, I have been called out to Jesse’s ranch. It’s a beautiful place, but the man doesn’t exactly know what he’s doing with cows. Jesse used to be an English college professor. I applaud the man that he’s followed his dreams. I wished that he would take offered advice.
The man is as stubborn as a mule, that likes to learn the hard way. Sadly the hard way often leads to bills. As long as I’m not the one paying for it, I can’t complain, too loud.