After finishing the longest 9 years of my life, I am finally free to practice medicine anywhere that I want. My best friend's uncle is looking for someone to take over his small family practice clinic, and after many phone conversations and video chats with Dr. Jerry Williams the last few months, I have agreed to give his clinic a try. He is wanting to retire, and I am looking to get away from the many eyes and ears of the big city life. Sure, I am a bit overqualified for a family practice, but I need this change.
I worked for the last five years under one of the country's leading plastic surgeons and let's just say he taught me way more than I could have ever learned from lectures or in the textbooks. You see, Dr. Matteo DeAngelo was the brother of an Italian Mafia boss. Matteo actually recruited me during my second year of internship. He was doing a rotation in the E.R. and said he saw some potential in my skills as an up-and-coming doctor. In exchange for my "skills", I never had to worry about how I would pay for college. All of my college debt was wiped clean once I started working with Matteo. I never asked questions, and my "procedures" were very cloak and dagger. Matteo was the only person that I have had real contact with, and I preferred it that way. We didn't work alone though, my best friend worked with us on occasion.
Last week, when my residency was up, Matteo tried to compensate me for the last few years, give me money to set myself up with, because I never took a cent other than for my college expenses to be paid on my behalf and all existing college debt to be cleared. I refused his generous offer and thanked him for teaching me how to really appreciate every cell of the human body. I'm sure you would wonder what I learned, well I will tell you. My hands are unshakeable, and I learned all of the ways to disassemble a human body and make it unrecognizable. I would get a text from an unknown number, with an address and a time limit. When I would arrive, there would a lovely specimen waiting for me. I would ask no questions, and I liked things that way. I got free college, what else should I have cared about. The job included me making sure that the body in front of me left in pieces. I can't say that I wasn't scared shitless most of the time, and deep down I really don't know how I handled shit. Panic attacks and lots of crying in the shower helped. Plus, the damn mafia was behind it all and those people are dangerous.
Now, I just arrived at a quaint little town where I will hopefully spend the rest of my doctoring days. Matteo said he was sad to see me go, but he was proud of me and wished me luck. I told him that I would keep in touch, but he insisted that I pretend we didn't exist with each other...it is safer that way.
I pull up to my new little home, that I purchased sight-unseen. The realtor and I did everything via video chats and emails. It is a nice, two-bedroom home. Kitchen appliances were included, but tomorrow I'll have to go furniture shop. At least I have an air mattress to sleep on. There is no yard here, but those are overrated anyway. I get my SUV unloaded, and freshen myself up. I am supposed to meet with Dr. Jerry (as he insisted that I call him) once I got into town. I am looking forward to meeting the man that is giving me a chance to do something with my license. I think back to my last conversation with Christy, my best friend. "Maybe you'll actually date...lose your 'V' card...find you a man like I did..." Yes, I am a proud 'V' card carrier. I have fooled around with guys, and a couple of girls too, but it just never felt right to give it up.
I suddenly feel nervous about starting my new adventure as I pull up to "Valleyview Family Practice". It is a cottage-looking structure, with very well-manicured flowerbeds in the front. I love it already. Pushing my own fears aside, I head into the clinic. I'm greeted by a lovely, yet chubby receptionist. "Hi, I'm here to see Dr. Jerry. I'm Dr. Journey McMichael." I say with the brightest smile possible because I want to make an impression on her too.
The receptionist motions me back to an office with a warm smile, where I see an older man sitting at a desk. He looks up as I enter the office space, and drops his pen on the desk. "Ahh, you must be Journey. I cleared my calendar for today so I wouldn't be busy when you arrived. I have about 10 minutes to explain to you about Black Sails because they are headed here now with an emergency." he says. He goes on to tell him how his services are provided to a local motorcycle club. I learn about their rankings and what they all mean, the differences between club girls and old ladies, that guns and drugs but not sex crimes are how their organization is funded which also keeps the whole town pretty much running including this clinic, how the leadership changed a few months ago and the new guys are better than the last regime even though his brother was one of the old regime members, etc. My mind is racing and trying to process all of this information. I thought that I was scared about certain things before...I'm totally frightened now. "They called right before you walked in, and they are bringing us a patient. We get to see what a big city doctor can do. This will be your test, Journey. Let's go get an exam room ready because they will be here any second."
What the fuck did I get myself into here? I pull my hair up in a bun as I follow Dr. Jerry down the hallway to the exam rooms. As I get to the doorway of EXAM 1, I look towards the waiting room and see several bikers walking in and carrying another man. I step out of the way and tell them "In here. Bring him in here." As they file back out, I see a set of eyes that makes my heart stand still and my brain forget my own name. I snap back into reality and enter the exam room. Time to get to work.