The second alarm goes off, and Leo rolls over, wrapping his arms around me.
“Hey, you want to get something to eat first? It’s gonna be a pretty long seminar.”
“Yeah.” I sit up, rubbing my eyes. “I’m pretty hungry too.”
“Yeah.” I grab some of my clothes out of Leo’s drawers.
“Since when did you start leaving your clothes here?” He laughs.
“Since sometimes I decide to stay the night here, when I didn’t bring my bag.”
“So this is a hotel now?” Jenny chimes, laughing.
“No!” I laugh, grabbing my clothes to get ready to go to the seminar,
“Do I look okay?” I ask, after brushing my hair.
I’m wearing a black dress and flats.
“Why so fancy?” Leo asks, brushing some hair away from my face, and runnin his thumb across my cheek
“Because my mom said I was gonna have to prove myself to even get those people to give me their time of day to get advice about if I should really consider being a surgeon.”
“Well..” Leo shrugs. “I mean, what do you think about that?”
“I want to get another opinion in it, but do you agree with her?”
Leo puts his arm around me. “Let’s talk about this later.”
Leo sighs. “Because I want you to talk to Dr. Calloway about it.”
“He’s gonna be there?” I ask, nervous.
“Yeah, he probably saw your name on the list, and wants to talk to you.”
“Why, is he gonna laugh at me?” I ask. “Am I crazy for thinking I can become a surgeon?”
Leo gets my backpack for me. “Let’s talk about this later. Let’s go get something to eat.”
“Whatever.” I’m already annoyed.
“Love.” Leo puts his hand on my forearm. “Relax.”
“Okay.” I don’t want to argue with him at his house.
Leo kisses my cheek. “Let’s go get something to eat.
Why is he avoiding the question? Does he think I can’t become a surgeon?
The four hour seminar feels like eight, because I’m nervous to talk to Dr. Calloway after the seminar. I want him to prove my mom wrong.
The seminar room clears out, until the only ones left are Leo, Dr. Calloway and I,
“Want me to go with you?” He asks.
“No, go wait outside,”
“Okay.” Leo says, before going to wait in the hallway.
“Dr. Calloway?” I ask, as he’s about to leave.
“Hi, sweetie.” He puts hand on my forearm. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m okay, I just had a few questions for you.”
“Sure.” He smiles. “What’s up?”
“I was thinking of going to medical school.”
“Really?” He pulls up chairs for us. “For what?”
“Umm.. I wanted to become a surgeon.”
“Really?” He asks.
“Yeah..” I hesitate. “Because I want to help people with diseases and Cancer of the eye, so they can maybe come out of their situations.”
“Oh really?” He smiles. “That sounds amazing.”
“Do you think I’ll be able to become a surgeon, with the vision that I have?”
“Sweetheart..” He sighs.
“Honestly there is a huge risk becoming a surgeon with the vision that you have.”
I bite my lip, trying not to cry.
“But there are so many other careers in the medical field that you can have, that make a huge impact as well.”
“Have you heard of a medical researcher?” He hands me a brochure.
Tears cling to my eyelashes, and I blink them away.
Is this how it’s going to be for the rest of my life?
“Honey.” Dr. Calloway rubs my arm. “I’m sorry, I really didn’t mean to upset you.”
“It’s okay, you have to be honest.” I sigh.
“Look over the brochure, a medical researcher is a really good job. I have some that work in my office, I’ll introduce you to them the next time you’re there.”
“Okay.” I offer a sad smile.
“Sorry, love.” He looks at me with a sympathetic smile.
I offer a small smile. “It’s alright, thanks for the advice.”
“No problem, good luck.”
I walk briskly past Leo, partly because I’m crying, and partly because I’m not ready to hear “I told you so”.
“Alex..” He gently takes my hand, and walks with me over to the car.
“I don’t need a guide dog.” I snap.
Leo opens my door for me, choosing to ignore my comment.
The car ride is silent, until I can’t hold my curiosity in anymore.
“You agree with him, don’t you?”
Leo sighs. “Can we talk about something else?”
“No. Answer me.”
Leo takes my hand. “You know I want what’s best for you.”
“Well then why do you agree with him?” A tear escapes my cheek.
“I’m just trying to be practical and realistic about it.”
“Well I don’t want to hear it.” I fold my arms across my chest.
“Okay.” Leo says, quietly.
“I’m just tired of everyone underestimating me.”
“I underestimate you?” Leo asks.
“You don’t think I can become a surgeon.”
Leo puts his hand on my forearm. “I want the best for you, and I’m here for you.”
“Will you just take me home?” I answer bitterly.
“Why?” Leo asks, calmly.
“I want to be left alone.”
“I didn’t mean to upset you.” Leo says, quietly.
“I just want to help people.” Tears stream down my cheeks. “And now I can’t. No one even wants to give me a chance.”
Leo leans over, and kisses my cheek. “I just don’t want to give you false hope.”
I sigh. “It’s not you. I know you guys are right.”
Leo takes my hand. “You’re amazing at the clinic. You’ve been through so much, and you’re going to help the children you’re with, based on your experiences.”
“I see what you mean.”
“Let’s look at the brochures Dr. Calloway gave you. I think a medical researcher would be a great opportunity for you,”
“Okay, I’ll look up what I need to do, and apply when I get home.”
“Why don’t we work on it together? Do you really want to go home?”
“No, .let’s get something to eat, then we can work on it at your house, I have my laptop.”
“Okay.” Leo kisses my forehead. “Chick Fil A?”
“Okay, I applied to FAU for a second bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in health science.” I close my laptop. I’ve been at Leo’s house for the past couple of hours, looking up application requirements and deadlines.
“Cool. I’m proud of you.” Leo smiles, and kisses me.
“I’ll know in about six to eight weeks.”
“You’ll get accepted.”
“Thanks.” I kiss Leo. “I’m sorry I was so tense earlier.”
“It’s okay. It’s hard to accept things that we can’t change sometimes.”
“It’s just hard to accept that I can’t do what I want, and I’m always going to have to prove myself.”
“Well when you think about it, everyone has to prove themselves at one point. It’s life.”
“Yeah.” I sigh.
“You wanna watch a movie?” Leo asks, trying to get my mind off of the seminar.
I go downstairs and make myself comfortable on the couch.
“Where are your mom and dad?”
Leo heads into the kitchen to make popcorn. “They went out for the day.”
“Yeah, so we have the house to ourselves for a while.” Leo smiles.
Yay. We haven’t cuddled and watched a movie downstairs for months, maybe this will keep my mind off of feeling sorry for myself.
“What movie do you wanna watch?” Leo asks, putting the popcorn and Root Beer on the coffee table, and sitting next to me.
“The Big Sick?” I suggest.
“Okay, cool.” Leo pops the movie in, and sits on the couch, putting his arm around me.
I smile and snuggle in, putting my head on his chest.
Leo kisses my forehead. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” I lean up and kiss him.
“Are you feeling better?” Leo asks, putting the bowl of popcorn in the sink after the movie. “Yeah, thanks.”
Leo takes my hand, and kisses it. “I’m proud of you for applying to school.”
“Yeah, but I’m gonna have to get a scholarship.”
“You know they offer scholarships at the vision clinic for people with low vision, right?”
“Really?” I perk up.
“Yeah, they have counselors there, all you have to do is make an appointment to find out how much you can get, and what scholarships you should apply for.”
Leo texts me the link, and I make an appointment for Monday.