The 5 Stages of Grief

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Chapter 8, Marcus

How he’d not been spotted was an absolute mystery. Just lucky I guess, he mused, almost giggled out-loud – funny how he could find anything amusing after sitting still so long. His legs and back were burning for movement, but he didn’t dare. He remembered the Doctor’s words, “All good things come to those who wait, Marcus. You must learn patience if you want the world to treat you better, to give you the opportunities you believe you deserve.” How many times had he heard that one? Too many to count.

It was the excitement – that and the anticipation, the waiting. It had to be just the right moment.

Holly was still in the office. He hadn’t dared to take a peek, but he could still hear her soft voice. It reminded him of a tiny bird, something small and fragile, something vulnerable that needed to be protected. Holly didn’t know him – at least he didn’t think she did – but he knew her. Their appointments to see Dr. Reichmann often overlapped, so they passed each other in the hall or waiting room – although she always seemed to be looking at her feet or her folded hands as if there was some secret she was holding that she couldn’t take her eyes from.

They had never spoken. At least, she hadn’t. He’d tried to say hello, strike up a conversation or what-not on a few occasions but she had never answered. At first it made him angry, thinking, What kind of bitch is she? But the Doctor explained that she had an especially challenging life and that she was scared of everything and needed protecting. That had gotten to him a bit, made him mad then made him cry and from that point on he just wanted to be her protector, like Dr. Reichmann, her guardian angel so to speak.

Maybe Holly was the right one? He could tell Dr. Reichmann what he’d done for him, as she would never be intrusive or demanding of the Doctor’s attention. That way the Doctor would be unconditionally focused on the news and he would end up looking first-class in Holly’s eyes to-boot! A double whammy, two birds with one stone, all that crap wrapped up in a tidy package. This could be good.

Slowly, one leg at a time. No use stumbling out all cramped making a fool of himself, that would ruin the entire moment, he’d wind up looking like the Key-Stone Cops for Christ sakes, not a hero at all. Patience, Marcus, patience. His mind flashed electric-white as the pain surged through his left leg when straightening it. He knew it was going to be bad but was not prepared – could not prepare – for this. This was a whole new level of shit. He covered his mouth with his hand so as not to scream out while counting in his mind. One-two-three-slower-four-five-calm your breathing Marcus, six, seven that’s better, eight, slow your heart rate, nine, ten. Whew! He took a long, slow breath.

Now, the next leg. Maybe I should count first this time?

It was not half as excruciating. Well, that was a lie, it had been just as painful, but this time he was expecting it, prepared for it. When both legs were free and the needles and cramps had subsided for the most part, he braced his hands on the floor preparing to move. He wanted to be as quiet as cotton so as not to interrupt the two of them and spoil the surprise. He managed his way out from his hiding place under the big table in the supply room where all the paper and office things were stored. Luckily the lights were off and the Doctor hadn’t come in. Probably wouldn’t anyway as it was usually only his secretary who would use this stuff and of course, she wasn’t coming in today. There was no door on the room as it led into a small hallway between the Doctor’s office and his private bathroom. All in all, a pretty convincing place to hide. And now for my grand entrance, he thought, standing on the far side of the door frame, keeping himself from sight.

Hearing the Doctor’s office-door swoosh open in fury jumped his heart, just before it sunk. He listened for a moment, his anger rising at an opportunity lost – then slowly, silently, made his way back to his hiding spot, painfully curling his legs back under the table to wait again, for the perfect moment.

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