Kenzie looked much better the next morning, she seemed back to her usual self although she kept the wheelchair for another day to conserve energy. Fridays in school always went like a breeze outside of exam time. Hanging out with Jacklyn seemed like it was going to become our new default lunch time activity.
The routine was back after school was over; training, shower and et cetera. Except that since it was Friday I took opportunity to see Dr Mahama for a follow up session.
When I came out of the office, Kenzie was waiting for me, leaning against the wall and wearing her Ingot costume with exception of the helmet, which she had in her hands.
“Hey, What’s got you all dressed up?”
“I’ve got patrol with Gunk in a few minutes, I just came to say bye.”
“Already? Isn’t it a bit early?”
“Well, I’m feeling a lot better and I’ve kind of accumulated a backlog last month because of a little someone taking up all my time with her drama and need for constant cuddling.” She said, mockingly. “Plus I need to be up to date if I want vacation time for easter.”
“I plead the fifth.” I took a step forward and kissed her. “Be careful out there, okay? And don’t overwork yourself.”
“Yes Mooom.” She said with a laugh. “Alright, I got to go. I’ll call you when I’m done.”
“Have a good evening.”
I gave her a quick hug and she dropped a last peck on my lips before making her way to the Garage while I went to the lounge. Kickback was already there waiting for me so we began that day’s cooking regiment. I didn’t really need more schooling, but it was nice to socialize with Kimberly. Also, she knew amazing food recipes to share with me.
As I was finishing eating my homemade fish tacos, Victoria came into the lounge from the outside, I noticed she was limping. She looked around, as if searching for someone but everyone else was out; Chuan and Stan had left for a date while Jessie was seeing the shrink. Finally her gaze settled on me and she took a few steps toward me.
“Paige, can I ask for a favor?”
“Sure, what do you need?”
“Can you accompany me to the doctor’s office?”
“Sure, something wrong?” My eyes wandered to her paws.
She raised her hind leg and I saw a big chunk of glass stuck in the pad of her paw, bleeding lightly.
“Ouch, that looks really bad. How did that happen?”
“I was taking a run outside to stretch my legs and I stepped on it.”
“Well, Let’s get the doc to take a look at it.”
Together we left the building and reached the doctor’s office in the administration building’s second floor. Victoria did her best to avoid putting any weight on her hurt paw.
I knocked on the door of the office and the doctor told us to come in. Doctor Park was there at her desk, working on something. She was a statuesque woman, somewhere in her late sixties with graying hair. Her office was neatly decorated as to avoid looking clinically sterile and the wall by her desk held not just her certificate but several triathlon medals, trophies and other awards.
“Good evening, how may I help you?” She asked, turning our way and adjusting her glasses.
Victoria didn’t say anything, seemingly frozen. Her eyes looking away from the doc. I gave her a nudge and she spoke, her voice shaking a bit.
“There’s glass in my paw…”
“Alright, Would you prefer we take it out on the ground or on my operating table?” There was a mattress on the ground, probably intended for Victoria while a door lead to a closed examination room.
“Alright, please get on your back. I’ll get what I need to get it out.”
I sat down indian style on the ground by the mattress and Victoria lied on her back, setting her head on my laps. Doctor Florence took out some equipment and set it on a small footstool which she first covered with a paper cloth.
She kneel down and prepared to work, grabbing Victoria leg and taking a pair of tweezers. Although the doc didn’t do anything yet I could see Victoria wince. The poor girl was shaking and if I’d learned anything about her was that even if she tried to be brave she was terrified of doctors.
“Hey, look at me.” I said gently, leaning closer. She raised her head and our eyes met. “It’s going to be alright, just look at me and listen to my voice.” She seemed to calm down. “Alright, now just give me your hand.”
She extended a foreleg toward me and I laced my finger with hers as best as I could. She nervously squeezed as hard as she could, crushing my fingers. I suppressed the pain response as best as I could.
“Alright, just stay with me.”
The doctor pulled out the shard of glass and Victoria let out a growl.
“Hey, hey, hey. Stay calm.” I extended an arm to the doctor and she gave me the bit of glass. “See? It’s out. We’re almost done, we just have to close the wound.” I dropped the piece into some kind of bowl the Doc pushed toward me.
I put my freehand on Victoria’s head and she started rubbing against it while the doctor prepared stitches. As I pat her head, she seemed to untense a little.
“Okay, here goes the last part. Just close your eyes and focus on my voice and breathe with your belly. Breathe in… Breathe out.” Together I guided her through the same breathing exercise that dr. Mahama had taught me a few sessions ago. As I did, the good doc sewed Victoria’s paw together and applied a bandage.
“We’re done, you’re all patched up.” She announced. With that, Victoria got up clumsily.
“Thank you.” She told me before looking at the doctor. “Thank you too.”
“Just doing my job.” Dr. Florence said. She quickly gave some instructions to Victoria on how to care about her stitches, advising her not to lick it and made sure to mention that the stitches would disintegrate on their own when the wound was healed, thus sparing Victoria a trip to her office.
“Victoria, would you mind stepping outside while I talk to Paige?”
“Okay.” She didn’t stick around.
“Thank you Paige, that was much easier than usual.” She said with a sigh of relief as she cleaned the floor with a sterilizing agent.
“Don’t mention it.” There was a pause. “Is it always hard?”
“Pretty much, I don’t think she likes me very much. There would be a lot of crying if she could cry as a fear or sadness response.”
“No. She only cries only as a response to irritants.”
That was something I didn’t know, but then again it was the doctor’s job to know everything about Victoria’s biology.
“So, can I go?”
“Actually, I wanted to see you too. You’re due for your next vaccine.”
“Oh great.” I mumbled to myself.
Confession time: I hate needles.
“You know the drill; just sit down and roll up your sleeve, it’ll be over in a minute.”
I did as she asked and rummaged through her files and stuff before coming to my side with a syringe. Members of the Guardian program had a ridiculous amount of vaccination to go through; if a vaccine existed for it, you needed to have it. I took a deep breath and she jabbed me with the needle in the upper arm.
“Congratulation; you’re now immunized against anthrax or rather you’ll be in a few days. Do you want a lollipop?” She asked with a grin, taking out a handful.
“I think I’ll be okay.”
“Suit yourself.” She said, popping one into her mouth.
She finished by asking a few question, putting my medical charts to up date.
When I came out of the office, Victoria was waiting for me.
“I wanted to thank you, again, for being there.”
“You’re welcome Victoria.” I opened my arms and she took the cue, giving me a big, tight, fluffy hug. “Say, I’m heading home, would you like to go to my place?”
We went downstairs and caught a ride home, Victoria settling in the backside of a minivan.