Tessa stood outside Ava’s room, anxiously waiting for her mother to come back from getting coffee. She said she would only be a few minutes — that was ten minutes ago, so Tessa had become worried.

“Dr. Hadley,” a voice murmured behind her, “here’s your coffee. I’m sorry it took me so long. There was a line.”

Tessa turned to see Evelyn Delong coming up to her with two steaming cups, her long, dark hair tangled and her green eyes red and puffy. She looked incredibly tired, the shadows under her eyes seeming to darken after all the hours she had been here.

Tessa frowned and took the Styrofoam cup. It was hot but she didn’t mind it. The heat made her concentrate on something else other than what Ava had asked her.

“What made you want to become a doctor?”

Tessa had never answered. She had never told anyone why she chose this profession. No one had really asked her that in all the time she worked her, and she was fine with that. But then a little girl with a troubled mind had put the question out there. Now Tessa didn’t want to face her, which was awful and cowardly. She was just a child.

Breathing slowly, she turned to look at Evelyn; her eyes were wide now, and by the looks of it she had just said something to Tessa.

“Can I go in now?” Evelyn asked.

Tessa nodded. “She wants to see you. I came out to get you. Go ahead.”

When Evelyn thanked her, opened the door to her daughter’s room and shut it, Tessa let out a long sigh. She would give them time together, because in the morning, she had decided moments before, she was going to transfer Ava to Ridgewood.

The End

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