Learning to Be Little Again(3)

By: Meredith O Reilly

They talked for a couple of minutes and then Samantha got her to come and sit at our table. I watched as Meghan’s little Joey went to get her some food while Samantha tried to keep her calm.

After she settled down a little, I’d tried to talk to her, but for the most part, besides nodding her head a couple of times, she ignored me. At the end of the night, I finally got her to give me her cell phone number. As I was walking out of the restaurant, I just knew she was the one for me.

She was so small and fragile looking, almost like a life-sized doll. Her eyes scanned the room the entire night, as if she was preparing to find someone who would hurt her. I wanted to take her home, take care of her, and let her know that nothing bad would ever happen to her again.

Unfortunately, in the weeks following the munch, she hardly ever texted or called me, but I decided I would bide my time and wait. And my patience had finally paid off when Mark called me early this morning, begging me to see her, and I’d jumped at the chance.

In my office now, I put my winter coat on my chair and clasped my hands together. How do I get Juliana to relax when she comes here? I wondered as I paced my office.

I knew that she was terrified of people, so I would have to go slow and be extra gentle with her. That wouldn’t be a problem for me.

I left my office and walked through the exam rooms, deciding that I was going to examine her in the yellow one, with sunflowers painted on the wall.

I went back into my office and grabbed some juice boxes and the teddy bear I’d brought for her and put them in the exam room. Then, taking a deep breath and trying to force myself to relax, I headed back to my office.

When I looked out the window in my office, it was snowing. I couldn’t help but imagine that someday Juliana and I would be playing together in it. We would build a snowman together and make some snow angels. Then when I noticed that she was getting too tired, I would bring her into the house, change her into some warm, clean clothes and feed her hot chocolate. She would fall asleep in my lap and I’d be a very happy daddy.

I shook my head, knowing that now was not the time to have those thoughts. I had to be completely professional today. Otherwise, Juliana would probably never go back to a doctor. Sitting down in my chair, I turned my computer on to update some of my files. There was nothing more that I could do except wait for my little patient to arrive.

Chapter Three

I walked into the doctor’s office with Mark right behind me. I was so anxious for this appointment that I felt like I was going to be sick. I was all set to turn around and tell Mark I was sorry, but that I was not going to do this, when suddenly I spotted the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Across the waiting room there was a huge aquarium filled with colorful fish!

Walking over to it, I immediately looked at all of the fish inside. After a few seconds, I noticed that the fish matched the fish that were in Dr. Sherman’s office in Finding Nemo. I greeted each fish by name and just watched as they swam around. I was so enthralled with my new discovery that I didn’t hear Mark or his doctor friend come up behind me.

“I’m glad that you like the fish, Juliana. Very few people actually recognize what movie they’re from.”

My focus left the fish and the ball of panic that had disappeared when I saw the fish came back, but this time it felt twice as big. I just stood there, not wanting to move.

“Juliana, aren’t you going to turn around and say hello?” Mark asked, and I could tell by the sound of his voice that he was getting frustrated.

I was about to turn around when I felt Robert’s presence by my side.

“It’s alright, Mark. I can understand why looking at fish is more appealing than saying hi to me. Look at Bloat. He’s such a silly fish,” Robert said, pointing to the glass as Bloat did what looked like a summersault. Robert and I watched the fish together for a little longer until he finally said, “As much fun as this is, I think it’s time that we get that exam started.”

I slowly turned to face him and Mark, and I just nodded.

“Would you like Mark to come with us, or not?”

I thought about it and then I shook my head. That would make this entire visit even more embarrassing than it was already going to be.

“Okay, let’s go on back then.” With that, Robert turned and slowly started to walk back to where the exam rooms were.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to come with you, Juliana?”

“Yes,” I answered, and then followed Robert. He led me to a small room that had yellow walls with sunflowers painted on them. I instantly fell in love with the room. Yellow was my favorite color, and sunflowers happened to be my second favorite flower. Yellow roses were the first.

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