Doctor Salas removed the syringe before capping it and putting it in his lab pocket. Moving around the bed he checked the vitals displayed on the monitor. No changes. But he wasn’t discouraged, he had anticipated this trial to take time. And he had nothing but time to see this through. He had been waiting years for this opportunity.
And he had the perfect person to experiment on.
Looking around the stark room Dr. Salas felt a perverse sense of pleasure. He liked having Carmen Santos at his mercy, he literally held her life in his hands. If this trial worked he would be a legend among his peers. And if it failed? At least the world would have one less Santos in it.
He patted Carmen on her lifeless shoulder as he walked towards the door, “Sleep tight Carmen.”
Michelle nervously wiped her hands on her jeans before knocking on the door. There was no reason for her to be nervous, not really. She had done everything she could to save Marah and Lanie that night. She was damn proud of herself considering the cards were stacked against them. But she wasn’t there as a doctor. She was there as a friend. A friend who couldn’t help having déjà vu every time she even thought about what Marah was going through.
The door opened and Marah stood there looking every bit the fashionista she always was. Even her chic new haircut to cover the incisions on her head didn’t diminish her beauty. “Hi Marah.”
“Hi Michelle!” She smiled before looking at Michelle quizzically, “Did I miss an appointment?
“Not that I know of. I came here as a friend not a doctor.” She held up a white paper bag with Company’s logo on the front, “And seeing that it is lunchtime I brought us something to munch on.”
Marah held the door open for Michelle to enter, “Is that a Buzz Burger I smell? I haven’t had one of those in-” Marah paused before adding, “Well I don’t actually know when.”
Marah held her side she had been laughing so hard. After Michelle and her had scarfed down Buzz’s famous burgers and fries Michelle had shared some tales from the “Santos Zoo” as she called it. From the sounds of things Michelle and Danny had three precocious children that kept them on their toes. It was also clear that Michelle loved every minute of her chaotic life. Her smile was megawatt as she told a story about Robbie’s continuous courting of Sarah Randall, who Marah also learned was her niece.
“That boy has done it all to woo that girl. Last year he let the air out of her bike tires just so he could walk her home.” Michelle smiled as she thought about her son’s ingenuity. He had to have gotten it from his father that’s for sure. “And when he came home that afternoon he had this scared look on his face. Guess your brother Jonathan gave him the evil eye and told him that Sarah wasn’t dating until she was at least thirty.”
“Guess Robbie didn’t like that answer.”
“No. But he won’t give up. I swear he plots out new ways to woo her on a daily basis.”
“Got to love his persistence”, Marah went to the fridge to grab the iced tea pitcher to fill their glasses, “Aren’t you worried about him getting so serious so young?”
Michelle waved off Marah’s concerns, “Robbie was born serious. Once he sets his sights on something he won’t stop until he gets it. He’s like his father that way.” She smiled coyly at Marah, “I think all the Santos men are born that way.”
Marah sat back down and sighed, “I try Michelle. I try so hard. I look through the photo albums, I listen to the stories, but I still can’t remember. Even worse is that every morning Tony looks at me with hope, hope that some spark of a memory has surfaced and every day I have to watch as that hope is snuffed out.
Michelle reached across the table and held her friend’s hand in comfort, “I know the feeling. The pressure to remember when you just can’t. And all I can tell you is that it will happen when it’s supposed to happen. What about Lanie? I know you said you were having some trouble connecting.”
Marah removed her hand from Michelle’s and brushed her hair behind her ear, “Are you asking as a friend or as my doctor?”
Michelle smiled wryly, “Maybe a little of both. As your doctor I am going to tell you that postpartum baby blues is normal for a lot of women.”
“I don’t know what it is Michelle.” Marah sighed in frustration, “I look at her and I see she is perfect. Ten tiny fingers and toes,. She’s perfect and I want to rush up to her and hold her. To love her like I am supposed to love her. But a part of me is just….afraid. Afraid to fall for her baby charms when so much in my life is so uncertain.”
“It’s understandable considering what you went through Marah. You need to stop beating yourself up over it.” Michelle was thoughtful a moment before she continued, “Now I am no psychiatrist but have you wondered if your guilt over this is impeding your recovery?”
“Could be. I don’t know. I am going back to work next week, to try to see if I can fit back even more in my life. Today we even hired a nanny like Dr. Salas suggested.”
Michelle humphed in indignation, “Dr. Salas is an ass. He may be a great doctor but he’s still an ass.”
Marah laughed at the look on her friend’s face, “He’s been really helpful with being realistic about my memory recovery.”
“Like I said, he’s a brilliant doctor but he’s still and ass”, Michelle wagged her finger in Marah’s direction, “You be careful around him. I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him.”