Spillage - "You never told me..." - At Your Request
At Your Request
Unedited & Subject to Change
“Caleigh, wake up, baby.” Back and forth, I shook Caleigh’s shoulder. She was nearly impossible to wake when enthralled in a deep slumber. The heat radiated from her tiny body, causing us both to perspire. In an effort to wait her sickness out, I’d fallen asleep beside her.
Beads of sunshine burst through the folds of the blinds, signifying that a new day was upon us. Giving in on the awakening of my sickly daughter, I decided to detour. Scooting from underneath Caleigh, I laid her head on a pillow to replace the elevation my body had provided. Moving about the room, I gathered new pajamas for her and a new shirt for myself. I didn’t bother changing the loose fitted joggers.
“Come on, baby. We’re going to see a doctor.” Still no response.
After googling the nearest clinics, I found a decent enough listing with all five stars under my google search. If they would take us, Caleigh needed to be checked out immediately.
“Caleigh.” My attempts failed, so I took the initiative to dress her myself. Her body still burned, which was my biggest concern. Throughout the night, I’d expected her tempt to calm, but we were having no such luck.
Within three minutes flat, she was dressed, and sprawled over the covers. Sighing, I tried calculating the amount of steps it would require on my journey to the car. With an overly heavy six-year-old, my work was cut out for me. Sucking up the complaints, I propelled into mommy mode, picking Caleigh up by the arms and throwing her over my right shoulder. With my keys and purse in hand, we exited our home.
Twelve minutes away, that’s how close in proximity the clinic was to our complex. Thankful for the short drive through Dallas’ traffic, I jumped out of the car and snatched the back door open. Again, I was forced to throw Caleigh over my shoulder, her sickness was wearing her poor body down.
Stepping inside of the immaculate dwelling, the windy breeze tickled my skin –summoning chill bumps. They covered me in entirety, as I approached the receptionist desk. Caleigh had become too much to bare as I fumbled with her limp frame.
“Uh. My name is Ripleigh Irving, and this is my daugh…” Noticing my labored breathing, I threw a finger in the air before maneuvering Caleigh to my left shoulder and arm. “Sorry. She doesn’t feel too good.”
I watched as the receptionist with long burgundy tresses form a smile. “It’s okay. I understand. I have a five-year-old and she is nearly my size, too. She figures I’m some sort of hero with super strength, because I find myself carrying her inside of the house more often than not.” Throwing her head back in laughter, her pale skin blushed pink.
“So you get my drift.” I nodded, chuckling as well.
“Totally. How can I help you and the little one out, today, Ms. Irving?” The pen she held in her hand bounced off of the counter as she stared at me through the open window separating the two of us.
“Well, she’s been running a fever all night. We’re new in town, and my google search lead up to this location.” I admitted to my lack of knowledge of the city that I’d decided to call home, now.
“Do we have an appointment for the little one?” She sat upright in her seat, and began pecking away at the keys.
“Uh. No. I was hoping that you all took walk-ins. As stated, we’re new to the city, and I kind don’t even know where else to go. According to the reviews, you all seem to be the best around, anyhow.” I explained, my hands were as expressive as my mouth as if they could make her understand my dispute.
“I’d have to agree with the ratings. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we don’t take walk-ins. Our patients are scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. In the case of an emergency, we require a call at least 4 hours ahead of time.” Defeat caused a slum in my shoulders, until another thought occurred.
“It’s just that I’m already here, and would it matter if I signed on to be a patient right now, and waited the required time?” I was trying my luck, hoping to get somewhere with the beautifully polished receptionist who seemed to abide by the rules, and know them like that back of her hand.
“It’s not as simple as it seems to become a patient. We still have a waiting list and an approval process for each patient. I can direct you to the nearest emergency room if you’d like.” Shooting a dagger through my chest, she continued to imbed the rulings in my head.
“That’s where I’m not trying to go. I figured the wait time would be the same, around 4 hours, but you’re expressing that my daughter won’t become a patient immediately, huh?”
“Yes ma’am. I hate to say it, but the process takes a while. I can give you the paperwork to fill out, and we will definitely call you when there’s an available spot for your daughter. However, today our schedule is…”
“Open. Today is as good as any other.”
The angelic vocals caressed my soul as he bellowed, losing his manners in the act. He’d interrupted a conversation between myself and the receptionist, and, strangely, I didn’t mind. My eyes bored into the receptionist’s head as she turned in her swiveling chair. I couldn’t bare to lift my lids, knowing that I’d become adrift in his deep rounds.
"But, sir..." she tried objection, but was quieted.
“Thanks for the information. I’m going to get her to the emergency room.” I circled before heading for the door.
Though it had been much closer during my entrance, it seemed to be miles away as I exited. My feet were failing, miserably, at picking up speed with Caleigh’s weight being the center of unwanted gravitational pulls. Finally, the huge white door was upon me, being pulled open by a woman with a growing belly and what looked to be a toddler coming through. Seeing me with a load of my own, she stepped to the side, holding her toddler's hand, and allowed me to pass. I thanked her for her generosity before sliding through the exit. Outside, the wind howled, as I raced to my car.
Shit. I chastised myself the minute I reached the parking lot. My eyes rolled up towards the sky just before my hand went up to my forehead. I’d mistakenly forgotten my keys and purse on the counter. Unexpectedly, I turned and witnessed him running towards me in a steady stride. His limbs alternated, terminating the space between the three of us.
“She’s fine.” I lied, shifting her position, again. Caleigh was returned to my right arm and shoulder as my eyes found the ground. “I’m taking her to the emergency room.”
“You’ll be there forever. I have an open room right now. Don’t be so stubborn. If this is about you…”
“You never told me you were a doctor.” I snatched my eyes from the ground and stared back at him. I didn’t have to see it to know that his eyes were fixed on me.
A quick chuckle fell from his lips. He’d discovered humor in my response, and I had yet to follow suit. There hadn’t been a joke told, or slip of the tongue. My statement was legit, not humorous.
“You never asked. Frankly, if you would’ve opened your mouth at all you would discover a lot of shit…” Pausing, he swiped his mouth with his hand before continuing. “You picked the wrong time to speak. This here isn’t about you.” His professionalism returned after the slip of his tongue. It was too late, however. My underwear was needing a change.