Here's the beginning of my new story:
"This is Dr. Dent. You paged me?"
I hate Dr. Dent. I was hoping he wasn't on duty today. I sat down on the step in the hallway of my mother's condo building. With only 800 square feet between the two of us, it was the only place where I could be sure she wouldn't hear me. "This is Emily Richards. My mother, Lucille Richards is your patient. She had an anneurysm two weeks ago?"
I had been hoping for some sort of personal recognition. "Well, I don't know how to say this. Mom's been acting strange since we got home yesterday. It's just that..." " I was babbling, I knew it then. He made me nervous. The other three doctor's on my mother's team, as they call themselves, were friendly and informal, like we were all chatting about blood vessels because we happened to love them, not because a blockage in one nearly killed my mom. But not Dr. Dent. I didn't want to say the next words aloud, not to Dr. Dent. But I had to. "She's been singing. All the time. And she never sang before, not even in the car or at birthday parties. She said she had an awful voice. Which she doesn't. But I guess that's beside the point."
"I'm not sure I understand. You're calling because your mom is singing?" He said it like I was a child, not a 33 year old woman with a master's in public policy and a mortgage bearing down on her every month. And the worst part is that I played into his condescention, playing the part of the unsure idiot.
"I know it sounds strange. But she's just acting like a different person. Singing is just an example."
I can hear papers being shuffled in the background. "I see here she's scheduled for a follow-up appointment next week. Do you think this could wait until then?"
"Well, if you do. You and your colleagues told me to call if she seemed to be having any symptoms, and well...I just wanted to make sure this wasn't a sign of anything gone wrong. "
"Singing? No." I could hear the smirk in his voice. "I'll see you on Tuesday."