1 Chapter 1- Black or with Cream

" Dr. Michaels, a bouquet of red roses was just delivered to your office" , my house officer tells me while smiling broadly as I exit the theatre after I just did a hernia repair on one of my patients. I had four more hernia surgeries scheduled for today and a procedure to correct intestinal obstruction caused by post-surgical adhesions. I take long strides into the changing room, scrub out and leave for my office. Arranged beautifully are the said roses and it's by an anonymous sender. I'm no more surprised by these gestures as I have been receiving gifts and favours from people previously unknown to me ever since the miracle story made the news.

Six months ago, I was called for an emergency case by a general surgery resident. Honourable Martin Jones, the beloved Stateman and politician had been rushed to the Metropolitan city hospital after a gunman appeared at a meeting with the press and shot him severally in his abdomen. I quickly scrubbed in and prepared to go to the OR, where he was brought in a state of shock. He had to be quickly resuscitated and prepared for surgery.

For intra-op findings, there were 11 rounds sprayed into his abdomen and two grazing his arm and chest and I was able to retrieve all but the greater challenge was in keeping him alive as he kept on losing a lot of blood from severed intestines and haemorrhage from the liver. It was a fatal case and it was a miracle he survived. I had to rush him to theatre every time he went into relapse, I refused to give up. My team was a hardworking one, we kept him under observation when he stabilised, managing pain, guiding his fluid intake and his entire stay in the surgical ICU. The media followed his recovery keenly and in 3 months he could be discharged from the hospital. Though my team was made of a resident, a house officer and two assisting nurses, my name was singled out in news about my relentlessness and devotion to my work and it spread like wildfire when Honourable Martin Jones expressed his appreciation on air to all who cared for him especially my incessant trip to his bedside to personally check on him and engage him in small talks. Let's just say I love my job a little too much, too much that everything else has paled to the background.

My phone rings and I smirk at the ringtone which is not familiar to me, probably my younger sister changed it. She's teasing me alright because I'm almost 40 years...Though I don't look a day over 30 years old.

' Forever young, I wanna be, forever young ' my phone rings again and I pick it to see that it's call from Dr. Max, my friend and colleague.

Maxwell Dion is my mate from Med school and we've been close since those days.

' Hello Max'

'Eva darling, I need a date for this weekend's state dinner' - Maxwell says in his cool, collected, lowered voice which tells me he's still on duty or he is tired

' Where are you ?' I inquire

' Break room, our usual table'

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'Please get me two cups of coffee, I'm heading there'

' Black or with Cream'

' Black, Max you don't have to ask'

I hang up, dragging myself to the break room to see Max.

And after 15 minutes of conversation where I agreed to accompany him to the state dinner. I head back to theatre for my second hernia surgery.

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