Friend For Life

I am busily scribbling at my desk when I hear a sharp rap on the door. I walk over and open it to reveal Enrique and his medical bag. “Enrique, hi!” I say, smiling warmly and gesturing him inside.

“Hey,” he says, dropping his bag on the coffee table. “How are you feeling?”

Much better, thanks to you. Can I get you anything before we begin?”

“No, thanks,” he says, opening his bag and putting on his stethoscope. He proceeds to listen to my lungs and heart, going through all the usual check-ins that he’s been performing every few days for the past few weeks. I cough lightly.

He eyes the half-full wine glass sitting on my table next to my legal pad. “Have you been staying away from alcohol?”

“Oh, you know… mostly.” I flash him a winning smile.

He regards me sternly. “Uh huh. You know that alcohol slows down your natural healing process. If you want to get better, you need to refrain.”

“Yeah yeah, I understand. Listen, I want to thank you. Seriously. If it weren’t for you, I could have died. Is there anything I can do for you?” I ask.

He shrugs, looking uncomfortable. “Nah, I’m good.”

“Oh, come on. There must be something,” I press.

“Not really. I’m just making my way through med school; I have everything I need.” he says.

“Right,” I say thoughtfully. “Remind me, which school are you attending?”

“NYU,” he says.

“My alma mater!” I exclaim with a smile. “Well, call me if you think of anything. Seriously – I owe you.”

“I will. And stay away from alcohol!”

I walk him out and close the door behind him, musing. I make a split second decision and grab the phone. “Hello, could you transfer me to the Bursar’s office? I’d like to pay my tuition in full. My name?… Enrique Fernandez.”

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