“Rangers Lead the Way,” we won that motto on bloody Omaha Beach and it has applied to us ever since. I’d been with the Rakkasans prior to Ranger School. But, when I got out I was offered a post with the 75th Ranger Regiment, which putatively traces its lineage back to Rogers’ Rangers, of French and Indian fame. THEN, I spent an intense period of “quality” time in Paktia Province; working with the locals on both sides of the Afghan border. Pashtuns are a tough and merciless lot, which might explain why Afghanistan has been a speed-bump for every Western nation from the Macedonians, to the British, to the Russians, to us.
Most guys stay for the full twenty, when they get their Ranger flash. But my mind was changed by one incident. It was a moonless night and we were manning a checkpoint on the Kabul-Gardez road. They don’t use Ranger units for mundane things like that. But G2 had gotten the word that there was going to be a suicide bombing at the University in Gardez, and our squad was the only force available.
The darkness is absolute in the valleys of the Hindu Kush and you can get the impression that you’re the last people on earth; sitting on a desolate stretch of road in that ancient and unforgiving land. Around midnight, we heard the grinding of something big approaching our position. So we turned on our tac-lights; just to warn whoever it was to stop. What we illuminated was a big cement truck and It was headed for us at a high rate of speed.
We flashed our tac-lights, nothing happened. We flashed them again, still no slowing down. At that point the vehicle was not more than 100 yards away. Everybody was aware that the mixer could be full of enough Semtex, or C-4, to blow us ALL to kingdom-come; and it wasn’t stopping. So the Top told us to light it up. I emptied the 30-round box magazine of my SAW and I think I was the squad member who showed the MOST restraint. The juggernaut careening toward us was THAT scary.
The truck eventually drifted to a halt. The first brave soul to inspect it found no explosives, just cement. The problem was that there was one older guy and two kids. The 13-year-old was the one who had been driving. The older guy looked like he was sleeping in the back seat. We had no way of asking the 13-year-old why he didn’t stop. That was because he, his dad, and his brother were ALL emphatically dead. We didn’t suffer any consequences. We had done everything by the book. But I still couldn’t lose the image of those two little boys and that bloody cab. So, I opted out at the end of my hitch. I had had enough of killing. Now I wanted to help people.
I decided that the best way to achieve that goal was via some kind of medical field. I knew that, at age 31 I was too old to go the traditional medical school route. Moreover, I didn’t have the academic background. But the Physician’s Assistant program looked like something I could handle. I was nervous when I went down to interview. I had a leg up on admission because of my veteran status. But I had gotten one of those on-line bachelor’s degrees. It was in biology, not nursing, or anything medical. Nonetheless, six years as a combat medic made me spectacularly well-qualified in their eyes.
Once you are in a Ranger unit, you are a grunt; until somebody tells you otherwise. So I never fell under the Article 25 definition. But, I had done the 18-week medical training course at Fort Sam Houston and that MOS was what I did for our Unit. So, that autumn found me attending classes at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, right between the two lakes off Delaplaine Court. That was my first exposure to the medical establishment.
Medicine has its fiery hoops, just like the military, and I quickly learned my place in the great scheme of things. The members of the medical faculty were at the top of the food chain. They would normally walk to work right across the water of Lake Mendota. Then there were the medical students. Oddly enough their shit didn’t stink. The hospital administration and public health people thought all of the docs were incompetent, especially when it came to the essence of delivering quality medical care; paper work. Then there were the nurses and the PA students. We were too numerous and unimportant to be noticed by the great and good.
The student body itself was a revelation, especially to a guy with my background. I had enlisted at 18 and almost half my life was spent in the rigid discipline of the military. So my peers were hard to relate to. That was mainly because they were younger than I was and had never had to face the things that I had to face. You grow up fast in the Army. They push personal responsibility from the first day of Boot Camp and there is nothing like daily foot patrols through places like Kandahar, or Gardez to teach you about your own mortality. My fellow students never had that experience. So they all seemed juvenile, especially with the constant pussy-hunts and partying.
Physician’s assistants do primary care; diagnosis and treatment, in out of the way places. Of course it is under the godlike eye of a REAL doctor, as many of the docs liked to point out. So, I was serving a post-grad family-medicine preceptorship, in a little clinic southeast of Eau-Clair. The place was not exactly Chicago, or for that matter, even Eau Claire. It was a small town of 1,500 souls, near the Wisconsin Dells. It was wonderful, in a place-that-time-forgot kind of way; gentle and peaceful and it was beginning to make the nightmares go away. I had seen far too much death in my previous life and I was beginning to understand where I belonged.
Small Wisconsin towns are in the middle of nowhere. So, from a family medicine standpoint I was the only game in town. I was already licensed. I had passed the PANCE when I graduated, and I could write prescriptions. But I still had to be “under orders” of a licensed physician. My supervising doc was the local family practitioner. Doctor Morton more-or-less left the patient care up to me. He would just appear once in a while to show the flag. He had lived in the village his entire life, with the exception of his time at UW Medical school, and he looked and acted like a refugee from a 1930s dustbowl movie.
He was a nice old guy who had faithfully served his community for over fifty years. I think he saw me as a son, since he was always kind to me and helpful. The office itself was in a building on the main drag. It was small, basically a receptionist, me and a nurse. The nurses would rotate up from Madison for clinical assignments. They were mainly 22-23-year-old BSNs, either fresh out, or finishing up. The town was not the kind of place anybody would go to for fun. So my BSNs tended to gravitate toward Eau Claire for evenings out. The fact that the girls were going to Eau Claire for the nightlife ought to give you some idea how exciting and vibrant our little town was.
I was nearly 34 at that point and my only aim was to settle down. The problem was that I really didn’t have anyone to settle down WITH, not that the locals didn’t try. I was their version of the town doctor and there were plenty of unattached women who had made their interest clear. Even so, I had been with every type of female in my Army career; from the cotillions at Fort Bragg to the whore houses of Kabul. So, the women in that place didn’t have what it took to interest a guy as jaded as me.
That changed one spring morning. Wisconsin is the pits in the winter. The snow is knee deep, the colors are black and white and the air is so cold that it freezes your nose-hairs. Then the weather breaks, the sun comes out, it gets warm, green leaves appear and it is May. I had been informed that UW Family Medicine was sending up a new Nurse Practitioner, who had actually REQUESTED the placement. That was astounding in-and-of itself, since most of the nurses they sent thought that they were being punished. I called the Doc and he and I were waiting behind the counter to interview the new girl.
As we waited, the door opened and a woman walked in. She was absolutely breathtaking. She was a Swedish blond, long, extra-thick almost white-blond hair framing a perfect oval face. She looked like she had just stepped off the cover of one of those sporting magazines; about five-six, slim and obviously fit, with long beautiful well-muscled legs in a modest business length skirt. She was perhaps 29 years old.
I should have been delighted by her unexpected arrival. However, in point of fact, I was a little irritated. This was a woman who any man would want to get to know better. But instead, I had to interview a painfully sincere nursing student. That illustrated the kind of timing I had been experiencing lately. When I saw a woman who struck my fancy I was either doing something else, or she was in the process of doing something discouraging, like walking down the street with her husband and kids.
I said curtly, “Please sit down Miss. We’ll get to you as soon as we can.” She said, “Dr. Morton.” The Doc said, “Yes.” She looked a little puzzled and said to me, “Who are you?” I snapped perhaps a little too abruptly, “I’m his PA! How can we help you?” She said just as snappishly, “My name is Eve Pederson and I was supposed to interview with Dr. Morton for his Clinical Nurse Practitioner opening.”
Holy crap!!! THIS stunning woman was the person we were waiting for!!! Needless to say I started backpedaling. I said, trying to keep the flustered out of my voice, “I’m sorry Ms. Pederson, we were expecting somebody much younger.” OH MY GOD!!! I am such a tool!!!??? She smiled at my embarrassment. She knew the effect that she had on men.
She said, “Well, I got my BSN on a Navy ROTC Scholarship. So I served the four-year active duty commitment with the Marines.” She added, “I was in the Reserves when I did the Nurse Practitioner Master’s in Chicago and that took me a while.” Great!! She was a Squid, an officer, and maybe better qualified than I was.
Doc stepped in at that point. He had been sitting there watching me twist in the wind, a look of amused indulgence on his face. He said, “We were expecting a fourth year BSN student Eve. Not somebody who is as well-qualified as you are. What would make you want to apply for a position like this?” She turned a radiant smile on my kindly old friend and said, “I was born and raised on Buckman Street Doc. You don’t remember me? I was a skinny little girl back then. But my mom still owns the Hot Spot Café.”
The Doc looked gobsmacked and said, “Your Doris’s little girl?!!” She grinned even wider and said, “In the flesh!!” It was rather spectacular flesh. She walked around the corner and gave the old man a hug, studiously avoiding ME. Okay!!, I HAD been a total asshole. She said, “I’ve been in a lot of places with the Marines. Some of them were pretty miserable. I had a wonderful childhood and I want to come home now - for good.”
It would take me too long to enumerate all of the thoughts that were going through my head. A beautiful, well-educated and worldly woman wanted to work in a place where I was beginning to put down roots. She had approximately the same service background as I had; some of it obviously deployed. She had excellent medical credentials. Better yet, there was no way that we could avoid being around each other for a significant part of every day.
The interview was short, basically a background check. We would take anybody Madison sent. But it is polite to at least LOOK like you are being selective. All the time that she was talking, Eve was sitting primly, knees together and speaking with the disciplined voice of a Navy Lieutenant. Of course her voice was low, mellow and incredibly sensual.
I had a thought; but I knew that I couldn’t voice it without getting in trouble with the EEOC, “Is she married?” I realized that my immediate interest in her marital state makes me sound like a horn-dog. But Eve Pederson was just THAT attractive. I knew that I COULD ask her about her service record, which might give me a clue about her marital status. I found out that she had done a tour at Balad in Iraq and two at Craig, at Bagram, which was during the time I was down south. So she understood.
It didn’t take more than ten seconds to decide that she fit our needs, since she was probably better qualified to practice medicine in some place like Chicago, rather than up here. Doc said, “Where are you planning to live Eve.” She brightened and said, “With Mom, she has way too much room since Dad died.” Doc said, “Yes I remember, that was last year wasn’t it? We were all very sorry. He was a good man.” Then he added conversationally, “So what would EVER make you want to come back here? It is kind-of slow moving for a woman with your background?” He didn’t add, “And your beauty.” Nonetheless, I THOUGHT it.
She looked sad and said, “I got married to an absolutely horrible man, right after I got out of the Navy. I have no idea why I did it, except he pursued me so aggressively. I should have been stronger, but he was SO insistent and eventually I gave in.” She seemed embarrassed as she added, “I tried, I really did. But one terrible night in Barcelona I finally accepted that he didn’t love me. I was just his possession. How I found that out is far too personal to describe. But it gave me the courage to divorce him.”
She got misty eyed as she said, “I was empty and apathetic after the divorce, just drifting. Then I came back here for Pop’s funeral and I felt like I fit-in. This simple place was where my life was the happiest and it is the place where I want to be now - forever. So I’m looking forward to starting all over again, and this time I won’t be leaving.” Of course my selfish personal reaction was, “She’s available!!”
Thus began our life together; delivering family medicine to the people of Eau Claire County. I was the top of the chain of command; since Doc Morton had more-or-less turned over every aspect of the business to me. He was still kindly and supportive. But he was also getting up in his seventies. It was really pretty idyllic. We were doing the normal primary care, basic diagnosis and treatment and referrals to Madison, if there was something we couldn’t diagnose, or we encountered anything serious.
Eve did the intake and in most cases anything involving the women in the area. I took care of everything else, kids, families and the occasional stray female patient. My life was very fulfilling. I was a pillar of the community, liked and respected by everybody in town, and I was working side-by-side with a woman who was both beautiful and a superb friend and companion. Our start might have been a whole-lot awkward. But by the end of the first month we were as comfortable as a man and a woman could be with each other. That was mainly because it was just the two of us in the Office and THAT was for eight to ten hours a day. But it was also due to the influence of Eve’s mother Doris.
I knew Doris from the diner. She was one of those force of nature personalities that you only find in a small town. I lived almost next door to her diner. So I would get breakfast there every morning. It maintained my connection with the community. But it also kept my finger on its pulse, so-to-speak. The diner was ground zero for all of the happenings in the area. Consequently, Doris’s was the place to go if you wanted to know what was going on. Her diner had been the center of town life for at least thirty years; she knew everybody and everybody knew her. She clearly loved her daughter and she seemed to have taken a proprietary interest in me; like a surrogate mom.
I lived in a little bungalow. It was a bachelor life, just me and my dog Buster. I got Buster from the Madison pound. He’s big and ugly and unconditionally loyal and loving. Somebody who still suffers from hyper-awareness and other PTSD symptoms needs the calming influence of a dog. So Buster would faithfully sit next to the reception desk, just to keep me centered. A big slobbery mutt doesn’t belong in a medical office. But nobody would rat Buster out; and in many respects he was as well-known in the County as I was.
Anybody who has spent any time in the Rangers can fend for himself. But Eve’s mother Doris seemed to think that I would starve to death on my own. So every Sunday Buster and I would be invited to the Pederson house for the same kind of spread that I experienced growing up in a German family. The Pederson’s house was one of those classic two and a half story stone Colonials, which you see all over Wisconsin. It was big and solid, light and airy and it smelled like Thanksgiving every time I visited.
Buster and I would never miss a Sunday; both of us for the same reason, the food!! Doris owned a diner, so she was a great cook. But Eve was a top notch clinician, not a chef, so the question was, “Why was EVE such a good cook?” In actuality, Eve could whip up a meal that could feed entire infantry brigades and her cooking might have been slightly better than her mom’s.
I was sitting in their living room one Sunday evening; after Eve had stuffed me with something that tasted like it had come out of the kitchens of Louis Quatorze. Eve was doing the cooking because Doris had to work the evening shift at the diner. So we were all alone. Buster was leaning against my leg like all big dogs do when they are expressing affection. Eve was buzzing around in a “cute” Momma Brady apron; which was like something out of the 1950s. That was an absurd sight since it was the exact polar opposite of who Eve was, and how she looked in her normal scrubs.
She came over and sat in the chair opposite and said, “Could I ask you a personal question?” I laughed and said, “After feeding me like that, you can ask me for my entire life history including all of the dirty little secrets.” She said, “Are you gay?” I said, “Excuuuuse me!!!??” She said, “I was thinking about why you’ve never made a pass. Is it because you bat for the other team? I just wanted to know.”
She was serious!!!
I said, “I have never made a pass at you because you are a colleague, we work together. She said, “What does THAT have to do with it? Every man I have ever worked with has tried something with me.” That shot an unreasoning pang of jealousy through me, but I sucked it up and said calmly, “It isn’t that I don’t find you attractive. You are stunning. But I want to work with you for my ENTIRE career; that is, if I have anything to say about it, and I would hate to ruin THAT for a fling.”
I added, “I have infinite respect for you. You are a superb nurse and it would just seem disrespectful for me to try-it-on with you, while we were also taking care of the good people of this County.” She said, “Okay, I get that. But we are alone here on a Sunday. If you did that NOW, it would be a sign that you found me attractive, that you actually wanted me.” Then she hesitated and said in a whisper, “As much as I want you.”
So there it was; finally, out in the open. I suppose it was inevitable. We were two healthy young adults. We had worked together as closely as two people can for almost a year. During that time, I never missed the chance to leer at her firm, round, bottom, her sweet taut hips, her tiny waist and her superb little boobs. I suppose she had done the same thing with me. We operated as a close-knit team and we had come to anticipate each other’s thinking; so much so that it was like we were an old married couple. The people of Eau Claire County depended on us and the sense of accomplishment and esteem kept us in a contented glow of comradeship; which was indeed fertile soil for the seed of love to grow in.
A beautiful woman, who I both admired and lusted-after, had just offered herself to me and I knew that I wasn’t going to disappoint the poor dear girl. But before all of the blood rushed to my lower control center, my upper brain still needed to get one thing clear. I looked at her as frankly as I could and said, “If we get intimate I want us to have a real relationship, not just fuck. We still have to work together and sex always messes with the dynamics of a team. So I’m NOT interested in this if it is a one-shot thing, just to have a little fun after dinner tonight.”
I fixed her with an expression that I hoped conveyed my earnestness and said, “You are way too special to me for just a casual affair. So you are going to have to tell me that you want something deeper and more personal. If you can’t make that commitment, I want to be able to walk out the door tonight and have both of us forget that you ever mentioned it.”
She looked at me like I had finally discovered something that everybody else in the world already knew. She said simply, “I’m in love with you Jonathon. I have been for a long time. I want whatever you are capable of giving me. And I want it forever. Is THAT clear enough for you?” I remember thinking as we strolled together into her large, but cozy bedroom, “Things this perfect don’t happen to me.”
I turned her to face me, hands on both shoulders. She was already breathing raggedly. I looked into those enormous ice blue eyes and she was staring back at me with undisguised love. You can’t fake a look like that. She stepped into me, put her hands on both sides of my face, and pulled me down to a very hot kiss. She moaned loudly, her mouth opened wide and we began to exchange tongues. Then she grabbed the back of my head with one hand and threw her other arm around my shoulder and plastered herself against me.
I began to walk her backward to her bed. She was making little cooing noises. At the same time, she had dropped both hands to tear at my belt. We had gotten to her bed and I pushed her back on it. She still had ahold of my belt, which she ripped through the loops and right off me as she fell. That dropped my pants to the floor. They were bunched around my ankles, so I tripped over them and fell face first with my nose buried between her widely spread legs.
Okay – that was a Keystone Cops moment, but I had to start someplace. So I addressed the prospect directly before me. I pulled her panties down and licked and sucked and generally ravaged her little pink lips. She let out an unearthly groan and grabbed the side of my head, settling me into position to really go to town on her.
In the meantime, she was uttering loud moans and cries and telling me in rather explicit terms how good that felt. Then suddenly, she hyperventilated and bucked into a bow, back and butt resting where I was feasting on her, her arms were above her head, her legs were elevated and shot wide and she began a cadence of shrieking. Then her legs and arms slammed back down on the bed and she began quivering like she had contracted a sudden severe case of malaria, still making those rhythmic shrieks.
She reached down and grabbed my head in both hands again. She began dragging me up her body, all the while just yelling, “Get up here and FUCK me!!! You have to fuck me NOW!!!” I had to follow her lead, or I was going to lose both ears and perhaps my entire head. She did all the work. The moment I got situated between her widely spread legs, she bucked up and took me to the hilt in a single motion. It wasn’t like she was loose. She was tight and very hot. But she was THAT lubricated. Then she turned into a crazy woman, making low feral noises like an animal in heat and scratching my back in a way that made me pretty sure I was going to be wearing a t-shirt under my scrubs for a while.
We fucked like that for about twenty minutes; me absolutely pounding her and her writhing and moaning and scratching like a wildcat. It is impossible to sustain that kind of stimulation for very long. In my case, I could feel an orgasm coming from someplace long-ago-and-far-far-away and when it hit I heard myself roaring like a berserk Grizzly Bear, “OH FUCK YESSSS!!!”. In the meantime, Eve, who had been urging me to “cum” in her, in increasingly louder and more frantic tones, seemed to have passed out. I didn’t need to be a PA to know that. I knew it because she was motionless underneath me.
As I shrank out of her, she began to stir, which elicited a little moan of loss. I was supporting myself on my arms just staring into that delightful oval face with its long exquisite Swedish nose, sharply pointed chin and incredible sculptured lips. Her ice blue eyes popped open and she looked dazed. I said a little worried, “Welcome back, are you all right?” She smiled languidly and said, “I’ve never been more all-right in my entire life. Do you know how I feel about you, now? Do you understand what I want?”
I said with a little grin, “Well, let me see, I was wondering if it was close to what I wanted? I want to wake up next to you every morning and work hard with you every day. I want to be your best friend and devoted lover. I want to see things and do things with you, have children with you and die in your arms. Does THAT come close to summing up what you had in mind?”
The joyous expression that lit up her beautiful face told me everything. She wrapped her arms around my neck and her legs around my waist and yelled, “YES!!! I want to be yours for the rest of our life. I want to be your friend in the office and I want to be your lover the rest of the time. Everybody in town knows how I feel about you; except for you of course. You are a particularly dense specimen of the male species. But, I know that the whole town will hold a parade when they find out.” There wasn’t a parade. But there was a whole lot of congratulatory back-slapping.
We were married four months later in a beautiful fall ceremony in the town’s Lutheran Church; Lutherans being as numerous in small-town Wisconsin as Catholics are in the Vatican. It was a community event that attracted hundreds of well-wishers, most of whom were our patients. Doris hosted the Reception; it was a dinner to rival the feasts that Julius Caesar put on for the Roman masses.
God forgive me, but I had to admit that I loved Doris a lot more than I did my own Mom. In fact, Doris and Doc Morton were more like a mother and father to me than my own birth parents. Doc and I had the kind of bond that a young person has with an older role model and Doris made us feel particularly safe, secure and well-loved.
Doris was a tough old Swedish bird who lived life to its fullest, never backing down from a challenge and always nurturing the people she loved. Watching Doris live her life went a long way toward explaining my wife’s unconquerable spirit. Doris just had an additional helping of accumulated wisdom; which only made her more magnetic. She was in her late-sixties at that point. But, she was still as energetic and personally inspiring as she must have been when Eve was growing up.
Doris’s first act as my mother-in-law was to trade houses. She had a big two-story stone colonial that she and her husband had bought back in the 1970s. It looked like something from a classic Andy Hardy movie and it was a beautiful place to raise kids. My little bungalow was very snug and comfortable and it was almost next door to Doris’s Diner. So it was both convenient and also much easier to maintain; for a woman who worked ten hours a day. Doris probably could have retired. But she seemed to feed on the energy of her place.
Seven years passed in an utterly rewarding life. Eve was a wonderful friend, helpmate and lover. Some couples like to socialize. We did some of that. But we mostly just spent our time together, working at the clinic and enjoying life as a married couple; totally satisfied with each other. Ours was more-or-less the ONLY clinic in a 100 square mile area, so we couldn’t take long vacations. But we DID spend a lot of time in outdoor pursuits, kayaking and hiking in the vast expanse of nature that surrounded us.
Besides being the world’s hottest fuck, Eve was a very intelligent woman with an outstanding sense of humor and exceptional skills as a nurse. She was so well-read that I didn’t feel like we were stuck in the middle of Wisconsin. We had both seen far too much evil and cruelty. So to us, the peace and quiet of our life was perfectly restorative and invigorating.
Nevertheless, there was one dark cloud. Almost from the beginning of the marriage, we had tried to have children. But Eve kept miscarrying. We were both medical professionals. We knew that there had to be some issue with her reproductive system. So finally, we drove the two and a half hours across the Mississippi to Rochester.
The people at Mayo were very sympathetic. But it appeared that there was some form of chronic cervical insufficiency that was likely to prevent Eve from carrying a baby to term. There were surgical solutions, of course. But they were invasive and would impede conception. The fact that Eve was also 36 at that point further increased the odds against. So in the end we simply accepted the fact that it would just be the two of us.
That was a sad time. We had both wanted kids. Nevertheless, fate had chosen to snatch one of life’s special experiences away from us. Eve was particularly depressed. I kept telling her that it didn’t matter. But it struck a blow to the core of her female ego and I could see that it knocked her off balance emotionally. Mainly, she was a lot needier and less confident in our relationship. In the past, she was happy to give me loving grief about anything. Now, she would hold it inside once in a while. It also affected her sense of humor, which in some respects was more upsetting. I dedicated myself to giving her the support she needed and I knew that she would work through it.
Then Doc Morton died. He was mid-80 so it was not unexpected. But he had been a father figure and his passing kicked the supports out from under my entire emotional and professional life. I missed his gentle wisdom and his kindhearted guidance. I am somebody who believes that he can handle any challenge and I am confident in my abilities. But, like anybody else I occasionally need encouragement, especially after a particularly tough day. If I ever wanted reassurance, I could always count on Doc Morton and his decades of experience. Now, I was forced to cope with everything in a rapidly growing practice, all by myself.
Even worse, by law I had to have a licensed physician oversee me. Geographically, we were a bit closer to the Mayo Clinic than Madison, and they had doctors licensed to practice in Wisconsin. So UW solved the problem by asking one of Mayo’s hot-shots to serve as the practice supervisor. The dude was supposed to come over on a weekly basis and Skype daily, just to establish that we were being supervised within the dictates of the law.
We met the fellow on the Monday after Doc’s funeral. I was still mired in grief and Eve was not much better off. I was sitting in the same chair that I had been sitting in when Eve had walked in the door; almost nine years previously. We were both a little nervous, the way you are when you meet a person who holds your fate in his hands. The door opened and a guy walked in. He was a couple of years younger than me, about Eve’s age. I knew from his background that he was a prodigy, with a sterling academic and research record. But I didn’t expect him to be so tall and ruggedly handsome. You normally don’t get movie stars posing as doctors in our neck of the woods.
He gave me a perfunctory look and then turned his attention to Eve. I could almost hear his mind go “KA-CHING.” THAT was an amazingly unprofessional introduction. He said, “I’m Doctor Chase Williams. I would prefer that you call me “Doctor Williams,” or “Doctor.” We need to keep it professional.” I got it, this douchebag was establishing that he was exalted and we were both a whole lot less so.
He turned to me and said, “I understand that the previous doctor gave you a very long leash. I am not going to permit that. So I will need you to log your medical activities for my review. When I am here I will expect both of you to clear any final medical advice with me.” Right!! and he was also a raging control freak. I hated the asshole from day one.
I came to hate him even more over the ensuing months. He treated me with contempt. It was personal with him; like the fact that I was allowed to dispense any form of medical care was some perversion of the law. I realized that I didn’t have his medical credentials. But, family medicine involves a lot of judgment, especially with diagnosis, and I had a decade long track record of keeping my patients healthy and happy.
As a result, I resented his attitude. In fact, Doctor Dickhead would have been in a lot of trouble with the locals if they had seen the way he treated me. But this guy was sneaky as well as smart. So, he always did the belittling and demeaning when it was just the two of us.
On the other hand, he treated Eve the exact opposite. Doctor Dickbreath would sing her praises. I could see that the reinforcement was helping her to regain her shattered confidence. But it was over the top. That was not jealousy talking. It was simply a matter of medical fact. Eve was an excellent clinician and nurse. But she wasn’t the second coming of Florence Nightingale, as the douchebag made her out to be. I began to suspect Doctor Fuckface’s motives. He spent a lot of time invading Eve’s personal space; leaning over her to read charts and resting his hand on her shoulder while he talked to her. It was subtle; never anything you could call him out on. But it was clear that he was establishing dominance.
For her part, Eve seemed to like the attention. What woman wouldn’t? The guy was rich, good looking and he walked around with that god-like air that the top docs all wrap themselves in. She would even occasionally flirt with him in a safe-for-the-office kind of way. I took it as the normal female response to a guy who clearly found her attractive; especially since I was sitting right there. I never questioned Eve’s loyalty. She had been to a lot of places and done a lot of things and she knew what she wanted. She made it clear to everybody around us that she loved me and she would go out of her way to prove the physical bond that we had. She was respectful in our day-to-day life, and she had gone back to being as smart, energetic and sarcastic as she always was.
I couldn’t blame the dude for being attracted to Eve. She was almost 37 at that point and she was clearly a cut above every woman in the area in beauty, grace, poise and sophistication. When she passed thirty, she had changed her hairstyle from girl, to woman. Now, she wore a chic bob, swept forward into a pair of pointed wings that framed her gorgeous Swedish face. Only a woman with hair as thick as Eve’s could pull that particular look off. She had not lost any bit of her attractive body; only improved it. She had always been slim; words like “supple” come to mind. But she had added a bit more of the things that guys really like; rounder butt and bigger boobs. It made her seem voluptuous and frankly very erotic.
Doctor Fuckface didn’t miss any of that. I would catch him surreptitiously staring at Eve’s ass when she bent over to pick up a file and he would give me a gloating look like, “What are you going to do about it.” Since he held all of the legal cards there wasn’t much I COULD do about it, short of pulling up stakes and leaving the practice. Of course, I would never do THAT because at that point I was totally bonded to the community.
The problem was that Doctor Douchebag was getting more-and-more aggressive in his interest in Eve. I don’t think he would EVER be able to drive a wedge between us personally. But, with his constant praise of her and his disparagement of me, he was beginning to detach the two of us at work. Specifically, he seemed hell-bent on blowing up our close professional relationship.
Diagnosis is always more an art than a science. So, there would inevitably be the time when Eve and I were on different pages. In the past, we would just talk it through for the good of the patient; our only aim being to do the best we could. NOW, if there was ever a disagreement Doctor Dickhead would turn it into confrontation. Worse, he would make it sound like I was being arbitrary and condescending toward Eve and he would ALWAYS side with her. That was beginning to have an effect.
In due course Eve started snapping at me over little things. When she did, I would talk to her about it, like I always did, and we would eventually resolve the problem. But the increasingly frequent fire-fights were starting to wear on both of our nerves. Then Doctor Fuckface escalated things. He had been dropping little hints that he thought that I needed more training. I did 100 CME hours in order to keep my Board Certification. But, “Doctor Williams” decided that I needed “specialist” training.
Both Eve and I insisted that was unnecessary. But, in his ever-so-arrogant medical opinion, Doctor Asshole convinced the NCCPA that I could really use some, “brushing-up;”. So the certification people suggested in ominous tones that I do what the doctor ordered. Hence, I was shipped off for a three week, “Emergency Medicine and Trauma Care,” course in Kansas City. Eve was wild every night before I left. It was like she was trying to squeeze as much assurance out of the remaining time as she could.
The trip itself was a waste of time. I had been a Ranger Medic, for almost six years. So, I could have taught the instructors new things about “Emergency Medicine and Trauma Care.” The first week, Eve and I talked every time I was able to squeeze-in a break; morning, noon and night. She was bright and cheerful, with a lot of charming incidents from Doris’s diner. The conversation got a little shorter on the second week, there were still the anecdotes, but Eve sounded distracted. The final week was upsetting. Eve was actually abrupt when I called. She said that the patient load had picked up and that she didn’t have time to talk. I knew what the patient load was. So that excuse didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
When I got home, Doctor Dickbreath was off in Rochester doing magnificent things. The pressure was gone and it felt like old times. Eve was a crazy woman for a solid week. That happened every time we went to bed. I had seen her needy before. But this was some kind of new record for passion on her part. We talked and laughed and did all of the fun things that make the Wisconsin Dells a perfect playground in the summer. But there was something off with the situation.