Chapter Three

“Paging Dr. Aurora Cunard, paging Dr. Aurora Cunard please proceed to the operating room 3 stat...Paging Dr. Aurora Cunard, paging Dr. Aurora Cunard please proceed to the operating room stat...”Hearing her name from the paging system, Aurora immediately proceeded to the wash room to prepare herself for her first operation for the day.

As a resident surgeon of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Aurora fought hard to find her place among the men who circled the hospitals. The very first moment she stepped foot on the operating room, they thought she was a nurse. She was the only woman who qualified to take her internship at the renowned Massachusetts General Hospital.  With her blond hair, and blue eyes, she knew she would have a hard time proving herself. The moment she got accepted into Stanford, she came to a decision to dye her long wavy blond tresses to a deep shade of chestnut brown. But still, who can blame them if they think she was indeed a nurse. Despite coloring her blond tresses dark brown, which her parents disapproved of, it were these beauteous features which made patients and doctors themselves often mistake her for a nurse, when in fact she’s one of the top cardiac surgeons practicing in the world-renowned Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. A graduate of the Stanford Medical School, she made her way into a world once dominated by men and eventually proved that not all blonds are mindless. Only few people knew about her real hair color. She was known to be a brunette, and this paved way to an easier penetration of the industry she chose to belong. She felt there was no need to reveal how truly blond she was. She gained her colleagues’ respect in the long run by being a brunette. Now, she is regarded as one of the most promising surgeons in the medical industry and to think that she’s only twenty-nine. In medical law, she’s still not fit for private practice. But her senior supervisors never hesitate leaving her alone in the operating table. Majority of them already knew her ability and even though she’s still finishing her residency, hospitals are lining up to sign her up for fellowship practice in their own respective hospitals. But Aurora’s heart belonged in Boston, or as she thought.

“What do we have here?” she asked upon entering the operating room. The nurses were preparing the operating table as the patient was wheeled inside by the paramedics.

“Acute chest pain, our best guess is heart attack,” answered a bulky paramedic named Bill. “Luckily, there was a nurse around the vicinity who called emergency.”

Aurora looked at the man lying in the operating table. Judging from the sharp features the man had, Aurora thought he must have been a very attractive man during his younger years.

 “I need his records, X-ray results and CAT scan stat, and please notify this man’s family. Any more information for me Bill?” she asked while taking the x-ray results from the nurse who just gave it to her. She started reading it.

“Eavesdroppers said it was likely that he was having an argument with his son,” the paramedic informed.

 Aurora replaced the x-ray, glanced at the paramedic and said, “Tell his ungrateful son he just might have caused his father a heart attack.”

Walking to and fro at the waiting lounge just outside the operating room, Jared felt beaten. Heart attack! His father experienced a heart attack – after he told him to back off his life! Never before did Jared feel such guilt. Great. This was his fault. When the hospital called his office and informed him about his father’s condition, it was as if a bucket of ice-cold water was poured all over his body. He immediately rushed to the hospital where he found out that the doctors already started an emergency operation, which was then referred by the nurses to be a coronary artery bypass surgery. He didn’t understand a thing of what the nurses were saying. He only knew that his father suffered a heart attack a few seconds after Jared left him. Finally, when he tired himself by pacing back and forth the empty waiting lounge, a man with the same age as his and was also wearing a dark tailored suit entered the waiting room. He had light brown hair with streaks of blond that made him look like more of an English man than an American one. He’s got almost the same bearing as Jared’s but he was leaner compared to Jared’s muscular more bulky physique. When Jared looked up and saw him neither of them exchanged words. They both gave each other a firm handshake and then the blond man asked;

“How is he?”

Jared shrugged as he brushed his fingers on his dark hair. He looked aggravated, almost culpable.

“They’re doing a coronary artery bypass shit,” he said. “Damn the man for not telling me he’s ill.” Jared added as he looked at his friend. The blond man eyed him wearily and said,

“Is that guilt or concern, I detect?” Jared replied by saying nothing.

Scott Levinson was Jared’s best friend but they treat each other like brothers. They’ve known each other since they were toddlers and each understood what it felt like to be in either of one’s shoes for they were raised the same manner a ruthless father would raise his son. Scott was one of the very few Jared trusts his life with. In the industry they were in, where money thrives in their rivers and lakes, where they breathe dollars every other second, it was hard to trust anybody. But Jared and Scott consider themselves lucky enough to have each other’s loyalty compared to others with none. Jared knew more about Scott than any man in the world and Scott understood Jared no man or woman can ever fathom. Their friendship was sealed by the harsh experiences they both had as children both in Eton and the military and it was tested even after they were led by their fathers to the outside world where they were trained to prosper.

After several more hours in the waiting lounge, consuming five cups of coffee Jared and Scott saw the light of the operating room off signaling that the surgery was over. They stood up as the door of the waiting lounge opened and from it entered a brunette-blue eyed nurse who just came from the operating room considering her blue robe and the cap she just took off revealing her chestnut brown hair tied in a French knot. Scott almost gaped at her.

“Immediate family of Mr. George Rickford III?” she asked. Jared stepped forward and told the brunette woman whom he thought was a nurse his identity and the woman acknowledged it with a nod. Then he asked, “How is he?” he asked politely knowing that he ought to wait for the surgeon to explain to him what his old man’s condition really is. His patience was wearing thin, and the fact that the woman in front of him looked somewhat familiar made him all the more irritated.

“I’m Dr. Cunard and I conducted the surgery on your father.”

This time Aurora was sure the blond man accompanying the younger Rickford gaped at her. But she didn’t mind. What she did not understand was the younger Rickford’s scowling face directed to her. The man was expecting some senior surgeon to attend to his father, she knew. It was not an uncommon reaction. That, she did mind but knew how to handle the common reaction.

“It would be wise to inform you that although the operation was successful, his condition would require great amount of care before I can declare him fit for release. Your father has been suffering from acute arteriosclerosis. Do you know this?” she inquired looking straight at his face. When he didn’t move a thing, Aurora assumed the man had not known what was happening to his old man and this made Aurora feel utterly disappointed. She did not quite understand why. She heaved a sigh before continuing her explanation which is needed for the family to understand the extent of the patient’s condition and recovery.

“Your father’s records show that he’s been suffering from arteriosclerosis the last five years. Arteriosclerosis, is a heart disease which weakens the heart’s arteries due to damage of the endothelium. This is the inner layer of the arteries. When this severed, high cholesterol, high blood pressure can decrease the heart’s ability to pump blood. Low flow of blood into the heart would mean less oxygen generated to the brain. This happens because of the hardened fats, cholesterol, and calcium and so on. Your father’s condition was triggered because of several possible situations like stress and tension. Witnesses said as relayed by paramedics that there was some sort of argument before the attack?” she inquired politely then without waiting for an answer continued.

“This is a probable cause of high blood pressure. Secondly and the most important reason of this is that your father has lighted a tobacco while feeling uncomfortable. Maybe to calm his nerves only he knows. But I strongly recommend a change of lifestyle to avoid this kinds of stress, or attacks that could lead to something more serious. For now, we will keep him under ICU for observation. I’ll have him transferred to recovery room within 48 hours should there be no complications. But so far, he is doing well and stable than we expect him to be after the surgery”

When Jared shook his head, Aurora left the waiting lounge without looking back. As she was about to exit from the waiting room she heard him say;

“Wait a second doctor.” Aurora slowly turned to face him and gave him an accommodating look but there was no mistaking for the look of annoyance her blue eyes bore.

“Yes, Mr. Rickford?” Aurora asked. Jared folded his arms across his chest and stared at her.

“Do you have had any knowledge about my father’s condition for the past five years?” he asked confidently. Aurora couldn’t help notice this behavior of his for it somewhat made her astoundingly breathless.

It was like looking through a man of such regard and prominence that made her feel a slight shame of herself for putting up a front of a know-it-all surgeon while in fact she’s no other than a practicing resident who just came out of Stanford. To her outmost surprise she suddenly felt herself flush. And to her embarrassment, when she glanced at the man before him she was sure he looked aggravated.

“Do you have an answer to my question or are you just going to stand there and blush?” He asked too calmly and too coldly for that matter that Aurora never realized calmness and coldness would go greatly together and therefore produce an effect so tactless and rude - and very attractive. Lethally attractive.

Composing herself, she managed to say the right words although she was not that sure if it really were the right words for she couldn’t keep up with the sight of the man in front of her. She suddenly realized how handsome he is! Oh for heavens’ sake, she swore to herself then spoke.

“No, Mr. Rickford.” Aurora found this alarming for she wasn’t sure if she’s really answering the man’s question. She was still remembering what exactly she was asked as she spoke almost spontaneously.

“Your father’s records show that he last went to his physician three years ago. Ever since that, there were no records whether or not he continued medical treatment at least based on the files here at MassGen.” Aurora paused for a second before continuing.

“Right, thank you Dr. Cunard. Also, I would like to arrange for a more senior physician to see through my father’s recuperation.” If Aurora was shocked surely it showed in the way her blue eyes widened in surprise.

“May I know the reason behind that decision, Mr Rickford?” she calmly asked hoping she was not betraying her shock and disbelief of what she just heard.

“I mean no offense,” Jared replied observing her masked surprise. “It’s just that I’d like my father to have the most experienced doctors to see to him in his recovery and after. I have yet to check with his private secretary on his past medical appointments but knowing how stubborn my old man is, I am absolutely certain he never kept any. It’s really just about what I think should be best for him. Thank you for your understanding.”

Well, if he phrased it in such a diplomatic way, Aurora could not really argue with that. It is not her place to insist that she remain the attending physician when it is fairly clear that the patient’s nearest kin has a different outlook on the situation. “Of course,” she heard herself say. “You do what’s best. Thank you Mr Rickford, and I wish your father a speedy recovery.”

With that, she gave him a subtle smile, turned her back and left towards her office. Jared on the other hand could not miss how pretty the subtle dimple in her right cheek and all the more thought that somehow he has met her somewhere but could not recall.

Related chapters

Latest chapter Protection Status