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The Doctor
by Laura Solomon and Kerryn Young

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It took a lot of time and effort to keep the mohawk looking ship-shape. I used special hair products on it and had already re-spray painted it pink twice as the colour had started to dim and fade. I always liked to take pride in my appearance.

A week after Philip had died my phone rang. It was the doctor, wanting to know what I was doing on Saturday night.

“I’ve got a funeral to attend”, I said.

“What are you doing afterwards?”

“I’ve got the after party to go to”, I said. “Lots of free booze.”

“Are you trying to tempt me?”

“Come along if you like. More the merrier. Hopefully I’ll have something to celebrate ‘cause they will have read the will.”

Philip’s parents organized the funeral. They saw me eyeing up the red sports car and subtly let me know that it was going up for sale, proceeds heading towards their pocket. I wore a bright red skin tight strapless dress to the funeral – it was Philip’s favourite dress on me. His parents gave me sideways looks but I didn’t mind. It was an open coffin, the dude on the microphone said a few words and then asked if anybody wanted to come and put a flower on the body. A great long queue of women, I counted 25, lined up to place their flowers. All the women looked about my age. The second to last woman spent forever gazing into the coffin, her shoulders heaving with sobs. An uncomfortable silence fell over the crowd. After five minutes of sobbing, she attempted to throw herself into the coffin with Philip and had to be detained and escorted off by security. I was shocked; it was as if she was his current girlfriend. Maybe she was – it wouldn’t have surprised me if Philip was cheating on me all along.

The will was read out. He everything except the car to Stella and Sheryl – blonde twins who looked like they’d stepped out of a Sweet Valley High book. The car he left to me. I saw his parents spit tacks. Somebody threw a chocolate éclair at Stella when the will was announced and it hit her in the side of the head. A minor brawl broke out. I couldn’t believe that Philip had left me nothing in the will, so I walked off; tears were welling in my eyes.

I ran bang smack into Trevor the doctor. A lit cigarette dangled between his fingers.

“Hey babe” he said. “Where you going in such a hurry?”

“A fight broke out”, I said.

He glanced over at the brawl.

“Wow. Chaos reigns. You wanna drink?”

I nodded. I needed something to help me get through. We walked the short distance to where the after party was being held – in the same building as the funeral – just down the corridor and to the right.

“Gin please”, I said.

He nodded briskly then headed for the bar, puffing furiously on his cigarette as if his life depended on it.

We sat down together in one of the booths and Trevor lit one cigarette from the end of another. What class!, I thought. I could tell he was a man of distinction and style. He was drinking a funny coloured liqueur. I asked him what it was.

“Absinth”, he answered.

“Have you had a good week?” I asked.

“Not really. Lost two patients.”

He didn’t elaborate so I didn’t ask for details.

I sipped my gin, eyeing up Trevor as I did so and I saw him trying to look down the front of my dress. I was flattered by the attention. We drank on, into the evening, until the faces of the other funeral attendees began to blur. Trevor took my hand. I didn’t resist. I saw Philip’s parents giving me looks of disapproval and felt a slight twinge of guilt, but the alcohol dulled it. Anyway, he hadn’t left me anything in the will and he was dead now, so he wouldn’t have a clue about what was going on. Trevor invited me back to his house. He chainsmoked all the way through the intercourse, dropping hot ash on me. I was very disappointed in this and told him he had a nicotine addiction problem and should try patches or the gum.

“Hey so what else is news”, he said glibly, lighting another fag.

In the morning he was quite the gentleman and made me coffee and eggs benedict. I was watching my figure so I only had half the breakfast and left the other half congealing on the plate. Trevor was paged and had to go to work hungover. It was a heart attack he was meant to be tending to, but he took his sweet time, tending to me first and making sure I was okay and could get home safely. He asked me to meet him for lunch the next day and I agreed.

I showed up at the hospital where Trevor worked wearing a sparkly gold top with thin spaghetti straps and my best leather mini, teamed with pink heels to match my mohawk.

As I entered the hospital café where we had arranged to meet I scanned the room looking expectantly for Trevor. I couldn’t believe I was dating a doctor my luck was changing, I’d be set for life.

I didn’t see him straight away, so I sat down at the nearest two seater table. Just as I sat down I heard vacuous giggles from the corner. I looked over to see Trevor sitting with a group of nurses- there must have been about four or five all gazing at Trevor attentively, giggling at his every word. I felt a wave of jealousy. Without thinking I marched over.

“Excuse me”’ I screeched, “When does our lunch date start?”

The doctor turned to face me.

“Sorry” he said. “I didn’t see you sitting over there. I was just entertaining these lovely ladies.”

“Yes, looks like it”, I snapped.

“Would you like to join us.”

“No I want to have lunch with you alone.”

“Oh, getting possessive are we? What is it – second date?” teased one of the nurses.

I shot the nurse a cold look, turned on my pink heels and marched back to the table, hoping that Trevor would follow.

He stayed talking with the nurses for a further five minutes and I was just about to leave when he came sauntering over.

“So what do you fancy for lunch then?”

“Are you sure you can spare me the time”, I replied coldly. “Don’t bust your boiler.”

“Oh come on sweetheart they’re just my work colleagues. We were just having a team meeting.” He paused. “Did you know you’re really beautiful when you’re angry.”

“Don’t try that old line on me. I know your type. Man about town. Ladies man. Well, I’m too jaded for you to be breaking my heart. I’ve been around the town too you know.”

“Have you now. I never would have picked it. How about we skip lunch and I’ll show you the linen room?”

“The linen room! Is that where they do it in hospitals. I always did wonder.”

“No it’s just that I think I left my belt in there.”

“Oh okay then.” I said quickly. “I can help you find it.”

We got up and I followed him dutifully down the corridor, we passed a group of what appeared to be student nurses, they giggled when they saw Trevor.

“Hi Doctor Trevor” they chorused in flirty unison.

We arrived at the Linen room, Trevor locked the door and looked at me with a seducing glance.

“Hey I thought we were just here to find your belt”, I said

Trevor suddenly got a strange look on his face and went as white as the sheets he was standing next to. Before I knew it he dropped to the floor, twitched a little and stopped moving.

“Trevor! I exclaimed “What are you doing, this isn’t funny you are scaring me”.

He didn’t answer - I ran out to the corridor and pushed the emergency call button. That’s the last thing I remembered as I dropped to the floor myself in a faint.

When I came to I was lying in a hospital bed- a nurse was standing near me, “Trevor?” I said.

She turned and looked at me, “Sorry love, Doctor Trevor had an aneurysm” then added sarcastically “When you two were counting the linen, he died”.

My vision narrowed, my last thoughts were, not again! then I lost consciousness for the second time.

My parents came and took me home. I didn’t say a word; I sat on my couch for the next week staring at the wall. I vaguely remember my mother coming in and out of my flat trying to get me to drink soup. I couldn’t eat, I was in shock - three boyfriends dead in a year, I was cursed; the black widow.

It turns out that Trevor’s aneurysm was most likely caused by his 50 a day smoking habit. So I found myself the following Tuesday attending yet another funeral. When they read Trevor’s will I was surprised and delighted to discover that he had left me fifty grand and a property in the Cotswolds. Thanks for thinking of me Trev, I silently toasted as I downed my third margarita at the after party. I caught a cab home, ascended the stairs and passed out alone in my queen sized bed.

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