A marvellous maven, that’s what her colleagues called her. Stephanie was a leader in her field. The first doctor, who performed an intricate surgery, where all the organs were transplanted at once.
At home, in her million pound flat in London, inspiration felt muted somehow, and the only thing to stop her fear was wine. When the day was over, she couldn’t block out the patients she had lost. It didn’t matter how many lived because of her brilliance.
She remembered promises she made, not to the patient – that would be unethical – but to herself. Higher standards were placed on her shoulders. It had always been the same.
Childhood trauma, they called it, but memories never quite faded.
They cornered her in the corridor, and mocked her love of reading. Their names, she couldn’t remember, their faces were clear. Their words, terrible, tenuous and targeted. Everyday, whenever a teacher wasn’t around, misery was their aim.
A knock on the door brought her out of her thoughts, and she pulled herself up from the sofa, and into a standing position. Her bare feet let the soft carpet, absorbed some of her negativity.
“Hey you, I thought we could go out tonight,” her friend, Masie said.
Even dressed in a pair of old jeans and a top she threw on, Masie didn’t care about what others thought of her.
“I’m not dressed,’ she said.
“I’ll wait . . . it’s been a day for it, and now there is a dance floor with our names on it. You’re such a great dancer. I just look like I’m flailing my arms.”
She giggled, and decided to ditch the night in, for a party night out.
“Let me just grab my coat.”