Malpractice

"A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free." Nikos Kazantzakis

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1. Chapter 1

Word spreads incredibly fast in a small town, especially my small town of Barwick, Georgia. I’m Barwick born and raised, and at 21 years old, I work at one of the four businesses in town, former Doctor Anderson’s office. I received what little of an education my family could afford as a degree at the nearest community college, which is just short of 45 miles away. My family’s farm has been passed down for generations, gradually growing older and rustier each year. Surprising, we own one of the biggest farms in the area, and we can barely get by. But that would change today, because I was getting a raise in honor of the new doctor coming into office. Doctor Anderson had passed away about a month ago, simply due to old age. The new doctor had telephoned, letting the staff know they would have jobs there, and would be receiving $2.00 more an hour to stay at the office. It was an offer none of us poor folk could refuse. I had to get to work shortly. My family, consisting of only my mother and father, would be accompanying me on my walk to work today to meet the new doctor. My only brother, Patrick, had passed away minutes after he was born. I mourned the loss of my younger sibling constantly. As I stepped down the creaky wooden stairs, I spotted my mother and father making scrambled eggs in honor of this special occasion. My father noticed me and greeted me with a hug and kiss on the forehead. “I’m so proud of you, Abigail, now have some breakfast so we aren't late,” He said, urging me to eat.

“Of course, daddy.” I said, smiling back at his wrinkled, worn expression.  I sat down at our small kitchen table, and my mother handed me a plate with the eggs. I thanked her with a nod, and she returned one of her warm smiles. As I ate, I gazed at the yellow and white walls with roosters on them, wondering if I would live with my parents until they died like many of the girls my age would do. I was better off than many people in this town, but I was in no place to live off on my own. I finished my breakfast, and went upstairs to grab my purse. I noticed my white uniform was getting a little draggy, so hopefully the new doctor would get me a new one.  Once I got back downstairs, my parents were waiting by the door for me. We headed out onto our gravel driveway and followed the dirt road passing fields of corn. In about ten minutes we had made it downtown. Downtown Barwick consisted of four businesses: the doctor’s office, the grocery store, a small rundown diner, and a gas station with 2 pumps. The streets were actually paved and there were sidewalks. The few that had cars, which were usually trucks to drive out in the fields, were parked along the side of the street. There was a crowd around the entrance of the doctor’s office already. I waved goodbye to my parents and excused myself through the crowd of friendly neighbors I’ve known forever, who all congratulated me politely. Once I got into the office, my coworkers, Diana, Ruth, and Betsy, were waiting in the patients’ waiting room. We exchanged kind hellos, talking about how wonderful the raise would be. Diana and I were the nurses, Ruth and Betsy were receptionists. Diana said, “The new doctor is in his office, he should be coming out shortly.” I expected this man to be around mid-age, grey, yet charming. Boy, was I wrong. As if on cue, a very young man walking into the waiting area, a smirk plastered on his lips. He was probably my age, with tanned skin, and wild, curly brown hair. He wasn’t wearing the white coat that Doctor Anderson had worn daily. This man was dressed in a flannel shirt with ripped jeans, and cowboy boots. His thick glasses glared in the sunlight coming from the window. I imagined the rest of the girls had the same shocked expression I wore. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of this man, he was too good looking to be in a small town in Georgia. He finally spoke up.

“Hello girls, I’m Doctor Styles. Doctor Harry Styles.”

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