Dearest One

Doctor Accardi wants to expand his medical knowledge so he can better serve his people in Sicily Italy. He's offered an internship of sorts at one of the best hospitals in Denver Colorado. What he finds is much more than he expected. Love, old memories, new friendships, and a few surprises and problems along the way make for an interesting time in the O.R.

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5. Chapter Four

"Scrub up, you're assisting me in surgery." Doctor Marquez ordered, pulling off his gloves and discarding them in the bin. He picked up a fresh pair and put them in his pocket.

"Right now, right now?" Piero asked wide eyed.

"Yes, right now." Marquez rolled his eyes. "Let's go."

The operating room was empty of people besides Doctor Marquez, Piero, and the patient of course. Doctor Marquez was preparing everything, smirking over at Piero. He could see the younger man's nerves and apprehension. He was shaking slightly and his breathing was harsh and uneven.

Piero was internally freaking out. He hadn't been a part of a large surgery in a long time and he was beginning to get queasy. He looked at all the instruments Marquez had placed out on the table and swallowed hard. He couldn't remember what half of these instruments did or what their names were.

Oh God, relax Piero. Once you start and get into it, it will all come back to you... I hope. He told himself before taking a shaky breath and looking over to his partner. Doctor Marquez was glancing at him from the corner of his eye, the smirk never leaving his lips. He was enjoying this a little too much.

Doctor Marquez picked up a small scalpel and was about to begin. He saw Piero swallow hard and if he wasn't about to begin a complex surgery, he would have given the man an irritated look and asked him to leave. But since he would need the other man's assistance, he bit his tongue and focused.

"Um, let me just go get my glasses. I left them outside and I can't see anything without them." Piero babbled, pulling off his mask and rushing out the door.

Great, they sent me an amateur. Marquez thought.

-

Piero sat on a bench in the garden of the hospital watching as the large fountain rotated the water from one rock to the other while splashing the formations between and the grass below. He had come here after freaking out in the O.R and running out on Marquez. He hadn't meant to freak out and leave Dr. Marquez to complete the surgery alone, but it was something he couldn't help. He had remembered.

Flashbacks of his last surgery flashed through his mind at that moment and he lost it. Even though it had been over twenty years ago, he could still see Mrs. Felps lying on that bed, himself and Consuela, his nurse at that time, replacing two of her arteries closest to her heart. Mrs. Felps heart didn't withstand the surgery and before they had a chance to insert the artificial tubing in her chest, she had an unexpected heart attack. Piero had tried everything he knew to stablize her, but her heart gave up the fight and she passed away on the operating table. She had been Piero's first lost patient and it had haunted him. Even with the reassurances from Consuela and other colleagues, that it was a freak thing and there was nothing he could do, he still felt incredibly guilty. He blamed himself for not saving the poor old woman. He blamed himself for her three kid's suffering and the never ending tears he saw in the faces of her grandkids after they heard the news. He had felt so guilty, he had offered to take care of all her funeral expenses and was a part of the ceremony. He even helped patch up the dirt spot where her coffin was laid to rest and took her flowers every year. He wasn't done apologizing to her yet and when he stepped into that operating room and saw the patient who was around the same age as Mrs. Felps, lying on that bed, it was just too much. So he had made a ridiculous excuse and ran. He had run into an empty elevator and after regaining his composure, he had noticed the map above the floor numbers which displayed the exit door that led to the back garden. He'd been sitting on this bench, contemplating his next moves since then.

"It's mesmerizing isn't it?" Nayelli sat beside him.

He looked up at her surprised. "Yeah, it's peaceful."

"Doctor, why did you leave the surgery?" She asked, looking into his eyes.

He sighed, closing his eyes for a second then opening them again and looking at her.

"Because I felt like such a fool. I haven't been a part of a surgery for many years and I was so nervous." He raked a hand through his hair. "I couldn't even remember the names or uses for the instruments he was going to use." Somewhat the truth.

She smiled softly. "It happens to everyone on their first big leap. It doesn't make you any less of a great doctor."

Piero glanced at the fountain before looking back at Nayelli again. "I just... I should know these things."

Nayelli placed her hand on his thigh.

"Medicine changes every day. New things and new equipment will be used all the time. Don't beat yourself up over it. It's a learning lesson." She smiled. "Doctors never stop learning."

He smiled too. She was right. Medicine wasn't a stable career choice, it was always changing and with all the people who desperately needed them and who they could save, there was no time to feel pity for yourself or dwell on the past. You had to keep learning and move forward, ready to make a difference in someone's life. Maybe he couldn't save Mrs. Felps, but he would work his hardest to not let down another patient again. He had gotten into medicine because he wanted to help humanity and to give people a chance at life, no matter their ailments. That's what had brought him to Denver, to expand his horizons and his knowledge. He wasn't going to waste the opportunity by moping and feeling sorry for himself. He would do what he did best. Give hope and save lives.

"Beautiful and smart." He complemented, causing her to blush.

"I want to take you out on a date Nayelli." He said boldly. He had been thinking about asking her out for a few days now and what better time than the present. They were alone for once and it was now or never.

She smiled. "Where were you thinking of taking me?"

"Well, I envisioned a magnificent dinner and then taking you to this cute little coffee shop I found that I think you would love." He had many other plans for future dates. There were so many places he wanted to take her. He wanted to show her off, a beauty like Nayelli had to be paraded and treated like the most brilliant of stars. But he wasn't going to tell her that just yet. He needed to play it safe and wait for her to feel the same. "So, what do you say? Will you let me whine and dine you? Well coffee and dine you more like."

She giggled, blushing scarlet. "I'd love to."

"When's your next day off?" Piero asked, squeezing her hand that was still resting on his thigh.

"Thursday." She replied.

"Oh, look at that. The same day as mine." They smiled. They both stood up. Piero took Nayelli's hand in his and with a cheeky smile said, "Prepare yourself Nayelli, I will get you to love me by the end of Thursday night."

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