The doctor woke up afraid. The woman beside him stirred. He froze, shame flooding his existence. In one night, he’d obliterated a lifetime dream. Feeling the pull of her stare, unable to resist her power, he swung his eyes towards her. He wasn’t surprised to find her lips curled in victory, mocking his defeated existence.
In the beginning of their acquaintance, she’d appeared as a desirable, tantalizing creature, teasing him with her charms. How quickly he’d been seduced. Oh, she could make a man feel good, on top of the world. What’s one time? What can it hurt? I’m in control, he’d convinced himself. When had wanting slipped into needing?
No matter how he’d tried to dodge her, she’d snake her way back in. Sometimes, she changed her appearance to represent an old familiar friend stopping by to relive the long passing of glory days. Nothing wrong with a trip or two down memory lane, she’d whisper.
When his wife began complaining about his frequent absences as a father and husband, she was right there, comforting him, nursing his wounded ego. Such an ungrateful wife, she’d cluck. Tsk, tsk, tsk. She doesn’t deserve you. I’ll be your wife. You don’t need her.
The partners at the clinic began to assault him with complaints regarding his shoddy work and lack of concern for the patients. You’ve changed, they admonished. What’s going on with you? You’re not the doctor we recruited. You don’t need them, she reassured him. They’re nothing without you. Good old-fashioned jealousy is all it is, she’d hiss in his ear.
However she appeared, she’d always managed to lure him back.
Until he was faced with the threat of losing his family and career. Ultimatums from his wife compounded by the termination of his contract with the clinic broke her spell.
He’d hoped, believed he’d finally erased her from his existence this last year. His wife supported his decision to relocate across the country, leaving everything and everyone she knew. An old college friend gave him a chance and benefit of the doubt he could beat his problem, bringing him into a well established practice. Yes, the last twelve months boasted a stronger marriage, a second child on the way, along with a town full of adoring and grateful patients.
The woman shifted, sitting up. Reaching for a cigarette, she ignored him. Swallowing fear, he instantly understood. Sensing his new-found knowledge she turned towards him, smiling. How stupid of him not to have known, even sensed she’d been behind the success of the last year. She’d never really left, only giving the illusion of disappearance. She’d been silently building him up, biding her time for the very moment he was convinced he had it beaten.
Acceptance is the key, she’d always whispered into his drug induced mind.
Acceptance is the key, he told himself as he stuck the needle into his eagerly awaiting vein.
I came across the Master Class while reading one of the stories on Sam’s blog, My Write Side. This is my first time participating and I look forward to future prompts. As I wrote the doctor’s story, my mind delved into the people who are affected by his story and will be adding a couple of more stories, using prompts from Bloggy Moms Writing Workshop. Stop in and check out Sam’s blog and the writing prompts.