I walked the stone path, up the hill to the entrance to the main ward. The walk up those steps reminded me that I may have beaten the odds, graduated college and made my professors proud by being the youngest student to ever have their dissertation published, but I am still not mature enough to be ok with stepping on the strip of grass between each stone tile, so what if I had to stretch a little extra every 10 steps and was a little out of breath by the end of it?
The 50-odd steps led me to a glass door. It was one of those unnecessarily fancy ones where you scan your ID card on the little metal scanner things and the doors swing open by themselves, leading me to a second, equally clean glass door (thank God for that first scanner or I would have slammed my face into a door for everybody’s entertainment on my first day of work). At least this one didn’t have a needlessly complicated system. Just a lonesome guard with his gun in one hand and the metal handle in the other. Apparently, nobody here is allowed to open the doors for themselves.
The second I entered I was hit with a sudden smell of lemongrass. Don’t ask me why I expected to smell bleach, I don’t know either. I like the nice warm lights though, a nice contrast to the deep blue evening sky.
Holding onto my bag tighter than ever, I took a deep breath in and made my way to the reception. A lovely young lady, around the same age as me, sat at the desk. She was furiously clicking away at her desktop mouse and didn’t notice me until I called out.
‘Excuse me, I believe Dr Lazarus has been expecting me. My name is-’
‘Oh, hello. You’re the new doctor. Yes, she told me you’d be coming in this morning. You’re a little early, but that shouldn’t be a problem at all. Have a seat and I’ll let Doctor know you’re here. She’ll come and get you. I’m Rose by the way; I work here at the front desk. I joined about a month ago. Because I’m also new here, but not as new as you, I’ll give you one piece of advice about Dr Lazarus. Just a word of caution, she doesn’t like it when people talk more than she thinks they should and she especially doesn’t like it when people speak over her or cut her off when she’s speaking or anything like that. So just remember that.’
‘That shouldn’t be a problem with me. Thank you, Rose’
I mean, at least she’s friendly?