He looks petrified — a little scaredy cat, backed into the corner next to the spider plant, waiting for his chance to spring free. Those little glances at the clock during the last fifty-seven minutes were subtle, but now he’s just looking straight at it, willing the hands to move. I’ve got a mountain of other patients to get through today, I shouldn’t be having to hold one hostage with an oversized syringe. Grocock, Julian. The odious little worm. Coffee breath and a loose brown suit that makes him look like a boil in the bag dinner. He’s obsessed with control, that’s his problem. Classic OCD. The clicking of the pen, the smoothing of his tie.
Beige is supposed to be a calming colour, but he sure ain’t calm. He grits his teeth and takes rasping breaths, scanning the room; the heavy desk, the framed Master's degree, the 12th floor window. We’re here again because he overstepped the line, forgot his place in the doctor patient relationship. As a young female in this profession, you gotta to know how to command respect. I sweep the hair out of my eyes and reposition my feet, making sure I am ready to strike if it’s necessary.
“Yolanda? I n— need you to listen to my voice, alright?” he manages.
“We don’t use first names in this office. Dr. Henshaw will do just fine.”
“OK. Dr. Henshaw.” He points at my hand. “You don’t have my permission to have that.”
“I don’t need your damned permission. Now quit moving.”
He does as he is told. The sedative will knock him out in seconds. Two minutes until this God damned creep leaves and I can write up my notes over lunch.
“That’s it. Now back to your breathing.”
“I’m calm” he says, lowering his hands to his sides. “You sit down now, Doctor Henshaw.”
Incident over. I put myself back into the listening position, the syringe to my right. Right leg crossed on top on left knee, pen poised. “Our time is nearly up,” I say.
The door bursts open. Two orderlies enter.
“Doctor Grocock. Julian Grocock?”
Grocock? What the—? “No, Henshaw,” I reply.
“Thank God.” He says, wiping his brow with his jacket sleeve.
“We got the panic call,” the fat one says.
There must be a security button under the desk. “Wait a minut—” they are on top of me before I can reach the syringe. I’m pinned to the beige carpet; a knee in the back and an elbow pressing on my neck. I hear Grocock mouthing off in the background.
“It’s for you’re own good, Yolanda. Dr. Henshaw has to go away for a while.”
What will the rest of my patients do now? I guess I won’t get a chance to write up those notes.