Ficlet: Doctor

Title: Doctor

Focus: Lailah from Lunacy

Format: 15 minute ficlet

Wordcount: Approx. 650 words

Most people didn’t like going to the doctor, logically Lailah knew that. It wasn’t one of those things that anyone but the most devoted hypochondriac looked forward to, though mildly better than going to the dentist.

Lailah also had issue with the latter, but she had fairly perfect teeth so thus far that hadn’t become a problem. Matters of health were a little more pressing, especially when she had just given birth to twins and was attempting to surrogate another baby fairly soon. This was something that needed to be done, and not just for herself.

Her apprehension, however, was not the typical reaction someone might have to the routine check ups. It wasn’t quite to the level of full blown panic simply because she never let it escalate to that point. It would though. That fear would coil and writhe deep in the pit of her stomach and eventually overtake her if she let it.

At this point it was more a matter of avoiding the anxiety than the issue, as most anxieties usually developed. She was afraid of the fear. After all, it was rather embarrassing for a woman in her thirties to freak out over a simple physical.

Lailah could not recall how it had started. There was no defining moment of trauma in her life that marked the beginning of this strong avoidance.  As far back as she could remember she had fought going to the doctor even in situations when it was most certainly needed.

The actual visit did not produce the anxiety. She had no issue with sitting there and speaking to the doctor, perhaps taking away a prescription. However, if at any point the doctor said something along the lines of “Let me just check something” then the panic exploded and she wanted nothing more than to run and hide like a scared little girl.

It was being touched, probed, handled like some specimen that bothered her. Lailah did not like the idea of parts of herself being put under the microscope for inspection.

This visit was one of those probings. The doctor could not simply look at her exterior and say if she were healthy or not for bearing another child or if she needed more time to heal. That was something that would certainly require looking a little deeper.

Was she just afraid they would find some fault in what she tried to present as perfection? She was rather occupied with that image, constantly working on being the best at whatever she was attempting, doing everything perfectly.

It seemed so much more than that though. Even if the doctor was very gentle and patient, like Raphael, his hands on her body made her feel physically ill and violated. Logically she knew that she could tell him to stop at any moment, that she was essentially still in control of how far it went, but it just felt so very out of her control.

She took a deep breath and stood up as Raphael approached. He was such a beautiful, gentle man that Lailah had no idea why she was so afraid. With other doctors it was quite a bit more reasonable, but this man was something of a saint.

“I know you’re uneasy about this,” he smiled.

Lailah nodded, feeling a bit of comfort at his empathy. He did not touch her as they headed back to the exam room, but soon enough he would have to. At least he had promised not to be too invasive, but how could he not?

Why couldn’t she just turn and run home? Perhaps she would have more courage tomorrow. But she knew that wasn’t true, this would be frightening on any day of the week and she couldn’t keep putting it off.

She took a deep breath and just tried to keep herself from running, that was all she could do.

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