Excerpt - A Surgical Plight

The Prologue of A Surgical Plight:

“PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL”. His heart raced as the boldfaced type leapt off the envelope. Standing in the front hallway, he saw Amanda in the mirror as she approached from behind. Jim clutched the letter as he smiled and turned to hug her. She looked up at him and smoothed his blond hair away from his eyes.

Jim gazed fondly at his beautiful wife. Her silky brown hair was in a ponytail, pulled back from her glistening forehead. Her green eyes crinkled at the corners as she smiled. She looks happy, he thought. As he stood back, he noticed blotches of sweat on the light blue tracksuit that accentuated the curves of her fit body.

“Open it! I’ve been wanting to tear into that letter all day,” she exclaimed.

What a difference a few years have made, thought Jim. Six years ago, when he’d lost a parent for the second time, he could see no purpose in life. Now, he felt like the luckiest man alive. At twenty-six, he’d graduated with his medical degree and was now over eight months through his internship. He’d applied to several five-year residency programs in general surgery and was eagerly awaiting acceptance, hoping to get his first choice. He had the wife of his dreams. He could envision nothing but good fortune in his future.

He looked at the letter again, confirming it was from the Resident Matching Service. Although fairly certain he’d be accepted into general surgery, he was by no means a shoe-in to get his first choice, since it was one of the most competitive programs in the country.

“Hold on, let’s sit down first.”

“Hurry, my shift at the hospital starts in a less than an hour,” she said excitedly. “I still have to shower. You know I can’t be late.”

Jim led Amanda by the hand to the kitchen table, where they sat down next to each other.

“Your hands are shaking, Jim. If you can’t open it, I will!”

“I’ll do it,” he said, pulling the letter tight to his chest. Hesitating, he added, “I’m just hoping to get my top pick.”

Amanda shrugged her shoulders and gestured with her hand for Jim to go ahead. He nervously tore open the envelope, taking care not to rip the contents. Then he held the paper up in front of his face so only he could read it. He paused.


Exhaling the breath he had been unaware of holding, Jim beamed. “I’m in.”

© Paul E. Hardy  2012