Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Curiosity Killed the Cat (10/10/13)
TITLE: Mirrir Mirror
By Philippa Geaney
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Who is the fairest of them all?’
Catherine turned her tussled head from side to side and smiled.
‘Me of course’.
She leaned in closer to reassure herself that there were no sleep induced bags under her eyes.
Just for an instant though, she thought she caught a glimpse of something lurking behind her midnight blues.
She frowned. That look was becoming a habit.
She studied the mirror for a moment longer then shrugged. It had to be the residue of another bad dream. Catherine had learned that there was nothing to be gained from introspection. She turned and headed into the kitchen to brew a coffee and have her slither of wholegrain toast –no butter.
Sometimes she wondered if it was worth it. But what else was there? Success was the only criteria for satisfaction-so succeed she would.
Still she knew there was a chink in her carefully constructed defences and she found herself returning to examine the feeling of discontent.
It was an emptiness that had begun greeting her waking moments.
She had to face it. All her cultivated wit and charm and her well-honed skill within the OR setting had failed to single her out in the eyes of the new and very promising OR registrar. So what?
Cat nibbled delicately on her toast and pondered the conundrum. He’d been there long enough to prove his worth as a surgeon so why hadn’t he recognised the top of the heap in her field? Herself?
He’d barely looked her way and when he did it was with the same friendly manner he had used towards everyone – even the patients.
Surely he knows theatre nurses and surgeons didn’t actually talk to the patients. Not much anyway.
She flicked the machine open again and popped another pod in place. The toast tasted heavenly and for two bits she have the whole slice; but she’d ruthlessly thrown the larger section in the bin.
Get over it for goodness sake, she pushed herself away from the counter and huffed. Not everyone has to fall at your feet. As long as most of them do. Besides Michael isn’t even that handsome. Although there’s something about his smile.
The worst of it all was that Cat was growing curious. What on earth made a person so…so sweet? So free? He didn’t seem driven, yet he succeeded; didn’t surreptitiously read other’s faces to gauge his worth and didn’t excuse his failures, however excusable they were.
Cat knew she surrounded herself with the best of the best and constantly hungered for their feedback. But it was almost as if there was someone invisible alongside Michael; making him smile; having a silent conversation with him. Telling him he was a great fellow. She’d like some of that.
But Cat knew that exhausting as it was, real worth came only through the judgement of others.
So forget him. Forget that ‘something’ he possessed. She just didn’t have it.
By the time Cat’s shift began she’d decided to have one more try. The direct approach this time. Read his face.
‘Anyone know where Dr Elliot is?’ Cat waved to a cluster of scrub nurses exchanging banter around the Nurses’ Station.
She nodded and headed in that direction.
‘Hi Michael what’s up?’
‘Just chilling out between cases. You?’
‘Just started actually. You’ve got a few big ones today I see’.
Cat paused a moment then looked as interested as she felt. ‘ What do you do when you are not operating Michael?’
Michael didn't answer immediately. ‘Besides studying? Why do you ask?’
‘Oh just curious’.
‘I run, visit my parents, spend a lot of time enjoying my Saviour and my church family. I’m a committed Christian. There’s a lot of responsibility on my shoulders here and I’ve found the more time I spend with Him the better I cope with the pressure. I’ve learned He doesn’t judge me by appearance-this is not the prettiest face’, Michael grinned cheerfully. ‘And He doesn’t judge me by my latest success or failure. It’s a wonderful place to be’.
“How’d you get to that place?’ Cat could hardly believe her ears.
‘Little by little Cat. By dying to the old mindset of success and embracing His. He leads me. It's a born to new life experience. Why? Interested?’
Michaels eyes shone with a peace she’d never really encountered.
‘Curious Michael really curious. Seems the old Cat would surely have to die.’
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