SIXTEEN.Same But Not Quite Similar
Ugh the ending is a bit umm..... I apologize if this chapter doesn't meet your expectation. The edit in this one is what caused me headache for 2 weeks w/o update hahaha ^^'
Btw I'm currently working on Chapter 20. Should i post it as double triple quad update or......?
Another 2 days that passed by is like a slow breeze of forgettable air; existing but not acknowledged. On this very day, Donghae has returned to resume his clinical posting in such a good health too. It’s like he’s never gone nor sick with the exhaustion completely zapped out from his bright stance and lively eyes. All his friends are happy for his return and apparently it is stated in Donghae’s attendance form that he’s on medical leave due to severe anemia; his instructor Doctor Kwon approves this, shutting up a few people badmouthing him with certain complaints of how Donghae gets easily off the hook every time.
“I apologize for causing trouble to everyone.” Inside the meeting room he has bowed down to his instructors Doctor Kwon Boa and Doctor Kim Jongwoon, apologizing for the entire unfortunate events he has caused along the clinical posting. It’s the first thing that he does after stepping in the hospital this early morning.
Donghae with his head down doesn’t see it but Doctor Kim is smiling, coming near and patting his back encouragingly. “There’s nothing for you to apologize Lee. We can’t be healthy forever, not even doctors.”
Donghae looks up; his tense expression relaxes at the doctor’s words, finding comfort knowing they aren’t angry at him. He casts a look at Doctor Kwon and the beautiful woman in her 30s is smiling as well to him. “Now that you’re back on your feet again, I expect a great performance from you Donghae. You’re a talented kid. I’m sure you will be just fine to catch up with the rest.”
Nodding subtly with a simple smile Donghae pipes out a small yet confident, “Yes ma’am. Thank you for being patience with me. I will learn hard to repay all your kindness to me.”
As he walks out from the room following the two doctors, Donghae’s ease heart somehow has its own space of dejection. He pauses his steps, turning back to gaze sadly at the empty meeting room.
Hyukjae isn’t there with him. He knows from Siwon and Kibum that Hyukjae’s one of his instructors so Donghae has a high hope to meet him again this morning. But of course, he doesn’t question it much. Even Doctor Shin and Doctor Andre aren’t around. They probably have a patient this morning.
Sighing an air of despondency he opts to just forget about it and focus on resuming his clinical posting. As he turns around, Doctor Kim is standing behind him—unexpectedly causing Donghae to yelp quite unmanly. Singsong laughter is heard next with his eyes slowly opening from the shock, “Aigoo, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know you would be so scared, Lee.”
“D—Doctor Kim! You surprised me.” Heaving a relief sigh to counter the shock, Donghae has his hands still not leaving his chest. It’s pounding hard in a rhythm of Doctor Kim’s odious laughter as well. Donghae swears he won’t judge his friends’ words about the surgeon again; the man is completely bipolar—all jolly in the morning and moody by the evening.
“Come with me Lee.”
“Where?” He has questioned though, no longer feeling scared but skeptical over the invite. In the new schedule form given by Doctor Kwon, he needs to do some rounds by the pediatric ward. Of course, Doctor Kim knows of this too since he is present while Donghae receives the form.
But the man insists, “Just come. I got some work for you and don’t worry, Doctor Kwon agrees with it.” Donghae can’t possibly say no to his instructor thus he just follows him, with mind still full of Hyukjae.
Boo Seungkwan; an intern in the same batch as Donghae is in the OT with him, performing a CABG surgery under the supervision of Doctor Kim Jongwoon. The tall and lean young intern has his hands carefully holding the suction tube as ordered by Doctor Kim, placing them into an opened thorax; showing the inside of a man’s chest with extra interstitial fluids to out. Donghae’s beside him straining his eyes out to the fullest, focusing 200% on the surgery as Doctor Kim’s assistant surgeon to not miss any spots he might accidentally puncture while suturing the artery closed.
Pulling up the thread in careful manners he knows he has few eyes watching him closely. Donghae isn’t fond of attention but that’s the least of his worries at the moment—there’s a man with his chest opened lying unconscious on the surgery bed right in front of him and he couldn’t afford to lose his focus; not when he’s trying to save lives. “Cut.” A hand comes closing in his field of vision, holding a surgical scissor to detangle the thread from the needle, completing his task. Donghae silently thanks the nurse, knowing she won’t hear him out though.
“Now, what’s the next step?” Doctor Kim’s mellow voice resonates vividly in the room through the mask he’s wearing, asking with eyes glancing around the youngsters. There’s only a small number of interns inside to hear him—including an anesthesiologist and a staff nurse lending their hands for the surgery-lesson. Thus it won’t be possible for anyone to miss it out. Patiently waiting is Doctor Kim, smiling underneath the surgical mask. “Come on, you guys know it.”
“U—um, we close the thorax?” Answer Lee Da Hae, another intern joining the CABG surgery this morning. Her voice is timid and husky, reminding Donghae of a small puppy.
Donghae carefully looks up to Doctor Kim who’s standing opposite of him by the other side of the bed, interested to know his reaction. Somehow he could see the man smiling even though concealed by the mask, “Before that? It’s simple.”
Silence; other than the sound of heart monitor filling in the tranquility. Everyone is wrecking their brains to answer—or most precise, waiting for anyone to give any answers so they won’t be questioned again. Thus Donghae gives a shot, “Clamp off and use defibrillator to return the cardiac rhythm.”
It’s possibly just in his eye but Doctor Kim is beaming under the mask he’s wearing, eyes in slit with the edge slightly crinkling showing his age. Donghae is reminded of someone…. “Correct, Donghae-shii.” He nods his head to Boo Seungkwan, earning the boy reacting all flustered before he gets the signal. Immediately he puts down the suction tube, reaches out for the metal clamp closing around the chest to keep the skin open. Carefully he unhinges the screw and reduces the stretch of skin before taking it off completely. With the nurse handing Doctor Kim the defibrillator afterwards the man utters, “Charge to 200 joules.”
The nurse does as said, “Ready doctor.”
The surgery is a success after a long 6 hours of pure struggle and fervent focus, and thankfully the patient is stable; to which that’s all Donghae ever wants to hear. Knowing that he manages to complete his first ever surgery as a medic student successfully without any accident is a genuine blessing. Gratifying feeling blooming in his chest as he smiles proudly remembering the acknowledgement given by Doctor Kim to him when the patient’s heartbeat returns to normal. Donghae is happy to fulfill his duty in saving lives well; although he still has a long way until he would become a certified doctor.
He comes down to the locker room after sending the patient to the ICU. However, before even exiting the ICU level, he sees Doctor Kim waiting for him by the receptionist desk. He’s still wearing his green surgeon uniform, mask hanging by the small knot over his neck. He is smiling at Donghae. “How do you feel?”
“I’m happy.” Donghae smiles gratefully to the man. “I’m glad my first surgery’s ended without any accident. Thank you so much for guiding me, doctor.” He bows down in respect but before reaching 90 degree, Doctor Kim has stopped him. Fingers gently tapping on his shoulders.
“You don’t have to thank me, Lee. It’s yours and your friends’ effort as well. I was just there in case anything went wrong.” He said. “On a side note, that’s not quite what I’m asking though. I’m asking if you are okay.”
Realization dawns on Donghae as he blinks the question away. So that’s what Doctor Kim meant, “Yes doctor. I’m alright. Never better.”
Doctor Kim smiles brightly. “Brilliant! It means you’re healing. I’m glad that now you can continue the training leisurely with a good health. Your scores and skills are good. If polished correctly, you will be an excellent doctor one day.” The words ease Donghae’s worries, sowing hope inside of him over the encouragement given by his instructor. He has always pondering over his absence causing him to be left behind severely from his other classmates. But hearing what his instructor said gives courage for him to move forward.
He feels a hand squeezing his right shoulder gently, a look of acknowledgement on Doctor Kim’s face. “I will give you all the knowledge and support you needed. Don’t worry Lee.” He doesn’t know why Doctor Kim is beng so nice to him but Donghae appreciates it so much. He can’t thanked the man enough for all his kindness to him—
“—do it. I’ll save him, hyung—”
“J—Jongwoon-ah his wounds……” Heechul hyung’s voice rang fearfully somewhere in the room followed by another voice completely different than his light tone; deep and husky but soothing, calling for his name.
“Donghae will be fine. I’ll save him. I promise I will do my best. So don’t worry.” The same voice then screamed. “Prepare the surgery room!”
“Donghae, you have to—”
The memory is gone, in a flash like how it comes so sudden. Donghae is stunned to hear his name being called out worriedly by Doctor Kim. The man has one hand holding his forearm, staring at him in concern. “Donghae, are you alright?”
The familiar voice ringing in his ears but he recovers quickly though, “Y—Yes, I’m sorry doctor. I think I’m spacing out…..”Donghae trails off before stopping. His eyes widen at his own words. Oh why did I say that? Now Doctor Kim will think I’m rude. Stupid Donghae! Stupid— His thought doesn’t even have a chance to finish when the doctor’s voice reaches him.
“Don’t worry, Donghae. I think you must have been tired. Why don’t you go and take some rest?”
“But I can’t. I have to attend some cases—” Again, Doctor Kim cuts him off.
“Don’t worry about that. You can do that tomorrow. Doctor Kwon and I have set your weekly cases’ deadline to be submitted in 2 weeks. So take it slow. No pressure, okay?” Kindly he says, no malice nor any sinister teasing. He even smiles a smile that somehow rings so many bells in Donghae’s head. It’s very confusing. He feels like this isn’t