If it wasn’t for his love of kids and his belief that there was an immense need for more black male pediatricians, Jabari would’ve dropped out of medical school the first semester. “This mess is beyond hard,” he murmured, as he was wrapping up his third year, and his emergency medicine rotation. The fast pace of it was a little overwhelming for him if he was honest with himself but it’s just for five weeks so he knew he could make it. He had to admit, he thoroughly enjoyed the surgery rotation more than he expected and began to see why some doctors get a “god complex;” it’s easy when you’re out here literally saving lives with your two bare hands. He kept all this in mind as he thought about what electives he’d like to take and where he wanted to complete his residency. Maybe he could become a pediatric surgeon; that would surely come with money and prestige! While Jabari knew it wasn’t all about those things, he’d learned very quickly in the past few years, that having them definitely helped. He noted the way that people, and especially women’s eyes, lit up and they became more attentive when he mentioned that he was basically a doctor. “So you must be really smart if you’re becoming a doctor,” some ladies fussed over him when he was out at a local jazz spot recently. “You can be my doctor any day,” another whispered in his ear as she leaned over seductively. This sure ain’t college, Jabari mused, eagerly lapping up all the attention.
Later that night he reached out to his boy, Brandon, mostly to check in but also because he’d been thinking about their time at the ‘Ville. “Man do you ever wish you could get a do-over,” Jabari asked wistfully. “Dude, what are you talking about? What are you trying to do-over? You’re living your best life right now!” Brandon exclaimed, totally confused. “I don’t know,” sighed Jabari, “I was just reflecting on the past and honestly I was thinking about Rhya.” “What? Man, why is she even on your mind after the way she dogged you! Bruh, you’re just tired from all that smart boy learning you’re doing.” “Yeah, you’re probably right. I’m tripping.” “Dang right you’re tripping. You need to chill and call one of those honeys from the club,” Brandon laughed, and pounded his fist in the air like Jabari could see him. Figuring Brandon was probably correct, Jabari decided it was best if he just slept on it before making any rash moves. But fate had other plans. He woke up that Sunday morning to a text message from Lisa, a young lady he’d met during one of his many late nights with the fellas. “Grab breakfast?” was all it said. Just like in undergrad, between school, work and needing rest, Sundays no longer seemed to hold the meaning they once had when he was growing up. I mean, it has been a minute since I had a good breakfast, he justified as he contemplated missing church again. His reply was brief, “sure...where?” but little did he know that it would have lasting consequences.
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