"Are you taking your vitamins?" Doctor Brown asked as he played his penlight in the eyes of his patient.
"Well, I am," Abigail said with a sidelong glance at her sister Patrice. Her gaze didn't have far to go. Abigail and her conjoined twin were literally fused at the hip and shoulder.
Four legs, three arms, and two stubborn heads, their father always joked.
"Hmmph," Patrice sniffed and looked away.
"For the health of the baby, it's important that the two of you stick to the diet we agreed upon. What goes in one..."
"Goes in the other," Abigail finished the saying that Doctor Brown had spent months drilling into them. Abigail patted her round, seven-month belly and gave her sister an 'I told you so,' look.
"That's right," Doctor Brown nodded his silver haired head.
"I'm not the one that is pregnant! I didn't ask for this!" Patrice shot back.
Abigail looked at Doctor Brown like a defendant seeking justice from a judge. "She's threatening to take up smoking. And when we were out at a restaurant the other night, she tried to order a glass of wine!"
Doctor Brown frowned. "Patrice, this isn't like you. You're the responsible one."
"Maybe I'm tired of being the responsible one," Patrice shot back. "Maybe I would have liked to go through a Goth phase. Or gotten a butterfly tattoo. Or things pierced that we could never, ever, tell Daddy about because he would have had a heart attack. But I didn't. I was responsible. I was the good girl. And look what it got me. My sister is having my husband's baby!" Patrice began sobbing.
Doctor Brown held out a box of tissues he kept in reserve. Over the last five months every appointment ended in tears. He considered adding a tissue restocking fee to the sisters' bill.
Patrice yanked out a Kleenex and blew her nose, sounding like a pack of migrating ducks.
"Just let it out," Doctor Brown encouraged.
Abigail looked annoyed. "For the five thousandth time, Patrice, it was an accident."
"An accident? AN ACCIDENT?!""
"I can see you still have things to discuss, so I'll leave you to it. Remember, stay on the diet," Doctor Brown quickly stepped out of the room and closed the door as the wailing began behind him. He let out a relieved sigh.
But the reprieve didn't last long. Nurse Smith approached him waving a clipboard and barely restrained panic.
"What's wrong?" he asked. The normally stalwart Smith could only point at the page.
Doctor Brown read the description, his eyebrows rising higher and higher. Then he reread it. "I see, and your sure it's still, um, in there?"
The nurse aggressively shook her head.
"Well, get the surgical pliers and my head lamp, and meet me in room B."
Doctor Brown realized that a long day was about to get a lot longer.
THE END copyright 2014 John Lance