Maggie’s face was compassionate as she looked at the girl sitting across from her on the plastic chair that’s universal to every doctor’s office. Her face crinkled in a slightly pained smile as the girl spoke. She noticed a glimmer of tears in the girl’s eyes and felt wetness begin to form in her own. She spoke in a soft voice that quivered with emotion and tried to convince the girl that her words were true.
Maggie’s hair was black and short, girlishly cut in a way that framed her bespectacled face nicely. She had the lines of wisdom on her face, testimony to a lifetime of experiences, both good and bad. She couldn’t help herself – when the girl rose to go, she clasped her hand for a moment, looked at her intently and beseeched her to come back if she needed anything.
The girl, Maggie knew, wouldn’t have it easy. There was no way that the following days would be easy, and Maggie knew with even more assurance that the coming months and years wouldn’t be easy too. Still, she thought she saw an echo of her own will to survive in the girl’s eyes, a small glimmer of the fighter buried in her. Maggie hoped she would be okay.
As the girl left the office, Maggie sat down heavily in the cheap swiveling chair in front of the tiny desk, barely large enough to hold the computer screen and the keyboard. A moment later, a curly woman with heavily made up eyes and bright red lipstick poked her head around the door, which had been left ajar.
“Ready for your next client, Maggie?” she asked, in a harsh, bored voice. Maggie raised her head, sighed, and nodded, taking the chart the woman was proffering at her. She gather her emotions and put a smile back on her face. As another girl walked through the door, she became all business again.
“Yes,” she said. “How can I help you?”