Leap of Faith – A Saturn Herald Short Story by Penny Nair Price October 2020
Sebastian Roshan stood with his hand crooked into his elbow in very deep thought. He wasn’t sure if he’d misunderstood. His tight white hospital coat fitted like a glove to his knees, and his stethoscope made the outfit completely portraying the image of the perfect caring medic. One of his nurses in the private English hospital which specialised in orthopedics came up to him to ask what the problem was as he was thinking so deeply he hadn’t moved for a while.
Sebastian’s deep brown eyes penetrated into her blue ones and she stared back adoring his golden skin, handsome face, and thick black hair.
“Well Helena, I’ve just completed one of the most complicated operations – putting pins in the legs of a motorcycle stunt rider – Leonard Spike – who crashed when trying to leap over twenty buses at a show. He was delivered here by helicopter. Not only am I totally exhausted but that stunt rider’s legs and body were covered by what seemed to be offensive racist tattoos – swastikas, Native American Indians with feathers in their headdress – sort of mocking tattoos – racist slogans which I can’t repeat – all tattooed on his body….”
“Do you want to come with me for a coffee Mr. Roshan?” He was a Mr because he had become a consultant after being a junior registrar and senior registrar when he was known as Doctor.
“Yes – let’s go to the private coffee lounge on the twenty-second floor? Can you afford the time off from the ward? Let’s tell the reception. I will tell them I have given you half an hour to relax before getting back to work.”
Helena and Mr Roshan took the lift and settled down with a latte each looking over the countryside where the tower was built with a private helipad.
“Well the thing is Helena, I am mixed race Indian/English. I studied medicine and orthopedics because I had a driving feeling that I wanted to help people, heal people, be a good influence in the NHS and private healthcare. But then I have done all the junior and senior registrar jobs and assisting and viewing in operating theatres before I got up to this standard of being able to make people walk again with chronic “conditions” and one of the first people I get now I am head of a unit is a man with swastikas and racist language and images tattooed all over his body! I feel like I’ve been wasting my time…”
He cradled his head in his hands for a minute and Helena stroked and squeezed his upper arm and raised her eyes to the roof in her confusion about what to say next…..
On the ward round for the next few days, Josephine Platinum – girlfriend – came to visit the patient – stunt rider – Leonard Spike – every single day. It coincided with when Mr. Sebastian Roshan was also visiting him. On the third day Josephine came, she asked to speak to the surgeon Mr. Roshan, privately. Josephine wore black high heeled ankle boots, tight pale blue jeans, and a figure-hugging white T-shirt with diamante on it and a leather jacket cropped at the waist. Her beautiful platinum blonde wavy hair cascaded down to her elbows and she had heavy eye makeup and dark pink lipstick and a divine lemony musky perfume on. The first time Sebastian Roshan had met her there had been a frisson of something special between them. He found Josephine very attractive – how could he not? She was absolutely stunning. But she was the girlfriend of the man who had caused him offence.
Sebastian and Josephine found somewhere quiet to talk after the ward round.
“Has Leonard been rude with you Mr. Roshan?” Sebastian was quite surprised that Josephine was so upfront with him. He looked into her sparkling emerald green eyes and she could see the mistiness of his own.
“Well you’ve stuck by Leonard – staying in the hotel and visiting him every day. I admire your dedication and love for your partner. But …” he hesitated…” from my point of view, he seems to support a group who would wish to harm me. I spent so very very many years studying to do high-end orthopedics and then I have saved HIM. He will walk again and live a normal life – through my expertise….” Sebastian was fighting back tears but was man enough not to let Josephine see this.
“We need a detailed discussion at some point about Leonard’s future when he leaves the hospital.” He found the words to say.
“Do you want to come to my hotel and talk there? There’s very good food and you might find it relaxing.”
Sebastian formed a fist in the palm of his other hand, striving not to feel weak or the intense romantic pull he had for Josephine grasp him..
“Well, I and the nursing staff will need to brief you as a team. However, I can join you at the hotel for a meal and if we can sit somewhere quiet and have a drink I can discuss Leonard’s treatment in more detail. Should I come round tonight? I can get a private car so I can have some alcohol ?.”
Josephine ran her fingers down her beautiful blonde wavy curls and smiled with pleasure. “Yes, shall we say 7 pm then? I will be seated in the bar by the restaurant sipping something sparkling. By the way, I just want to remind you, over Leonard, I am also going through a difficult time.” She winked and stifled a sob and then wiped one stray tear from her eye.
“OK.” Sebastian’s beeper went and he left the room, struggling not to shed tears over his dilemma with an increasing desire to get closer to Josephine and an increasingly increasing desire to get away from Leonard Spike………. a bad-tempered patient who did not respect his treatment.
As 7 pm approached, Sebastian Roshan arrived at the Lime Tree Hotel reception and found Josephine in the bar. They kissed on each cheek and settled into a comfy area of the lounge and had Martinis before supper.
Sebastian had been weeping over Leonard but he did it in private in his hospital digs. He had changed into jeans and a collared orange shirt and a casual cream linen jacket. He had also cheekily brought a bouquet for Josephine to show his support and admiration for her, which he had bought from the hospital.
Over the dinner, Josephine and Sebastian discussed Leonard and his personality as a stunt rider, his role as Josephine’s boyfriend and his self declared position as an archaic racist. Before they were on their dessert, Josephine had actually extended a well-manicured hand to Sebastian and he had reciprocated and held her tender soft fingers for a few seconds and their palms had pressed together.
It was after that when they were sipping Irish coffees that Josephine told Sebastian that Leonard had been violent to her and that she wanted to leave him but was too scared to do so. She then asked him if he was single and he said he was – a long term relationship with a beautiful Asian lady had come to an end over an arranged marriage that her family had set up.
Suffice it to say that Leonard and his racist ways came to get all the pins in his legs and were able to walk again but he lost Josephine as she started a relationship with Sebastian which ended in marriage and Sebastian got his staff to make sure Leonard was watched after he left the private hospital to ensure he never treated other women badly and funnily enough – Leonard had tried to get his tattoos removed – though some of them were damaged through the surgery. Sebastian was able to continue as a top orthopedic surgeon and treated many patients who were far more grateful than Leonard – and far less racist. Sebastian and Josephine lived happily ever after.
FOR MORE INFORMATION – LOOK OUT FOR THE FILM – “LEAP OF FAITH” ABOUT AMAZING LOVE STORIES AND AMAZING PEOPLE AND NASTY PEOPLE TOO WHO GET THEIR comeuppance.