Book cover of “Knowing Choices and Taking Chances“ by Paola Zoloriny

Knowing Choices and Taking Chances

  • Genre: Romance
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Paola Zoloriny
From high school friends to lovers torn apart by fate, follow Jillian and Vince as they try to face adult life and find the fine line between friendship and love. When rejection and misunderstandings threaten to tear them apart, will they find their way back to each other? 

Chapter 1

"Reyes!" called a dental aide the moment I walked into the clinic.

"Yes?" I walked towards her as I fixed my lab coat.

She gave me a document containing a male patient's information. "Mr. Finial under Dr. Staten. Oral surgery. Extraction case." briefs the dental aide.

"28 years old. Normal BP. No medications." I spoke from reviewing the file. "Wait, it says here he had a BP of 130/100 last month. Was he referred to us?"

"No, he came as a walk-in yesterday, but we had our hands full, so I appointed him today."

"But was he cleared by his doctor for extraction?"

"Before we could schedule him yesterday, we asked him to have a medical clearance from the cardio department, and they sent us the clearance."

Nodding with her response, "Okay, thank you. Dr. Staten still isn't here?"

"Not yet."

After getting the information, I called for Mr. Finial to follow me toward the third cubicle in the clinic. I instructed him to sit down while I got his BP.

I'm currently in my final semester of internship at the Saint Joseph Hospital. I got used to the 8-5 shift after a month, and it was hectic when I had to juggle working at night in the café Wyz and being an intern from the morning to afternoon.

Thankfully, the doctors in the dental department here in Saint Joseph were very welcoming, and they were chill about working in a busy hospital. They'd even joke something about their feeling of stress and tooth having fillings as well. It's not a bad joke but not a good one for me, but I felt comfortable being around them.

To be honest, it was depressing at first as I applied alone. I had to sacrifice a lot of things to get here. Even meant losing some significant aspects of my life.

My phone suddenly buzzed after telling my patient to be comfortable as we waited for Dr. Staten. I opened the message, and it came from Jonathan.

It reads

: I'm sorry about earlier, but this is for the best. I don't know how we started, but I began to realize I was always out of the picture in your life. Thanks for giving me a chance even though you didn't love me. I hope you'll be happy in the future

.

Looking through each word, it simply means I was the problem in our relationship. Jonathan and I started going out after he always went to the café I worked at. I don't know the exact date, but I think we went out a few months ago.

Remembering the first day we made it official was a blur to me. I simply know we were a couple when he started holding my hand when he took me home.

Even though you didn't love me. Those words had slightly caught my attention. I didn't love him? Yeah. Perhaps he's right. I don't know exactly. I started to lose grip on its definition, and it slowly disappeared from my mind.

"Reyes." Called someone from behind.

"Good morning, Dr. Staten." I greeted. "Your first patient is settled at cubicle 2. First molar extraction. Normal BP after clearance from the cardio department with a history of high blood pressure."

She nods as I walk behind her toward her office. "Okay, I'll be there in 2 minutes." She said before walking into her room.

"Yes, doc."

I continued the rest of the day as usual. I assisted Dr. Staten with five patients. I was assigned to her since the beginning of my 40-hours internship. She was pretty cool and smart. She has a lot of patience to handle different kinds of clients.

Some patients today were irritable, but she managed to talk them through even though we have to be time-efficient in the hospital. I aspire to be like her someday.

After the last patient was done, time was already past 4. Dr. Staten told me I could already go even though I should be out by 5 pm. She was on her way to her private clinic, anyway. I saw her out of the clinic and said my leave to the other doctors, dental aides, and assistants.

Thankfully, tomorrow is a day off. Unfortunately, I need to work. My employer at Wyz Café, Ms. Martha, said they have an event at the café for a book opening and need additional servers. The pay's doubled since it wasn't my shift. It was an opportunity I took.

I messaged her I was available tomorrow as soon as I settled on the couch in my apartment. After I pressed send, Jonathan's message appeared once again.

I don't know how to reply to his message, nor do I know if I should reply at all. As if on cue, my friend, Lisa, called.

"Yeah?" I answered.

'Have you decided where you'll be celebrating your anniversary with Jonathan? Cause I had some places in mind." She spoke with enthusiasm.

Sighing, I said, "We broke up."

A second of silence has passed. "What!!?" she exclaimed

The volume of her voice made me twitch my phone away from my ears.

"How!? When!? Why!?" she yelled.

"I don't know. Jonathan just asked me—"

"Wait! I'll be there!" Then she hung up.

Lisa and I are high school friends. She was the one who asked me to move in with her in this apartment when I told her I'd be an intern at St. Joseph Hospital, which is just a few bus stops away. I couldn't afford a one-room apartment, so I accepted her offer. We'd been here for years now.

I heard the doorknob opening and saw Lisa's home after her work in her dad's law firm.

"Do not say anything until I change first." She said the moment her footsteps into the room and saw me waiting for her.

Apparently, she bought chicken and beers as she placed them on the table in front of me. "You get the cups and forks while I wash myself up."

Ahh. Lisa, my friend.

I stood up from the couch after she went into her room. I grabbed what we needed from the kitchen and prepared them on the table.

Minutes passed, and after she was all cleaned up, I told her Jonathan had texted in the morning.

"Such an ass." She cursed.

"No, perhaps it was my fault."

"Girl, please don't jump into men's gaslighting again. This happened before."

I looked down at the chicken on the table. "I know." I weakly said.

I could feel her sympathy from the look she was giving me. She doesn't know what to do with me, and neither do I. This is the second time a guy broke up with me.

"Did you guys talk yesterday? Why did he say he's sorry about earlier?"

"This morning."

"What?"

"Before heading to the hospital, he asked me to meet him at the parking lot. He said he was going away and ending things here before going to another state."

"That dumbass. Such a horrible excuse."

"I don't think he was making it up."

"Oh, girl. Listen to yourself. That's what you told me last time. You believed him and now look at his Instagram. He's with someone new from this city."

I wanted to cry, and the beer had let me.

"Oh, poor you." Lisa moved closer and embraced me as I cried my heart out.

I don't know if the tears were for Jonathan or me.

"You'll find someone who can treat you better." She told me.

Her words echoed someone's voice from the past. Her comments reminded me of someone who had said the same thing. He told me those exact words so that someone could treat me better.

The image of him pierced through me, and I wailed more fiercely.

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