The figurine of a sea turtle with wings had just swooped over the winged rabbit when a knock on the door startled me. The figurines started to fall, but I managed to slow them down before they landed. Popping up from the couch, I hurried to the door. Since I hadn’t felt anything, I knew whoever it was, was human. I also figured it wasn’t Nate knocking on my front door in broad daylight.
Dr. Hemenway stood there, long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. I hadn’t seen her since everything had happened. Immediately, my stomach sank. “Is everything okay?”
“What?” Confusion swept across her face and then was quickly replaced by understanding. “Oh! Of course it is. Well, at least I think it is. I haven’t heard anything.”
I relaxed. A little.
“I stopped by to see if you would like to shadow me for the day,” Viv explained, much to my disbelief. “That probably entails us just sitting around and doing nothing for the majority of the day and maybe bandaging a minor cut or two, but you did really well with Spencer. You stayed calm and made a great assistant. Thought that maybe you’d be interested in helping out.”
Another wave of surprise rolled through me and then gave way to eagerness. “Yeah. Yes! That would be really cool. I’d love to.”
Viv grinned. “Great. We can head over now. I brought the UTV, so it’s a quick ride.”
“Awesome. I just need to grab my shoes.”
“Take your time.”
I did not take my time. Dashing into the bedroom, I toed on my sneakers and then ran back out. It was when we were walking to the vehicle that it struck me. I glanced at Viv as I rounded the front.
“Luc,” I said.
“What about him?” She hopped into the driver’s seat.
“This was his idea.”
“It was,” she admitted. “But when he brought it up, I was like, damn, what an excellent idea. He didn’t have to talk me into it. If I didn’t think this was a good idea, I would’ve put the kibosh on it.”
I believed her.
“I hope you’re not mad or anything,” she said as I climbed into the passenger seat.
“No. I’m not.” I sat back, smiling, and I didn’t need to see myself to know it was a big, goofy smile. He knew I wanted to be useful here, to provide some sort of service, and he made it happen. “I’m glad he said something.”
“So am I.” Throwing the UTV into reverse, she eased out of the driveway and started down the street. “I’ve been training some people here, just in case I need an extra hand or something happens, so the more people who know more than just basic first aid, the better.”
“Funny thing is, I actually considered becoming a nurse before … well, before everything.” I watched the houses go by. “I used to think I didn’t have the stomach for it.”
“You do,” she said confidently. “If you didn’t, there would’ve been no way you could’ve been in the same room as Spencer.” Squinting, she exhaled loudly. “Never in my life have I ever seen anything like that.”
“That’s probably a good thing,” I told her as we neared the overgrown park. “You did everything possible to save his life. You didn’t fail him.”
“I wish it didn’t feel that way.” She squeezed the steering wheel. “But I know I did everything. We all did. It just sucks.”
“Yes,” I said quietly. “It does.”
A faint smile appeared. “Tell you what, though—I’ll never complain about being bored again, that’s for sure.”
I grinned and nodded as the market came into view. “Oh! Do you mind if we stop by the library really quickly?” I asked. “I need to see if there’s hair dye here, and I have no idea where I’m supposed to find Zouhour.”
“Sure?” She sent me a look full of questions.
“I need to change my appearance,” I explained. “Eventually, I’m going to need to go back out there, and I need to make it harder for people to recognize me.”
“Ah!” Viv laughed. “That makes sense. I was thinking this was a weird time for a makeover.”
“No doubt,” I agreed.
We swung by the old library, and after waiting a couple of minutes, Zouhour showed up with a thick binder that contained all the goods in storage. Turned out that there had been hair dye at one time, but the unused boxes had been tossed out since no one really wanted to put several-years-old dye on their heads. Understandable, because I sure didn’t.
Hoping Luc was able to find one, I thanked Zouhour, and then Viv and I headed back to the medical office, driving behind the busy market. She parked the UTV right outside the office, and I followed her inside.
Enough sunlight poured in through the windows that the waiting area was brightly lit. Instead of rows of chairs, five examining tables had been moved out.