Tommy had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He paced in his office as he went over his colossal failure in Brittany’s office. Two things she had said kept running through his mind. I hate that I met a man who I truly enjoy being around and I know in my heart that it can never be anything more. That’s what she said, and more importantly, she said it saddens me that when you look at me you see my HIV. He was a jumble of thoughts and nerves and he felt like he wanted to punch the wall. No one had ever had the power to make him feel like this. He was scared and excited and angry with himself. He ran his hand through his hair and turned to walk out of his office, he had to do something.
Brittany looked at her watch and realized she had a few more hours before Stephanie’s procedure. She sat down and pulled her long hair up into a ponytail. She took out her lunch and put her iPod in the dock next to her desk. She found the song she liked and began to eat her sandwich and read her magazine. She looked up as her door opened.
Tommy walked in and closed the door. He stood before her, out of breath. Brittany was beyond startled. “Just listen before you throw me out,” he said. “You said your piece and now I need to tell you something,” he spoke fast and with an intensity that surprised even him. “You have to cut me some slack. You can’t be here, at this hospital, and dictate how I react to you. You are irritating and confusing and you make me crazy,” he sat down on her couch and continued. “But you are also wrong. You think I look at you and see your HIV. You think you aren’t able to have a relationship. But you have convinced yourself of this without giving me or anyone else a chance. I am infuriated that some jackass would question your ability to be a doctor. It infuriates me that you just let it happen. I get that this is your issue, but really, it isn’t going to change if the only people who fight against prejudice are those directly affected by it. You didn’t choose to be attacked, you didn’t choose to contract HIV, yet you are alone with the consequences and it isn’t fair. I also don’t know why I care. I don’t know why you get to me and I don’t know how to get through to you. I’m sorry if I didn’t react the way I should have, but I don’t know what’s the right thing to do,” Tommy stopped and sighed. He realized the extent of his rant and turned to look at her.
Brittany sat in silence and wiped the tears, which had fallen down her cheeks. She stood up from her desk and walked over to him. She knelt in front of him and took his hands in hers. “You have nothing to be sorry about. You are right to feel the way you do and I am sorry I gave you the wrong impression about how you need to react. In case you haven’t noticed, I am not the best at expressing my feelings. I think it has been a long few days for you and I think you are on overload,” she stood up and he felt her break their connection. “Look, I am not the one to get involved with. You have so much to offer, Tommy, you need to leave me and go live your life. I am not your problem to fix and I don’t need to be rescued. I am happy with my life,” she lied.
Tommy stood up and nodded. “Okay. I get it,” he turned and walked to the door. “But I don’t think you’re happy, and neither am I,” he said and left the office, leaving her alone again.
Anyone remember when this happened?