Interviewer: “Hi Dr. Stephens and Sabrina. Thank you for coming to speak with me.”
Jack: “Please call me Jack.”
Sabrina: “And you can call me Bee. Nobody calls me Sabrina unless I’m in trouble.”
“We seem to be calling you that a lot lately” Jack muttered.
Sabrina glared at him.
Sabrina: “You’re stifling me, that’s all.”
“Is that it?”
“Yep. I’m a 15 year old woman and I deserve some space.”
“Another gray hair just sprung out.”
The interviewer laughed.
Interviewer: “So I was hoping to hear a little more about the two of you, if that’s okay.”
Sabrina: “My dad loves to talk about himself.”
Jack: “And my daughter loves talking about herself even more.”
“Well yeah, because we’re amazing,” Bee grinned.
“And humble,” Jack teased.
Sabrina looked at the interviewer.
“This is what happens when mom and Tess aren’t here to stop us.”
The interviewer laughed.
“I see that. I think it’s awesome that you are both so much alike. It’s evident how much you love each other.”
Bee looked at her dad.
“Well he’s amazing, even though he’s so overprotective. Do you know how many people he’s saved? He cuts open their chests and touches their hearts. That’s gross, but kind of awesome.”
“Your description is a little off.”
“Whatever. I’m not all sciency like you and mom and Tess.”
Interviewer: “That’s a good transition, Bee. What interests you?”
“Boys,” Jack said.
“Dad, stop,” she glared at him. “I like fashion.”
“You certainly like to buy clothes,” Jack muttered.
“Dad!” she said exasperatedly.
“Sorry, please continue. I’ll be good,” Jack flashed his dimples.
She rolled her eyes and continued.
“I like designing clothes. I want people to feel comfortable in their own skin and sometimes we make clothes that are ridiculous. It doesn’t matter how you look. I think you should feel comfortable in your own skin. I want to design real clothes for real people. I see girls at school who wear things that don’t fit right and they get teased. There should be beautiful options for all sizes.”
Jack was surprised.
“I didn’t know that. That’s really cool, Bee.”
“Thanks. That’s why I need to go to fashion camp this summer.”
“What? They have a fashion camp?”
“Yep. Uncle Jason said it’s great and it’s in LA, so I can learn a ton.”
“And that would be a no,” Jack said.
Bee crossed her arms.
“I knew you would say that. You’re always stifling me.”
“That’s the chief job of a father. Stifle their children.”
She grumbled and they both sighed.
Interviewer: “So, Jack, what made you get into medicine? Did you always want to be a heart surgeon?”
Bee looked at her dad.
“Well I always wanted to be a surgeon,” he said. “When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I became much more serious in my studies. I think I chose the heart because I wanted control over the one organ that I didn’t understand.”
Bee felt her eyes fill.
“You never talk about that time in your life. You always tell us about Grandma, but you never talk about when she was sick.”
“It was a hard time for me and for your grandpa. I don’t like to think about it.”
Bee rubbed his arm.
“Let me go back to something you said,” the interviewer said. “You didn’t understand the heart?”
“Well, I always had relationships, if you can call them that,” he blushed when his daughter grinned. “But I never felt the kind of connection I saw with my parents or like Tommy’s parents had. I mistakenly thought I could learn by fixing the heart.”
“Daddy, that is silly. Your talking about emotions, not bloody body parts.”
“Again, your assessment is lovely, but I know. I was always dating and people told me how handsome I was. I was confused. I wanted to find what I was missing.”
“So did you?” the interviewer asked.
“No, I found better. I found Stephanie.”
Bee took his hand and held it.
“You’re such a romantic, daddy.”
Interviewer: “Stephanie is your wife?”
“And my mom. She’s amazing,” Bee said.
“She is,” Jack agreed. “It’s not just any woman who would have taken the time to deal with my arrogance.”
“Uncle Tommy was the only one who could tolerate you, right? And Aunt Julie,” Bee teased.
“You’re getting kind of free with the insults aren’t you,” he laughed.
“I’m just teasing you,” she said and then looked at the interviewer. “My dad and my Uncle Tommy are best friends. They lived together for a long time and people thought they were a couple.”
Interviewer: “Is that right?”
“It didn’t bother me unless I was trying to get a date. Tommy and I were a unique situation. We were together because of Julie and nothing was going to stop us from keeping her with us. We would do anything for her.”
“No, they are family.”
“And we do anything for family,” Bee said.
The interviewer looked at them.
“Jack, if you could tell your daughter one thing about life, any piece of advice, what would it be?”
Jack was quiet for a minute.
“I would want her to know how proud I am of her, no matter what. I would want her to be happy,” he turned and looked at Sabrina. “I love you and you always have a home to come back to. There is nothing you could ever do that would make me turn away from you. I am so incredibly proud of you. Be happy and follow your heart, always.”
Sabrina wiped her eyes and hugged him.
“I haven’t left yet. I love you, too.”
The interviewer smiled.
Thank you both so much.