This week’s word is:
1 a : a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances <had perfect confidence in her ability to succeed> <met the risk with brash confidence>
b : faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way <have confidence in a leader>
2 : the quality or state of being certain : certitude <they had every confidence of success>
3 a: a relation of trust or intimacy <took his friend into his confidence>
c : support especially in a legislative body <vote of confidence>
He sat in his wall-to-wall glass window office staring out, waiting. Upon her entrance, he felt the bright light illuminate her lovely presence.
He turned slowly to face her, his clenched fists stuffed inside his white coat pockets. He wearily made contact with her fatigued but serene eyes. He exhaled as he noticed that her cheeks had revived their faint, rosy glow beneath the strands of greying hair above her ears; she wore that familiar smile he had long missed seeing. She had had a tough few weeks, but she finally felt strong enough to drop by after her appointment. Between his patients and her treatment schedule, they had both looked forward to sharing a quick lunch together.
“I’m here to take my date to lunch, even if only at the boring cafeteria,” she declared.
He returned a worn smile and said, “Let me put this chart away and we’ll be off.”
He couldn’t. He just couldn’t tell her his morning patient’s diagnosis. The images of that scan in his chart from the oncologist's report seared into his souring eyes. At the appointment, he gave him his word. He would have to honor that doctor-patient confidentiality. Now gazing through his beautiful wife’s fragile eyes, he begged the deafening scream inside his head to cease. As he put away the patient’s chart, he also stuffed his promise into the same envelope, and sealed it away in confidence. He couldn’t tell which he hated more: that unforgiving Oath or his reluctant Word.
“Guess who came by earlier?” he said as casually as he could possibly sound.
“Hmmm?” she acknowledged as she wrapped her arms around his.
“Little Rascal,” he replied without looking at her.
“Oh,” she paused, “How’s my baby brother doing? Staying out of trouble?”
Together they walked toward the door and into the darkening hallway. He pulled from her clutch and put his arm around her.
“He says ‘Boo’ to his big sis,” he replied, and forcefully swallowed the rest of his thoughts.