Chapter Six

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Day 3.

Three is the number of wishes granted. (Tell me your three wishes and I will gladly grant them.)

Earth is the third planet from the sun. (Saturn, the third largest object in our solar system)

On the count of three we will have a good day. (One, two, three)

The day started out wonderfully for Chris – for the first thirty minutes. Then Dr Max had a run in with one of the nurses and everything progressed downhill from there. In tears, the nurse went home and Martha was left scathing over Dr Max's treatment of the staff. It didn't get any better from there. Through the smiles and polite conversations with patients coming and going, the undercurrent of the surgery was thick. Chris didn't want to think about how Eric or the other interns were coping but he was sure they were eagerly counting down the days, if not hours, before they left.

Chris wanted to strangle Dr Max with his bare hands. The man was a pompous old fool determined to make everyone's life a misery. It made Chris so mad but all he could do was calm the waters and get through the day. At lunchtime, he and those joining him, fled to the shopping centre across the road for an hour of relief. On his return, Chris found Eric in the lunchroom, his head in his arms against the table. He ignored Chris as he put his bag in his locker and Chris wondered if Eric had fallen asleep.

"Eric." Chris whispered next to his ear, as he crouched beside him.

Eric replied with an inaudible murmur.

"Is everything fine?"

With a slight turn of his head, Eric opened an eye and glanced at Chris.

"Hey" he said.

The pounding of Chris's heart reached his ears, as his mouth dried and his hands grew clammy. Eric affected him in such a way Chris struggled to remain in control.

"Hey, everything fine?" Chris asked surprised at how calm he sounded.

"I swear that man has it in for me." Eric replied, turning his head back against his folded arms.

"You and everyone else today. Stacey went home in a state after Dr Max yelled at her."

"Yeah, I heard. Will she be fine?" Chris remained crouched to decipher Eric's muffled voice.

"Sure. Martha is on the war path so give her a wide berth."

"Will do."

"Two more days. At least you have that pleasure." A sense of disappointment and awkwardness engulfed Chris and with no immediate reply from Eric, Chris stood.

Eric sat up and stretched his arms above his head. Crease marks from his shirt lined his face and his hair looked tousled. Chris glanced away before his eyes were once more drawn to Eric.

"As much as I'm looking forward to the end of Friday, the real pleasure here would be a massage. My neck is killing me." Eric said.

Chris gave a nervous chuckle to hide his thoughts, before replying, "I'm not surprised sleeping at the table like that."

Eric stretched a little further before dropping his arms and rolling his shoulders.

"I wish I could get a neck rub right now. God knows I need it."

It took Chris a moment to understand what Eric was asking. With a glance at the door and ears alert, Chris replied, "Do I?"

The wide grin on Chris's face brought laughter from Eric.

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