CHAPTER 1 – Pilot
“I will make you dance on the palm of my hand, and you won’t be able to breathe!!” bellowed professor Jerald.
We had become accustomed to his booming voice echoing in the Lab, cutting through the eight cream-colored ceiling fans. But, as soon as Mr. Jerald started his rant for the day, a beam of light flew through half a dozen windows situated at the far end of the room and landed on me and two of my mates. In addition, a pile of dust flew across my eyes courtesy of the ceiling fan. The best part of the lecture room was that the fan blades would shower us with precious dust particles, especially when the fans were switched on at the beginning of the session.
“Ayee you!!” shouted Dr. J, whose nickname was enough to send jitters down the spine of any of the hundred students. “Run and get me a cup of filter coffee,” he ordered Ravi, our classmate, with a smirk below his Fu Manchu mustache, accompanied by a mini goatee.
As soon as Ravi received the order, he got up and sprinted outside the preclinical room. Dr. J’s attention now turned towards us. The expression on his face had drastically changed; the smirk was replaced by a wide grin accompanied by downturned eyebrows.
“So, I heard you need patients for your final exams?” he inquired politely, with his tone filled with sarcasm.
We were in the final year of dentistry, standing in the sixth row of the classroom. As we looked up to answer the question, we observed Dr. J had bought a new pair of nine-numbered black shoes. His legs were crossed across each other, neatly placed on the desk next to the attendance register.
I gathered some courage but stammered while responding, “Y…Y… Yes Sir!!”
Dr. J’s eyes now turned red as he bawled, “WHAT IS YOUR NAME!!”
“K…K… Keisha!!” I replied, holding onto my courage, trying to remain unperturbed by the sound of evil echoing in the classroom.
Dr. J lifted his right foot, placed it on the side, moved his revolving chair towards the back, got up, and stood straight. “Ms. K…K… Keisha!! Answer this question for me,” he said and continued, in his irreverent tone, “For a second, let’s assume, I repeat ASSUME, you pass out of college, and somehow you open your clinic. Will you expect the college to find patients for you?”
The room and my mind were filled with an eerie silence; I was unsure how to respond. Then, my eyes glanced to my right, observing a drop of sweat trickle down Avani’s recently bleached sideburn. Onir was standing on the other side, slowly moving his fingers and counting numbers, which helped him stay calm.
As I shook my head without speaking, the silence in the room was broken by the hasty footsteps.
“Clomp! Clomp! Clomp! Clomp!”
Ravi was back with a fuming cup of coffee, and within seconds the room was filled with a smoky but herby aroma. The cup made a clattering sound as Ravi carefully placed the pair of a white cup and saucer on the wooden desk.
Dr. J’s face wore a big smile as he was instantly drawn towards the aroma as he picked up the cup with a silver lining at the top. He had not even taken a sip when his facial expressions showcased disgust, and he spitted out the few drops of java he tried.
What kind of RUBBISH BEVERAGE have you bought for me?” remarked Dr. J as his eyes were now blood-red.
Ravi was as calm as a cucumber, as he responded in a single word, “Coffee!!” while he was standing right in front of the desk with his back facing the class. At that exact moment, he unclutched his right hand, hidden away from Dr. J, to showcase a transparent mini bottle of salt to the class.
Except for us three standing idiots, the entire class had covered their mouths with their hands, as this was the only way to avoid showcasing the smirks on their faces.
“GET BACK TO YOUR DESK!!” shouted Dr. J as he commanded Ravi, quoting another of his favorite dialogues, “GET BACK, or I will suck your blood and spit on your face!!”
We could hear some silent murmurs from behind as my fellow friends remarked, “Huh! Here we are, sucking our own blood to perform these Lab tests, and now we need to donate some more blood to Lord J. Good Joke!!”
“You Three, it’s your headache to figure out how you find patients. DO YOU GET THAT?” bellowed Dr. J.
We nodded in agreement as Dr. J gestured, moving his right-hand fore figure up and down a couple of times, asking us to be seated.
“From the fire into the frying pan,” I murmured as we slowly sat down, reminiscing what transpired, still pondering how, in the world, us hundred students find patients for eight different subjects.
“Did you understand what just transpired?” I asked Arihan, who was seated in front of me in our office canteen.
“Yes, Kiesha, the story seems quite interesting till now,” responded Arihan nodding his head in agreement.
“Arihan, I know you are a good writer, so my next question is will you be willing to help me get my story across?” I asked him with my right hand, holding a cup of coffee.
“I would love to,” he responded as we continued to discuss more aspects of my journey in detail.
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