Page 4

 

The doctor pulled out a cigarette from the wrinkled pack.

  "I guess the rules don't apply to you, ¿verdad doctor?" Julian asked as he pointed to the round NO SMOKING sticker stuck on the door.

  The doctor turned around, his back facing Julian as he proceeded to peel it.

  "I've only been open for a few days and haven't had the chance to remove it. Unlike the medical doctor who rented this place before I moved in, I don't mind my patients smoking. It helps with their therapy." the doctor admitted. 

  Unable to peel off the sticker, the doctor turned around; Julian was now standing in front of him with his gun pointed straight at the doctor's head.

     "What do you mean before you moved in?" Julian removed his finger off the trigger. 

     "What kind of doctor are you?" Julian asked. 

The doctor kept calm and slowly raised his hands midway to his shoulders.

  "I'm a psychiatrist, and yes, I've only been here two or three days, I can't remember. I've been painting and fixing this place day and night. Please, my wallet is in the drawer, and you can take my cell phone; it's in my briefcase; I assure you it's not the fake one."

     "Fuck!" Julian raised his voice in anger. 

     "I didn't come here to rob you, now sit the fuck down." 

     Julian lowered his gun and began slowly pacing back and forth in front of the doctor, murmuring profanities.

     "¡Chingado, pinche cubículo!" 

      Julian sat down on the edge of the desk over towering the doctor.

     "Baje las manos." 

     The doctor lowered his hands like Julian ordered and slowly leaned forward to pick up the cigarette he had dropped on the floor and placed it between his lips again. 

     As the doctor looked up at Julian, he asked-

     "Is there anything else you need?" 

     "Si, you have an extra one for me?" 

      The doctor removed the last cigarette from the wrinkled pack and handed it to Julian, then reached inside his vest pocket, 

    "Stop!" Julian raised his voice. 

    Julian leaned forward, pointing the pistol to the doctor's groin, and reached inside the vest. He pulled out a lighter and gave it to the doctor. The doctor flipped the cap and started to rotate the spark wheel several times, unsuccessfully sparking a flame. 

   "Pinche encendedor", the doctor cursed the lighter.

    Julian pulled out a small box of matches from his blazer. He took out a match and struck it. Julian stretched his arm out and positioned the match just close enough so that the doctor could lean forward and make contact with the flame. However, he hesitated, seeing how Julian still had the gun in his hand. Julian placed the weapon beside him on the desk and proceeded to light the doctor's cigarette; he then lit his own. The doctor took a deep draw of his cigarette, no doubt the best he's ever had. He then placed the chrome-plated lighter on the table. Julian stared at it, and on its reflection, through the haze of the cigarette smoke, he sees the monster he has become. Julian picked up the cigarette lighter, and with his thumb, began to flip the cap up and down. The lighter had the doctor's name engraved on the cap, and on one side, a personalized engraving-"Para mi Querido Doctor de Su Querida Esposa." 

     "It was a birthday gift from my wife," the doctor uttered. 

     "¿Como?" Julian asked, failing to understand what the doctor said. 

     "Si, she passed away last year. She didn't like me smoking. I've wanted to replace the-¿como se dice, how do you say wick?" the doctor asked. 

     Julian nodded.

    "It would have been nice to see it work perfectly again one last time."

    Julian stood up and patted the doctor in the arm. 

   "Don't worry, doctor, you'll probably die of cancer." 

    Julian slowly walked out of the room. 

Frontera Alternative Independent Media Studio