Luke was in a foul mood. The clinic was completely flooded, and he'd been seeing patients all day. He skipped lunch, and his most annoying patient was coming in soon. This woman, Mrs. Nye came in with every ache and pain she had, she was a lonely old woman whose husband had died, and she had driven away her only son. This was not what annoyed Luke; Luke didn't mind the lonely old lady coming in every day with a pain, it was that she criticized every little thing about him. His ties were never on straight, he always needed a haircut, he should consider whitening his teeth. Why were his teeth so yellow anyways? She concluded that it was due to the fact that he drank coffee, drank beer, and ate steak, all of which she disapproved of. Normally he would listen to her whining and then send her on her way, but today, when he had a deluge of sick patients and referrals to write, he couldn't possibly deal with Mrs. Nye. His anger and frustration mounted as four o'clock neared.
"Dr. Davies?" his secretary, a rather large black woman who rarely didn't look like a Christmas tree, addressed him; he looked up from his computer. "There's a patient that's insistent on seeing you, but you're completely booked. She says she has to see you today." Carole was just as annoyed as Dr. Davies; she had been his secretary since the clinic began, she wasn't very good, hardly reliable, and she wasn't very productive. Despite her flaws, Luke was too afraid to fire her, she had attitude, and she scared him. "What do you want me to do?"
"I can't, I have to be home at five today," Luke said absentmindedly returning to his paperwork. Carole picked up the phone again.
"Miss Lancaster?" Luke felt all the blood drain from his body, his eyes widened as he looked at Carole. He stood up, almost knocking his chair over from excitement.
"I'll take her!" he yelled. Carole looked up at him and swung her head back in confusion.
"You'll do what?" she asked covering up the phone, "Mmm mmm, Dr. Davies, you have to be home at five today," she reminded him shaking her head.
"Carole," he said sternly. She cleared her throat and shot him a nasty look.
"Miss Lancaster, Dr. Davies has an opening, he can see you at five today. Mmm hmm. Mmm hmm," Luke strained his ears to try to decipher what Carole was saying but she only occasionally said mmm hmm. "Your first name?" Luke could barely hear Carole his heart was pounding so quickly; he could feel it and hear it in his ears, in his throat, beating wildly trying to get out of his chest. He waited for it, and when she said it, was like slow motion: Addison. He almost toppled over his desk when she said it. Carole gave him another quizzical look when she hung up the phone.
Luke looked at the clock, he had one hour before Addison, his Addison would be walking through the door. Had he known she was coming today, he never would have worn this tie, yellow. It didn't match his blue eyes at all; what was he thinking? He did need a haircut; his black hair was all over the place. He sighed trying to pat it down to look more presentable. If only he'd known he would have prepared, he would have worn his light blue shirt and dark blue tie to match his eyes…and hers. He would have worn different pants, and a different belt, different shoes. He raised his arm over his head and took a whiff of his pits. He grimaced, he should've put on more cologne this morning, more deodorant.
"Dr. Davies?" Carole walked in again, interrupting his self-deprecation. "You have patients," she said motioning towards all the patients in the waiting area. Maybe if he saw them quickly he could run and get some deodorant at the store… Carole cleared her throat.
Luke went into the examination room immediately chastising himself for having painted the examination room the ugly puke green. Furthermore, the wallpaper, purple and pink… Luke saw a whirlwind of patients, including Mrs. Nye, and barely had time to notice that it was already 5:10. Addison was already in his clinic; she had already appraised the clinic's colors, drapes, wallpapers, and carpet. She had met his rude secretary, and she had been made to wait ten minutes.
Luke escorted his patient out of waiting room four, barely pausing to say goodbye before turning to Carole, who pointed at waiting room three. Luke took a deep breath before turning the knob. He had that sick sensation again, that feeling his heart in his ears sensation. There she was, the same as she had looked a few days ago in the coffee shop.
"I'm Dr. Davies," he asked managed, hoping that at any minute, she would laugh at his formality, jump into his arms and kiss him. She stood and Luke could feel his fantasy coming true.
"Are you Luke Davies?" She asked, her voice unlike Addison's characteristic raspy voice. He nodded.
"I'm Addie Lancaster, you went to school with my mother…" she trailed off hoping that he would acknowledge the fact in some way.
"Yeah, I know your mom, is she with you? God, I'd love to see her," he made his way to the door and looked back at her. There were some differences between the two women, not just their voices, but Addie lacked the spray of freckles that Addison had across her nose. She frowned at him.
"No," Addie paused, "she died," she said surprised, as if she had only found out herself. Luke felt the wind knocked out of him, like Addie had just kicked him, he couldn't breathe, he knew he was white as a sheet. He could feel the blood rushing from his head, but the blows just kept on coming, "I thought you knew," she said apologetically, as she saw his face change.
"How would I know?" he asked angrily.
Addie looked at him and then at the floor, "She knew she was dying, she called people…to say goodbye." She hadn't called him. Maybe she had wanted to, but she couldn't find him, he had moved recently after all, and his number was unlisted.
"I moved recently," he offered, trying to hide his obvious pain. Addie frowned.
"She died sixteen years ago," she said slowly, her blue eyes locking wit his. His Addison had died sixteen years ago. Where was he sixteen years ago? Why had no one told him? Surely she had called Charlotte or Meg or Ben. "I'm sorry. I really…I thought you knew." Addie watched as Luke sat down, he looked pained, like he couldn't breathe. "Did…did you know her well?" She stuttered. He looked up horrified.
"We dated for four years," he managed, "yeah, I knew her well." He was angry. Addison had left him; Addison had left him sixteen years ago; Addison had knowingly left him sixteen years ago. More than he felt his anger, he felt pain. Sure, he hadn't seen Addison in twenty years, but there was always the possibility that he would run into her one day in a crowded street, or in a coffee shop, similar to the way in which he'd seen her daughter. Her daughter? She married. She moved on from him. She had children before he did. His eldest was only fourteen.
"You dated my mother?" Addie said from behind her crooked teeth that were also unlike her mother's. "You don't have a box. My mother kept boxes of everything, of every guy she dated, there's a gap in her college box, I only found you because of a picture."
"I have my box," Luke said putting his head into his hands as he sat next to Addison's daughter. "Your mom wanted to forget me, she gave me my box." Luke was almost on the verge of tears. Addie didn't say anything; she wasn't sure what to say. Luke is the first person from college Addie sought out, and it was just on a whim. She didn't expect him to fall apart, she didn't expect him to really know her mother.
"I never met my mother, she never even got the chance to hold me. They told her there was a good chance that she would die during childbirth, and she didn't even get the chance to hold me. I just wanted to get to know her. I'm sorry," Addie said looking sorrowfully at Luke. He got up from his chair and looked exasperatedly around the room.
"Come here," he said walking out of the exam room. Carole stood up.
"Dr. Davies," she said annoyed, "I'm leaving, it's nearly six." Luke waved her away and Addie followed him into his office, hearing Carole grunt her disapproval. Luke reached behind his medical books and pulled a shoebox off the bookshelf. It looked worn, but it wasn't dusty, implying that Luke looked at frequently enough to keep it from getting dusty.
"You keep my mother's shoebox at your job?" Addie asked incredulously.
"I'm married, I didn't want to hurt my wife," he said abashedly. He held up a finger and called Haley to let her know he would be late, making up some lie about paperwork before saying he loved her. "You said you had a picture?" Luke asked Addie, taking in every aspect of her form, she was a near carbon copy of her mother, except for their teeth and their voices few subtle traits differentiated the two.
"Yeah, oh, yeah, do you know who Leonard is?" Addie asked pulling out a picture of Luke and Addison. The eighteen-year old Addison was carrying Luke piggyback. She was turned, looking back at him, laughing. He too was laughing, one of his legs on the ground, his head thrown back in the air. He sighed taking the picture in his hand, a lump in his throat formed. It was the last day of freshman year; they weren't going to see each other for a month. Why had this been the only picture she kept? Of all the pictures she ripped, and of the few she let him keep, why did she keep this one?
"Leonard?" Luke asked.
"Yeah, on the back…" Luke turned the picture over, it said Leonard, with a heart beneath it, 205 206 8687. He smiled weakly.
"It's our dorm. Leonard was the name of our dorm. 205 was her room number, 206 was my room number, and freshman year was 1986-1987," he said handing the picture back to her. "That's how we met, we lived right next door to each other he said fondly. Addie took the picture back and looked at the picture of the nineteen year old Luke, laughing while on her mother's back. She had no idea this was the man that had loved her mother all through college. He looked older, tired, his eyes weren't lit the same way that they were in the faded picture. Was that life in his eyes only due to her mother? He had turned to look out the window. The two of them stood in his office in the awkward silence that encapsulated them, formed from the cold hard truth that Addison had been ripped from them, Addie without knowing her, and Luke without knowing she had died.
A/N: dun-dun-dun. I hope you like this chapter, I do. There's going to be more on the relationship between Luke and Addison and a few more characters will come into play.