When her last patient had gone and the computers were powered down, Elizabeth reached into the overheard locker and squinted at the map, highlighted, worn and wonderful. She could’ve punched the address into her GPS, but that always felt too safe. Safe was for parent-teacher conferences and blacksmithing classes. Exploration, though: that required a MAP.
When had she wanted to become an endocrinologist, anyway? She didn’t mind the work, and she still got moderately animated about collaborations. She enjoyed telling strangers and especially old schoolmates that she was a doctor. After her formative years, that tiny piece of conversation had always proven itself worthy of the price of admission.
But somehow, it never felt authentic–as if she’d stolen the syllabus for someone else’s life. No one noticed. Her colleagues could wax eloquent about their fascinations, but Elizabeth never daydreamed about hormonal imbalances, never harbored gland-related excitement. She’d taken an archaeology class a decade before and wondered now why it had failed to captivate her, at a stage in her life before she’d agreed to pay back $300,000 that she could ill afford. Her fingers tightened around the map as she strode across the parking lot, teeming with a flavor of energy she hadn’t sipped in years.
Wasn’t she entitled to a bit of captivation?