Chapter 10: The Internship
“Well? What’s your assignment?” Jessica asked.
“Um… sports medicine,” I replied, handing the phone back.
Jessica looked confused. “I thought you wanted-”
“Surgery, yeah,” I said, grabbing my bag and heading for the door with Jessica on my heels. First thing in the morning, I would go to the dean of the medical school and ask for a reassignment.
“And why do you want to be reassigned?” the dean asked as I stood in front of her desk the next day. She was a curly-haired woman with glasses and a hard face.
I swallowed and tried to calm my
nerves. “It’s just… not the direction I was hoping to take,” I replied. “I don’t
Chapter 10 The Internship
like sports medicine.”
“You can’t just ask to be reassigned because you don’t like the internship,” the dean said. “And besides, you haven’t even tried it yet. How do you know you won’t like it?”
She was right– I couldn’t just ask for a new internship simply because I didn’t like my assignment, and there was no way I could explain the real situation to the dean. How could I tell the dean that I didn’t want to be assigned to the sports medicine internship because I didn’t want to be around Justin and Enzo?
The dean must have seen my pained expression, because she sighed and pulled out a form. “Just go to the first few sessions,” she said as she filled in a portion of the form. “If you still really hate it by then, come to me and we’ll see about a reassignment. Sound good?”
I nodded gratefully. I was still a bit disappointed that I’d have to go to a few sessions where I’d likely have to deal with the hockey team, seeing as how they were the most likely sports team to be injured, but at least I could get out after that. Not to mention that sports medicine was totally not even close to the field I actually wanted to work in.
The dean dismissed me and I exited her office. Jessica was sitting outside.
“Well?” she asked. “What did she say?”
“She said no,” I replied. “She wants me to try it first.”
“Hm…” Jessica tapped her chin as we headed toward the cafeteria for lunch. ” I know it’s not exactly what you wanted, but look at it this way: at least you get to deal with all of the handsome athletes, so you’ll never be bored!”
“Yay.” My voice sounded anything but excited.
“Aw, c’mon!” Jessica said, nudging me with her elbow. “How could you not be excited about getting to touch hot athletes all day?”
“I just don’t want to be around Justin,” I replied. I wanted to tell her that I didn’t want to be near Enzo either, but kept it to myself.
Justin, aside, whatever was happening between Enzo and I was getting weird. I wondered if he had something to do with my assignment, considering his influence in the school.
After classes that day, Jessica and I went home. Lori was sitting on the floor of the living room with a stained white sheet around her and a canvas that she was painting on.
“Ugh!” Jessica said, covering her nose and mouth with her shirt and running over to open the window. “The fumes!” Lori chuckled. “I didn’t notice anything.”
Chapter 10. The Internship
“Yeah, that’s because you’re high all the time anyway,” Jessica replied snarkily.
I couldn’t help but laugh at my friends’ interaction.
Later, it was time for me to go and meet my internship mentor for the first time. She sent me an email with her office information; it was located in between the soccer field and the hockey arena. It was chilly out and getting dark, so I threw my jacket on and headed over.
“Come in!” a chipper voice called when I knocked on the door. I opened it and poked my head in to see a pretty woman with wavy brown hair sitting at a desk. She looked up and flashed me a toothy grin as she waved for me to come in.
“You must be Nina!” she said, standing up from her desk and coming around to greet me. Much to my surprise, she hugged me. I was a bit taken aback by
my mentor’s vitality and warmth; it was not at all what I expected from a person who would deal with sweaty, whiny athletes all day. In fact, even though she was middle-aged, her bubbly personality made her appear ten years younger.
“I’m Tiffany,” she said when she finally pulled away from hugging me. I’m so happy to see another young woman working in sports medicine! We don’t usually get female students in here, so it’s always nice to know that there are other women who are passionate about it.”
I looked down at my feet, unsure of whether I should tell Tiffany that I actually didn’t want this internship or if I should just let her be happy for the time being.
She must have noticed my sad expression, though, because she looked at me with concern on her face. “Are you alright? You seem depressed. You know, I’m not just your mentor with this internship; I’m your mentor with everything!”
I bit my lip as I tried to come up with my response. For some reason, I felt comfortable being candid with Tiffany even though I was usually not the type of person to spill my feelings so easily.
“I hate to say this, but… I was actually hoping for a different internship.”
Tiffany’s face fell. She looked disappointed and a bit hurt, but nodded in an understanding manner.
“That’s okay,” she said. “What were you hoping to do? Did you talk to the dean?”
“I talked to her this afternoon,” I replied. “She told me to give it a try for a few sessions before I made my decision. But…”
I bit my lip again. Tiffany was incredibly kind and I hated to be so
rude to her since she seemed so excited
to have me as a student, but now I felt like it was better to just be open about it instead of suddenly withdrawing from the internship in a couple of weeks.
“Is there something else?” Tiffany said. “You can be honest with me. Was it the hug? I always forget that not everyone is a hugger.”
“No,” I replied, shaking my head vehemently. “It’s not you. It’s just that, well, one of the members of the hockey team is my ex boyfriend. And there’s another team member who I had a one night stand with, so it’s just a really awkward situation and I feel uncomfortable.”
Tiffany flashed me a sweet smile. “Sit down,” she said, gesturing to a chair across from her desk while she walked over to a small kitchenette. I sat down and watched as she filled an electric kettle with tea.
“I had drama like that when I was your age,” Tiffany said over her shoulder. “I
could tell countless stories from my college years about love gone wrong, week-long flings, unrequited feelings
The water started to boil. Tiffany dropped two teabags into mugs and then poured the hot water over them. She walked over and handed one to me, then sat down at her desk. I gratefully took the tea and let the hot steam waft into my face.
“I won’t be offended if you decide you want to leave after all,” she said. “But I think you should give it a shot. If I had let boys dictate my actions in college, I wouldn’t be working in a field that I absolutely love today, would I?”
Tiffany’s words hit me hard. She was right. Who were these boys to get in the way of my education? Maybe sports medicine wasn’t what I thought I would do, but maybe it could also turn into something that I really enjoyed.
Still I wished that I didn’t hAve to be
tangled up in this mess between Enzo and Justin. I just wanted to escape from them!
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