“So, we’re doing this sterilization thing?” the patient asked.
The doctor looked at her sympathetically. “Hon, we don’t call it ‘sterilization’ here; it sounds so”—she scrunched up her nose in distaste—“medical.”
“It is a procedure.” It wasn’t a question. The doctor nodded anyway. “And it’s performed by a doctor.” Another nod. “In a hospital.” More nodding.
The patient jerked back a little, forcing the doctor to acknowledge her frustration. “Then how is it not medical?”
“Ah, well,” the doctor began, pulling on a pair of white latex gloves, “we see some people who find it scary to think about it as surgery that’s so permanent—”
“But it is permanent, right?”
“Yes, it is.”
“And they don’t want that?”
“It’s more complicated than you’re making it sound, hon,” the doctor said, sitting back on her rolling stool while the patient hopped up onto the high table.
“I guess so,” the patient agreed, though she sounded far from convinced.
“Are you ready?” the doctor asked.
“Yes, let’s get this overwith.”
“And you’re sure you don’t want to reconsider?”
“I’ve been considering for ten years. Get on with it.”
The doctor leaned forward again. “All right. Take a deep breath; this will sting.”
This post is part of Flash Fiction February.