Distractions are everywhere we look these days: news, social media. It’s just hard to get away from it and easy to lose focus.
We had begun packing up my office. I took a shield off the wall and noticed a name I had just added: Dr. Mike. I smiled as I remembered.
I was in town, just flying overhead. My chest tightened up, alerting me to someone in need. I flew in the direction of the tug and noticed a man about 35, with brown hair, a dimpled chin, and black-rimmed glasses in blue scrubs. He was looking at his phone as he was walking toward me. Whatever he was looking at made him smile.
I landed on a nearby roof and watched him, the tightness in my chest growing stronger as he passed me. Okay, this was new. I flew to the ground, tucked my wings into my back, transformed my clothes, and followed him. As we approached the corner, the light was red, but Michael didn’t stop. I ran up behind him, pulled him back just as a truck barrelled through the intersection.
“Gotcha,” I said as we stepped back.
He removed his ear pods and looked around. “Huh? Oh, thank you!”
“Be careful. You look like you’re essential,” I said, pointing to his name badge for Olympus General Hospital.
He laughed. “Yeah, I guess we all are. Thanks.” He waved at me as he continued on his way.
I thought that was it, but something about this man still tugged at me. I let out a sigh and continued to follow him.
He went into the Dark Sparks near the hospital. He picked up the take-and-go boxes of coffee we offered for meetings and such. He placed an order to have 15 lunch boxes delivered for a staff meeting later in the day.
He left the coffee shop and cautiously crossed the street and ambulance bay to enter the hospital. He headed toward the elevators, stopping to hand the security guard a cup of coffee.
“A cup of joe, light on the sugar this time, Joe. Need to watch those sugars.”
“Thank you, Dr. Mike. How’s your day?”
He nodded and waved. “Can’t stop to chat. I hear my phone is ringing off the hook today.”
“I can only imagine. Thank you for the coffee,” the guard called after him.
I followed him into the crowded elevator. He exited on the twentieth floor, and I squeezed out behind him. He was scarily oblivious to his surroundings, as if his mind was working so hard on other problems that he just didn’t pay attention to what was happening around him. He opened his office door and was bombarded with questions. It was a frenzy of voices, people clamoring for his attention and shouting at him. I ducked into a small alcove seating area, just out of sight, and listened.
“When will we get our supplies?” a woman demanded.
“What shall I tell Dr. Martina about the funds she needs?” someone else asked.
“Where are the new scrubs?”
Another woman’s voice, “You have surgery at 8:45 and 11:30 today.”
Dr. Mike was amazing. He answered with calm reassurance, and by the time they left, they were smiling. I watched each person walk past me to the elevator, hearing the door close behind the last. The tug was still there, the ache deep in my chest, pulling me toward this man. I let out another sigh and popped out.
I opened my wings and swept off the roof, counting down the floors to the 20th level. I glided slowly past the windows, each of them with a small balcony off of the offices. My sharp gaze caught on Mike and what must be his secretary. I spun and lightly landed on the rail, staying just out of sight as I perched close to the building. I peeked through the window as the woman handed him a stack of messages. She pointed to his desk, where all the lights on his phone were lit up.
Dr. Mike tossed his backpack on the small sofa and sat down. He took three clearing breaths and picked up the phone, making his way through all the calls. They were all about the virus and how they were handling it. And yes, they were taking donations. Please tell people to stay home or wear a mask. He must have taken at least 35 calls like this, and as soon as he hung up the phone, the button would light up again.
Dr. Mike’s phone finally stopped ringing when his secretary stuck her head into his office and said, “You are due in surgery on the 14th floor in 30 minutes.” He gulped down what remained of his coffee and hurried out of his office. I popped back in on the 14th floor, adjusted my appearance, added a doctor’s coat, and joined a group of interns in the surgery observatory.
This man fascinated me. He was very patient and seemed to have this all together. But I couldn’t help feeling that I needed to stay near him.
I sat and watched as he performed the CABG. I snorted, and the interns laughed as the doctor in the room referred to the procedure as cabbage. Coronary artery bypass grafting…Cabbage.
Dr. Adamidis, who was leading the class of interns, pointed out that Dr. Mike was one of the youngest surgeons Olympus General had ever hired. He was an innovative doctor who was willing to bet his entire career on a new procedure if he thought it would save a life. Last year when a woman came through in hard labor. They had sent her home three times prior. This time she was bleeding, and Dr. Mike was in the ER rotation. The woman was in extreme pain, couldn’t get warm, and was bleeding from placenta accreta. Dr. Mike had her moved upstairs right away. They got her into the OR, and he did the surgery himself. Having double majored in medical school, he did two different rotations of residency and specialized in OBGYN women’s health and Cardiothoracic.
Listening to the doctor tell the tale of how Dr. Mike saved this woman’s life along with her child’s made my heart soar. This man was passionate about doing all he could to help people, something we had in common.
Five hours later, Dr. Mike finished with both surgeries and headed to a staff meeting with the head of the financial department. I remembered the lunches were to be delivered. I intercepted the delivery guy, Sherman, telling him I’d do it for him. It surprised him to see me, but he knew I must have my reasons. I made it to the meeting room before anyone arrived and placed the box lunches he had ordered from Dark Sparks on the tables. I changed my appearance again, switching to a suit and a white coat, my hair pulled back to blend in. As everyone filed into the room, they exclaimed over the meals. I was surprised that each box was exactly what everyone in the room loved. I exited the room as the meeting got underway.
I wandered a bit, stopping to look at a wall of pictures of people who had been exceptionally helped or saved by the hospital. I couldn’t help but notice someone I knew. I pulled out my phone and made a call.
After Dr. Mike’s meeting was over, he checked on the two patients he had performed surgery on earlier in the day. I followed him throughout the day, careful to stay at a distance or just out of sight. It was hours before he headed back to his office, and I could feel his weariness. His shoulders stiffened as his assistant came running down the hall toward him. “Dr. M., You…You need to come see this right now,” she said, tugging him along.
“What is it, Margarita?”
“Come see for yourself!” I returned to the small alcove and took a seat as she walked him over to the window. A truck was unloading crates of medical equipment, and two more were lined up.
“Is Dr. Mike here?”
Dr. Mike came out in the hall to find a man standing there. “I’m Dr. Mike.”
“Dr. Mike, you might not remember me, but you saved my wife and my baby last year when she was really sick. I just wanted to thank you.” The man gave Dr. Mike a bill of sale paid in full. Twenty thousand masks, ten thousand new scrubs, and the list went on and on. At the bottom, it read, Thank you from all of us.
Dr. Mike’s eyes widened in surprise.
“It looks like this little town heard your need for supplies, and they got them for you,” Margarita said to him.
I watched Mike stagger from the kindness.
“My name is David Papadopoulos, and my wife is Mina. When we got a call from…”
My eyebrow raised. I didn’t want him to say who called him.
“A friend told us of your needs here. My crew and I were going to deliver this to the local shops, but I told them it would be in their best interest to send them to the hospital.”
“But who called you?” Mike asked, still stunned from the donation.
David rubbed at his chest as he removed a winged pendant from under his shirt. “She said to tell you this is a victory that you needed.”
I smiled as he delivered my message. If they only knew they had a goddess in their midst.
Dr. Mike shook David’s hand, grateful for the answer to his prayers.
I decided my work here was done, but there was still this pull to stay with him. So I did. I was in the hallway when I heard some others talking about Dr. Mike.
“This is amazing that someone would just deliver exactly what we needed when we needed it most.”
Another person said, “We are so fortunate to have a doctor that cares about his patients so much.”
“He’s been here every day since the breakout. He hasn’t seen his family in months.”
What did she say? Months? That’s why he was distracted. He must have been chatting with them on the phone.
“He’s been staying at the resident’s housing so as not to bring the virus to his family. His wife had to do everything with the three kids at home, homeschooling, and the new baby. I can only imagine what he’s going through,” the other said as they passed me in the hall.
Aha, I see now. I felt there was more I could do for Dr. Mike here. He took care of others, a selfless man, and he deserved a victory worthy of a hero, and I was determined to get one for him.
I made another phone call while the doctor was chatting with Mr. Papadopoulos. I called another one of my friends and told him what I needed, and he said he would make all the arrangements.
I wanted to give Dr. Mike something he really needed. His family.
About two hours into the evening, a transparent bus arrived outside. I popped back upstairs and knocked on Dr. Mike’s office door.
“Yes, come in.”
I entered, noticing that his office was clear, and he was looking over the invoice from the delivery.
“Hello again,” I said as I walked into his office.
He looked up at me and motioned for me to sit. I shook my head. “No thanks. I need to show you something. Come look out your window with me.” He got up and looked outside. “See that bus down there?”
“Yes. That’s odd. It’s see-through.” He looked at me, puzzled.
“Yes, it is. There is a special patient down there that needs to see you.”
Dr. Mike’s phone rang, and he crossed to answer it. “Yes, this is Dr.—”
“Dr. Mike, we need you down here right away!” Joe, the security guard, said.
“I don’t know, but we need you down here.”
Hanging up the phone, Dr. Mike headed to the elevator. I followed.
In the elevator, he looked at me. “Do I know you?”
“Yes, from this morning when the truck ran the light.”
“Aha, that’s right. Do you work here? I don’t think I have seen you before.”
“I’ve been in the NICU a lot.”
“Hmm, I don’t get down there much these days.”
“I know.” The doors opened at the main level, and he rushed into the lobby.
“Mike, over here,” called Dr. Marina. Dr. Mike rushed over to her.
“Here, you need to put this on and get inside this.” She handed him a hazmat-like suit and showed him a giant plastic bubble to climb inside. Once he was safely inside, they told him to walk. I followed.
Once we got outside, the people on the bus got out and came around the bus. His kids ran up to him in this giant bubble, screaming, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! We missed you.” Each one clung to the bubble, trying to get to their father.
His wife, Sofia, ran the best she could, carrying their nine-month-old. The best part was when the man that picked them all up helped move Dr. Mike to the grass and showed him the armholes where he could hug his kids and his wife safely, without touching them. With the plastic-covered gloves attached to the bubble. I don’t think there was a dry eye on the hospital lawn that night. The touching scene continued to unfold, with all the hugging and tears of joy. I nodded at Petros, the bus driver, and he delivered my message.
“Dr. Mike, excuse me, this is for you.” Petros handed the doctor’s wife my note.
She read it out loud.
Well done, sir. It isn’t every day I get to watch an extraordinary person, a selfless man, do their best, above and beyond what most would do. I followed you all day today as if I were your shadow. I watched how you handled everything that came your way with dignity and grace. I saw your tears, and I saw your joy. I wanted to grant you these Victories today. The first a life worth saving, the second for the lives you saved, and the third for what gives your life true meaning, your family. Thank you. You’re a true hero and champion in my book.
Keep the pendant as a reminder of this day.”
Your Victory Goddess,
Even as his wife read the letter and saw the pendant, she burst into tears, for there were two pendants and a PS: Sofia, I heard you. Be blessed. Your Victory is granted as well. N
I turned to leave after seeing all was well.
Smiling at that memory, I placed the shield in one of the crates to be moved downstairs.
To all the Doctors, Nurses, Health Care Workers, and suppliers: We at the Pantheon want to thank you for being our heroes in this time of crisis. May you stay safe and see your families soon. We can’t get through this without you. Keep up the outstanding work. We appreciate you more than we can say. The Gods and Goddess of Olympus, see you.