Josh is a family man, a good doctor and a man in love… with his best friend. All is well until Greg discovers how he feels. Sadly, he doesn’t feel the same way.
Heartbroken, Josh finds love elsewhere, with Glenn, a much younger man. They have a whirlwind romance, until one flawed decision threatens to tear them apart forever.
With all the complications in his love life, will this doctor find a cure to mend his broken heart?
Dr. Josh Adams and his best friend of ten years, Dr. Greg Marshall, walked side-by-side down the long corridor. Their steps were synced as much as their heights and appearance. Both men were six-foot-three, and sported dark brown hair and full beards. Even their eyes were the same dark espresso brown.
The scent of fresh paint and new carpet radiated from every direction. The new Doctors’ building was nearly complete; only a few finishing details remained. The large brushed nickel halogen sconces lit up the hallway so brightly you could see every detail of the décor without straining. The carpet was an impressive medium shag, done in a plaid pattern of maroon and navy, while the walls were bordered in the same hues along the ceiling line, with a shade of ecru in-between. It was a clean look, tastefully balanced been efficiency and luxury.
Greg touched the new wall, his fingers exploring the texture of it. “Nice place! When will it be finished?”
“Supposedly next week sometime,” Josh answered. “Ah, here we are, number 437.” He produced a set of keys and jutted a bright silver one into the lock of the suite to their left. “Come on; let me show you where I’ll be working, and hopefully you too.”
Greg glared at him. “I told you I don’t want to leave the hospital. How many times must I tell you that?”
Josh shushed him. “You say that now, but you’ll change your mind once you see this place.”
They walked inside the expansive waiting room. There were no chairs as of yet, but a large, circular reception area lay before them. The same colors that decorated the hallway were reflected here, the largest suite on the floor. Josh pulled at Greg’s arm and tugged him along.
“Come back here, the exam rooms are great. I watched them put in some of this stuff myself.”
Greg groaned and followed his friend. How could he not? He’d been best friends with Josh for the past decade and they did everything together. Their lives were almost parallel: same age, both married, two kids each. Even the same concentration in medicine—both general practitioners.
He remembered back to when they weren’t the best of friends. They’d both been assigned to the same hospital out of residency. At that time, Greg found himself sickened by the mere sight of Josh anywhere near him. He found Josh to be overbearing and thought he had a huge ego. Greg vividly recalled how they’d argue constantly and schemed of ways to avoid each other at all costs. They’d fought over every diagnosis until their teaching physician made them draw up a truce between them.
That was over a decade ago. Since then, the two had become practically inseparable and spent many hours together, as did their families. Their wives were good friends as were their children. Josh looked at the new offices and practically drooled. “This place is top-of-the-line everything. Look at this–a lab, right in-house!” He walked into the mid-sized room and saw new microscopes, centrifuges, refrigerators, everything a thriving practice needed to get faster results. “I’m going to love this.” He brushed Greg’s arm. “I’d love it more if you were in on this with me.”
There was more than a hint of sadness to Josh’s voice. For months, he’d been badgering his friend to join him at his new practice. It’d be three doctors: himself, Greg hopefully, and Dr. Bill Snyder. Snyder was a specialist in hematology, hence, the need for such a well-stocked lab.
“How many times do I need to tell you…?”
“And how many times has your lovely wife chastised you for the hours you keep? Even your children are against your hours, isn’t that what you told me just last week?” Josh stated matter-of-factly.
Greg nodded and walked around to the lobby again. He looked out the floor-to-ceiling windows into the large parking lot, at the pond with the walking trail just beyond it. “This place…it’s too much like a park for me. It’s not me.”
Josh groaned. “What is you? All work, no play, and a pissed off family? Do you really want to keep doing that?” He took his friend’s arm sharply. “Listen, if you say no for real, I’ll drop it, but I’ll have to find a third pretty quickly. I want you with me. More important, I think Amber would want you with me.”
Greg looked into his friend’s mutually dark eyes and attempted to gauge his emotions. Ten years of knowing the man had taught him a lot, but especially how to hold onto a dear friend he had no desire to lose. “Josh…I want to, but something just keeps telling me I’d be more useful at the hospital. I love the building, these offices are gorgeous. It’d be ideal for me if that’s what I was after, but I can’t. I’m sorry.”
Josh stared at him for a long moment and even opened his mouth, but no sound or words escaped. He closed it and nodded. “Okay, if you’re sure. Swear on your life sure?”
A laugh escaped Greg’s lips. “Swear on my life sure. I love you for thinking of me like this, to join you in your practice, but I can’t…maybe in a few years I will.”
“Is that a promise?” Josh brushed his friend’s beard with a quick swipe of his thumb. “Look me in the eye and promise me.”
It was like looking into a mirror for both of them. Greg smiled and nodded. “I promise.”
Josh pulled him in for a short hug. “Sorry I pressured you. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. Let’s go out for lunch.”
This seemed a bit quick for Josh to let go of the subject, but Greg didn’t question it anymore. “Absolutely, how about we get the families together and all hit that Mexican place?”
“Mmm, sounds good! Need to find a phone, call the wife.”
Greg glanced over at the receptionist area. There were several phones in strategic spots. He picked up the handset on one but heard nothing but silence. “Don’t these work yet?”
“No, not until tomorrow. Come on, there’s a phone in the lounge. Let’s go.”
“Wait, you sure you’re alright with me saying no to this?” Greg asked quickly.
Josh nodded. “If you’re not ready, I won’t push. I won’t have to. I think Amber’ll do that for me, or your darling kids will. How are they anyway?”
“Doing alright. They hate my hours, but I just won’t budge right now. I’ve worked it down to fifty hours a week and that’s pretty decent to me.”
“Aren’t you tempting fate by pushing her buttons? She’s got a temper.”
Greg laughed as they turned out the lights and locked the door. They started their trek to the hospital lobby next door. “Ah, refresh my memory? Kim could about rip you to shreds sometimes with her temper.”
“Very true. Our kids have seen some battles. Ben especially, since he’s the eldest. Damn! My kid’s a teenager! Where’d the time go?”
Greg pushed the button for the elevator. “Same place it always goes, right down the drain.”
The doors opened, and they stepped inside and pushed “L” for lobby. “Amen to that, my friend.”