Thursday 6th January 1994 Portmere surgery 12:30
Today really was my last day at the surgery. We had a little party at lunchtime. Dr Lewis had made sausage rolls, Valerie Vaughan brought a Victoria sponge cake and Dad supplied a bottle of Champagne. Everybody said that they would miss me. Even Dad seemed upset.
“Have you enjoyed working in the surgery, Dennis?” Dr Lewis took a sip of her champagne.
“I suppose so. I am sad to be leaving.”
“What do you think has been the best thing about working here?”
“I don’t know.” I looked wistfully at Dr Lewis. “I suppose it must be the patients: getting to know them, seeing them in times of difficulty. I did not expect so many of them to be so brave.”
“Yes, it always surprises me,” Dr Lewis said. “When it comes to serious illness, most of our patients just grit their teeth and get on with it.”
“Are you including me?” said Valerie Vaughan as she came across.
“Come on, Valerie,” Dr Lewis continued, “you are as tough as an old boot. I can’t see you making a fuss about being ill.”
“I hope not, Lois, but you never really know how you will be when the time comes. Anyway, I came to tell you, Dennis, that I’m quite disappointed. I had set my heart on you taking over from your Dad when he retires. I was counting on you becoming my doctor.”
Mrs Vaughan took a deep breath. “I was wondering,” she continued, “what’s Dylan planning to do after he qualifies.”
“He is not interested in General Practice,” I said, “he hopes to become a cardiothoracic surgeon.”
“Oh!” said Mrs Vaughan.
Dr Lewis laughed. “It looks like you will be stuck with me Valerie.”
“I suppose it could be worse . . . for both of us! Well, let’s have a toast. To Dennis and an exciting new career in Journalism. Here’s looking forward to you coming back and writing for the Portmere Post.” Valerie Vaughan raised her glass.
“Yes, good luck Dennis,” said Dr Lewis. “I can’t wait to read your first article.”