Stephen gestured for a nurse to come back in. “Let’s talk out here.” He pulled Clark out into the hall. “No idea if it’s abuse, but his records might give us some insight, which is why I wondered if he brought them. Some of the classic behavioral signs are there; withdrawn, not the most charming when you talk to him and dig too deeply, guarded, and no contacts, except for an emergency contact, who happens to be a lawyer.”
“Also traits of someone who might be in trouble with the police.” Clark hated to admit it, but there was always that possibility. Wesley didn’t strike him as a criminal, though. Not at all, and that was Clark’s gut doing the talking.
“That crossed my mind,” Stephen agreed.
“Are you going to ask a friend of yours at the local Police Department to look him up?”
“No.” Stephen shook his head. “The reason for that is the burn marks on Mister Traylor’s feet. Like I said, I’m guessing they’re from childhood, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and leaning more towards abuse. If it is abuse and someone is looking for him, any check my friend does will be officially logged, and it’s possible the wrong eyes could see the inquiry, and the location.”
Clark mulled the situation over. “I’ll see about getting him into the office, and getting permission to have his records sent here.” If nothing else, the records would be a start. Unless, of course, someone was monitoring to see if his doctor sent those records to a new location. Stranger things had happened, and if someone wanted to stalk or locate someone else, it’d be a logical strategy.
“Be careful with that, okay?” Stephen warned. “We have no idea what his story is, and it may not be something we want to get involved in, or even can get involved in. There was enough drama around here during COVID. You had some complications with the fallout of that yourself. Let’s not invite something else if we can avoid it. Plus, it’s probably not any of our business, or what we’re thinking it might be.”
I’ve had Dilaudid before, and morphine.
Why did those words keep going through Clark’s mind? Maybe Wesley’s story was exactly what they thought.
“He’s probably not going to give me permission anyway.” Clark thought back to his conversations with Wesley and cringed. Had he actually offered to bring the patient a bottle of wine after he recovered? Who does that? Someone who babbles when he’s taken by surprise. “I don’t think I made the best first impression. Am pretty sure he’s not the least bit fond of me.”
“Hey there, sleepyhead,” the nurse piped up from inside the surgical room. “You sure opened your eyes a whole lot sooner than I thought you would. Let’s get you wheeled into recovery.”
He woke up sooner because he didn’t want to go under.
Wesley must have used every bit of his willpower to open his eyes as soon as possible, even if he wouldn’t remember it because of the anesthesia. Or maybe it was fear. Fear could be a powerful motivator.
Clark heard the nurse adjust the pedals on the bottom of the gurney and unlock the wheels in order to move Wesley into the recovery area. He and Stephen stood to the side as the nurse wheeled Wesley out of the operating room and into the hall.
“Let me know if you find anything out, Clark,” Stephen commented, watching their patient go by.
“Clark?” Wesley turned his head slowly towards them, stared at the two doctors, or at least tried to. The poor man could barely focus. Wesley grinned, clearly still somewhat loopy from the anesthesia. “Yerr names is Clark?” he slurred. “What parents names their hot son Clarks?”
Stephen started laughing, reached out and put his arm around Clark. “Not fond of you? It sounds to me like he likes you just fine. You may even have an admirer.”
Clark felt his cheeks heat as blood rushed to his face. It looked like he’d have to get that bottle of wine now after all. That was, if he ever wanted to know a little bit more about how Wesley received those scars.
It may be like Stephen said. It may not be any of my business.
What had Wesley said? You like my eyes. They hated me for them, but not you.
Who hated him? Who hates someone enough to burn the bottoms of their feet, or leave scars on their back, arms, and forehead? Just what the hell had he been through?
I’ve had Dilaudid before, and morphine.
Clark bet he had.
And I want to know why.