Mia Evans needed some time to think, and she desperately needed to get out of the darkness. Then she realized that the area outside the door was well-lit, likely preventing a beam of light from appearing under the door into the lab area.
“Come on; you’re a smart chick. Get hold of yourself,” she whispered, as she chose to go ahead and flick the switch.
Mia closed her eyes in dread as she followed through with resolve, impulsively holding the doorknob from turning with her left hand as she popped the light switch up with her right. The room was filled with light, but not only from the fluorescent unit recessed above her. Just as Evans released the switch, the door knob turned, overpowering her feminine grasp. An unathletic-looking, light-skinned, balding man who looked to be in his late thirties was standing in the now-opened doorway, holding a small plastic sample cup with screw-on cap. Mia wanted to scream, and tried, but nothing came from her throat.
“Wow!” the man exclaimed. “I was expecting a few dirty magazines, maybe a poster of Heidi Klum or Katherine Heigl – maybe even a selection of adult videos if I needed them. But wow, not a personal assistant!” Fortunately for Mr. Wesley Sarbeck, a quick nap after his 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. police patrol would help him satisfy his half of the fertility equation.
Mia threw herself from the room designed for male sperm-donor collection, nearly knocking down the gentleman who stood smiling in surprise, still holding his empty specimen cup. She rushed toward the direction from which Dr. Chamblee and the female had appeared, hoping to find a door to the outside of the building and no one in her way. To her relief, Chamblee was nowhere in sight, and the tech who had admitted Wesley Sarbeck for his specimen collection was engaged in another far corner. The same woman, who had been talking with Knox Chamblee shortly before, was now performing the morning ritual of powering-up lab equipment while humming a Broadway show tune, unaware of the blur that was Mia Evans running by her in tiptoe fashion.
Just as the nice-looking girl bolted out the exit to the rear parking lot, Tinker Murtagh looked up from his freshly completed crossword puzzle. “This place is a surprise a minute – never know what’s gonna happen next,” he remarked as he finished his coffee with a final, loud slurp.
Cheryl Choice left the Center quickly after her appointment. Some visits there required a few minutes, some a few hours. Today’s had been one of the in-betweens. Despite the mild discomfort and queasiness, the procedure had become easier each time. As usual, her post-donation instructions included an admonition to avoid driving for 24 hours, a restriction she continued to ignore since her yellow Mercedes could practically drive itself home.
Cheryl was different from most of the others who participated in the program in that she was a bit older. She was tall for a woman, beautiful by most anyone’s tastes, and smart, almost regal in appearance, the kind of person who looks and acts wealthy even if not.
But Cheryl Choice was rich. And once more, she liked the new process of human egg harvesting touted on the Van Deman Center website. She liked the words cutting edge technology that the recruiter used when she answered the ad online. Seeming genuine and objective, the recruiter had helped Cheryl make comparisons between this new facility closer to home and her unpleasant previous experience in another state. Cheryl was thrilled to place herself in someone else’s hands, to have another chance at donating her eggs and feeling fulfilled.
The doctors at the infertility clinic in Georgia would assume no responsibility for the problems she experienced there, instead blaming Cheryl’s body for overreacting to the medicine routinely given in ovarian stimulation. As a result of the ovulation-inducing injections, her ovaries overproduced, unexpectedly yielding multiples of eggs and causing painful abdominal swelling. In addition to her swollen stomach, she was miserably puffy all over. She had lost her looks; she felt wretched.
FRESH FROZEN a novel by Darden North, MD
Published by Ponder House Press
299 pages, 6 X 9 inch hardcover print, color foil jacket.
Available wherever books are sold.
Also available as an ebook on Kindle, iPad, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, and Diesel
Excerpt Monday: Fresh Frozen by Darden NorthLarry Johnson
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