“Ah, thank you…I get that a lot, but truthfully I’m older than I look,” He smiled coyly, thinking it was amusing that everyone thought he was so young. It made his life difficult, actually; a lot of patients didn’t want to be seen by someone inexperienced, so if they didn’t know him personally they might think he was just starting out.
“Yes, it is pretty difficult…I spend most of my time in books when I’m not seeing patients. I get called in the night sometimes, especially if there’s a baby being born in the middle of the night…” He thought of what she mentioned; he really should talk to the doctors in other villages. It would probably be a good thing to network between their health expertise, but he hadn’t gotten up the courage to network just yet.
“That would be wonderful!” He said at the thought of seeing Karen and Blondie again, and having company. He truthfully did love animals, so much so that he would sometimes walk by the farms nearby just to see them. The ones wandering around town he would occasionally put food out for, but he never could get them to stay - and even if they did, he was sure he wouldn’t have enough time for them.
“To tell you the truth, at times it can be lonely. I have Irene helping me at the clinic, and I visit with my patients, but my professional connection to the other villagers makes it difficult to make actual friends.”
“I’m still impressed, regardless. I know it’s a lot of work to get into that sort of field. Did you grow up here? I mean, I can’t imagine being a doctor in a small town after being in the city… But I get told all the time that I romanticize the city, so maybe that’s why I think that way.” He still looked her age, she thought, but she didn’t think it would be nice to pry like that - not when she’d just met him.
Karen had always complained about her jobs, but just hearing how busy he was, she felt a little bad and she frowned thoughtfully. “That sounds exhausting… Ah, but I bet it’s also rewarding, right? I mean, that’s why people become doctors! Bringing a new life into the world must be pretty amazing! Aside from the, err.. Mess…” she grimaced, but there was a hint of humor in those green eyes, a small smile on her face.
Ah, so she had been right about him getting lonely. She felt sad for him. He had such an important job, and surely he was well respected, but because of his job, he couldn’t get too close to the people he lived near. It seemed a little unfair to Karen, who frowned sympathetically. “Well, hey. I’m not from your village, and I’m kind of in the market for a new friend. My.. Best friend recently took off, along with another friend of mine…” the pain was obvious in her words, but she smiled sadly again as she added, “So, I could be your friend. Blondie and I can come by, and even if you get off late, it’s fine for me. My second job is as a bartender, so I work late most nights.”
Realizing she was still kneeling on the sand, she stood up and brushes off her legs, flushing as she nodded to the seat next to him, “Uh, mind if I sit with you?”
As soon as she stood up, so did Blondie, and the dog hopped right back up on the bench next to Jin, tongue lolling to one side, tail wagging. Clearly her manners were not as good as Karen’s.
“I’ve always enjoyed living in a small town,” Jin laughed at the mention of the city, because he knew very well what it was like - he did get his training in the city, but came back to the quiet life. Perhaps it was just his type of environment; the quiet made him happy. “And yes, it is a very rewarding job; I love it, don’t get me wrong…It’s tiring but I think the smiles I bring back to people’s faces make it worth the while.”
At the mention of her friends leaving, he frowned, even though he knew it was a common occurrence. People came and went around town, and it wasn’t unusual to see new faces every other month. “I see…yes, I would love a friend. Ah, bartending…” He thought maybe of mentioning his dislike of alcohol, but before he knew it she mentioned sitting next to him. With an embarrassed red blush on his face, he said, “Oh, of course - I should have offered earlier.” He moved a little closer to the edge of the bench on his side, making enough room for both Karen and Blondie.
“I’m sorry, I was just enjoying our conversation so much that I forgot my manners, haha…” It was obviously a nervous laugh, and he put a hand on the back of his neck and rubbed it self-consciously.