Scene: The office of Dr. Schmidt. Ryan’s feet are in metal stirrups and she is staring up at the ceiling counting tiles.
Dr. Schmidt is placed between her knees wearing a band around his head that has a small light attached. He is focused intently on her crotch.
“Just relax,” he told her yet again. He had just inserted the speculum after squirting a big dollup of KY Jelly on the instrument.
“CLICK CLICK.” The speculum opened so wide she thought something was going to rip down there. As if I could relax while he is poking foreign objects inside of me and staring into my crotch.
“Holy shit!” she heard nurse Hilde swear. The second thing she heard was the distinct sound of metal hitting the floor. The nurse lost her grip on the instrument tray sending everything crashing down.
Ryan jerked up in shock and slid backward on the exam table causing Dr. Schmidt to lose his balance and almost fall off his little round stool.
Once Dr. Schmidt recovered he gave Nurse Hilde a meaningful look.
“Could we be a bit more professional, nurse?”
“What is it?” Ryan asked. She knew by their reactions it couldn’t be anything good.
Dr. Schmidt held up the speculum, or what was left of it, for Ryan to see. She peered at it between her knees.
“This is serious,” he told her. It was obvious that he was trying hard to keep his face neutral.
“Have you been traveling recently?”
“No, not at all.” Ryan didn’t know why he would ask that question and she didn’t like it.
“Well, has anyone you know been outside the country recently,” he continued.
“My boyfriend Michael just got back from Japan but… Why do you ask?”
Ryan felt a cold lump begin to form inside her. It made her shiver. She was sure she didn’t want to be in Dr. Schmidt’s exam room anymore. Ryan knew that she absolutely didn’t want to hear his next words.
Dr. Schmidt sighed.
“There isn’t a polite way to say this dear, so I’ve just got to say it. I think you’ve been infected with the Black Syphilis, it’s a rare strain not found in this country. But it is quite common in Asia.”
“Are you trying to tell me that Michael gave me a disease?” Her voice raised several octaves to a pitch that only dogs could hear. The good doctor nodded sadly.
“You may want to have a chat with one of my colleagues who’s specialty is this sort of problem. “ He handed Ryan a business card with a strange name written on the front that sounded German. Dr. Kurz, it said.
Dr. Schmidt stood up and removed the exam gloves he’d been using. The fingertips of the gloves were melted away.
“I’m sorry to tell you there is no cure for this Ryan, but if anyone can help it’s that man,” he gestured to the card in her hand.
He apologized again and wished her luck before exiting with Nurse Hilde.
It was completely unbelievable. News of Michael’s infidelity was as shocking as the way it was revealed. Ryan felt numb with disbelief, as she got dressed. She was too surprised to cry. She could hear Dr. Schimdt discussing her with Nurse Hilde just outside the door.
“The strangest thing about this disease is that the man most likely didn’t even know he had it. A man can be a carrier without actually being infected himself.”
“Isn’t that a bitch.” was the last thing she heard the nurse say.