‘Is that the best you can do?’ William asked. Up until this point he had been quiet, and Isla had almost forgotten that he was     in the room.

‘I beg your pardon?’ asked a somewhat surprised Dr Anand, before turning to face William.

‘And who are you?’ asked Dr Anand, his chest puffing up as William moved closer to the x-ray light box. Anathi continued to stare at the x-rays, seemingly unaware of William.

‘I’m Karabo’s friend. I brought her here, and I just want to check that you are the best person to decide what to do with her arm,’ stated William, looking Dr Anand up and down defiantly.

Dr Anand glared at William before turning to Anathi. ‘Mrs. Mavuso, I assure you. I am a specialist surgeon with a focus on hand and arm orthopaedics,’ he stated, his voice rising every time he mentioned the word ‘special’ in any form. Anathi nodded her head at Dr Anand. ‘Yes, yes, that’s perfect. Thank you, Dr Anand. I have no issue with you or your abilities,’ she said before turning to William. ‘Thank you for bringing Karabo, Will. I know it’s far. I really appreciate that you were there and willing to help, but I had my secretary check Dr Anand’s record out, and I also reviewed his file during my flight. He has an excellent history, and I am satisfied Karabo is in the best hands,’ stated Anathi, giving Dr Anand the faintest approving smile.

Dr Anand seemed confused. Perhaps he wanted to know how Anathi had a file on him, or perhaps he wanted to further affirm his abilities. Either way, he deemed it best to say nothing and closed his mouth as he returned his attention to the x-ray, turning his back on William.

‘I have booked rooms at a B&B down the road for tonight, for all of us,’ Anathi explained. ‘It’s not my usual accommodation, but my secretary assured me it’s close and adequate. Please accept my offer to stay there and then tomorrow, Will, you can take Isla back to school. I appreciate your concern, and everything you have done for Karabo today. But I have this under control now,’ Anathi said firmly, looking William in the eye. William peered at Anathi, before nodding.

‘OK. If you say you’ve checked him out, I trust you Anathi. Come Isla, let’s go,’ William said, before giving Dr Anand one final warning look, and turning to make his way out of the hospital.

On the way to the B&B, Isla watched William’s jaw clench and unclench as he sat straight, drawing himself close over his steering wheel and driving fast. Isla gripped the sides of her seat again as her stomach knotted. Luckily, it wasn’t a far drive and the map app on William’s mobile sounded, “You have arrived at your destination” as they drew up to a nondescript suburban house.

The owner of the B&B wasn’t at all surprised to greet the two teenagers — despite the fact that it was nearly eleven o’clock at night. Thick-set, with hair clipped back tightly away from her rosy face, Mrs Biggle opened the heavy wooden door and let them in with a warm smile. Her starched apron clung tightly to her waist.

‘Welcome, welcome. Do come in…’ she said. ‘Are you here for a hockey tour?’ she asked Isla, looking at her hockey clothes. Isla shook her head, ‘No, my friend broke her arm and we’ve come straight from Dayeton College. Been at the hospital since this afternoon,’ she explained.

‘My friend is Karabo, and her mom is Anathi. She’s the one who organised for us to stay here,’ explained Isla, smiling weakly.

‘Oh. I’m so terribly sorry,’ said Mrs Biggle. ‘Well come along dears, let me take you to your rooms, and then you can come and get supper. I’m just warming it up in the kitchen,’ she sang, bustling past them and heading deeper into the house.

***

Question: What do you think of the way William speaks to Dr Anand?