Simon stood as the receptionist at the urology clinic called his name.
"Simon?" She greeted him pleasantly as he reached the desk.
"Yes...that's me." He waited as she checked the notes in front of her, appearing momentarily perplexed.
He knew for a fact that they were there at the right time—he’d seen the appointment letter himself—but it looked like she was having trouble finding him. Either that, or she wasn't quite sure what to do with him now he was there. He stared at the floor as he was left on hold. Maybe she was new, but the last thing he wanted was to stand there looking like an asshole with everyone staring at him!
"For Dr. Tiberius, isn't it?" she said at last. She appeared more sure about it now. She pointed her finger towards the door that led through to the doctor's offices. "Just through the door and turn left. Go all the way down to the last door on the right."
He nodded, relieved he could go through.
The weekend had been long and slow. The previous day, it had felt like a victory at first when they’d left him alone and gone to lunch at Ryan’s without him, but that quickly became hollow. By himself, there was nothing to do or share but his own company.
Now it was Monday, and he was back at the urology clinic for an appointment with Dr. Tiberius. He just wanted the stitches out and to be done with it.
They had come in his dad's car, though it had been a strained journey; one that had resolved into an uneasy silence part way down. They had got him a mid-afternoon appointment and his dad had bunked off work to come too. Luke had stayed home.
The two of them—his mum and dad—had started to discuss which one should go in with him for the 'un-stitching', as his dad called it. When he told them straight out that nobody was coming in, and he didn't want either of them seeing what they'd done to him, his dad had gone ape-shit! It had been downhill since.
As the receptionist called his name, he'd stood, glaring at his parents.
Let them try standing if they dared—he'd march straight out to the fucking parking lot!
Nodding to the receptionist, he followed her directions. Left...then down... It seemed unfamiliar, but he easily found the last door on the right. Knocking, he was met with a cheery voice.
Opening the door, he poked his head around, and got a surprise. Either Tiberius had grown breasts, or he was a cross-dresser! Simon dropped his eyes. "Sorry...I think I got the wrong room."
Fuck! He couldn't even do that right!
"I was looking for Dr. Tiberius," he tried to explain as he made to close the door on the pretty, redheaded young lady-doctor.
* * *
Ella Tiberius grinned in welcome. "And you've found her! Come on in."
The poor lad looked like a rabbit in headlights as he stood in the doorway, frowning in confusion. She was getting used to it. Tiberius wasn't a name that most people associated with a skirt!
"Oh golly, and don't you look just like your brother!" She had been expecting Simon, and there was no doubt in her eyes that the teenager standing in the doorway had to be Luke Summers' younger brother. She shook her head in disbelief at their resemblance.
"Forgive me." She stood and stuck out her hand, drawing him further in. "I'm Ella Tiberius. Jonathan Tiberius is my father."
The boy studied the hand before finally stepping forward into the room to take it. His eyes flicked around as though looking for her father. "Errr...you're a doctor, too?"
She chuckled easily as he put two and two together. And after all those years of study, endless exams, and with finals just successfully completed, she hoped she was—or at least would be—a damn good one!
"The ink's still wet on the diploma, I'm afraid, but I'm second to none with sutures!" She'd hoped for a smile at least out of him, but when one didn't come, took it in her stride and breezed back to her desk.
"Why don't you come on in and take a seat?" She pointed to the one that was squeezed into the small space alongside her desk. "So how's Luke?"
"You know him?" There was surprise in his tone as he slid into the seat.
"Sure I know Luke...didn't he say?"
Simon shook his head.
"I was a second pair of hands, working here as part of my clinical experience rotation, earlier this year. I was helping out the day Luke came in to have his Smarklamp fitted." She winked. "I held his hand while we did the injections. Bet he didn't tell you that!"
At last the wary face returned the beginnings of a smile. It changed his face a lot as a cheeky smirk appeared.
"Did he squeal?" Simon asked.
She tapped the side of her nose. "Ooohh...doctor-patient privacy. I couldn't possibly say now, could I!" It almost got a chuckle as he came out of his shell a little more.
Glancing around them as though searching for hidden bugs, she leaned forward. Her tone became covert. "Let's just say he has a firm grip!"
At last, that made Simon snicker and he looked like he was beginning to warm to her relaxed approach—she hoped she was a bit more normal than some of the old farts in the building!
Still cautiously perched on the chair that was squeezed in next to her desk, Simon appeared to study the room. If he was less than impressed, she couldn't blame him. Compared to her father's enormous office, hers wasn't much bigger than a shed! No huge mahogany desk, no comfortable couches and bowl of fruit. Just a desk, a computer—which, unlike Tiberius senior, she knew perfectly well how to use—and a curtained examination area.
So, it wasn't a 'power' office by any stretch of the imagination. She was the new girl on the block, and despite daddy, refused to be treated any differently from any other newbie on the team. The end office might be lacking in floor space, but she’d spruced it up with a lick of paint, which, with the help of Mel one evening, she'd done herself. She smiled to herself: in another six months, if she stayed here at the clinic, she might even get an upgrade to a window that didn’t look at a blank wall!
After adding a few bright decorations, it was home for now, though she was already hankering to get back into a hospital where there was a bit more action. She loved her dad dearly, but maybe it was even time to move cities and get out from under her old man's shadow. She would raise it with Mel.
"Anyway," she added with a wink, "be sure to say hi for me!"
"I will." He seemed brighter now. "Ella?"
"That's me!" She smiled and moved on. "But enough of Luke. You're more important today."
She glanced at the notes in front of her. He was too young to drive alone, so she assumed parent—or parents—had been left out in the waiting area. Good for him. He was more than old enough to stand on his own two feet. She'd read those patient notes already during the few minutes before Simon stepped in for the appointment, but scanned them again.
"You gave us a bit of a scare last Sunday, you know. I haven't seen Dad move so quickly in a long while!" Her tone was jocular, but the kid probably didn't realize that it had been quite serious at the time. The poor guy had to have been in agony!
"I really messed up with the stretching," he replied. The earlier, brighter mood evaporated and his face clouded as he hung his head. "It was my fault. I'm really sorry."
"Hey—no harm done in the long run!" She kept her tone upbeat and encouraging, resisting the urge to put her arms around him and give him a hug. It must have been a nightmare at the time—not a day he would forget in a hurry.
"Dad wanted to be here to take these sutures out for you himself, but got caught up at the hospital today. I said I'd cover."
Simon shifted a little in the seat, and it wasn't hard to pick up on his cagey body language, so she backtracked. "If you prefer, I can ask one of the male nurses to come over and do it?" It didn't take much training to realize that some guys were bothered more than others by a lady doctor. Particularly if the examination extended below the belt!
"It's okay," he said. He surprised her and appeared to care less than she thought. "If Luke was alright with it..."
The eyes remained cautious as he added, "Will it hurt?"
"Honestly, you'll hardly feel it, and it doesn't take long."
She saw his eyes flick towards the couch, wondering no doubt if it would be done over there.
And why not? What was the point of stressing him out, traipsing halfway across the building to some expensive-looking surgical unit just to take out a few sutures? Some patients expected it, even felt they paid good money for the privilege. But this one? She lifted the handset on her desk and punched an extension.
"Kate? Hi…it's Ella here. You couldn't pop up down here with a suture removal kit could you? Yes, to my office. I'll just do it here…thanks."
She replaced the handset, but it didn't make him look less anxious. She winked playfully. "I promise you, having sutures out is nothing like injections!" The tight smile she got back was less certain.
"I’m guessing you didn't like the idea of the Smartklamp, like your brother had?" she said as they waited.
She was merely making conversation, so was surprised at the intensity of his reply as he blinked, then hung his head and said, "I didn't want to be circumcised at all."
She was quiet for a few moments. The notes from the hospital had been sparse.
"Not a good day last Sunday then?" she ventured.
Was she being too glib?
No, not the way she said it. She had a knack with people, her friends had always told her, and it wasn't hard to tell there was a lot churning just below the surface with this one. His face slipped further and she could see he was close to tears.
"No..." he murmured. She watched him flush at the painful reality that the previous weekend must have brought, and he scrubbed at his eyes, appearing angry that they had filled up.
She sat back and gave him space. Clearly there was some raw pain there. If he wanted to talk, he would—if not, then she wouldn't push him. Perhaps it was a good thing that Kate tapped at the door just then and entered carrying a tray covered in sterile wrappings. When she studied his face again, it was more controlled, and the moment passed.
"Over there?" His eyes tracked with the package as Kate took it to the couch, extracted it from the packaging and sat it on an adjacent worktop.
"You got it, bud. Just pop down your pants and boxers and sit back on the couch for me." She stood in preparation. "Come on then. Let’s get you fixed up."
He passed the curtain and she swished it closed behind them. Kate stayed of course. It wasn't just that Ella was a woman doctor and Simon was a young man. Even if he'd been a lady, it was best practice to have more than a one-on-one when examining someone's genitals! Not that this particular young man had much to worry about if he thought she might jump him. He wasn't really her type!
None of them were.
Instead, her type was the best thing that ever happened to her, and that's what had made Luke Summers appearing in the surgery for a circumcision that day such a hilarious coincidence. What Luke had no idea about was that the love of her life was extremely good friends with Ryan Alexis!
Mel, with her army family background, was a frequent visitor to the Alexis house for those irritating cookouts, and she and Ryan were close. Close enough to know that the kid was completely head-over-heels infatuated with his friend from the UK!
And now she had the pair, though Simon was having a much rougher time of it.
And her and Mel? Well, that was a story too, though hardly as complicated. She'd been twenty, and Mel a couple of years younger, when they'd met on a pricey Caribbean cruise liner. Two weeks of sun, sea...and eventually, sex!
She’d been holidaying with her parents and doing her best to ignore the advances of a posse of young guys, all with perfect pedigrees, and all making it abundantly clear they wanted to be in the running when it came to making out with her! She, on the other hand, found herself drawn to the energy and lithe athletic shape of somebody else.
Mel Piper...the general's daughter.
Like her, Mel was also holidaying with her parents, the enormously impressive General and Mrs. Piper.
She and Mel had hit it off almost straight away. Mutual support to fend of the endless supply of groping goons, Ella had told herself, though she'd known for some years that her interests didn't lie with that gender anyway. She'd just never dared to do anything about it!
Mel, however, seemed to know exactly what was going on in Ella's head, and had other ideas. Being way too hot outside one blazing summer afternoon, she'd coaxed Ella back to her airy suite....
Ella smiled at the memory of that first unexpected, yet incredible, passion-filled afternoon. The rest, as they say, was history, but she had no desire to turn back, and she and Mel had been glued together ever since.
While she prepared for the suture removal, Simon slipped off his sneakers.
"Just off your backside is fine," she said as it looked like he was going to strip naked. He nodded, yet his expression was tight as he carefully eased down jeans and a pair of dark blue boxers to his knees. Then, he hefted himself onto the examination couch and shuffled backwards against the raised backrest.
On cue, Kate unfolded one of the surgical drapes. Taking it, Ella smiled winningly. "Just pull up your tee for me Simon."
He did as he was asked and she settled the drape over his groin so that the parts they needed to get at were uncovered. She pulled protective gloves onto hands that patients kept telling her were surprisingly dainty for a doctor. Kate flicked the switch on the medical light and adjusted the beam. Under the bright light, Ella didn't hesitate in picking up Simon's penis. His face tightened even further as he tried not to let the wince show.
"Pretty sensitive still, I guess," she said. Focused now at the task in hand, she treated him with professional care. "It takes a while, but it will eventually settle down. Just be patient.”
She turned him gently in her fingers as she examined him. "You were cut pretty low."
"What does that mean?"
That caught her by surprise and she looked into his face to see if he was serious.
"Did nobody explain?"
He shook his head. "Nobody really told me anything."
She gathered her thoughts. There was no misrepresentation in his demeanor. Perhaps that was how it was? There'd been no good point where that could have happened as he was passed from one clinician to another. Dr. Chowdry, who completed the surgery, spoke to the parents, but probably not to Simon. And anyway, Chowdry wasn't known for his bedside manner! Jackson, according to the same notes, saw Simon the following morning and discharged him. She knew Julius well enough from her stints at Northside, and he was a good doctor, but he wouldn't have had time for Circumcision 101!
"Okay, well I'm sure we can do better than that," she said, putting a reassuring smile quickly to her lips. The lad deserved better. "Let's go through it now."
Again, she picked up his penis out of the opening in the drape, drawing it out straight. "Kate, can you pass me the Xylocaine spray."
"What's that?" Simon sounded suddenly anxious as he studied the small bottle being passed.
"Nothing to worry about. It's just a topical anesthetic spray. It'll just take the edge off for you while we take out the sutures."
She sprayed him liberally over his glans and around the line of black sutures. With her hand resting against his thigh as she held his shaft away from his belly, she could feel his muscles clench involuntarily as the cold aerosol doused him with the slightly astringent solution. The poor kid was jumpy in more ways than one!
"There we go. It'll be a little stingy for a moment, but then you'll feel better." She passed the bottle back to Kate.
"So this is your glans...and the shaft...." She pointed out the main parts of his anatomy. She wasn't particularly an expert in urology, but even Med School students knew their way around a willy! And she'd been around her father long enough to have a lot more insight than most just fresh out of the classroom.
"As I'm sure you know, the purpose of a circumcision is to remove part of the foreskin, so that the glans can be uncovered." Simon was a Brit and, according to one of their clinical lecturers, Brits —and most other Europeans—were a bit dense when it came to the procedure! However, she didn't doubt that the lad had lived over here more than long enough to get the picture. He probably knew all the slang too, but it was usually frowned upon to talk with patients about getting them skinned!
"So, this is part of my foreskin, then?" Simon frowned and pointed to the shaft skin, adjacent to the sutures.
She took a deep breath. Maybe he knew less than she thought!
"Some guys decide on what we usually call 'high and tight'. The surgeon will leave a lot of the natural foreskin in place." Still holding him outstretched as the anesthetic took hold, she chose her words carefully as she tried to explain. "Others opt for the more aesthetically pleasing, lower cut."
"Yes. Just like yours—much nearer to the glans." She pointed to the vestiges of remaining foreskin. "Once it's healed, you'll hardly notice the scar."
What she wouldn't say is that the latter isn't what she—or her father—would have proposed. Chowdry was a competent surgeon, and did some great work, but his approach to circumcision lacked imagination or any consideration other than the aesthetic. He was old school, and if it had to be done, and the guy was on his table, then it was one size fits all. And that was to cut less than a centimeter from the glans, with a full sleeve resection to remove the rest, leaving just enough remaining foreskin to suture the rest of the shaft skin.
He'd left the frenulum, which was actually probably a good call. In this case, the fren wasn't as thick and bulbous as some could be, and leaving it intact in such a low cut as Simon’s, led to a much more pleasing appearance and shape.
Did the circumcision need doing?
Yes. There was no issue on that score. Once a paraphimosis presented, it was textbook procedure, and almost always necessitated a circumcision after whatever technique was employed to reduce the swelling and get the foreskin back over the glans.
Did it have to be done immediately?
Not necessarily, but again, Chowdry wasn't out of line on that score. It was his patient. He made the call as he saw it, and the result of that was in her hand. And give him his due, Chowdry was a handy seamster! The wound had closed well and was healing rapidly. With the frenulum intact, once the sutures were out, it would resolve quickly enough into a neat, well-shaped cut.
It was a textbook approach—it was just that the textbook was quite old!
It would look fine, but in her opinion, it was a pity that this young man had lost almost all of his foreskin. Still, what the kid needed was good news, not to go away worrying about whether there was anything wrong with what hung between his legs.
* * *
Simon's ears perked up when she started to explain stuff.
He'd told his family so many times that he didn't want to talk about it that they'd got the message to the point where it felt impossible for him to ask questions anymore. Now, as she began to go through what had been done to him during his surgery, he listened carefully.
"I have to say, this is outstanding work!" Ella pointed to the circle of sutures. "Very neat, very well placed. I'm not sure I could have done better myself!"
Despite her encouraging tone, he still felt apprehensive as she let go of his dick and reached for some tweezers and a pair of pointy scissors. Those damned ants still had to be cut out.
He tensed as, with deft skill, she pulled at one of the sutures, lifting it enough to snip at it just under the knot. The thread parted and she pulled it through and out, dropping it onto the tray.
"So?" She smiled at him with a teasing grin. "You can probably let go the sheets now."
"I don't feel anything!" He was so relieved, he returned a surprised, lopsided grin. Even the taciturn Kate, a lady who looked around his mum's age, beamed.
"Told ya I was good!" Ella's smirk was prim, and she went on to remove all the rest in the same fashion.
"There ya go, mister," she said at last as the final suture slipped out. She leaned back to survey her handiwork. "That's going to be as perfect as it gets!"
Perfect? He returned a tight smile that didn't really reflect what he was feeling. He was relieved it seemed to be over...except that it wasn't.
Gentle again, Ella picked him up to wipe around the red wound with a cotton wool wipe, though he felt very little now; the Xylocaine spray taking away almost all sensation.
"Time will tell, and you need to give it time to heal." She ran her finger around where the sutures had bound the cut skin together. "Like I said, the residual scar is close enough under the flare of your glans that it will virtually disappear."
Ella smiled encouragingly as she took a tube of some ointment and smeared it around the cut. Even that white paste seemed to confirm her prognosis as it covered the angry red, fading it into the background.
"Trust me," she added. "My guess is that no one will be able to tell you weren't circumcised, like most boys around here, as a baby."
"Nobody will know?" He repeated it, trying to find something he could take hope in. Hiding his feelings, he sized up what he'd been left with.
There had a sense of inevitability about it. Completely skinned back now, the thing he had prized so much had been stolen from him. She'd tried to spin it like it was a good thing, but it didn't feel like that. Rather, it felt like what he deserved.
A punishment. A penalty for wrong-doing. Like the discipline of the badly behaved kid, the surgery he’d been subjected to was so much worse than a smack—more a permanent and painful reminder that he'd had to be corrected. His punishment wasn't the naughty step, but to be required to stand in shame before his peers, presenting them with the visible evidence: the humiliating consequences of his failures.
"Can I go now?"
"Almost. Just a couple more things, but we're just about done."
He shuffled off the couch and pulled up his underwear and jeans as she snapped off the gloves, leaving the nurse to tidy up. Ella indicated the chair by her desk and he sat to tie his sneakers.
"So—just a few things more," Ella said after the nurse had departed with the used pack, "and you're good to go."
"Okay." He was wary. What was she going to ask?
"First of all." She scribbled on a sheet of paper and passed it to him. "That's a prescription for the cream I just applied. Just run it around the cut like I did. A couple of times a day for the next week will be more than enough."
She looked at the notes and raised her eyebrows. "You've finished the course of antibiotics they gave you at the hospital?"
“That’s fine. I don’t need to prescribe any more. Now, it’s going to feel a little bit itchy, but try to avoid scratching at the scar as it heals. The cream should help." She paused. "Is there someone out in the waiting area? Your mom or dad?"
"They’re both here."
"Do you want me to go through any of this with them?"
"It's fine. Can I go?" He knew he sounded gruff, but he just wanted to get out of there.
He felt the scrutiny of her gaze.
"Sure. We're done," she said, though she didn't seem to be. After a moment, she added, "Simon, are you okay?"
His eyes prickled again as the question tried to undermine him.
"I'm fine. You’re right, it didn’t really hurt. Can I go?" He hated it that his voice was shaky, and he knew she didn't believe him, but he didn't care.
She inhaled, studying him as though trying to see past the wall of protection. Letting her breath go, and said. "Talk to Luke - he's been through it too. He'll be able to give you some pointers."
He nodded and stood. "Thanks." He took the prescription and left.
The first thing he did was slip into the restroom half way down the corridor, taking a few moments to splash cold water on his face and get his balance again. Then he dried himself off with towels, and checked his face again before returning to the waiting area.
"Hello, sweetheart." His mum rose quickly as he approached where they had been waiting. "Is everything okay?"
He saw her eyes flicking past him if expecting to see someone else too.
"I'm fine. They took out the stitches and gave me a prescription for some ointment." His tone was steady as he passed her the paper. "They said we could go."
His mum took it from him. “Was it Dr. Tiberius?”
“Yes.” He wasn’t lying. “Can we go now?”
“Sure,” said his dad. They both rose and from their demeanor, it appeared that they’d decided to forgive the way he’d kicked off on the way down. He assumed they were trying to make allowances for him.