Girl Keeps Coming Apart

A black SUV discreetly displaying diplomatic plates rolled to a stop beneath the marquee bearing signage for County General Hospital. Theo could be heard apologizing profusely as she stepped out of the vehicle and onto the curb. “Thank you….Georjerichochittarah...I’m really sorry!” She turned around to lean back in. “I’ve not properly remembered how to say your name, and you’ve been an excellent traveling companion, but….well this is my stop and I really must go. I will cook you spaghettios some time and apologize again! I’m sorry!” That was all she had time to say and it was already a longer exchange than T’Chantem would have wished. He ushered her away from the vehicle and they moved through the automatic sliding doors, and into the reception area. Once they were inside, T’Chantem gave the entrance a quick once over, surveying the area for a few seconds before turning to Theo. “Let’s begin, shall we?”

Theo nodded and grabbed a hospice brochure from a nearby rack to occupy her hands as she began apologizing again. “I’m sorry, your Princeliness. I should try harder with the names of your Wakandan brethren. I promise, I’m not racist or prejudicedacle; I just have a hard time with letters and words and numbers and counting and talking… Well shit, I have a hard time with all of it really; new things especially. When I was thirteen and told it was time, well when I decided it was time to start wearing sexy panties - that was the worst. At first they feel like they are going to slowly rip you apart from the hoohaw up - like a silk saw blade. Have you ever worn sexy panties? Well I’m sure you have, but I suppose it could be different for guys. You know we’re different down there, right?” Theo was never quite sure where the boundary lay between her own homeschooled stateside education and that of the future King of Wakanda. Would tutors to royal families even be allowed to talk about such things? No matter, she could teach T’Chantem everything he needed to know before his wedding night. And since the Prince’s finger was still unadorned by a betrothal band, Theo was convinced they’d have plenty of time to get around to such chalk talk.

By this point the pair were at the U-shaped two person glass top reception desk and receiving an undisguised scowl from one of the women while the other one was manning the incessantly ringing phone. Theo plopped her elbows down on the counter and leaned in somewhat conspiratorially, beckoning the receptionist in closer with a wiggle of her finger. The receptionist’s eyebrows shot up her forehead another notch as she adamantly refused. She even leaned back further in her seat to create more space between the two of them. So Theo hefted herself up onto the counter like a child; her stomach squarely set atop the sign in sheet beside the little bell. “This is my friend,” she told the receptionist as she nodded her head towards T’Chantem. “We are looking for the doctor with whom I recently had intimate relations.” A crude set of hand gestures followed on Theo’s part. They were met with more stares so Theo helped out the bewildered receptionist by providing additional identifying information for the doctor. “He was circumcised.” Theo nodded. “And that was before he tried on my sexy panties so I am not to blame.”

“Miss,” the receptionist started, then realized she wasn’t sure how to address any of what she was just told. “Miss, this is a hospital. We have quite a few doctors on call and I’d have no way of knowing what their situation is - concerning circumcision. May I ask what this is in regards to?”

“Oh!” It was Theo’s turn to look a bit embarrassed. “I just assumed you knew, given your age. Let’s see; how to explain. Okay, so the male penis is like a grub worm with all this extra grub and it gets bunched up around the head like a skin scarf so oftentimes, at birth, the extra grub is snipped to keep the male penis from overheating during the warm months. Oh here look, I can provide visuals. Your Princeliness, do you mind?” Theo tried to wrangle T’Chantem’s attention and assistance in demonstrating this crucial knowledge to the receptionist. But T’Chantem was desperately attempting to focus on anything other than the conversation spewing out across the desk.

“I believe that won’t be necessary, Theodosia, but your enthusiasm is noted,” T’Chantem responded. He didn’t know much about Theo’s ‘special’ doctor himself, so it was difficult to try to take the lead and shift the conversation away from the witch’s seemingly senseless rambling, but T’Chantem assumed that Theo wasn’t always as incompetent as she led some to believe. “I apologize for my colleague’s excitement, but we are here in hopes to know about one of the healthcare practitioners that aided her in the past. It would be helpful if you could assist us by pulling records from her date of visitation.”

The receptionist was all too happy to talk to T’Chantem instead. In fact, she stopped looking at Theo all together as if she weren’t even there. “This is the front desk for general admissions. You’re going to want the fourth floor, that’s where our mental health unit is. I’m not really supposed to provide you with any of this, but I can appreciate that your friend here may be … a special case. What’s her name and when was she here last to see her mental health provider?”


Armed with the room number of Doctor Juden Hilt, and after receiving far fewer judgemental looks than she was accustomed to, Theo and T’Chantem stepped off the elevator on the appropriate floor. Theo looked like she’d been wanting to ask something for ages and finally blurted it out. “So now that you know I’m not a racist or pervert - I’m still invited to Wakanda, right?”

Theo’s antics became less of a surprise the longer T’Chantem knew her, and while she never became explicitly predictable, predicting the unpredictable was still the start of some minor precognition. “You’re going to have to remind me of the original invitation you’re alluding to,” T’Chantem responded as they walked down the hallway, “but there’s no need to prove your impartiality to me.”

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