The prompt from kaylashay was Doctor, requesting why Jimmy decided to become a doctor. I hope she'll forgive me for stealing her connected drabble style.
Word Count: 600
Summary: Events of his life that lead Jimmy to working under Doctor Mallard.
“I'm going to be a doctor. I'll learn to fix people, people like me,” Anna announced from her hospital bed. She looked determined despite her wan and worn features.
“You'll be a great doctor,” Jimmy said with the confidence of a young child who worshiped his older sister.
“When you get through college, look me up,” Dr. Hardgrove said. “You'll be a great oncologist.”
“Will she even make it to college?” his mother asked in that pained voice that had become her mainstay since Anna got sick.
“The leukemia's in remission. It's quite possible.”
“I'm sorry to tell you, but the leukemia has returned,” Dr. Hardgrove said apologetically.
Jimmy's mother started sobbing loudly while his father sat stoically and didn't reach out to anyone in his family. Anna leaned back in her hospital bed, all too similar to the one she had escaped just two years ago. Jimmy curled up at her side, the fit a little tighter after two years of growth on both their parts.
“We'll start chemo immediately, but I'm afraid it's come back very aggressively. I'm not sure there's anything we can do.”
Jimmy desperately held Anna's hand.
“Jimmy, promise me something,” Anna gasped around her oxygen mask.
“Anything,” Jimmy swore, holding her gaunt hand tightly.
“I'll never be a doctor.”
“Don't say that,” Jimmy pleaded.
“Doc says it's too late. It's alright, I'm accepting that. If I can't, you've got to do it. Be a doctor, help the people who can't be helped.”
“Anna, no, you're going to be a doctor. You're going to help people.”
“No, I'm not going to get the chance.” She squeezed his hand. “Please, for me.”
“Of course,” he promised. “For you.”
“I'm sorry, Jimmy. We just can't afford to send you to medical school,” Jimmy's father said apologetically as his mother looked on nervously. “College wiped out the remainder of our savings.”
“I can get loans, scholarships.”
“We applied for some, we were really hoping, but the totals so far won't cover more than the first year. There are plenty of good jobs you could get with your degree.”
Jimmy shook his head. “I'll get a job, apply for a loan myself.”
“Jimmy,” his mother protested.
“I'm going to medical school,” he said firmly.
“So, why are you applying for this job?”
“I need the money to finish paying for medical school,” Jimmy said. “I'd prefer a position that uses my degree.”
“And why be a doctor at all?” Dr. Mallard asked.
Jimmy looked down. Normally he'd give a glib answer, but something about this man made him want to be honest. “I promised my sister that I would be a doctor, to help the people who can't be helped.”
“Very difficult,” Dr. Mallard said gently. “I have worked as a doctor for the living. It can be a very rewarding profession. However, have you considered how appropriate a position as a medical examiner would be for that promise? We help those who are beyond the reach of the rest of the medical profession. Our goal is justice.”
Jimmy's eyes lit up. This might just be the answer he was looking for. “I like the sound of that,” he said. “I must admit that Oncology never quite appealed, though it seemed the obvious choice.”
“Well, I like the look of your records. Why don't we give each other a try and see how it goes.”