“Hi, Claire. How are you?”
Isaac saying Claire’s name brings me back to reality. I close the door and hurry into the living room, where Isaac is folding himself into a cross-legged seat beside Claire.
“Hi, Dr. Cordova.” Claire smiles up at him, then resumes her gathering of all the Candy Land cards. She’s turning them all face up and then putting them in piles by color. It’s a process, especially one-handed, but she’s determined.
“You can call me Isaac, if you’d like.” He leans a cheek against a fisted hand and rests his elbow on his knee. The look on his face is unfathomable. I couldn’t describe it if I wanted to.
“Mommy, what is Dr. Rialta’s first name?” Claire doesn’t look at me, too intent on her sorting.
“I don’t remember. Why?” I settle myself on the floor, closer to Claire than to Isaac.
“Can I call Dr. Rialta by her first name too?”
I can’t help but laugh. Isaac grins.
“No, honey. Dr. Rialta is just your doctor.” I pause to look at Isaac. His eyes are on me, waiting for me to continue. Emotion ripples across his face, and to me it looks like hope. “Dr. Cordova, I mean, Isaac… He’s special, baby. More than just your surgeon.”
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