"So, how come you didn't come in for your blood test last week?" I punch at the computer keyboard, checking his lab results.
"Oh, I forgot. You see, there're these Mexicans I'm helping out---they're farmworkers, they needed a ride." His eyes dart around the room.
"Uh huh." I poke at the keyboard a little more. I let him squirm a little.
"So, when you're due for your narcotic prescription, I hear from you like clockwork." Our eyes meet.
"Well, if I don't have the oxycodone, I know I'll be in pain. But the blood test? It doesn't seem to matter that much." He smiles sheepishly.
"Yeah," I respond. "Then you end up in the hospital with a huge clot in your leg, and if we don't catch it in time you throw a clot to your heart and you die a sudden death. Not much of a consequence, huh?"
"I'll be better about it now, I promise. I know the blood test is important."
"Y'know, I've heard that from you before, but I always wanna believe you and give you another chance." We both smile and I put my hand on his shoulder as we walk up the hall towards the waiting room.
"Why do you keep giving me another chance if I keep fucking up?"
"Because I like you and I care about you. That's why."
"See you next week?"
"Sure. Next Wednesday at ten."
Will he come next week for his blood test? Probably not. But when that oxycodone prescription comes due, you know he'll be calling. Will he get another chance after that? Absolutely. And why not?