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Clint slipped his wallet into the pocket of his Levis and walked out of the bedroom while strapping on his watch. When he looked up, Lauren was standing right in front of him. “I changed my mind,” she announced matter of factly.
“About what?” Clint asked as he finished adjusting the dressy-looking, silver Seiko watch his wife had given him on his 55th birthday. She always told him a nice shirt and that watch could dress up any pair of jeans and since she was always right about those kinds of things, Clint accepted it as the gospel truth.
“About the dentist, of course,” Lauren said with a faux pout. That was a side of her he hadn’t seen yet. It gave him mixed feelings. On the one hand, it was cute and it was also good in that showed she wasn’t depressed. On the other, it reminded him of just how young she really was. He brushed it off and said to her, “Okay. Well. Let’s see. I’ll give Dr. Hansen’s office a call and see when we can get you in. You know, I’m really glad to hear this. I can’t imagine how much you’re going to like your new smile. It’ll light up your already very pretty face.”
Lauren just stood there smiling back at him. It was as if she’d decided it didn’t matter anymore. Or was it perhaps that she felt comfortable enough around Clint that she didn’t care? Regardless, it was good to see her smiling. Her nose was still slightly swollen from where the break had been reset but it wasn’t serious. In fact, she should be able to get the small splint removed a couple more days. “One thing at a time,” Clint said to himself.
He pulled out his cell phone, punched the dentist’s number, and in seconds he was on the line with Lorraine Hanley, Dr. Hansen’s secretary. Administrative assistant he silently reminded himself. He hated political correctness but understood why people took offence at certain things so he played along. Lorraine was 40-something and very attractive. She’d always been a little flirty when his wife was still alive, but the last time he went in with Lauren she was so serious it was unnerving. Then again, she hadn’t seen him since the death of his girls and she was very sweet expressing such genuine concern for his loss. Were he not so over-the-top into Lauren, Lorraine was the kind of woman he’d love to get to know better.
As he was asking her about appointment times, he found himself feeling confident again. It was so foreign—all these feelings that were returning in such a short period of time were a bit overwhelming. If he had to put a label on it, he’d have to say he was happy.
“You’re kidding. casino şirketleri You can see her at 10 o’clock? No way!”
“Yes, way,” she said emphatically. “We just had a last-minute cancellation, Clint. I tried calling another patient who was on standby, but I couldn’t reach her. If you bring Lauren in, Dr. Hansen can take care of her veneers this morning.”
“Wow. That’s amazing! Thanks, Lorraine. We’ll be there in half an hour.”
“I’ll look forward to that, Clint. We need to catch up.”
Clint was so excited this was going to work out he didn’t even respond to Lorraine’s subtle hint. He just thanked her and hung up.
“I have good news!” he exclaimed. “He can see you right now!”
Lauren squealed with delight. “Really? Are you serious? Right now? No way! I can’t believe this. I’m never lucky. Things never work out for me.” She paused, looked away, then said with a coy kind of look, “Well, not until I met you anyway.”
It was all he could do not to walk over and kiss her right then and there but he was old school and that just seemed wrong to him. It was too fast. Instead, he settled for telling her, “I feel like my luck is changing recently, too, Lauren. You ready to have a dazzling new smile?”
They’d already done the standard new-patient paperwork on their first visit, and Clint had paid for the chipped tooth repair in full. This time, Lorraine made it clear there would be no charge. She said it in a whisper as though she divulging some kind of state secret or something. Then she added, “Between you and me, Clint, I think Dr. Hansen might be a little bit sweet on your new ‘daughter.'” Lorraine ended her statement with a wink and a smile, but it took Clint completely off guard. He wasn’t a jealous man but then he hadn’t been single in so long he wasn’t really sure who he was or how he should feel. He just nodded and went to take his seat in the lobby when Lorraine said, “Clint? Say, listen. I was wondering if maybe you might like to get together for coffee or something sometime. You know, do that catching up I mentioned before. Yes? No? Maybe?”
Clint was still reeling a bit from her innocently-made comment and didn’t really hear what she said. “I’m sorry, Lorraine. What was that?”
“Look at you. You’re a million miles from here.” Her pretend scolding ended as she said in an understanding tone, “I can certainly understand. I can’t imagine how hard the last two years have been for you. I was just wondering if you’d like to get together sometime and talk.”
Clint hesitated and then casino firmaları said, “Uh, sure. That sounds nice, Lorraine. I’ll give you a call sometime.”
“If I didn’t know you better I’d think that was a brush off. But because you’re such a great guy, I’ll take that as a ‘yes.'” Lorraine’s smile was amazing. Her face was still youthful and pretty and her blue eyes and naturally blonde hair made her the kind of woman any guy would love to be with. She was obviously in great shape. Clint knew she worked out regularly doing yoga and Pilates. She was also smart and as of a about six months ago, recently divorced.
“No. No dodge. I’m just a little preoccupied right now is all. I’d love to get together. I will definitely call you.”
The next 90 minutes dragged on endlessly as Clint wrestled with his emotions. Finally, he heard the sound of Lauren’s voice along with that of Dr. Hansen’s. As they approached the lobby, he could tell the Novocain had numbed her tongue and entire front lip as she was having a really tough time pronouncing words. Her “esses” sound lispy as though she’d had way too much to drink.
“She’s all set, Clint. Take a look,” Dr. Hansen said proudly as Lauren stepped in ahead of him as he held the lobby door open for her. “Smile for the camera, Lauren.”
Although she couldn’t actually smile because of the Novocain, he could see enough of her new front teeth to know they were perfect. “Oh, my goodness, Lauren. They’re beautiful!”
“I know! It’s so awesome! I can’t believe how good it looks. Rick did such an amazing job! Don’t you think, Clint?”
Rick? How in the hell was she on a first-name basis with her dentist already for God’s sake? He fought off the feelings of jealousy that roiled inside him for her sake, but he was now in agony over something he had no real reason to believe even existed. And yet still…. “He really did,” Clint told her. “That’s a home run right there, Lauren. Great work, Rick! Wow! You look amazing! Was I right or was I right?”
Lauren ran to him and threw her arms around his neck. “Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am THO happy and ith all becuth of you!”
As his concerns washed away, Lauren let go of him and just as quickly turned to Dr. Hansen. She covered the two steps to him in the blink of an eye and threw her arms around him, too. “And becuth of you, too, Rick! Thank you tho, tho much for thith. And I will pay you back, I promith!”
Dr. Hansen was caught off guard but managed to keep his balance. He looked over at Clint with that “what can I güvenilir casino do about this” kind of look as he said to Lauren, “You’re very welcome. It’s the least I can do. I owe my practice to that man right over there and I’m only too glad to help. You can worry about repaying me after you get that first real job, okay?”
Lauren couldn’t stop smiling—or at least trying to. She turned back toward Clint and slurred, “Ith it thsill pothible…I mean…could we thsill go….”
“Shopping?” Clint said anticipating her question. “It’s not only possible, it’s a definite-for-sure as long as you feel like it.”
“I moth definitely do feel like it. I feel tho….happy. I feel like I could just burtht from all the happineth wanting to get out!”
They scheduled a follow-up to come back for the actually veneers which would replace the temps put in today in a week. As Lorraine handed him the appointment card, she showed him the back side. “That’s my number just in case you forget.” Clint took the card and noted again how attractive she was. He told himself it was just coffee, not a date. It wouldn’t be “cheating” on Lauren. He shook his head as realized what he was thinking. “How can I cheat on someone who isn’t even my girlfriend?” he mused to himself. Before turning away from Lorraine’s desk he said, “Note to self. Maybe it’s time to change that. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?”
As he opened the door for Lauren, she waited just outside and as soon as he stood next to her, she slipped her arm inside of his and pulled herself close to him. “I am the luckietht girl in the entire world, Mr. Pierth. Did I menthion that I love you?” Lauren stopped them both and looked directly at him as she said it. Her crooked lip and lopsided smile made him smile.
“You did, but I’m happy to hear you tell me again. I love you, too, Lauren.” He decide to go for it and leaned down to kiss her on her numbed lips even as she stood up to kiss him—on his cheek. It may have been an innocent mix-up, but the turmoil he’d felt just a few minutes earlier returned with a vengeance. The enthusiasm didn’t fade from Lauren’s eyes which made him think she had no intention of kissing him “that way.”
Her bubbly follow-up temporally broke the spell. “Come on! Leth go thopping!” Lauren said excitedly.
Clint hadn’t felt this way about a woman since high school. That all-too-familiar merry-go-round of “she loves me, she loves not” had him spinning around until he didn’t know what to think or feel. Not sure what else to do after the awkward attempted kiss, all he could manage was a half-hearted reply of, “Yes indeed. Let’s do that. Let’s go shop.”
Lauren clung to his arm all the way to the car, but Clint was now wondering if he maybe he wasn’t possibly just an old fool but a genuine idiot.
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