Chapter 10

Relief flooded through me as Dr. Mott stepped into the reception office. A ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. His shoulders were wide. His stomach flat. His arms lean and muscled. Dr. Mott’s eyes sparkled when he said my name, “Good afternoon, Heather.”

“Hello, Bill. Did you have a nice lunch?” I smiled up at my boss. His caramel colored hair fell in his eyes, and he brushed it away absentmindedly. My heart thumped in response.

He gave me a lazy look up and down. “Great. I tried out that new restaurant downtown; you know the one, Samson’s Bistro. I’d recommend it.” He broke into a slow smile. “What’s on the books for this afternoon?”

I looked at the appointment book and told him what to expect.

Always happy for Dr. Mott’s interruption, I felt especially indebted today. When he left, Connie clicked busily at her computer. Thinking of our conversation, I felt acid drip in my stomach. I had just started my shift and already I wanted to go home.

“Bet you’d like Bill to take you to Samson’s Bistro,” Connie whispered.

“Connie!” My face flushed. How did she do it?

Looking up, I saw Mr. Hill enter. “Hi John. Dr. Mott is ready for you. Quick appointment in and out. You’ll be able to get back to work right away.”

“Thanks, Heather.” Mr. Hill continued down the hall to where Gail was waiting.

A young woman returned from the same location and approached Connie’s desk. “Jacquie, your insurance only covers up to $200.00 Owing is $191.96.”

“Gee, you’re more painful than he is,” Jacquie said, throwing her thumb over her shoulder.

“Yeah, I hear that a lot. In there, you’re fine, but once you come out to me, that’s another story.”

Jacquie giggled as she signed her credit card slip.

“Alright, we should see you back in a week? One week would be next Friday, September 20. How’s 1:30 again?”

“That’s fine,” Jacquie said taking her receipt. “See you next week.” She turned to me and said, “Bye, Heather.”

The phone rang. I gave a little wave and picked up the phone. “Good afternoon, Lakeside Dental Clinic. Heather speaking.”

“Heather, it’s Donna. You know I hate to bother you at work, but I think that Caitlin may have chicken pox.”

“Chicken pox?” I said it loud enough for Connie to look up from her desk.

“Yes, her cheeks are flushed and she has dark circles under her eyes. Her temperature registered 100 degrees. I saw a few red bumps on her stomach and more under her armpits and on her back. I can handle her for the rest of this afternoon, but you’re going to need to pick up some medication for this weekend.”

“Yes, of course. Thanks, Donna. I’ll be home at four-thirty.”

Connie looked happy. “What?” I asked trying to hold back my agitation.

“Chicken pox. There’s your answer.”

Connie exasperated me at times. “What are you talking about?”

“Chicken pox! Don’t you get it? She can’t go anywhere. You can cancel this weekend visit because she has chicken pox. You don’t have to run and hide. You have an excuse.” Then turning to her computer, she added, “Someone is looking out for you.”


That evening, after I put Caitlin to bed, I sat cradling the phone in my hands. Could I make the call? My stomach curdled. I knew that he would be out at the pub, but what if he answers his mobile? I must be one for the few remaining people under forty who still doesn’t have a cell phone. I felt like a fish in a seagull’s mouth. I took a deep breath, squared my shoulders and dialed his number. It rang once.

“Hello?” a woman’s sultry voice answered.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I was calling for Rod.”

“He’s busy right now. Can I take a message?”

My mouth suddenly felt stuffed with cotton. “Umm, yes. Can you tell him that Caitlin has the chicken pox and won’t be available for a weekend visit.”

“Oh? Okay, I’ll let him know.”

“Thanks, goodbye.” Whew. I threw the phone on the floor and stared at it. How could I face him ever again? Does he know that I know? Have the police been to see him?