“May I stay in the room?” Mia, my 11-year-old daughter, asked the oh- so- handsome Veterinarian who examined our dog, Coco.
“You don’t have a problem with blood or anything… Do you?”
He directed the question to Mia, but winked at me.
“Because, I’m going to lance this sebaceous cyst on your dog’s back.”
“I cut open the frog in science class and everyone was grossed out but me.” Mia spoke in gulps. “Please let me stay. I want to watch.”
“Well…if you’re sure you’ll be okay…” The Vet turned and grinned at me, “And, of course, your Mom has to agree.”
Heat flamed up my neck. Ooh-la. Mr. Tall, dark and handsome was flirting. I glanced at his left hand. No wedding ring… And him looking so spicy and tight in that white doctor jacket with Dr. Ron spelled out in blue. All of a sudden an unexpected burst of sexual heat coursed through me.
“What do you say?” Dr. Ron pressed.
Out of practice, and running short of self-control, I grinned like an idiot. (After all, I’d spent the last three years running scared, doing the divorced-single parent thing, worried about food and rent. I had no time for a man.) Now, every hormone in my body had kicked to life.
This girl wanted a date and Doctor Ron looked like a real possibility.
Then, I caught my crazy self. I needed a fast retreat. I don’t do blood and gore. And Dr. Ron was about to cut into my dog.
I pursed my lips into a sexy pout and said to Mia, “Oh, I don’t know. This might be yuckier than you think.”
My intent: to look like a concerned and fabulous parent while still…
Doctor Ron did a wandering scan up and down my body, then a lazy smirk crept across his face.
My pulse quickened.
Ever watchful, Mia cocked an eyebrow and surveyed the two of us. Then burst out with a petulant, “Mom, I wanna stay in the room.”
I glanced at Coco. My 80 lb., good-natured, mutt of a dog, sat on the examination table, tail thumping. Ready for his ‘I’ve- been- good’ treat.
“Will this hurt him?” I tried to breath and act normal. To not smolder like some over-heated, sex-starved female.
“No.” Dr. Ron flashed a come- on- mom smile. “It should feel great. Relieve the pressure and all. Like a good scratch on the back.”
I still hesitated. Because… Again… I’m not a fan of body parts that leak.
“Mom, how will I ever know if I want to be a doctor if I don’t ever get to see what they do?”
“Yeah, Mom,” Dr. Ron said, joining her side.
Then, in unison, they shot me puppy-dog looks. So cute, I melted.
“Yea.” They cheered and gave each other a high five.
“Mia, come stand by me.” Dr. Ron said, cementing their new best friend status. “And, we’ll begin.”
Defeated, I faded back against the wall.
Dr. Ron pointed at one of the giant, disgusting growths on Coco. “That’s a sebaceous cyst. We’re going to lance it.”
“A sebaceous cyst?” Mia spoke pronounced each syllable, making sure she got it right.
“Uh-huh.” He leaned, oh- so –sexy, against the examination table, allowing me a full view of his attractive backside. “It’s a damaged oil gland or, maybe it’s a hair follicle that’s become filled with keratin. By lancing it, we can drain it and treat it.”
The musky scent of his cologne wafted my way.
“You mean… like a zit?” I called out, scrunching my nose, like I did in high school. Because my old boyfriend said it made me look hot.
“Well, yes. Sort of.” Dr. Ron glanced my way and caught my sexy look. He chuckled before he focused his attention on Mia and Coco.
Dr. Ron pressed his fingers on and around Coco’s prickly mound. Mia stared mesmerized. Coco seemed unconcerned.
This, I could handle so, I moved closer. Reached out and petted Coco for show. “Hey baby, you’re doing good. Dr. Ron’s going to fix you up.”
Dr. Ron glanced and went back to poking on the dog with Mia. Didn’t even smile.
Flirting was over, I guessed, at least until he fixed the dog.
I glanced at the huge, gnarly lump, one of three, stretched so tight Coco’s skin shone through the hair. I remembered its feel. I’d touched it once, by accident, hard and bristly and greasy. I’d washed my hands five times and then alcohol-ed them after that. It was that gross.
“Okay boy, just rest easy.” Dr. Ron picked up his scalpel.
I whirled away.
In an instant, the most horrible, putrid stench poured out.
Revolted. My hand clamped my nostrils shut. I refused to inhale. My stomach heaved and clinched once. I forced down the roiling mass and retreated behind the doctor, so he wouldn’t see.
“There we go.” Dr. Ron clucked over Coco. “Bet that feels better. Huh, boy?”
Coco’s tail thumped the table. I refused to look. I squeezed my eyes tighter, sucked in a wad of air, then held my breath again.
The smell overpowered the room.
“You doing okay?”
I peeked to see whom the good doctor spoke to.
“Yea.” Mia’s head bobbed up and down. “This is cool.”
Yep. She was fine. I wasn’t. But, luckily, he hadn’t noticed.
Dr. Ron exchanged the scalpel for a pair of shiny, surgical scissors.
I slammed my eyes shut again.
“We want to see how large the pocket is.”
“Oh…” Mia leaned in to see better, I could only presume.
Fascination trilled in her voice. She seemed… No, they both seemed… animated… and delighted… unaffected by the stench.
“Yep, this is about 7 by 5 Centimeters deep.”
I dared a glance at the door, desperate to escape.
“Kathy, want to get a closer look?”
Caught. “No.” I exhaled. “I’m fine right back here.” Then, I sucked in another lung-full of air and held it.
“Oh Coco,” Mia’s voice rang with happiness. “Look. His hind leg is twitching like it does when I scratch his belly.”
“Yeah, that feels good doesn’t it boy.” Dr. Ron hesitated a second then said, “Hey Mia… I’ve got two tickets sitting on that counter, gathering dust. They’re for the theater this Saturday night. I wasn’t planning on going. Didn’t have anyone to take but… would it be okay with you if I asked your mother to go?”
I searched the counter. Sure enough, there were two tickets to Bass Hall. A thrill rushed through me.
Mia said, “Sure.”
Gleeful, I peeked just as Dr. Ron sliced into a mass. It exploded. Blood gushed. Pus rolled….
And the smell…
The room swirled…
My knees caved…
I vomited… right on the tickets.
Then I fainted.
And that was the last I ever saw of Dr. Ron.