When my cell rang on Monday, I looked at the number, which I didn’t recognize, so I let it go to voice mail. After I had finished with my patient, I was left standing by the reception desk, when my phone ‘meowed’. It indicated that I had a text message, which said...’Doc Ill call bk @ nn A.’ I just looked at it; I didn’t text that much, so I really didn’t know the lingo for it. “What the hay,” I said out loud. My nurse-aid took my phone and looked at it.
“Doc, I’ll call back at noon, A,” she said, handing me back my phone. Then she gave me a smile and went to fetch the next patient.
I made sure I was in my office at noon; when my phone rang, I jumped a foot, grabbed the phone, and hit ‘talk’ before he changed his mind and hung up.
“Hello,” I said.
“Hey.” My head was full of his sweet young voice. I was as nervous as a long-tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I was afraid he’d tell me to get lost; that I was too old for him. I just took a deep breath, “Would you like to go to dinner?” I asked him.
“When and where?” he asked I gave him a name, and date and time. “Kind of fancy, Doc; not sure if I got the wears for it,” he told me. I started to tell him we could go somewhere else, when I heard, “I’m sure I can find something,” he said, after a moment.
“Can I have your address so I can pick you up?” I asked him. He was quiet for a moment; “Or do you want to meet me there,” I asked
“I don’t drive. I’ll text it to you so you won’t lose it,” he said with a laugh
“Alright, that’s fine,” I said, trying to breathe. I heard something in the background.
“Got to get; bell just rung,” he said. Before I could tell him ‘bye’, his phone clicked off.
“Deb...” My nurse aid looked at me, “Show me how to find the text message thing on this,” I asked her. She smiled and took the phone, and proceeded to show me how to find the messages, and I just looked at it. “Can you do this?” I asked her. She smiled and set the phone as I told her what to say. “Bye. See you Friday at six; Doc.” I told her and watch her fingers clicked, I was totally amazed. She showed me the screen. “Alright, now what?” She hit the send button. Then a little ‘bird’ icon showed up, with a paper in its mouth, and it flew away. “Thank you,” I told her. I flipped the phone shut, and walked down the hall with a smile on my face, as I opened the examination room door. “Good afternoon, Mr. Mitchell,” I said, as I closed the door behind me. After a few minutes, my phone ‘meowed’ again; Mr. Mitchell looked at me. I smiled, pulled my phone out, and looked at the message. “Cool,” it said.
The whole week I was so busy that I didn’t have time to think about Friday night.
“You’ve got a spring in your step this week,” my partner in the practice, who was also my uncle, told me. “He must be something special,” he said, giving me a smile.
“He is,” I smiled, as I thought about him.
Friday came, and I was all but ready to call it off; I was just scared out of my mind. When my last patient left, I did my paper work and went home. I wanted to take a nap so I could be fresh. When I awoke, I took a shower, shaved, and started to get dressed, when my phone buzzed; I had a ‘missed call’; my heart sank to my toes. I grabbed it to see the message, and when I flipped it open, I saw the message, which read,’ we still on?’ it said. I sat on the bed; I should have had Deb show me how to do this. I was probably the only doctor in the state that could not figure out text messaging. I could put a human back together, but to send a simple message was out of the question. So I called him.
“Rob’s phone; talk,” the voice said.
“Hi. I was trying to reach Alex,” I told him
“Hold,” he said. “Al, it’s for you,” I heard him yell across the room. Then a “who is it?” Came back, and then “hell, I’m not your fucking message taker.” I hate that word, I thought; as I listened to them yell at each other. That boy had no manners.
“Talk; in a hurry,” Alex said.
“Hi, and ‘yes’, we are still on,” I told him. I could hear him take a deep breath.
“Oh, hi. What time are you picking me up?” he asked.
“Half hour” I told him, looking at the clock; we had dinner reservations for 6:30"
“Ok, I’ll be ready; I’ll meet you in front of the garage,” he said.
“That’s fine, “I told him. “I’ll let you go, so I can get ready. See you in a few,” I said.
“Ok. Me, too. Bye,” he said. I told him ‘bye’ and we both hung up. I ran to the bathroom to get finished; I was only half shaved, and in my underwear. I pulled on my slacks, and then grabbed a shirt, that almost matched the pants. I was going for the tie, but changed my mind. We were going to a nice place, but not a ‘tie joint’, and if we needed them, I was sure that I had a couple laying in the car somewhere.
When I pulled onto the street, I was totally lost; it was in the older part of town. I saw a couple of people standing around, so I had to ask where the address was. The older man looked at me, and pointed down the street to a bunch of older houses. I thanked him, and headed that way. I just shook my head; the houses were kind of run-down, but then I saw a really nice, well taken care of house, and I saw two young men standing out front. I saw him looking up the street, and then at his watch, as I pulled up to the house. He took my breath way; he was dressed in a pair of brown dress slacks, with a tan shirt. His hair was slicked and tied back, but his bangs still hung in his eyes. In his hand was a walking stick with a gold horse head on it; he took my breath away.
He opened the door and climbed in; Rob helped him with his leg. Then he turned to me, and gave me a killer smile. “Ready,” he stated, when as he buckled up.
When we got to the restaurant, I was lucky to find a parking place close to the door. I was a fast walker, but since Alex was having a hard time with it, I slowed my pace down a bit. “Sorry,” he whispered.
“No problem; we’re in no hurry,” I told him, as I opened the door for him. Once we were inside, we were taken to our seats. We sat down, and after a while, he started to shift; he kicked me twice.
“Sorry. I usually sit on that side, so I can stretch out my leg,” he told me. I got up, and going over to him, I held out my hand. He took it, and I helped him stand, and we changed places. “Thanks,” he mumbled, with a blush.
“No problem as long as you are comfortable,” I told him; he blushed even deeper.
The waiter came by and handed us a menu and a wine list. I handed him back the list.
“If you want a beer or something, I have no problem with it,” Alex said,
“No, I’m driving,” I told him. “Do you want a soda?” I asked him, and he nodded ‘yes’, so I ordered us both a coke, with light ice. Again we sat in silence.
“So how old are you?” Alex asked in a low voice.
“Twenty six, “I told him.
“I thought it takes like ten years to become a doctor,” he said.
“Depending on when you start, and what you are going for,” I told him. He just looked at me. “I started at seventeen, and I went for general practice. That took seven years, and I work under my uncle, who owns his own practice. When he retires
in a few more years, I will take over,” I told him.
“Oh, wow! That’s cool,” he said. “I’m just glad to finish high school,” he said, as he sipped his water. When the waiter came back, he took our order,
It’s been almost three years since I’ve dated, and I was really out of practice with it; I didn’t know what to do or say. “So, are you taking anything special in school, or just classes?” I asked.
“Just classes,” he said, as he played with his ice cubes in the water class. I heard him take a deep breath, “So what are you looking for in a boyfriend,” he asked, out of the blue. “I mean, do you want the ‘he-man’, ‘submissive,’ or ‘F’ type,” he asked. Again I just stared at him. “‘Cause I’m not any of those. So if that’s what you’re looking for, I’m not him,” he said. Hell! Talk about taking the bull by the horns; this kid just grabs him by the nuts.
“I want someone who will just be himself around me,” I told him, and he gave me a smile, flipped his hair back out of his eyes
“That’s cool; I can hang with that,” he told me. I could not help it; my eyebrows rose a bit, when I saw him pop something into his mouth. “Vicoden I take them for pain,” he said.
“Are you hurting? Do you need to walk around,” I asked him; he just shook his head. “So how did it happen?” I had to ask; I’ve been wondering since I first saw him.
His cute little lips twisted. “So do you specialize in anything?” he asked, totally avoiding my question.
“No, just general stuff,” I told him.
“So is my type of injury out of your league?” he asked.
“No, not really; just not the right age. I see those over the age of 21, where you would still need a pediatric Doctor,” I told him; he snorted. I was never so happy to see our dinner arrive; not that I didn’t enjoy the view; it’s just that I was not sure what to talk about.
As we ate, I did noticed that he shifted his food around on the plate so it would not touch; I smiled, because my brother is that way. I also noticed he was not eating his veggies. Out of habit, I tapped his plate with my fork. “Eat those; they won’t kill you,” I told him; he just looked, and smiled.
“I don’t eat things like that; they’re gross,” he told me, moving his green-beans
out of the way of his baked potato.
“Humor me and try them,” I told him. He gave me an, ‘if I have to look’, and picked one up and shoved it into his mouth. At first, I thought he was going to be sick, when he almost gagged on them, but he did mange to swallow them. “That bad, huh?” I asked. He gave me a grin, and nodded. “Thanks for trying them,” I told him.
“No problem,” he said, after he took a drink of Pepsi.
After dinner, we left, not sure of what to do next. “I haven’t dated in a long time, so I am not sure what to do now,” I told him.
“I know a place were they make killer cherry pies, but we have to drive,” he told me.
“Point the way,” I said, as I opened his door for him. Like Rob, I bent down to help him with his injured leg.
“Thanks, “he said, as I shut the door.
We ended up over by the mall at a little shop, which I always pay no mind to, when I go that way. It looked like it was a run-down old time bar. However, on the inside, was a really nice looking place, and all they made were pies, cakes, and cheese cakes. Oh, yeah, and espresso.
“Hey, Al, who’s your friend,” the guy asked. He was what we call a little person.
“Hi, this...” he stopped and looked at me. “Doc,” he finally said; I had forgotten that I’d never told him my first name. Tom just looked at us for a minute, and then started to laugh.
“You’re funny, Al,” he said, as he led us toward a booth. He laid down two menus, and let us be.
“What is your name, anyway?” he asked me.
I smiled at him. “Mario, but you can call me ‘Doc’,” It told him; again with the snort.
“I know what I want already,” he said, as slid the menu to one side. I glanced at it; I’ve never seen so many names of pies in my life, the cakes were another long list, and then the cheese cakes were on their own list.
“Wow, that’s a lot of pastries,” I told him
“Yeah, I’ve eaten almost everything on the menu,” he said; I just looked at him. “Not at one time,” he told me, shaking his head and smiling.
“You two ready to order?” Tom asked.
“Yeah, I want cherry, with vanilla ice cream,” Alex told him.
“I will try the blackberry, also ala mode,” I told him.
Huh?” Alex asked.
“Ice cream,” Tom said, before I could.
“Oh,” Alex said, blushing.
“I know you want milk, but you, sir” Tom asked.
“Coffee,” I told him. He waited, and I felt a light kick to my leg. “Oh, just plain coffee,” I said, getting the hint. Tom smiled, and walked off.
“Do you play sports?” I asked, without thinking.
He laughed. “No, I always come in last,” he said, with a sly smile.
“I’m sorry; I forgot,” I told him.
When the pies came, I almost died! I was expecting a slice of pie, but what sat before us was a small pie half the size of a regular ones and a big glob of ice cream sat on top of it.
“Wow!” was all I could say.
“Yeah, but they are worth it,” Alex said, as he dug in. While we ate the pies, we chatted about this and that. He asked questions about where I went to school, and why I didn’t go into a specialty, because they pay more. He also thought it was funny that I only owned the one car, and it was a hand-me-down from my parents, when I went to college. He thought I was real smart, when I told him that the house I now live in belongs to my uncle, and I make the payments, and little by little I am restoring it.
I found out he was living with Rob while he finished high school. When I asked why he was not living with his parents, he told me, “It’s either I live with Rob, or kill my step-dad.” He then smiled at me, and said, “Long story,” then shoved a spoonful of pie in his mouth.
When I took him home, we sat in the car for a moment. He then turned to me, placed his hand on my face, and kissed me softly on the lips. “Call me, if you want,” he said. As he got out of the car, I noticed that he limped just a bit. I wanted to jump out of the car and carry him up the stairs to his apartment above the garage, but I didn’t; I just licked my lips, and tasted cherry pie.