“All you had to do was ask,” I said, kissing Molly’s forehead. “Get better fast, Molly.”
“But a charming, intelligent and loveable one.”
“Yeah, yeah. . . .” She drifted off again.
“That’s settled then,” the doctor said. “I thought it would be harder.”
“She wants it this time, she just couldn’t bring herself to decide,” I said. “If she didn’t, we’d still be arguing.”
“Which is why she picked you?”
“She can’t run over me like the girls. Now I have to call and tell them. What time are you doing the surgery?”
“In the morning. She had dinner, so I don’t dare administer anesthetic for at least twelve hours. I set it up for eight AM.”
“Good. That gives the girls a chance to get here and I get a couple hours sleep.”
She glanced at her watch. “You can get at least six.” She frowned.
“Um. . . . No, I’ve got a lady friend at home.”
She laughed, chucking my shoulder. She packed a wallop for such a bitty thing. “Want me to move the surgery back? I can go nine, but that’s my final offer.”
“Could you? That’d be great!”
She gave me an incredulous look.
“Gotcha.” I pointed at her, laughing. “But seriously?” She punched me harder. “I’m kidding. Eight o’clock is good. I’ll be back by then. I’ll keep it down to three, maybe four. . . .”
She threatened to punch me again. I got the room number from the receptionist and headed home, calling Angie and Steve from the Jeep, wishing I had a bluetooth. The conversation was less than satisfactory, but Steve mediated with his wife. She was angry because I’d made the decision, not her.
“Thanks, man,” Steve said calmly. “She’s needed that for years. I’m glad she’s finally doing it.”
“I think this one scared her. If Jesse hadn’t been there to call, she might not have made it.”
“Angie and I will be there by seven. Want to meet up for breakfast?”
“I’ve got stuff here,” I said. “My mom and her fiancé are here for the week. They’re coming over for breakfast. Why don’t you join us?”
“You want the whole clan there? There’s four girls and spouses.”
“I can do bagels and coffee for up to sixteen. That’s how many plates and mugs I’ve got.”
He laughed, understanding. I like Steve. He and I hit it off pretty well the times we’d met. I didn’t think his wife was feeling too kindly toward me, but I really didn’t care. Once it sank in that it was saving her mother’s life, she’d forgive me.
Steve promised to call the sisters. I thanked him and hung up. My home was in sight. Jesse’s house was dark, so I hoped she was asleep. I gave Sarena a call. She answered and the lights went on at Jesse’s. She stood on the porch with the phone to her ear.
“You didn’t leave me a key.”
“Jesse’s got one.”
“She couldn’t find it. She was way too upset. It’s okay. I put her to bed and I’ve been sitting here watching TV.”
“Come on home, baby. Big Mike’s got a package just for you.”
“Ooh, is it about six feet tall with gorgeous hair and a tattoo?”
“You peeked. Yeah, it comes fully equipped with some features I need to go over with you.”
“Sweet. I like fully loaded, high performance—packages.”
We kept talking like that as I drove up and parked. She was waiting on my front porch, phone up to her ear, still talking dirty as I walked up. I took her phone, hung it up and slid it in her pocket. I used the opportunity to cop a feel.
The next few minutes were a repeat of the first time, only this time no one interrupted. I lied to the doctor. I didn’t get any sleep. . . .
I was up about a quarter to seven making coffee and setting out the bagels when Ma and Chester arrived. She walked right in, making me glad I was up and around and fully clothed. She didn’t seem too surprised to see Sarena there. Chester smiled, nodding at me. It was pretty obvious what we’d been doing. A woman does not have that expression on her face, that Sarena wore, unless she was completely satisfied. I raised an eyebrow at Chester, cause for once my mother wasn’t nagging and babbling and the expression on her face was damn near identical to Sarena’s. Give it to the dentist, he knew how to make my mother happy.
© Dellani Oakes 2014