Sister's best friend is my new Physician Assistant.
"I would love to, but I have two more patients to check before I can leave, ok?"
A slow smile spread over my lips and I nodded, "Perfect."
Before too long, Terri joined me at the door and we left the hospital together. I led her to my car and she gasped in wonder, "That is one beautiful car."
I smiled with pride, just as if it were the very product of my loins (close, my wallet). I went over to her side and opened the car door for her. Waiting for her to get in, I shut the door and ran over to the driver's side. During the ride over to the restaurant we were both mostly quiet, just exchanging pleasantries and information. "Do you like Italian?" I asked.
She nodded vigorously and said, "I love Italian."
Smiling, I said, "Good. I know this great restaurant, not far from here."
A few minutes later we stopped in front of the restaurant and I handed the keys to my precious car to the valet, who was familiar to me. "Hey Danny, be careful, you hear?"
Danny smiled and nodded enthusiastically, "Of course, Miss Shepherd."
I went ahead and held open the door of the restaurant for my companion. We entered and were immediately seated in a private, far off section of the restaurant, enshrouded by plants and privacy. I pulled Terri's chair out and sat down. Old habits are hard to kill. Terri smiled and I sat in front of her. "You are so charming, I wish you could teach your brother some of these manners." She said teasingly, but I knew there was truth to her words.
We had a very pleasant conversation and an even pleasanter meal, which ended with a short argument over the bill. "I can't let you pay for me..."Said Terri, indignantly.
"Terri, please, I invited you, you're insulting me...you don't want to do that, do you?" I asked with a slight cock of the eyebrow.
Terri sighed deeply as she knew she had lost. "Alright, but next time is on me."
I smiled in relief and joy at the prospect of there being a next time. I really had a wonderful time and Terri was stimulating company. Not in that way, you perverts.
I drove her back to the hospital and dropped her off as close to the entrance as possible without actually being an ambulance. She thanked me for lunch and I again told her to feel free to call whenever she needed or wanted anything. She gave me her phone number as well and we parted ways. As I found out later, her friends at the hospital ribbed her and teased her, asking about me. They had recognized me but were too stunned to say anything in front of me.
One day rolled into another and work kept me busy pretty much most of the time, but I always found the time to talk with Terri, either on the phone, over lunch or anywhere for that matter. We grew closer as we saw each other more frequently, since every time I was at the office, I would call her up and ask her to lunch. To this day, she keeps nagging me about letting her pay for a meal. I still haven't caved.
My brother and her had been dating for four months, pushing on five and it wasn't looking particularly good. Terri would complain to me about the fact that he was never there, about the fact that they would almost never go out anymore and that it was getting harder and harder for her to feel anything for him. His work was taking up all their time and he never found the time to spend with her. She was a doctor and she always did her best to maneuver through her patients in order to be able to see him, but he would either cancel at the last minute or not show up at all. I was more than pissed at my brother for treating this wonderful woman so flippantly, especially since I was already wondering how she could have gone out with him in the first place. I tried to talk some sense into him but nothing worked.
One evening, I was at my parents' house, hanging around after a long day of recording and I was too tired to go to my own apartment and be alone.