Bio of Author, Donna Joy Usher: Born in Brisbane, I started my working life as a dentist. After 15 years of drilling and filling I discovered there was more to life, and put pen to paper. Now I drill by day and write by night.
When not doing either of those things I like spending time with my husband and two little dogs, fishing and camping, motorbike riding, traveling, drinking wine on my deck and eating chocolate. Last year I ran my first half marathon and took up paddle boarding.
I have lived in a myriad of places: Melbourne, Perth, England, Rockhampton, Roxby Downs, Sydney, Cairns and am now situated on the New South Wales Central Coast.
When Chick Lit and Dentistry Collide – A Short Story
I was early to work that Monday morning. A total rarity for me, but I was so hyped after my weekend that I hadn’t been able to sleep. Plus I was dying to share my secret with Linda, my dental nurse. Of course it wasn’t Linda that was waiting for me in my dental surgery but Trixie.
‘Linda’s sick,’ she informed me, in her high, tinkly voice.
Great. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes at her ultra-short uniform. Trixie was my boss’s nurse, hired for her looks and legs, and not her ability to do more than one thing at once. Unless you counted being able to suck saliva and massage my boss’s thigh at the same time a talent. I hated working with her at the best of times but today, when I was bursting to tell someone my elicit news; it was going to be unbearable.
I placed my bag under my desk and changed into my clinic gown while I perused the day’s patients. Crown preparation, root canal, Mrs Delvita’s denture was still hurting, removal of an impacted wisdom tooth, and then after lunch a new patient consult.
I tried to concentrate on what I was doing, I really did. But root canals can be so boring – and my memories were so much more entertaining – that I had to confirm my canal length measurements three times before I was sure I had it right. Trixie didn’t notice; she was too busy watching the plasma television that hung from our roof.
The wisdom tooth managed to hold my entire attention. Looking into a tiny mirror, that’s covered in water and blood, while cutting through someone’s jaw bone does tend to do that though. And of course the sweet relief from the tooth finally giving up its tenacious hold on its bony cave was enough to distract me the entire time I wrote up the patient notes. But after that they came flooding back; memories of skin on skin, the rustling of clothes being removed, soft murmurings of pleasure.
Christ. I resisted the urge to fan myself with my day sheet. The surgeries were kept cold on purpose: you can work up quite a sweat placing implants and removing teeth. Trixie was sure to notice if I started having a hot flush.
My new consult was waiting for me after lunch. I pasted my special new-patient-smile on my face and took a seat across from him. For a moment I thought my daydreams had become so vivid they had jumped from my mind and crystallised before me. The blue eyes I had gazed into; the soft lips I had kissed, the dark, thick hair I had rumpled with my hands. He looked even more gorgeous than I remembered in his well-fitting grey suit.
‘Not a receptionist?’ he said, a small smile tugging the corners of his lips.
‘I find if I admit I’m a dentist I often spend the whole night listening to horror dental stories.’
‘That would be annoying.’
I was about to apologise for leaving before he woke; to explain that I hadn’t wanted him to feel obliged to see me again, or to think I was desperate or needy. Of course in my rush I had locked myself out of the hotel room before I could leave my phone number. I was guessing that hadn’t looked so good. Or maybe it had. Aghhhhh. This was the reason I was still single – I found men so hard to read.
Of course as I was struggling to find the right words Trixie re-entered the room. She took one look at our new patient, straddled her dental chair so that an inordinate amount of thigh was showing and pressed herself up against him from the other side. Trixie always seemed to know what men wanted.
‘Sore tooth?’ she cooed, placing a sympathetic hand on his shoulder.
He shot me a confused look before answering her. ‘No I really just want a check-up and clean.’
Well that was a relief. Ripping out one of his teeth was sure to ruin my fantasies.
I donned my mask and glasses – feeling embarrassed at how geeky my elongated, dental loupes made me look – and lay the chair back. Wow, he really was tall. From where Trixie and I were sitting we got a great view all the way down his long, hard body. Of course I already knew it was long and hard, and that wasn’t helping with the hot flush situation.
One night stands were generally not my thing. Saturday night had been a spontaneous event after a chance meeting with a gorgeous stranger in the bar down the road from my house. I normally always made sure I had looked into the mouths of the men I slept with before we did the deed, and so I was a little nervous as to what I would find. What if his teeth were claggy with plaque? What if he had a mouth full of rotting stumps? What if he had hairy leukoplakia on the sides of his tongue – a sign of full blown AIDS? What the hell would I do then? Try and pretend everything was normal when I really wanted to run screaming from the room?
And so it was that I placed my mirror into his mouth with much trepidation. It was pink and white and squeaky clean. I breathed a sigh of relief and picked up my ultrasonic scaler, checking to make sure the tip was tight. Trixie took the chance to lean right over, exposing some cleavage while she battered her heavily made up, green eyes at him. ‘You can hold my hand if you want,’ she purred.
‘That won’t be necessary,’ I said, moving my dental chair closer so she was forced to move back a little. ‘I’m sure Mr Ritchie is brave enough to handle a dental clean.’
‘I’ll be fine, thanks.’ He smiled in Trixie’s direction and I had a sudden urge to poke her in the eye with my scaler.
Christ, I really had to get a grip. Instead of permanently disabling her, I snuggled my secret-size-12D-weapon into the back of his head as I leant over his mouth. ‘Let me know if you need a break,’ I said as I started to clean.
I was extra careful not to hurt him. I mean I really did like this man, and I was hoping to see him again. Of course like everything, when I tried too hard, I ended up totally embarrassing myself. I’ve been using a triplex for a good ten years, so you’d think I’d be able to squirt the water where I wanted it to go right? Normally yes, I have no trouble in directing the flow onto the exact tooth I need washing. So why, oh why, did today have to be the day that I misfired, squirting a long jet of water over his head and straight into his crotch. I could see it happening, see the pool of water starting to soak into the expensive fabric of his pants, but do you think I could take my finger off the button? By that time I stopped he looked like he had wet himself.
‘Oh dear,’ Trixie tittered.
‘Oh my God, I’m so sorry,’ I said, watching as he lifted his head to observe the damage.
‘Let me get that.’ Trixie, with a hand full of paper towel, made a lunge for his crotch.
‘Stop,’ I shrieked in horror. God, if I let my dental nurse give him a crotch massage I was sure to never see him again. He’d be far too embarrassed to come back.
‘I’ll have that,’ he said taking the paper from her frozen, outstretched hand.
I sat him up so he could dry himself with a bit of privacy and instead of thumping my head against the wall a few times – like I really wanted to – I started my notes. ‘We’re finished anyway,’ I advised him, ‘so have a rinse if you want.’
I could see Trixie hovering, getting ready to pounce again. ‘Don’t you have some sterilising to do?’ I asked her. She gave me a dirty look and flounced from the room. I was going to pay for that later with even less help than normal, but I didn’t care, I didn’t want her there while I performed my grovelly apology.
‘I’m sorry,’ I said again.
‘For which part?’ he asked as he came to stand beside my desk. I pushed my clinic seat towards him so he could sit down.
‘Ummm, for making you look like you wet yourself, and for,’ I lowered my voice, ‘running off without saying goodbye.’
‘And for making me have to book a dental appointment so I could see you again? I only had a clean a couple of months ago, but he wasn’t as gentle as you, so I might come here from now on if you don’t mind.’
I could feel my mouth flopping around like a dying fish but I didn’t seem to be able to get it to close. ‘For making you book a dental appointment?’ I finally managed to get out.
He smiled, ‘I don’t want you to think I’m a stalker or anything, but I work across the road from you.’
Stalker? Hell he could stalk me if he wanted. Stalk me, kidnap me, have his wicked way with me – again.
‘I’ve seen you going over for coffee and I always thought you looked nice. I just didn’t realise till Saturday night exactly how nice you are.’ He leaned towards me as he said it and his after shave wafted over me. It smelt so good I wanted to leap onto his lap and start biting his neck.
‘So,’ I said, blushing profusely, ‘you wouldn’t mind catching up again?’
We were disturbed by Trixie coming in to restock my drawers with sterile instruments. She slammed a few cupboards and muttered under her breath. Yep, I was really going to pay this afternoon.
‘Friday night?’ he said quietly, passing me his business card.
I nodded as I leant down and tucked it into my handbag, resisting the urge to high five myself. Once he had departed the surgery and headed out to reception, I continued with my notes, studiously ignoring Trixie. It was going to be a long week waiting for Friday night. But I was sure it was going to be worth the wait.
**Buy The Seven Steps to Closure!”