The Big C

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Jacob Clifton: A | Grade It Now!
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Consider the Lobster

He did. He was. "So fucking sue me." She caresses his face, pulling him down toward her in the leather bucket seat, overjoyed -- that crystal may be working, healing their broken relationship -- and he screams, almost in pain. No, in literal pain. An infected tooth. He jumps back. Cathy hates this, as much as she loves to be shocked she hates it when your love hurts someone else. When you give them a hug and they squeal in pain.

She leans, she wallows, she tries every angle of her new carseats, looking up at him. Grateful to be giving. "Go to my dentist, I'll pay for it!" Overjoyed. Appointments, ledgers, excitement. "You should smell what I taste," Sean says, swabbing his tooth with one finger and waving it in her face. Definitely infected, then. Cathy mentions the girlfriend, Daphne, who surely cares for his health and surely doesn't want to taste what he tastes, but Daphne is gone.

"She got all weepy on me and wanted to be exclusive. But it's cool. It's cool. Got a couple other fish on the line I'm just not ready to throw back."

Cathy rolls her eyes. "I'm not gonna suddenly buy into the system because I'm experiencing some minor discomfort. When the illegal immigrant who has to choose between a trip to the doctor and feeding her kids can go, I'll think about it." She cracks up halfway through and continues on laughing. "Still scared of the dentist, huh?"

Sean, cutely, growls and fusses with the recycling. "I'm not scared, Cathy, I'm righteous and indignant." He knows she's right; she knows he's kidding. "Step away from the car. You let me enjoy my frivolous purchase." He cocks his head, memory of an old life: "I didn't know you knew how to drive a stick." She looks down. Shit.

The traffic backs up behind her on the way to her appointment; she strips it, she stops and starts and judders. She can't make it into Dr. Miller's office, his expensive parking structure, with her new purchase, so their appointment has been moved to Cap'n Red's Lobster Grill. She knows damned well he wouldn't do this for anybody else. She doesn't stoop to conquer.

"Let's get you a drink," she says when he arrives, grumbling. "The house chardonnay, it's a little stale, but fruity. If you're into fruity?" He begs off and starts with the questions: "Any pain? Normal appetite?" Starving, says Cathy, and reaches for a menu. This isn't an appointment, it's a lunch date. Why can't Dr. Miller see that?

"I brought your latest blood results. Everything looks stable..." She laughs and says he's interrupting lunch, she'll lose her normal appetite. What next, he whips out the stethoscope? He admits that was his plan, pouts for a moment, gives in to her new plan.

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The Big C

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