The memory of the crisis that had forced her to tuck her phone in an examining room drawer made her smile. Mrs. Blair’s miniature poodle, Dennis, had clearly taken exception to getting a shot. Mrs. Blair, who had been holding Dennis, started when he howled in her ear. Suddenly free, Dennis tried to escape. Joy had tossed her phone in the drawer for safe keeping and expertly caught Dennis as he leapt for the sink. In the excitement, she had forgotten her phone. Since her budget precluded having a house phone and a cell phone, Joy needed to turn around.
Returning to the clinic, Joy parked her car and silently cheered the presence of Dr. Miles’s car in its customary spot. That meant the doors would still be unlocked.
I thought he was right behind me.
Joy wasted no time getting to the side entrance. She hesitated, noting the quiet.
What'd you expect to find after hours?
Nevertheless, her heart beat faster.
I’ll just get in and get out.
Joy tip-toed through the clinic’s blank corridors, found the right room, located her phone, and turned to leave. As she reached the side entrance, the sound of Dr. Miles’ angry voice stopped her.
“I told you I’d take care of it!”
Joy froze mid-stride. Hearing his voice raised like that scared
her. Mentally berating herself for eavesdropping, Joy strained to hear more.
“She merely looked at the files! It means nothing. I’m only telling you because you so nicely requested I tell you every time my employees dare to breathe!” His sarcasm accentuated his anger. “No! Everything’s under control. I mean it. Look, this is getting us nowhere. Keep out of it!” Dr. Miles hissed.
Joy took that as a cue to leave. Her heart did double time the whole way to her car and didn’t slow down until she was halfway home. Luckily, the remaining trip to her new apartment passed peacefully. Joy knew she should puzzle through the strange conversation, but she didn’t want to deal with anything work related. Instead, she began preparations for a lonely dinner.
How did Ann stand living alone for so many years?
Joy thought of her sister’s beautiful Golden Retriever.
Of course, she had Danny.
“I need a dog … or a man.” Noting the order, Joy chuckled.