Web Site: The Clinic on Jack Meets Jill
Jack meets Jill in the most embarrassing of places and life situations.
She sat uncomfortably in the clinic’s waiting area, shifting back and forth and trying not to squirm too much. Was it noticeable? Who knew…? The speculations and doubts danced around in her head like some crazy masquerade ball of fucked up feelings concealed behind her deceptively composed face. In her mind, it looked like the levels of Dante’s hell had somehow been merged together and now she was being held captive there.
She sighed. One of those giant, anxious, irritating sighs that reeks of desperation to look less terrified. People only came to the clinic for limited reasons: a pregnancy test, an abortion, or an STD test. What a lovely conglomeration of fuck-ups. Hoping to disappear with some unbeknownst-to-her-yet magical powers, she hid her face behind a magazine and hoped she wasn’t being too obvious. Right.
The word conspicuous came to mind as a guy about her age plopped down in the seat next to her. After almost jumping out of her skin and dropping her magazine camouflage all together, she sat upright and tried to appear nonchalant. He was average-looking, but had several facial expressions that made him attractive. He came across as confident; another big plus. She rolled her eyes in what she hoped would look like annoyance.
“So, why are you here?” he asked unabashedly. She shrugged and raised her eyebrows.
“It’s not something I necessarily want to talk about with a complete stranger,” she replied. “Why are you here?”
“I think my girlfriend is cheating on me,” he said. She furrowed her brows.
“And that has everything to do with a walk-in clinic because…?“ she trailed off in hopes for a more substantial answer.
He leaned in a little closer and cupped his hand around the side of his mouth to avoid whatever phantom lip-reading spies were potentially in the room.
“I think she might actually be a prostitute,” he whispered.
“That sucks for you,” she replied with a guffaw and stuck her face back into a magazine, definitely wanting to avoid further conversation. There was no way that she would ever tell him the truth about why she was here, so they may as well stop talking now.
“So, why are you here?” he asked again, looking at the half of her face that was still visible. She peeked over the top of the magazine at him and looked down again, silent.
“Oh, come on,” he continued, sounding a little whiny. This made her want to giggle, but she held it in. “I told you mine!”
“Sorry, you’re still a stranger in my book,” she said with a smile. “How do I know I can trust you? Your girlfriend is a prostitute.” She laughed a little at her own joke, feeling unusually comfortable with this crazy person beside her. I must be weirder than I thought, she mused.
He gave her an exaggerated look of shock. “Well, what am I supposed to do about that?” he asked. “It’s not my fault she likes to be easy!” He crossed his arms in front of his chest and slumped dramatically in his seat, sticking his bottom lip out in a pout.
“Dump her,” she replied matter-of-factly. “Duh.”
“Do you have a boyfriend?” he asked, coming out of his pout rather quickly. She raised her eyebrows.
“Um… yea,” she stated. “Why do you ask so many fucking questions?”
“I dunno,” he grinned. “Just curious, I guess. Maybe I was hoping your boyfriend is a prostitute, too.”
She chuckled a little bit. “You might be right,” she replied, going back to her magazine. He sat up attentively.
“Really?” he asked. “Maybe they’re working the same corner,” he offered. “What are you gonna do about it?” he added.
“Dump him,” she answered. “Duh,” she added sarcastically.
They sat in comfortable silence for a moment, considering possibilities and contemplating their own lives. The situations the future would bring were unpredictable at best, and looking bleak for both of them. There wouldn’t be a lot either one of them could do with positive results, which they both knew they would get.
He looked at her in earnest, with dark hazel eyes that had little flecks of green and gold throughout the iris. “What do you think you have?” he asked. She sighed heavily and set the magazine on the end table to her left, shamefully lowering her head.
“I’m not sure,” she said. “But most STD’s aren’t curable and it itches like crazy down there. I hate that I was so stupid,” she added, catching herself before she started to cry. The weight of her mortality sat on her shoulders like a back pack full of iron. He put his arm around her tentatively, trying to stay strong and not freak out about his own issues.
“I thought he loved me,” she said softly. “But we were both clean when this started, and now look at us. I know I didn’t have sex with anyone else.”
“It pees when I burn,” he stopped short, “I mean, burns when I pee,” he corrected, grinning like an idiot. “Sorry, I so meant for that to come out the right way, but apparently my tongue didn’t want to cooperate,” he added with a little chuckle.
“Well,” she said, wiping her cheeks and sitting up tall, “I guess we just have to start over and figure out how to deal with it one day at a time,” she said. He nodded in agreement.
“Sure,” he replied. “Hey… do you wanna go grab some coffee after this?”
She grinned. “You’re still a stranger,” she retorted playfully. “I’m Jill,” she added, sticking her hand out in his direction so he could shake it. He laughed at the irony as he shook her hand.
“Jack,” he replied with a smile.
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|Reviewed by Donna Chandler
|Interesting beginning to what I'm sure will be an interesting story.
|Reviewed by J Howard
|good read, good story, lots of directions to go with this one.