The Donor Prom (Part 2)
“Heeeeyyy,” David yelped talking only a few big steps to get to Carrie and Legacy. He hugged Legacy first and then picked Carrie up, squeezing her tight.
“Put me down,” she swatted at him but laughed. “You’ll crush my dress!”
He dropped her and backed up a step. She was grinning. Yes, good mood, check.
“Okay, it’s good to see you too.” she rolled her eyes at him.
“You look, and I mean this in the nicest way, like a stick of butter,” David smiled, referring to the color of her dress and also to how delicious she looked in it. She twirled around.
“I know, she knocked it out of the park, didn’t she?” tilting her head toward Legacy.
Legacy curtsied please that her creation was such a smash, “Points for the sports analogy.” she high-fived Carrie.
“Speaking of,” David asked cautiously, trying not to sound jealous but failing, “where’s the hockey player.”
“Um….playinggg hockeyyy” Carrie teased.
“Oh, good!” David said, deciding to ditch his efforts to hide his enthusiasm. “Thank you for letting me come,” he continued.
“I wouldn’t make you miss this.” she was sincere.
“I better go, find me after, wish me luck, or a broken leg, or yeah…” She took off toward the backstage. The crowd was getting quiet so she tiptoed in. In her attempt not to disturb she bumped into an easel holding a poster for the evening’s events. Fortunately, it did not fall to the ground and make the shattering noise she played out in her head. It did, however, get the attention of a man tapping index cards in his hand. Dr. Dorough, I presume, she mused to herself and suddenly glad that she’d not said it out loud. He looked up over his notes at her, smiled a little, and then went back to his notes.
Okay, then, she thought, the brainy-types are so serious.
Was he annoyed or just nervous? He was sorta cute, albeit a bit nerdy. She should say something. But then so should he. She turned her back on him and faced the exit where she’d be called momentarily to do her introductions. Dr. Dorough shifted on his feet behind her.
He felt his throat catch. Say something, you dumb ass, he thought to himself. He hated that he was such a social imbecile. Put a ten blade in his hand, and he was the king. Force him to talk to a pretty girl and he became the court jester, a mute court-jester. He inhaled deeply, trying to calm himself and exhaled more loudly than he’d planned.
She turned to him and smiled. “Nervous?”
“No,” he insisted, his throat catching again.
“Are you lying? ” her eyes teased. She had a knack for putting people at ease and she knew it.
“Yes,” he said exhaling again but actually feeling slightly more relaxed.
“Do what I do.” she almost purred at him. Where was this coming from,?
“Picture them naked?” Nate questioned, embarrassed as soon as the words came out of his mouth.
“Eww, no.” she laughed at him genuinely now. “Half of those people, probably look great with their clothes off, but the other half,” she shook her head,”would ruin the experience.”
“Okay, then what do you recommend.” he asked, now anxious to keep the banter going.
“Don’t give a crap,” she said matter-of-factly. When he looked confused, she continued. “All the deep pockets out there, the ones invited for their checkbooks are all so self-important, they’ll be too busy agreeing with whatever you say that they won’t be listening to anything you say. And the others,” she paused, blushing, actually blushing,” the others already think you’re some kind of super-hero so…”
It was his turn to blush.
The light was low back behind the partitions but she noticed. When too much time had passed without a word, she finally stuck out her hand.
“Caroline Davison,” he said, “I know. I recognize you from your picture.”
It was her turn for confusion. She’d Googled him but hadn’t seen what he looked like. Of course, he’d looked her up, but it somehow made her feel weird. Sensing her confusion, he pointed to the sign that she didn’t knock over.
“There,” he said, “see, I’m on it too.”
“Oh,” she laughed, feeling silly. He was a doctor, not a stalker. And there was his picture. Dr. Nathan Dorough; MD and under it, Cardio-thoracic Surgery. He probably didn’t know or care who she was. The first part was true, he’d never heard of her until tonight. His eyes locked onto hers. He noticed that his nerves were suddenly completely gone. Her cheeks, however, were starting to flush but she didn’t look away. They shared the same silence they had just a few minutes before but it felt okay this time. Sensing a shift from out front as someone over the loud speaker asked everyone to turn their attention to the podium, she broke the silence.
“So, I’ve been saying Door-OH, with an emphasis on the OH. It that right?” she tilted her head.
His heart rate took a sudden surge at the thought of her sitting at home, practicing her speech and saying his name.
“Close enough,” he smiled, his eyes dancing.
“No,”she insisted smiling broadly and flashing him her perfect teeth, not close enough. I’m going to say it once, you want me to get it right don’t you?”
What went through his mind at that moment went something like, oh please, please say it more than once. Say it for the rest of your life….You’re an idiot, Nathan. A real special kind of moron.