Emily hesitated at the patio entrance searching for her friend. Beth usually arrived at their dinners early. And there she was sitting just to the right. Emily slid into the empty, white straw chair and was about to grab the wait staff to order a drink.
“No need.” Beth advised. “I already ordered for you.”
“Am I that predictable that you knew what I’d want?”
“In a word Yes.” The woman’s smile was infectious and good natured. Emily was lucky to have such a good friend.
After a bit of catching up, Beth grasped Emily’s hand. “I’m starved. We must order. I caught a whiff of the ‘pasta of the day’. It smelled divine.”
They requested their meals, both decided on the heavenly smelling pasta. Beth’s eyes lit up. “Look at that gorgeous man to your two o’ clock.”
Emily twisted around to judge the accuracy of Beth’s pronouncement. She usually had good taste and while they agreed on what a man should look like, fortunately they had never been infatuated with the same one.
What the hell? The man Emily observed had plaque on his teeth, not between, not behind, but on. A green leaf dangled from the middle of his two front teeth. Eeww disgusting. She turned back to ask Beth whether she was pulling her leg or what. While her gaze shifted toward her friend she saw the icky toothed man click some sort of device that sat on the table next to his beer stein. “Are you nuts Beth? Or joking with me? That “man” is disgusting.”
“Oh Emily his teeth are fine, pearly white and he has a wonderful grin right at me. Just because you work as a dental hygienist doesn’t mean everyone has terrible teeth.”
Emily had not imagined the state of his objectionable mouth. She peered at her friend, who, if this was a practical joke, it wouldn’t be the first time, then turned to gaze at the “gentleman”. Now, not only did he have several multi-coloured hanging pieces of foodstuff but also a hole in his left cheek as if the flesh was falling apart.
And then he did it again. Clicked some sort of metal device sitting on the table.
When she refocused on Beth she found her found wearing a silly grin. “That dimple of his in his left cheek is so sweet.”
Now anger washed over Emily. If this was a prank she didn’t want to play anymore. “OK Beth. The joke’s over. Tell your friend there that it was funny but I’m tired and hungry and just want to eat my dinner.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. And for that dumb remark I’m going over and sit with him and you can have the table all to yourself.” With that Beth stood and almost ran up to the man at the table and sat in the chair next to him.
As Emily watched open mouthed and wide eyed, this kind of thing never happened between them, her friend cosied up so close to the man she was just about in his lap. She also noticed that the fellow now had a hole in his right cheek, his hair was falling out in clumps landing on the table and his nose appeared to look squished. And he clicked his device again Horrified Emily almost fell off the chair as Beth kissed him right on the slimy, almost green, nose.
Fed up and disgusted, not knowing what was going on. Maybe it is me. Maybe I’ve finally cracked. Emily ran out of the restaurant crashed into a table, almost knocked over a customer and kept going. She never looked back, she just kept walking.