Flossophy of Grace
* * * Editors Pick! * * *
What happens when a dental hygienist falls in love with her patient? That's what Grace Hart discovers when she meets Bruce Gardener. The problem? Grace's boss has a strict policy against relationships with patients. Can Grace and Bruce find a way to be together without her employer finding out?
That was the fourth time she’d been bitten since lunch. She hoped they weren’t doing it on purpose, but sometimes she wondered. Maybe it was a pint-sized conspiracy. It was fall break for the elementary schools. All the elementary schools. That meant her dental hygiene schedule was crammed full of little people. There were kids yelling in the waiting room. Kids squirming in her patient chairs. She even heard a little girl loudly warbling her ABC’s in the bathroom. She felt like Mr. Rogers. She needed a cardigan sweater. Won’t you be my neighbor?
Grace loved kids. She really did. They were funny and sweet, and loud and annoying. They asked the most interesting, offbeat questions. And she normally looked forward to doing their prophies (cleanings) since their tiny mouths had less square footage than most adults’ gunky ones. But sometimes the little people tended to tell her way too many intimate details about their parents she’d rather not know. Ever. And they all seemed intensely hyper today. The hooligans who weren’t bouncing like pogo sticks were playing trampoline on the waiting room chairs. Had their parents given them all ultra doses of Mountain Dew before their appointments? That would be wrong on so many levels. She’d had enough of the little guys for today. It was usually a nice reprieve from a day full of adults, but enough was enough. They had worn her down to a frazzled nubbin. Where was that cardigan sweater?
Since she’d arrived at the dental office at 8:30 a.m., she’d done twelve patient prophies, taken seven sets of tiny x-rays (that’s when the unfortunate biting incidents took place), given ten grape-flavored fluoride treatments, and instructed (or tried to) all of the little darlings how to remove the ick from their teeth with a toothbrush. She also dutifully handed out what seemed like 5,092 stickers. Whether the kids behaved like lambs or hyenas, they all got stickers. Unfortunately, she noticed several of the sticky handouts found their way to the recently painted waiting room wall. In between all of the patients, she cleaned her patient chair areas and helped with getting her instruments ready to be cleaned and sterilized. All in her spare time. She was pooped.
She looked at her yellow cat-face clock on the wall. It was almost time. In forty-five blessed minutes, she’d be finished with her last patient of the day. Thank goodness! It couldn’t come soon enough. Whoever it was, she wanted them done and scooted out the door, toothbrush in hand, as soon as possible. The only thing she knew about her next patient was that it was a man, and that he was fairly new to town. Other than that, she had no clue what to expect. Grace desperately hoped he wasn’t one of those men who thought he was good-looking in his plaid pants, white belt, and bad toupee. She always had a hard time holding back a snicker in those situations.She grabbed the last, lonely chart from the pink plastic holder on the wall and wearily called out the name.
As Grace looked up to greet her new patient, the sight that entertained her eyes nearly knocked her on her size-twelve backside. Good grief, he was gorgeous.