‹ Prequel: I Don't Do Lonely Well
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Inside Your Heaven

dental care.

“I’ll be right here when you get back,” I assure Virginia, waving as she follows the dentist back for her wisdom teeth removal. I read the magazines provided and make a few phone calls about tour before a nurse comes out to get me.
I follow her back, and I can already hear Virginia’s giggling. When the nurse leads me into the room, Virginia is clutching her sides in laughter at nothing in particular. The doctor gives me her pain medications and very specific instructions on them and how to handle her in this state, how long she’ll be in this state, and what to do while she’s recovering.
I thank him, and he helps me get Virginia off of the paper-covered bed. She stumbles into my arms, shrieking with laughter as she throws her arms around me. We sit her down in a wheelchair, and the nurse comes out to the car with us.
“Alex! No, that’s a monster! Stop!”
I’m not sure if I find her fighting against us funny or annoying. Obviously, the car isn’t a monster, and her wild thrashing is making it a little difficult to get her into the car. I manage to strap the seatbelt around her and close the door. She finally stops and sits perfectly still in the car.
Virginia starts giggling when I get into the driver’s seat. “You slayed the dragon! My knight in shining armor!”
About halfway home, Virginia just starts sobbing. “Babe,” I reach over to comfort her and try to hold her arms down from trying to take the cotton out of her mouth. “Babe…baby…sweetheart, stop it.”
“My lips are gone!” she wails.
“Put your arms down. Arms against your side.” I end up having to pull over and calm her down.
“They took my lips! Alex, they took them! Sue them!”
“Baby, calm down. Your lips are there, I promise.” I hold both of her hands in her lap with one hand and pull down the car’s visor mirror. “Look, your lips are there.” She sniffles a few times and leans forwards to examine her lips.
“I look like a fucking chipmunk!” She starts crying all over again and flailing her arms and legs wildly.
I hear a car slowing in the gravel and then a car door shuts. “Is everything alright?” I turn my attention to the officer suited in blue carefully approaching the car. Virginia continues screeching about her lips being gone and that we need to sue the doctors.
“Yeah, I’m sorry, Officer—“
“Officer?! Don’t arrest him! Oh, god, don’t arrest my…my Alex. Stop. Don’t arrest him,” Virginia cuts me off. She tries getting out of the car, but she forgets to unbuckle her seatbelt.
This ultimately sends her into a panic attack filled with more flailing and crying. “I’m sorry. She just got her wisdom teeth out, and I had to pull over and calm her down.”
“Don’t arrest him, please!”
“Virginia, sweetheart, he’s not arresting me. Please calm down.” The officer peeks into the car and sees her swollen cheeks and red eyes.
“Alright. I was just making sure everything is okay.”
“Thank you, sir.” The officer nods and walks away. “See, I’m not getting arrested. Are you okay now?” Virginia sniffles and wipes her cheeks. “Can we make it home?”
She just nods.
I make the drive back relatively peacefully, and Virginia is a little bit of a struggle to get into the apartment. Nonetheless, I help situate her on the couch and pull out my phone for a little entertainment.
Flipping the camera to record, I start talking to her. “Hey, Virginia?”
She hums in response.
“How are you feeling?”
Her head rolls lazily against the side of the couch, and her eyelids are drooping tiredly. “I-This is the strangest weird thing ever…what’s in my mouth?”
“Cotton wads. They stop the bleeding.”
“GOD?” I laugh at the way her tired eyes grow wide.
“No, gauze. G-A-U-Z-E.”
“Oh…why do I taste funny?”
“You’re mouth is bleeding.”
“BLOOD?!” Her hands fly up to her mouth, and I immediately pull her hands away.
“No, you can’t touch them.”
“What’s in my mouth?”
“It’s like a giant band aid.”
“Am I bleeding?”
She touches her lips gently. “Like a mouth period?” Her fingers find the small corners of gauze. “Ew. Mouth tampon.” She pulls out the gauze.
“No, stop. Put that back in your mouth.” Her lips tug into a frown and lazily stuffs the gauze back into her mouth.
“Where are we?”
“We’re at home.”
“I live here?” She tries looking around, but her head just flops to the other side. “Do you live here?”
“Yes, we live here together.”
“We live together?” Her eyebrows fly up in shock. “No! I don’t live with anyone except Rachel.”
“No, we live together, babe. We’re engaged.”
“I’m getting married?!” She pauses and looks at her left hand. “Oh yeah…I’m getting married!”
She just starts laughing, and then the laughter dies down as her eyes droop closed. All of a sudden, they fly back open. “I want a puppy.”
“A puppy?” She nods.
“Named Sebastian. Like the Little Mermaid. Fucking whore traded her voice for a vagina.” She looks at me seriously for a moment until I burst into laughter, and she joins me. “Stop! It’s not funny! She’s a whore!” She adjusts her position a little. “I want a puppy named Sebastian.”

Virginia passes out a half hour later, and I wind up with a sold fifteen minutes of hysterical material to show the band later. The doctor told me next time she wakes up she’ll be in a lot of pain, but all the drugs will have worn off. So, I decide to make my move quickly.
I dial Grace’s number and ask her to watch Virginia for a few hours while I head out. She’s over at the apartment fifteen minutes later.
I get back, and Grace is sitting watching TV. “She hasn’t even moved in the past four hours,” Grace tells me, flipping off the TV.
“Thanks a ton, Grace. She’s going to absolutely love this.” I push open the door a little wider, and a little puppy comes running on his new leash.
“Shit, Alex! He’s so fucking cute!” I smile proudly.
“Alex?” Virginia calls, her voice dry and groggy.
“I’m going to bounce. Send me those videos you mentioned.” Grace peaces out in seconds, leaving me with this little ball of energy.
I hold the leash behind me as I head into the bedroom. “Hey, baby, how are you feeling?” I question, sitting down next to her on the bed.
“My mouth hurts so bad,” she whines. “Was I crazy before?”
I laugh and nod. “Don’t you remember any of it?”
She shrugs. “Some of it.”
“Well, I bought you something to help you feel better.” She sits herself up in the bed a little more as I reach down at pick up the puppy. I drop him next to her legs. “This is Sebastian.”
“Oh my god,” she gasps, immediately scooping him up in her arms. “You just bought a puppy?”
“I just bought you a puppy.” I press my lips to her forehead, and Sebastian scrambles to lick my face. She laughs and lets him climb in between where I rest myself next to Virginia. “We’re officially a cute little family.”
My lips tug into a smile again. It’s a weird thought but definitely a good feeling. I adore waking up next to this girl every morning and falling asleep next to her every night. I count down the moments until I get to see her again when I leave. I look forward to the day I finally get to call her my wife.
♠ ♠ ♠
talking only brings the toothaches on
because i say the stupidest things.
so, if my result goes south,
i'll swallow my pride with an aspirin.