Next patient, please

Dr. Fraud leaned in closer to his Notebook screen.  Was this sort of thing allowed on Eharmony?  Should he respond?  In a playful mood he typed some words.  One can easily delete a draft.  The silence of his office was disrupted by a momentary creaking sound.  Fraud’s fingers paused over the keyboard.  The sudden quiet made him nervous.  Tilting his chin, the Dr. peered over the top of the computer screen.  His eyes narrowed.  The office door had cracked open a few inches.  As he watched, someone behind it wedged an eye into the space.  Fraud ducked behind the laptop screen so fast he slammed his jaw against the keyboard.  Ping! Fraud’s eyes widened at the sound.  Dam* and blast! 

Frantic fingers pounded the keys, equaling the power of Beethoven’s Fifth.  He hadn’t intended to send that Eharmony response.  Dr. Fraud crushed his fingers on Ctrl, Alt, Delete while his thumb stabbed at the Escape key.  He grabbed the Notebook and shook it.  No, he would kick it.  That would show it.  He pushed back his chair to raise a shoe. 

At the other end of the room the door remained cracked open.  Fraud froze.  The room was silent.  Fraud settled back in his chair, keeping low.  Curious, he peeked out from behind the computer screen.

The eye, still lodged in the doorway, scanned the room in a slow methodical movement.  Like a crime investigator casing out the joint…

Dr. Fraud tumbled out of his chair to crouch behind it.  Thoughts spun in his head, things that had been buried for years now whirled through his mind in a cyclone of guilt. Maybe that gondolier in Vienna hadn’t tossed the bag into the canal.  Or, Fraud felt sweat pop on his forehead, maybe there’d been a witness to that exchange of banknotes in the Viennese streets.  His glance shot to the framed certification on his office wall then back to the eye.  In his head Fraud measured how many running steps it would take to grab the certificate and cover the distance to the window.  But wait; was this a trick to flush him out? 

Dr. Fraud held onto the back of the chair, ready to use it as a weapon.  A ringing shrill burst the quiet.  Fraud’s hands slipped from the chair as he tumbled backwards.  The shrill sounded again as he lay on his back.  The phone.  Of course, it was the phone.  

From the carpet, Dr. Fraud heard his secretary’s voice in the distance confirm an afternoon appointment.  Fraud bounced to his knees, crawled to his desk and hit the timer.  One hour.  That was being generous.  He’d already given the eye ten minutes at no charge.  He dusted off his pants and dropped back into his chair, chuckling to himself.  What had come over him?  Some poor slob had been picked up for that Vienna business long ago.  What was he thinking?  And he still was in practice.  He even had the certificate to prove it.

Dr. Fraud adjusted his chair and squished his behind into the plush leather.  The computer screen had gone dark.  He jiggled the mouse.  His Notebook lit up and purred like a window cat.  Three Eharmony messages.  Fraud glanced at the door.  The eye blinked non-stop at him.  He lowered his guilty head until the screen blocked the office doorway and Dr. Fraud opened a message.  With a big smile he began to type.     
Miss Eharmonlicious, although I admit it is tempting to find out how many cake donuts Mr. Pickle can hold at once, regretfully I’ll have to decline.  It’s a curiosity I just might attempt to satisfy on my own.  

He thought for a long moment then walked over to the door.  Stretching up onto his toes to see over the blinking eye he waved at his secretary.  “The bakery,” he yelled through the crack in the door.  “Remind me to stop off at the bakery when I leave today.”  Dr. Fraud lowered his heels and stared eyeball to eyeball with the pupil in the doorway.  It stopped blinking, it actually looked startled.  The door creaked and a nose protruded into the office. 

“Oh no, no, no, no, no.” Dr. Fraud pushed the nose back with his palm.  “Don’t want to overdo yourself on the first visit.” 

He settled back into his chair.  There was a flurry of activity on his Eharmony profile.  He deleted a few messages and googled donut images.  Miss Eharmonlicious was in for a treat.  In the middle of the image download his newly purchased rooster timer crowed.  Cockadoodledonuts, Fraud giggled to himself as he walked to the door. 

He placed his hand on the door.  “My secretary will book your next appointment.  Take care of the bill with her.”  Fraud started to close the door then stopped.  “Next time I’ll have to charge you double for both eyes.”  He shut the door.  

Next patient please! he shouted through the door to his secretary.

The End

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