Another installment from Heartbreak Hill:
“Let me help you with that.” She hurried over to the door and kicked the stopper down to hold it open while she relieved him off the fistful of paper. A quick scan of the parking lot told her Mark’s Suburban hadn’t entered the lot yet. “Do you have an appointment?”
“Your sign said walk-ins were welcome.” His voice had a pleasant timbre. Tara didn’t miss the once-over he gave her. She was used to those. It was one of the side-effects of having breast implants not written in the tri-fold brochure from the plastic surgeon: every male and one-in-three females will have to stare at your chest. At times, Tara wanted to wear a name-tag that said under her name ‘and yes, they are fake.’
“Yes, walkins are always welcome. We have a small break in the rush, right now, so why don’t you have a seat by my desk?” Tara released the door and made her way around her desk.
The man put the two crutches together and gingerly lowered himself into the seat. He kept his left leg extended and Tara could see the outline of a brace around his knee through his wind pants. She dropped the pile of receipts into the middle of her desk and opened a new client file on her computer.
“Have you been here before?” When he answered in the negative, Tara said, “Okay. Then we’ll need to go through the basics first. I’ll need all your vital stats.”
Tara squeezed Leslie’s shoulder. The bell on the front door rang and Tara glanced down the hallway wondering how Mark was able to arrive so quickly. But it wasn’t Mark.
A lanky, sandy haired man on crutches elbowed his way through the door, alternating between pushing the glass door open and inching his crutches forward. He wore a red windbreaker with ‘Lakeshore Track Club’ embroidered on the chest. Clutched between his left hand and the handle of his crutch was a wad of papers. It wasn’t the worst presentation of receipts she’d seen in the last three months, but it would make the top ten.
She experienced a brief wave of deva vu. A flash of his face in the dark and laughing. Had she seen him before somewhere? His physique didn’t match any of the arena football players she had been in contact with. Surely the strange bend in his nose would stood out enough in her memory. It gave him a reckless air that she found appealing. And the Ladies did owe her a favor.
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