Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lost and Found

"Anyone call yet about your phone?" Mom asked.
I'd just gotten off work and strolled into my new apartment, when her call rang out on my phone in the bedroom.
I sank down on the edge of the bed and kicked off my shoes. "Not yet, Mom. It's been over a week.
I don't think I'm going to get it back."
"What a shame. Such an expensive phone. Brand new. I don't see how we could've lost it."
I'd lost my new phone the day Mom and I had gone shopping. After six years as an army combat medic, three tours in Afghanistan, I was home for good, ready to buy new clothes—girly stuff—settle down in my own place, kick back and relax, before I started a new life as a trauma nurse at our local hospital.
The day Mom and I shopped, my phone must have tumbled out of my purse. I was digging in it constantly for my wallet and credit card. I remember checking it for messages as Mom and I ate at the mall's food court and setting it on the table. But I'm positive I picked it up before we left. As I drove Mom and me from store to store, I fished in my purse many times for my car keys. I also poked around for lip balm. Could I have dropped the phone in a parking lot?
"Well, Sandy," Mom said now, "we did the only thing we could do to get it back."
"You're right."
When I'd realized the phone was missing, using mom's cell phone, I sent a text to mine asking anyone who might have found it to call Mom's house—I hadn't yet settled into my apartment, where I'd have a landline.
After Mom and I said good-bye, I showered, threw on jeans and a sweatshirt, and ordered pizza to be delivered. Then Mom called again, breathless. "He called, Chloe—he called! Can you believe it?"
Still breathless, Mom explained that a man she knew, a Dr. Jerome—her dentist—had found my phone. He insisted that he deliver the phone to me personally, right away tonight, because he felt so bad and wanted to apologize. Apologize? For what?  I wondered. Finding my phone?
Then before she hung up, Mom gushed, "He's single!"
Why is she telling me that?
The pizza arrived, and I set it on the cupboard.
The next knock at my door totally thrilled me because I knew it was Dr. Jerome, and when I opened the door the sight of him nearly floored me. I mean, during my tour in the army, I'd seen many hunky men, but none so devastatingly handsome as the one standing before me.
"Hi," he said sheepishly. He was tall, sandy-haired, and clean-shaven. "I'm Dr. David Jerome. I just talked to your mom." He reached into his sport coat pocket. "I have your phone. I need to apologize," he added, his blue eyes meeting mine.
While my heart pounded like crazy, he handed me the phone. I invited him in. We sat on the edge of the couch, and he explained that he'd found the phone under a table at the food court in the mall.
Apparently he'd stopped to eat just after Mom and I had left. "I was in a hurry," he said, sheepish again. "I dropped your phone into this sport coat pocket and forgot about it until just today when I wore the coat again—I should've returned your phone days ago."
"No need to apologize," I assured him. "I'm simply thrilled to have it back."
By that time, the smell of the sausage/pepperoni pizza on the cupboard had invaded my small apartment. Dare I ask the hunky dentist to share with me? Why not? I'd taken bigger risks in Afghanistan.
We sat at the table in the kitchenette, ate, drank cola, and chattered like old buddies. I told him a war story or two, and he told me a story or two about recently volunteering his dental services for a month in Bolivia.
"I'll be needing a dentist," I said, and, of course, asked for his number.
After I entered it into my phone, he looked at me, his blue eyes sheepish once more. "Um..." He seemed to hesitate. His face turned slightly pink.
"What?" I asked.
"Would you share your phone number with me?" He bit his bottom lip. "I'd like to call you, like...tomorrow."
I caught my breath and gave him my number.
After he entered the last digit into his phone, he looked at me with a wry smile and said, "These gadgets are pretty handy—if you can hang on to them, but I'm happy you lost yours, Sandy."
What else could I say? "I'm thrilled you found it, David."
The End
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