Complete (Incomplete)(4)

By: Lindy Zart

Aidan’s long-limbed frame ambles from the house and he catches me daydreaming. Black hair short, previously pale skin now lightly tanned, and a grin on his face, he is a totally different kid from the one Grayson left that summer two years ago. He waves, dribbling a basketball with his free hand. Showing off, he tosses the ball up and spins it on his index finger. It is hard to accept that he will be fourteen in less than three months. Even with the street between us, I see him wink.

I laugh, shaking my head, and get into the car. “Stay out of trouble, Aidan!” I call out the open window.

“I will! Catch ya later, Lily.” His attention is grabbed by a slender blonde walking up the driveway to his house and I smile as I drive away. He is fast turning into a heart breaker.

Aidan’s had a rough childhood, but the last few years have been heading in a positive direction. He is into sports now and he's good. All that gawkiness disintegrated with hard work and lots of practice. His dad spends a lot of time with him camping, fishing, and going to ball games. Though his parents are divorced now, his mother has been dry for over a year, being more a part of his life in the last few years than she was in the first eleven. They go to family counseling once a week and I don’t foresee that stopping anytime soon.

I pull the car into the parking lot of Mueller Dental and shut it off. Closing my eyes, I force myself to take long, deep breaths. Relax, stay calm. It is not a secret that Grayson and I dated, or that we were best friends for years before that. Each time a new magazine has his face on the cover, or a new song is on the radio, or anything involving Grayson, I am the one everyone gushes over him to. Like it doesn’t kill me hearing about him, like it doesn’t make me want to cry being without him.

I straighten my shoulders and get out of the car, feeling like a soldier marching toward a firing squad the closer I get to the brown building.

It begins in the reception area.

“Lily! Did you see what we got in the mail today? It’s over there, on the end table,” Elizabeth Morgan squeals, jumping up from the chair behind the front desk. Her green eyes are bright, cheeks flushed, and a stray wisp of chestnut hair has fallen out of her up-do in her excitement. She is literally bouncing up and down with her hands clasped together over her mouth.

“I just got here,” I tell her, though that should be obvious. She doesn’t need to know I already stared obsessively at my ex-boyfriend’s image and interview for an unhealthy amount of time.

It continues in the lab.

“Did you see it? He is, like, so hot.” Regina Struthers sighs. She is the sole full-time dental assistant for Dr. Lance Mueller, and though my main job duties are at the front desk, I help fill in when we are overbooked. I am helping assist this afternoon.

“I can’t believe you dated him. You are so lucky.”

“That’s me. Lucky.” The sick feeling in my stomach grows and I try to smile around it, checking on the operatory to make sure everything needed for the next appointment is set up. The medicinal smell that never truly fades from the air is evident as I step into the room.

Regina follows me, her brown eyes intent on me. “How could you let him go? I would be, like, devastated. I would never want to leave my house.” She notices I am still, silently watching her, and her face reddens. “Sorry. That was insensitive of me. You must still care for him. Right? I mean, you were friends. It has to be hard.”

I take in a sharp breath, checking the clock on the cream-colored wall. Ten minutes until the next patient is due. That is forever while in a Grayson Lee takeover.

“Of course I still care for him. We used to be friends. And people bringing it up all the time doesn’t make it easier,” I point out, because I guess not everyone is observant enough to realize that.

Twisting a lock of short, wispy blonde hair around her finger, Regina grimaces. “You’re right. I’m just a little star-struck. I so wish I would have moved here a year earlier than I did. I mean, he lived here, and you knew him. Intimately. I’m jealous. That must have”

My lungs expand on a deep sigh and I turn away so I don’t do or say something I will later regret. Stuff like this happens on a weekly basis. Everyone’s infatuated with Grayson, and by association, I receive the recoil of it. I am used for people to feel closer to the superstar, though everyone knows I haven’t spoken to him since he moved away. I guess it doesn’t matter. I’m good enough, but not good enough for my feelings to matter.

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