Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Daring Destiny ~ Part 12
“Rainy, it’s always about Clover,” said Ned. “My mom used to say that the minute a woman gets pregnant her worry wheel starts to turn. She’ll think of every bad thing that could happen, and I mean every bad thing, from a scrapped knee to aliens.”
Rainy laughed. “Aliens, huh?”
Ned nodded. “When you started looking after Clover, your worry wheel started to turn. So what is it?”
Rainy considered telling Ned about the cards, but she had been so good at keeping that part of her life hidden, she just couldn’t bear it. “It’s math.”
“She failed her last math test,” explained Rainy, “and when I say failed, I mean less than an F, more like an H.”
“You can’t get less than an F,” said Ned, “Mathematically impossible. I’m a mathematician, I know these things.”
“A mathematician that works at Super Foods,” countered Rainy with a sly smile.
“Purely by choice,” said Ned. “I’m not ready to enter the world of full time mathematics. I need to sow my wild oats, travel the country, travel to other countries, buy an RV and just get lost.”
“Can mathematicians get lost?” asked Rainy.
Ned shook his head. “Sadly, no, but I can help with Clover.”
“I was hoping you’d say that,” said Rainy. “Do you mind tutoring her? I could pay you in homemade dinners?”
“Of course,” said Ned, “dinner is my favorite form of payment.”
“Thank you,” said Rainy, giving Ned a hug. “I really appreciate it.”
She felt something drop on her back and took a step away from Ned. “What was that?”
Ned shook his head in confusion. “What?”
“Something fell on …” but before she could finish her sentence, all of Ned’s teeth fell out of his mouth.
Rainy took another step back and screamed as blood dripped down Ned’s chin and his teeth hit the floor making little tic-tack noises.
“What’s wrong?” asked Ned, looking behind him for trouble. “What is it?”
Panic flooded his voice as it overcame Rainy. She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Your teeth!”
Ned relaxed and cocked his head. “My teeth? What about my teeth?” He hurried over to a mirror over the sink as Rainy opened her eyes.
She had to help Ned. If his teeth were all falling out then he needed an ambulance and she needed to stop panicking and take care of him. But as she studied Ned looking in the mirror, mouth agape as he examined all his teeth, she realized they were still there.
He looked at her. “Rainy, what is going on? My teeth are fine.”
She shook her head and looked to the floor. There were not teeth or blood on the floor. It was just as clean as it had been when she walked in. Ned walked over to her.
“Rainy? Are you okay?” His eyes were filled with concern.
Rainy forced a smile and a fake laugh. “I totally got you. I was just joking!”
She gave him a playful slap on the shoulder as he shook his head. “No. You were scared and I’m sure you are a great actress, but there is no way that the fear I saw in your eyes was fake. What’s going on?”
Rainy sighed. “I didn’t sleep last night.”
“Like at all?” asked Ned.
“Maybe a couple of hours after I took a sleeping pill,” Rainy lied. She didn’t want to go into a huge explanation on why she hadn’t slept. There was no way Ned would believe that she lost a whole night’s sleep over Clover’s math grade. She gave him a half smile. “I’m sure what I saw was just a hallucination from taking my sleeping pill too late and getting up too early. I just need a giant sized cup of coffee.”