The automatic door slid open but Glen didn’t move. He looked inside the pharmacy to see how many people were inside. It looked reasonably empty. Glen was satisfied.
After the last time, Glen swore he’d never again willingly go to a pharmacy. But that’s the thing about pharmacies. It’s a place, sooner or later, everyone must go.
Glen waited until there was no line at the counter until he approached the lady in the white lab coat. Immediately a line formed behind him. Glen cringed as he handed over his prescription. The lady in the white lab coat gave him a comforting smile and started typing on the computer.
“Glen? Glen Parks. Is that you?”
Glen’s head whipped around. Two people behind him stood Angie Dubé, his high school sweetheart. The great love of his life. The one that got away. After fifteen years she was even more beautiful than he remembered. His heart lodged in his throat.
“I thought you were in London,” he said. The old man standing between them smiled back at Glen.
“London wasn’t all I hoped. I’m back for a fresh start,” said Angie. “Actually, I’m glad I ran into you. Maybe we could get together, talk about old times.”
“How about that?” said the old man. He nudged Glen with his elbow.
“Excuse me,” said the lady in the white lab coat. “Did you want your hemorrhoidal medicine in a cream or a suppository?”
From behind him the old man spoke in a voice too loud for polite society. “Ooo, screaming butt sweats, eh? I had a case once, darn near blew me into orbit.” Then he laughed.
Glen’s face went red. “Um, suppository please,” he whispered.
The lady in the white lab coat looked sympathetically at Glen. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s certainly not any worse than the weepy rash you had a month ago.”
Glen noticed the horrified expression on woman beside him as she pulled her child down an aisle.
“Thanks for the reminder,” mumbled Glen.
“Are you going to wait for this? It should take about twenty minutes,” said the lady in the white lab coat.
“Better sit in the soft chairs,” said the old man.
Glen rushed over to the waiting area. He refused to look up at Angie.
Several minutes later Glen was in the waiting area, still averting his eyes from passersby. He sensed someone sit down next to him. Hoping it was Angie, he slowly looked up. He was greeted by the smiling face of the old man.
“Not who you were hoping for, eh?”
Glen said nothing. He just sighed.
“I think that ship has sailed, son. Not to worry, she wasn’t your type,” said the old man.
Glen rolled his eyes. “What’re you talking about?”
“Want some free advice?”
“Of course you don’t. But it’s free, so listen anyway. You don’t need a prissy girl. Face it, guys like you and me, we’re a mess. You need to find a nurse.”
“A mess? I’m a mess?”
“Are you kidding? Absolutely. But a woman with a strong stomach who won’t bat an eye at your flaming and weeping? I’m telling you, find a good nurse,” said the old man. He patted Glen on the knee, got up and left.
Glen buried his face in his hands. He shook his head in disbelief. He just got romantic advice at a pharmacy from a crazy old man. Crazier still, it was the best romantic advice he ever heard.