Bella clutched her second prescription in one week to her chest as she approached the pharmacy counter in Target. She hated getting any product filled that was embarrassing. Specifically, medicines required for any part of her body below her belly button and above her knees.
She ordered personal items online. Her tampons and maxi pads arrived in covert, brown boxes on her doorstep. She didn't even have to look at the UPS deliveryman. Bella would peek from behind the curtains in her apartment and wait until he was gone beforeshe would go pick up the package.
But the UTI had snuck up on her like a hairy little kitten. She never got urinary tract infections but when she wound up crying from the burning sensation while peeing, she made an appointment with her decidedly female general practitioner. Bella filled her prescription for antibiotics at her friendly Target pharmacy, comfortingly staffed by discrete-acting ladies. Bella remembered commenting on her pharmacist's large belly. Mrs. Pills was eight and a half months pregnant.
When Bella found herself battling a yeast infection due to the powerful antibiotics, she had to make a return trip to her doctor and picked up her current prescription. Now, as she got to the Target Pharmacy counter again, she waited patently. She didn't see Mrs. Pills, but from the talk Bella overheard of her assistants, she was now both a pharmacist and a happy mom to a healthy baby girl.
Bella didn't notice the gentleman tucking red and white bags into uniformed alphabetic rows until he noticed her first.
She had no time to run, her prescription clearly in view, he unfurled his large frame and his crooked smile at the same time.
Oh, crap, kill me. Someone kill me dead. A lot.
"Hello, dropping off?" His voice should have been counting down the hits on some radio station. His green eyes flashed with friendliness and maybe a bit of flirtation.
Bella swallowed hard and nodded.
After an awkward wait, Mr. Cullen, as his name tag claimed, reached between her breasts to pluck the paper from her clenched hands.
He raised an inquisitive eyebrow at her bizarre behavior and smoothed the paper on the laminate counter.
Bella wanted to crap her pants when he announced the name of her drug out loud.
Anything with "Gyn" in it would perk up peoples' ears. Bella looked over her shoulder. What looked to be an entire football team of boys were gathered around a grandmother-aged lady. They were obviously showing her their support in great testosterone filled numbers. Bella was sure the woman's problem was a lot more devastating than her own.
All eyes were trained on Bella. She tried to curl her body into itself and turned back to Mr. Gorgeous McLoudy pants.
Bella whispered quietly, "Yes, that's it. Thank you."
Mr. Cullen leaned closer to hear her. "Ok." He seemed to want to engage in some more conversation. "Have you ever used it before? Because it's a little bit different than your regular VAGINAL crème." His voice just carried, it was like he couldn't stop it if he tried.
Bella let her hands grab one another for support. If she didn't have a wall of teenage meat behind her, she would have run. She wasn't exactly sure, because her heart was pumping loudly in her ears, but she thought the supportive boys behind her were snickering.
"No, I...haven't used it before." Bella was wondering if she could fit in her own purse.
He obviously was quite proud of his extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical products. He decided to spout the difference between "traditional" yeast infection crèmes and GYNAZOLE.
"You see it's one dose administered with an APPLICATOR. It's unique because it contains adhesive that will stick to your VAGINAL WALLS, as opposed to running DOWN YOUR LEGS. I think it's called VAGI-SITE. But let me check." Mr. Cullen ignored the large crowd and began clicking away on his computer.
Don't check. Good fucks out loud. DON'T check!
Bella thought the blush she had on her cheeks might actually give her sunburn. She tried to be savvy. She wanted to be an empowered woman who tossed tampons around like confetti to just anyone, but she wasn't. She could always try.
"Yup. That's it. VAGI-SITE. So Ms. Swan, any questions?" He turned his interested, trying-to-be helpful eyes back to her red, red face.
Bella's voice got quieter as she tried to think of something, anything to ask. "Um. Is it unscented?"
Mr. Cullen squinted as if he could turn her volume up by making his eyes smaller. "I'm not sure. Are you allergic to any types of VAGINAL medicines?"
Bella's mouth started talking before her head could shut her up, "Uh…I need to use very gentle soaps because I have sensitive… parts." Her voice was getting higher and higher. Mr. Cullen looked as professional as a brain surgeon. He clearly wanted her to have the correct information.
There were definite stifled chuckles behind her now. Bella was pretty sure her ass was blushing as well. The crack was sweating all on its own, like it was on a super high diving board about to jump.
"Ok, Ms. Swan GYNAZOLE is not a soap. It will not work if you put it in and then rinse it off in the shower." He began patting the prescription paper to emphasize his words.
Oh God. We're talking about me being naked, in the shower with cooter crème. Please world end. Kill me.
"I know it's not soap. I just… if it's scented… I can't do scented. Flowers and stuff like that. Fruit flavored soaps make… things… burnish." She could tell from the peeks at his face Mr. Cullen had never stepped foot in Bath and Body Works and wanted to try the array of fun fragrances. Nor had he purchased Peppermint Twist shower gel, foamed up his nether regions and felt like he had dipped them in lava. Bella crossed and uncrossed her legs at the memory.
Mr. Cullen seemed concerned. "Ok, just a heads up. It's defiantly not good to put any fruits or plant life near your genitals." He made a 'V' with his two hands and formed his own pretend vagina in front of his pants.
Bella covered her eyes and tried to defend herself, because now she heard the sickly older woman beating her supporters with a purse.
Bella's mumbling got louder with her embarrassment. "I don't put weird things down… there. Just make sure that the crème is vagina scented. Just plain. For vaginas." She kept her eyes on the counter.
Stop saying "vagina" you screaming asshole.
The assistants were cooing and ogling pictures on the computer. Mrs. Pills had forwarded images of her newborn baby to her co-workers at the perfect time for them not to come to Bella's aid.
Finally, Mr. Cullen asked her for her phone number and birth date. "You can wait right over there, I'll have this ready in ten minutes. I'm sure the itching is horrendous."
Bella shuffled to the hard blue chairs and grabbed a magazine off the rack to hide behind.
From the questions and directions, Mr. Cullen was obviously Mrs. Pill's temporary replacement for her maternity leave.
Bella peeked over the top of her magazine at him. He was stunning looking and from the way he walked and smiled, he knew it. The assistants would fluff their hair when he wasn't looking and pretend to pinch his butt.
After the football team took care of the lovely grandma, Bella was as alone as one could be in a Target.
Mr. Cullen looked over the counter while he was working to see if she was still there. Just before Bella could scurry her gaze away she saw him look at her magazine and raise his eyebrows in surprise.
Bella hadn't thought to check which magazine she was actually pretending to be reading. She had just needed a shield to hide behind.
She closed it and looked at the cover. It was a copy of Vogue with large print over most of the cover.
MAKE YOUR ORGASMS LOUDER, HARDER AND LONGER!
Bella dropped the magazine like it was a snake that had bitten her.
Fuck you! Crazy lady magazine!
Bella wanted to cry. This was the worst twenty minutes in her entire existence. After all her covert feminine product acquisitions, she was facing everything she had protected herself against. And the drop-dead gorgeous pharmacist had witnessed it all.
He knew her vagina was sensitive to products and that it was itching. Bella contemplated the magazine again. She wondered if she could actually paper cut herself to death while waiting in the chairs.
Mr. Cullen called her name, "Ms. Swan? Your GYNAZOLE is ready."
She grabbed her purse and stomped over to the counter. He was smiling at her, ready to ring up her purchase. "You might want to grab some probiotics to go with this. Fight the infection from the inside and the outside."
Bella just stood and stared at him. She rarely got angry and certainly not over feminine products with a man, but she had had enough.
"Listen Mr. Cullen!" She slammed her purse down in front of him and he blinked in surprise. "For future reference, when a lady hands you a script like that?" She pointed to the crinkly bag he was holding. "Go get one of the assistants to handle it. No one wants to talk to about her 'vaginal walls'" She mimicked his 'V' shaped hand motion from earlier, "with a DUDE."
Bella let out a satisfied breath.
I told him. Good for me.
She didn't expect his hurt expression and dejected nodding. His loud voice was quiet, finally, "Of course, mam. I'm very sorry."
He motioned for her to sign the screen in front of her to accept the prescription. She hated the look on his face, like he was a puppy and she had just kicked him.
She took the bag from his hands, careful not to touch his fingers. She couldn't leave him all dejected and dragging. "It's okay. I over reacted. I get mean when I get embarrassed."
Instead of helping he shook his head and rolled his eyes.
"Great job Cullen. Living the dream now, you big fool." He ran a hand through his perfect hair. He was talking to himself.
Bella bit her lip and he took her pause to explain himself more.
"This is my first day as a pharmacist. I just wanted to be really thorough and make sure you were comfortable with the medicine. I did a great job with that, huh?"
She had been so angry at him, but now she had compassion. This was his dream and she was probably the worst client to have.
Bella smiled at him, "It's okay, Mr. Cullen. I think you're going to make a great pharmacist." He looked at her doubtfully.
"No, really, you will." She reached out and patted his hand to solidify her message.
They both felt the spark, an actual, blue, snapping spark. Bella's wool jacket combined with the pharmacy rug had turned her into a walking electrical appliance. They both pulled their hands away from the contact, shaking their fingers.
"Damn!" Mr. Cullen stepped a few feet away from the counter and her.
Bella started to laugh, because it was clear nothing here was going to go well.
"Well, I guess you got me back. I hope you feel better soon Ms. Swan." He was smiling at her laughter. At least they could end the experience with a bit of joy.
"Call me Bella. You already know so much about me." She held her hand out formally.
He gave her a huge smile and went about the most awkward handshake of his life. He touched her palm with his first finger. When there was no shock, he tried to gently flick her finger, to get rid of any latent electricity.
"Ow!" she winced. His thumping forefinger made her hand curl its fingers.
"Sorry, sorry. I'm making a mess of this, but it's just I hate shocks." He finally grasped her hand, but it was before she could completely
unclamp her fingers, so he wound up shaking her claw.
"I'm Edward. Thanks for being my first customer and breaking me in." He was about to release her hand when she dropped her prescription bag between them.
They both reached for it at the same time and clanked foreheads together like drunken sumo wrestlers.
"Damn it!" Bella staggered backwards. Edward put his hands to his head, wincing in pain.
The assistants tried to stop giggling, but lost their battle.
Bella, scooped up the bag and backed away from the disastrous transaction. "Well Edward, I might remember nothing at all after that wack, but I won't forget when you banged me."
Oh, Holy piss cushions. I just said he banged me. Like 'sex' bang.
Edward reached into the little pharmacy refrigerator and pulled out the first bottle he laid his hands on. He pressed it against the slight contusion on his forehead. He waved in her direction and missed her verbal faux pas, because he was so deep in the middle of his own, shouting, "I like to leave a mark when I bang people!" in his too-loud voice.
Bella's last glimpse of him made her smile for days. To his forehead, as impromptu first aid, he had a cold bottle clearly marked in bold letters "Anal Suppository! Keep Cold!"
A/N I contributed a funny, real life story to MsKathy's effort to raise money for Haiti, so if you like to laugh, check out the link in my profile. For as little as $5 I promise you will giggle at my story. Spanks to Yogagal who helped inspire this one (sorry about that baby)