It's quiet when I arrive, the receptionist looking bored while a couple of students wait for appointments, passing the time on their smartphones. She hands me a clipboard filled with forms and instructs me to complete them and sign every page before bringing them back to her.
I take a seat and hurry my way through the questionnaire. Name, student ID, phone, allergies, medications, family medical history, date of last period. Still less invasive than an average shift at Grind Me with Everly. The thought makes me smirk. I finish and slide the pen under the clip before returning the entire thing to the receptionist and sitting back down to wait.
I'm relieved when a nurse calls my name moments later. Hopefully this will go quickly and I'll be out of here in the next half hour with a prescription in hand.
The nurse is a friendly-looking woman with a big smile wearing zebra-print scrubs who tells me to call her Marie. She starts chatting the minute I'm through the door, leading me to an exam room where she gets my weight and blood pressure before explaining that I will need to remove all my clothing including underwear. I'm not sure who attempts a gynecologist appointment with their underwear on, but I don't say anything.
"What brings you in to see the doctor today, Sophie?" Marie peers at me over her clipboard, smiling kindly. I bet her grandkids love her. She's got three. They spent the weekend at her house and wore her out. She's told me all about it while taking my vitals, gesturing and laughing at their antics.
"Birth control. I'd like to get on the pill." I try to sound confident, despite my embarrassment at speaking about my potential sex life with her. She reminds me of my grandmother, the woman who raised me. My mom had me her freshman year of college and died before I was two.
"Good, you're a smart girl. It's always wise to take charge of your birth control." The nurse nods approvingly. "Have you been to a gynecologist before?"
"Well, then you're in luck. We have Dr. Miller on Tuesday mornings. He's the chief of obstetrics at the hospital, but he volunteers here a few hours a week. Otherwise you'd be stuck with one of our general practitioners and they're not known for being gentle. I'll give you a minute to undress and then I'll be back with the doctor."
The door closes behind the nurse with a whoosh. I quickly disrobe, tucking my bra and panties between my shirt and jeans, as it seems rude to leave them visible. I slip the dreaded paper gown on and hop onto the table. Shit. My socks. Marie didn't mention socks. I wish she had. Underwear I know I have to take off, but socks? Is it weird if I leave them on, or weird if I take them off? I'm still debating when there's a knock on the door asking if I'm ready. Socks on then, I guess.
The door swings open and Marie walks in.
The suit jacket he was wearing this morning is gone, replaced by a white lab coat. The plum-colored tie I was so enamored with just a couple of hours ago is still knotted firmly around his neck.
Oh my God. My fantasy crush is a gynecologist. My gynecologist.
"You okay, sweetie?" Marie shuts the door and pulls a tray of instruments next to the exam table. "I told Doctor Miller it's your first time, he'll be gentle."
My face must betray my mortification. I look at Luke. I thought he hesitated when he walked in the room, but now he's giving nothing away.
"Sophie"—he glances down at his chart—"Tisdale. Miss Tisdale, I think we've met before?"
Am I having an out-of-body experience? Can this moment get any more embarrassing? He doesn't even know where to place me outside of the coffee shop. The guy I have fantasized about every Tuesday for weeks is now my gynecologist, and worse—better?—he doesn't know who I am.