“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 38: A Scary Smile
On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…
“Why not go with me?”
No sooner have the words left my mouth than her lips curl back from her teeth, putting me face to face with a terrifying snarl!
Did I come on too strong? Or does she just dislike beagles?
“I’m sorry if what I said bothered you! Let’s forget I asked,” I say, flinching a bit as she gets to her feet.
Her threatening expression melts into a look of pained embarrassment before my eyes. Did I misunderstand her…? Brows furrowed and nose pointed towards her paws, this dog I barely know captures my concern for the second time.
“Are you okay?” I ask, extending my snout with slight hesitation.
“I should be asking you that,” she says, raising her head. “Oh, this happens every time!”
“What happens every time?”
“Whenever I’m really happy or excited, my smile comes out all wrong. Instead of looking friendly, everyone thinks I’m going to take a bite out of them! Even you were afraid of me…” she says, shaking her head.
So she was just happy that I invited her to go to the prom with me? But that means…
“Earlier I asked a few dogs if they wanted to be my prom date, but they all ran away from me. I can handle their reactions…except for PJ’s!”
PJ? Isn’t he the old terrier-dachshund mix who looks kind of like a pirate…?
“What did PJ do that was so horrible?” I ask gently.
She quickly turns away from me, hemming and hawing to herself. Whatever he did, it must have been truly terrible to make her act this way!
PJ like can’t ask scare? Either I need my ears cleaned, or she doesn’t want me to hear what she’s saying.
“Uh, I couldn’t quite catch that. Would you mind repeating what you – ?”
She suddenly whips around to face me, her eyes blazing with a manic energy.
“I LIKE PJ BUT I DON’T WANT TO SCARE HIM WITH MY SMILE!” she exclaims, running around me in a tight circle.
As she pulls me into a dizzy spell, I try to process what I’ve just learned. She likes PJ, but she’s afraid to ask him because she thinks he’ll be scared of her smile. I’m not exactly a love guru, but even I can see that nothing good will come from this way of thinking!
Maybe if we go to the prom together, she’ll be able to summon the courage she needs to talk to PJ!
“Well, I know I’m not PJ, Miss…uh…”
I don’t even know her name!
“Keeva!” she answers, reluctantly slowing to a stop.
“Keeva, will you let me accompany you to the prom?” I ask, giving my most charming smile.
“Really?!” Keeva asks, her lips curling back from her teeth. “Oh, sorry! I’m just so excited! I have to get ready!”
As Keeva sprints away from me, I catch Lucy’s scent nearby. Turning around, I see her approaching me, alone and with a sober look on her face.
“Are you going to the prom with Keeva?” she asks, tilting her head to the side.
The air hangs heavy between us, stifling and tense. Am I the one making things so uncomfortable? Did Max asking her to prom really change our close friendship? I don’t want to feel this way…
I have to assure her that I support her decision.
“Yeah! Keeva is really nice and fun, so I thought we’d have a good time together! You and your prom date will have a great time too!”
Lucy blinks as if she doesn’t understand what I’ve said. I know it’s surprising that I asked a stranger to prom, but her reaction is a little unsettling.
“Right, we’ll all have fun together. I’m looking forward to it.”
Watching Lucy head towards the pool, I feel that old knot tightening in my stomach. No matter what I tell myself, the terrible sense that there’s a greater distance between us continues to wear on me. And there may be nothing I can do to fix it.
Can we ever go back to the way we were before?
…to be continued…