Mixed emotions

Kevin picked me up from work, as a surprise, for no other reason than he happened to be going by my office near the time I was ending my work day. Oh, and he just wanted to see me.

He’d had some dental work done the previous day, by a dentist who can fairly be described as “brutally direct”, and his jaw still hurt. He had a bruise on his lower lip from the implement that the dentist had used to pull his mouth open.

Within minutes of getting into the passenger seat of his car, and before we had gone even two city blocks, I had said or done something that caused him to laugh, then clutch his cheek in pain and groan.

“I can’t laugh or smile,” he said.

Deadpan, I said “Oh, I see. You hadn’t had enough torture from this dentist. You just had to go and compound the pain by hanging out with your friend Brian. Because he’s so damned serious.

Kevin bit his lip. Which triggered another expression of suppressed hurt.