When an idiot turned dumb

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Cooper merrily walked his way to work at Furry Smiles Animal Hospital. The only reason he enjoyed Mondays so much was because he'd be able to meet Margaret again. He had weekends off. Although Margaret was currently in school and wouldn't come until five o'clock, that still gave him three hours to spend time with her today when she did.

Cooper began his shift the same as usual, by checking on all of the animals that were temporarily staying at the hospital for treatment. When he confirmed there weren't any problems and that all of them had enough food and water in their cages, he began furiously sweeping and mopping the entire place. He really did "scrub them floors hard."

He was glad it was a busy morning, as that meant his boss, Dr. Russo, wouldn't be on his back too much. Just behind his own mother, Dr. Russo was the scariest person he knew.

"Smith!" the vet harshly called out later that afternoon.

"Y-Yes, sir?!"

"Is that a question or an answer?"

"Both—I mean an answer! Yeah, definitely an answer..."

Dr. Russo pointed to one of the shelves on the wall. "Don't you think we need more cans of tuna over there?"

Cooper looked in the designated direction. The stacks of cans were a lot lower than they usually were. "Yeah, I guess we do." He gave his boss two thumbs up. "Sharp eye, Dr. Russo! There's like nothing you can't see behind those sexy glasses!"

"Are you trying to harass me?!"

"What—No, it was a compliment—"

"Stop wasting my time and go restock the shelves, Smith!"

"Y-Yes, sir!"

A shiver ran down Cooper's spine. He was so sure the sexy glasses remark would help him get on his boss's good side, but things didn't work out quite as he had envisioned. He'd have to try again with an even better compliment next time.

Cooper grabbed a full box of tuna from the backroom and struggled to bring it out to the front of the animal hospital. He wasn't exactly the strongest guy out there. Far from it, actually. Dr. Russo would surely crush him in an arm wrestle. All the more reason his boss terrified him.

Placing the box down, he began to refill the shelves with cans. About midway through finishing the task, he felt another hand reach into the box. Cooper immediately snatched his own away in surprise. He stared at the curly brown-haired girl before him with great admiration. His heart was beating so fast now that he could barely find his next words.

"M-Margaret, w-when did you get here?"

Showing her mouth full of braces through her bright smile, she replied, "Just now. Here, let me help you with that—"

"No, it's fine!" He snatched the two cans right from her hands. "I wouldn't like want you to get your hands on all this fishy stuff..."

Margaret giggled in a way that made Cooper melt like a puddle of vanilla ice cream on a summer's day. "You always say some of the funniest things, Cooper. That makes it sound like we're smuggling illegal drugs or something."

"Who's smuggling illegal drugs?! Smith!"

A gloomy dark shadow casted over Cooper in the form of an angry veterinarian. "N-No one, sir!"

Dr. Russo's face turned grimmer seeing his precious daughter with his inadequate, and definitely least favorite worker. "You keep your drugs to yourself. Don't go off negatively influencing my innocent daughter!"

"Of course! I-I mean I don't do drugs! And I'd much prefer to influence her in other ways, sir!"

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?!" Dr. Russo roared in a voice that shook the entire animal hospital. 


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