Fate or Folly 1/5

Fate or Folly
Written June 2006
Rated PG-13
Synopsis: House interferes when Cuddy meets a man on a dating website.

Disclaimer: The characters within are property of Heel & Toe, Shore Z. Productions, Bad Hat Harry Productions, and other corporations. No infringement is intended.

Are you sure you want to delete your DocDate.com profile?

Lisa Cuddy sighed at the words on her computer monitor. Deleting her profile would pretty much guarantee that she’d be going alone to her next benefit dinner or pharmacology fund raiser which, ironically, was the whole reason she’d created a profile in the first place.

Three months ago, she’d been invited to a state wide administration banquet. Her position dictated that she attend, and the invitation had been extended to her spouse or significant other. Seeing as how there was neither in her life, she asked a few of her male friends, a few other doctors, even asked her neighbor, to go with her. No one could make it. So she went alone, and it had been uncomfortable. None of the other administrators brought it up directly, but then again, no one needed to. The empty chair beside her, the one that had been reserved for her date, made it clear enough.

Cuddy moved her mouse pointer to the yes button under the message and clicked it. That box disappeared and was replaced by another. We assume you are deleting your profile because you have found your match. Congratulations! Click yes to delete your profile. Click no if you have reached this message in error. She scoffed.

Well, no, she hadn’t found her match, but there weren’t many single doctors in the Princeton area who had even responded to her profile. Once the men found out that she was in charge of an entire hospital — one of only three women to hold such a position in the entire country — they were quick to make excuses. Those who did invite her out for drinks were looking for sex or employment, or both.

Her mother used to say that her life had been planned out for her the moment she was born. It was the journey that she had control over, not the ultimate destination. No matter what she tried to do, she couldn’t escape it and in the end, she’d look back and see that everything she’d done in her life had set her up for this exact moment. Every heartache, every challenge, every fork in the road. Cuddy wasn’t sure she believed her mother’s explanation, but every once in a while, she found herself thinking, “It wasn’t meant to be.”

And as she moved her mouse pointer to the yes button again, she said the same thing. “Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.”

Before she had a chance to make her selection, a new window popped up, and she thought she’d been assaulted by a pop-up ad. No, this was an instant message through the DocDate.com website. From McSteve. It wasn’t an alias she recognized. The message was very simple:

McSteve: Hello.

LisaMD: Hi.

As she waited for a response, she clicked on his user name, which brought up his profile. He hadn’t filled in much and didn’t include a picture. City and state were the same as hers, sex was male. Listed his specialty as ‘medicine.’ She chuckled at that.

McSteve: I don’t think the profiles on here give a good indication of a person’s true self. They’re like resumes. It’s too easy to stretch the truth, too easy to make yourself sound so much more wonderful or interesting than you really are.

LisaMD: So why write to me?

McSteve: To see if you are as wonderful and interesting as your profile leads me to believe.

Cuddy tried to suppress her smile even though he couldn’t see her. Why couldn’t all guys be like this? They’d get so much farther if they eliminated cheesy pick up lines like, “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.”

LisaMD: Smooth talker like you, I’m surprised you’re even on here.

McSteve: Speaking tends to get people into trouble, typically when it’s done before thinking.

LisaMD: Ah yes, Foot in Mouth Syndrome. How long until they develop a cure for that?

McSteve: Probably when they start taking the name too literally, and we end up with a lot of patients who have jammed their feet in their mouth. The worst epidemic in the history of mankind.

Cuddy leaned back in her chair and smiled. “Maybe it was meant to be.”

End of Part 1


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