Lip Service

Lip Service - a short story by Robert Burton Robinson on

It may be the best kept secret in town. (1,330 words)
Gail Bentley walked into the restaurant and found her friend, Joy, sitting at a table near the front window.

Joy stood up. “It’s been too long, sweetie.”

“Oh, my!”

Joy grinned.

“You look so…young.”


They hugged and sat down at the table.

“You’ve got to tell me your secret.” Gail shook her head. “Your face is unbelievable.” She leaned in close. “You’re forty-six, like me, right?”

“Forty-seven. Would you believe I got into yoga?”

“Hmm. That might explain your tight-looking body, but not your face. You look like you’re thirty. I’ve never seen a lip job like that. It’s flawless.”

Joy smiled. “I know.”

“So, I’ve got to have the name of your doctor.”

Joy took a business card out of her purse and handed it to her.

Gail studied the card. “Lip Service. But there’s only a phone number on here. Where’s his office?”

“He has several locations. When you call for an appointment, they’ll give you the address.”

“Okay, thanks.”

“But I’ve got to warn you: his methods are unorthodox.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, for one thing, he only takes cash.”

“That’s weird.”


“How old is he?”

“Around forty, I’d say, but he may have undergone his own treatment, and if he can make me look like this, there’s no way of telling how old he really is. He could be sixty or seventy.”

“Wow.” Gail shook her head. “Money’s not an issue, of course, but if you don’t mind me asking, what did it cost?”

“Five thousand.”


They laughed.


After her lunch with Joy the day before, Gail had called the Lip Service phone number and was able to get an appointment for this afternoon due to a cancellation.

She took the elevator up to the fourteenth floor and went to Suite 1419. There was no sign. Nothing to indicate whose office it was. She reached into her purse and took out the slip of paper with her notes on it. Yes, this was supposed to be it.

Gail tried the door. It was unlocked, so she walked into what she expected to be the doctor’s waiting room. But there were no chairs or couches. Not a single picture on the walls. There was only a nurse sitting behind a small desk. She stood up. “Mrs. Bentley?”


“The doctor is ready to see you.”

“Okay, great.”

“But first I need to collect your payment.”

“Right now—before I see the doctor.”

“Yes, please.”

She reached into her purse, took out the cash, and handed it to her. “This is highly unusual.”

The nurse smiled and opened the door to an adjacent office. “Mrs. Bentley, this is Dr. Smoother.”

He was standing in front of an exam table in a lab coat—tall, trim, with piercing blue eyes. He smiled warmly and held out his hand. “Good to meet you, Mrs. Bentley.”

“You can call me Gail.” She shook his hand. It was warm, and his skin was soft like a child’s.

“Okay, Gail, please have a seat.”

She set her purse on a chair and stepped up to the end of the exam table and sat down. “My friend told me about you, but she wouldn’t give me any details about the procedure.”

“What is your friend’s name?”

“Joy Davis”

“Oh, yes, Joy. I did a beautiful job on her, didn’t I?”

“Yes, you did. That’s why I’m here.”

“Good. Let’s get started. Nurse?”

The nurse walked in with a syringe.

“What’s that for?” Gail asked.

“No need to be concerned, Gail.”

The nurse gave her a shot in the arm and left.

“It’s to help you relax for the procedure,” he said.

“For the procedure? Surely you’re not planning to do surgery right here in this room.”

He smiled. “No, of course not.”

Her head felt like it was beginning to spin. “I feel dizzy.”

“That’s to be expected. Scoot up the table and lie down. That will ease the dizziness.”

He pulled out the leg extension, an she repositioned herself and stretched out on the table.

“So, when are you going to do the surgery?”

“Oh, Gail, I would never touch you or anyone else with a scalpel. I’m not a surgeon. I’m not even a real doctor.”

She tried to get up, but nearly barfed. “So, I just paid five thousand dollars to a couple of scam artists?”

“No, no, no. Hear me out.”

Her speech was beginning to slur. “Well, I don’t have much choice about that, do I?”

“How old do you think I am? Tell me the truth.”


“I’m sixty-seven.”

“No way.”

“Yes.” He grinned. “You see, Gail, a couple of years ago I was on a Brazilian Rainforest tour and I drank water from this creek. Our tour guide saw me and told me to stop. He said that the water might not be safe for drinking. That night I caught my flight back to the U.S., and the next morning I looked and felt thirty years younger. At first, I thought I was losing my mind. I kept myself in seclusion for weeks. I lost my job. I didn’t know what to do with myself—until I finally accepted the truth of what had happened: I had stumbled upon a fountain of youth.”

“Well, that’s an amazing story, doc, but it doesn’t do anything for me.”

“Oh, yes it does, because I have the ability to share my good fortune, and I’ve made it my life’s work—for as long as it lasts.”

“So, when are you gonna share it with me?”

“Right now. Please don’t resist or it might not work.”

She felt drunk. “I’m a big old ugly chunk of clay, doc. Mold me into something young and beautiful.”

He leaned down. His eyes twinkled like stars—or maybe it was the drug.

He gave her a long, passionate kiss, and she loved it.

He said, “Thank you for allowing me to share my gift with you.”

“You’re welcome, doc…” The drug was quickly pulling her under. She felt herself melting into the table.


Gail strode into the bar.

Joy waved her over to her table.

Gail sat down. “Well, what do think?”

“Oh, crap! You look younger than me!”

Gail laughed.

“Can you believe it worked?” Joy asked.

“No. I keep looking in the mirror and I still don’t believe it. And my whole body feels firm. Definitely the best five thousand dollars I’ve ever spent.”

“Me too.”

They giggled.

Gail leaned in. “But why didn’t you tell me what he was going to do? You know—the kiss.”

Joy looked confused. “What kiss?”

Gail was stunned. “Are you kidding me?”

Joy cracked up. “Yes, I’m kidding you.”

“It was amazing.”

“I know, right?”

“I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been kissed like that,” Gail said.

“Your ex-husband?”

“Yeah—a long time ago.”

“But remember: you were under the influence of that drug at the time,” Joy said.

“Then, give me some more of that drug. It was fantastic.”


“I feel kind of guilty, though,” Gail said.

“About what?”

“The doctor left a few of his business cards next to my purse, but I’m never gonna tell anybody how I got this new face and killer bod.”

“Yeah, me either,” Joy said. “I told you, and that’s it. Nobody else. It’ll be our delicious little secret.”

“Then it’s agreed?”


The waitress came by and took their drink orders and walked away.

Joy said, “Although…I may have to tell my sister so we can look about the same age.”

“Yeah, you probably should. And I guess I should tell my daughter because otherwise people are gonna wonder why we look like sisters.”

They laughed.

Joy said, “Yeah, and I need to share it with Mom. She’s seventy, and she’d be thrilled to look and feel like fifty again.”

“Right. I’ll tell my mom about it too.”

“Oh, and then there’s…


Copyright © 2017 Robert Burton Robinson

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