He’s still looking at me with that hard look on his face. “Yeah, sure, hope it doesn’t cause a problem for you with Reggie,” he says cryptically and strides down the hall toward his apartment. Too late I realize he doesn’t know my friend, Reggie, is really Regina.
Hmm, he’s kind of cute when he’s jealous…
The next time the doorbell rings it really is Reggie and I pull her in for a big hug. “Yay, you’re here. It’s been too long since we went out.” “It has,” she agrees. “And since it’s research for your story, we let the guys buy our drinks, right?” Reggie and I have known each other since we lived on the same floor freshman year of college. She’s sort of the yin to my yang.
“Of course,” I nod. “And I can’t thank you enough for having your brother pick up my car. I didn’t want to have to ask Mike to do it after all the weirdness,” I say. Reggie shrugs slim shoulders. “Of course, he didn’t mind. But what’s up with you and Mike? I thought you said he was an okay guy.”
I’m embarrassed just thinking about the other night and my striptease for Mike. I tell Reggie what happened and she’s practically bursting with laughter by the time I’m done. “For God’s sake, girl, what would you expect him to think? What guy could refuse boobs shoved up in his face like that? And you doing a striptease,” she goes off into more peals of laughter.
“Well, I’m not quite sure how to take that,” I say, trying to sound hurt, but I can’t help grinning a little. It was pretty out of character for me. Then I show her my gorgeous bouquet and try to explain how Mike acted when I said “Reggie” was coming over and he thought I had a date.
“Well, I’d say he’s definitely interested. A guy doesn’t buy flowers like that just to say sorry to his neighbor,” she says. “C’mon, let’s get going and then we can talk some more. Did you call Uber for a car?” “I did,” I say. “I’m glad you’re going with me. I hate doing this myself. I know, I know,” I say in answer to her sigh. “We have to split up when we get there so we’re more approachable.” Reggie assures me that we’ll be fine and we go outside.
Now, a few hours later, we’re silly and feeling no pain after several drinks at the bar. The crowd turned out to be a little older, lots of business guys and women, pretty normal. Except, of course, for the one guy who talks to me.
On the way home, Reggie gets the giggles and even the Uber driver is smiling because it’s hard not to laugh when she starts. Her blond hair is coming out of it’s messy bun and her mascara might be just a little smeared from wiping the tears out of her eyes so many times. “That guy,” she keeps repeating. “That guy was just too much!”
I don’t know why I seem to attract these people. At first glance Brett had seemed the perfect choice. I’d seen him from across the room and given him my look and it got his attention right away. He had that blond, sun streaked surfer look, wide shoulders and beautiful blue eyes. He smiled and sauntered over to my end of the bar.
We started with the normal stuff, you know, hi, I’m Jamie, hey, Jamie, I’m Brett. I told him I was a writer, he told me how he picked up road kill raccoons from the side of the road and used them to make coonskin hats to sell, hand to God! I really didn’t even know what to say to that. And, big surprise, he lived in a camper in his sister’s driveway when he wasn’t traveling around looking, I assume, for more road kill. Then he called me boo. He wanted to know if I wanted to hang with him. In his RV. You know, when he wasn’t sewing dead raccoons into hats. And I actually ended up buying him a drink, because the raccoon business apparently wasn’t booming.
I clutch Reggie’s arm suddenly. “I know,” I cry. “Let’s go see if Mike is working at the golf club bar.” I smile triumphantly. “Nah, Jamie,” I don’t think that’s such a great idea,” Reggie says. “Aww, c’mon, Reg, it’ll be fun, we can see him and all. It’ll cheer me up!” “Oh, boy,” says my snarky friend, rolling her eyes, “that does sound fun, seeing him and all. I don’t think now’s such a good time to talk to him when you’re just a little bit trashed.”
“Okay,” I say brightly, “I’ll text him then, just to see if he misses me.” Reggie snatches my phone out of my hand and luckily we pull up in front of my building before I smack her to get my phone back. “What the hell, Reg?” I yelp. “Give it back.” “In a minute,” she says. “Let’s go inside and make some coffee.” “Okay,” I say, “Do you want to stay over so you don’t have to drive home?” While she thinks about it, I unlock my door and we go in to make coffee. And I snatch my phone back and before she can stop me I send Mike a text, “Are you working? Do you miss me?”
~ Diane D.