An excerpt from chapter 15 of Waiting For Spring.
It was Ashley. Green eyed and blonde and young. And for a moment I wondered how many extra toilets I’d need to scrub before I could afford one or two of those botox treatments.
She had a drink already in hand, some sort of sweet smelling shit in a tall glass. “Are you waiting for Brian?”
“That’s what I thought.”
We each guzzled our drinks. She finished before me, but Zeke refilled mine first. Then it was her turn, but with a that’s your last one warning. I looked at her more closely. Her eyes were fuzzy and she was swaying slightly on her stool. And it was only six-fifteen. She tapped my arm and gazed at me a bit unsteadily.
“Are you really in love with him?”
I sighed. I’d known this day was coming. But of all the places in the world, this bar–filled to capacity with sweaty men and their dates–was the last place I would have chosen for the encounter. And this was not the day I would have chosen, either. At the same time I had to feel bad for the girl. I’d been her. Spread ‘em for a guy, thinking it was The Real Thing. Turns out you’re nothing more than A Sure Thing. It sucks. Big time. It’s the lesson all women have to learn. But what could I do?
Nothing. Except try to be nice.
“You sorta have a fat ass, don’t you?”
“But some guys like that. And you’ve got big tits, too, so that evens it all out.”
I looked around the room. Sure enough, her voice had carried above the din of sweaty guys and their dates; even above the ex-ballplayers and pompous sportswriters who were yapping away on the pre-game show, giving their opinions about a game that hadn’t even been played yet.
I turned away from the chuckles and snickers, leaned in closer to her and whispered, “Ashley, why don’t you let me give you a ride home and we can talk about this later. Or maybe Zeke can call someone for you and–”
She shook her head and shoved me. Hard. I hadn’t been expecting it, naturally, and fell right off the stool. I barely managed to keep myself from landing flat on my big, fat ass. Even worse, I’d been holding onto my beer and it spilled all down the front of me.
I set the mug down on the bar and hopped back onto my stool. Because there was more, lots more, to come. I knew that much. And since we’d already caused a scene I figured I might as well get it out of the way. It would be better than having to endure another one later on. I took a deep breath, turned to face her and waited for the rest.
And she brought it. She rambled on and on about her magical night with Brian. Zeke tried to shush her, as though I didn’t already know, as though everyone in the bar didn’t already know, but she wouldn’t stop. Told us all about it, painted it in beautiful, rosy colors. And when she was done I felt more sorry for her than ever. Because even though she hadn’t said it, I knew. Just by the way she talked about It. About Him.
Brian had been her first. Because she’d had a crush on him–and in her mind it was love–since she was just a girl. She had loved him forever. She was thin and blonde and pretty, and she could have had any number of guys if she’d wanted them. But she’d waited, saved herself. For Brian. And to him it had been nothing special. Neither was she. Just another girl. A Sure Thing. It was close to being the saddest thing I’d ever heard and, for a fleeting moment, I wanted to track the bastard down and smack the shit out of him. But then she said:
“You know, one of these days he’s gonna wake up and realize that he needs something more than just big tits, you fat old bitch!”
I swallowed. Took a very deep breath. “Okay, Ashley. I think–”
“He’s gonna get tired of you and when he does he’ll know where to go. I know what he really wants. And–”
“Oh, please, little girl. You don’t know shit. I was playing with dicks when you were still playing with dolls.”
She muttered something in response, but I wasn’t listening. I leaned over the bar, grabbed a handful of napkins and tried to wipe the beer bubbles off my big, fat tits. It didn’t help. My lucky shirt was was still soaked. And I knew what it meant, even though I’d never admit it to another living soul. The Red Sox were jinxed for the rest of the season.
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