Holy shit, I'm feeling a little impressed with myself at this point... This is probably the quickest written installment so far, and yet again, I am posting something that is completely unedited. Sorry if it's a little sloppy, but I had to work tonight, and I just pumped this out on the super-fly after I got home. Rest assured, dear reader... I plan on revamping all of this after the last installment is posted tomorrow, and putting together a very well polished, complete story that I will post for your enjoyment on a website somewhere. Thanks again for reading...
Jeanie sighed deeply as she walked into the restaurant down the street from her boutique after she had closed up for the day. She plopped down at the table closest to the door.
"Hey gorgeous,” grinned her friend Maria, approaching the table, “Can I get ya something to drink? Glass of wine?”
“You’d better bring me something fast,” Jeanie was frustrated, “I got something to tell you…”
“Let me be right back then,” Maria sounded a little worried as she rushed off towards the computer, where she rang something in and waited by the bar for a moment.
“You’ll never guess who I saw today,” Jeanie said, reaching out her hand as Maria came back with a glass of red wine.
“Oh baby, that doesn’t sound good… Who was it?”
Jeanie took a long swig from the glass, and then set it down before she said, “Matt the delivery guy…” She couldn’t even look her friend in the eye, she just studied the grain of the wood in the table.
“As in, Matt the sexy delivery guy who used to come into your shop and fool around with you even though he had a girlfriend?” Jeanie nodded. “Like, the same one who used to tell you all of those wonderful things and talk about how great you guys would have it after he left that girlfriend?”
“That’s the one…” Jeanie nodded again. “The last time I saw him was three months ago, and at that time, he treated me like a goddess.”
“And today?” Maria asked, already knowing the answer.
“Today? Today, things were going ‘really well’ with that girlfriend of his…” Jeanie’s face was turning red.
“Damn,” Maria said comfortingly, rubbing her friend’s back. “Babe, you gotta start taking a closer look at these guys you meet…”
“I know!” Jeanie said through a sniffle. “I guess that’s just what I get for fooling around with the delivery guy!” Maria rubbed her back a little harder as her elbows were almost digging into the table.
“Hey, don’t worry about it… You know you can find someone better than him… He’s just a delivery guy, for Christ’s sake…”
“I know he is,” tears were starting to stream from Jeanie’s eyes as she went on, “but he really was great… I’ve never had a guy make me feel so good about myself, even if he only ever did it in the middle of the day, and in the back room of my shop…”
“Shh,” Maria cooed to her friend while she looked around, surveying the restaurant, and was actually happy that no one else had come in yet. “Just relax, Jeanie. No matter how good you THINK he was, he couldn’t have been that great if he isn’t willing to treat you that same way in public… And besides, if he had a girlfriend when he did what he did… What do you think he would’ve done to you?”
“I know you’re right…” Jeanie’s tears were falling onto the wood-grain she was studying. “But it doesn’t make it any easier…”
“Look,” Maria said, “I know it sucks, but you just need to relax, and stop putting so much emphasis on finding the perfect guy.”
“What do you mean?” Jeanie asked, downing her glass of wine.
“I mean that you think so much about finding someone who’s going to be everything you’ve ever wanted, that you over-hype anyone who’s above average… Want another?” Maria picked up her friend’s empty glass, and Jeanie nodded.
Maria walked back over to the bar, said something quietly to the bartender, and brought Jeanie back another glass without ringing anything in. “Here you go, babe,” she said, setting the glass down on the table, which Jeanie had wiped dry with her shirt sleeve.
They were quiet for a moment, and Maria sat down on the bench next to her friend while Jeanie drew an imaginary design on the table with the tip of her finger before picking up the glass and taking another drink.
“I think I just need to meet someone brand new, someone fun,” she said after she set her glass down again.
“I think you’re completely right, sweetie,” Maria spoke genuinely. “Someone OUTSIDE our circle of friends…”
“Yeah,” Jeanie said, swirling her wine around in the glass. “You know anyone besides the normal crowd?” She asked with a little too much hope in her voice.
“No…” Maria laughed. “Only the schlubs that work here,” she said, “and I don’t think you’d wanna waste your time with any of them…”
“Well keep your eyes peeled, because I’m definitely on the market…” Jeanie started to tear up again.
“Hey,” Maria started rubbing her friend’s back again. “It could be a lot worse, you know…”
“I know,” Jeanie said. “I just don’t know why it’s been so hard to get over him… I really was feeling just fine until he walked into my shop today carrying that box…” She took another drink from her glass.
“Well, if you really think he’s something special, for some reason… You should tell him, even if things are going ‘SO GREAT’ with his girlfriend…”
“No…” She sniffled again, “I just need to get past it… Like you said, if he did what he did while he had a girlfriend, how would it be if we were actually together?” Jeanie shook her head while her composure was slipping.
“Do you need something to eat, babe?” Maria asked while her friend was almost through her second glass of wine.
“No,” Jeanie said, “I need to get going, actually… I’m supposed to be meeting up with some people later. I just wanted to stop in really quick for a drink…” She downed the rest of her glass.
“Well,” Maria said slowly, “you just had two…”
Jeanie pulled her wallet out of her purse and fished out her credit card. “Here, just run this,” she said as she handed it to Maria.
“Okay, it’s two-for-one today,” she winked before she walked over to the computer to close out her friend’s tab.
“You’re the best, babe,” Jeanie said as Maria set down the credit card slip in front of her.
“Shit, I forgot to bring you a pen…” She started to walk back to the server station, but stopped as her friend spoke.
“Don’t worry,” Jeanie said, “I have one here.” She dug into her purse to produce the pen Matt had left, complete with her bite marks on it. She quickly signed the slip, tipping her friend five dollars for the two glasses of wine she had drank. She set the pen down on the table and stood up to leave. “Thanks, Maria…” she said as she wiped her hands off on her jeans, even though they weren’t dirty.
“No problem, babe. Don’t you want that?” She nodded back to the pen on the table.
“Not at all,” Jeanie said through a laugh, even though she looked like she might cry at any moment. “Matt left it in my shop earlier…”
“Well then,” Maria said with confidence as she walked her friend to the front door, “We’ll just put it to use here. Take care of yourself, will you dear?” She looked concerned.
“I’ll be fine,” Jeanie only half reassured her. “Don’t worry…”
“Okay…” Maria said slowly. “I’ll stop by your shop tomorrow.”
“Thanks babe, you’re the best…”
Maria held open the door for her friend, and didn’t drop it until Jeanie was almost ten feet down the sidewalk.
The LAST INSTALLMENT will be written and posted tomorrow...