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Madonna banged her head against the back of her couch. “No, no, no, no freaking no!”
Trish was a good friend, but enough already. Madonna looked at the invite again; she should have left it in the “never never” stack with the rest of the junk mail. But curiosity got the best of her. Every time Madonna got an invitation from Trish, it was because Trish had a new man she wanted to introduce her to.
Madonna pulled the phone closer and dialed. She hoped Trish would not answer. It was easier to decline an invitation to an answering machine.
Madonna stifled a groan. “Hi, it’s me, Madonna.”
“Hey, girl. What’s up?”
After half an hour of girl talk and listening to Trish opening cupboards and pouring snacks from a box to a bowl as she got her place ready for the party, Madonna broke the news. “Trish, I got your invitation.”
Trish let out an audible sigh. “And?”
“I don’t want to come.”
“I figured that out when you ducked my calls.”
“Come on Trish, we go through this every time. None of the guys you introduce me to are interested. They only want size 2 supermodels, and that’s just not me.”
“I’ve heard this before, too. You will come. You will put yourself out there. You will have fun or die trying. If you do not show up by 9:00, I will come for you, I will find you, and I will drag you here. Am I clear?”
“What time will you be here?”
“I’m going to bed.”
“It’s not even 8:00. Just come over. Dave is a great guy. You will have fun -- I promise. I gotta go. Bye.”
Madonna slammed her head against the back of the couch three times muttering, “I knew it”. She wearily got up and made the routine trek through each room locking doors, turning off lights and appliances, and picking up anything out of place, before stopping in the bathroom for her usual routine. In the bedroom, she punched the pillows with fierce frustration. Once in bed, she tossed and turned, as was typical until she made the second tour of the house to once again to make sure that all the doors were locked and all the appliances were turned off. She stopped off at the bathroom again to see what she could do about the itchiness that prevented her from sleeping. Madonna caught her expression in the bathroom mirror and knew she would not sleep this night if she did not satisfy her curiosity and meet this Dave person.
With an exasperated sigh, Madonna returned to the bedroom and opened the closet to see what would do for one of Trisha’s parties. She pulled out one of her sparkly blouses and a decent pair of jeans that still fit. She fixed her face in the bathroom, then turned around to see what she looked like in the full length mirror tacked to the back of the bathroom door. Madonna pulled and tugged on the garments, but could not be satisfied. Madonna could buy anything that looked great on a store mannequin, but on her it just looked frumpy. She finally threw her hands at the mirror and left the bathroom to retrieve her bag and keys.
Madonna was on the road to Trish’s party when the phone rang. She grabbed it and took the call. “Look, I’m driving. Can I call you back?”
“No need. It’s Trish, just checking in.”
The guests turned as Trish screamed, “Hello? Hello? Madonna? You there? Madonnnnna!!!” she turns to guests. “I think my friend just crashed her car! I’ve got to get there.”
Dave stepped forward. “I will go with you.”
Trish and Dave arrived in time to see the ambulance arrive.
Dave was curious. “How did you know where to go?”
“She is a creature of routine.”
They were interrupted by the police locking down the area, and were ushered behind the barricades with the other on-lookers. “Need a photog over here!” Trish’s attention was drawn to the officer pointing to keys in the road. After the picture was taken, he bagged the keys as evidence. Another officer called the photographer over to take a picture of the cellphone lying on the floor of the crumpled vehicle.
“Is that her?” Trish turned in the direction Dave was pointing.
Trish nodded numbly as she watched her best friend being loaded into an ambulance.