It was a weekend to remember, alright. If she could.
| NO MORE QUESTIONS|
Word Count: 1,000
Sheila couldn't wait to see her best friend, Joyce. They hadn't seen each other in over two years, and Joyce was flying in Saturday morning. The kids were with their dad, and Sheila planned to make the most of the day and a half they'd share. She and Joyce were going to have a weekend to remember.
As Joyce stepped out of the jetway, Sheila ran to grab her, almost tackling another passenger in the process. "I AM SO SORRY," Sheila gushed, trying to straighten his jacket.
Red-faced, she turned back toward the jetway and caught Joyce out of the corner of her eye. Joyce had taken the first available seat and was watching, trying her best to stay composed. She was used to her clumsy friend making less-than-grand entrances. "How was your trip, Grace?" she asked. "I see you've kept up those ballet lessons."
"Oh, ha, ha. Get over here and give me a hug!"
Time rolled back as the friends embraced and they were twenty again, young and eager. Their lives since those days had taken different paths. Sheila got married, had two children, and divorced. Joyce was newly engaged. Sheila was ready to have some fun, and Joyce was ready to settle down. But once they were together it felt as if nothing had changed.
"Come on," Sheila said. "Let's get this party started."
Sheila had hit both the grocery and liquor stores the night before. She had bought plenty to eat and, more importantly, ice and all the ingredients to make the new drink she had found: Colorado Bulldogs. Never much of a drinker, Sheila was surprised to find bulldogs tasted more like chocolate milkshakes than alcohol. It was liquor without the burn.
Once they made it to Sheila's house, Joyce settled in while Sheila made a pitcher of the heavenly elixir. Joining her in the kitchen, Joyce was surprised to find a counter full of bottles. "Uh, that looks like a lot of liquor," she said, looking from the counter into Sheila's eyes. Joyce had never been much of a drinker, either.
"Well, they're pretty big drinks," Sheila said. "Each one takes some vodka, Kahlua and milk, so I'm multiplying to make enough for a pitcher. I don't want to have to stop conversation every time we run out. All we have to do," she said as she poured, "is fill a glass, add a squirt of chocolate syrup, a splash of Coke, stir, and Voila!" With a flourish and a bow, she handed Joyce her first drink.
"I don't know, Sheila. That looks like a lot of liquor - and it's only two o'clock."
"Don't worry, Joyce," Sheila assured. "They're smooth, they're yummy, and you won't even know there's an ounce of liquor in them. Come on. I want to know every single thing that has happened since the last time we talked."
It was September in Corpus Christi, and Sheila had just moved into a new house. Septembers in Corpus are still hot, so she hadn't been able to use the fireplace yet. Halfway into her second drink, Sheila got an idea.
"Joyce! Let's start a fire," she giggled, happy with herself.
"It's ninety degrees outside, Sheila."
"But I'll turn down the air conditioner! That way we can pretend it's cold."
"It's your electric bill," Joyce said.
Sometime later, Sheila found herself in the kitchen, making another pitcher of dogs. She didn't know if it was the alcohol or the fire, but she felt a glow she hadn't felt in years. Her day was playing out exactly as she'd planned. Noticing the time she shook Joyce, who was dozing on the couch, and told her it might be a good idea for them to take a quick nap before going out. "Good idea," Joyce responded, without opening her eyes.
Like a bumble bee, flitting around with a buzz in her head, Sheila jumped right up when her alarm went off. "Joyce," she hollered into the other room. "Get up. Time to get ready. We're gonna have a hot time in the old town!"
"Joyce?" she yelled.
"I'll be there in a minute."
When the friends finally made it to the country western bar it was ten o'clock. Neither had recovered from the afternoon, but both ordered a drink. By the time midnight rolled around, they had been on their feet for hours, dancing with anyone who offered. And though they had not bought another drink, they were kept well hydrated. Next thing they knew, a voice over the PA system warned the place would be closing in fifteen minutes.
The girls were toasted, and they both knew it. A high school friend of Sheila's sister walked over to their table when he saw them, heads about three inches from the top, discussing how they would get home. Both knew neither should drive. "You girls need to get something in your stomachs. And you don't need to be driving! Y'all come on and I'll buy you breakfast."
"Sounds like a plan," Sheila answered. "Thanks, Mike."
The girls gathered up their belongings and staggered off, Mike between them, each arm entwined in one of theirs. The next thing Sheila knew she was sitting in a Denny's booth, staring at a menu. "What are we doing here?" she asked. "How did we get here, anyway? We were going dancing. What happened?"
A couple of hours later, filled with syrupy pancakes and plenty of coffee, heads had cleared enough to where Mike thought it was safe for them to make it home.
As she stood up and turned to grab her purse, Sheila felt terribly off-center. Taking a step toward the door confirmed it. Her right shoe was on her foot, but she had no idea where she had lost her left shoe. She didn't know where the time had gone, either. The last thing she remembered she was mixing up a second pitcher of milkshakes.
"No more questions," she said. She had run out of word count.