Posts tagged: fiction
A hand dangled a mug of steaming life above me. “Here, Zee, coffee, Zee.” I reached a hand above me from my prone position on the couch, and another hand wrapped my palm gently around the warm mug. I sat up, pulling from my stomach muscles to slow my ascent and avoid spilling any precious bean on my favorite pajamas.
As I took a sip, I blinked my eyes a few times and focused. I was still unsure as to the location of my glasses, but I was pretty sure that it was Mark who sat at the end of the couch I just crashed on. “So how have you been?” he asked, as though we were in some Minneapolis coffee shop, on one of our casual (boring) evenings out that ended with him excusing himself and me eating my way through a bag of Cheetos in frustration.
I wiped the crust from my eyes. Any attempt to look alluring and distant was utterly fucked; Mark had ambushed me. He then trapped me with coffee, my greatest morning weakness. It was unfair.
He leaned towards me from the couch arm in jeans that fit perfectly and a dark blue button-down shirt that fit him exactly. I forced myself to grip the mug; my hands wanted to do other things in my weakened and typically horny morning state. I sipped the sweetened blackness.
Three weeks of perfectly good avoidance, swept away by our best friends’ wedding to each other and my inability to afford a hotel. “Fine,” I finally answered, gulping more coffee and then yanking blankets off myself.
I sat upright, moving to the farthest side of the couch from him. A-ha! My glasses rested on the end table next to my side of the couch. I slipped them on, and tried to ignore the bedheaded version of myself reflected in the television set.
The muffled voices of Bob and Betty carried from their bedroom, just a few steps from my couch. The clock on their VCR - why in the hell did those two still own a VRC? - read 6 am. Their appointment with the Justice of the Peace was at 8.
According to Beth’s planning meeting the night before, it took half an hour to get to the courthouse. Given my state after the drive, it might take me 45 minutes just to look not-homeless. I scalded my tongue swallowing the remaining coffee in one gulp. “Ow, fuck!” I said, shoving the mug in Mark’s hands before stumbling toward the bathroom.
Mark be damned, we had a wedding to get to.
The bathroom for some reason was behind the kitchen; I emerged from it in the pale blue dress I chose to stand next to Betty on her wedding day. Mark greeted me by the door of the shower, silently proffering another mug. Mark opened his mouth to say something, but was disrupted when a loud thunk and Ben swearing “Damn coffee table!” interrupted us.
Ben appeared in the doorway to the kitchen, otherwise undamaged, and headed over to the coffee maker himself. Betty followed behind him, and we all stood agape. She looked amazing in a white skirt suit with white tights and black heels. A string of blue pearls at her neck perfected the look.
I looked between Betty and Ben, and tried to suppress my eye roll at how they’d kept me up all night loudly rehearsing for their wedding night. They both looked flushed and satisfied – the kind of satisfied advertised by romance novels and De Biers commercials after a wedding.
“Get her fueled, Mark?” Bob asked, setting down his mug and straightening his tie. I didn’t bother glaring and I knew that Betty would kill me if I poured coffee on him right then. They had fought for hours over what he would wear to the wedding, and the white shirt and blue striped tie was the only alternative to his one man 1970s lifestyle theme.
In Bob’s mind, he was helping. He didn’t know that I managed to stumble to my day job before my first cup of coffee every single day without any assistance. Mark looked vaguely disappointed. “One depth charge, and she shot through the shower before I could inhale.”
Bob grinned lecherously at me. “Aw, Mark, you missed a photo opportunity!”
This time I glared, and Mark deftly removed the mug from my hands before I could use it as a weapon. “Wedding!” I barked, and marched out the door to the car, grabbing my coat on the way.