"We broke up."
"What?!" Anita, Frankie and Vanessa gasped in perfect union, their eyes wide as they stared at Lynn. The twenty-four year old bowed her head, big watery hazel-green eyes staring at her hands. Despite the usually upbeat atmosphere of the bar the four girls frequented, she sat with her shoulders slumped, eyes downcast as she played with the little pink straw in her club soda.
Anita slid mocha-colored arms around her shoulders, pulling Lynn close. Her voice was a mixture of warm comfort and disbelief. "Omigod, Lynn! When did this happen? Why did this happen?"
Lynn gave a pathetic shrug, hating the way tears filled her eyes. "I don't know why. All I know is that after I came home from teaching Sunday school, he just didn't want to be together anymore." She sniffled, reaching up to wipe away a persistant tear. "I think it was because I spent too much time at the church and not enough time with him." Her big watery eyes looked to friends. "Is that wrong of me?"
"Hell no," Vanessa replied smoothly. She sat back in her chair, folding her arms over her chest, frowning. "If he can't handle the fact that you have God in your life, then obviously, he's not the man for you."
"Absolutely," Anita agreed, nodding. "He's an asshole who needs to realize that you were with the church before him. If he can't handle you teaching Sunday school, then you need to let the bastard go."
Frankie shrugged. "Personally, I have no experiences like that. I've either dumped the bastard after a few minutes of listening to him complain, or never dated the damn idiot in the first place."
"Your logic is flawed, as usual," Anita said flatly, and ignored Frankie's glare as she gently rubbed Lynn's arm. "Ignoring Frankie's supposed wisedom, you have to understand that sometimes, things aren't going to work out. I know you loved Fisher, God knows what you would do for him if he ever asked for it, but it's time to let go hun. You never forget your first love, but sometimes, it better to forgive and forget than remember and revenge."
"This coming from the woman who kicked the ass of many a man for havinng stood her up on a simple date." Vanessa muttered across the table, smirking as Frankie snickered into her beer.
Anita shot them a murderous glare. "I have made a made amends with the those men, ladies. And besides, the least they could have done was called me and told me they weren't going to show up. You think I like sitting there for thirty minutes looking like damned fool? I don't think so!" She huffed, raking her fingers through her short, ruffled pixie cut. "Anyway, this isn't about me, this is about Lynn. And the fact that Fisher is an asshole."
"I say we kick Fisher-Price's ass," Frankie said, folding her arms in resolve. "I knew he was a jerk the minute I laid eyes on him. I told you guys this was gonna happen, but did you listen to me? No~o."
"You think every man is an ass." Vanessa rolled her light blue-gray eyes at Frankie, who scowled at her. "But you were actually right about Fisher-Price."
"Please stop calling him that," Lynn murmured, tearing a napkin to shreds in the lap of her floral knee-length skirt. "I know you're not overly fond of Fisher, but I... I at least want you to respect him." She heaved a soft sigh, her shoulders rising and falling.
Anita patted her hand, nodding as she spoke softly. "Alright, Lynn. We won't call him Fisher-Price anymore."
"Not to your face anyway," Frankie mumbled and Vanessa laughed, but immediately cut it short when they got pierced by Anita's heated glare. Vanessa raised her hands, grinning softly. "Okay, okay, we won't call him names anymore. We're sorry if we upset you, Lynn."
Her head bobbed in soft nod, chocolatly brown waves rippling down to her upper back. Anita let out a soft humming noise from the back of her throat, the space between her perfectly plucked eyebrows puckering slightly. "Hun, is there something you're not telling us? Something we should maybe know about?"
Frankie gasped and leaned forward, her cinnamon brown eyes wide. "Did that dirty bastard hit you, Lynn? Ooh, if he had touched you in anyway considered abusive, you better tell us right now. I swear ta Gawd, I'mma beat his ass! I mean it! I'm gonna open a can of whoop-ass so big on him he won't know what the fuck hit him!"
Lynn's eyes widened, horrified, and she shook her head visciously. "No, never! Fisher would never hit me! It's just..." She bit her lip, looking to Anita with big eyes. "It's just... well... I..."
"You what?" Vanessa pushed, leaning forward. She arched an eyebrow, trying to read the emotions portrayed on her best friend's face. "What happened, Lynn? We're not mind readers. You're gonna have to give us a hint or something. A clue."
"Hell, just tell us right out," Frankie said. "I'm not Scooby-Doo. I'm gonna need more than just a foot print in the sand, you know."
"Hush," Anita snapped, glaring at her. "We don't need anything from the peanut factory."
Lynn fidgeted in her seat, one hand wrapped around Anita's and the other balling a napkin in her lap. She licked her lips, looked to each her friends and quickly looked to her lap. Her embarrassed blush showed through the olive-tone of her skin, her face turning redder with every second that passed. In a breathless voice, she blurted out something unintelligible and Vanessa sat back with a sigh, pressing her fingertips to her forehead in annoyance.
Frankie wrinkled her nose. "What the hell was that supposed to mean? Was that even English?"
Anita frowned. "Can you repeat that? I'm afraid that wasn't in any language we're familiar with."
Lynn swallowed and squeezed her friend's hand. Clamping her eyes shut, she said in a hoarse whisper. "Fisher and I... started having... i-in-intercourse last month." She slumped forward breathlessly, her face red as a cherry tomato.
The table grew silent and she gently peeled a lid open, looking to the shocked faces her friends. Her stomach plummeted and her heart leapt into her throat as she met their astonished gazes. "Pl-please don't look at me like that! I-I know it's a shock to you, but~! I thought we were in love! I've always been told wait until you're in love and married, but Fisher..." She sucked in a sharp breath as Anita's glare landed on her. Her lip peeled back in a sneer as she said in a darngerously low voice, "Did Fisher-Price make you? Did he say he would leave you if you didn't?"
Lynn gasped sharply at the murderous intent pouring off of her three best friends. "Of course not! Fisher isn't like that! No! I wanted to! I swear it! It's just..." She looked away, biting her lip. "It's just I thought we were in love so I gave him my something precious. And now that we aren't together anymore, I feel like I'll never have something as precious as... you know... to give to someone else."
She relaxed as the other three sat back in their chairs, apparently satisfied with her answer. She gave a pleading look to Anita, who gently patted her hand. "Fisher and I... Well we had a connection. And now I'm afraid that I'll never be able to find that connection again. I know you say that I shouldn't have to give up my life to make another man happy, but aren't relationships about sacraficing too?"
Vanessa smirked at Anita, who frowned in acknowledgment. "Either Anita watches too much Tyra, or Lynn doesn't watch enough Oprah. Either way, both of you are right. Sometimes you have to give a little, to get a little."
Frankie barked out a laugh. "Oh man, there was so much libido in that one sentence, I just couldn't help myself."
Anita shook her head, barely containing her own smirk as the two women laughed and Lynn giggled. "You guys are disgusting." She turned to Lynn. "Come on, I'll buy you a strawberry daiquiri."
Frankie grinned. "Are we celebrating the fact we no longer have to deal with Fisher-Pr-- I mean Fisher Jacobson?"
Lynn smiled at her friend. "How about we just celebrate that I'm not at home bawling my eyes like a certain someone we know."
"Go fuck yourself," Anita grumbled. "So what if I cry? You cry too!"
"Hun," Vanessa laughed, shaking her head. "You cry like you'll never find another man again. And then you pop right back up and are instantly back out there on the scene. You're a regular little heartbreaker."
Anita snorted, standing from the small booth where they sat. "So if I'm the heartbreaker, that makes Frankie the bonebreaker eh?"
Frankie scowled at her. "You better believe it, sister. And to demonstrate how awesome I am I'll break your bones."
Lynn laughed, tugging a scowling Anita away. Sometimes, there were benefits to having friends as spunky and outragoeous as hers. Like the fact that her once overwhelming urge to throw herself into the arms of Anita and bawl like a child was no more than a mere thought in the back of her mind. She had no doubt that by the end of the night, she'd be feeling better than after having a romantic night out with Fisher. It was just that wonderful.
After three rounds of strawberry daiquiris and one round of club soda to sober up enough to get a taxi, Lynn stumbled out onto the streets with her friends. With a lot of cheering and laughter, mostly from Anita and Frankie, and a few rounds of goodbye hugs and promises to call in the morning, she managed to climb into the cab and tell the driver her address. Leaning back in her seat, her heavily-lidded eyes studied the tall skyscrapers rushing past her window.
Fuzzily, she remembered that she had work tomorrow, and her boss wouldn't be happy having her come into work hungover. She of course, had plenty of sick days. Maybe she could use one? Being sick didn't necessarily mean she had to be projectile vomiting and too weak to even get up and get herself some crackers. She was sure they'd at least let her stay home with a migrane.
She cringed as a soft melody filled with smooth cellos and high pitched violins played from her tiny little purse, bursting through the brutal pounding of her skull. She plunged a hand into the depths of her little lampskin bag, a gift from Anita who said it was made by well-known designer named Alexander Something-or-Other. The flip phone vibrated in her palm with a text message and she stared blearily at the little message playing across the screen.
Hey wassup? Heard u broke up w/ ur bf of 2yrs u alrite?
Her cheeks glowed as she sat up. Her heart practically tripped over itself in its haste to get to her throat, even though she was as happy as a drunken Anita. With clumsy fingers and a grin far too wide for her pounding headache to apperciate, she managed to send a simple message back.
Hey u long time no see i could be better but i think i'll be OK
She didn't have to wait long for his reply.
Good to hear it i know u rly liked the guy
More like loved but it's kewl i feel much better mostly b/c i'm drunk rite now
LOLZ the grls took u out 4 some good ol grltime eh?
U could say that :) i needed it that's 4 sure
Well it's good to hear from u g2g big day 2mrw
Oh? do tell xD
Lolz well i got a plane to catch i'm coming back
Her breath caught as she stared at the eleven words sitting across her screen. He was coming back? As in he was getting on a plane and would be arriving in the city? Her stomach fluttered with excitement as her cheeks warmed even more. Nick was coming back! What would the others think?
I thought u said u weren't coming back!
Looks like i lied :) besides i miss all the crazy shit u guys did it's way different down here than when i was in the city WAAAY different
U know anita's going to be pissed that u didn't text her immediately w/ ur plans don't u?
She'll get over it besides it's supposed to be a surprise :) shhh
My lips r sealed but y did u tell me and not some1 else?
B/c i like u bst :)g2g gotta pack & all that good stuff
Her heart jumped into her throat with those words.
Nite lynn see ya on the flip side
She cradled the phone against her chest, taking deep slow breaths. Nick was coming home. She'd get to see Nick again! He was coming home, and she didn't know whether he was staying or visiting, but she didn't care. He was coming home, after five years of being gone, he was finally coming back home. Her first immediate reaction was to call Anita and tell her the good news, because Anita would most likely be the one to throw a surprise party for Nick the minute he stepped off the plane. But she had promised to keep her mouth shut, and that's what she was going to do.
Her grin practically split her face in half, regradless for the extra pounding it caused in the back of her skull.
"Excuse me, Miss?"
She blinked, looking to the cab driver who eyed her up and down. "I believe that this your address?"
She blushed, her hand immediately plunging back into her purse. "Oh, yes! I'm sorry to keep you waiting!" She handed him a twenty and booked it out of the car, bolting up the five stairs to the small entrance porch of her tiny apartment building. Yanking open the heavy front door, she practically floated up the five set of stairs to her apartment on the top floor. With its freshly painted white walls and the dark-colored stain-proof carpeting in the stairwell, you could tell the building wasn't exactly of the highest calibar, but it was enough for Lynn, even though Anita had more than once accused her neighbors of doing some illegal deed of some kind.
"What's got you all excited?" were the words her roommate, Nancy, said the minute Lynn was through the door. She arched a brushstroke eyebrow as the older woman only smiled and shook her head. "Well whatever, I'm about to leave."
Lynn blinked, cringing as Nancy flicked on the light to the small dining area across from the living room. "Um, where are you going? It's a quarter 'til two."
"Yeah, and you've spent most of the night out drinking with your little buddies." Nancy replied not unkindly and Lynn tried not to stare at the girl's outfit, shoving the parental disapproval back. Nancy was twenty-one, and perfectly capable of handling herself, but Lynn found herself constantly worrying over the younger woman. She walked around in their two-bedroom apartment in a tiny black denim skirt and an ivory lacy camisole with high-heeled motorcycle boots. Her ink black hair was swept back into a high ponytail and her makeup was dark and punk-looking. She looked fabulous and Lynn could only wish she could pull off such a look.
Nancy smirked at the smaller woman as she walked past. "See ya in the morning Lynn. Oh! And some guy, Nick, he called here. Said he wanted to talk to you, so I gave him your cell. Was that alright?"
Lynn nodded. "Yeah. Goodbye Nancy. Drive safe."
She blinked, looking to Lynn over her shoulder. With one last wry grin, she slid out the heavy front door, letting it click shut behind her. Lynn quickly locked the deadbolt and the regular lock before she floated down the narrow hallway to her bedroom. Kicking off her black velvet flats, she flopped down on the bed, heaving a soft sigh. Despite the good news that Nick was coming back, she still had a broken heart to mend, and she doubted sleeping by herself in her full-sized bed was going to make her feel any better.