Celebrating A Beginning to an End
“Happy one year anniversary, Jo!” The pop from the champagne cork echoed loudly as it bounced off the wall. “For the fourth time that is.”
Unie handed me a glass filled with pale yellow bubbly and lifted my own with a smile. That was my friend. Always taking my regrets and turning them into forgotten memories and why not? There was no shame in having four divorces under my belt and if my happily drinking companion didn't think so, neither would I. Saluting my flute I gulped down the tart beverage and sighed as it settled warm in my empty stomach.
Instantly Unie refilled my glass before topping off her own and clinking them together we laughed with merriment. It did feel nice to share the day with someone who didn't look down on my inability to keep a marriage but somehow I couldn't help but feel guilty of my shortcomings.
“Stop it now, Joanne! This is a happy day.” My friend scolded with a wag of her finger.
I feigned innocence. “Stop what? I'm just sitting here.”
Brown eyes rolled in mock disgust right before the doorbell buzzed. I stuck my tongue out which only garnered a boisterous laugh and the retreating back of my friend as she answered the door. The murmur of a deep voice followed by a light giggle told me that the younger woman was flirting with the delivery man and when she returned, she still had her money. Once again, food was on the house. How the hell did the bitch do it?
As usual my friend had me in tears by the time we finished the pizza from my impersonation of Todd, ex-hubby number four. The best was how spot on she was and after the second bottle was empty we were both tipsy. My friend being buzzed caused one problem that was known as Unie's unfiltered ramblings of truth.
“You need to stop finding these douche monkeys, Jo. They're poopy heads.” Unie slurred.
I shrugged. “Yeah, I know. But really Todd wasn't that bad. He was good with his hands!”
“Uh yeah, when it came to working with a remote control.”
“Okay that's true. What about Leon?” I tried to keep from smiling when my friend gagged.
“Eww, Jo! He was a total slob. All greasy and gross. I think you were blind the day you agreed to marry him.” Unie tilted her head and pondered. “Maybe he was a man who used to be a toad. Only instead of becoming a handsome prince, he just became a fleshy fat toad man.”
Unable to hold it in any longer, I burst out in laughter and nodded my head. Unie was right about that, Leon was a definite toad. Even in sleep, his snores more resemble croaking. My first and second exes couldn't be classified as human either for that matter. All four men were dreadful and yet I found myself married to them because I was a habitual romance-aholic. I honestly didn't want to be alone yet there I was being just that.
With a despondent moan I hid my face in my hands . “What am I doing wrong, Unie? I mean I try to make them happy. I got new boobs for Michael, lost fifty pounds for Jerry, and learned to sleep on the couch for Leon. Oh and let's not forget, I converted to Catholicism for Todd! How could this keep happening?”
I felt my friend's eyes on me but didn't look up to see if they were staring in pity or amusement.
Unie's sigh wafted over my and smelled of sweet wine. “Therein my dear, lies your problem. You change for them when it should be them working to make you happy.”
Wasn't that the truth? However, despite being right, as usual it didn't make me feel any better. I said nothing because denial is a dreaded 'D' word never to be considered in the house of Unie. Besides what could I do to fix it? Thirty eight years old and alone once again. My life was set in perpetual suck motion. Sighing I pushed myself from the couch and cleared the plates so that my friend wouldn't see the forming tears in my eyes.
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on one's perspective, Unie was all too perceptive of emotions. Having an empath as a friend was a total pain in the rump.
“Hey now, girl! Don't get upset. I'm not trying to make you sad.” She had followed me into the kitchen and rested on the side bar. Her head rested in her palm as she studied me.
I glanced at her askew with a frown. “What are you plotting, Unie?”
If I didn't know any better, I would swear my friend's chocolate brown skin began to glow with scarcely contained giddiness. It frightened me.
Unie grinned wide before bounding off to the backroom where she did her tarot and palm readings. The clanking of glass were followed by several curses that would kill a sailor and finally came a crash of something heavy. All of those sounds heightened the anxiety building in my stomach. The last thing I wanted was to have my future read only to be told I was shit out of luck in the love department and that I should just stick to my day job. My liquor filled psyche was already dejected. Didn't need to add anything else to the poor thing.
Returning from the dark section of the home, my friend stood in front of blue beaded curtain and held up a glass bottle that looked like a distiller. Were they going to be drinking again because I didn't think I had the ability to do so.
“Do you know what I'm holding, Jo?” Her dark eyes flickered with mystery and wonder.
Did I really want to know?
Yes. Yes I did. “No. What?”
Unie practically glided to where she previously stood and placed the glassware on the counter between us. She looked directly into my worried gaze.
“It's the answers to what you need.” She stated with glee.
Riiight. I thought but kept that to myself.
Instead I said, “How's that? Will drinking it bring me the man of my dreams?”
“You talking about sexy-ass-in-jeans Slade Tracksmith?”
I blushed at the name of my coworker who was by far the most physically stunning and sexually alluring specimen I had ever seen. Heck, possibly ever created but he had a flaw I couldn't handle. He was just too damn intense. Not about some things either but everything, everyday. It made it very frustrating to work with him because he never had a positive thing to say and I was a relatively optimistic person. Would explain why I kept falling in love. Pouting, I looked back down at the bottle.
“Seriously though, Unie. Am I supposed to wear it or drink it? Maybe splash it on a guy I like?” I didn't mean to sound petulant but I didn't believe in all that metaphysical mumbo jumbo.
My friend gave a very unladylike snort. “You drink it, nut!”
Picking up the potion as if it contained high explosives, my frown deepened. “What will happen? What's the catch?”
“Hey that hurts!” Unie matched my scowl. “You honestly think I'd give you something that wouldn't work or could hurt you?” The sincere shock in her voice made me feel guilty at the insinuation she expressed. Then she showed she was only kidding by saying, “When has my spells not worked?”
I pondered. “There was that time when you gave that couple the aphrodisiac potion. Remember what happened to them.”
“Hey, it worked! Just on everyone they came in contact with. Besides, I hear they're now happily living as swingers.” Unie lifted her nose indignantly.
I held back my laughter and tried very hard to sound contrite. “You're right, I'm sorry. I'm tired I guess. You know how weird I get when I've had too much to drink?” I hoped I sounded honest in my apology. “Forgive me?”
“Well, okay. We've both had a lot tonight. You should get home and I have to go to bed. Got several readings tomorrow.”
Smiling, I grabbed my coat and keys. She walked me to her door and we hugged, bidding each other a good night.
I paused on the top step. “And you're sure this will work?”
I rolled my eyes and tossed my hands in surrender. There was no way I'd be getting out of this situation.
I was almost down the front steps when my friend called out. “Take that tonight, hon! Trust me when I say everything will work out.”
Waving without turning around, I was more than glad that she and I didn't live too far apart. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to drive with the buzz making my world slightly topsy turvy. The moon lit the quiet streets of my little suburb in New Jersey and while the crisp fall air bit through my jacket, it was a welcome chill to the warmth from the champagne.
By the time I made it home and drowsily made my way up to the bedroom I all but forgotten about my promise to Unie. It wasn't until I snuggled into bed and closed my eyes that I heard a hum come from my jacket pocket that hung from my closet door. I tried to ignore it but it only grew louder in a very annoying way.
“What the hell is that?” Mumbling I threw off the blankets and stumbled to the noise and pulled out the bottle.
A perplexed and quite frustrated me glared at the potion and heard my friend's voice begging me to trust her. Darn that girl for getting into my drunken head. Strengthening my resolve, I tilted my head back and drank the liquid down. Then decidedly almost choked on the horribleness that slithered down my throat. It tasted as though castor oil and clam juice got together and made a slimy concoction of a baby.
I held my mouth to keep from spewing all over the place while managing to hold the contents down with a few deep breaths and waited. I looked around wondering when the big surprise would happen and after several minutes passed, I sighed. The spell was an obvious dud. That's what I had drank. A disgusting, thick sludge of nothing.
“Figures.” Disgruntled, I knew I wouldn't tell Unie as it was mainly my fault for believing in magic.
Back in bed, I only hoped I wouldn't be stuck on the toilet for my vacation weekend because of the stuff. It was the first one I had off in months and I could use the break. Pulling the covers up to my chin, I fell asleep with the ick taste still prevalent on my tongue. Happy one year divorce anniversary to me.
“I'll wake her with my big one and she'll love it!” A deep voice resonated into my sleep fogged brain.
I would love a big one.
“Like hell you will. Mine is nice and stiff! I beat it just the way she likes me to. I'll give mine to her first.” Another baritone that sounded eerily similar to the first wrapped around me.
Mmmm. It's almost like they're in my house.
I bolted up in my bed and listened as noises came from the kitchen. Clattering pans and running water. It wasn't a dream. Someone was in my home!
“I tell you mine is the best. Just admit it now and avoid embarrassment.”
“You are the one who'll be sorry when you see her swoon over the beauty of mine.”
There were two voices, both belonging to men and they were obviously talking about me. I held my panic in check as I slid quietly from the bed and grabbed the nearest weapon. My snow boot. Opening my bedroom door I inched down the hall and down the stairs to the doorway arch that led to the kitchen. I pressed my back against the outer edge of the entrance before taking a steadying breath. One, two, three....
I jumped into the kitchen with a loud 'High Ya!' and stopped dead in my track, my mouth dropping open like a fool. The two voices I heard belonged, not to normal men, but angels. Hot, fallen ones that disguised themselves as humans. And they were identical twins at that! All golden and sinful, they stared at me with their lilac eyes as though they knew me. I sure didn't know them. But I wanted to!
The one wearing the blue apron split into a wide smile. “Jo, baby, you're up. Did you sleep well?”
Oh shit! An image of Unie's face popped into my mind. “It's the answers to what you need.”
It worked! The nasty ass potion actually worked but now I had a problem. A double whammy of one. I didn't know exactly what I was supposed to do and the men were looking to me with dimpled smiles waiting for me to say something.