I’ve only been drunk once in my life and tonight is a perfect time try it for the second time.
Luckily, my scheduled days off have coincided with this shit storm around me and I plan on calling in sick tomorrow as a way to avoid Bruno for another day before Athena covers my next two shifts after that.
From my lack of response to his calls and texts, Bruno has mistakenly assumed that I want alone time since this is the anniversary week of my brother’s passing. To be honest, I had almost forgotten but I’m glad that he’s giving me space because I still don’t know how I’m going to deal with him and his cheating ass. Right now, I don’t want to deal with him, patients or anyone else. The only people I want in my chaos are Athena and Ella.
I never knew what it was like to have many friends growing up but I know that I’m blessed to have found these two ladies later in life. They are my Thelma and Louise who refused to leave me alone to wallow in my pity and misery. They are also more than willing to help me hide and forget everything for a while and the bottle of Bacardi 151 that Ella has brought over to distract me is doing the trick to numb out a non-drinker like me.
I’m lying on the floor in the middle of my living room with my eyes closed to stop the room from spinning. Though the room has stopped spinning, my head is now bobbing uncontrollably to the beat of “Love Is A Battle Field” that Athena is blasting from the television and I can’t seem to stop.
“I need another drink!” Athena yells. I feel the whoosh of her skirt across my legs and reopen my eyes to see her hopelessly trying to recreate the dance break along with the Pat Benatar video playing from the YouTube stream. She outstretches her glass for Ella refresh her glass.
“No. You’ve had more than enough for now,” Ella refuses and flops down onto the couch with the bottle tucked between her thighs.
Watching Athena dancing is making me dizzy and I’m suddenly afraid that I’m going to get showered by the contents of her glass. I roll away just in time as Athena spills some onto the hardwood floor where I was just lying. Athena’s infectious giggling gets me going down a path where I can’t control my laughter at how stupid she looks.
Ella rakes back in the couch and shakes her head at both of us.
“Wow, I never realized until now what amateurs you are when it comes to the hard stuff.” Ella pours herself a shot and downs it like the “boss bitch” we see her as. “I’d love to join in on the inebriated fun but I’ve got to get back to the club before closing. You’re staying here with Kiki tonight right?”
Athena nods. “Yeah, Oscar’s working the night shift. Don’t worry, I’m not driving anywhere tonight.”
Without saying a word, Ella grabs Athena’s purse and takes her keys.
“Good. But I’ll hang onto these until I come back in the morning anyways.” Ella grabs my hand and pulls me up to a sitting position. “You’ve had it rough this week. This Bacardi will let you get all this shit out of your system so that you can slam the door on this asshole and start fresh.”
It’s kind of funny how Athena and I became friends with Ella. It was through a pole dancing class we signed up for. Actually, Athena signed up and forced me to tag along during her pre-Oscar “sexy self-exploration” phase because she was afraid to go alone. Needless to say, I couldn’t bring sexy back to save my life but after the very first class, I was ecstatic that I went. Besides Ella’s “I’m the shit” attitude, I immediately fell in like with her from the old music she played during her classes. It was almost as if she had stolen some of my personal playlists.
A few classes in and a few coffees later, we all bonded over our love of older music. Ella had a magnetism and air about her that is hard to describe. The few times she’s stopped by the hospital to see me, not only would men of all ages and sexual orientation stop to stare but so would their women.
And to be honest, I think that both Athena and I had a small girl crush on her at the beginning, you know the kind when you admire and would like to emulate at times. She’s like the big sister I never had.
“She can’t start fresh until she punches Bruno’s fucking lights out.”
We both stare at Athena with surprise. The booze is bringing out Athena’s aggressive side of her while I’m more of the sad sleepy type. She drops down next to me and lays her head in my lap.
Ella’s confusion is clear. “Wait. You didn’t confront Bruno yet?”
Before I can answer for myself, Athena chimes in. “Nope. It’s not like she can tell him that she eavesdropped on his conversation after breaking into his house and while hiding in his closet.”
“Exactly,” I nod.
At the sight of Debbie Gibson on the screen busting cheesy moves to “Electric Youth”, Athena stumbles to get up and starts dancing along miserably to the video again. Ella stares at her as if she’s trying to understand how Athena could be such a bad dancer. She squeezes her eyes shut to erase the sight and then turns back to me.
“Well, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Confront him or ghost him for a while, do what your spirit tells you to. But you’ll eventually have to talk to him when you’re at the hospital. That’s why they say don’t fuck your honey where you make your money. I did that once and I would never make that mistake again.”
My head is spinning again. “If you were me, what would you do?”
“Well,” Ella takes a small sip from her glass. “You know that I don’t give advice like that. Especially since I can flip from burn-down-your-house-Left Eye Lopes to Ice Queen in a nanosecond.” She gives me a hard look that burns into me.
“If you were a different type of woman, I would tell you to call Bruno out on his shit and then marry him.”
Athena’s head snaps to attention just as fast as mine. “Marry him? Are you insane?”
“No, I’m quite the opposite. Do you want me to sugar-coat what I’m going to say or should I skip the fairytales and be brutally raw? You decide.”
Athena and I exchange looks through our drunken mess.
“Raw,” we say in unison and buckle up for Ella’s ride.
© Copyright 2019 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved
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