I don’t remember which of the guys got the idea to replace the star on the tree with a picture of John Lennon, but A* handed me B*’s copy of Let It Be and a pair of scissors.“I’m too stoned to cut straight, and what if I cut George, man? I never liked John that much but, shit, he’s shot.”All things considered, I didn’t double check with B* before I cut. I handed the portrait to C*, and he pulled a chair over and propped it among the branches. Everyone was quiet for a minute. Just then, someone on the other side of the room dropped the needle on The Stones “Miss You.” There’s justice, I thought. The King is dead. Long live the King. Let’s dance. I chugged the rest of my wine, put the mutilated album back in the block and board shelf, and headed to the floor.It was just after ten, and faculty were starting to trickle in. They’d been grading all evening and were ready for a break. I felt hands on my waist, and a voice in my ear shouted, “You look thirsty. I’m headed to the keg. Now do you like it with head or no head?” I knew it was Professor E*. “Head, always!” I smiled and slipped away. I’d seen Professor F* come in, and thought I’d best attempt a rapprochement.I was pretty sure she’d be here tonight. B* had shown up at one of our Friday night department drinking things, and she’d taken notice. His painfully thin, tofu fed demeanor called up her Berkeley glory days. His radar registered this immediately and, being B*, he began figuring out a way to use it. He knew he’d need an outside reader for his dissertation. He’d audited one of her courses, poured it on pretty thick, and my radar detected her attraction. Even though my dealings with B were a deep secret I was pretty sure that, somehow, F* knew. F* always knew everything.I knew she liked red wine, so I picked up an extra for her and headed that way. We made eye contact and I lifted her glass. The group of dancers blocked my view, so it was way too late to turn around when I saw that B* was on a similar mission. We arrived at the same time, and when she turned to greet him, her gaze fell on the tree and rose to the top. She spun around and hissed, “My God, what have you arrogant children done now.”
"She said what?" Emily was enraged. How could her best friend do that to her? "That bitch."Emily paced back and forth in front of the coffee pot. "Darla, are you sure she said that?""Emily, I am positive. I heard it with my own two ears. I was eavesdropping outside Mr. Whitley’s office and she said it plain as day." Darla told Emily while pouring a cup of coffee."That’s it, I can’t take it anymore. I'm going to find her and let her have it." Emily stormed out the door so fast you swear flames where coming from her red pump heels. Everyone in the office peered around their cubicles. She was making such a racket storming through the maze that she accidentally knocked some water out of the shy mail girl’s hand. “Sorry.” She yelled.At the end of the maze was Patricia’s cubicle. Stacks of paper were arranged neat and nice. Her pencils were all sharpened and she carried only the best pens. Pictures of Emily and Patricia sat at the top of the cubicle shelf, framed with BFF forever. Fuzzy pink and white stuffed bunnies hugged all the pictures.Emily turned the last corner ready to charge. Only Patricia was not there. More flames, this time they shot from Emily’s eye. “Where is she?” Emily turned around and the whole office was starring. “She better not be in Mr. Whitley’s office.” And with super human speed she flew straight to Mr. Whitley’s office.Mr. Whitley was the boss and a very handsome boss. He was rich, suave, and all the ladies wanted him. He was even featured on the cover of GQ Magazine as one of the most irresistible bachelors. Just last week he had fired his personal secretary and Emily was flirty her way to that spot. Not to mention other spots of Mr. Whitley. She stopped just short of Mr. Whitley’s door. She calmed herself. “Breath deep.” Emily tip toed up to the door barely pressing her ear against the smooth surface. All was quite. “Should I knock?” She thought. But what if they are…Emily raised her hand and brought it back to knock slightly, when she heard a very seductive moan. Flames on, and Emily charged through Mr. Whitley’s office door.“PATRICIA!” Emily gasped.“EMILY!” Mr. Whitley and Patricia gasped.
Wow, Kelly and Dale! Both amazing. It's funny how one picture can spark such different stories. Thanks for sharing!!!!!
“She said what?” as if screaming it louder would change the outcome.“Hey, don’t shoot the messenger,” Cora said. She shook back her blond hair and straitened her shirt. The image had to be perfect at all times. How I longed to throw chocolate syrup on her.“Oh, I bet you had nothing to do with it, did you?”She looked at me, an innocent look to be sure, but there was deviousness she couldn’t hide. “No, of course not.”Bitch. She was lying. “And what if I said that I told Tommy Mathews--“I didn’t get to finish that sentence. We were on one another, pounding and dragging our fingernails hoping to get blood. And as much as my mom always told me that violence never settled anything, this felt satisfying.
"She said what?" I whispered, incredulous.The whisper was mostly due to the fact that I was stunned. There was absolutely no chance of anyone hearing us in the empty house.Well, I overheard mom..." Jolene began in her own hushed voice, delighted I was interested.I held up my hand to stop her."I heard you the first time, dork." Jolene may be divulging extremely important info but she was still my baby sister and as such, had to be treated in the same condescending manner as usual."Fine," she snapped, "forget about it then.""Calm down, Jellybean." I purred. My brother Marcus and I tortured the poor kid with that nickname."So, mom was on the phone with Mrs. Forrest yesterday and...?" I began my interrogation.Jolene's head bobbed up and down. She was itching to tell the juicy facts herself. I let her have the floor."Mom didn't know I was in the kitchen." Jellybean was like a puppy that had to pee. It came spilling out of her. "She was saying all dreamy-like that she couldn't wait to get back to Edward and that she hoped Bill's trip--meaning dad's trip--would be extended."Jolene stopped then. Eyes wide, she expected a huge reaction. All I could manage was a gaping mouth.When I said nothing, she blurted, "You know, Edward of 'Cheryl and Edward Travis' who just moved in across the street!"No, I did not know. What the hell was going on? My own mother having an affair? I snapped to."Do NOT, I repeat, do not say anything to Marcus when he comes home from Cal this weekend!" I demanded. "I'll do it." "Sure, whatever." Jolene flipped her hair. "You know, this is very typical of middle-aged women." she said matter-of-fact."You're twelve," I groaned. "What do you know about middle-aged women.""I watch Oprah." Jolene tilted up her chin.Dad's trip was extended.Marcus came home Friday afternoon. I gave him the bad news, expecting my normally sane med student brother to be reasonable. Didn't happen. He exploded. I did manage to contain him for an hour--Mr. Travis wasn't home from work anyway. But, as soon as the black sedan pulled into the driveway across the street, Marcus shot out the kitchen door.Mom came in at the same time, carrying groceries. "What in the world is going on? Marcus looks positively murderous!" She dropped her tote bag on the table and began unloading food."By the way," she went on, " Cheryl and Edwin Travis are coming over for dinner tonight."I turned away from the window in slow motion. "The new neighbors?" I gulped. Then it hit me. "I thought it was Cheryl and Edward." I said slowly.It was at that moment I noticed the book in mom's tote bag. Twilight. OMG! "Mom, are you reading that?" I pointed at the book like it was a snake."Oh, yea. My book club wanted to see what all the hype was about." she said casually. "I must say, that Edward is a hottie!"My mind fuzzed over but I could still here her ask, "You are staying for dinner aren't you?""Oh you bet. Wouldn't miss it." I chuckled.
Deb, you are blowing me away. Seriously!!!
Suzanne, thanks!! I'm totally flattered that you've ignored the bad punctuation,etc. This blog has really inspired me.