She stood in the dark closet, screamed into a towel, bit it and threw it to the floor with all the power she could. A voice said, “Well, at least you got some kind of raise. What did you expect? You’ll never get anywhere in this company as long as a Morgan is heading it. Why don’t you just leave?”
“I will not. I will not run or be beaten. Just wait. They’ll see. I’ll be successful. The Morgans will pay for their insults to me. One day, when I’m running the company, they’ll all be working as gofers in the mailroom. To hell with them all!” Finally satisfied, she calmed and peeped out. Taking out a number of supplies, she left the darkness as soon as it was safe. She had to hurry for her next appointment.
* * * *
Jenny arrived at Sarah’s around nine that night. Lynsi and Della’s cars were sitting in the driveway but Sarah’s was nowhere in sight. Perhaps she drove it into the garage to get it out of the way. Sure, that’s it. But the last time Jenny had been to her house, Sarah used the garage for storage only. That was months ago, before she had the house redecorated.
Loud rock and roll music met her as she climbed the steps. She pressed the bell. Lynsi swung the door open, pushed a drink into her hand, grabbed her arm and dragged her into the house. “Party Time!” She laughed, pushing up her tight knit sleeves.
Della danced and waved from across the room, and Sarah sashayed into the room, holding a tray of snacks. The house smelled of vanilla. Four cream-colored candles burned, one in each corner of the room.
For a moment, Jenny questioned if she was at the right house. These ladies had never acted so wild. Taking a large swallow of her drink, she almost choked. She coughed as the cool liquid dripped to her chin. The drink tasted strong with tequila. The others danced around her, reaching for her and motioning for her to join them. Jenny shook her head no and laughed.
Della said something she couldn’t hear over the deafening music. “What!” she yelled. “Turn it down.”
Della shook her head and mouthed, “I can’t hear you.”
Jenny patted her ear, shook her head, pointed to the stereo and did a thumb down motion with her free hand.
While Sarah lowered the volume, Lynsi grabbed one arm and Della the other, dragging her around the room in a semblance of dance, her drink sloshing onto her hand.
“Come on and get with it, Jenny,” Della said, her voice raising an octave above the song.
Sarah trotted over with a pitcher and refilled Jenny’s disposable glass. “Give her a break. First, she has some catching and loosening up to do.”
Jenny followed Sarah back into the kitchen. “I didn’t see your car.” A slow tune drifted in from the other room.
With her hip flush to the varnished cabinets, Sarah leaned over, bracing herself on the counter with an elbow. “It’s not here.” She smiled. “It wasn’t ready, so Trevor …” she stopped and stared into
Jenny’s eyes. “I mean, Mr. Drake said he’d pick me up tomorrow and take me back to get it.”
“How nice of Mr. Drake,” Jenny said through clinched teeth and took a large swallow of her drink, coughing again.
“Yeah, he’s a sweetheart, but forget him.” She shook her head and waved a finger in front of Jenny’s face. “No man talk tonight.” Spinning Jenny around, she pushed her back into the other room. “Let’s join in. I love this song.”
Soon, Jenny joined in and they all danced, snacked, drank and laughed until they were out of breath. It wasn’t long before the room began to spin. Jenny knew she’d had enough to drink and fell backward onto the sofa, watching the other crazy women make fools of themselves. Her line of vision followed a row of potato chips to where Della sat cross-legged on the floor in her Levis and long red sweater, her head bobbed and her straight, dark hair shifted above her shoulders.
Sarah and Lynsi, the youngest of the three, still swayed to the rhythm of the song, albeit a bit clumsily. The two moved to the beat, their low-fitting jeans exposed pronounced hipbones above their waistbands. Their sweaters clung just below their breasts. Not for cold weather, that’s for sure. Was she paranoid or were they all giving her an evil stare?
Nah! They were just dazed from the alcohol. She crossed the floor and switched off the music. “Time for some real food before we’re all get sick.” When Della didn’t move, she grabbed her hand and helped her up. They made and ate ham, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.
Sarah yelled. “I almost forgot. It’s time to open your presents.” She ran out of the room and came back with her arms loaded with gifts.
Lynsi and Della nudged Jenny back into the den, moved everything off the couch and sat her down, throwing the packages with wedding bell wrapping paper into her lap.
Lynsi flopped onto the cushion beside her. “Open mine first,” she said and grabbed the one from the bottom of the stack.
Every time she brought out new Victoria Secret lingerie, they whistled and said, “Watch out, Trevor,” in unison. Jenny had silk panties, bras and nighties, a sheer gown and a robe to match. Everything was beautiful and she hadn’t had this much fun since college. It didn’t matter that they all were acting like lunatics.
Tired, they lounged on the couch in the dark and watched a scary movie. Jenny had no idea the name of the movie, nor did she care as her eyes began to droop.
She woke the next morning to find Sarah’s legs draped over hers from the other side of the couch. Lynsi was stretched out on the floor, lounging against the couch while her head rested against Jenny’s knees. Jenny looked around the room, but didn’t see Della anywhere. “Del-la,” she called out.
Sarah stirred, clasping both hands over her ears. “Please, not so loud. She had to leave. Something about an appointment.”
“I need to get going too. Thanks for the party, if you see her before I do, can you thank her too?” She gathered her presents and things.
“Sure.” Sarah closed her eyes, waved and covered her face with both arms.
Jenny laughed, shook Lynsi awake, hugged her and thanked her for a good time and helped her to a spot on the couch, where she rolled over and instantly fell back to sleep.
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