“I think he only did it to get out of buying a gift.” Deanna suggests. “What kind of dude breaks up with you 12 days before Christmas?”
“Yeah, instead of a partridge in a pear tree here I am drowning in grey goose in a pear martini.” Ainsley responds with a sigh.
“You want to go bust his windows?”
Ainsley shifts her brown eyes to her light-complexioned friend, who is smiling at the thought of a bat cracking the glass of Ainsley’s latest ex-boyfriend’s car. “No, I don’t, Dee, and don’t go getting any ideas that’ll land us in jail.” She takes a sip of her martini and sighs, “I don’t get it. I thought we were good.”
“Yeah, all the more reason we should go and key up his pretty black Lexus,” Deanna says. “Think about it, he worshipped that car. Imagine the look on his face when he walks outside and sees the word “asshole” etched into it.” Ainsley leans back in her seat, and gets a visual of his face and smiles. “See, you’re smiling. I knew it would make you feel better.” Just then, Ainsley gets a visual is of the police knocking on her door with a warrant for her arrest and her smile fades. “Not worth it,” she says, sitting up.
“Come on, Ann. Haven’t you just wanted to try something a little crazy?”
“No thank you. I’ve got enough crazy in my family already. That’s probably the real reason he broke up with me, to get out of this trip.”
“Stop it, Ann. He broke up with you because he’s a jerk.
“Jerk or not, the ticket had already been bought. Who else takes a loss on a $250 plane ticket unless he had some insight of what he was getting himself into? Hell, if I could dump my family I would.”
“You must be exaggerating. Your family can’t be that bad.”
“Of course you would say that. You were ready to throw bricks through the man’s windows just a minute ago. We must’ve been switched at birth, because you would blend right in.”
“If you must know, I would not use bricks. A bat is more accurate.”
“I’m not even going to ask how you know that,” Ainsley laughs, finishing the last of her drink. “I need to get out of here so I can finish packing.” She then reaches for her purse, but Deanna stops her by saying, “I got it.” Once Deanna signals the bartender, she asks, “So, when was the last time you were home?”
“Five years ago.”
“Five years? Seriously?”
“Yep. It was for Cricket’s 45th birthday.”
“That’s your mom, right?”
“Yeah. She was completed wasted. My dad was trying to keep her from making a complete fool of herself, but when you’ve been drinking since noon, there’s not much you can do about it. My oldest sister Coco was arguing with her boyfriend, accusing him of cheating on her because he showed up an hour late to the party. Then there was my older brother, Boo, he was hustling all the guests on his latest business scheme, and my little brother Tank wasn’t even there since he had been arrested that morning.”
“Wait, don’t you have another sister?”
“Oh, Star. She was only 12. Too young to realize her family is insane. Anyhow, I left the day after the party and said I was through with the drama. I’m only going this time because Star called last month and begged. She’s also got this huge scholarship thing she wants me to go to. I figure they would at least behave in public. And since my chances of selling any property in this economy at this time of year are pretty much non-existent, I might as well go.”
A few minutes later, they head out of the restaurant and Deanna asks, “I’ve gotta ask, what’s up with these nicknames?”
“I guess it’s a down south thing. My folks are from Mississippi. Everybody’s got a nickname.”
“So what’s yours?”
“I’m not telling you that.”
“Come on Ann, we’re girls. What’s your name?”
“Ainsley Simone Griffin,” she replies.
“Fine, I won’t press the subject. But I will find out.” Deanna declares. Once they reach their cars, Deanna says, “It’ll be good to be with your family. Ann. You can go relax and regroup.”
“Relax? Please,” Ainsley says with a roll of her eyes. “I can go and realize that being single and practically unemployed in Florida isn’t all that bad compared to being there.”
“You need the change. You’ve had a rough year. I don’t think you’ll regret it.”
“I already do,” Ainsley replies.
“12 Days” ©2010 by Dahlia Savage. All rights reserved.