Julie walked into the kitchen and poured two glasses of juice. She then made her way back to the living room where her best friend Meg was. Julie and her new husband Steven had just come back from their honeymoon in Hawaii and had been in town for two days. It was only today though, on the third day, that Meg had managed to get some time to come over and catch up with her best friend. Julie set a glass in front of Meg before she sat down.
“So, let me get this straight,” Meg started as she took a sip of her juice. “You went mountain climbing and both of your harness’s failed?”
Julie took a long sip and shook her head.
“No, Steven’s harness failed. But not in a potentially fatal way,” she said.
Meg raised an eyebrow.
“Not a potentially fatal way?” she asked in a surprised tone.
Julie nodded and then shrugged. “What? Is that not a possibility?” the newlywed asked.
Meg put the glass down and raised her hands. She always did this when going to make a point; usually a point that didn’t really matter to Julie.
“Well that may be possible, but it’s still a very serious case. Why the hell do you sound so okay about this?” she asked.
“Trust me, I nearly had a meltdown at the time… but I’ve moved past that” she said smiling.
“Thank God… I think,” Meg said wondering why Julie was treating this like some kind of funny occurrence. She looked into Julie’s brown eyes and shook her head. “What are you not telling me?” she asked.
“Well, I might have flipped out on Steven,” she said. Meg’s eyes lit up. This was way juicier.
“Details. Leave nothing out,” she said.
“Well, after his minor incident,” Julie started putting up finger quotes to emphasize the word ‘minor’. “He was acting like it was no big deal, as if the fact that he is an experienced mountain climber makes him immune to death or at the very least really bad accidents.” She took another sip of her juice and shrugged.
“Did he know you were frazzled by all this?” Meg asked.
“Does the ground get wet when it rains? Is the pope Catholic?” Julie asked before she tucked a curly strand behind her ear.
“And you just had to pick a fight during your honeymoon?” Meg asked.
Julie raised an eyebrow and smiled.
“Actually that was not the real reason I flipped out, though I did and it was not like he left me much of a choice anyway,” she said. Meg smiled.
“You flipped out on your new husband not once but twice?” she asked.
Julie took a sip of her juice and shrugged.
“What can I say? He was kind of being an ass,” she said. Meg gave her a judgmental look. “Okay, this is what happened. After his…incident, I had my own little thing on the zip line…” she started before Meg held up a finger.
“You still haven’t told me what happened with you,” she said.
Julie took a breath and shook her head, almost as if she was just eager to get through that fact.
“I don’t know what happened but there was a knot on the zip line.”
Meg’s eyes grew wide.
“What? Don’t they have some kind of maintenance on their equipment or something?” she asked as she toyed with the rim of her glass.
“I’m sure they do, but, it was all too weird…it had been used the day before and things were just fine. I’m guessing it was some kind of power play. But that’s beside the point,” she said quickly.
“Really?” Meg asked.
Julie smiled and shrugged.
“You know what I mean,” she said. “Anyway, I got pissed off because of how Steven reacted. He was very chilled and cool about his own accident, but when it came to what happened to me, he went ballistic saying he was going to sue and everything. It was terrible,” Julie concluded before she took a long sip. “And like I said, it seemed a little odd. Must have been some kind of sabotage plan or something.”
“Aww, you guys had your first fight on your honeymoon,” she said.
“I am not so sure if that’s a good thing. Definitely not an aww moment.”
“Oh come on, live a little and see things from my perspective,” Meg said.
Julie shrugged. “Which is?”
“You guys fought!” she said a bit too excitedly.
Julie shook her head.
“I still don’t see what you are gaining from this.”
“Okay what I mean is…and no offense, is that you guys are always a little too perfect. Sometimes I want to punch you just to make sure you’re real.”
Julie smiled and then shook her head.
“Wow. That’s a lot coming from my best friend.”
“Like I said, no offense,” Meg interjected quickly.
“And what about you and Ellis? What happened there?” she asked. There was a cheeky look in her eyes that spoke volumes. She noticed Meg’s cheeks flush. If she was any lighter, she would have been a giant tomato at that moment.
“Well, I don’t really know what to say…” she started but Julie shook her head.
“No, you are not playing that card. I want to know what happened at the wedding. I mean one minute, you are all against the whole idea of being set up and the next, you are waving his key card in my face? You better start dishing out,” she said before she took another sip.
Meg smiled and then shrugged.
“Okay truth be told, I have never really liked the idea of being set up,” she started.
“Yeah. I remember you have had some terrible first dates,” she said, laughing. “Remember Louie?” she asked.
Meg shook her head. “Please don’t remind me,” she said as she rolled her eyes.
“Well, the next time I tell you that I have your best interests at heart, trust me,” she smiled.
Meg frowned and then leaned forward to put her glass on the table.
“One, you never said that about setting me up with anyone and two, you have never set me up with anyone…well except for Ellis of course,” she said. Julie couldn’t help but notice the dreamy look she had in her eyes at that moment. “And we both know that you did not orchestrate that willingly,” she added quickly.
Julie raised an eyebrow.
“Hey, what is that supposed to mean?” she asked as she looked at her best friend.
“Well, he told me that he had asked you guys to set him up with me,” she said. Julie smiled and shook her head. “Or is it just a coincidence that he was the best man and I was the maid of honor?” Meg asked and Julie shrugged.
“Guess you will never know,” she said before she put her glass on the table and sighed. “That’s the time? I am starved,” she said as she leaned against the seat.
Meg looked at her phone and smiled.
“It’s eleven fifteen,” she said.
“Perfect,” Julie said as she stood up and walked to the kitchen. Meg gave her a confused look for a second and then followed her, carrying the two glasses in her hands.
“What do you mean? What’s perfect? Perfect for what?” she asked. Julie was now looking into the fridge pulling out all the cheese and deli meats she could find.
“Perfect for grilled cheese sandwich,” Julie said as she washed her hands.
Meg raised an eyebrow.
“Are you sure you’re just making a grilled cheese sandwich or a sandwich with everything you can get your hands on?” she asked.
Julie looked at her and shook her head.
“Stop asking questions and make yourself useful,” she said as she started buttering up the bread. She put a few salami pieces on a couple of slices before she put on the rest of the fillings. She was suddenly second guessing the cheese. ”Put this back. I don’t think I’ll need it,” she said as she handed the cheese to Meg. “So, I have to ask, you know, as your best friend and everything,” Julie started as she pressed the cover of the Panini press on the bread.
“What?” Meg asked. She was now nibbling on a slice of cold salami.
“Are you serious with Ellis?” Julie asked. Meg looked at her and smiled before she shrugged. Julie smiled when she noticed the girlish blush on her cheeks.
“I don’t know why but for the first time in a long time, I actually feel like I…I could really have something with someone,” she said. “I almost feel hopeful that I could have something as special as what you and Steven have.”
Julie raised an eyebrow and smiled. She never thought she would live to see the day.
“Someone’s smitten,” Julie said.
“Well, you can’t blame me,” Meg said. She was now pouring more juice into her glass. “Ellis is cute and awesome.” She took a sip and looked up. “And British,” she added. Julie smiled and took the sandwiches out of the press. She waved an arm around as the pain she felt registered in her brain. Meg grabbed a plate and held it out for Julie to put the bread on.
“I really had not thought this through,” Julie said as she blew on her fingers.
“Clearly,” Meg said as she grabbed some towels before pouring some juice into Julie’s glass. Meg then looked around the room and sighed. “I guess we are just going to sit here, right?” she asked. Julie took a long deep breath and let her eyes wander. The whole house…well, most of it was covered in moving boxes. Everywhere she looked was a moving box. There were boxes stacked up lining the walls and most of the floor was occupied. There was almost no room to walk.
“That sounds like a brilliant idea,” Julie pointed out as she pulled a stool from the bar.
Meg looked around again and reached for a sandwich.
“Are we ever going to start unpacking these boxes?” Meg asked. Julie looked at her and tried to hide the fact that she had a smile threatening to get out.
“I love the fact that you just said ‘we’,” she said.
“Damn it,” Meg cursed under her breath before she took a big generous bite. “I’m guessing it’s too late to change my mind, right?” she asked in between bites.
Julie smiled and nodded.
“Oh honey, that ship sailed long before you even thought to speak,” she said just as the doorbell rang. “Great. More stuff,” she countered. So far, Julie was having the longest day and apart from the high point that was Meg’s visit, she wanted to die. She was moving her stuff into Steven’s house after a lengthy discussion. Initially, she had wanted Steven to move in to her condo. It was all about giving up her space. Granted, she spent a whole lot of her time at Steven’s place but this time it was different. It was for life. She knew this was part of the package of the marriage deal. And there was also the little fact that they both wanted a family later on in life and given this fact, Steven’s much bigger and roomier house looked like the more sensible choice.
“This is all ma’am…uh…Mrs. Davenport,” Aurelio, one of the movers said, quickly correcting himself. Julie had, time and again, told him not to call her ma’am but it always seemed to roll off his tongue.
She looked at him and smiled.
“Thanks Aurelio,” she said as she signed the phone on his clipboard. “Wait, I need to give you a tip,” she said as she went back into the house. She looked around the messy living room for any sign of her purse but she couldn’t even hear herself think thanks to the messy living room. She then grabbed Meg’s bag and pulled a fifty from her wallet.
“Hey! What do you think you are doing?” Meg called when she saw Julie tossing her purse back on the seat.
“Relax, I’ll give it back,” she called out as she walked to the front door. She handed the note to Aurelio with a smile.
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