By D.M. Wright
As I came out of the lady’s room from powdering my nose, I bumped into “THEM”. “THEM” is the quadrant consisting of Alicia Medina, Tammy Talbot, Samantha Jones and Felicia Laurens.
“Hey!” I exclaimed.
“Hey, Belle! How are you?!” They all screeched in unison.
I winced. “So, what’s going on? Tell me what has happened to you all in the last ten years,” I grinned.
“Come with us to the washroom. We’ll give you the gory details there.” Alicia smiled her own little smile that no one could copy.
“All right,” I waved to Charles to let him know I’d be another minute. He nodded with a raising of his eyebrows. I blew him a kiss and joined THEM in the bathroom.
“OK, we’ll give you a quick run down. Jeez, this is, like, the eightieth time I’ve said this tonight.” Alicia said and started fiddling with her hair. “I married Ryan about four years after high school and we’re still hanging on, but we have no kids, thank God.” She rolled her eyes. “I’m a radiologist and I work for this huge place; you’ve probably never heard of it. Ryan owns a pool company.” She smiled, “We have the best one, of course.”
Tammy then took the floor. “I am married to this gorgeous lawyer who is currently in New York heading up a big mob case or something. I don’t know the details, of course. But that is why he’s not here. His name is Mark Frederickson.” She grinned, “So that’s my new last name.”
“Well, I am not married and I just got my graduate’s degree!” Felicia yelled and then they all did this thing with their fingers and squealed. I vaguely remember them doing the same thing in high school when they got excited. “I also have a boyfriend, but I don’t want to make any commitments yet. I want to become filthy rich first, and then, maybe.” She laughed.
I looked to Sam who took that as her cue to tell her story. “OK, well my new last name is Conners and I am married to a professional basketball player, as you all know. Thank you, thank you.” She bowed.
I smiled. Yes, I had seen Matt on TV as they won their way to fame and victory. I’ve even seen Matt in a couple of commercials for Fruit of the Loom or something.
“I’m a stay-at-home mom. I have four kids and I am working my way to ten.” She giggled, “Their names are Joey, Karen, Michelle and Robin – six, four, two and almost a year.” Whoa.
“I’ve been busy,” She nodded.
“I have one son. His name is Richard and he’s almost five.” Tammy informed us.
“That’s great, you guys! I’m glad you’re all doing well. I should go now – see you!” I waved and they called out good-bye. I walked out the door. They haven’t changed much at all. I shook my head and walked over to good ol Charles.
“It’s about time. I was beginning to wonder if you had fallen in.” Charles grinned and led me to our table.
“You know how it is. Once a woman gets started talking to other women…” I shook my head.
“All right, I’ll grant you that.” We both sat down at the table.
Another couple walked up to us just then.
“Hi!” I exclaimed. It was Jenny and her husband Josh. I stood up and hugged them. “Oh, Jeez, it’s been sooo long.” I grinned. We actually keep in touch and just saw them last week.
Jenny laughed, “Hi, guys.” She smiled, “How are you, Charles?”
“Good, thank you. Hello, Josh.” They shook hands.
Charles winced. Josh always called him that at the most inappropriate times. Charles hates it. And Josh does it just to rub him the wrong way. Jenny nudged Josh a little bit and he looked contrite.
“So, are you guys enjoying this evening? Have you seen everyone?” I asked.
“Only some. And not Karen. Is she here?” Jenny looked around and I shrugged.
“I haven’t seen her.”
“Hmmmm,” she fingered her chin. “Oh, my goodness, have you seen Tiffany? She’s huge!” She gasped.
“I know! Isn’t that hilarious?” I laughed.
“Is anyone else expecting?” She wiggled her eyebrows up and down.
“Not that I know of, ” I shook my head.
“Oh.” She looked disappointed. She keeps hoping that I will be someday soon. This is so our kids can grow up together. She’s at the end of her first trimester herself, but it doesn’t show yet. Josh is the happiest man alive right now. He can’t wait to be a daddy. I glanced over at him and Charles talking about the structure of the building. Josh is a carpenter so he has some of the same interests as Charles.
I looked around, too, and admired the chandeliers. The room was very elegant, just as the people were who were dancing under the high ceiling. There were a few fans going to circulate the air in the room as well.
I looked back to Charles, who, I knew would be discussing the sturdiness of the foundation. I grinned and saw Josh nod in complete understanding.
Jenny does have good taste in men. I am glad she didn’t accept Howard’s proposal because Josh is perfect for her. He is tall with blonde hair, a muscular build and he’s one or two years younger than Jenny. I forget which. They don’t mind it, though.
Just then, who should come zooming up to us but Karen, and was she ever big! Almost as big as Tiffany! Almost…
“Greetings and salutory hallucinations!” She smiled and wrinkled her nose like one of her pet rabbits.
“Hello, Karen,” Jenny said, smiling.
“Hey, Carrots.” I grinned.
She rolled her eyes and exclaimed, “You haven’t changed a bit! You’re still immature and below me.” She gave me a snotty look.
“And you’re just as kind and polite as you always were.” I smiled sweetly.
She grinned back showing that there were no hard feelings. We could get in some pretty nasty verbal scuffles, but we always forgave each other. It was (and still is, apparently) our thing.
“So, when’s Goliath due?” I asked, staring at her large, protruding stomach.
“Very funny. It’s due next month.” She smiled.
“Where’s the rest of your clan?” Jenny asked, looking for Karen’s husband, Adrian and her other numerous amounts of children.
“Adrian is parking the car and the other twerps are at home with granny.”
Jenny and I exchanged looks, thinking the same thing.
We always did that in school. Think each other’s thoughts and finish each other’s sentences. We’ve known each other since second grade and have been good friends ever since. We were separated from Fourth to Ninth grades; however, but were then reunited.
I looked at Karen, “How is old granny anyway? I haven’t seen her in the longest time.”
“She’s good. Good and fine.”
“How about Muffy and Pepper and Reginold?” Jenny asked, hiding a smile. Well, you couldn’t help but smile when you realized that she named her kids after old pets. She didn’t really, but it kind of sounds like it. It’s our joke anyways.
“Oh, they’re still going. Running about and making our lives miserable as always.” She said with a sigh.
“Karen, they’re your children! How can you say that?” I gasped, incredulously.
“I’m only kidding. You know that. Hello, have you met me?” She said, rolling her eyes again. “You always did take me too seriously.”
“I remember some times you weren’t kidding. It is hard to tell when you are and when you aren’t.” I reminded her.
She just shook her head and then looked up, “Oh, there’s Adrian. Over here, muffin head!” She waved.
I couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing, as did Jenny. “Muffin head” came over, nodded at us and walked straight to Charles and Josh to chat.
“Oh, my goodness!” Jenny gasped, out of breath. “Karen, I can’t believe you just did that. How embarrassing!” But she collapsed with laughter again.
“What?” She exclaimed.
I couldn’t even breathe, let alone answer her. I fell into a chair and put my head onto my arms, still laughing uncontrollably.
“You two are weird.” She walked away and joined Mary and Chris.
“Right. We’re weird.” I managed to get out.
“Yeah, and she’s perfectly normal.” Jenny held her stomach and groaned. “I can’t stop laughing!”
But finally we settled down and just sat at the table, sighing.
“Oh, look! There’s Victoria! Oh, she is so beautiful!” Jenny pointed out.
I looked and saw her with Danielle.
“There’s Dannie, too!” I smiled, “Notice how no one ever calls her that? In high school, too. At first they called her Dannie, but when you got to know her, it seemed easier to call her Danielle.” I remembered. I hardly ever called her Dannie.
“They look so elegant, don’t they? I think they both married doctors or something. Victoria opened up her own beauty shop, didn’t she?”
I nodded. “Yeah, I worked for her for a while.” That was the absolute best. The shop was called Victoria’s. I quit when my books started to sell and I had to do some tours. Victoria went to beauty school during Junior and Senior years of high school. She always did our nails and hair if we asked.
I went to beauty school after high school and had various jobs at salons here and there until I found Victoria’s. Then she took me in and I became one of the head hair stylists. It was a fun and exciting time for me.
She still has the shop, but now, of course, she has a chain of them!
“Let’s mingle, shall we, Jenny?” I asked her.
“Why, yes, let’s! What an excellent and behooving idea! We wouldn’t want anyone to think we are still stuck up.”
We laughed. Jenny and I hang out together so much that we enjoy each other’s company without having others around. I guess in high school it gave off the impression of being conceited and too good for anyone else, but we didn’t see ourselves that way. We thought we were nice!
We worked our way around the room, saying hello to people we knew here and there. There were so many people we didn’t know; however, and this was supposed to be the senior class and their companions. Jeez, Louise, who were all these people?
“Why, hello, dear, and how are you?” I heard Jenny ask. Then we kept moving through the crowd until we bumped into a group of Romanians. They consisted of Sarah Boch, Olivia White and their husbands.
“Hi, you guys! This is Pierce and you know Sarah, of course! That is her husband, Dan.” Olivia squealed. “Hellos” went all around and then all of a sudden, Sarah peeled off into a string of Romanian sentences held together by a few English words. I don’t know what she said, but it made the men, and Olivia, laugh and sneak glances at me. I looked at Jenny, who shrugged and smiled politely at them all, but I knew she was secretly trying to convey how rude it was to speak in another language while you are talking with others. And to speak about them, no less! I was not as kind. I demanded to know what they were laughing about.
“Oh! Ha-ha-ha!” Laughed Sarah, “We were remembering back in high school when you liked my brother, Nick.” She covered her mouth and giggled.
“I did not!” I denied vehemently.
“Yes!” She nodded.
I shook my head and turned to Olivia. “Your brother, Jeff, started all that. I never said I liked him and you know it, Sarah!” I turned back to her.
She shook her head and spouted off in Romanian again. They all laughed again and so I shrugged.
“Fine. Have it your way. I just want you to know that I am happily married now and your little heart breaker brother can eat my dust.” I smiled and walked away.
Jenny and I continued on our way and were just about to go back to our table when someone got on stage and started speaking.
“We’re real glad you all were able to come tonight! It’s been a long ten years and some of us haven’t changed a bit!” He laughed and also received a few other chuckles.
“Who is he?” I whispered to Jenny.
She shrugged and shook her head.
“Now, I’d like to welcome to the stage a member of the class of ’93. He is going to play a little song for us and he brought along his band. Please welcome, Tony Duncan and Firestarter!” Everyone applauded as they came on stage. Firestarter is a very popular heavy metal band and Tony is the lead singer and guitar player. Tony’s wife, Julie, is the drummer. They got married young and started off slow, but their hard work soon paid off. They are now one of the leading heavy metal bands in the country. I heard that soon they are going on a European world tour. That sounds exciting. I just hoped that tonight they play one of their slower numbers.
“Thank you, thank you. It’s good to be here tonight and see all of those old familiar faces!” Then they went straight into their number one hit, coincidentally called, “Familiar Faces”. It wasn’t very heavy, but it was appropriate for the atmosphere.
People came out onto the dance floor; others stayed in their seats and tapped their feet. Jenny and I were still standing where we were so we once again tried to make it to our table. There was no way around the flailing bodies. Who were all these people?! We only had 28 people in our graduating class!!