Miss Jone’s Night Out – Part 2 (fiction)

            Brooke is the first to arrive at 591 Yeti Drive Apartment B and is ushered into the house by a half-dressed Pam. At least, Brooke thinks she is half-dressed until she realizes that what she thought was a sparkly shirt is actually a very, very short dress. Her hair is still in curlers and she’s holding a damp toothbrush, she’s smiling but clearly surprised by Brooke’s punctuality. Being late is something Brooke avoids at all costs, because it could lead to a variety of embarrassing situations. But occasionally, Brooke reminds herself, being on time can be even more awkward.

            “Hey girl,” Pam says brightly and glances at Brookes outfit raising one eyebrow and pursing her lips slightly.

            “Hey,” Brooke draws out the word because she doesn’t know what else to say.

            Pam’s apartment matches her personality exactly. The standard white walls are covered by sheets in shades of yellow and orange and fake bunches of flowers in clear vases add a splash of red. It should look very messy, but something about it a perfect balance between fun, stylish, and put together. Just like Pam. Brooke is envious as she thinks of her bland beige walls and her equally boring personality.

            “So, we are going to this club called Vortex. It’s ladies night, so drinks are half price!” Pam says excitedly, a bit too thrilled in Brooke’s opinion, but she decides to play along.

            “Oh, fun,” she says with feigned enthusiasm, although she’s doubtful she’s fooling anyone.

            A knock on the door breaks the silence and Mary comes in before anyone has a chance to respond.

            “Hello ladies! Who’s ready to get drunk?” Clearly the life of any party, Mary pulls a small silver flask from her shiny red purse.

            “Wooo! I know I am! You look gorgeous as always my dear!” Pam looks over Mary’s stunning outfit – a tight leopard print dress with red stilettos – before grabbing the flask and taking a long drink.

            She hands the flask to Brooke, who takes it with a look of surprise that neither girl notices as they hug and check each other’s makeup. In the span of two seconds a million things race through Brooke’s head before her hand lifts and she takes a sip of the bitter liquid. The warmth races down her throat and she hands the flask back to Mary who takes a drink and cheers loudly. Brooke’s not sure exactly why, but within a few seconds the three of them are laughing hysterically.

            When they all calm down Mary turns to Brooke and looks her outfit over. Brooke knows she’s not the most fashionable person, but she was pretty proud of her outfit of tight, dark wash skinny jeans and flowy shirt that shows just a bit of cleavage.

            “Honey, that would be an adorable outfit for the office, but tonight we are going to party like there’s no tomorrow! Let’s go find you something sexy.” Pam nods and the two girls lead Brooke down the hall without another word.

            “I think I’ve got the perfect thing,” Pam says as she rifles through her closet. Mary is looking through the bin of shoes in the corner, and Brooke is standing tentatively in doorway like a deer in headlights.

            “What size shoe are you?” Mary is throwing shoes on the bed, unable to find any of the matches.

            “Um, eight.” Brooke wishes she could come up with something else to say, but that’s all she’s got. And she’s really wishing she could have another sip of whatever’s in that flask.

            “Perfect!” Pam pulls a flowy white dress from the closet with a triumphant smile. It is beautiful, but Brooke is wondering how it is possibly going to cover her curvy ass.

            “Wow. It’s gorgeous, but I’m not sure if it will fit.”

            “It’s stretchy. I swear, it’s going to look great,” Pam says as she hands the dress Brooke and Mary holds up a pair silver platform heals.

“Girls, you look fabulous! If I weren’t gay I think we would be having a threesome tonight.” Kent jokes as they walk from the parking lot to the club. It’s getting cold outside and could start raining at any minute. “It’s nice to see you outside of the office, Brooke. You should come out with us more often.”

            “Let’s see if she even survives a night with up first.” Brooke knows that Mary is only kidding, but she’s afraid of how true the statement might end up being by the end of the night.

            The club is all pulsing lights and loud music with the base turned up way too high. The sight of people dancing reminds Brooke of the one thing that she is more worried about than getting drunk: her horrible lack of dancing abilities. She exhales in relief when her group heads straight to the bar and orders a round of shots.

            The girls all head to the restroom, which gives the alcohol a bit of time to take effect. By the time Brooke hits the dance floor, her anxiousness has toned down a bit and she can dance with less inhibition than when she’s sober. Her dancing is still awful compared to everyone else in the room, but Brooke is happy with the improvement.

            A few songs in, two very fine guys start dancing with Mary and Pam, Kent is chatting with a few friends he ran into, and Brooke decides that a trip to the bar would be a better choice than dancing awkwardly by herself.

            “I’ll have a … um… Mojito?” Brooke says the first thing that comes to mind. She’s not sure what a mojito is, but she likes the sound of it. She pays and takes a sip of the cool liquid. Not bad, Brooke thinks as she takes a look around the club. There are about twice as many girls, but there are some very good-looking guys.

            She catches snippets of the conversation the men are having to her left, something about football or hockey, or something like that. Most of the girls in the club are dressed so scantily that Brooke’s dress looks conservative, even though it’s probably the most skin she has ever shown away from the beach.

            Brooke is wondering how people end up so sweaty from dancing, when she sees a familiar head of messy ash blond hair across the club. She would recognize this person in a state of utter drunkenness. It’s the guy whom she has secretly pined over for two years: Peter Raveniss. Tall, handsome, and funny. The whole package, in Brooke’s opinion.

            She quickly sucks down the rest of her drink, giving her a brain freeze, and rejoins her work friends, careful to stay out of Peter’s line of vision.

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Miss Jones’ Night Out – Part 1

Note: I expect this to be about a three-part story, and I hope to post all parts within the next week our two (ok, make that 3 or 4 weeks, summer break is more time-consuming than expected!). I hope you enjoy it!

Miss Jones’ Night Out – Part 1

            It is the seventh of May and Brooke Jones sits on the back porch of her house watching the clouds roll in off the horizon. The likelihood of rain in the next few hours is high, according to the weather report and anyone with common sense.

            Miss Jones, as they call her at work, is making lists in her head. What she wants to accomplish over the summer, what she is going to do to get in shape, witty things to say to Peter if she should happen to see him, items she needs to buy at the grocery store and the mall. The lists run together in her mind and get tangled until she has to close her eyes and shake the nonsense from her head. She knows that no matter how many lists she makes she will not accomplish what she hopes to, she will not get in shape, and if she should see Peter she will do what she always does – pretend not to see him until he’s right in front of her and then give him a shy smile to acknowledge his existence. She knows that he will never realize how badly she wants him.

            A phone rings in the house and Brooke waits a few seconds before pushing herself out of an old lawn chair and starts toward the phone. Brooke has never been a fan of phones. They allow for the possibility of too many awkward moments. There are plenty of embarrassing moments outside of the house, no need to create more. This is Brooke’s reasoning as she picks up the phone and answers with a sunny “hello” and a big smile.

            “Hello, Miss Jones.” It’s Pam, a new friend from work, and she has a playful tone in her voice. Brooke raises an eyebrow in suspicion even though there is no one around to see it.

            “Well, hello Miss… um…. hello Pam,” Brooke blushes as she realizes that she doesn’t actually know Pam’s full name, there goes another awkward moment to add to the list. But Pam just laughs good-naturedly and continues.

            “So, Mary, Kent, and I are going out for drinks tonight and we think you should join us.” Brooke hesitates for a second and Pam adds, “it will be fun.” Brooke does not doubt that Pam and the others will have fun, although she believes that her presence might dampen their fun, but she is not so sure that she will have fun. Rarely invited out, Brooke usually jumps at the chance, but drinks are a different matter.

            In her entire twenty-four years of life Brooke has drunken alcohol exactly three times. The first time she was 14 and camping with her parents. Her mother offered her a taste of wine and, despite her better judgment, Brooke took a tentative sip. The smell, the taste, everything about it repelled her. The second time was at her cousin’s wedding in which she was a bridesmaid and felt it necessary to take a sip of champagne after the toast out of politeness. The third time was when she was a junior in college and finally worked up the courage to go to a real party. She was so nervous and eager to have a good time that she drank a beer, three shots, and some mixed concoction with mystery contents. She had fun all right, for about two hours. Then she embarrassed herself more in thirty minutes than she typically does over the course of a year. She threw up, left the party, went straight to bed, and threw up again in the morning. This occurred roughly two months before her twenty-first birthday, which she celebrated by going to a casino and spending a few dollars on the slot machines rather than partaking in the more popular birthday festivities.

            Despite her dislike for the taste of alcohol, fear that she will become a heavy drinker like much of her family, and worry that she could ruin her night and her friends’ night, Brooke has a rush of excitement as she thinks of all of the possibilities that the night could hold.

            “Ok. Yah, that does sound fun.” She lets the words escape from her mouth before she has a chance to stop herself.

            “Great! We’re all meeting at my house around nine, let me give you the address.” Brooke jots down the directions, trying to steady her shaking hand. The possibilities running through her head now are nothing worth getting excited over. Part of her is glad she said yes before her overactive imagination paralyzed her with fear. The other, larger part, is cursing at her in a state of panic wishing she’d taken more time to think this through. But as Brooke hangs up the phone she is genuinely smiling.

After a long shower and an hour of trying to figure out what to wear, Brooke stands in front of her bathroom mirror with her small collection of makeup. She never wears more than a bit of mascara and a smudge of lip gloss to work, so she doesn’t want to show up in full makeup and shock everyone, but she doesn’t want to look like she does every day. It takes twenty minutes, but Brooke finally gets her eyeliner perfectly symmetrical and her lashes full but not clumpy. This effort leaves her frustrated, so she hurriedly brushes on some powder that’s a bit darker than her pale skin and applies a natural pink lipstick.

            She stands back, looking at herself in the mirror, and can’t help but smile at the improvements. In college she would get dolled up all the time in the hopes that her latest crush would notice her, he never did. Brooke decided a few years ago that it doesn’t matter how pretty she makes herself look, guys will not like her. Tonight, she’s hoping that this really isn’t true.

            Slipping on a pair of modest heals and grabbing her purse, Brooke takes deep calming breaths and tells herself that she’s going to have a great night. As she drives to Pam’s house, she makes a list in her head of everything she should keep in mind during the night: no shots, no mixed drinks, no dancing on tables, no dancing at all, no laughing too loud, no throwing up.