June 23th, 2020
The sunlight hitting the right corner of the door was alluring, but her legs were heavy. Wood was never a passion of hers, but after the time she passed photographing wildlife, flora and whatever came into her way, she started paying more attention to small aspects of things. She now focused on the patterns on the wooden door. They looked as if they could drive her away from her troubles, their curves and straight lines reminded her of roads and the colors, the different tones, brought her a sense of smelling cognac. Maybe she needed a drink, she asked herself if she was going insane, but remembered someone saying that crazy people don’t ask themselves questions like that. She watched as the corner of the door got darker, the sunlight dissipating before her eyes. She loved to watch nature.
A car honked outside, she got up and walked to the door, stopping just to look at it for a last second, opened and left the house. The car waiting for her was Danny’s, he was looking at the rearview mirror, fixing his eyeliner. She got into the car and breathed deeply. “It’s gonna be a good night.”, she told herself for the thousandth time that day.
Danny was now staring at her, “You know you can quit it, if you want to, right?”, he said with a friendly tone.
“I know, but it’s alright, I want this, also, you look beautiful as always, Danny.”
“Thanks, Therese! Now, let’s party.”
Their drive took a while, but Therese loved the fact that Danny was a safe driver, he always had been. The whole journey they talked about work, a subject they couldn’t avoid, for it was a huge part of their lives. Therese casually looked into her phone, tweeting random thoughts she had, and Danny never took his eyes of the road.
When they arrived at their destination, a cabin adorned with purple flashing lights, Therese tossed her phone into the car glove compartment and stepped out of the car, being followed by Danny. “Why are you leaving your phone behind?”, he asked?
“It’s rude to use your phone at dates, I just read it on Twitter,” she answered with a soft laugh, “might as well give it a try.”
They walked into the cabin, and the music blasting on the inside made Therese temporarily numb. She searched for her date, but Danny found her first. He guided her to a table near an improvised stage and she realized where she was. Karaoke night. “This is going to be hell.”, she thought, the memories she had of herself singing in public were not her happiest.
As they approached the table, the two girls sitting at it, got up. One, a redhead the same size as Therese, took Therese’s hand and kissed. The redhead appeared to be mildly drunk, Therese thought, for the girl wasn’t much of a toucher when they met. She didn’t say anything about the kiss and greeted a girl with a soft smile. She looked to her side and saw that Danny and Barbra were already kissing and well, she was not surprised. They all sat.
The table was filled with bottles, vodka, beer, whisky, absinth, Therese wondered if she’d handle drinking with them, they didn’t look like lightweights, but she could not drink too much, that meant trouble. The redhead, Genevieve, poured a shot of absinth and handed to her before she finished her thought process.
“Go on Tess, your turn,” she gave a provocative smile and arched her left eyebrow. With doubt and concern for her own health, Therese got the small cup and quickly drank the whole thing straight. She felt her throat burn, but she knew it wasn’t actually burning, it was just sensible, so her face was unfazed.
“Done,” she said simply, and smiled back to Genevieve, who was staring at her as if she was an alien, “why the surprise?”
“How’d you do that? That shit burns!”, she asked loudly.
“It doesn’t actually, it’s just your throat becomes more sensitive.”
“Still, it doesn’t bother you?”
“It does, but I’ve learned to hide it pretty well,” she laughed, thinking to herself that hiding her bad feelings was her specialty.
“Therese, you are a champ.”, saying that, Genevieve started pouring more shots, now of vodka.
And they must have had some five or six rounds of shots and small talk until someone Therese heard Danny’s name being called from a very loud speaker, she had forgotten the whole karaoke thing, being so absorbed in the whole drinking thing. The young man she called her best friend got up his seat and rushed to the stage, she watched. Danny got the microphone, and gave the small crowd of people watching him his best smile, and proceeded to sing his chosen song.
Therese didn’t even need to hear to know what song it would be, it was he’s go-to, he called it his opening act. She heard the bass intro and laughed; she loved the predictable parts of Danny.
“Someone said they left together; I ran out the door to get her,” he sang, and some people cheered in support, his voice was actually good.
“Damn, didn’t know he could actually sing,” Barbra said, and Therese wondered if all they did was kiss each other all the time, they were together for a month now and Danny loved to sing, he sang all the time.
“Modern love is awful,” she thought, “but not everybody likes romance, I guess.” She looked over to her date, Genevieve wasn’t paying much attention to Danny, she was scrolling through some app her phone. Therese focused on her friend.
Just as he finished the song, a wave of applause took place, and Danny thanked the cheering crowd. Therese yelled “You’re the best, Danny!”, and he yelled back that he loved her, then proceeded to go back to their table.
The drinking proceeded, Genevieve poured, Therese drank, and they chatted about boring aspects of their lives. At some point, Therese was telling Genevieve about this one time she got to photograph an author she liked when she saw her get closer to her, she stopped mid-sentence.
“So, what she said?”, Genevieve asked, placing her hand on Therese’s, they were side by side, and only way to escape her would be to leave the table. Therese looked at Danny, he was very occupied kissing Barbra, so she answered.
“She said…”, but before she could finish Genevieve’s head got too close to hers, and she turned her head away, getting a slouchy kiss on the cheek. She heard Genevieve’s name being called on the speakers and got up to give her passage.
“Saved by the bell, baby.”, she said as she passed by Therese, heading to the stage. Therese searched for the exit, to be sure, and called Danny. It took a second for him to answer, Barbra didn’t want to let go of him.
“Can we go home?”, she said so his date wouldn’t hear, “I’m a little tired.”
Danny looked at her, curious, “Are you really? C’mon Therese, give it a chance!”, his words came a little swirly, he had a strong smell of whisky, “But if you really wanna go, we go.” Barbra pulled him again, crushing him with her lips.
Therese heard Genevieve presenting herself to the crowd, “Should I give it a chance?”, she questioned herself, “Maybe I need this, maybe that’s what it takes.” Her mind drifted away, travelling around the possibilities, she had been trying to put her own feelings at ease for a long time, but no matter what she tried, nothing worked. “Maybe.”
But her ideas were put aside the moment Genevieve’s song started. Therese felt as if the universe was playing a joke on her, she felt that maybe she was the joke. How could that go like that, it was ridiculous, in a thousand billion songs. Yet how ridiculous it was for her to have such a mixture of really strong feelings attached to a song so common, so known, so popular. Maybe she was the joke.
Genevieve was struggling with Jay-Z’s part in Upgrade U when Therese left the cabin and locked herself in Danny’s car.
[23:17] Therese: Danny
[23:17] Therese: I’m waiting in the car
[23:18] Therese: don’t rush
[23:17] Therese: don’t bring Gen please