Eau de Toilette - Emily Haines
I know your ways, so when I tell you don't get crazy I'm all too aware that I'm wasting my breath. Better to tell a wall not to loiter, or a blade of grass to stand tall against the coming storm. I say it anyway, though. Guess I'm terminally optimistic or something.
"Me and my dear man Jack here," you tell me as you wave the bottle of whiskey in front of my face, "are gonna get just as damned well crazy as we damned well please. So you can either join in the fun or be a boring old prude. What's it gonna be, Lisa? The usual or the unknown, for once in your life?"
"I'll take the usual, but thanks for the offer Becky."
"Of course you will. Regular as Metamucil, you are. 'bout as much fun, too." You grab your jacket and head for the door, leaving your purse on the coffee table. We both know you won't be needing it tonight. The last time you paid for a drink was in tenth grade. "Don't wait up!"
I go to the living room window and watch you get into the cab, flashing more leg than Lindsay Lohan in the process. The driver turns and starts chatting you up before the door's even closed. Turning away, I head for the kitchen and tell myself that's worry twisting my guts into a pretzel, not jealousy.
"I could get laid every night too," I mutter as I yank the fridge door open with enough force to rattle the glass bottles together, "if I didn't have any standards."
The ice cream in the freezer is calling my name but I ignore it. For now. It's not even nine o'clock yet - gotta save that for after midnight or I'll be well and truly lost. Instead I grab the half empty carton of orange juice and a bag of baby carrots. Friday nights always start out so full of promise...
I'm back on the couch, channel surfing through commercials (why does every station have to go to break at the same time?) when the phone rings. A glance at the clock lets me know it's just past ten. Can't be you calling for me to come to your rescue, then - far, far too early for that.
"Hello?" I manage to sound lonely and pathetic with just one word. Shoot me now.
"Lisa, is that you?" I don't recognize the voice at the other end, which is unusual. It's not like all that many people know my name. The fact that it's a guy narrows the list down much, much further.
"Speaking." Was word number two even more pitiful than its predecessor? This is embarrassing. Might as well go all in, tell him he's interrupting a really intense episode of Matlock. "Who is this?"
"You're a roommate of Becky Mathers?"
I flick off the TV. He's got my attention now. There was something in the way he asked that question that I didn't care for.
"Yes, I am. The one and only, actually. What's going on? Is she all right?"
"We have her. If you ever want to see her again, you'll do exactly as we tell you."