Escaping the Fire

"I can only guess what kind of stuff they serve here," I said, looking at what Vicki had brought us as she returned.

"You good girl," I smiled looking at the can of Diet Coke in her hand, "But come on, where’s my Pabst?"

She laughed, "Mara, I’m going to keep an eye on you." She handed me a Diet Coke.

"You know," I said, "You never gave me an answer about coming to that gallery opening this weekend."

"Oh," she blushed, "I forgot."

"Oh, come on, it will be super fun," I tempted, "This guy painted all these crazy Tretchikoff rip offs of Jayne Mansfield. It’s unreal. Plus, there’s an after party. With Pabst."

"Hey," a voice said. We looked up. I rolled my eyes and groaned.

"Hi Vicki," The guy said, fit to burst. He paused and stood there staring brazenly at Vicki silently for a moment.

"Um, hello? Am I not even here?" I said, scowling at him.

"Oh, hey Mara," he said, looking over at me nervously like at any minute I might bludgeon him to death with a nearby lamp.

"Eric," Vicki said excitedly, nearly jumping from excitement. She looked at me pleadingly.

"Go," I ushered, "I’ll be fine, I brought Dead Souls." I reached for the book in my bag and waved it.

"You sure?" She said looking concerned.

"Really, Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol is practically sanctuary compared to this," I said slumping back down into the couch cushions.

I let myself absorb the book, drifting slightly off with my infamous deep literary concentration.

"Whatcha doin’?" A voice interrupeted. I sighed to myself. Jesus F'ing Christ, was this interrupt Mara night or something?

"I’m fixing a car, what does it look like I’m doing?" I growled back as I looked up at another dumb jock.

"Um…hey, weren’t you in my English 402 class?" He said with a look of vague recognition.

"Oh…yeah," I said frigidly, "How did you even get into that class anyway?"

"Some kind of mix up or something. Wasn’t Professor Ash a deusche? I hated that frickin’ book we had to read, The Doomie Brothers?" He said, looking perplexed.

"You mean The Dharma Bums?"

"Whatever. It sucked," he said.

"You’re a loser. Jack Kerouac was like, a god. The Dharma Bums was an amazing book. I’ve read it like five times," I argued.

"Well, I didn’t even read it. There weren’t any good pictures to look at," he shrugged.

"You have no imagination. Or a soul," I said, getting up and walking out angrily. I was done with this party. I crawled through the crowds of people and out into the perfectly manicured yard.

Vicki flew out the front door behind me, "Mara?"

"I knew you’d follow me," I laughed bitterly.

"Are you ok?" She asked asked, looking her my shoulder.

"Peachy," I grimaced sarcastically.

"Your terrible!" She laughed rolling my eyes at me. I stopped in the middle of the lawn, crossed my arms and glared at her.

"Can we just go home? Or possibly somewhere far, far away from this...place." I whined.

"Fine. But we're going to my house, I can't take you back to your cave of depression just yet!" She laughed heading to the car with me.

"Ugh, fine," I moaned, crawling my way into the passenger seat.

"The party was lame anyways," She said, disguising her obvious hurt from being separated from her dear, and precious Eric. Kill me, please.

"You’re such a bad liar, Vick," I said rolling my eyes and clutching my book protectively to my chest.

"What do you mean?" She asked.

"You practically had an anuerism when Eric said ‘hey’. You aren’t fooling anyone. But, whatever. Thanks for following me. Now I remember why I haven’t been out of my house in weeks," I said as we got into the car. Vicki started the engine, and as we were about to pull out, we both saw Eric in the yard with…

"Sadie Ashmore?" Vicki gasped, her eyes as big as headlights.

"God, isn’t she like, fourteen? That is so gross. Oh, wait, that’s Eric. I mean…is he Vladmir Nobokov now?" I said. Vicki just sat there looking hurt.

"Vicki?" I said, prodding her arm, "Vick? Are you okay? Do you want me to go kick his ass or something? Because I totally could. I’ll go all Tura Santana on that guy!" I reached for the door handle with determination.

"No Mara…" she said, trailing off.

"Let’s go get nachos at the 711," I suggested, "That always makes me feel better."

Vicki sat where she was, a solitary tear streaking down her cheek.

"Oh my god, get out of the car, now," I demanded. She gave me a pleading look and got out. I followed and got into the driver’s side, Vicki got into the passenger seat and I rummaged in my bag, pulling out a cd case.

"I know you kidnapped me and all to try and rescue me from myself, but I think that you’re the one that needs to be kidnapped right now. You’ve been hiding your feelings about Eric for way too long. This is like the cherry filling inside the pie," I said.

"Don’t you mean the icing on the cake?" Vicki sniffled.

"Yeah, but I like pie better," I said sticking Tom Wait’s Rain Dogs into the cd player and switching onto track four, "We should get some, now that I mention it. Pie sounds really good, doesn’t it? Geez, I sound like a pregnant woman sometimes."

Vicki laughed a little, hiding her face behind a solid sheet of her perfect long, blonde hair. I turned up the music, rolled down the windows and drove.

The End

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