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Grounded Day ; When We Were Young

Author: Evelyn Rodriguez-Lallave

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        We are atoms. Like atoms we are in constant movement. In a constant changing state. We grow up and with our mind and bodies so our responsibilities, and sometimes our families grows too. Jobs, careers, and relationships takes all of our space and rob us a little from who we really are and who we really want to be.

Life parsimonious habits can even take us far from the things we love, enjoy, and used to like, when we were young. 

See Seattle for example. Seattle is supposed to be this hipster, hippy and artistic fun filled State, but in reality is filled with hyped coffee drinkers, stressed out, serious and sometimes grouchy people. Not everyone is that way, but lots of them are, as the city grows people and their priorities change. As we grow older we change. Some don’t ever change but we did. I’m Ashley, and this is my story.

        It was a clear and bright Monday morning in Seattle. My two best friends, Janine & Ashley, and I went the night before to a very trendy night club to celebrate mine and Janine’s birthday which happened to be on the same day. How cool was that?. Janine had offered to pay for Claudia’s dress for the party. Cleo, as we called her, could not afford to go shopping for a new outfit this time, because her Credit Cards were all maxed out, and she refused to wear anything she already owned.  But Cleo refused Janine’s kind offer. She couldn’t accept it since it was Jan’s birthday, and she was the one to be getting presents, not Cleo.

So I stepped in and offered my help, since we were almost the  same sizes, I offered Cleo to borrow one of my newest dresses. There was one in particular that she loved. A flowing A line yellow dress. And she looked marvelous in it. Almost edible, like a yellow cotton candy. We all laughed when I said it and tried few more dresses and my friend picked two cute dresses to see which one she would wear to Janine’s birthday party. I did insisted on the yellow one and so Janine. Cleo accepted our suggestion and was happy with her final choice. 

 Chapter 1-

“Gosh girls, I have nothing to wear to your party Janine. I’m so screwed. I used my last available credit on that new I phone 7 Plus, and the 3 car payments I was behind after losing my last job, at Macaroni Grill.” “As always” I said to Cleo jokingly, to what she replied rolling her eyes at me. We were close to twenty one then but Cleo looked and acted as the youngest one of the pack. She had big brown eyes and childish curls. Beautiful hair locks thanks to her Jewish/Puerto Rican genes. Janine was a gorgeous blond Swedish girl that was born on the airplane as it landed in Seattle, WA. And her personality was bubbly and her head a little bit in the sky, as we jokingly used to tell Janine. And I a Spanish/American model, also got big brown eyes and my head a bit on the air as well, only a bit more grounded.

So I came up with a very good idea. “Let’s trade clothes tonight!”. To wish Cleo immediately agreed to. She looked at both of us apologetically and immediately said. “Thanks Janine to offer, but I can’t accept you to get me a dress as a gift when I should be the one giving you a gift. By the way I did got you a small gift.”

She got closer to me and said, “I have to go later to my brother’s jewelry store to pick up the gold earrings Janine fell in love with. She’s going to love those small pearl earrings!”

         She said this in her usual high pitched childish voice as she walked and talked, and I smiled.  “Nice! Go ahead and pick the dress from my closet before you do that and remember, you have to let me borrow one of your too. Deal? “.

Cleo clapped like the five year old she wasn’t. Ok! But I’ll pick anything I like. No “caps” allowed. Shoes too. Deal?

I laughed. “Deal and grow up silly!” I replied. And she went on, “Ok. Lets see if there’s anything I like first, your fashion taste is worth than mine.”  

We both giggled happily and went into my closet because she loved all my clothes and we were not only the same size, but we both had a very similar style and taste in fashion.

       As my friend played princess in my closet I looked through her luggage  for some dresses that I would liked too. After trying many different looks and styles we both found what we wanted, two very pretty tight sexy dresses.

Ashley picked a shimmering silver and blue tight dress, with a 70ish look to it and I grabbed a short and tight Canary yellow and gold  dress with a wide black belt . The dress also had an attractive gold and silver leafy appliqué on one of the shoulders, so I matched the with a pair of stunning looking black leather hill.

      All was retro and chic. My friend decided to match it with black straps stilettos. Janine was in her home finishing her own dress, a red sating mini dress. She also wore black pumps with it. 

        Standing in front of the lighted neon sign of Club Bloomed we looked as brilliant and stunning as our outfits. Our loose blond highlighted hair glistened under the lights as our eyes and lips did. We stood there for few short minutes then we saw Janine arrive in the distance and she gave us a smile and a good round for our money in her super short red dress and white and black peep toe pumps. It was the first week of July, however our outfits screamed Spring. After all. Three Puerto Rican descendants girls couldn’t go wrong by looking sexy, fly and glittery at the same time. That’s who we were and that’s how we were. The girls we still are.

       As we waited in the fresh Summer night our friend Janine who was heading to us slowly while chatting up a cute tall College football player that she’d met in the taxicab on her way to the club. I saw the cutest boy arrived. We locked eyes for few minutes, then he walked in with a girl hanging on his left strong arms

     His name was Albert Cox and he was 23 yrs. old and a senior in Duke who was on vacation like every summer visiting his grandparents and his dad. Janine went to the same University as sophomore there and knew his family and who he was, but we weren’t formally introduced yet, we knew each other only by distance.

That night it was Janine’s and Claude’s 19th birthday and she knew she could not drink but she would either way. And probably get wasted too. And she did, we all drank and ate cakes for the night; booze & cake!. We danced with each other and with other friends that arrived or were already in waiting inside for us.

     I was a little disappointed that Janine could not take her eyes off Albert and he could not take his eyes of her. I nod at her and gave her a wink as a way of showing my withdrawal from the game and my blessing to her. There were plenty of fishes in the pond that night, after all. So I kept dancing and drinking with Clau, my bestie and let Janine had her fun.

As she walked by him I saw how she rubbed her breast over his back shoulder and as he extended his strong right arm and grabbed her fingers. She smiled with her eyes glittering like two lamp posts and turned back to him, he warped his arm around her and whispered something in her ears, and as she turned her head and long hair back to laugh, looking more like a character in gossip girl than herself, he kissed and bit her chin, but when he went for her lips she turned her face sideways and he kissed her warm rosy cheeks. Ironic! They made the cutest cheesiest couple ever, how gay is that? I was happy for my friend. I lifted my glass of oj and vodka and “cheered” her up!

 

They danced together right there in front of the bar where they were, and when the music stopped it didn’t stop with them, they continued slow dancing near the dance floor and in the middle of a hallway making everyone stop. They all stared at them, some laughing & mocking them, others smiling and envying them, like I was doing and Claudia too, but especially some guys and girls that had a crush in one of them. Janine saw them, she knew the guys drooling for her, and started laughing and all of us too. It was a fun night. We were being us, silly college girls who just wanted to have fun. (Madonna’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun song suddenly play in the background as in some sort of cue.)

Albert looked at his new date and grabbed her by the waist and kept walking near her following her closely, they went towards the bar. Once there he got her a drink and she asked him to buy us a drink too, we had barely opened our mouths to ask for the drink we wanted when he was already ordering our drinks, after all it was our birthday party and Georgie was happy to get us our drinks. Claudia was already drinking and celebrating in a little corner with one of her old flames or “romantic friend” as she liked to call then, and Janine and I had our usual drinks, but for me next round I changed it to an ice tea, not long island ice tea, since I was afraid I was ending up being my own designated driver that night. But I was wrong Janine’s guy would end up taking me he home. In the meantime we all dancing and joking around with all of their other friends there.

  I usually didn’t liked to drink much so I took upon myself to be the designated driver and chaperone most of the time. The fact that I was one yr. older than them made me feel a little responsible for them, and I did felt protective of them, well, for the most part. They liked to teas me and call me Momma Ashley. A title I was very proud off in a way. At this time I was keeping a close eye on Claudia and her friend.

  He was a gentleman, very elegant and looked as if we came from money. He bought us few round of drinks too and they sat closed together as he lit a small cigar. Soon Claudia was sitting on his lap and they were making out, kissing each other romantically and very passionate. He had to leave early because he said he had practice the next morning. And he offered to take Claudia with him. But we all voted against it and she stayed. Clau said good bye to him and she looked into his eyes and his face as she did that and kissed him one more time and said to him in his ears, “So is that it? That’s all you want to do right now? The night is just starting for me!.” And she winked and batted her fake long eyelashes at him.

He lifted her up from the chair and held her by the waist and said, “Nope, believe me I want to do a lot more to you right now. But we have very little time. I really need to go. Follow me to my car, please?.”

  Claudia laughed and walk out with him. She waived good by to us with her purse in her hand and her drink in the other. They held hands again as they walked out of the club, groping and kissing each other, like two drunks in love. Did I said In love? Gosh! Claudia was in love with her old “romantic friend”!

Chris opened the door of his new F150 for her, he told her the model of his 4×4 truck like bragging about it and then kissed her and closed the door gently after. He got on the passenger side and they made out once more and since he had not much time he begged her to “please him” so she did. It wasn’t long before he was done. But he didn’t want to let her go. They then went to his studio near to her apt. dorm, she followed him in her car, and once there they kissed some more, drank chilled beer and started making love. And that’s when things got weird. His ex-fiancé showed up drunk and baked at his apartment and knocked loud at his door as they were lying down over the rug kissing and getting the heat on. They were both half naked on the floor and shocked by that surprise. So he yelled at his ex through the shut door that she had nothing to do there and needed to leave. At once! They were over for good on his eyes, since she had cheated on him with one of his team mates from his sports league.

She begged him to open the door and let her in. She called out his name through the door and the windows, banging on them and crying asking him to forgive her and to let her get into his apartment. He said nothing for few seconds and just stared at Claudia who said NO very quietly.

But it looks like his ex-girlfriend heard her and yelled to them, “Is someone in there with you right now, that’s why you do not want me to go in. That’s why you left me? Please let me in. I beg you, I just need to talk to you. It’s important, please let me in Chrisy, open up right now!.” His ex kept yelling nonsense through the shot door and windows sounding crazed, and very drunk. But Chris was really mad at her and very firm replied,

“You need to leave now. I do not want to see you anymore, I thought we had it clear.” He said, but she kept crying and begging to him,

“Please let me in, please Chris. I love you!.”

His face got serious but his eyes watered a little and Claudia felt so bad and said,

“Go talk to her outside, I can wait in your room. That’s all I can do. I wish you had another door or a window I can jump through right now. But I can’t so just go, talk to her. Make her calm down or something.”

He smiled at her and in a grateful soft manner he bent closer and kissed her forehead.

“Thank you, you are a good girl, a wonderful woman.” And he went outside and talked few minutes with her ex. He admitted to her that he had someone inside and that she could not come in for any reason whatsoever. He was with his date in his home and it would be awkward if she was there too. “I want to avoid a bigger problem but I will call you or text you tomorrow right after practice. We could talk then.”. He said to Tara, and she was ok with it.

“Alright C. see you tomorrow at the park then. You take care now and have fun without me, if you can. I hope that whore don’t get you and STD. Cause I know you will come back running to me when she dumps your butt off.” She said as she stated at him with drunken and sad eyes. His face was still serious, even when she kissed him on the cheek and said good by. He watch her leave.

  Larissa’s sport car had been parked for almost an hour on his neighbor’s driveway as she waited for him to arrive. She saw the tall bleached blond girl and her ex kissing and walking in each other’s arms into his apartment ,and she was very angry and very much ready to rip her face off. She wanted to make sure their night got ruined, like they had ruined hers. But she loved him too much so once he agreed to walked outside and talk to her she left without making a scene or complaining. But her good intentions were short lived and as she got into her red convertible Chevy, she looked back and through the window she saw their shadows kissing. That did it for her! This time she promised she will make this girl pay for stealing her man. She will soon meet the real Larissa.

That night Larissa could not sleep. She tossed and turned. She went back to his studio apartment with a small blade in her purse. She had a crime in her mind and lots of hate for our friend Claudia. She wanted to cut her face and scarred her forever.

“She is going to pay for everything she’s done to me. She’ll see. She’ll know who Larissa is.”  

  She said this to herself and with as crazy hysterical laugh and shaky hands she sat and waited for them or for her to get out. Finally she decided not to wait anymore and with the small but sharp blade in hand she walked into his studio’s back patio, and creeping by the side window she saw him make love to Claudia and fall asleep hugging her, something he never did with her. She waited for her to leave. But it seemed to long of a wait and she though his date would never leave. But after one long hour waiting out in the cold, Claudia finally woke up, got fully dressed and left, after kissing Chris good night.

Larissa then followed her in her car. She watched her smile and fix up her hair in a ponytail, appearing contempt and happy. “How could she? She had no right to be happy after she had slept with a man that belonged to someone else!. Chris belonged to her and not to “sultry slut Claudia”, as she always called her since high school.

 Chapter 2-

     Larissa watched her park her light blue car in the near long parking lot, by Claudia’s apartment. So she got out of her car too and followed her at a near by distance. She looked at her watch. It was 2:00 A.M. She was still living with her parents and had a curfew, 1:00 AM. Her parents were a little old fashion. But she didn’t care. She had a plan that she would see through.

She followed her into her dorm building, and got into her fancy dorm studio. Claudia had left the door ajar; she was a door away from her close friends so she always felt safe there. But danger was lurking. Larissa got in behind her and was ready to attack, but before she decided to snoop in and look into Claudia’s belongings, she took a gold beaded chain and placed it into her purse. She left the room quietly. But before she left she took a flower in her hands from a vase in her room and sniffed at it, it smelled like Jasmines, just like Claudia did. She hated her even more that ever before.

Larissa then heard the water running, her rival was now showering. It was the perfect timing to sneak on her and scar her face forever for stealing the love of her life, but it was so cliché. No, she thought, she would just sit and wait for her and confront her, then she would jump her beat the crap out of her then scar her whore face.

Larissa was planning it all that as her heart was about to jump out of her chest and through her mouth. She was only 18, and about to commit a crime, and if she got discovered there she would go to jail and tried as an adult. She was not a criminal she just wanted for Claudia to learn a lesson and stop whoring around with other woman’s boyfriends. So she talked herself over that situation she calmed herself down. But she wouldn’t leave. She wasn’t leaving until she at least confronted Claudia. But a noise of the water stopping to run, made her sneak out and run outside of the apartment. She walked out fast but slammed the door behind her and then texted Claudia and Janine, threatening both of them. She had found their number from one of their common friends. She texted Claudia to go outside that she was waiting for her and needed to talk to her.

     She waited and waited, but Claudia did not come out.

Claudia didn’t even look at her phone she was so tired that after her shower she went straight to her bed. Larissa was ready to walk into Claudia’s studio again after she had waited for half an hour more. But she heard steps and giggles. And she distinguished the shapes of Janine and a friend getting into their dorm door to door from Claudia’s apartment.

       It was 2:55 AM. By then Larissa’s drug and alcohol levels had diffused some, same as her crazed anger. So she threw a rock at Janine’s car window crashing its window shield and turning her car engine she left driving full speed. A cop stopped her and gave her a break, and by the time she got to her house it was 3:15 in the morning, her car was sitting over the side walk almost hitting a nearby water pump. Her breath smelled like vodka, and rum, and her eyes were dilated and blood shot red. She knew she was grounded with no car and credit cards for 1 week, and all thanks to Claudia.

She was lucky, she thought, she was few yards away from her home. But then a nice looking cop stopped her and was about to giver her a ticket but after staring down at her half unbuttoned blouse and staring at her breasts and getting her mobile number he let her go with only a warning and a promising smile. He offered to follow her the short stretch home. “Don’t forget to call me” he said, once they got there, and she waived and flirted with at him, smiling back, while speeding away thought her own parking space. “Darn you biatch now I have a cop on my back too. Well, how awesome is that!”

Chapter 3-

     Back in high school, Larissa was always jealous of Janine and Claudia, they never liked her. She in fact hated Claudia. Claudia was blond and Larissa disliked blonds and gingers. Red heads were okay, she was one, a fake one, but it was her favorite look and made her look sexy and fierce, not slutty or bimbo like Claudia, Janine and myself, as she thought. Early in high school and throughout middle school she had being a little punk leaning on eccentric and emo. But she knew she had it in her. She could be sexy if she wanted to even a slutty biatch. Taking advantage of her brunette vampires look and her new partially red hair due, she had turned herself from frumpy punk into a beautiful and irresistible vixen.

     And Chris was the main reason for that change.

She got him. She made him fall crazy in love for her. Back then Claudia was not a real problem. She was so busy to look at him. Her eyes were glued to this new Czechoslovakian golden boy who was a transfer student and followed Claudia & us everywhere like a loyal puppy with dog bluish/ green hazel eyes and the whitest and widest smile anyone had seen. Armand Van Preftokis was a self-centered guy once you got to really know him, his big wallet and his dark hair were the only things he really cared for, and his music. But his looks were irresistible and his harsh raspy accent too.

Armand was trying to create a music band and was a DJ at nights. Besides his own-self music was his main passion was the tall and beautiful Clarissa, and blond Janine was next.

     They would all skip classes go to the mountains and ride their cars, bikes, and jeeps in the mud, or they would all go to the beach, get wasted and smoke pot sitting by a bonfire singing and dancing like wild savages till late at night when no one remember how they got there in the first place or the name of the stranger they made out with or was lying next to when their heads cleared up some. And while Larissa and C. were inseparable, Claudia, Janine and Armand were going from one night partner to the other and back to each other. For Claudia Armand was fun but not Mr. Right and for Armand Claudia was a great girl and he loved her but she was not the only one for him. He liked to have fun pursuing Janine and other girls on the side. Even all at once, if he could, and he had.

He did not believed in monogamy. For him monogamy was a sin. Claudia was ok with their free love at that time. Until one day she caught him with one of her friends, Janine, and dumped him. That was the last time she saw him. She stopped talking to Janine to and her and I became the bests friends then, but I convinced her to talk to Janine again since she had always being super sweet with me and I liked her friendship too. So after getting her invited to few parties that we were going to and bumping into each other, Claudia and Janine renewed their friendship and we all became inseparable like the three amigos or the three musketeers. Once the school yr. was over and Janine moved back to her old hometown. And it was just Claudia and I, but during our Junior ear in college, Janine came back and we all started our little group again, bringing hell down to Larissa and all the other girls we disliked.

Chapter 4-

       That following summer while at the beach with my now close friends Janine and Claudia we saw Georgie Cox and his friends playing tennis while they played sand volleyball, so Janine got interested in meeting him until she realized that one of his team members was his girlfriend and was now giving her the evil eye. And she looked evil too. Georgie was looking at her two and didn’t stop staring at them as the tree angels left the tennis court, us, and went into the small beach stores nearby. His eyes followed Janine’s until she disappeared into one of them. They didn’t see each other again until a recent night in a taxi. She had just enrolled in Duke and she was just starting to see familiar faces there but not so many. He and her close friends were few of the people she’d seen from her high school years. But she hadn’t met his girlfriend or so she thought.

     That night she dreamed she was followed by this strange woman. She kept walking and the mystery woman kept walking behind her. She found her staring back at her with a creepy look in her eyes and she seemed angry for some unknown reason, At one point they were face to face trading insults. She was back into her old high school detention room. They had sent her there along with the punk girl after they had a stupid fight that frumpy punk girl had started by calling her slutty Janine and many more offending epithets. There she took Janine’s purse and spread out some condoms Janine had in her purse, along with some wipes and hand soap she always carried with her. Everyone laughed even the TA who asked Janine if she was homeless because she carried soap and wipes in her bag. She was more embarrassed about the condoms and very upset for what the other girl in detention did, than about anything else, so with her usual high ego she replied, “Do I look to you that I could be a homeless person? Or a freaking bum to you? WTF?

She was now seriously offended at the insult and at his question, “Is absurd that you get compared to a homeless, just because you are extra clean and keep alcohol wipes”. Her offended attitude made everyone laugh even harder. So she took her things and was ready to walk out of the room, but the TA advised her that she could not leave until he said it, She ignored him and while shooting insults across the room and back and forth with the frumpy punk walk into the dark, where headless monsters followed her and tried to hurt her. When she woke up she heard the window shield of her car being shattered down by a rock, and frumpy punk from her old high school grounded days was staring at her with her usual evil eyes, and then drove away in a late model red sport car.

 

TO BE CONTINUED….

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