Her sister had called, it wasn’t necessarily alarming to have her on the other end, but it wasn’t the norm.
“How does it feel to be the last Schehl left to get married?” Lauren was giddy, giggling like she was on Isaac’s lap and he was nuzzling her neck. It wasn’t logical, they still had their youngest sister Lizzie back home who was very far from matrimony, and her twin brother Peter was only engaged. But Meg understood what Lauren meant, how did it feel to have your younger sister married before you.
It didn’t feel good.
Issac was twenty-four years old, flunked twice at Eastborough University, and was yet again working towards finishing his senior year. His only saving grace had been not flunking consecutively. Lauren was on track to graduate this May, but instead of focusing on her academics and living the last semester at a dorm, they rented a house.
She invited me over, they were in an honest to goodness house, and she was proud.
All I could notice was the hairy man on the ground, sweating and grunting. Lauren was pretty impressed with his physique too. It feels akin to playing house as children, but I can’t tell her that. She gets touchy about me mentioning the towels for window coverings.
I’m still in my small apartment, between the neighborhoods of Lincoln Park and Northside aka the slummy part of South Port. It’s not very enchanting, and with all of my siblings excluding Lizzie getting married, I suddenly feel like I’ve fallen behind.
I finished one screenplay while at EU, and have been working ever since on this second one. I’ve been slacking, being a photographer for a modeling agency, and just making ends meet. So I took it to the bookstore to really try and pound it out.
When Chad came over to talk, I haven’t seen him in a few years. He told me all about Hadley dumping him. Then about some robberies in my neck of the woods, that have traumatized me in fear. Perhaps I exaggerated, I do write horror screenplays and feel pretty confident in my deadbolt door, but what guy doesn’t appreciate a damsel in distress?
He ended up sitting down to stay awhile, which I took as a very good sign. Unfortunately I am extremely boring, because he spent the entire time checking out other girls. I don’t remember him being such a jerk like this, I guess he just isn’t interested in me in that way.
I’m not in high school anymore, I don’t have to just take rude behavior. Once I noticed Ella sitting on a sofa, I just left Chad sitting there, sputtering on his words.
She’s my upstairs neighbor, and didn’t recognize me at all, even after I introduced myself.
It had snowed a mountain while I’d been busy not actually writing, and offered to take public transit back to the apartment with her.
She wasn’t exactly concerned about the weather, and I felt old like my Mother even suggesting I escort her home because the roads might be icy. But I really didn’t want to hang out with Chad, and she was the only person I felt comfortable enough to strike up a conversation with.
He had purchased a few meals at the school fundraiser, then went out of his way to tell Mom just how delicious the food had been. This made feeding his family her personal mission in life. She loves to cook, she should have opened a restaurant of her own instead of slaving for someone else’s fame and glory. Instead, she cooks for anyone that will give her high accolades.
I am sick of bringing them food, they never answer the door. They don’t answer it for Mom, and they sure don’t answer it for me. I can hear them stomping around upstairs, ring the bell, and no answer. They don’t even quiet down to try and hide, they just don’t want to make friends with their neighbors. And I’m cool with that! But Mom is not.
All my protesting is for naught, as she simply drops the bag off on the counter and heads back to Millwood. She’d do better to just send him a gift certificate to a grocery store, then it could just be dropped in the mailbox. I always spend my time, just knocking, waiting, and being ignored.
Except this time, little Marisol came out to greet me. I nearly fell over from paralysis.
She was very chipper, accepted the groceries, and asked if there was anything chocolate inside, which I had no idea. I text Mom later to include chocolate next time if she hadn’t, which thrilled Mom to have a request.
I invited Elise and Lauren out for New Years Eve, and told my brother Peter that he’d have to suck it up and kiss her when she got in. I suggested that he invite Isaac out, get to know his new brother-in-law, but he declined, explaining that he had a pressing painting that needed his attention.
The night started, and the Flamingo seemed full of hot guys, a night of potential. I was with two taken ladies, which meant they could help me land a guy. I didn’t need a ring, but working towards that would be nice.
Elise really cut it up on the dance floor, when we were roommates in university, she would be totally fine then blow up, but never fun. She was a total blast on the dance floor. Whereas Lauren was just looking at the men, despite the ring on her finger.
She didn’t even stick with us for an entire song before she started making rounds.
Suggestively flirting, then shrugging off any rejects, completely nonplussed over it.
I consoled any outrage by realizing that Isaac was likely doing the same this New Years Eve, the newly weds, married just a week, were already scoping out a new lay. Romantic.
I think I suck at finding guys. When one tried flirting with me very strongly, I totally flipped out. I want to be wooed, not assaulted. He was cute too, I don’t know why I react first from the gut without taking time to think it through.
As the night got on, bar fights occurred and the bartender threatened to call the police.
We regrouped for a bit, and a decent guy just came up and started dancing with me. I didn’t act repulsed ether which made me proud, it was much more subtle than trying to make out with my hand as the previous guy had done.
But he left and hooked up with a redhead girl.
Another guy flirted with me, and I thought that was going really well.
Clearly I’m obtuse when it comes to adult men. I don’t know if I’m sending out repulsive signals and just turning men over to other ladies or what.
Lauren found a guy to flirt with, and more in the photobooth later. I’m mildly curious how this marriage of hers is going to roll. What if she came home pregnant with blondie’s baby, would Isaac care? What if he knocked up yet another girl? It seems complicated to me.
Lauren called me frumpy when we ran into each other in the bathroom. Told me to lighten up and enjoy myself, that I needed to look for a minute of fun, not a lifetime commitment. I wasn’t even doing that. I just wanted someone to dance with, and be able to share a conversation with them.
The only highlight of my night was Elise asking if I would be her bridesmaid. They were keeping the wedding small, and she hadn’t decided yet if she was asking Lauren, but since I was Peter’s twin she thought it appropriate. She also hinted that she liked me more, which was good since I saw us becoming good friends.
We nearly had to drag Lauren to the taxi cab when me and Elise were ready to leave. She was ready for her New Years Eve kiss, and I had an empty apartment that needed my warm body to fill.
If I turn thirty, and I’m still just as alone, I have no shame to join a dating site. No shame to do it, but telling my sister about it, I would never. I’m just hoping it does not come to that.
Notes: There was a line to woohoo in the photo booth. Oliver with Brooklyn (Meg’s ex-boyfriend, poor girl), Lauren and Max (the bartender that gets around), Dave and Alicia (Eva/Gideon’s friend), and then Bobbi and Preston (Bobbi is Paloma’s friend). Lots of townie romance, the guy that got beat up by Emma’s old apartment neighbor, also got some love hearts with another townie. I was surprised by all the ACR action.
Meg wanted to fall in love, quit her job, be friends with Cesar, and finish her screenplay. She only managed the latter. Cesar never came to the door, and it was serious hard work to get Marisol to answer the door.
Lauren and Isaac, married one second, and here’s her memories.
Thanks for reading!