Patriotic Shiner

Covid – the 4th of July! Wasn’t that a fun day? If you answered yes to that question, then I hate you!

I spent my day stuck in my apartment alone. Nowhere to go, no fireworks, nothing but a fridge full of booze.

Well okay, my kids were around and we were allotted “90 minutes” of quarantined pool time from our apartment complex, but that went by way too fast.

After returning from our fun in the sun, I decided to fill up a tiny baby pool on our outside balcony, that had been gifted to me by one of my amazing neighbors from Nextdoor.

My daughter, Tallulah, and I blasted some Taylor Swift, while I used the opportunity to teach her how to shave her legs. She had been asking me to for a while and trust me, she was looking like a wildebeest!

After about 30 minutes of kiddie-pool time, and upon mastering her new skill, my preteen grew bored of my antics and went inside to hang with her friends online.

I stayed within the pool-o-fuzz and finished off a twelver of Truly before deciding to do the same. I set up my video cam on my patio and proceeded to do one of the things I do best!

Drunk video chat my unsuspecting friends! Wahoo!

Aww, come on! You all should be a little suspect by now.

Luckily it didn’t take long for me to find someone who was also drunk and actually liked me.

Hey! They exist!

Bert was thrilled to have me on the phone. He’s been in love with me since I was 16 years old. As a matter of fact, he was the first prisoner I’d ever written. He’s been out of the big house several years now, but he never forgot the stream of letters I used to send him.

“I wouldn’t have made it through prison if it weren’t for you, Asterisk. Those letters meant so much to me.”

“Aww? Really?” I asked. I was a bit surprised after the way The Prince had treated me. It felt good knowing that I at least had made a positive impact on someone’s life.

“You are a gem. My little angel. I should have snatched you up all those years ago! You’re still such a hottie.”

Okay, maybe now Bert was taking it a bit too far, but still, I soaked up all the positive attention I could. The Prince had been gone about four months by that point, but I was still thinking of him everyday.

You guys should know by now, I’m a hopeless romantic. 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

Stop laughing at me!

Bert and I talked for hours reminiscing about God knows what. I mean, at this point the kids were already asleep, and my recycle bin was three bags deep. I excused myself to wander inside for another refill of cheap Champagne when it happened.

As I reached for my screen door, my foot became entangled with the tripod holding up my phone. I must have been much more intoxicated than I thought, because before I even realized what was happening, my face had planted itself right into my side wall.

The force was so intense, I felt like I had been punched by Mike Tyson. My ears were ringing and it took me a moment to lift myself back up.

That was it. I’d had enough of my fluffy conversation with Bert. I couldn’t take it anymore! That’s right! I needed to talk to my long lost man.

Yup. After several months of no-contact, I sat my sappy ass on the sofa (with a new refreshment of course) and texted The Prince.

Oh it wasn’t a sweet, “I miss you, babe,” text either! It was string of baligerant babble on a level that only I can achieve.

Stuff like: “I thought we were going to spend the 4th together this year and drink like we talked about!” “You flaked on me, what the hell?” “It’s so boring without you!”

Yup. Lots of that.

He never responded.

Well, duh?!

I woke up on my couch around 4:00 am and stumbled my way to the bathroom. I glanced in the mirror to take out a contact lens and jumped when I saw it.

Apparently it hadn’t just felt like a punch from old Mike, but it looked like one too! Though it had only been a few hours since it happened, the entire circumference of my left eye had turned black.

I wandered to my bedroom and plopped down onto my bed. I reached over to plug my phone into the wall when I noticed the string of messages I sent to The Prince earlier. I cringed.

Oh God! This was all Bert’s fault! How dare he unknowingly remind me of writing The Prince in jail! Bert had innocently triggered me. I decided he would pay for his unfortunate mistake later.

I popped a Xanny and spent the entirety of the following day in bed thinking about the fourth of July prior.

The year before, I had awoken to the ground rumbling and my daughter screaming.

“Earthquake! Mom, wake up! We’re having an Earthquake!”

“Oh crap!”

“Get under the table with me! Come on!”

Before I could get out of bed, the shaking had already subsited. “It’s over now, it’s okay.”

“That was my first earthquake! I’m so scared!” my poor little girl was trembling. I gave her a long hug and after she had calmed down I picked up my phone and shot a text to The Prince.

“Did you feel the earthquake?”

“Yeah. It was no big deal.” he answered almost immediately.

“My kids are really scared.”

“They happen all the time where I’m from. But bigger, much bigger. This was nothing. I’ll talk to them when I get there,” he offered.

“What time should I pick you up?”

“I can drive myself.”

“I know but I’d rather you didn’t take the risk. I don’t mind getting you.”

The Prince took a while to reply. He had multiple DUIs under his belt, and had been cruising around on a suspended license for months. Although all it would take was him getting pulled over once to land him in jail, he still didn’t like the idea of being driven around by a girl.

“You may get me at 3:00 pm, if you don’t mind.”

“Not at all, I’m happy to.”

The Prince and I had only been hanging out a few weeks, but we became fast friends. After meeting in a class for convicted drunk drivers, we were both glad to have sober company around. Though my sobriety had been voluntary, The Prince was required to do random drug and alcohol testings three times a week, and he had already landed himself in jail for the weekend after one failed test.

He blamed that on his ex girlfriend.

When the time arrived, I loaded my daughter into my SUV and drove the eight miles to get him. I sent a message letting him know we had arrived.

“Where’s the Prince? What does he look like?” Tallulah wanted to know.

“Umm, he’s tall, a little bald, he’ll be coming out of that door right there.” I pointed.

After five minutes of waiting, The Prince finally arrived. “Hey how are you?” he asked after climbing into the front seat.

“I’m good!” a little voice chirped from the back seat.

The Prince seemed startled. I hadn’t told him I was bringing her, and they had yet to meet.

“This is Tallulah, I hope you don’t mind I brought her along, she wanted to come.”

“Hiiiiii Tallulah, nice to meet you.”

Now I know what you are thinking, and no, I don’t introduce my kids to random men I date. Remember, The Prince and I started out as friends and at this point in our relationship there was absolutely no sexual attraction between us. Well at least on my end.

I’m demisexual… You know, unless I’m drunk.

The Prince had me stop at a liquor store so he could grab cigarettes. After I told him my brand of choice, he came out with two packs for each of us along with a bag full of king size candy bars for me and the kids.

See? He was so regal!

Soon we were back to my place. The kids spent the day at the playground with their friends (remember when kids could do that?), while The Prince and I chained smoked, sipped countless bottles of sparkling water and took about 27 pisses each.

The Prince, being fairly new to America, still struggled with his English. We both had a hard time understanding each other in general, so the conversation remained bleak.

I grilled us a big meal, but the majority of the afternoon remained silent and awkward.

Well, until I unleashed that Turkey story! It was the first time I ever made him laugh. “He had one good leg? Ha ha! He was jumping! Ha ha!” Apparently laughing at the psychically impaired was one thing we had in common.

(You can go read the turkey story next, but let me finish this one first)

The Prince recounted to me one of his arrests. “The intake officer asked me where I was from, he didn’t understand my nationality. I told him my Muslim country was in Africa. So he put me in with the blacks.”

I spit out my perrier so fast that I looked like one of those bubble guns! Suds were foaming out of both of my nostrils. Even though the Prince was African, he was as white as they come.

“Oh my God! How did that go for ya?”

“I’m lucky I didn’t get killed,” he admitted.

“Yeah, well next time they ask you, tell them you’re from Europe and to put you in with the Woods!”

The Prince’s smile faded, and his eyes grew dark. I could sense his posture stiffening.

“There won’t be a next time! You won’t go back. You are staying sober and doing a great job. Look at us, sober together! If you weren’t here I’d be drinkng alone right now. You saved me today, thank you.” I said.

“I don’t want to talk about there being a next time. That’s putting bad energy into the air. It’s bad luck… Arrr, I want a drink soooo bad.”

“Just think, this time next year we’ll be sitting by the pool having beers together instead of water! It’ll be great.”

The Prince tilted his head back and let out a disturbing chuckle.

Luckily before the conversation went any further my apartment door opened and a pack of children came barreling through.

The Prince slapped on a giant fake smile as they made their way onto my back patio. It had just started getting dark.

“Mom can our friends watch the fire works here? They don’t have a balcony in their apartment,” my son asked.

I looked over to my guest. “Is that okay with you?”

“Sure! Come on out!” he welcomed them.

I went inside and collected all my dining room chairs. I soon realized my attempt at coordinating the event had been in vain. The kids were full of energy and bouncing around unable to sit still anywhere. After disciplining one of the younger ones for attempting to climb over the railing, I began to regret allowing them to come over in the first place. I could see in his eyes that The Prince was regretting his decision as well.

After only 20 minutes, the fireworks had ceased. “Time to go home now, tell your mother ‘hello’ for me!” I said, ushering the kids that weren’t mine outside. “Franklin, Tallulah, it’s time for you to take your showers!”

Once the kids were out of the way The Prince and I leaned on the side of my balcony, watching the crowd of onlookers as they dispersed. A cop on a motorcycle was having a hard time convincing a group of drunkards to leave.

The Price smiled at the spectacle, and for the first time, I noticed his dimple.

“So that was the 4th if July?” he asked.

“Yup, that was it!”

“All this talk for months about the great holiday, and for what? Only 20 minutes of fireworks?”

We both laughed.

The Prince grew serious, “I better go home, if that is okay. I have a curfew for my probation.”

“Oh shit! You do? I didn’t realize. What time do you have to be back?” I asked, while checking the time on my my phone. It was 9:51 pm.

“10:00.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked, now feeling concerned. If he were to get into trouble, I certainly didn’t want to be responsible for it.

“I didn’t think about it, it’s fine. Plus they never come to check.”

I left the kids at home to ready themselves for bed and drove The Prince back to his apartment. I was rushing to get him there on time.

“Please. Drive slow,” he lectured, while grasping my dashboard.

We were only a few blocks away when I spotted it. “Shit! Did you catch that!”

The ugliest dog I had ever seen bolted in front of my car and down a major street. I’m not even sure what breeds in existence I could compare it to. It was long but short, still medium sized, brindle in color, and the face resembled a cow after being hit in the face by a baseball bat.

“We gotta go help him before he gets hit!” I screamed. “Dogs freak out when there’s fireworks!”

“Then follow him, turn right.”

I made the turn down another main road and caught up to the dog. The Prince jumped out of my SUV and started chasing him. I drove behind them for a few minutes, but soon The Prince was short of breath.

I pulled up beside him and he opened the door. “Let’s keep going let’s try to get ahead of him,” he suggested.

Once we had passed the dog up, The Prince instructed me to pull into an empty parking lot, at the same time another vehicle approached from behind the canine. A man got out, “Is this your dog?” He shouted.

“No, but I’m trying to help him,” The Prince replied.

I watched as the man jumped out of his vehicle, leaving it unattended on the side of the road and began running behind the mutt. At the same time the Prince ran towards the front of him.

“This isn’t going to be good,” I said to myself, realizing that when the dog discovered he was trapped he’d only have one way to go.

Just as I thought it, I watched it happen. The dog turned and ran into the street as a car came pummeling down it.

I heard the tires screech and at that very moment the dog disappeared.

“Oh, please no!” I thought.

The driver exited his vehicle and all three men stood by the car. Then, as if out of nowhere, I watched the dog bolt down the sidewalk.

The Prince ran back to where I had been parked and climbed inside my SUV.

“Oh fuck! I thought that dog was hit for sure!” I yelled.

“He was hit. I heard him scream. Do you want to keep going?”

“No! He wasn’t hit. He’s running!”

“Asterisk, I heard him. I heard the cry.”

“Alright, well, that other man is still following him. I don’t want us chasing him to make it worse, plus you need to get home and my kids are alone. It’s late. No one can catch him until he tires out. We should just stop.”

“I think that’s best,” he agreed.

I drove the last few blocks to The Prince’s apartment. “Thank you for doing that. I really appreciate you trying to save the dog. You’re a hero.”

“Stop. It’s nothing,” he said, “I thank you for the food and I thank you for the ride. Please, text me when you get home.”

“I will.”

The Prince opened the door to step out, then turned back to face me, “That dog was ugly!”

His comment caught me off guard and I accidently snorted. “He sure was!”

The Prince glanced down to his watch, so you will be home in 16 minutes?” he asked.

“About.”

“If you text me sooner, I will know you drove too fast. Drive slow!”

“I’ll text you five minutes after I get home then,” I said with a wink.

“Drive slow!” he repeated, looking me deep into my eyes.

“Slow,” I said, while nodding my head.

Aww see? You all thought The Prince was a jerk! And here he was saving dogs and worried about me getting home safely. Now you know some of the many reasons I love him! ♡♡♡♡♡

***To read more about the Prince follow the links attached to his name, and don’t forget about the Turkey story either!***

If you like what you just read, you’re gonna LOVE MY BOOKS!

Mettez-moi en colère, j’écris une histoire. Brise mon coeur, j’écris un livre.





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