“Asterisk, wake up. We are going to be late. We have to get ready.”
I grabbed a pillow and threw it over my head. Bubble had spent the night and we stayed up much too late drinking beer and dancing to Taylor Swift.
“I feel like shit. You go without me.” I was annoyed that I had let her stay over to begin with. There was no way in hell I wanted to spend another day with her.
“You can’t stay home Asterisk. You promised you would go to my friend’s bridal shower. She needs people there and I promised her you were coming.”
“Mmmmmm… I’m tired, what time is it?” I moaned.
“It’s already 10:30. Come on! It’ll be fun. There will be free wine and food. I’ll pay for the Lyft.”
Damn, did that bitch know how to manipulate me or what? “But The Prince is going to call…”
“Asterisk, you talk to him everyday! He’ll call you back tonight. Besides, this is a ‘Romance Party,’ you can buy something sexy to wear for him. Get up!”
I pulled the pillow off of my face, just in time to see my fluffy friend skip her way into my bathroom. Even though she was in her mid 30’s, I’m pretty sure she had stopped developing mentally around the age of 12. The Prince used say she looked like a guinea pig, I wouldn’t say he was too far off.
I heard a flush and then the door open. “Get into the shower. Our ride will be here in 30 minutes.”
“Fine!” I rolled out of bed and waddled my way into the kitchen for a beer. I was going to need a little “hair of the dog” to get through this day. I popped it open, took a swig, and then made my way into the bathroom. A waft of foul smelling air hit my nostrils upon entry, and I started to gag.
“Jesus, Bubble!” I scolded, you could have turned on the fan.
I flipped the switch and took a peek into the toilet to see remnants of Bubbles bowel movement still left behind. I gave it another flush and shut the lid.
After stripping off my pajamas, I turned on the water and stepped inside the tub, placing my beer next to my conditioner.
The shower lasted only a minute longer than my beverage. Once I was clean, I put on my makeup, curled my hair, and pulled on a pair of red pleather pants and a sweater. By the time I was dressed, Bubble was already outside waiting in our ride.
We arrived to the party about 15 minutes later and were greeted by the ‘bride to be.’
“Hi Penny!” Bubble said to her, “This is my friend, Asterisk.” Introducing me to a tall, brunette woman who looked close to my age.
“Nice to meet you, there’s wine and snacks in the kitchen, help yourself,” Penny offered.
I scanned the apartment to see eight other ladies seated in a circle in the living room, each already with their own glass of wine. To my amazement, it was a fairly mixed race crowd. I felt a little relief by the confirmation that I hadn’t walked into a typical whitewashed, “Orange County Housewife” type of event.
“Welcome!” A voice chimed in from behind us. “I’m your party hostess, Belle.”
I turned around to see a pudgy, middle aged woman, dressed up like a pinup girl. “We’ve already gotten started. Would you like to donate to the raffle? Each ticket is only $5, you can have as many as you like. I’ll announce the winner at the end.” Belle lifted up a tiny vibrating egg. “The winner gets this ‘bad boy’ as a prize! It has five speeds and is extremely quiet.”
I internally rolled my eyes. If I was getting a sex toy today, it certainly wasn’t going to be that measly thing. I like my toys like I like my men, huge.
But still, I couldn’t morally partake in the free spirits without making some type of contribution. “Sure, I’ll take one.”
“I’ll take three!” Bubble burst out, trying to show me up. Whatever, I didn’t care. It was her friend after all, and besides, I already had my mind set on getting to the liquor.
Once we had drinks of our own, we took our places in the circle to watch the sales pitch.
“Okay,” Belle began, “We will start our first game! I call this one, ‘A.B.-C-exy.’ We are going around the room, starting with the letter ‘A,’ each person will say a sexy word that starts with their letter. Whoever gets the most laughs at the end, wins! I’ll start with the bride, Penny, your letter is ‘A,’ GO!
“Asshole!” she screamed. The room exploded in laughter.
Belle pointed to the next guest, “B!”
Oh! That was going to be easy… Once we made it around the room, Belle kept the game going, determined to get through the entire alphabet.
Once I had reached my second turn, we were on the letter “M.”
“Masterbation!” I yelled.
Belle pointed to Bubble, “N!”
Bubble cupped her hand over her mouth as the room grew silent. I almost dropped my wine. Everyone’s eyes left Bubble and were redirected towards the only African American woman in the group. Luckily for Bubble, the woman had more class than my friend, and chose to ignore the racial slur.
Belle just shook her head, and did her best not to skip a beat in her sales pitch, “Remember it has to be ‘sexy,’ not just profanity. Try again.”
Bubble re-took her turn, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”Nnnnnnn…”
“Nighty,” I helped her out.
Jesus Christ, if the day was going to continue like this, I was definitely going to need more hooch.
When the game finally ended, everyone voted to let ‘the bride to be’ win, obviously.
There were a few more games after that, but the prizes were nothing more than samples of cheap lubricant. After Bubble’s outburst, and not seeing any real point in winning, my compedativeness had gone down the toilet. Kinda like how I wished Bubbles turd would have that morning.
Finally Belle brought out the lingerie. “I’ll give 10% off your purchase, for anyone willing to model one of these for us.”
“I’ll do it!” I said. I figured I might as well make the day worthwhile and come home with something I could wear for The Prince after he was released from Jail.
I grabbed a sheer blue, lacy thing that looked like it was made to fit a cat. “Do you have this in a medium?” I asked.
“No, these are the only ones I have. That style has been discontinued, so I can’t order it for you either, unfortunately.”
“Try it on anyway!” Bubble said. “It’ll fit.”
Even though I was worried that I might rip it out, I took it to the bathroom, stripped off my clothes, and squeezed it over myself. Luckily it was stretchy.
“Come on out!” I heard Belle yell from the other room. “You have to model it, to get the discount.”
I stepped out of the bathroom virtually naked. Whatever, I didn’t care. The wine had worked its magic and I wasn’t feeling too insecure.
“Holy shit!” Penny said.
“You look fucking hot!” another woman chimed in.
“I’d totally fuck you in that, dude,” Bubble added.
“It’s kind of tight,” I complained.
“Trust me, you won’t be wearing it long!” Belle said.
I looked down to the price tag, $89. Yup, for a piece of fabric barely wide enough to be considered a belt. Whatever, it did look petty good on me and The Prince was worth it. Plus I’d be getting the 10% discount. I was tipsy enough to make the purchase.
I had just finished changing back into my own clothes when I heard my phone ring. It was The Prince. I couldn’t miss it.
“Penny,” I said, “I have a private call I need to take, do you have a room I could use for a few minutes?”
“Sure! First door on the right is the guest room.”
I headed down the hall as I heard Bubble announce proudly, to the party full of strangers, “It’s her boyfriend calling from Jail!”
I entered the room, shut the door and listened to the automated message. Two minutes later we were connected.
“Hey sexy!” I greeted him.
“Asterisk, something happened last night.”
“Oh my God, are you okay?” I asked.
“A man died.”
I thought my heart would explode. “What do you mean?”
“When we went to bed, he was fine. When we got up for count, he was dead.”
“Oh shit! Are you okay?” I asked again.
“I’ve been in a holding cell all day. They took me in for questioning last night because I was his bunk mate. They thought I killed him.”
I was certain I would have a cardiac arrest right there. The Prince only had 6 weeks left of his sentence to complete and I had been helplessly reminding him everyday to stay out of trouble.
“Why do they think that? What happened? What did you tell them?”
“He had horrible bruising on his stomach. I told the investigator maybe he got it from climbing up to the top bunk.” The Princed took a breath, “Asterisk, I didn’t touch him.”
“I believe you. I’m so sorry. You don’t need this right now, you are so close to getting out.”
“He had come in for a DUI. He was in a car accident. I told the investigator that too.”
“Well, that would make sense. Did he receive medical care before going to jail?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well what’s going to happen to you?”
“I don’t know. I was there for twelve hours. I don’t think they would have released me back into general population if they were going to charge me. I’m so scared.”
Hearing The Prince confess a fear was something I never thought would happen. I ached for him at that moment more than I had for anyone in my life. Even though he was the one behind bars, I had emotionally imprisoned myself there with him. It was a spiritual connection. One that I still struggle to break.
“I’m not home right now, but I’ll talk for as long as I can.”
“Where are you?” he asked.
“I went with Bubble to her friend’s bridal shower. I’ll tell you about it later. I’ll be heading home within the hour, you can call then.”
“I don’t know when they will let me use the phone again. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me now.”
“Listen, I’m here with you. You will be okay. If you really didn’t do anything, they’ll know, plus they let you out of isolation. If he was in a car accident and they didn’t treat him, they will probably be trying to hide his death anyway. I’ll look it up online tonight and see if I can find anything on the news about it.” I said.
“I can’t stay here forever! I’ll go crazy. “
Even though I had a hard time believing it myself, I did my best to assure him. “You won’t, you are going to be out soon. Just try to stay positive. You are in the worst place imaginable, and that is the worst possible thing that could have happened. But you are strong, you’ll get through this. Last night was the worst of it, you endured that already. Everything will be okay.”
“It’s hard, you don’t know what I’m going through.”
“I know I’m not physically in there with you, but believe me, I feel everything just the same,” I said.
“He was fine last night. He was a cool guy, we talked a lot. We had many things in common. I can’t believe he died.”
“I wish I could hold you right now, I’d put your head on my chest, and I’d stroke your hair.”
“I wish you were with me too.”
The bedroom door cracked open and Belle peeked her head inside, “Sorry to interrupt, but I need to wrap things up. I was hoping to use this room, I prefer to take the sales privately.”
“Yes, just a second,” I told her.
“Do you have to go?” The Prince asked.
“They need the room I’m in, but I can go outside.”
“It’s okay. I’ll try to call you tonight if I can,” he said.
“Are you sure? You’re my priority. I will talk to you as long as you need me.”
“I think it’s about time for count, so they’ll probably make us hang up anyway.”
“I’m so sorry you are going through this. Remember that I’m there with you.” I said.
“Bye,” I whispered.
J’ai rêvé de toi hier soir.
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