Audrey stood staring in the window of Harry's Cafe, soaked from the rain. A large drop of rain rolled down into her eye. The rain felt like ice on her skin. Harry's, the downtown hot spot, was always bustling with all the Friday night locals. Not an open parking spot in sight. The Trio, as they liked to call themselves, made a habit to have their Friday night dinners there as well. Audrey, August and Sophia had been coming here every Friday night since 9th grade.
Tonight, Audrey was on the outside looking in. August and Sophia were sitting at the Trio's usual table over dinner. Audrey knows she needs to march right in there and say she's sorry but she's still trying to figure out how. "How stupid!" Audrey mutters aloud, laying her head against the window. She can still taste the vodka from the night before. She can still smell his cologne on her shirt. "How could I be so stupid?" "Fucking stupid Audrey!" she mumbled to herself again in disgust.
Iron the Audrey's view she could see Sophia consoling August at their little round table. The table she used to feel welcomed at. The table that was always theirs. August was trying to keep it together but Audrey knew better. August's skin was flush like it always got when she was either upset or anxious. She was obviously upset about last night. Audrey felt like she was kicked in the gut as she watched the waitress bring their caramel swirled cold coffee drinks with whip cream on top. The waitress only brought two out because Audrey wasn't there. Why the fuck am I so stupid. How in the world did I let this happen Audrey scorched at herself. For years, those had been HER friends, HER life, HER trio and now what? Now she was on the outside? Alone? The feeling kicked her again in the gut only this time it felt like a thousand shards pricked into her.
"Oh shit, does she see me?" Audrey thinks aloud. She ducks a little so she wouldn't look like a total creeper. August shook her jet black wavy hair out of her face and looked up towards the window, right towards Audrey. It was uncanny how her eyes went directly to the spot Audrey was, like she felt her there. Audrey stretched out her hand slightly waving in surrender. It clearly wasn't enough because August just stared for a moment and turned away. August always swirled her straw around over and over when she was thinking hard. Her mouth moves speaking to Sophia but Audrey can't make out what is being said.
That's it, it's over. Audrey closes her eyes tight and realizes she has lost the two best friends she will ever have. And all right before they go off to college. When was she going to learn to quit drinking so damn much? Why did she even go upstairs with Trent? "I'm not even attracted to him" she whispers to herself in disbelief. She sat down on the soaked bench under the awning outside the cafe. It rained so hard the awning couldn't even keep it dry, not that it mattered since Audrey too was soaked. Frantic, Audrey in that moment, refused to give up. This can't be the end. Audrey was always the strong one in the group. When either of the other two of the trio needed a strong figure she was always there. She decided to wait in that exact spot no matter the weather, for August to come out so she could plead and beg for a chance to talk and work towards repairing their friendship. The three of them grew up together since second grade. Their friendship had to be able to overcome this. "What can I say?",Audrey batted at her forehead with her palm. "Think Audrey!". "What is enough?" She says to herself. She sinks into her black fuzzy hoodie on the bench and crosses her cold wet legs. Might as well get comfortable. She wasn't leaving without talking to August.
The street light directly across from her lit up the block so she was just able to spot Chris walking on the other side of the road. He must have been going back to work after break. He worked at the police station across the road. Chris was a good friend of the trio.
"Chris!" Audrey called out to him but he didn't answer. He looks pretty aggravated. Jumping up, she shoots across the road to catch up to him. She calls his name again but he keeps walking. "Oh God, not you too?" she frantically jogs towards him. "Look, Chris, you know that wasn't me last night? I drank too much. I'm so stupid," she rattles off hoping to have someone to talk to. It's got to be pieced together. There had to be something missing that she didn't remember that lead her to even put herself in that situation. She kept walking his pace past the next two buildings chattering off everything she remembered from the night before. Chris just kept walking, so Audrey did too.
"Wait, how did I get to Harry's? Chris what happened after I left." She stopped behind Chris as he stopped dead in his tracks.
A flash of a memory came over Audrey as bright as a flash of lightning. Chris was coming down the stairs while Trent and Audrey were stumbling up. "God, he saw the whole thing", Audrey clutched her mouth. Chris still wouldn't say anything, surely out of disgust for her. They had walked so fast she didn't even realize until now that they arrived at the impound next to the police station.
Confusion engulfed her body to see her red Ford Focus inside the fence. The entire front end was crushed. The windshield was contorted and shattered. The top of the car was busted open. Chris stared into the darkness at Audrey's busted car.
"What..." "What happened last night Chris?" Chris didn't answer though. Audrey walked a few steps closer to Chris so that she was directly next to him now. A tear started rolling down his cheek. A chill runs through Audrey.
"Chris?" "Can you hear me?" She glares at her beat up car and then back at Chris breathing harder.
Suddenly, the night starts flashing before her as if she was being carried back in a time loop witnessing it all from the outside.
August busted the door open to find Audrey perched on the edge of the sink with Trent tangled between her legs. Both of their pants at their ankles. August screamed and ran down the stairs. Audrey pushed Trent away and stumbled after her but couldn't keep up. She's too drunk. Everything was spinning. At the bottom of the stairs, Chris grabbed Audrey's arm, "let her go." Turning to the table to grab her purse, She feels a terrible sting on her cheek. Sophia slapped her. Hard. Everyone at the party saw or heard. It didn't stop Audrey from running after August though. She grabbed her purse off the table and rushed out after her.
And just like that she was back on that cold, wet, dark street.
Audrey and Chris both stood stared at the car. In a moment of complete realization, she gasps again.
"This can't be happening" Audrey cries. Trying to catch her breath, she slowly walks around the front of Chris to face him; but, he looks right through her. She waves, nothing. She speaks, nothing. He doesn't see her or hear her. He looks straight through her to her smashed red car in the fence. Chris whispers "I told you not to go," as he hangs his head down shaking it and walking away.
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WANTED FOR DESIRE
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