Chapter Eighty

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It was hot Saturday in early June, and Meredith took another drink of her beer. It tasted terribly, but it was more in the act of doing it. For her twenty-first birthday, when she could finally legally drink in the U.S., she drank a beer at a Twins baseball game Target Field in the Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"Another!" Kyra called.

Rachel and Chloe shot Kyra a look but said nothing. Rachel and Chloe, Meredith's friends in Scotland, weren't massive drinkers, choosing to stay sober. Neither of them quite liked the taste either. As for Kyra, if she could pump her friend full of alcohol, she would. Meredith didn't care, either way, but she knew she wouldn't be vomiting today.

The Twins were on the large field, playing the Oakland A's. Hopefully this was the year that the Twins won the World Series again, but Meredith said that every year and almost any time the Minnesota Twins actually won a game. It had been a hard last five years, but she had hope. Someday the Twins would win again, and hopefully in her lifetime.

"It's hot," Kyra breathed, unable to pay attention to the baseball game for a long time. When Meredith had told her friend what she wanted to do for her twenty-first birthday, Kyra had scoffed, not understanding that Meredith found it fun.

Rachel and Chloe were more than happy to tag along.

"Any children yet?" Meredith asked Rachel, ignoring her best friend. "No beer, but that's usual."

"Joe and I are waiting," Rachel said.

Chloe rolled her eyes. "Terrible way to be a Catholic."

Meredith laughed. "I think it's nice. You guys need jobs and stuff before you start popping them out."

Rachel said, "As soon as you and Harry get married, you can start right off the bat."

"Or wait a year or two--or three-- or five-- or ten, I've got time," Meredith said. "Or never."

"Aren't you going to London in a bit?" Chloe asked.

"Scotland," Meredith corrected. "Balmoral."

"Isn't that where the Queen hangs out during her summer?" Chloe asked.

"Yes," Rachel chirped before Meredith could say anything else. "After she spends time at Holyrood, but you are already know that, Mer, so undoubtedly, you're going to run into her and Prince Phillip, and the rest of the family." The words came out slower and slower until Rachel realized. "Oh, so he's putting a ring on you soon."

Meredith sighed. "I don't... no. I've met William; he's nice. I'll just meet the rest of them, and I'm sure they're cool."

"Because you were so cool around William," Kyra inputted.

Eyes swiveling over to her best friend, Meredith glared at her friend. "I'm surprised you're able to hear," she referred to her friend's hearing disability.

"Fuck off." Kyra's blue eyes turned back to game, and then she paused. "Can I still be your maid of honor?"

"Hey, what about me?" Chloe asked. "Aren't important too? We were Scotland together."

"I was here first," Kyra said.

"Barely," Chloe responded.

"Shut up," Meredith shouted. "It's not a done deal. No one knows--"

"Everyone knows," Kyra spat. "Stop trying to play around it. You're going to get the ring, the marriage, the title, the boy, the money-- be a princess. Be happy. Yippee."

Meredith watched her friend and took another sip from the beer. It still tasted like crap. Turning her green eyes to the game, at least Meredith enjoyed baseball. Max Kepler was up to bat with Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier on base. This was excitement that Meredith enjoyed.

When the inning ended, Meredith knew this moment was coming: a camera shifted her way. For most of the game, a camera had been pointed at her. Now it was large and trying to be noticeable as the Twins took their time with her face on the mega-screens, and Meredith never even looked down. Picking up her beer, Meredith took a drink of it, and the Twins were forced to pull the camera away due to guidelines about alcohol on screens. She kept holding the beer in her hand.

Leaning over, Kyra whispered, "Why somewhere so public for your twenty-first?"

"You had no problem with me at a bar?"

Kyra shrugged. "But you knew there would be a lot of cameras here because it's a nationally televised event."

"That seems like big words for you."

"What are you playing at?"

Meredith arched an eyebrow and stood up, leaving Chloe and Rachel in the seats. Her best friend followed her up the steep steps.

"Are you trying to prove that you're human?" Kyra asked, fanning herself with the program. "I heard that's a problem for you."

"If you ask the media, I have many problems, including the fact that I'm crazy."

"I can see it." Kyra smiled happily and sipped on her own warm beer. At one point, it was cold, but the heat had done away with that. Both girls were assured that at one point time it tasted good too, but it was a lie. "Paparazzi are going to go be all over you in a few days."

Meredith laughed. "Well, to be honest, in a few days I won't exactly be here."

"Have you lied to me, Meredith?"

"I've lied to a lot of people." Meredith shrugged. "But what are you going to do about it? Sell my secrets to the tabloids."

"I don't need to pay for college that much," Kyra said.

"Are you telling me that you actually like me?"

"I love you, Meredith. You know that."

"I love you, too, Kyra, and I want you to know some things. I know I'm going to the other side of the earth. I know that I'm moving away. I know that we won't speak every day. I get it," she said. "We promised each other the rest of our lives, and we both thought you'd be the first to go."

"Am I selfish for thinking that?"

"No. I thought it too." Meredith ordered another beer. "Who ever actually thought that I would find a husband?"

"Meredith," Kyra groaned.

"No, let's be honest. Rob and Zach, remember those two. I had a crush on both of them, and they chose you. Ben, and he chose one of my friends. Aaron, I liked him, and he chose another one of my friends. I get it; I'm not the attractive one out of the group. It doesn't bother me." Meredith held Kyra's hand. "And I'm going away. I'm going to be different with hair, clothes and God knows everything else-- but I promise, if you need me, Kyra, I will be there." The beer was handed over to Meredith. "Chicks before dicks, right?"

Nodding, Kyra laughed.

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