The next morning, I had a terrible feeling about what I had written to Lucy. I didn’t know exactly what I wrote, but I knew it was irreparable. I quickly sent an apology, but didn’t expect it to be accepted.
I felt empty but relieved. I knew our friendship was over, but it was a long time coming. I could blame it on the seven year itch.
Carolyn called when she got up to pack and leave town.
“Sorry I disappeared,” I said. “I really shouldn’t drink at all. I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea.”
“Well I hope you had fun! I felt bad leaving you there without saying goodbye, but I figured you knew the people so you would be OK.”
“Ugh. I was a total asshole to my friend I told you about that I was fighting with. I mean BIG ASSHOLE,” I said. “I don’t think we’re going to be friends anymore, but that might be for the best.”
“Well, Josh and I had fun, and we are only disappointed we didn’t get to try any of your apple pie,” she said. “It was good to see you, though.”
“It was really good to see you and take a trip down FOX5 Memory Lane. And thanks for the info on the house. I’ll probably just find a second job and if that doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to my old job.”
“Let me know if I can provide any additional advice on it!” she said.
I still felt bad, but then I realized that I had two pies that I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat myself.
Hungover and feeling guilty, I pedaled a pie over to my friend’s house who had two little boys.
The bike ride was rough on the pie. I didn’t expect it to be pretty when I got there, but the cutouts I tried didn’t work anyway, so it didn’t really matter that it was kind of cracked and smooshed.
“Hi!!!!!” greeted Stacy. “How are you?”
I walked in and followed Stacy to the kitchen where her husband, Mike, was cooking fish for dinner.
“Ugh,” I said. “I’m OK. I had a rough night.”
“Uh oh..” she said. “What happened?”
“I really shouldn’t drink at all anymore,” I said. “I mean, I REALLY shouldn’t drink.”
“Oh?” she asked.
“Oh god,” I said, feeling the pang of my nasty email coming back. “I was such an asshole to Lucy. We’ve been fighting a lot. And, I don’t know. I guess she criticized me. And coming from her, I took offense.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, I just didn’t feel like she had room to criticize me so I was nasty. REALLY nasty.”
Mike continued to cook and listen to us but didn’t offer anything to the conversation.
“What’d you say?” she asked.
“I’m not sure exactly, but I’m pretty sure our friendship is over,” I said.
“That can’t be true,” Stacy offered.
“And there’s no excuse for my bad decision to drink.”
“Well, if you really think it’s a problem, I’d be more than willing to take you to a meeting,” stacy offered. Stacy was in a twelve step program and had a lot of experience in The Rooms.
“I don’t know,” I said, brushing off the offer. “I don’t know if I’m ready for that.”
I collected my pie box and left them to eat their dinner.
I said goodbye to Mike, Stacy and the boys, hopped on my bike and headed home.
I got a text from Mike when I got home.
“The pie is delicious. There’s a unique flavor in there. Cardamom?”
“It’s Malort. And any other criticisms are appreciated. Apple size? Texture?
Thanks for testing!”
“The apples are excellent. Texture of the crust is great too. Just had a second piece…Crust could used a touch more salt.”
“Thanks, buddy. And tell your wife thanks for listening to me.
Seriously, come out for the contest on Sunday. It’s a nice mini-festival. Very fall 🙂 “