Sorry for the delay but the holidays caught up with me yesterday and well…
The last part of our little holiday story. Enjoy!
Bobby’s idea of a bachelor party had two ingredients, booze and strippers. In other words, a strip club in downtown Boston. Somehow he managed to rope Paul into going as well. Not to say that seeing half naked women doesn’t hold a certain appeal to me, but the only person that was having any fun was Bobby. He managed (don’t ask me how he did it) to create a very long straw by fusing a dozen or more end over end so that he could reach the glass bourbon in his hand. The girls were trilled to hear the tale of how he became encased in plaster. After a few hours we stank of cheap perfume and overpriced liquor.
Richie wheeled Bobby around while Paul and I followed behind on the crowded streets downtown with a mix of last second holiday shoppers and early evening bar hoppers. Then Bobby spotted something near Boston Common “Isn’t that Linda? And she is carrying a giant rubber–“
“WOOOHOOOO! HEY ITS MY BOYFRIEND! JOOOOOOHNY!” Linda screamed and threw her arms around me. “I love you! You know that, right…I love you very…very…very much!” she said in what she thought was a whisper. Behind her a gaggle of her female friends laughed and swayed. Among them was Rebeca. Still draped around my neck Linda waved her arm at her. “Come here Beca, c’mon! We go to talking and she…” Linda gasped for air between fits of giggling “and she told me about the time you drank all the apple cider and puked on her father’s new shoes. It was HILARIOUS!”
“Oh really?” I said.
Rebeca shrugged with an impish smile.
Bachelor party collided with Bachellorette.
Linda pointed at a nearby bar. “Come on! Follow me, this way!”
Inside the crowded bar, beer was drunk, shots were downed and I made sure that as many girls sat on Bobby’s lap as I could manage, including a matching pair of Boston College coeds (brunette and redhead). If they could pour an entire beer down Bobby’s throat without spilling a single drop, I would buy them the next round. The thing is that having a very attractive woman sit on your lap while their pour libations up your thirsty maw tends to arouse a man. Sadly, Bobby was in no position to do anything about it, since his arms and legs were indisposed.
“Oh man, this girls, they are driving me wild!” he said.
“Too bad the doc said you’re not coming out that cast in at least a month, maybe two,” I said.
“Yeah…that’s right…” he said. He then glance at his lap. “Oh hell! You bastard!”
I laughed out loud. Once they threw us out of the bar after last call we ended up in Bobby’s place, were more shots were taken.
Some green (or was it red) stuff I don’t remember.
A distant chirping pierced through my mental fog.
Something was on my lap.
It was warm, spherical and had a bit of yellow straw on top, and for some reason my thigh was wet.
Focusing here, no really I am.
The chirping continued. I checked my wristwatch. “Holy Mother of Fuck, is ten!” That’s when I realized I fallen asleep on Bobby’s couch with Linda head on my lap. Across from me laid Bobby looking like a B-Movie mummy. Beside him slept one of Linda’s friends, Mindy I think, curled up in the fetal position. Down the hall the perky brunette from last night, one of the pair wearing some boy short panties, walked by. Just the boy shorts.
I shook Linda awake. “Sweety, we got to go. Now.”
We called a cab to take us to my folk’s place. Dad was watching a program from somewhere where they don’t celebrate Christmas. Mom was looking for something in the kitchen. I laid a semi conscious Linda on the couch next to Dad’s recliner. The fact that his son’s fiance was draped like a rag doll on the couch didn’t phase him. Then again, it would take more than that to upset Jacob McKinley. He saw it all working for the AP in three different continents.
I marched into the kitchen, my head pounding to the beat of my heart. “Mom, where are the aspirins?”
“John, you lived in this house for eighteen years and you don’t–“
“Not helping mom!”
“Upstairs bathroom cabinet,” Dad said from the living room.
I retrieved the bottle and went back to the kitchen. There I set a pot of coffee, black. While the coffee brewed Linda’s phone buzzed, again and again. On the umpteenth buzz, Linda managed to answer it. “Mom…yeah…just here in Johnny’s place…sure…be right there…don’t worry…I’m fine, bye. Love you too, bye….”
She finally came back too life after three aspirin and two cups of coffee. Then the panic started. “Oh my god! What am I doing here? What time is it? I got to go. I got to get ready!”
“Linda, we still got time. The taxi is on it’s way. Just go to the hotel, get ready and then go to the chapel. Don’t worry, the bride is always a bit late. It’s tradition.” I gave her a peck on the lips and sent her on her way. Then my phone buzzed. “Paul, were the hell are you?”
“In front of the Sheraton with Richie. We’re dropping Linda’s friends off. Where the hell are you?”
“Home. Just sent Linda back to the hotel. Get you sorry ass in here so that we can get ready to leave,” I said.
“On my way.”
We managed, parents, best man and I to get to the church on time and so did the bride and her family. I thought I was going to be nervous during the ceremony, but since it was the one thing that had gone right in so many days, I felt so relaxed I nearly fell asleep.
Then came the part about the vows. “If anyone here objects to this union, please speak now or forever hold your peace,” the pastor said.
“No! Wait!” came a familiar voice from the back of the church. Linda and I looked askance at each other and with the rest of the hundred guest turned to see who had said that. Richie pushed Bobby to an empty space beside the front doors. “Sorry, I didn’t want to miss it. My bad!”
I saw the mothers go gray with shock while my dad was choking back the tears. He was about to burst out laughing.
OK, I had enough of this shit!
I put my hands on Linda’s cheeks. “I love you Linda Kurt and nothing is going to change that,” and I kissed her.
A long silence followed. I turned to the pastor. “So, are we married or what?”
“Oh…oh sure. I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride…again.”
Which I did.
And that’s why Christmas is a very, oh so very special day for me.
Well, I hope you like it. Thank you all who have said such wonderful things about this impromptu short story.
And Happy Holidays to one and all!