The Prize - Friday night comes around again
The rest of the week passed quite quickly and before they knew it Friday arrived once again and as she always did, Dawn made the guys some food for their poker evening. She had made a large pan of chilli for their dinner and she’d left John detailed instructions on how to use their rice cooker for the rice to accompany the chilli.
She had noticed that Larry had returned in the late afternoon and she felt a lot happier knowing that he was back, and she hoped that they would all have a great evening. She also hoped that whatever had happened last weekend, she intuitively knew something must’ve taken place between them all, would by then have been forgotten.
She was ready to leave and came into the kitchen to say goodbye to him, he looked at her as she walked in. He smiled.
“God, you look beautiful honey.” He sighed.
She smiled and spun around, the skirt section of her dress ‘swooshed’ out, revealing her bare thighs as she spun, he smiled.
“You’re going to raise some temperatures if you go around doing that tonight.” He said.
She grinned. “The drinks will be free then.” She smiled.
As she left she kissed him. “It’ll be nice for you to see Larry again. Tell him I said hi.” She said.
As he watched her get into the taxi he glanced at Larry’s car, now parked on his drive.
Muttering, “If he comes, I will.” He sighed and closed the door to await his guests.
The guys arrived on time and as he handed out the beers George looked around.
“Larry?” He asked.
John shrugged. “Dunno, we haven’t spoken and he hasn’t been over since he got back, I’m not sure he’s coming tonight.”
Neil groaned. “John; for fuck’s sake, just go and talk to him”
John shrugged. “No. Just leave him be. He’ll come around when he’s ready.”
They sat at the table and the first game began.
After the first game, they took a break and had the food, and as always, it was demolished, all of the guys loved his wife’s cooking. As they ate there was another attempt to convince him to try to go talk to Larry. ”If he doesn’t come by within the next few days, then I’ll consider it.” He argued.
The rest of the night passed off without any drama. The guys all had fun, they laughed and behaved as normal, but though none of them said anything, they all felt that the night lacked something, it lacked Larry.
Dawn arrived in her taxi just as the guys were leaving the house, their taxi awaiting them. She got there just in time to say hi and hug them all. She liked his friends and had occasionally stayed in whilst they had their poker nights and had enjoyed herself in their company.
They always made a fuss of her and she loved the attention that she got. They used to tease her and some of the innuendo, and not so subtle suggestions used to make her blush at times. They all liked her, and they never made any secret of it.
She stood with John at the door as their taxi pulled away and they turned and walked back into the house. He closed the door behind him as she walked into the kitchen. He followed her and found her standing at the sink staring at the plates inside it. She turned.
“Only five plates tonight?” She asked.
He nodded slowly, responding, “Yeah.”
She looked at him. “Did anyone go and talk to him?” She asked.
He shook his head.
“I said I’d go in a few days if he doesn’t come around.”
“John! You are so stubborn! Why couldn’t you just go and talk to him?” She sighed.
He turned away. “It’ll be okay. Stop worrying.”
She began to put the plates into the dishwasher.
“Are you going to tell me what happened last week?” She asked.
Frustrated; he sighed and uttered, “Nothing.”
She rolled her eyes. “Fine, don’t tell me just fix it!” She said.
She stood and slammed the door to the dishwasher closed and selected the correct program to run it.
“I don’t know what you did last week John. But something happened. I know that you won’t tell me but please,” she pleaded.” Larry is our friend, whatever it was, go and talk to him about it. Make it right with him.”
He sighed and watched as she left the kitchen and headed upstairs to the bedroom. He shook his head. He’d hoped that Larry would just come back, he’d say sorry and then they’d move on. But Larry had not turned up, and he was still pissed at him.
‘Surely he didn’t expect to get a night with Dawn?’ He thought.
He turned off the lights and headed upstairs and hoped that somehow, it would just fix itself.
The next day he was out in the garden tidying up the flower beds when he heard Larry come out into his garden. He stood up and looked across the fence and watched Larry walk over to his greenhouse at the bottom of his garden. He sighed.
“Larry!” He called.
Larry looked over and stopped, John thought that he was going to walk away but he was surprised when he turned and walked towards him. He met him at the fenced that separated their gardens.
“Look, mate, we missed you last night. I hoped that you would come over and we could put last week behind us.”
“I didn’t feel like it. I was tired after the drive back.” He said.
John nodded. “I get it mate. You’re still pissed at me, and I understand. However, I couldn’t tell her mate...”
Larry glared at him.
“Tell her? Are you fucking kidding me? Dawn doesn’t need to know about that. It was you, you fucking idiot. You always do that! Acting like the big guy! I bet my wife! Well, I decided to call your bluff and stop you for good.”
John looked embarrassed.
“She’s far too good for you mate. You don’t deserve her, not one bit. But as for playing poker again, well, count me out.”
’The nerve of him, he has no idea what it’s like to lose his wife’ Larry seared inside. He turned and walked away, forgetting whatever job he had planned to do in the greenhouse.
Dawn was stood in the kitchen and looked out onto the garden and watched her husband and her neighbour chat across the fence. She had high hopes of reconciliation but it was clear from their body language that it had gone about as bad as it could’ve gone.
She watched her husband as he returned to sorting through the flower beds and she turned away.
‘I need to get to the bottom of it.’ She thought.