Amy Russo (Evening of September 11, 1983)
We arrived at the party a little what was considered fashionably late. However, we did make it just time for me to meet up with Tina and her other friends she’s been dying to introduce me to.
“Someone needs to address it, right?” I heard a dark-skinned woman say as Tina led me over to the snack table, where all three of her friends were hovering around. I soon realized that she’d been talking to the woman with short, light brown hair, beside her. “I mean, it’s just gross. He’s like twice her age, maybe even older.”
I turned my head to see what it was that they were talking about, then found Walter and Adriene being overly affectionate in the dining room as they set up the table. I watched as he placed a hand low on her left hip and whispered something, I only assume was dirty, in her right ear. Whatever it was, it made her giggle and made me vomit my mouth.
“Sasha, I think you’re looking too much into it,” another woman said. This one looked to be at the end of the second trimester of her pregnancy. “I mean, what guy doesn’t want a Playboy bunny on his arm? Him, being an educator shouldn’t keep him from living out his fantasy, even if it does make him a total sleazeball.”
“Whatever, it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” Sasha replied, taking a sip of her red wine.
“Excuse me, guys,” Tina intervened. “I’d like you to meet a very special friend of mine from highschool, Amy.”
“Hi,” I waved to the trio of women like a small child waving to their mom’s friends.
“Amy, this is Sasha and Laura,” Tina continued, pointing at the two women closest to us. “And that’s Amelie over there, at the end.”
“Hey,” Amelie said before stuffing her face with a piece of sourdough bread, drenched in spinach dip.
“So are all of you guys parents too?” I asked, simply to make conversation.
“Well, I’m a teacher, but my two boys attend the school as well,” Sasha explained.
“And I’m here just as a teacher, but I do also have a daughter,” Laura noted. “She’s just going to public school at the moment.”
“I am neither a teacher nor a parent, at least not yet anyway,” Amelie voice, rubbing her stomach. “Still waiting on this little guy to pop out.”
“Oh, you’re pregnant?” I tried to act surprised. “Congratulations.”
“No, no, bitch. Don’t you fucking pretend like it wasn’t the first thing you noticed about me,” Amelie demanded, waving a finger in my face. I looked to the other girls for some assistance.
“You’ll have to excuse Amelie,” Laura smiled. “Her personality can come off a little strong at times, but she’s really sweet once you get to know her.”
“Yep, that’s me the fucking pregnant ray of sunshine,” Amelie muttered as she walked over and reached around for some bacon-wrapped shrimp. “As I was saying, I’m not a teacher, but I did volunteer to be the set manager for this season’s school play.”
“Really? What a coincidence? I’m going to be the new theatre director,” I told her.
“Oh, so you’re that Amy? I was wondering when I was going to meet you,” she replied with a kind smile.
“You too,” I beamed back at her, before directing my attention towards Tina. “So Tina, I guess that just leaves you. What brings you here? I thought Brian was attending Park Avenue this year, along with Piper.”
“He is, but Eddie’s shop sponsors a lot of St. Peter’s extra curricular activities,”she explained. “Plus, Walter and Eddie have supposedly become good friends over the years, though personally, I think Walter’s just using him for his hot cakes.”
“No, I believe that’s what he uses Adriene for,” Amelie joked, making the rest of the group laugh.
Just then, at the corner of my eye, I saw Joe walk into the room, alongside Adeline. We hadn’t really spoken since early this morning, so I was excited to see him again. I raised my glass of champagne to him the moment we made eye contact. He smiled, but he didn’t greet me. It’s probably for the best, I thought. Ivan was only a few feet away from me.
“I take it that you two have already hashed things out,” Tina asked, noticing me, still staring at Joe.
“You could say that,” I responded, taking a big gulp of my drink. I pressed my index and middle to the center of my lips, reminiscing about the kiss I shared with him the night before. Foolishly, I grinned.