Wrong Way Up

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Fun Time Friday

By the time Friday rolled around, I had completely forgotten that Kendra had asked me to go out with her. When I got home from work that day, she was already in the kitchen making dinner for the kids. She yelled at me to get in the shower and told me that she had already picked out clothes for me. I felt my anxiety shoot through the roof. I could not feasibly go out today and tomorrow. This was too much for me.

“Kendra I am not feeling all that good. I do not think that I should go out tonight. You go out without me. I am just going to make some tea and watch some movies.” I was hoping that I looked a little pale, and even threw in a small cough to try to make it more believable.

“Come here Noel.” Kendra raised her palm to my head, feeling to see if I had a temperature. “You do not have a fever; you will feel better after you get in a shower. I have already made dinner for the kids, and Chrissy from next door is going to keep an eye on them. Now no more excuses get your butt in the shower, your clothes are on the back of the sink. I will be in after and do your make up for you.” Kendra was all business and had apparently thought of every excuse I could come up with and found a solution.

I sighed, not at all happy about the fact that my excuse did not work. I mentally chastised myself for even agreeing to this plan anyways. I was not good with big crowds. Kendra was right though, being in the shower and feeling the hot water massaging my muscles did make me feel better. I took a little longer than usual, just enjoying the moment of peace to myself. Letting the water wash away the stress, and anxiety. I was mentally trying to hype myself up about going out with Kendra.

Stepping out of the shower I took a long look in the mirror. I was not happy about the premature grey hairs I seen, the gap in my front teeth, or the fact that my breasts were no longer perky. Pushing all that aside I also noticed that I still had nice legs, and now that I was losing weight, I had a pretty decent face. Maybe I will enjoy going out tonight. I look at the clothes that Kendra had picked out and realized that the shirt she choose is rather low cut. It was a plain black top with quarter sleeves. She choose my tightest jeans, but again with the weight loss they were fitting a lot better. Once I was ready, I let Kendra know because she said that she wanted to put make up on me.

I never used a bunch of makeup. In truth my mother had never taught me how to put any on. I knew the basic principals and could use mascara, and lipsticks. I was not good at picking the right colors for blush, foundation, or even eye shadow so more often than not I did not wear them. Kendra on the other hand used makeup very well. She had a full arsenal ready and tried to teach me the difference between spring and fall colors. I was not a good student. Kendra pulled out bottle and painted and dapped my face until she was happy with her masterpiece. Finally, she allowed me to look in the mirror.

I hardly recognized the woman staring back at me. Kendra had completely hidden the dark circles under my eyes. She used some kind of shimmering powder that made my cheekbones look better. My eyes for painted in a soft bronze color. She had applied eyeliner, and mascara and my eyes were stunning. On my lips she had painted a more muted tone of maroon. The overall effect was amazing.

“Kendra this is amazing. I have no idea how you did it but I love it.” I was truly stunned by the magic she had created with my face.

“All I did was put makeup on you. Noel you are pretty, you just hide it under baggy clothes and work.” Kendra rolls her eyes at me as she starts doing her own makeup. I take the opportunity to rush out of the bathroom and spend some time with the kids.

Upstairs in my boy’s bedroom I find all three of the kids playing games together. They are all playing a racing game using cute little characters. I look over at all of them, overcome with love. I still do not understand how in the world Donavon could just walk away from them. I walk in and kiss the top of my daughter’s head, simply enjoying being close to them. I love being a mother, but not a day goes by that I do not believe that I am messing them up in some way or another.

“So, who is winning?” I ask them.

“He is, but I am going to catch him in this next lap.” My youngest son exclaims. I watch them race the little cars, round and round the track. I am grateful that for the most part my children get along. They have their spats every now and then, but mostly they stick together. Perhaps it is because they are so close in age, or perhaps it is because it is because we moved so much while I was in the military. Either way I was happy that they get along.

“Noel where did you get off to?” I hear Kendra yell up the stairs. I let her know that I was saying goodnight to the kids. I give them each a big hug, and kiss and remind them that their bedtime is nine thirty sharp. They all groan and try to talk me into a later time, but I stay firm. I head downstairs and find that Chrissy is already there.

“Hey Chrissy, the kids have already eaten, and they are upstairs playing their game. Bedtime is at nine thirty, so do not let them try to pull one over on you.” I finish telling her with a laugh. She says that the kids are always good for her, and that she will make sure that they are in bed on time. Kendra suddenly appears from the mud room with a pair of boots I have not worn in years.

“Here put these on.” She says as she hands the heeled boots over to me.

“Kendra, I have not worn heels in years. I am going to fall and break my arm in these.”

“Noel quit being so freaking dramatic and put on the boots. They will go great with that outfit, and besides, it is not like you won’t be able to sit down.” She rolls her eyes at me, still insisting that I wear the boots. I sigh but finally give in.

Kendra is practically bouncing off the walls. She did not go out last weekend, and she is ready to let off some steam. She had already called a taxi, and as I finished pulling on the last boot, we hear it beep outside. I yell up to the kids that I love them, grab my jacket, and follow Kendra outside. For better or for worse I was headed out on the town.

I am pleasantly surprised by the bar that Kendra picked. I had expected a much younger crowd by the way Kendra had talked about it but walking in I seen that most of the people there were about my age. I was also relieved to find that it was not packed with people. Although there was a decent crowd, there was plenty of room to move about. Kendra starts waving to a few people in the corner, and I realize it is some guys that we work with.

Kendra knows them better than I do, so she heads over there. I am not comfortable yet, so I head for the bar. Maybe with a little liquid courage I can loosen up a bit. The bartender comes over and asks me what I am having, I order a Malibu rum with sprite. As I am getting my drink, I realize that Kendra has dragged the guys she was talking to over to me at the bar.

“Noel I was just bringing these guys over to buy us a round.” Kendra’s voice is loud, and she is already flipping her hair giving the taller guy a wink. I can tell that she has now set her mind to monopolize this guys attention for the night. I feel bad for his friend.

“Oh, I just got a drink actually.” It is a lame reply, and I cringe a little inside that I even said it. It is obvious I just got a drink they all seen the bartender hand it to me. Kendra links her arm with the taller guy and asks him to buy her a shot. He falls for Kendra’s charm and readily agrees. Both I and his friend step back giving them space to get to the bar.

The friend that stepped back with me introduces himself as Mark, and I introduce myself as well. We exchange a little small talk back and forth. He says he thinks he has seen me at work, and I told him that he probably has. The conversation is awkward and forced. Nothing flowed easily between us, and we could not find anything that we had in common. Finally, we both quit trying to force it and watch Kendra and his friend making out in the corner of the bar.

“Well I am going to head out, looks like he is your problem now.” Mark states to me. He finishes his beer, slams it on the bar and heads out the front door. Well this is just great, now I am alone in a bar because Kendra is sucking face with some random dude. Exasperated I grab my drink and head out onto the smoking patio. I needed some air but did not trust leaving my drink unattended at the bar.

It was a beautiful night out; the stars were bright in the sky. There was a slight breeze, but luckily it was rather warm. I sit at one of the round tables, absently stirring my drink. I wondered how long I had to sit here before Kendra would get tired of the guy.

“Can I borrow the ashtray?” A husky voice pulls me out of my thoughts. I had not even heard anyone else come out.

“Oh yes sorry.” I quickly apologize to the gentleman that asked for ashtray. He was tall, dressed in nice fitting jeans, and a button-down checkered shirt. He had a cowboy hat on, and the big belt buckle too. It was a look that he pulled off very nicely.

“Oh, it’s no problem, I just hate leaving butts on the ground.” He shoots me a great looking smile, as he stubs his cigarette out in the ashtray. I smile back at him, trying to copy Kendra’s style and flirt a little.

“So, what brings you out here tonight?” I ask him shyly. I wish I had more practice at this.

“Well my buddies and I were going to shoot some pool but looks like I got here first.” We fall into some small talk, and I discover fairly quickly that he is funny. He finishes his cigarette and lets me know that he is going to go check and see if his friends have made it yet. I figure that I also need to check on Kendra, and make sure that she is not causing any trouble.

Walking back in I quickly spot Kendra, and surprisingly she does not have her face smashed against her newest friend. I walk over to her quickly, a little excited to tell her about the cowboy I talked to outside. In the middle of telling Kendra the story, her eyes go wide.

“Um Noel I think your cowboy’s friends just arrived, and they are not all guys.” I turn around at Kendra’s words and my heart sinks a little when I see an attractive blonde with her arms around the cowboy laying a kiss on him that would make the devil blush.

I try to put on a brave face and shrug it off. Inside I am crushed, and really disappointed in myself. I thought that cowboy had been flirting with me outside. Was I really that desperate for attention that I could not tell the difference between flirting, and a normal conversation? I am almost grateful when Kendra goes back to making out with her friend. After I finish my drink, I tell Kendra that I am going to head home. She tells me that she will be home in the morning and gives me a wink.

I was way so happy getting out of the cab and hitting the front door of my house. The whole night had been rather a disaster in my eyes. Walking in Chrissy lets me know that the kids had laid down no problem. I paid her twenty bucks for keeping an eye on them and locked the house up behind her.

I head into the bathroom, and start attempting to take off all the makeup on my face. I silently let the tears fall as the events of the night play back through my mind. I had hyped myself up, thinking that I could go out and have fun and be normal. Who was I kidding? I was a mess. Patting my face dry, I continue to sob into the towel. Why did everything have to be so hard? Why could I not be good enough for anyone? Why was I such a mess? Those were the thoughts that haunted my head as I finally left the bathroom and curled up in bed.

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