After Work Drinks (Day 16)

“And then he says to me, so when do you want to go out again?” The table exploded in laughter, with Fiona doubling over, arms clutched around her stomach, her face turning a bright shade of red. Shayna continued as her eyes welled up, “I must have had the biggest shock on my face, because he immediately looked like a puppy that I had just scolded.” She could barely hold in her laughter, but reached for her glass of red wine to attempt to wash it down her throat.

After a few seconds, Marcy looked up at Shayna with a dead serious look and said, “So did you go out with him again?”

Wine splattered over the entire table as Shayna lost control and joined the rest of the ladies in their laughter. Other tables at the restaurant were starting to turn and stare, but none of the women noticed or cared. The volume of laughter only increased as everyone except Fiona tried to dab up some of the wine with their white cloth napkins. Shayna’s hand was shaking so hard from the laughter that she almost tilted the glass over as she tried to place it down safely on the table.

The waitress came over with a towel and made quick work of the cleanup, picking up the small side plates and the soiled napkins before wiping down the lacquered wood surface. Fiona tried to say thank you, but she was completely out of breath from all the laughing and no words had escaped. Marcy was first to speak up again when the group settled down.

“I can’t believe he would even ask that after what he did. I thought my story was bad!” She smiled and poured the last of the Pinot Noir into Shayna’s glass as a reward for a story well told. Setting the bottle down, Marcy flipped over her cell phone and brought the screen to life to check the time. She had set the phone on the table when they first arrived, but this was the first time she had looked at it in two hours.

“Ladies, I think it’s pumpkin time for me,” said Marcy, gathering up her personal effects and slipping off of the tall chair to grab her coat off of the back. The ladies looked around and joined in the routine, dressing for the cooler temperatures outside. “I suppose I’ll see all of you on Monday.” Nods from everyone confirmed the sentiment.

As they walked out of the restaurant together they knew that tonight’s conversation was out of bounds for work, but they enjoyed forgetting that, even if it was only for two hours.

This is part of a 30 day series of 2-3 minute short stories written for the 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 2011. You can view all the stories in the Short Story A Day category.

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