Waiting on Bridesmades

Waiting on Bridesmaids in a Convenience Store Parking Lot by

We’re parked at a Wawa, and Chase blasts the stereo as he tries to clean out his car, or at least make it passable. He’s in the backseat, pulling up papers, gym clothes, and plastic bottles and shoving them in the trunk. We’re dressed in suits.

“Any word?” Chase says.

“Nothing yet. Do you want anything?”

“Maybe some gum. Or some breath mints. I got to freshen up, keep things classy.”

We’ve just left the wedding of a good friend. I actually doubted he would ever get married. He liked to party a little too much. He liked the women, too. But then, just like that, everything changed. He rarely went out with us anymore. Made me wonder if he knew something that I didn’t.

At the wedding, Chase and I got friendly with a couple of bridesmaids who wanted to hang out afterwards. They were nice, or at least nice enough.

I buy the mints and toss them to Chase. Nirvana pours out of the car’s speakers, and my buddy sings along, as if we’re back in the high school gym, raging against everything. I can feel my buzz start to fade.

“No text or anything?” Chase asks.

I shake my head. I don’t bother checking my phone again. I’m tired of looking. Across the Wawa parking lot, a bunch of kids pull up in an old Civic. They look like a world of trouble, tumbling out of the car. “We used to spend hours hanging out in parking lots,” I said. “Remember those days? We were so bored.”

“That was the summer we took up smoking. We’d drive around with our arms out the window, smoking cigarettes. I thought we were so fucking cool.”

“Thank God I gave that shit up.”

Chase hasn’t, and, as if on cue, starts reaching for his smokes. The kids lean against the Civic, posing cool, and its stereo is blasting something I can’t make out over the Nirvana. I probably wouldn’t know it if I could hear it.

“Hey, can you believe that our boy got married?” Chase says. “I still can’t believe it.”

“He seemed so happy, didn’t he?” Just then, I can feel my phone vibrate. A text. As Chase hurls more junk in the trunk, I pull out the phone. It’s the bridesmaids. The text gives the name of their hotel and room number.

“Can you get me quarters?” Chase says. “I want to use the vacuum.”

Hustling off, I don’t mention the text. I’m not sure if I will. The kids in the Civic glance at me passing by but don’t register my presence. I’m someone adult. Not old, but not young either. I can still hear Chase’s stereo until the Wawa doors close behind me.

 


 

John Crawford is a writer and editor in the Boston area. His work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, The Smart Set, Points in Case, and various other publications. He can be found on Twitter, @Crawfordwriter, where he writes dark, weird, semi-amusing missives about climate change.

 

“Petrol station at night” by Zoltan Acs is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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