Karen grabbed a navy blue blouse from off the hanger. This will do, this and those white jeans I was wearing earlier she said to herself. Done. Next step, hair. While she would’ve loved to curl it, she didn’t have nearly enough time. So, she quickly blow dried, combed it and left it down. Shoes. How about those black knee high boots, easy enough. Done. Not wanting to trudge around the house in them just yet she threw the boots carelessly towards the door. Last but definitely not least, makeup. Karen didn’t usually use much makeup, certainly less than her friends, but she felt somewhat obligated to on a night like tonight. Knowing very well that the other two would show up dressed to the nines she felt the least she could do was throw on some eyeliner and blush. Just then her phone began to buzz in the kitchen. Running out again this time in her bra and panties she grabbed the phone. She caught a glimpse of the caller ID as she clicked answer- Lez, “Hello” Karen said. “Open up bitch, we’re here!” Leslie exclaimed.
After buzzing the women in Karen quickly threw on her clothes and started her makeup. Leslie and Sherri entered the penthouse apartment with more energy than Karen was ready for. Leslie had always been a rowdy girl, especially back in the day, Karen loved her enthusiasm but sometimes it was exhausting to keep up with. How was she always so damn up beat? Karen was for the most part, reserved, but when with her ladies she would occasionally let loose. Sherri was primarily Leslie’s friend but had been slowly ushered into the core group of girls Karen and Leslie hung out with over the past 5 years or so. Karen would never voice it but she wasn’t particularly fond of Sherri. She just seemed to always be stirring things up, and never really providing any value to whatever they were doing. Half of their girls’ trip to Myrtle Beach was spent listening to her gossip about mothers in her yoga class no one knew or cared about. Constant irrelevant bitching while in paradise, Karen didn’t get it. Nonetheless, Lez loved her and Karen had learned to tolerate her petty complaining. Sherri was pretty fun when she got drunk though, most people were, Karen decided.
Hurry up in there! She heard Leslie yell as she also heard the living room speakers begin to blast. Relax, you guys weren’t even supposed to be here for 15 more minutes! Karen countered from the bathroom. No response was to be had as Sherri and Lez were now belting out “I wanna be the one who walks in the sun, and girls, they wanna have fun”. Karen smiled, she thought back to the countless times she, Leslie, and her their late friend Anne had danced and sang to this, most of those times blackout drunk. “Let’s go!” Leslie yelled again. “I’m coming I’m coming” Karen said as she exited the bathroom. As she came into the living room they all screamed for a brief 3 seconds and then exchanged hugs. “Wait why aren’t you wearing the black dress?! Leslie questioned immediately. Karen had expected this. “I don’t know, it’s just not the night for it”. “On the contrary I don’t think there’s ever been a better night for it” Leslie exclaimed. Tell her, Sherri. “I don’t know I kind of like what she’s got on, I love those boots “Sherri said throwing a smile to Karen. Why thank you Karen said, surprised but flattered at Sherri’s kindness. “You’re not helping Sherri!” Leslie said rolling her eyes. “Whatever, that’s fine, you still are the hottest one of all of us even in your everyday clothes, it’s really not fair” Leslie said. Oh stop it, Karen said looking down and walking to the kitchen. She always felt awkward when people complimented her, especially her looks, it was a weird feeling. Sure, it was nice, but it was uncomfortable sometimes, she was bad at accepting praise.
And she certainly received a lot of it. Whether it be in her career, as a mother, or as a friend, she was a rock star. People loved her, if only she felt the same way about herself. Karen hated to portray any sense of insecurity but was truthfully unbelievably self-conscious. She always had been. From a young age her mother had been unrelentingly hard on her and it left a lasting impact. Constantly she felt pressure to perform perfectly no matter the task. Internally she never felt satisfied to a point where it because burdensome. It got better when she was with Roy, she felt confident, and she felt fulfilled. During their time together Karen believed she belonged to something bigger, that she and Roy belonged to each other. Apparently not, she thought to herself as she found herself audibly sighing and rolling her eyes.
“What’s wrong with you Karen?” Sherri asked as she noticed Karen’s sullen look. What’s wrong? Karen thought. Everything, she wanted to say. Aside from undergoing a life crippling divorce and emotional stress from making a substantial and gutsy career move, not much was wrong. In true Karen form however she answered swiftly as if everything was great. Nothing at all, life is beautiful she said brightly, what time are we leaving? The three simultaneously glanced towards the clock that hung in the living room. It was an awkwardly shaped clock with random shapes jutting out from it. Roy had bought it deeming it abstract contemporary art. To Karen there was a fine line between abstract and just plain weird. And this clock was weird.
After a long stare Leslie managed to decipher “It’s about 11:20, I think, she said uneasily as she cross checked her phone clock. Yeah, 11:15. Let’s do some shots then we’ll head out “Of course she wanted to do shots Karen thought, laughing to herself. Whatever, why not. She was already feeling good from the wine, why not keep it going. Leslie reached into her black coach bag unveiling a bottle of Patron. Karen laughed again to herself, tequila… some things never changed. Karen made her way to the kitchen to grab some shot glasses, she only had a couple here- the rest were yet to be moved from Roy’s place. Well now, Roy and Melinda’s place. Melinda, the newest big breasted Barbie doll Roy was dating. This one seemed serious which is what really irritated Karen. Not only was he inevitably with her when they were still married, that slut was now living in her house, and playing babysitter for her child. She hated the thought of Tyler growing up without having a mother and father together. That was another main reason she had dealt with Roy’s bullshit for so long; she knew the damage it could do to Ty and she tried extremely hard to not let that happen.
“What’s taking so long? Bring ‘em over!” Leslie yelled anxiously from across the room. Karen hustled back to the living room that now echoed Miley’s We Can’t Stop. Leslie emphatically chanted “La da di da di, we like to party”. Karen placed the shot glasses on the round glass table. “I could only find two, we can share” she said. Sherri quickly chimed in “No that’s okay I can drink straight from the bottle”. The three women quickly tossed back 2 shots a piece, chasing with what was left of a lime seltzer. Karen thought the seltzer tasted worse than the tequila. Leslie called for another shot, insisting they all be drunk upon arrival to the club.
Karen was plenty drunk. Though tempted, she declined the next round of shots and slid her shot glass over for Sherri to use. “I’d rather just keep drinking from the bottle” Sherri said curtly. Karen was angered by her tone but was too drunk to care, instead she merely laughed and replied “be my guest”. She expected Sherri had been taking very moderate swigs from the bottle and had no desire to take an actual shot but was in no mood to call her out. In the past, Sherri had frequently been one to barely drink yet claim how annihilated she was throughout the night, Karen never understood it.
Within the next ten minutes or so Leslie had downed 2 more shots and had now accomplished her “catch up” phase. Sherri had gone outside on the deck to take a call from her boyfriend. Karen tried to recall his name was it Cody, or Charlie? She thought to herself. All she knew was he was a young minor league baseball player, maybe 25 or 26, who lived in California somewhere. Karen heard her phone vibrating on the table, slightly rattling the shot glasses. As she turned over her phone her heart dropped- Roy. She couldn’t get away from him. She punched ignore with her index finger. “If that was him I swear to god” Leslie remarked as she struggled to put her her heels. Karen attempted to shrug it off, it’s fine, it’s fine, what time are we leaving? “I’m ordering an Uber right now, it says 4 minutes away.” Leslie said as she threw on her coat. The three climbed in the spacious uber black escalade 10 minutes later after finally convincing Sherri to get off of her phone. Where to? The driver asked impatiently. TEMPO Leslie said excitedly 3 or four times like a child going to Disney for the first time. Karen looked at her phone, Roy’s text read “Hey K, just checking in, Melinda and I are dropping off Ty around 2 tomorrow before we go to her parents”. She hated how he did that, threw in little unnecessary info intended to get her fired up, and it always did. They had already spoken about this very plan multiple times, there was no need to confirm or mention going to Melinda’s parents. Karen shot back a quick “okay” and that was that. It was time to party.