“Whoa, Harlow. Slow down a moment. Take a deep breath and tell me who you’re talking about,” Jess said.
“Charlie, that’s who.” She swigged the ice cold beer and slammed the bottle on the bar.
“Charlie? As in the can’t perform, Charlie?” Harlow watched her blue eyes lit up like a Fourth of July firework display.
“The one and only. Only he really can perform. It just depends on the participant.”
“I’m confused. Did the doctor prescribe him the little blue pill to cure his issue?”
Harlow nearly choked on her beer at the thought.
“No, it seems the only issue there is or was, was me. I went to his office to surprise him. I dressed in a sexy pink lace bra and panties, covered only by my long black coat. Oh, stop looking at me like that. I know its cliché, but what was I supposed to do? It’s been months since we’ve had sex. I was desperate.”
“So what happened?” She leaned on the edge of the bar stool, waiting for the grand finale of the story.
“I walked into his office to find his boss spread out on his desk. Charlie was pounding away at her. He wasn’t having any troubles performing.”
“What did he say?”
“Ha! What could he say? He was too busy to notice I’d walked in.”
“Oh. My. God! So did you just leave?’
“Are you serious? Me, walk away, while my boyfriend is bopping his boss on his desk? Nah. I walked right up to them and cleared my throat. When the two finally realized they weren’t alone, they stopped. It was more like Charlie froze. I think he might have had performance issues after that. His boss tried covering herself, but there wasn’t anything close by for her to grab. She demanded I get out of the building immediately.”
“Did you leave?”
“Yup. I wished them both luck and walked casually out the door.”
“You didn’t scream, yell or cry?”
“Nope.” And she hadn’t. She thought for sure once she left his office building the tears would flow like a raging river. Only they didn’t. The only thing Harlow felt since catching Charlie cheating was anger, bitterness and relief. She felt like she wasted her time with someone who just wasn’t worth it, but she was happy to realize she was free.
“I can’t believe it.” Jess blew out a low whistle. “Have you told Bev?”
Harlow shook her head. “I couldn’t get a hold of her, but I left her a message so maybe she’ll show up.
Jess turned away from Harlow. The look on her face didn’t look surprised anymore it looked – nervous.
“Jess. Is there something I should know?” They’d been friends for over twenty years. They went to grade school together. Harlow could tell when something was bothering her best friend. That and the fact that she was attempting to peel the label off the bottle, that didn’t exist.
“No. It’s just that…”
“Spill it, now!”
“There you are,” Bev gasped, plopping into the seat next to Harlow. “I’ve been scanning the inside bar for the last fifteen minutes. I even staked out the ladies room, but couldn’t find you guys anywhere. What’s the emergency?”
With the warm summer night, Harlow had chosen the bar on the deck. Not only for the magnificent view of the boats bobbing in the water or lighthouse in the distance, no she thought it only fitting given her current situation. The irony wasn’t lost as she watched the waves crashing against the shore, and then pulling back out to sea. She felt her relationship was just like the ocean, smashing against the rocks, shattering into a million pieces.
“Did we interrupt something?” Harlow asked. Bev’s short whippy red hair was more disheveled than usual.
“Nothing I didn’t need rescuing from,” she said, catching her breath. “I was knee-deep in a history project on Egyptian pyramids for Rachel’s school. I’m telling ya, if I have to see another piece of Styrofoam or a glue gun I’m gonna scream. No offense, Jess.”
“None taken,” she said, raising her beer bottle in salute.