AJ knew he’d blown it as soon as he walked out of the room. He stopped, debating on whether or not he should turn back and try to talk to her but he just couldn’t make himself. It had gone too far and he was sure there was no turning back now.
Emily eventually fell asleep on the couch, watching the fire and trying not to think about AJ, except all she could think about was not thinking about AJ and in turn, she was thinking about him anyway. She woke up when she heard Leighanne and Kristin up before the sun eating breakfast before their shopping spree.
“Morning.” Emily mumbled. “Is there coffee?”
“Hey Em! Did you change your mind about coming with us?” Kristin asked.
Emily shook her head. “No, actually I fell asleep on the couch.”
“With AJ?” Leighanne winked at her. “Brian told me you guys were talking last night.”
Emily sighed. “No, I most certainly did not fall asleep with AJ. But yes, we did talk. Barely.”
“Oh no! What happened?” Kristin asked, pouring Emily some coffee.
“I think he broke up with me.”
“You think? What did he say?” Kristin pried.
“He said he didn’t feel he had a reason to stay and that I was the one who pulled away first and that I have too much baggage for him to handle.”
“That little son-of-a-bitch!” Leighanne muttered.
“Leigh!” Kristin exclaimed.
“What? He loves her. We all know that. What the hell is his problem?”
“Maybe he loves her too much.” Kristin guessed. “I mean, he loves her so much that he’s afraid of screwing it up, so he just goes ahead and screws it up to get it over with.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.” Emily said.
“Yes it does, it makes perfect sense!” Leighanne said. “Don’t worry, Em. AJ can’t stay stupid forever.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not going to wait forever.” Emily muttered into her coffee. “Sometimes I just wish I could go back to my simple life of a nanny. I’ve been so caught up in AJ and getting beat up and all this other crap. Life was much easier when it was just Baylee and me.”
Kristin and Leighanne left soon after, leaving Emily sitting in the kitchen to think. Thinking alone is not a good idea for a woman who’s just been battered by her drunk ex-fiancé and then dumped by the only guy she’s ever really been loved by. Suddenly, she felt angry. Very angry. She wanted to beat someone up badly. Since no one was up for her to beat, she decided to settle for the punching bag in Brian’s gym. At first she felt a bit stupid until she started to picture Joe and AJ and before she knew it, she was devouring the punching bag, hitting and kicking it as hard as she could. She was still going at it thirty minutes later and didn’t even notice the shadow standing in the doorway.
“I hope that wasn’t my head you were bashing in.” Kevin said when she stopped.
Emily nearly jumped out of her skin. “You should know better than to sneak up on a recently attacked woman! And no, yours was not one of the heads I was punching.”
Kevin chuckled. “Good. Kristin tells me all the time I’m too damn intimidating, I was afraid I’d made you mad yesterday.”
Emily shook her head. “No, you were just concerned about me. I don’t blame you. What are you doing up, anyway?”
Kristin woke me when she got up and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I thought I’d get up and enjoy the sunrise and then try and work off all that turkey I ate yesterday.”
“No offense Kevin, but you could stand to put on a little turkey weight.”
“So whose head were you bashing in?”
“Well, I started with Joe and finished off with AJ. But you probably don’t want to hear about that.”
“Why wouldn’t I want to hear about it? I’ve wanted to bash AJ’s face a number of times myself!”
“I don’t know, he’s your friend, you probably just don’t want to be caught in the middle.”
“Emily, I’ve seen the way he looks at you. I’ve seen the way he’s mellowed out since you’ve been in his life. I would demand to be in the middle to keep you around him because you’re good for him. And from what I hear, he’s good for you too. So why were you picturing his head?”
Emily lay down on the floor, exhausted. “Things just aren’t working out between us. He’s leaving this morning. He says he has nothing to stay for. Same old stuff. Kristin thinks he loves me too much that it’s easier for him just to screw it up now.”
Kevin nodded, pondering what he just heard for a moment. “You know, she’s probably right. AJ’s used to things getting screwed up lately. Maybe deep down inside that’s what he’s doing. It doesn’t make it ok though. You want me to talk to him?”
Emily started laughing. Kevin was thoroughly confused.
“What did I say?”
“It’s nothing; we just had a little inside joke about you going to talk to him. I guess you had to be there.”
Kevin smiled. “Yeah, I do kind of have the reputation of sticking my nose in. So you want me to or not?”
“No, I think Brian and Leighanne are probably already plotting anyway. I’d just rather let it go.”
“Alright then. Want to go for a jog with me?” He offered.
“Yeah, that sounds nice. Is the sun up yet?”
“Alright, let me go change and I’ll meet you outside!”
Kevin put Emily through her paces, jogging 3 miles before he relented and headed home. They got back just in time to see AJ loading his suitcase in the trunk.
“Unbelievable.” Emily muttered.
“Morning AJ!” Kevin hollered. “Taking off already?”
“Yeah. Time to go. It was good to see you, man.” AJ said, giving Kevin a “manly” hug.
“Yeah well, you’ll see me in a few more days to start preparing the ball. Emily, you’re coming aren’t you?”
Emily shrugged. “I’m not sure. No one’s really invited me; I think I might be watching Baylee or something.”
“No, I’m pretty sure he’s going to Lexington with his grandparents for awhile.”
“Oh.” Emily said, looking down at the very interesting driveway.
“Well, I’ll be inside. See you later!” Kevin said, winking at Emily as he walked back in the house.
“So…” Emily started, not sure if she should say anything.
“Don’t.” AJ said.
“I don’t want to talk about anything right now. I’m sure I’ll see you around.”
Emily stood there open-mouthed until he was gone.
Kevin was waiting for her when she finally went back inside.
“So, do you need a punching bag or not?” he asked.
“I just don’t think the punching bag is going to cut it.” Emily said, going upstairs to the solitude of her room.
Leighanne and Kristin insisted Emily fly down to Orlando with them for the ball.
“Come on, Em. You need a vacation! Besides, your eye looks much better, by next weekend no one will even notice it!” Leighanne pleaded.
“You’re right. I need a vacation. BUT NOT WITH AJ!”
“Who cares about him? You don’t even have to talk to him and you’ll only see him that one night. Just think! You can go to Disney World or the beach or shopping! We’ll have loads of fun.” Kristin tried.
“Yeah, we can even have a girls’ night out tonight!” Leighanne said.
Emily realized that there was no arguing with them, and the idea of a beach did sound appealing to her. “Ok fine. I’ll come. But you’re going to have to take me shopping when we get there. I have nothing to wear!”
Kevin and Brian were informed when they checked into their hotel rooms later that afternoon that they were going to be solo tonight, they were taking Emily out on the town, probably getting drunk and crashing with Emily to watch chick flicks.
The three girls all got dressed up and met in Emily’s room to plan where they were going.
“Oh! I got it!” Kristin said. “Let’s go to G-Spot!”
“I can’t believe I forgot about that place! We should totally go there!” Leighanne said.
“G-Spot? That sounds like a strip club!” Emily said.
“No! It’s a really hot bar downtown. I promise; no naked dancers!” Kristin said.
“Ok then. Although, I wouldn’t have minded naked dancers.” Emily laughed.
The ladies arrived at the bar and immediately ordered a round of margaritas, which they all downed within minutes. Kristin and Leighanne dragged Emily out onto the dance floor where they danced together until they were too tired and decided another round of drinks were in order. They continued this pattern until each of them was drunkety drunk drunk.
“Em’ly!” Kristin slurred. “What really happened between you and JA…I mean AJ.”
Emily and Leighanne burst into a fit of giggles.
“I can’t tell you guys! It’s too embarrassing!” Emily said.
“You know what that means?” Kristin said to Leighanne. “It’s about S-E-X.”
“What happened?” Leighanne asked.
“I bet he couldn’t get it up!” Kristin said, hiccupping.
“Huh…I always thought AJ would be great in bed.” Leighanne said, absently.
Emily and Kristin turned to stare at her, wide-eyed.
“What? You’ve all seen him dance! The man sweats sex!” Leighanne defended.
Emily nodded. “She’s right.”
“So was he bad?” Kristin asked. “What was it like?”
“What’s Kevin like?” Leighanne interrupted.
“Leigh! I’m not going to talk about that! Besides, he’s your husband’s cousin!” Kristin said.
“I know that! But come on, look at him! I bet he’s huge!”
Kristin grinned. “I’ve never complained. He’s pretty…adventurous….and that’s all I’m going to tell you!”
Emily giggled. “I knew it! I knew he was huge!”
“So, AJ was bad in bed?” Leighanne said.
“It was AWFUL! I think we were both too nervous or something and then he wouldn’t talk about it…he didn’t even cuddle me when we went to sleep, like he didn’t want me anymore or something…like I was the one who made it bad. Then the next morning, he just…left. So what else am I supposed to think?”
“What a jerk!” Leighanne said, spilling her drink. “Oops!”
“Hey, maybe Kevin can teach him a thing or two!” Emily suggested.
“We need some kind of AJ bashing ritual to help Emily release her anger!” Kristin suggested.
“What anger?” Emily asked, trying to take the shell off of a peanut, eventually giving up when she realized she now lacked the coordination to do so.
“Kevin told me about you beating the crap out of the punching bag the other day.” Kristin explained.
“You people don’t keep anything to yourselves, do you?” Emily accused.
“No.” Kristin and Leighanne said together.
“You know what I used to do in high school when a guy dumped me?” Emily said. “My friends and I would go TP his house. We’d cover all the trees and bushes with toilet paper, saran wrap his car, steal some orange construction barrels and put them in the yard.”
“That’s great! We should do that!” Leighanne suggested.
“Yeah! I know where AJ lives!” Kristin said.
“You guys, I didn’t mean we should do it now!” Emily said. “We could get into trouble!”
“We won’t get into trouble!” Leighanne laughed. “Come on, Em! If it worked in high school, it’ll work now! Girls, finish your drinks and let’s go!”
They slammed down their drinks, paid their tabs and stumbled outside.
“Where’d we park the car?” Emily asked.
“We took a cab!” Kristin laughed.
“Alright then, where’d we park the cab?”
The three drunk women got into a cab that first took them to a local convenience store where they bought bags and bags of toilet paper, shaving cream, silly string and plastic wrap. The cab driver refused to pull up in front of AJ’s house so he dropped them off at the corner of his street. Leighanne led the way as they hiked down the street, carrying all their supplies and trying not to trip in their drunken state.
“This is it!” Leighanne said, stopping so suddenly that Kristin crashed into Leighanne and Emily crashed into Kristin.
“Leighanne, it’s gated! How are we going to get in?” Emily asked.
“Come on, Em! We’ll climb over the fence!” Kristin said, throwing her bags over to the other side. “Give me a boost!”
Emily got down on her hands and knees and let Kristin step on her back to climb over the fence. Leighanne was next to follow.
“How the hell am I going to get over?”
“Follow us, we’ll see if we can get the gate open!”
They couldn’t get any of the gates to open, so Leighanne had another idea. She snuck over to the pool and grabbed a fold-up lawn chair, passing it over the fence to Emily.
“Here! Stand on this!”
Emily took the chair and unfolded it. She carefully stepped onto it and just as she was about to climb the fence, the chair folded up beneath her causing Emily to fall to the ground, her legs stuck inside the chair.
Kristin and Leighanne cracked up, trying to muffle their laughter with their hands so they wouldn’t be heard.
“Are you ok?” Leighanne laughed.
Emily was still laughing. “Did you guys see that? I fell!” Emily managed to eventually untangle herself from the chair and tried again.
“Try standing closer to the edge instead of the middle.” Kristin suggested.
Emily managed to get over unharmed this time. “We’d better get this over with!” she said.
They each picked up their supplies and went to town on his lawn. They wrapped all his bushes with toilet paper, strung it up into his trees all the way to the ground. They sprayed shaving cream and silly string all over the lawn and were in the process of syran-wrapping his car when a bright spotlight was shone on them.
“Hold it right there!” a voice said.
“Oh shit!” Emily muttered.
“Oh my God, it’s AJ!” Leighanne said.
“It’s not AJ you dork, it’s a cop!” Kristin hissed.
“Double shit!” Leighanne muttered.
Before they knew what was happening, they found themselves sitting in the back of a police car with their hands cuffed behind their back. The policeman went and knocked on AJ’s door and spoke briefly with him before they started walking towards the car.
“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!” Emily panicked. “AJ’s coming! Oh my god, I think I’m going to throw up!”
“Emily! Do NOT throw up in the cop car. They won’t like it!” Leighanne said.
The three ladies looked very guilty as AJ peered in through the window at them. He did not look at all pleased. He walked back towards his house with the cop.
“Oh my god, he’s going to have us arrested! He’s not even going to save us! What an ass!” Kristin said. “Kevin will KILL me when he has to come bail me out!”
“I can’t go to jail!” Leighanne said. “I don’t want to get made into some big girl’s bitch!”
Kristin and Emily laughed. Leighanne didn’t find it at all funny.
“Do you know these women, sir?” The officer asked AJ.
“Unfortunately, I do. Two of them are my friends’ wives, the other one is a friend of mine.”
“Well, they said something about an anger-releasing male-bashing ritual, they weren’t making a whole lot of sense, they’re pretty drunk. I can take them in if you want, book them on public intoxication, vandalism, and destruction of property. They broke one of your pool chairs. We found it on the other side of the fence.”
“Do you have to arrest them?” AJ asked.
“You don’t have to press charges if you don’t want to.”
“Could we just mess with them a little, make them thing they’re going to jail and then call their husbands to come pick them up? I’d really hate to get them arrested; it’ll be all over the papers by morning.”
The officer nodded. “I certainly don’t want to deal with that myself. Alright, I’ll take them down, throw them in the drunk tank but I won’t process any papers on them. You want to call your friends?”
“Yeah, I’ll call them and let them know. Thank you, sir, for being so understanding.” AJ said, as he shook his hand.
“No problem. Every man has to deal with a bitter woman at some point in his life!’