Delayed Luck

“Heads, we get married; tails, we break up.”

I looked up from my freshly painted, puke worthy, pink toe nails and saw that my drinking partner was soberly offering up those odds. It was a cool night by Florida standards. I think Mother Nature liked my visits down to swampsville cause it was always nice when I came down.

“How about heads, we get movie wasted; tails, we get your mom is going to kill me wasted.” I chuckled at my own sad attempt at being funny. If we got lucky, we’d get drunk enough to do something insanely stupid and newsworthy.

“Mm mm,” she shook her head vigorously and, stupidly, I mimicked the action, nearly giving myself a headache. “We’re upping the stakes, remember?” She drawled out.

She grew up in the backwoods of Florida and was unlucky enough to get that red-neck sounding accent. Thing was, on her, it wasn’t annoying. Was cute and when she got really mad, man was it sexy.

Groaning, I sat up. The car hood was not as comfortable as I thought it would be or romantic. I had a few choice words for those rom-coms for giving her that idea. “Come on, Isa. Isn’t it risk enough I let you paint my nails?” Had a few more words to whoever for giving her that one too. Who paints a guy’s toes?

She handed off her beer to me, hopped off the hood, and dove into the car through the open window. It looked like she dove at least. Craning my neck I saw that her thighs down were dangling out while she searched. At five-eight, she had enough height to work with.

“Dime!” She wiggled her way out of the window but not without bumping her head. “Christ,” was my show of concern. She wasn’t hurt though. Didn’t so much as grimace. Isa rubbed the spot, giggling the whole way back.

“How can you be sober yet not?” Isa was the first girl I met who acted like a sober drunk without having a drop of alcohol in her system. Add the liquid courage and she got worse. Clumsy, spontaneous, giggle fits. Girl was nuts but she was my girl.

With a shrug, she took back her beer to wet her tongue. “I’m that special. Here.” She handed off the can again and readied herself for our fate.

The coin was tossed in the air.

Insane, was my first thought; the coin flipped once.

Stupid, was my second; the coin flipped twice then thrice.

Who gives a shit, was my third; the coin flipped on.

And then it landed.

“What is it?” I tried to see but she was hiding it from me. “Move your fat hand.” It was meant to get her to stop blocking my view. Instead she scooted off the hood and just stared at me.

A prickling feeling started in those ugly Barbie nails of mine and spread upwards. My stomach was no better as an uneasiness settled there. If she made me wait any longer I was sure I’d be puking and not because of a good night of drinking. Did I mention we’re not even dating? Been childhood friends for as long as I can remember. I’ve had a crush on her far longer.

“It’s over,” she told me flatly.

“What?” I’m not a romantic or remotely sensitive but those two words paralyzed me. I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing cause she threw the dime at my head. “You say it’s over and I get hit?” What kind of justice was that? No wonder women in power made old geezers nervous.

“Stupid,” she murmured just before adjusting her sweater. Floridians swore anything below eighty was cold. “You’re no longer my friend.”

“Bull!”I had to stop my not so sly ogling. I don’t know when it happened but Isa got curvier. “I’m cut off cause some piece of metal?” She was breaking up our years of bonding over a coin flip. I really should have known better. I was never good at probabilities.

I don’t know why that night stuck with me. Maybe it was how it started or maybe it was that look in her eyes. She was ready for whatever came. It has been four years since. We broke up alright. Instead of being friends, we started dating. We’re exclusive now and tonight, tonight I’m proposing to her the right way. Heads, we get married next year; tails, we get married tonight. Take that probability.

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