In Genie Us by Glaze72 – Chapter 5: Eaten Out
“Those fucking bitches.”
“What?” Shanaya asked, startled, as they drove to the restaurant in her car. They had left Allison’s at the store, confident that it would be safe. A far cry, she was forced to admit, from the precautions she had to take in Louisville.
Allison laughed bitterly. “Did you hear them? All damn day. Brad this and Brad that and Brad some other damn thing. I knew they didn’t like him, but I didn’t think it was that bad. He’s my fiancée, and they’re acting like they wouldn’t spit on him if he was on fire.”
I know I wouldn’t, she very carefully didn’t say. “All we want is what is best for you, Allie.”
“Oh, I know.” Her best friend slumped back in the seat as they pulled into the restaurant. “It just makes me so damn angry.”
“Well, here’s the thing,” she said cautiously, getting out of the car. She looked across the hood at Allison. “Are they wrong?”
“What? Oh, Jesus, not you too!”
She took a deep breath. Here was her chance. She might never get a better one. “Listen to me, Allie. You know I would never hurt you. And if I’m wrong, you can tell me to go to hell. I’m a big boy. I can take it. But think. You’ve been going out with Brad for months. You’re marrying him in just a few weeks. And I’ve never actually heard you say that you love him.”
Allison stared at her, her mouth hanging wide. Twin spots of color burned high on her cheeks. Abruptly, she turned away, her heels clicking as she crossed the baking parking lot.
Well, she didn’t slap me. That’s got to be a win, right?
She caught up with her as she entered the restaurant, the air conditioning a welcome relief after the stifling heat outside. Shanaya pretended she didn’t see the way Allison’s cold-stiffened nipples poked at the cloth of her t-shirt, making the fabric perk up in cute little tents, though her cock certainly did. Inside her shorts, it set up a low, muted throbbing, a sensual counterpoint to the low rumble of the music.
Shanaya and Allison had been coming to the Boar’s Nest since they were in high school. The barbeque place was the sort of place Brad and his cronies hated — no television, no waitresses in short skirts and with their breasts falling out of their blouses. Just good southern food and, thanks to Allison’s ability to sweet-talk the staff, a beer or two, things like ‘legal drinking age,’ be damned. They had gotten drunk for the first time here, had gotten sick in the parking lot, and had been forced to take a cab home, much to the silent disapproval of two pairs of parents.
In a blink, they were seated at a cozy booth. Shanaya ordered tea, Allison a diet soda, her lips tightening as she stared at her phone.
“Anything from Brad?”
Her friend turned the device over, hiding the screen. “I’m not his mother. He doesn’t need to check in with me every five minutes.”
“That sounds like something he would say,” she commented.
“Don’t you start,” Allison snapped, waving a finger.
She held up her hands. “Fine. I’ll back off. If you can answer one question.”
Allison’s eyes narrowed. “What?”
“What is it that you love about him? Because I’ve been watching you two for over a year, Allie, and I just don’t see it. Granted,” she added with a crooked smile, “I’ve never found men all that attractive. But I can see the way he treats you, and the way he treats other people.” She shrugged. “Sure, he’s funny, sometimes. But it’s always the mean kind of humor, that makes other people feel bad. And yes, he makes decent money, working for his old man, but you can find that anywhere. Hell, as soon as I get out of school I’ll be making twice as much as he does, and that’s only the truth. He’s not hideous, I guess, but I bet you could throw a rock in the town square and hit two or three men who are as good looking as he is.”
“Including you, I suppose?”
She spread her hands. “I’ll let you be the best judge of that.”
The waitress returned with their drinks, and they ordered their food. Shanaya, free to indulge, ordered a full slab of ribs, with fries and coleslaw. Allison hesitated for a second, her teeth worrying at her lower lip as she scanned the menu, then chose the brisket with baked beans and cornbread.
“Those beans will make you toot,” Shanaya joked.
“Girls don’t do that,” she replied primly.
“So?” she asked.
“So…what is it about Brad that you love? What do you see that makes you willing to spend the next fifty years of your life with him? Because I sure don’t see the appeal.”
Allison shook her head, her blond hair framing her face, her deep blue eyes, in a way that made her heart clutch. “I don’t know. I…” she hesitated, then put her hand on Shanaya’s wrist. “Riyad. If I ask you a question, will you tell me the truth?”
“I always tell you the truth.”
A faint smile tucked up the corner of her mouth, but her eyes were bleak. “Do you ever wonder what would have happened if you had ever asked me out on a date? Just once?”
This is it, she realized. The fulcrum. The tipping point. The spot where one life could end and another begin. If she had the courage, just once, to open up her heart to the person who had been the center of her universe since she was in preschool.
“Every day,” she said huskily. “Every day since I was fourteen years old.”
Allison’s mouth fell open. “What?!”
“I love you, Allison Christina Weaver.” She laughed, though she felt like crying, saying the words which had been lodged in her chest for years. “I love you. I’ve loved you since we were running around at the Hobby Horse Preschool, and we both had great big grape juice stains on the fronts of our shirts. I loved you when we were in grade school, going out trick-or-treating as Batwoman and Robin. I loved you when we were sitting next to each other in band in middle school, and I loved you even when you were going out with a bunch of jerks who weren’t fit to shine your shoes.” She wiped a tear from her cheek. “I love you.”
If she expected her confession to light the fires of passion in Allison’s body, causing her to strip naked and jump across the table, she was promptly disabused of that idiotic notion. Instead, a hot flare of anger crossed Allie’s face, and the first words out of her mouth were, “You enormous fucking asshole! Why didn’t you ever say something?”
She blinked. “What?”
Allie poked her in the chest with the end of one manicured finger. “Oh, no. You don’t get to dump a whole lot of I Love You crap on me and then play stupid. Why didn’t you ever tell me how you felt, you tall, skinny weirdo?”
Stung, she shot back. “I’m not skinny!”
“But you are tall. And weird.”
“How is loving you weird?”
“Loving me isn’t weird.” She tossed her head. “Loving someone for how long? Eight years? Ten? Loving someone that long and never saying a damn thing is weird as hell, Ray. You never said anything. Not once. Hell, Brad had me half-convinced you were gay. He said it was the only thing that made sense, since you never made a move on me. I told him to shut his damn mouth. Though if you were, I was going to be pissed as hell at you for not telling me. I thought we trusted each other.”
She swallowed a black laugh. “No. I’m not gay.” Not since this morning, at least. A few tables away, curious eyes turned toward them, and she lowered her voice. “And that’s one more reason your fiancée is a shit. What damn business is it of his, anyway? Can’t you see the way he treats people? It’s just like him, to make crap up about people. And I bet he had a great big smile on his face when he told you, too, didn’t he?” She leaned back in her seat. “Fucking troll. Other people get hurt and he laughs.”
“Right.” Allison’s voice was sharp. “You’re shitting on the man who I’m supposed to marry, Ray. So how about we get back to the subject? Why didn’t you ever tell me the way you felt? Or at least ask me out? At least then we could have gotten over all this teen-age drama when we were still, I don’t know, teens.” She folded her arms over her chest, glaring at him.
Supposed to marry. Not am marrying. From the wreckage of the conversation, she drew a sliver of hope. “It’s kind of hard to explain.”
Her chin lifted. “This place doesn’t close until one in the morning.” Delicate pink lips closed around the straw, taking a sip of soda.” At her waved hand, the waitress came over to pick up her glass for a refill. “We’ve got all night.”
Horribly, Shanaya was reminded of an evening when she had been invited to spend the night at Allie’s house. They had been eight years old then, or maybe nine, and Allison’s mother had fixed stuffed green peppers for supper.
Allison hated green peppers. Hated them with a passion which was almost holy. But her parents came from the old school. You ate what they put on the table and were grateful for it. Being the polite child that she was, Shanaya had eaten her meal, though her mother had been secretly horrified, she learned later, when she found out her Hindu child had been given beef for dinner.
There had been quite a long talk between her mother and Claire Weaver about that, she recalled.
But Allie had refused to eat her meal. She had sat at the table, her arms folded across her chest, and insisted nuh-uh, I am not eating that gross stuff, no way Mom. And so it had begun. A battle of wills. Perhaps her imagination ran away with her, but it seemed to go on for hours. At last she had distracted Allie’s mother while Allison slipped the meal under the table to the family spaniel.
The dog had gotten very sick later that night, which as far as Allie was concerned, proved her point.
“What are you smiling at, Ray?”
She shook her head. “The night Fergus barfed up green peppers, rice, and hamburger, because you were too stubborn to eat it yourself.”
“Green peppers are disgusting. Mom should have cooked us chicken fingers instead. And stop avoiding the question. How come you never told me how you felt?”
She ran a frustrated hand through her hair, surprised to find how short it was. Not that she missed it. It had always been impossible to style, no matter what kind of product she used. “Okay. Listen. I’m going to talk like a nerd here for a little bit. But there’s a point, all right?”
Parent Post: In Genie Us by Glaze72 – Chapter 1: Something Old
- In Genie Us by Glaze72 - Chapter 2: She Dreams of Gene Eh?
- In Genie Us by Glaze72 - Chapter 3: A Change Will Do Her Good
- In Genie Us by Glaze72 - Chapter 4: Morning Would?
- In Genie Us by Glaze72 - Chapter 5: Eaten Out