Fiction Friendship Romance

“Are you comin‘ tonight?” The blonde looked at her best friend, and roommate, from the bedroom doorway. “It’ll be fun. Maybe there’ll be a hot guy there for you to chat with.” The redhead shook her head. “Come awn! You never get out n about! Just one night, Siobhan.”

”Nein, Memphis. Big tests next Monday.” She turned back to her books, flipping the page with one of her dainty hands.

”A week away, Darlin’. Just tonight n I’ll help you study the rest o‘ the week.” Memphis watched as Siobhan chewed the thought over, listing the pros and cons in her head.

”Fine. Only tonight.” Memphis jumped on the balls of her feet in excitement. “I mean it. Only tonight.” Memphis’ blonde waves bobbed up and down as she nodded.

”I’ve got the perfect dress for you! It‘lol make your eyes pop n make your skin glow! You’ll be the perdiest gal this side o’ the Mason-Dixie.” She flew to the closet and sorted through her dresses. Pulling out a sky blue one, she passed it to her roommate. “This one should do it. Now, what bout them shoes? Cain’t go wearin’ them work boots. I’ve—-“

”Memphis!” Her sharp tone, harshness by her German accent, cut Memphis out mid-thought. “Danke. However, ‘‘tis not needed.”

”But, all you own are your Sunday bests, your work clothes, n your business casuals. You gotta have somethang more than that!”

”I do.” Amidst her roommate’s confusion, she stood and walked to her closet. Making her way through her clothes to the far back, she pulled out a mid-calf, strapless dress. Laying it on the bed, she knelt down and reached for a box. Pulling it out from under the bed, she opened it to reveal black, strappy, four-inch heels. “I’m doing this for you, Memphis. I’ve never been to a party, never liked crowds, and never danced the night away.”

”Hells bells! Where’d you get that from?!” Her green eyes looked like they were about to pop out of her head.

”Meine Mutter. It was the one she wore to her first party, where she met mein Vater. ‘Twas given to me a year before she died. She said it gave her confidence.”

”You’ll be the belle of the ball! Lord have mercy on them men tonight!” She gave a low whistle. “If I were lesbian or bisexual, and I didn’t know you from Adam, I’d hit you up in a New York minute!”

Laughing, she shook her head and helped Memphis go through her stuff for the right dress. “How about this one?” She pulled out a mid-calf, strapless, forest green dress. “It matches your eyes. Your black wedges would go great with it.”

She eyeballed it and the one she had in her hand. “You’re a gem, Honey.”

A couple hours later, they were ready to go. “Before we do this, let me get this straight. You will not introduce me to a single guy, or girl. You will not introduce them to me either. You will not offer me anything that you know has alcohol in it.” Memphis nodded her agreement to Siobhan’s stipulations. “Good.”

The sun had mostly faded over the plains. Hues of purples painted the sky while feathery wisps and colored stars danced on high. Linked arm in arm, Memphis and Siobhan made their way to the party.

Flashing lights. Loud music. Voices yelling. Drinks flowing. Bodies grinding. Siobhan found it a lot to take in at one time. ”Never set your cup down!” Memphis shouted to be heard above the noise, and that’s all it registered to Siobhan as, noise.

”You sure about this?” Memphis nodded excitedly.

”Positive, Sweetheart. Just follow my lead n you’ll find yourself enjoying yourself quicker than shit!” Amid the flashing lights and crowded bodies, she quickly lost her friend.

“Gottverdammt!” Her breathing picked up speed as she frantically looked around for her friend. “Memphis?!” She could feel her pulse racing, feel the walls closing in. “Memphis?!” She tried to push and shove her way back through the throng.

”Howdy, Miss.”

“I’m so sorry!” She had finally made her way outside, accidentally rammed into a human wall of muscle, and was gasping for fresh air. She almost fell backwards when she attempted to step away from the stranger. His hands had shot out to her waist in an attempt to steady her. Looking up, she realized that he was about a good foot taller than her. Slowly, she took a step back.

”Fich! You’re tall!” He chuckled as she stared. She felt that she should know him from somewhere, but put away the notion as him just being one of those people that you recognize whether you know them or not.

”Didn’t your momma teach you it’s impolite to stare?” She stammered, at a loss for words. “Relax, I’m pulling your leg, Miss.”

”Right. L-l-look. I’m sorry. I-i-i must go.” His grip lessened before completely being removed. She hurried off before he could say another word. Silently, she cursed Memphis for talking her into this stupid party. Finally, she settled down somewhere in the grass, watching as the moon climbed into the sky. She glanced at the steeelight a few yards away that illuminated her surroundings.

“Miss?” She heard that drawl again and cursed herself for leaving her apartment. ”You dropped somethin’.” She turned to see he was holding her bag. Swiftly, she stood up and retrieved it from him.

”Thank you, Herr.”

”My pleasure, Miss. A gal like you shouldn’t be out here alone.”

”Alone is good. Preferable to stranger. I only came tonight because of a friend.” She could feel his eyes looking her over, from her red curls to the way her dress hugged every curve to the way her heel straps came to the hem of her dress.

For the first time, she had a good look at the tall man before her. Whiskey brown eyes. Jawline that could cut concrete. Dark stubble on his jaw. High cheekbones. Tan skin, almost like that of a Native American. Black, flowing hair. A black Stetson on his head. An open red flannel that revealed a six-pack and a long torso. Straight-cut Levi jeans. A black leather belt with a brass buckle. Leather cowboy boots with wood soles. He was the perfect picture of the rugged cowboy she’d always dreamed of.

“May I?” He guestured to the ground where she just stood up from. She nodded and he sat down, propped one knee up, and slung his arm over that knee. She sat a few feet away from him, ready to stand and bolt at a moment’s notice, “You don’t like parties?” She shook her head. “May I ask why?”

”Don’t know, Herr. Never been to one before tonight. I don’t like people anymore.”

”How does a beautiful gal such as yourself not get invited to parties?” He cocked his head, curiosity causing him to stroke his chin in thought. “Pardon me! Where are my manners? I’m Ahiga. Ahiga Acothley.”

”Siobhan Schäfer.” She smiled in the streetlight. “Ahiga? Navajo for ‘he fights’? Do you really fight?” She felt more at ease with this man, perhaps because he could have hurt her but instead returned her bag. Or maybe because he reminded her of a boy she used to know.

”Yes, Miss Schäfer. I fight for what’s right. Sometimes with my fist. Sometimes with words. Sometimes by letting the law handle it.”

”Mhm…” She saw the peak of a tattoo when the breeze blew his flannel open. “May I see it? Your tattoo?” Somewhat bewildered, he obliged. Inching closer, she saw that it was a heart with a name in it. Abruptly, she stood to go. “I’m sorry. Tschüs, Herr Acothley.” She ran off, clutching her bag to her chest.

“What just happened?” She ran into Memphis. “Are you crying? Who hurt you?! Give me a name and I’ll kill the bastard!”

“Siobhan!” She heard his voice again, calling out to her. “Siobhan! Was it something I said? Did?”

”Nobody hurt me, Memphis. Let me go home, please.”

”Is that Ahiga?” Confusion was clear in her voice. “Why would you be running from him? He wouldn’t hurt a fly?”

”I can’t be around him, Memphis.”

”Bless his heart! If he upset you that badly, I’ll cut his dick off n shove it down his throat.” His heavy footfalls approached as Memphis tried to console a teary-eyed Siobhan.

”I swear, I didn’t touch her. She saw my tattoo and freaked out…”

”The most sensible gal I know freaks out over a tatt? Hard to believe.”

”It wasn’t the tattoo, but the name in the tattoo.” Understanding dawned on his face.

”And you can’t figure out why I’d have your name tattooed on my chest?” He roared with laughter. “You really don’t remember me?” She shook her head.

“Wait just a boot-scooting’ moment. She looked between Ahiga and Siobhan. “You know each other?”

He ignored her. “When you were but a small gal, you always played with me and my brothers. Romped around with the rowdiest of us. You stole my bandana and cowboy hat. Wouldn’t give it back for two weeks straight, said you were keeping it until we got married.”

”She was that gal?!” Memphis looked astounded. “My best friend is the gal you never stopped talk in’ ‘bout?! Ain’t no way, Darlin’! She ain’t that kind o‘ gal. Tell him he’s wrong.” She turned to Siobhan, who was staring hard at the Navajo cowboy before them.

”Gut Gott!” She shook her head. “How did we meet then?”

”That’s easy, Siobhan.” His smile had to be the size of Texas as memories of old fondly shown in his eyes. “You were mad because your momma sent you to the streets to play instead of letting you play with the fillies. You were throwing stones at trees, skipping them on the lake, and kicking up a storm of dust with your bare feet. I found you while looking for a place to hide while my brother counted. You showed me a hollowed-out tree and joined the game, seemingly forgetting that you were mad at your Momma. Before we parted ways that evening, you kissed me by the lake and told me not to tell.”

He chuckled and looked at Memphis. “Maybe you should take Siobhan back to the country where the horses roam, rivers flow, and skies are endless. See just how much she changes from the proper, studious lady she is now.”

”Siobhan, if you don’t dance the night away with this fellow, I will personally kick your ass to Texas n back.” She nudged her friend towards the guy. “I want details tomorrow.”

She walked off, leaving the two alone. “That was…” She struggled to find the right word. “This is insane. Crazy. That doesn’t explain why my name is tattooed on your chest.”

”Because I’ve never loved anybody else. From the time we parted ways ten years ago, I knew there’d be no one else. It was my way of saying that you were the only gal who’d stolen my heart.” He pulled her to him and wrapped his arms around her waist. Gently, he brushed her red curls away from her face and kissed her slowly.

July 28, 2021 18:12

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This is such an interesting story. I say that because no genre sticks out to me, it blends with quite a few (definitely a good thing). Your writing style makes the words flow. Once part I particularly loved were the short sentences, moving the story forward neatly, not paying attention to the contents of the sentences--and not really caring anyway. An example of that style is this line: "Flashing lights. Loud music. Voices yelling. Drinks flowing. Bodies grinding." It's so short, but it gives me such a clear picture of the scene. The ch...


E.C. Nickelson
23:15 Jul 28, 2021

Aww shucks! Thanks! Usually, I find myself writing some form of crime or romance, but then there’s times where I have no clue if I’m even going for a specific genre, especially with my short stories. However, I’m glad that you enjoy it. Really? That’s not something that hear too often from people other than my English teachers, well, and one time from my German teacher. And since my Spanish teacher was also my 10th grade English teacher too, I’m not sure if that counts. 😂 I’m glad that you could tell who was speaking. It used to be that ...


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