43 comments

American Funny LGBTQ+

“Jillian? Jillian—” Jax said tersely, knocking rapidly on the bathroom door. 

Silence.

“Jillian, I know you’re in there. I can smell Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia through the door,” he said firmly. “You need to open this door.”

He crossed his arms and waited. 

“Go. Away.” 

“I’m not going away, Jillian. I’m never going away. We’ve been friends since 3rd grade. We’re going to be friends until the grave.” 

“Well, good. Because you are dead to me,” she replied.

He heard Jillian sniff, then blow her nose. He heard a spoon scraping the bottom of a cardboard container. It usually took Jillian two pints to get herself together on nights like these, but tonight was looking to be a triple Ben & Jerry’s emergency. 

“Jillian. Enough already, girl. Open the door.”

“No.” 

“Jillian, you can’t let this ruin our friend—”

“If you were a friend, you wouldn’t have done it,” she interrupted him, her controlled tone verging on hysteria. 

“I didn’t know I had done it until I had done it,” Jax said, exasperated. He paused. “You cannot be mad at me doing it when I did it before I had known I had done it.”

“Do we have donuts?” she asked.

“Don’t change the subject, Jillian. You cannot be mad at me.”

“I’m doing a very good impression of it, Jax.”

He folded his arms again. Waited for three seconds. Then he rapidly knocked on the bathroom door again.

“What?” she cried. “Leave me alone.”

“I can’t,” Jax said.

“Oh, you certainly can—just like you did at the party!” 

“I can’t leave you alone because we only have one bathroom in our apartment,” he explained.

“Oh,” she said in her normal voice. “Do you have to go?”

“No, not right now,” he said. “But eventually, I’m fairly certain of it. That queso dip at the party was questionable at best . . .” He delicately patted his stomach. Velveeta was the anti-Christ. 

“Just let me know if you need the bathroom, Jax . . . and I will go to my room. All alone.” She sobbed again. 

Jax felt horrible. How was he supposed to know about her and Antoine? 

“Can I get you anything? Another pint of ice cream?” Jax offered. “A pint of Jack Daniels? A cocker spaniel named Jack Daniels? A manual to care for a spaniel named Jack Daniels?” 

He heard Jillian stifle a laugh. He smiled. 

“I’m still mad at you,” Jillian said, not meaning it. 

“How could you be mad at me? I am your oldest friend. Your first childhood friend. We read all of Judy Blume's books together—Remember The Mouse and the Motorcycle? You and I almost successfully trained a mouse to ride my older brother’s G. I. Joe’s remote-control jeep.”

“We almost mortally injured a mouse, Jax. You’re lucky PETA didn’t find out, or we’d be spectacularly canceled. Duct tape and mammals are never a good combination. You really want to bring up that near tragedy tonight? Hasn’t there been enough carnage?”

“That little shit rat bit me. I could have gotten botulism or rabies or SARS.” 

“Just leave me alone, Jax. I’ll be alright. I just need a good cry—”

He left her alone for another three seconds. He knocked on the bathroom door again.

 “And then in middle school we read Judy Blume's Blubber at Mary Christine Epstein’s slumber party? She was the only half-Catholic half-Jew in our school.”

“You can’t bring up Blubber, Jax. That isn’t fighting fair,” Jillian replied, her voice stronger now, coming right through the door. 

“We loved Blubber. It taught us how to avoid bullies and how to bully other students successfully. It was almost a training manual. I mean, what kind of anarchist was Judy Blume? And remember: I’m bitchy Jill Brenner, and you are my rock-solid Tracy Wu . . .”

“I did want to dress up as Big Bird for Halloween every year after that,” Jillian conceded. “I still do.” 

“And remember when we read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret right in the back of the library, eating banana Laffy Taffy? You were the first person who told me that I wasn’t ever going to get my period. I was so upset.” 

This time, Jillian’s laugh wasn’t even muffled a little bit. 

“Look, Jillian. When it comes to relationships, we’ve both fallen in love, fallen in infatuation, and fallen in steaming piles of diarrhea. And if you don’t get out of the bathroom soon, you’ll have to clean up the latter in the hallway after I die from queso-poisoning.” 

“Gross, Jax.”

“What I’m saying here is that there will always be another Antoine around the corner. What did your mother tell us? Men are like buses; miss one? Catch the next.” 

“True,” Jillian said. 

Jax paused.

“I love you, Jillian,” Jax said, running his knuckle around the door handle. “Tonight was just stupid. I didn’t know you were interested in Antoine. I just had fun talking with him, too.”

“You don’t understand, Jax. Everyone loves you,” Jillian said, annoyed at the whine in her voice. “Everyone has always loved you.” 

“It’s true,” he agreed. 

 “At the party tonight, I sincerely thought Antoine liked me. Like he liked liked me. Sometimes I’m tired of just being Jax’s sidekick. Sometimes I want to be Diana Ross.”

“But you are supreme at being . . .”

“Ha. Not funny, Jax.”

“Jillian, it’s not easy being Roxy Hart all the time,” Jax confided. When Jillian didn’t reply, he started to tap dance outside the bathroom door. Badly. 

“So now you're Diana Ross and Roxy Hart,” she said snidely. “Please don’t sing a Chicago medley. I am just not in the mood . . .”

“If you insist!” Jax shouted. “And then those ding-dong daddies started to roar / Whistled, stomped and stamped on the floor / Yelling, screaming, begging for more . . .”

“Jax . . .”

“Jillian, you know you want to . . .” Jax smiled broadly.

Jillian suddenly opened the bathroom door, holding her ice cream spoon up like a microphone. “And we'd say, o.k. fellas, keep your socks up. / You ain't seen nothin' yet!"

Jax leaned in and they both sang together, holding the last note for an impossibly long time: “But I simply cannot do it alone!”

They both dissolved into laughter.

“So, are you up for The Wizard of Oz tonight?” Jillian asked.

“Ooh girl,” Jax replied, shaking his head. “I just can’t tonight.” He put his arm around her. 

“Why not?” Jillian asked. “You love saying: As Mayor of Munchkin City, in the County of the Land of Oz, I welcome you most regally . . .”

Jax affected the munchkin’s accent and finished the line, holding up his index finger. “But we've got to verify it legally, to see, if she, is morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably dead!

Both Jillian and Jax laughed again, tears streaming down both their faces.

“So no Oz tonight?” Jillian repeated, wiping her eyes and hugging Jax.

“Uh, no,” Jax looked sheepish. “Tonight’s not good.”

Jillian pulled back, quizzically. 

“Well, Jillian,” Jax said, smiling painfully at her. “Antoine is coming over in an hour. And . . . there’s no place like home!”



February 15, 2021 00:08

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43 comments

Zilla Babbitt
15:54 Feb 17, 2021

I have some Jax and Jillian to catch up on! I love all their bantering, it's like the two characters on opposite ends of personality come together for the laughs, and it's delightful to read. Velveeta has always been the anti-Christ. You manage to be meaningful and hilarious at the same time. Lines like these: “I’m still mad at you,” Jillian said, not meaning it. Love it, keep it up!

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Deidra Lovegren
15:57 Feb 17, 2021

Hooray! Always a win to get a read from ZB. Thanks for your generosity of time. I appreciate all the warm kudos over these many stories. You are and will always be the Queen of Reedsy.

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Avani G
00:50 Feb 15, 2021

I loved this. This was such a quirky story and Jillian and Jax's relationship is adorable! Keep it up!

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Deidra Lovegren
01:42 Feb 15, 2021

Thanks 🙏🏻

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Avani G
14:16 Feb 15, 2021

No problem (:

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T. Crandia
14:05 Feb 17, 2021

each lines are great! wow

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I.B. Dunn
19:36 Feb 17, 2021

Sometimes late at night when it's just me lying in bed I start to remember the stories I've written and how good I think they are. In those moments I believe myself to be a talented writer. Then I read your stories and I see how far I have to go. You write as if the story was there all along you are just releasing it to the world. When you write serious, I think, when you write sad, I cry, and when you write funny I laugh and I love to laugh. I guess what I'm saying is you are professional grade, top shelf, the creme de la creme and I'm...

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Frances Reine
14:49 Feb 15, 2021

I literally cannot express how much I can't get enough of these two.

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Deidra Lovegren
16:36 Feb 15, 2021

J & J are fans of yours as well :)

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K. Antonio
12:53 Feb 15, 2021

This was just adorable. I enjoyed how this story is another facet of Jax and Jillian's friendship, but also how it doesn't require someone to read the other stories based on these characters to understand this piece. It was humorous, the beginning had me laughing and I thought that the ending was great. I love the scenery and where this entire conversation took place. The characters are so developed and they really feed off each other!

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Deidra Lovegren
13:18 Feb 15, 2021

Thanks, K! I often think a few of my characters are more authentic to me than some people in my life...haha I’m actually jealous of J&J. How nice to have a ride-or-die buddy for life 😀

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Phoenix Hawkins
05:39 Apr 07, 2021

Aww, this one was actually pretty sweet. It was awesome how the conversation gradually transitioned to "you are dead to me" (a quality roast, by the way), to both of them belting show tunes at the top of their lungs. There was some really good banter sprinkled throughout, as well -- the Jack Daniels rhyme, the love/infatuation/diarrhea lines, Jax being upset about never getting a period (certainly NO need to be!), and "Men are like buses: miss one? Catch the next." I honestly don't know how you come up with such gold. Do you plan on writing ...

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Deidra Lovegren
14:41 Apr 07, 2021

I will probably come back to visit Jax & Jillian a few more times. I am envious of their relationship.

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Phoenix Hawkins
21:40 Apr 07, 2021

Incredible! Can't wait to see what else you dish up.

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03:21 Mar 15, 2021

“Can I get you anything? Another pint of ice cream?” Jax offered. “A pint of Jack Daniels? A cocker spaniel named Jack Daniels? A manual to care for a spaniel named Jack Daniels?” I was laughing so hard at this part, Deidra. Reminded me of, "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plains." I love the humor and wit you've given the characters in this story. I needed a good laugh and a smile tonight, so thank you for supplying that!

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Deidra Lovegren
11:29 Mar 15, 2021

Mallory! Thanks for the great comment — we aim to please, or at least make you chuckle. There are a total of four Jax & Jillian stories - as I’m totally envious of their friendship. Everyone needs a little Jax in his or her life. Thanks 🙏🏻 for the moral support. Yay 😀

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Deidra Lovegren
11:30 Mar 15, 2021

Mallory! Thanks for the great comment — we aim to please, or at least make you chuckle. There are a total of four Jax & Jillian stories - as I’m totally envious of their friendship. Everyone needs a little Jax in his or her life. Thanks 🙏🏻 for the moral support. Yay 😀

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Ellie Yu
20:02 Feb 23, 2021

You write as naturally as breathing. I highly enjoyed reading the dynamic between these two characters. Their bickering, their banter, and of course the reconciliation. This story flows so well. It’s amazing :)

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Deidra Lovegren
20:05 Feb 23, 2021

High praise, Ms. Yu. Thanks for dropping by and reading the 4th Jax & Jillian story. I took a break this week since the prompts are . . . not exactly thrilling. J&J will be back under more favorable climbs. All the best. Thanks for your kindness.

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Phil Manders
13:04 Feb 16, 2021

Hi Deidra Another good one, well done you. You keep things so simple. It makes it more believable. A real art!

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Deidra Lovegren
14:49 Feb 16, 2021

Hi Phil - I'm having fun with these two characters. I'm certainly not creating any literary masterpieces, but sometimes it's more important to enjoy the process. My best to Thurston, the scallywag :)

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Phil Manders
20:06 Feb 16, 2021

Thurston’s been grounded. Just for being obnoxious.😁

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Deidra Lovegren
21:17 Feb 16, 2021

He's a bit of a twat, that Thurston

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Phil Manders
21:48 Feb 16, 2021

Eloquently put. Couldn’t agree more.

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Kay Stephens
19:22 Sep 29, 2021

This story is absolutely fantastic, but can we talk about the Blubber references? I loved that book when I was smaller, and reading the mentions made me laugh so hard! Good job :)

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Deidra Lovegren
19:26 Sep 29, 2021

Judy Blume got me through middle school. If you like Jax & Jillian -- I have like five shorts on Reedsy and my website: https://sites.google.com/view/deidralovegren/home I'd love to write them up for a series. They crack me up :)

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Anou S
00:45 Feb 26, 2021

Wow! I love all of these J&J stories- they remind me a bit of the Reginald stories by H.H. Munro!

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Fawn Marshall
22:16 Feb 24, 2021

I love the J2 dynamic so much <3 Antoine has no idea what he's getting into...

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Deidra Lovegren
22:24 Feb 24, 2021

Antoine won't be around long. Jax gets bored too easily.

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Fawn Marshall
03:46 Feb 25, 2021

Hope Antoine at least realizes he was, however briefly, touched by greatness. Literally and figuratively.

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Cathryn V
05:37 Feb 22, 2021

Funny, good dialogue, sweet. Love these characters!

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Lauren Pagano
22:59 Feb 21, 2021

Okay I completely loved this! Especially the "men are like buses" line! Amazing 😂

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Ashley Fortier
17:55 Feb 20, 2021

This is amusing and very realistic! I like your writing style. I also wrote for this prompt and the link to mine is: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/81/submissions/55904/

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Grace Leah
17:04 Feb 20, 2021

This was such a delight to read. I actually cracked up at "how to bully other students successfully". I also didn't know that these are recurring characters in your stories, but it was still enjoyable to read as someone who hasn't read anything about them before. I look forward to when you post next!

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Deidra Lovegren
18:24 Feb 20, 2021

Yep. This is a 4th Jax & Jillian story in a row. I just can't quit them :)

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Tom .
23:27 Feb 18, 2021

Amazing. I have the two characters from 'The Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt' in my head. This is the best one yet. Thank you.

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Deidra Lovegren
23:44 Feb 18, 2021

Yay 😀 Thanks for the comment and encouragement 😎

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Echo Sundar
17:19 Feb 16, 2021

Love this story! I love Jax and Jillian it was hilarious to hear about their past such an amazing story and a great use of the prompt!

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Deidra Lovegren
17:22 Feb 16, 2021

YAY -- Thanks for the feedback. Always fun to write these two.

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Nancy Drayce
07:55 Feb 15, 2021

The part about the bathroom at the beginning was very funny! This story is really good. Their friendship is very believable and sweet. I had a smile on my face the whole time while I was reading! 💙🌟

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Deidra Lovegren
08:19 Feb 15, 2021

Yay!! On Valentine’s Day — that’s exactly what I was going for. 😀 May we all have a friendship like Jax & Jillian.

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Nancy Drayce
08:21 Feb 15, 2021

Yes! They are so sweet! You did an amazing job portraying their true long friendship! 😊

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The Cold Ice
03:58 Feb 24, 2021

Wonderful poem .keep writing.

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