It could have been pouring just as hard over the black leather stool Dawn sat in as it was outside the walls of the bar, but she wouldn’t have noticed. Her own storm clouds tumbled and coalesced in her mind as she brooded over the night’s events. Phil’s emotional affair had been over for months, but the never ending reminders, the lies and unceasing catty stabs directed at her were beginning to weigh too heavily on her decision to let it die. They talked at length about the problems leading to his near-physical indiscretion. Phil insisted that there was nothing more to discuss and they agreed it was over; their problems worked through, though she couldn’t dismiss the thought that more could have been done to stop it before it had gotten out of hand.
Another Facebook update was discovered by a random third party causing her to once again boil over. The bitter rage on her tongue tasted of bile. This was the third time in two months that one of the bitches had done something to break the silence they hoped would finally be permanent.
“I need to get out for a while,” she hissed.
“Do you want me to go with you?” Phil hated that the whole ordeal caused such lasting distrust and scarring.
“No. I’ll be fine. I just need to unplug.”
“Please be careful. It looks like all hell’s about to break loose out there.” Obvious concern washed over his face as he looked at the darkening skies.
Dawn sat at the bar as properly as any fourth generation Southern woman would in public. Her porcelain smile stayed slight and unwavering. Her voice firm but toned down as she ordered her drinks. After her third Johnnie Walker and Schweppes in an hour, the bartender had inquired if everything was alright. The channeled glare he received for an answer caused him to abandon the inquiry. The next round was on the house.
Phil paced as he thought. There was no getting around the fact that he had been played for a fool. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, he had placed a lot of trust in the pair. Both seemed eager and helpful as he started his new job. It appeared to him that he had gotten lucky in finding guidance, mentorship, and friends at a time when he was still trying to grasp what he was doing there in the first place. He never expected to be hired by the law firm at all. From the day he started, Phil expected stiff competition from the others. They were all trying to make partner. Never did he imagine to be welcomed as he was.
At first, the two appeared to be genuine, smart, and witty. All traits he appreciated. They were both willing to offer any assistance necessary as he settled into his position. None of his other co-workers had warned him or made mention otherwise, so he accepted it. Little did he realize that both would prove themselves to be conniving, demented harlots.
After months of working closely together and having casual conversation about each others’ families, likes, and dislikes; time, trust, and confidence blurred the lines of their friendships. Flirtation crept in and before long he found himself treading too far outside the boundaries of his marriage. To think these two had received Christmas cards from them only to end up like this made him sick.
Dawn pushed away her tumbler. The dull rustle of the ice snapped her out of her thoughts. She turned her head to the window, staring momentarily at the shimmering reflection of pink neon against the rain. She charged out her tab and executed a concentrated stride out the door to her SUV. It wasn’t until she struggled to find the ignition that she allowed herself to silently admit how drunk she was.
The leftover unease from their earlier talks was now turning into worry. Phil watched the rain out of the living room window pummeling the ground. He wondered what was taking her so long; she had never stayed out this long before by herself. These two had gotten to her tonight. He blamed himself for letting them in his life. He cursed the two for being too psychotic to just let them be.
Dawn struggled to stay between lines she could barely see. Glaring streetlights against sheets of rain made it nearly impossible to keep her eyes on the road. The mechanical hum of the Chevy’s wiper blades only further entranced her in her inebriated state. Under an unintentionally heavy foot, the speedometer crept further to the right.
Lightning flashed, startling both of them. Phil tensed, cursing. Dawn tried in vain to slam on the brakes when she noticed the women running across the street in front of her.
The faces of two women they despised most stared at them both through rain streaked glass.
Image retrieved from https://www.mansibhatia.com/2010/10/mansi-asks-karma/