Ashley, Jen, and a bunch of our other friends from college put together a little congratulatory party for me at one of our favorite dive bars. They serve plastic pink elephants in your margaritas, what’s not to like? Peter came of course, and even Bill, albeit begrudgingly.
“Have you decided whether or not you’re going to use your real name?” Bill asked.
“I haven’t, but I assume you think I shouldn't.” I slurped my margarita.
“Actually, I thought about it,” Bill said. “I wrote some pretty lame stuff at the beginning of my career, and it never hurt me. If anything, it helped me.”
I gave the old poop a hug for that—I know he was worried this wasn’t the best move for my career, but he was at least hiding it better now.
Bill left after that, and I stood on my tip-toes looking over the crowd for Peter. He was talking to Jen—they were by far the two tallest people in the bar.
“Hey guys,” I said, once I’d muscled my way through the bar area. Jen was laughing, her hand on Peter’s shoulder.
“Josie, hey,” Jen said. She turned so that she and Peter stood side by side, resting her elbow on his shoulder and leaning on him. As if they were the couple and I was the one intruding on their conversation.
“Having fun, Jen?” I asked. It wasn't that I was worried, but it was a little annoying to watch her openly flirt with Peter, who I triumphantly noted looked uncomfortable, rather than flattered.
“Yes! Peter was just telling me about his parents’ place on Nantucket,” she hiccupped. “It sounds amazing, so much less of a scene than the Hamptons. We should all go sometime!”
Peter slipped out from under Jen’s arm and hooked his arm around my waist. “Actually, I was going to ask Josie if she wanted to go a few weekends from now to celebrate her new gig.” He took a swig of his beer and smiled at me.
“I’d love that,” I smiled up at him. Jen hiccupped again.
“That’s so cute!” Jen clapped her hands together. “He’s so great, Josie, you’re so lucky.”
“I’m getting another beer.” Peter set his empty down on the ledge behind us. “Want some water for those hiccups, Jen?”
“A margarita would be better,” she purred. Ugh! Thankfully Peter pretended not to hear her. The last thing this girl needed was a margarita.
“Oh my god, Josie, he’s so hot, and so nice! You’re so lucky,” Jen said.
“You said that.” I sipped my margarita, hoping it would quell my irritation.
“You are though,” Jen’s lower lip started to tremble. Crap. “Why can’t I meet a guy like that?”
I frantically searched the crowd for Ashley. When I spotted her, I made eyes at her and jerked my head in our direction.
“You will, Jen!” I tired to keep my voice chirpy. I could not handle beer tears right now.
“You’re so lucky,” she said again. She jabbed her fingers in her eyes and I watched as tears slipped out from underneath them. People were staring.
“Hi girls!” Ashley was standing in front of us, a big fake smile on her face. Bless her soul. “Jen, come on, none of that.” She reached out and took Jen by the shoulders. “You’re going to ruin your make-up!”
Peter appeared with a plastic cup of water for Jen. “What the hell?” he whispered in my ear.
“Thanks, Peter,” Ashley said. “Jen and I are going to go to the bathroom.” She gripped Jen’s elbow and steered her away so I could enjoy my party. This is why I will always defend Ash to the death.
“Um, wow,” Peter laughed.
“Yeah, she’s kind of a wreck right now.” I rolled my eyes, trying to keep it light. “But Nantucket sounds so great.”
“Yeah?” Peter asked. He pulled me close with his free hand and whispered in my ear, “We’d have the whole place to ourselves.”
“Just tell me when and I’ll be there with my preppy lobster pants on.”
We decided to go this weekend. Nantucket is a pain in the arse to get to, but aside from that, I’m so excited for our weekend getaway. In the meantime, trying to figure out what to do about Jen. My patience with her is wearing thin.