Reed's Reckoning(2)

By: Ahren Sanders

“Hey, bitch, what’s up?” I give her my usual greeting.

“Yo, hooch. You ready for a stimulating and wild weekend with Luke and a bunch of insurance studs?”

We both laugh because the last time I accompanied Luke to a business dinner, I was bored to death. But his company is having their regional conference about an hour away in Ponte Vedra Beach and this pool of men may be thicker. The employees were encouraged to bring their families, so Luke invited Davis and me.

“Yep, almost completely packed.”

“Did you throw in your green wrap dress? It looks amazing and shows off your eyes.”

“Who do you think will be looking at my eyes?”

“Oh, please! There has to be at least a few bachelors going. And you’re right, who wants to look at your eyes if they can stare at your body!”

“Soph, you’re so full of shit. You do remember I have a kid right?”

“So, what? You’re a hot mama! Better yet, you’re a MILF!”

“Shut up you hussy! Now you’re just crazy. Is there a reason you called?”

“Yeah, I’m really sorry, but I’m not going to make the Saturday night dinner. I kind of have a date.”

“You kind of, or you do?” Sighing into the phone, I try not to sound disappointed. The company made arrangements for a children’s activity camp on Saturday night, and I was really looking forward to an adult night with my two best friends.

“I do, but if it means that much to you, I can cancel.”

“No, I think it’s great.”

“Really, Ari, you’re upset. I’ll cancel.”

“Don’t you dare! It’ll be fine. I still have Luke.”

“I know how hard this weekend is for you so you call me if anything happens and you need me. I’ll be there.”

The sincerity in her voice makes me feel like a bitch. She keeps telling me to get out more and try to date, but I’m not interested.

“Thanks. Now tell me about this date.”

She launches into a story about meeting this guy at happy hour and how hot he is. I listen to her telling me all she knows about him while putting the last of my things in my bag. We promise to get together next week and then hang up. I close up my house and head to the main house to get Davis and meet Luke.

Living in a small house on the back of my Grandma’s property is perfect for Davis and me. We still have privacy, but we’re close enough to watch out for each other and she helps me with Davis frequently. I find them in the living room surrounded by toy trucks. Suddenly a weekend getaway doesn’t seem like a good idea. What if she needs us?

“Grandma, I think this is a bad idea.” I whine, hoping she’ll give me an out for the weekend.

“Arianna! I’m not an invalid. Just because I can’t drive after the stroke doesn’t mean I can’t get around. I have friends to help me. It’s time you took that boy for a vacation and quit worrying about me. I have plans for the bridge tournament here this weekend. It’ll be fine.”

“But what—”

“No buts! I’ve talked to Luke and this is the perfect getaway. Go! Between graduation, work, and Davis, you haven’t had a break in a while. Take one! Enjoy the beach, get a tan. Maybe meet a guy and have some fun.”


“I may be old, but I’m not stupid. You need to have some fun. Let Luke and Davis enjoy themselves and you get some rest. Isn’t Sophie coming up Saturday?”

“I don’t think so; she has a few things going on this weekend.” I sit down and run my fingers through my hair. She walks over, sits next to me, and pulls me close.

“Ari, I love you and Davis, but you need some downtime. He’s a pistol. This trip will do you good. You’re not too far away, I’ll call if I need you. Luke needs this too; this business meeting is the perfect excuse.” There’s concern in her eyes and I know she is saying so much more.

“I’m really okay. It’s just another weekend.”

“Honey, the draft isn’t just another weekend. Every year you sink into a depression and it worries us. We know it brings back memories.”

“Jesus! He screwed me and then screwed me over! Why can’t I let it go? We all know I was a stupid twenty-one year old.”


“I’m sorry, Grams, he’s off limits. I want to enjoy the weekend, I really do.”

“I heard Luke met someone?” she says changing the subject.

“Yeah, I introduced them. She works with me and seems cool. I invited her over for dinner and they hit it off.”

“Sweet girl, I hate to say it, but what if they do more than hit it off? He’s a fine catch and one day he may want to have his own family.”

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