I snapped my cell phone shut as it had gone straight to voicemail again. The seedy sports bar seemed an unlikely place for me this evening. I was still dressed in my work clothes, a silk blouse and pencil skirt accented by expensive jewelry and gorgeous shoes.
I looked at the time, she was 30 minutes late. Even for her, that was pushing it, though she wasn’t nearly as punctual as I. We had been friends for 10 years, roommates for 5. Every so often, one of us would “fall in love” and threaten to move on, but it never lasted. At least not yet.
I glanced at the TV in the corner and watched while the local team lost badly. I heaved a sigh and stirred the ice in my Diet Coke. I waved off the waiter, then checked my watch again.
She had left a note for me on the kitchen table. It read, “Meet me at 7 at our favorite sporty spot”, followed by a giant smiley face.
She could be cryptic like that, but it was one of the quirks I liked best. She always said that if someone didn’t know what she was talking about, then they didn’t know her well enough. I hated to admit that sometimes I didn’t know her well enough.
The noise from the TV changed and someone turned up the volume. The news had broken a story about a restaurant across town that was on fire. I watched with minimal concern as they went through the usual interviews; first the fire chief, then the police chief, then a witness. The camera panned back to the news reporter and I took a deep swig of my Diet Coke.
“We will bring you an update as we learn more. This is Jeanine reporting from Mary’s Sports Bar.”
A giant pit formed in my stomach. The words from her note stuck out now, “sporty spot”. She meant Mary’s.