Blub! Blub! Blub! A tire on Anita’s black Maxima car had become flat. She let the car roll slowly until it came to a stop. The ladies sat in disbelief and dismay at their sudden inconvenience.
“Ah, hell!” exclaimed Gracie. “I have an appointment at one o’clock. How am I ever going to get all my errands finished? Maybe I should call and cancel, I hate going to the damn ob-gyn anyway. I’m all but dried up, and since I ain’t using it, I might as well tie it up.” Gracie was referring to her female anatomy parts.
“Thank God it’s Friday, I needed this day off. I’ve got so many little things to do, mostly studying for my test on Tuesday. The stress of trying to work and school can sometimes be too much.”
“You’ll be all right if you just loosen up some,” said Anita. “You aren’t that old yet, you just act like it. Let’s work on getting my tire fixed.”
“Whew, it’s getting warm out here. I thought it was almost fall,” said Gracie.
“Who knows something or someone might pop up for you? You also have to work on becoming a little more assertive and aggressive. You are almost as fine as me, so you should be able to get the hookup.”
“Excuse me, girlfriend, I am just as fine as you are. I am just busier than you,” Gracie snapped back. “When and if I ever do find a man, we’ll know about it, but that’s not my priority right now, okay.” Gracie sank back in her seat.
“Well, excuse me!” Anita exclaimed as she rambled about nothing, fumbling through her handbag. “Could you please look in my glove box and see if I have any help to get my tire fixed?”
Gracie leaned forward and snapped open the glove box, flipping through several papers inside.
Anita sat fidgeting in the car, uncertain of her next move. Gracie sat up, turned to Anita, and announced there was nothing available to help with their misfortune. The girls, who were best friends, sat in the car and contemplated what would be their next move. Was this a nightmare or what?
“Isn’t this a blimp?” exclaimed Anita. “I don’t have AAA. I let my membership lapse, what are we going to do?”
“Don’t fret, girl, I might have my AAA,” Gracie replied. “Let me check my purse.”
“I don’t know if I have a spare. Oh wait, yes, I do. It’s one of those doughnut tires.” Anita was now sounding a sigh of relief.
It was a nice fall mid-September day with temperatures floating around seventy degrees, and Anita was toting Gracie around, running different errands. This was their way of spending time together with such busy schedules. It was also a rarity that they were able to get together.
“Okay, let’s see,” Gracie spoke. “Here it is, let me give them a buzz. Hopefully it won’t take all day, seems like they are usually busier in the winter.” She dialed AAA using her cellular telephone. With an agitated look on her face, she turned to Anita with the news that they would have to wait forty-five minutes to an hour for a tow truck. They both groaned a huge sigh together. Anita reached forward and flicked on the radio station, rotating the dial to a jazz station. “This is a drag,” she moaned.
Gracie and Anita met as teenagers twelve years ago and, over the years, had grown to become best friends. They did everything together from hanging out at the mall to double-dating, watching movies, often spending the night at each other’s house, listening to music, and sitting up all hours of the night on the phone with other friends or styling each other’s hair. One of their many summers together, they attended the city carnival, having great fun. They once became stuck upside down on the roller coaster. Gracie and Anita embraced each other as sisters and as best friends. They shared secrets and confided in each other every little detail of their lives. They dabbled in their share of alcohol, becoming silly and wild at times. This short-lived fad, while offering them a great euphoric feeling, left them hungover, feeling numb, dull, and dragged the next day. They lived in Springfield, Massachusetts, ninety-three miles southwest of Boston. Springfield is a midsized city located very close to the border of Connecticut; it is named the City of Homes.
After graduating from high school, they grew apart and led separate lives. Gracie married and moved across the country to California for a few years. Anita stayed in Springfield, taking classes at the community college.
As Anita glanced through her rearview mirror, she saw Lamont, an acquaintance, approaching in his dilapidated green Datson 210.
“It looks like help is on the way, so quit stressing.” Anita nudged at Gracie. “You’re the one Ms. Jitterbug,” Gracie shot back.
“Hey,” Anita said as her friend approached her car.
“How are you doing this afternoon, ladies?” he said as he bent down, looking into the vehicle.
Despite the tight spot they were in, a huge smile came over Gracie’s face as she peeked at the beautiful brown specimen that just came into her view.
“Hi,” Gracie spoke coyly at Lamont. Anita gave a quick introduction. “Pleased to meet you,” said Gracie, her face was beaming.
“Pleasure’s all mine,” Lamont answered. “I almost didn’t recognize your car, Anita. What happened? You ladies got a flat?”
“Yes, just as we were going to the Laundromat. Thank God you came along because we were in a tizzy as to what the freak we were going to do.”
Gracie threw on her female charm. She reached for a mint Life Saver from her purse and inserted it in her mouth, twirling it around and sucking on it at first then crushing it with her tongue in the roof of her mouth. Licking her lips and throwing up her hands, suggesting a sign of distress and saying nothing, she focused on Lamont. “Give me ten minutes, and I’ll have it changed for you, all right?” he said.
“Yes, thanks!” the women spoke in unison. The ladies got out of the car, and Anita passed Lamont her keys. They stood and watched as Lamont walked to the trunk and took out the tools he needed to make the change. Gracie thought she’d better call AAA back and cancel the service call she had put in moments earlier. Then she turned and placed full focus on the rescuer that came to save their day.
Lamont was a handsome man, not very tall, just about five ten, with brown eyes and soft wavy hair. His medium build was enough; his allure was mysteriously sexy. Gracie stood in awe as she watched this self-assured man maneuver around the car. Lamont placed the tools on the edge of the curb and proceeded to jack the car up.
“All set,” he said a few minutes later. At this time, it was high noon, and the late-morning sun was beaming down on the threesome as they stood on the side of Middleton Avenue.
As Lamont arose off his knees, he walked to the back of the trunk and then placed the tools inside and slammed it shut.
His eyes then focused onto his new acquaintance.
“Would it be possible if I call you later?” Gracie, pleasantly surprised, looked over at Anita for approval. In turn, Anita turned herself away and gestured thumbs-up. Lamont smiled and grinned.
“Sure,” she said as she smiled with gleam. She quickly scrambled for a piece of paper from her purse, wrote her phone number down, and passed it to Lamont. She also found a piece of tissue paper and asked Lamont, “May I wipe your brow?”
“You most certainly can,” Lamont spoke eagerly as he stepped forward toward her, standing at full attention. His new lady friend had become very appealing to Lamont.
“I must say you smell delicious today.” His eyes were piercing deep into her eyes; she blushed.
“Why, thank you,” said Gracie as she patted Lamont’s forehead. There was certainly a mutual attraction going on between the two of them. Gracie took a step back and thanked Lamont for his help along with Anita.
“Excuse me, may I interrupt, please?” Anita asked. “You two are so corny but cute. I’m sorry to interrupt you, it’s just that I thought we were on a mission. We’ve got to get a few things done today, Ms. Gracie.”
“You’re right, you’re right, Anita. I’m sorry, mister, we are on the clock; so we have to get going.”
“Oh, oh, I’m sorry. You ladies were working?”
“No, we were just running errands,” Anita said. “And we’ve got to get Gracie here settled so I can head to work this afternoon, unless of course you want to take her?” Gracie quickly tapped Anita’s arm and whispered, “Hush,” and motioned her silence in order to hamper her comments to Lamont. He was fully aware of Gracie’s apparent embarrassment caused by her friend, and he smiled.
“Oh, I see, me too. Well, listen, I’ll surely get in touch with you, Ms. Lady.”
Lamont gave Gracie a wink. “Nita, make sure you don’t ride on that doughnut too long, okay? Get that tire fixed soon, or get a new one. I’d hate to see you really stranded somewhere.”
“Have you been up to the Spindle lately? I haven’t seen you,” he asked.
“Nah, you are the one,” Anita exclaimed.