Far Away : The Vodka Calling Road Trip

What would he say? What would I say? The questions kept running like a broken record inside my head. I looked over as Jen was scribbling away in her “notebook”. I wonder what she was writing in that thing. We had only been on the road for a couple hours, what could she have possibly documented so far?

“What are you writing in there?”

“Are you ready to stop yet, I’m hungry and my hypoglycemia is starting to kick in”

Way to dodge the question, Jen. Although the trip was my idea, I sensed that she was here for more than just moral support and a quick visit with Alphonso. Call it intuition or whatever, but she was on her own journey. To or from what, I wasn’t sure but I would find out, eventually.

I took the exit headed to downtown Portland. The skyscrapers lined the busy streets during lunch hour. We finally found a little hole-in-the-wall diner that claimed to have “the best shakes in town”. That was the deciding factor. We took our booth seat by the window. An older waitress came and took our order, which of course included “the best shake in town” for each of us.

“Have you even told Freddie you were coming down?”

“No, I haven’t talked to him in almost a year”

“You know you are going to have to text or call him eventually”, Jen replied sarcastically.

“Yeah, I know, I just don’t know what to say. What if he doesn’t even respond?”

“He will…you need to do it soon though. What do you want to get out of seeing him, anyways?”

Now that was a good question. “I don’t know, to be honest. I just need to see him one more time. Maybe for closure, maybe just to see what it’s like between us. Part of me hopes we could just pick up where we left off and another part of me wants to just close the door for good.”

In the back of mind though, I secretly wondered if I did see him, would the feelings come back or would they be null and void. I was hoping for the latter. Amidst my silent thoughts, our shakes and burgers arrived at the table. Jen looked relieved as she sucked down her chocolate shake.

“Have you talked to Alphonso yet?” I asked while popping a fry in my mouth.

“Not yet, maybe we should let him know we will be in town tomorrow” She pulled out her phone and dialed his number.

“Hello?” “Hey, it’s Jen and Christin here on speaker”

“Hey, what’s up you broke down bitches?”

Some things never change.

“We are going to be in town tomorrow…we need to get together!”

“Where are you guys staying?”

“At the Holiday Inn on Monterey Highway—we should do dinner tomorrow night”

“You guys are staying at that cockroach infested place?”

“We are on a budget, besides not all of us can afford Prada bags and Fendi Sunglasses like you!”

“Cheap asses. Text me your hotel room number and we can meet up. I gotta get back to work so hit me up later”

Jen ended the call. I couldn’t wait for the three of us to be together again. It had been at least 13 years. We finished our burgers and shakes. Jen made her way to the restroom as I went outside. It was cold and raining as I pulled my phone out. My fingers shook as I typed, “Hi, I’m going to be in town for a few days. Would you like to meet up for drinks or dinner?” I hesitated on hitting the send button. Maybe this whole thing was a bad idea. God knows I’ve had more than my share of those.

I saw Jen come out as she spotted me on the side of the building. She started to come towards me. It was now or never. I tapped the send button and took a big, deep, uncertain breath.


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