Phoibe woke up and her head was splitting, her throat was parched. “I’m hungover…” She realized as she opened her eyes. She moaned loudly and turned to the side. For the first time she regretted having her whole top floor done in glass, the sun was blaring into her face and she had to get up swearing loudly all the time. She had a shower, drank a gallon of water and made herself coffee.She sat at the table on her roof where she always had coffee overlooking the whole town, it should have been a great morning, only if her head wasn’t about to explode… Luckily she had today off, she could not picture herself going to the spa, smiling at customers and worse she could not face Shirley today…
Thinking of Shirley made her feel so embarrassed, she behaved crazily yesterday and it was no wonder she got so freaking drunk last night. “You’ll have to face her…” She said to herself as she took another sip of coffee, of course for Shirley it wouldn’t be that odd, or so Phoibe hoped, she had been acting weird, but she couldn’t do what she intended and Shirley could not, thankfully, read her mind. And what Phoibe absolutely didn’t want to do was ruin her friendship with Shirley, it was at least currently, the most important thing in her life.
Phoibe and Shirley met at school, well actually back in elementary school Phoiebe’s best friend in the entire world was Shirley’s older sister, Melody Gradle. Melody and Phoibe both wanted to save the world, protect the environment and giggle about the boys. And then Melody developed a crush on Phoibe’s brother. Pegasus was a few years older than Phoibe, and he was always her greatest support, Ever since they moved to town it was just the two of them against the world. Their mother was completely and utterly uninterested in raising children, she was all about following her dream and being a famous guitarist so the two of them had been left on their own for the most of the time. It was Pegasus who helped Phoibe get to school, who made her breakfast and lunch, when Phoibe decided to stop eating meat Pegasus would always make something vegetarian for her and she loved him more than anything and wanted nothing more than for him to be happy but when he and Melody started dating she was so jealous. She knew she shouldn’t be, but hated the fact that now it was the two of them and she was the third wheel. She felt like she had lost them both.
That was when she started looking for a new best friend and found Rita Brown and with Rita came her best friend, Shirley Gradle. And soon the three of them would become inseparable, they would talk on the phone for hours and spend time together as much as they could, they even all got the job at the spa so they could work together after school. None of them had really wanted to stay there as long as they did though, Rita wanted to go to space, she always had a fascination with stars, Shirley wanted to be a musician, like her dad only even more versatile and Phoibe wanted to be a scientist that would find a way to save the environment. However, somehow, years later they were still smiling and offering overpriced spa packages
Shirley and Phoibe became very close when Rita started dating Mortimer Goth. This was different then Pegasus and Melody, but still she was glad for her good friend but there was also that nagging feeling, why not me, why her. She did not like Mortimer in particular, he had a wicked sense of humor and would always have something to say about her vegetarianism in a mocking way but she wanted to meet someone to sweep her off her feet.
After Rita and Mortimer started dating she would often find herself in front of the mirror examining her own face. She was not as pretty like Shirley, Shirley was absolutely gorgeous, with her long brown hair and light blue eyes the color of the sky, not as pretty like Rita with her mysteriously deep green eyes and beautiful light skin but she wasn’t bad looking either. She was passionate about things for sure, she wasn’t as smart as her soon-to-be-doctor big brother but she was not stupid either. That said she had to wonder why no boy had taken a liking to her but it was something she kept to herself and instead smiled at Rita and asked her for juicy details of her dates with Mortimer.
But the one good thing that came out of all that was her and Shirley getting close, in part it was because no matter how much Rita tried to keep things between them as they were she had to sacrifice her time with them to be with her boyfriend and it made her and Shirley spend more time alone, in part it was because shortly after all that began Shirley confided in her telling her she too liked Mortimer and in that part of your life confinding secrets like that was what makes a friendship strong.
She always found Shirley pretty, I mean who wouldn’t, she really had all the best features of both her parents but she was never attracted to her in a way she would get attracted to a boy but none of them had a boyfriend in high school so they experimented with each other. It started as a way for them to learn how to kiss so they would be ready once they finally met The One but after a while they would always end up making out when they would get drunk alone.
It was just their fun, pastime activity that ended sometimes after high school and never interfered with their friendship but recently things started to change. Rita got married, not to Mortimer Goth, thankfully, but she had a nice husband, a nice house and twin daughters. Phoibe went to her house, held her little girls in her arms and was, she really was, happy for her friend but inside she was eating herself up. She too had a nice house but she lived alone, and was still very much single, still stuck at her crappy spa job and then her brother who had been so depressed after the hospital cut him loose after his residency knocked on her door and with the biggest smile she had ever seen on his round face told her he finally proposed to Melody.
“Why isn’t this happening to me?” Phoibe would ask herself at night, alone in the bathroom. But she went on with her life as she always did, never losing hope that one day it would happen to her as well. Yesterday was Monday, she always had Monday’s and Tuesday’s off so she would go to the park and play her bass. She started taking music lessons with Shirley and she was pretty good at it. On nice days like yesterday she would go to the park and play her bass to raise money for various environment and animal protection organizations.
Yesterday she was playing pretty absorbed in her music when she heard the clang of change being dropped in her jar and a voice she knew so well, soft and melodic: “Keep up the good work Miss.” She lifted her gaze and saw Shirley’s big blue eyes looking up at her. She had to smile and stop playing. “Don’t stop.” Shirley said making a sad face, it was a sweet song. “It’s too hot.” She complained. “I could have a cup of coffee though.” “Always a step ahead.” Shirley smiled pulling a plastic tray with two plastic coffee containers. Phoibe flashed her a big smile and they sat on a bench talking about everything and nothing, like it always is with longtime friends and as she looked at Shirley Phoibe thought about a man he brought home the other night.