Sunday, March 5, 2017

Jukebox Moves

Jenn lay awake in her bed underneath the window, the silvery light from the moon sliding in trails down the pane with the fat raindrops. snic-BOOM. Jenn glanced over at her digital alarm clock just as a white flash threw the room into glaring relief. It was 4:27 am, but she wasn’t unhappy with the obscene hour. Thunderstorms were her favorite weather, had been since she was a little girl. She loved their furious power. Reaching up, Jenn cracked the window just a touch to hear the thunder better, and then settled back in to listen and watch. “She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers,” she murmured to herself, the words familiar in her mouth as the lightning once again drove spidered fingers across the sky.
14 hours later, the storm was still raging, battering against the windows of Jenn’s apartment. Jenn hadn’t done much- read a little, tidied up the messes that were left from last week when she was down with a nasty case of the flu, and placed a few calls to pet owners to check in on how their animals were doing- but she was hungry, and she was sick of cooking at home.
I should take Scarlett out to dinner as a thank you for checking in on me last week when I was so sick. Actually, I wonder why I haven’t heard from her today. She always drops by when the weather’s like this.
Jenn threw on something a little nicer than the sweatpants she was wearing and trooped the 10 steps over to Scarlett’s door.
“Yoohoo! Scarlett! You in there?” No reply. Huh. Is she okay? There’s no way she’s out in this, not with how little she likes it in the first place.
“Scarlett!” Jenn tried the door. Locked. Well, it’s not like that’s much of a problem. “Scarlett!” She yelled again. “If you don’t open the door in ten seconds, I’m gonna pick the lock!” That oughta get her moving.
1…2…3…………10. Jenn jimmied the lock and stepped inside.
It turned out that Scarlett was miserably sick with the exact same thing that Jenn had had last week (oops), but Jenn unwrapped her from her blanket burrito and dragged Scarlett out to dinner anyway. She needed a good distraction.
2 hours later, Jenn slowly slid down the side of the jukebox, laughing so hard she couldn’t keep upright anymore. She and Scarlett had finished with dinner quickly, both of them ravenous, and they’d spent the last hour and a half feeding the jukebox with more and more quarters as they tried to one-up each other in a competition of who had the worst dance moves.
Currently, Scarlett was doing some amalgamation of a tentacle wave with her arms, the stanky leg with her left knee, and a hula-hoop sway with her hips. Even better, she was performing each part in slow motion, as she tried to match her movements to the mournful piano cascades of the classical song Jenn had chosen.
“Uncle, uncle!” Jenn wheezed from where she had collapsed on the floor. Scarlett shot a wicked grin her way and kept dancing. “I surrender! I cannot match thy level, O Master of Dance!”
After a relatively serious conversation over dinner, Jenn had felt like they needed some levity, and, with the restaurant entirely empty except for them, they were free to be utterly ridiculous.
Riotous laughter dissolving Scarlett’s faux-concentrated mien, she left off dancing and dropped giggling next to Jenn on the floor. They sat there for a while, catching their breath and occasionally falling back into unprovoked fits of laughter. It’d been an exceedingly long time since Jenn had been anything resembling silly, and she was pretty sure it was the same for Scarlett. Unfortunately, it was getting late, and Scarlett was still sick: time to take her back home.
Sighing, Jenn stood up, and then held out a hand to help Scarlett. “So,” she asked teasingly, “Are we besties now or what?”
Scarlett ignored Jenn's hand and stood up on her own. Hurt, Jenn began to withdraw it, but Scarlett stuck her nose in the air a la Draco Malfoy and, quick as lightning, reached out a pompously serious hand to shake Jenn’s retreating one. “Besties.” She confirmed.
They laughed the whole way home.