A Reunion (Flash Fiction)

“God,” said Bob, “I don’t even remember how long it’s been.” He turned the wheel and pulled into the parking lot. “How long’s it been?”

Brian shook his head. “Last time I saw anyone was at Alec’s wedding when he married that one bitch.”

Bob laughed. “That’s right. Hell, I didn’t even get invited.” He turned off the ignition and leaned forward in his seat. A neon, red sign said Mario’s Italian Cuisine above him.

“You’re better off,” Brian said. “The whole damn thing was a disaster. It was like a bad omen.” They both stepped out of the car. Wet gravel crunched under their feet. “It rained during the ceremony. One of the bridesmaids was a no-show. That chic’s mother got hammered and went off the deep end.” Brian laughed. “Hell, now that I think about it, you missed out man. It was entertaining.”

“Yeah, sounds like it.” Bob stopped at the entrance to the small restaurant. “Well, Mario’s sure as hell hasn’t changed.” The walls were a yellow stucco stained with years of abuse. A lone phone booth stood destroyed and covered with graffiti near one corner. “And then didn’t she just divorce him six weeks later?”

Brian paused beside him and pulled a pewter flask from his jacket. “Yup,” he said after taking a sip. “Alec is still paying alimony. Poor bastard.” Brian handed the flask to Bob who took a quick swig. “Well, you ready for this?”

Bob shrugged. “We’re all the same, right? Just pot bellies and uglier faces?”

“Just you, big guy,” said Brian with a wink. He pulled open the door, and they both headed in.

Mario’s was dead for a Saturday night, which was nothing different. It was a wonder the place was still open for business. A small crowd was gathered in the back in a very familiar booth. The group waved them down. “God,” Bob said. “Even the inside’s the same.”

“There’s Susanne,” said Brian. “She’s looking good. I guess she’s single now.”

“I know,” said Bob as he weaved around a table and chairs. “I saw her status on Stupidbook.”

“Stupidbook? Is that what you call Facebook?”

“Yup,” Bob said with a chuckle.

Brian laughed. “My god. Everyone’ll be so impressed by how much you’ve grown!”

When they reached their friends, it was all hugs and cheers, kisses and handshakes. They all settled into the booth, a booth that seemed to be the only thing that suffered from a small bout of shrinkage. They ordered a round of beer which came out right away. Brian made a classy toast, and they all drank. They showed off pictures and caught up on the basics. Time blurred on by and several pitchers of beer were enjoyed.

“So, Susanne,” Bob said. He leaned against her playfully. “Ya seein’ anyone?”

Susanne raised her eyebrows. “No, Bob. Didn’t you see my post? I’m am official lesbian.”

“Well hell, Susanne, that don’t bother me none. I’m an open minded guy.” Bob finished the rest of his drink. “I’m willing to just watch.”

Susanne smiled sympathetically. “Aww, Bob, that’s so sweet. Ya know, maybe I should let you.”

“Yeah?” Bob said. His eyes lit up from the thought.

“Oh yeah,” she said. “After all, I didn’t realize I was a lesbian ’til I had sex with you.”

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