Should’ve Taken A Left

“Where did you say he was from,” asked Rachel?

“Albuquerque,” said Meghan.

“And what’s he doing here?”

“He’s in the Coast Guard. Wilmette Harbor.”

“Who does he know here?”

“I don’t know. And I don’t care.”

“Why don’t you go talk to him,” ushered Rachel?

“Me? No. I couldn’t,” said Meghan.

“Why not?”

“Look at him. He’s just…look at him.”

“He’s just a guy. I mean, look at that terrible mustache.”

“I think it’s sexy.”

“No, you don’t”

“I do. Look at all of him. And look at his belt buckle. I bet he rides horses.”

“He’s like 20.”

“So. He puts all these Glenview boys to shame.”

“I’ll give you that.”

Rachel and Meghan stayed in the corner of the party. Rachel scanned the room. Meghan stayed fixated on the mysterious guy with the mustache and wooden belt buckle. Susan’s parents were gone for the weekend, and she usually threw lame parties. Rachel and Meghan almost didn’t go. But word around school was that a hot guy from out of town was going to be there, and the word wasn’t wrong. Meghan kept starring.


“Do you want another beer,” asked Rachel.

“No, I’m fine.”

“So what’s Albuquerque’s name?”

“I don’t know, but I bet it’s something manly like Ace or Hunter.”

“Oh gross! If his name is Hunter I’m leaving.”

“Why? I like Hunter.”

“His name isn’t Hunter.”

“Whatever. I’m calling him Hunter.”

“Well don’t look now, but Hunter is looking over here.”

Meghan turned bright red and instantly looked at her feet.

“You’re ridiculous. I’m going to get another beer.”

Rachel walked away. Meghan followed. They walked into the backyard and got in line for the keg. Susan was sitting in the gazebo, smoking a joint, with Brian and Stephanie. They all had 3rd-period biology together.

“Will you get me one,” asked Meghan?

She handed Rachel her cup before she could say no, and walked toward Susan. Rachel scoffed and mumbled under her breath.

“Hey, Susan. Great party!”

“Oh hey, Meghan. I’m, uh, surprised you came.”

Susan reached the joint towards Meghan. Meghan took it but didn’t take a drag. She nodded at Brian and Stephanie and then handed the joint back.

“So, who’s that new guy,” asked Meghan?

“Um, what new guy?”

“That guy from Albuquerque.”

“Oh, that’s my brother’s friend. He’s so old. It’s kinda creepy, right?”

“Yeah. Super creepy. But, um. What’s his name?”

“I don’t know. Ask my brother. Why?”

“Nothing. I don’t know. Rachel was curious.”

“Oh. Yeah. Ask Jeremy.”

“Okay. Great party!”

“Yeah. You said that.”

“Um. Okay. Bye.”

“Bye,” snarked Susan. Stephanie chuckled.

Meghan walked back to Rachel in the keg line.

“What a bitch,” said Meghan.

“Who? Susan?”

“Yeah. Total bitch.”

“What did you find out?”


“Nothing? Guess you’re going to have to go talk to him now.”


Rachel pumped the handle as Meghan held the tap in her cup.

“Tip it, or it’s gonna be all foam,” said Rachel.

Meghan tipped the cup. She poured their beers and handed off the tap. They walked back toward the house, but the back door was bottlenecked.

“You know what you need to do,” said Rachel.


“You need to just walk up to him and say, ‘My name is Meghan Madison, and I want to kiss your ugly mustache and take off your hideous belt buckle and show you how us Glenview girls do it”

“SHUT UP,” Meghan turned and punched Rachel in the arm.

As she turned back she ran into somebody at the door so hard she got knocked to the ground. When she looked up, time stopped. Orchestra music started to play. It was him, standing above her. He reached his hand out. She took it, softly to feel the strength in his grip as he lifted her to her feet. He looked at her. She stared at him so deeply she didn’t blink.

“Sorry about that,” he said.

“Hey, I’m Meghan,” she said.


“Shut up!”

“Excuse me?”

“Nothing,” she said.

Meghan looked at Rachel. Rachel rolled her eyes. Meghan turned back.

“I like your belt buckle,” she said.

“Oh my God,” Hunter exclaimed. “You made it!”

With that, a tall blonde walked up behind Meghan. She jumped into Hunter’s arms. They kissed. She let go of Hunter.  The blonde looked at Meghan.

“Oh, this is, uh…”


“Yeah, Meghan. Sorry about that Meghan.”

“Oh, don’t worry…”

Hunter slapped the blonde on her ass and grabbed her by the hand. They skipped off into the backyard toward the keg. All Meghan could do was watch.

“Susan throws the lamest parties,” said Rachel.


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