The Reception

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


A very long short story of two friends that go to a wedding reception of another friend...3,100 words...

Submitted: August 18, 2018

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Submitted: August 18, 2018

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“The Reception”

 

They had been

best friends since

grade school

the seating charts

in the class rooms

were all alphabetical

at their school

so Alan and Brooke

always sat next

to each other

now in their

twenties

they still find

themselves

sitting together,

lots of the people

in their circle

of friends

were getting married

so they often

went to these

events together

Brooke could easily

get a date

if she wanted

Brooke could easily

get most anything

she wanted

and Alan

well he was

funny

he had that

going for him,

today was a

wedding

reception for a

friend

but not a really

close friend

but here they

were

all the same

Alan watched Brooke

as she flowed

through the people

with her own

style of grace

she always made

such a smooth

entrance

to these things

as he clunked

around the room

bumping into

tables

knocking over

chairs

while she just

swam

into the crowd

of people

pausing

every now and

then

to square up

a smile

or to inject

a little life

in to a slow

moving

conversation,

as he stood

staring at the

chocolate fountain

at the end

of the dessert

table

unable to decide

what he wanted

to stick under

its rich waterfall

of flavor

he had seen

a couple of

people

stick pieces of

cauliflower

and other assorted

vegetables

through the mocha

colored waves

causing him to

shutter

in disgust

is there not

some law of

buffet etiquette

against such a

foolish waste

of liquid pleasure,

he looks across

the cheese platter

which is neatly

divided up

into sections

all with color

coded tooth picks

holding down

chucks of cheese  

none of which

he could pronounce

that your suppose

to match

with a deli meat

harpooned to a

cracker

with the

corresponding

colored plastic

swords,

he takes another

glance

in her direction

he can see

her

holding court

over five

teenage girls

all wide eyed

and leaning forward

towards her

dying to hear

the next word

that drops from

her lips

he wonders what

kind of privy

information

she is dishing

out

to the girls

that has all

five

in a state of

suspended

animation,

he decides to

go against

the grain

sticks the cheese

with the red

tooth picks

on to meats

with blue and

green swords

and fills a

champagne glass

full of liquid

chocolate

so he can

dip things

into it at his

leisure,

he finds table

number seventeen

spreads out his

bounty

and passively

listens

to the surrounding

conversations

going on around

him

hoping for a

little

casual entertainment

in one of them

to help pull

him through

the next few

hours

of a brutally

boring reception

complete with a

never ending

80’s sound track

which he is

hoping to

understand

one day

why

so many people

who never lived

during the 80’s

exclusively played

nothing but

at their wedding

receptions,

he makes

quick work

of his plate

of mismatched

foods

somewhat

disappointed

no one called

him out

on his buffet

choices

he looks over

at the open

bar

already warned

earlier by Brooke

not to make

a fool of

himself

like at his last

friend’s wedding

and continuing his

streak of five

receptions in

a row

in which he

turned into

the drunken

court jester

though there is

something to be

said about tradition,

he makes his

way

towards the

bar

going by Brooke

and the teenage

girls

on the way

as they are

all closely

huddled together

now

pointing

and giggling

at some of

the young men

across the room

she’s no doubt

giving them lessons

in flirting

if they only

pick up a

small fraction

of her flirting

skills

they’ll be leaving

a trail of

broken hearts

in their wake

before they are

old enough

to drive,

he catches her

eye

and nods towards

the bar

she mouths

the word

“Tequila”

then she over

exaggerates

her head turn

towards the girls

and strikes a

sexy pose

all the girls

start laughing

and then imitate

her

each freezing in

a sexy pose

of their own,

he stands next

to an almost

empty

open bar

and orders one

beer

and two shots

of tequila

the bartender

a young

hoping to be

noticed

out of work

aspiring actor

gets him his

drink

making the kind

of moves

while doing so

that has him

looking

more like someone

playing a bartender

then actually

being one,

an all too common

occurrence for the

catering business

where the dreams

of young actors

go to die

a slow

painless death,

they never even

feel

their life being

sucked out of

their soul

till one day

someone eats

the last crab

cake

off the silver

serving tray

they are holding

and they see

a 40-something

face

with no future

looking back

at them

wondering what

happened

to the young

vibrant person

whose life was

full of possibilities

just a few pages

ago

in the script,

now having to

eat the night’s

leftovers

just to get by

from week to

week,

the bartender

leans in

as he sets down

the drinks

and in a low voice

he asks him

if he knows of

anyone here

that is in the

business

a common question

at these types

of events

when their held

within 40-miles

of Hollywood

he leans towards

the bartender

and whispers

“see that twenty

something over there

with that group

of young girls”

the bartender nods

“she is the niece

of a very well

known director

but she hates it

when people find

that out”

Alan

already thinking

of how he can

use this con

later on

if needed,

he picks up

both shots

of tequila

with his left

hand

and the beer

with his right

then pauses as he

takes a scan

of the room

there looks

to be

a lot of single

women here

from the bride’s

side of the

family

meaning they have

never met him

before 

a big plus for

him

Brooke was right

he didn’t need

any help

finding his way

to the wrong

side of sober

but he is willing

to argue

the point

that he does

some of his best

work while drunk

then again

he will argue

most anything when

he’s drunk,

he sets the drinks

back down

takes the first shot

of tequila

and chases it with

the beer

then takes the second

shot of tequila

and finishes off

the beer

then hollers out to

the bartender to

circle the wagons

again for him,

he picks up the

drinks again

and heads towards

Brooke and that

table of intimating

teen girls

two shots and

a beer

and their still

making him feel

insecure

about his

masculinity

he hears one

of the young

teen girls

tell Brooke in a

mocking voice

“This can’t be

your boyfriend

Brooke

he must be

your ugly brother

is he your

ugly brother

Brooke?”

all the girls snicker

at that remark

Brooke has to

work hard to

suppress her own

laugh,

he looks at

the girls

as he sets

Brooke’s

tequila shot down

on the table

in front of

her

as he fires

off a salvo

of his own

comments

at the teens

“I didn’t know

the entertainment

tonight

was midget

wrestling

which of you

boys

is the reigning

champ?”

he watches

as all the

girls faces 

drop their smiles

at the same

time

“Now,

now play nice”

Brooke says

“how many of

those shots

have you already

had Alan

please don’t forget

the clown incident

at the Blake’s party

last week”

Brooke half

laughing at him

and half

chastising him 

“I’ve only had

one shot

all night”

a little lie

that they both

knew

he was telling

“and that clown

incident

well

he had it coming

you should never

point a gun

at someone”

“that may be

true

but the gun

was made

out of balloons”

says Brooke

and then adds

“but still,

why are you

picking fights

with all these

junior Hotties

over here”

that comment

brings a

smile back

to all the

girl’s faces again

“besides” says Brooke

“one of these

girls here

might just have

a Hot single

mom

that is real

desperate

and maybe they

will help you

out

with your game”

the words Hot

and desperate

having caught

Alan’s attention

Brooke looks over the

gaggle of girls

sitting before her

“how many of you

have Hot single moms

raise your hands”

three girls raise their hands

“Ok good,

now how many

have desperate

moms

that might think

a guy like Alan

is kinda of cute?”

all three girls

lower their

hands,

and another girl

raises her hand

meekly,

Alan

liking the odds

says

“I am so very,

very

sorry girls

please accept my

apologies,

ok

so with that

out of the way

do you three girls

with the Hot moms

think you can

help

an ugly brother

out

and if nothing

seems to be

working out

I’ll fall back on

plan B

and you introduce

me

to your mom”

pointing to the

girl

still holding her

hand up

with the desperate

mom

she just shrugs

and says “sure”

plus as an added

bonus

to that fore

mentioned apology

I will give you

ladies

some inside

information

about high school

guys

that will make

them

like you

no matter what,

the girls all

nodding yes

to each other

and smiling at

the thought of

some inside

information

as the one

girl

with the desperate

mom

who just had

her hand up

raises it again,

Alan looks over

at her

and points to

her

“Yes,

you have a

question?”

“are you going

to tell us

we can be

popular

with the boys,

if we are

easy,

you know

give it up?”

she says

with a

“matter of fact”

look on her

face,

stunned at her

straight forwardness

Alan says

“have you been

to one of my

seminars before?”

all of the other

girls

now with a

look

of disgust

on their faces

as Brooke

jumps in and

takes over,

“he’s only kidding

girls,

you don’t have

to put out

to be popular”

Brooke smiling

at the girls

as Alan sits

down

he looks over

the girls

talking among

themselves

as Brooke

makes a face

while taking her

tequila shot

he knows it

won’t be long

before each one

of these

“Jr Hotties”

will be commanding

all the attention

in the room

when they

walk in

and he might

just be

out front

parking their

cars,

he took his

shot

and drank his

beer

as Brooke talked

to him

she always made

time for him

trying to include

him

in whatever

she

was doing,

knowing she

most often drew

the bulk of the

attention

when they went

places

not that he

needed

the company

or the inclusion

he is use to

being on his

own

swimming with

sharks

with just his

wits

to get by on,

he could see

the young teen

girls

getting impatient

with him

wanting Brooke

back

all to themselves

no “Ugly brother”

hanging around

so they can

steer

their conversation

with her

back towards boys,

the constant stare

he is getting

from them

is starting to

freak him out

they have this

“Children of the corn”

look going on

so he decided

not to challenge

this crowd

and headed back

to his favorite

type of bar

an open one,

he remembers

sitting at the

bar

as his eyes

now

are trying to

focus

on an unfamiliar

bedroom wall

he was ordering

tequila shots

one right after

another

the bartender

droning on about

all his little

parts

and appearances

from junior high

to the theater

in the valley

where he is

currently

showing at

which he just

so happens to

have a play bill

of

in his back

pocket,

but after taking

his next four shots

he starts to take

an interest in

the actor

bonding with him

but then again

he would bond

with a German

shepherd

if the dog

just sat there

and listened to

him

as he drank

maybe give him

a bark or two

when he makes

some of his

stronger comments,

it was some

time

during the actor’s

reenactments

of famous movies

that everything

starts to get

fuzzy

he remembers

watching Brooke

block out

one of the

bridesmaids

as if she was

trying to draw

a foul

when the bouquet

was thrown

so her Hotties

would have a

better chance

at catching it

and he was still

at the bar

when he saw

Brooke

talking to the

three girls with

Hot single moms

shortly after which

each girl

came over to

him

dragging their

mothers

behind them

who then

introduced

them to him

he can still

see

that exact same

look

of disappointment

that swept over

the faces of

their mothers

then each one

staring down at

their daughters

as if saying

What the Fuck

were you thinking,

he couldn’t be

sure

but he’s willing

to bet

that was the

tipping point

when he let go

of the weak grasp

he held on

decorum

the beginning of

his freefall

into the irrational

thoughts

that unending

tequila shots

and chocolate

covered chunks

of cheese

bring on,

it was out on

the dance floor

when he snapped

Brooke trying to

cheer him up

with a little

personal attention

dancing a couple

of 80’s hits with

him

and it was

working

she was just

beginning to see

that big goofy

smile of his

stretch across his

face

when both Alan

and the clown

from the Blake

party incidence

saw each other

at the same

time

Alan was in

mid spin

on the dance

floor

when he saw

the bright colors

of the clown

at the far end

of the large hall

the clown was

putting a balloon

shaped like a

crown

on the head of

a little boy

when the clown

looked up

and locked eyes

with Alan

Brooke saw trouble

right off the bat

and tried to get

in front of Alan

but she couldn’t

and the clown

had to brush

away

a few little kids

that were hanging

on to his legs

before he

started towards

Alan

but at this point

fate couldn’t be

stopped

as each one

marched

towards the other

meeting in front

of the buffet

table

they both stood

there

staring into the

eyes of the

other

as the dancing

stopped

and whispers of

their past

altercations

made their way

through the room

like a wave

through the crowd

of people,

some say Alan

swung first

others swear it

was the clown

but both sides

agree

Alan was the first

to connect with

a punch

hitting the clown

square in the nose

sending a loud

elongated “SQUEEK”

the whole length

of the room

the clown staggered

back

and reached into

his bright red

jacket pocket

and as Alan

was throwing his

follow-up swing

the clown pulled

out

a handful of

glitter

from his pocket

and threw it in

Alan’s eyes

blinding him

allowing the clown

to launch a

flurry

of real solid

body punches

Alan was still

standing

and had just

regained his sight

when the clown

bull rushed him

side stepping the

clown

and getting him

in a headlock

forcing the clown

to bend backwards

holding his head

under the chocolate

fountain face up

waterboarding him

with the steady

stream of liquid

chocolate

the clown

desperate now

reaching around

on the table

with his free

hand

grabs a handful

of cheese chunks

with little blue

plastic swords

in them

and slams them

into Alan’s right

cheek

Alan lets out

a high pitched

girlish scream

as the clown

breaks free,

there was an

uneasy

dead silence

between the two

combatants

neither one

hearing the

little kids crying

on the clown’s

side of the room

or the 80’s music

still blaring from

Alan’s side of

the room

"The Final Countdown"

by Europe

starts to play

as each opponent

charges towards

the other

hoping to be

the one who

walks away

the victor

from this improv

death match,

Alan still laying

in a strange bed

staring at a

bedroom wall

that he has

no idea

who it

belongs too

it’s not Brooke’s

place

he would turn

his head

and look around

if he could

but keeping his

eyes open

and focused

is all his

faculties

can manage

at this time

his vision

goes blurry

he closes his

eyes

and a pond

opening them

he sees one

of the junior

Hotties

standing in front

of him

in her pajamas

she says nothing

as she stares

at him

till he finally

asks

“where am I?”

“your in my mom’s

bedroom”

she says

“and who are

you?”

he asks

not really sure

he wants to

know the answer

“don’t you

remember

I was one of

the girls sitting

with Brooke

at the reception

I raised my

hand

when you asked

about our moms”

“now I remember”

says Alan

“you were one of

the three girls

that raised their

hands

when I asked

who had a Hot

single mom”

“No,

I was the one

who raised her

hand

when you asked

who had a

desperate mom”

she replies

Alan sunk deeper

into the bed

then asks the

young teen

“did I at

least win

the fight with

the clown?”

she looks at

him

for a moment

then says

“well I got some

good news

and some bad

news”

he pulls the

pillow

over his face

trying to shield

himself

from her reply

to his question

“No,

you didn’t win

the fight with

the clown

in fact

it was my

mom

that pulled the

clown off of

you

and put him

in a sleeper

hold

knocking him

out

and giving her

enough time

to drag you

out of there”

she tells him

with a look

of pride

for her mom

on her face

“and the good

news”

Alan asks

“I think my

mom

likes you”

she says

Alan doesn’t

move

for a minute

then pulls the

pillow

off of his

face

to see the

girl

still standing

there

so he asks

“what does your

mom

look like?”

she takes two

steps to her

right

and grabs a

picture

of her and

her mom

off of a night

stand

just outside of

his unchanging

view

and shows it

to him

he stares at

the picture

before saying

“why couldn’t

have

the clown just

killed me”

she takes no

notice of that

remark

and says

“Get Up,

my mom’s making

breakfast”

then turns around

to leave

but after a

couple of beats

sticks her head

back into the

doorway

and says

“Oh,

and if this

thing

between you

and

my mom

starts to work

out

don’t start thinking

I’m going to

call you dad”

Alan,

not knowing

what

else to do

throws back the

sheets

and pulls on

his pants

and heads down

stairs

to breakfast…

 

Tom Allen…08-11-2018…


© Copyright 2018 Tom Allen714. All rights reserved.

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