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Santa Maybe

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


Mallory Malone might learn the best lesson of her life in the funniest way possible.

Submitted: September 22, 2018

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Submitted: September 22, 2018

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I tumble down the staircase and land ass-first in a puddle of someone’s soda. Ugh!

“Dear Lawd.” Some lady, in a hideous Christmas sweater, gasps from the buffet line.

Another person smirks. Eyes, all across the ship’s main cafeteria, dart my way while two servers, balancing beers and dirty dishes, squeeze around tables of chattering people and babble into their headsets as if this Caribbean cruise-liner hit a hurricane and is now sinking Titanic-style.

Stop the internet. I fell on my ass. It’s bruised and drenched and completely sticky as if I dunked it in a jar of honey. I’m dreading inspecting it. Thus, why I’m still sitting here. Soaked butt bites; bites almost as much as my meddling mother who pressured me onto this dumb single’s cruise so I could tie-the-knot. Seriously, who goes on a boat to find a husband? I guess me — a desperate forty-something woman whose eggs are on their final journey to extinction. Perhaps scrambled, or fried, or baked. Whichever way you like your eggs doesn’t change mine. They’re old. I’m old. Too old to be strutting around my lackluster lady parts. Let alone tumbling down a flight of stairs. Add that to the gossipers in the corner, the Christmas lights winking to the beat of Jingle Bells, and the gaggle of people gaping at my soda-stained-self, and you get one of my most horrifying moments. Public-shaming at its worst. Made more mortifying when two servers approach me. One loiters over me like a cat drinking milk. The other, in a tiny elf hat, spreads her giddy smile.

“Some trip you took there, ma’am.” Her shrill voice mimics a squealing pig on steroids. “Need a medic?”

Ah, no. Keep me outta the limelight. Already humiliated enough. “I’m good.”

“If you say so.” Giddy-girl guides the other server back to their drink trays then calls over her shoulder. “We’ll send a cleaning crew out here.”

You do that. How ‘bout a time machine while you’re at it too?

I finally get the guts to inspect the damage.

Yikes. My shark-patterned panties gleam through my white capris. My lucky day. Tweet this into my public shaming list; looks like I peed my pants in ten different colors. Sexy I know. Definitely spanks of come hither.

I shield my panty-line as I stand. I wander to the buffet line and side-step along it; facing forward, of course, to hide my tie-dyed ass.

“Food’s the other way.” Someone says.

Duh. What clued this dude in? The smell of the chicken cordon bleu behind me? Or the fact that my butt is pushed up against it? I glance to my left. A guy, with pimples pocking his cheeks, thumbs his thick glasses up to the bridge of his nose.  

“Saw you fall,” he says.

Wow. I have a fan club. Let’s make it official. “Want an autograph?”

“A what?”

“Never-mind.” I bite my tongue, to keep my diarrhea-of-the-mouth at bay. It’s one of my flaws I’m working to quit. Why not quit it with this guy? He’s certainly not hot, but he’s cute; a bald version of Jack Black, clad in a plaid sweater that stinks of mothballs. A little gross, I guess. Not that I have many options at my age. He picks up a plate for himself, then hands one to me.

Nice. Chivalry is not dead. His gentlemanly manners definitely elevate his cute-factor. It’s sort of a turn on too. I smile at him and clasp the plate.

“Here. Tell me what you want.”

“Wait. What?” He wants to serve me now? No guy ever does that. My shark-patterned panties must bother him. Embarrasses me too, especially in view of another guy, standing two-o’clock sharp near the door leading to the front deck. His longish hair and his toned six-pack flush my cheeks. Eek. Romance novel material, right there.

“So, uh, tell me what you want?” Glasses-guy says.

Good question. Glasses-guy is like a warm glove on a cold night; a night my body yearns to share with that six-pack hottie. So, which guy do I choose?

Maybe I can test out both. I return the plate to Glasses-guy with plans to check on him later. Right now, I’m gonna be bold.

For once in my adult life, I deserve some fun. Some hunkalicious fun. This vag might be out of date, but it’s ready for action. I stride around a couple of servers carrying trays of champagne and margaritas. Some follow me past tables of people who gawk at my panties. Whatever. I’m over that, and onto a mission, a mission to get laid.

Screw marriage. Give me friends with benefits, or just benefits. Sex on a boat here I come. I trail Sargent six-pack out the door, but it slams in my face. Ouch. My nose gets the brunt of the hit. I rub it. Glad it’s not broken or bleeding. I elbow the door open but trip over my feet and collide on the deck.

Way to make an entrance, Mallory. I stagger to my feet, rolling my eyes at myself. At least Sargent six-pack didn’t witness my clutzo spill. He’s already on the other side of the deck sipping wine and scanning the glossy sea where two pelicans fight over a half-eaten fish, and the waves ebb and flow beneath the blue sky. Six-pack reaches out to catch the water-spray and I wish I could reach his hand instead. I transfix on this fantasy so intently I nearly bump into that giddy-girl server who must’ve tailed me out here.

“Go ahead,” she motions over her tray of beverages. “A vodka-martini perhaps. Tickle your tongue with one.”

“My tongue’s great. Thanks.” Then again, a little liquid courage might be helpful.

I nab one of her cherry martinis, then make my way toward Sargent six-pack. I almost trip again on an indented spot, but catch myself on the railing.

Honestly feet, start cooperating. Do your one job. Walk. I continue forward, inhaling a deep calming breath; a breath my former yoga instructor would be proud of. See. That class did have a silver lining after all regardless that while everyone else held delicate poses, I mirrored a skittish deer tipping each time I lifted my legs, legs I’m marching over to that fine man.

I scope out his firm backside and the muscles bulging beneath his perfectly pressed button down. He must work out, daily. Who am I kidding? This guy’s out of my league. Oh well, I’m behind him. Best I say something.

“I’d love to have your babies.” Not that! Anything but that! Six-pack whips around, his brow creased.

“Do I know you?”

“Maybe.”

“Maybe?” He stretches out the word. “Okay...”

I bat my eyes, flipping my hair like I’ve done this a million times.

He smiles, the kind of smile a guy gives a girl when he pities her, or really wants her to go. Sheesh, I’m tanking this. Maybe a snazzier one-liner will work.

“How ‘bout I take your picture to show Santa what I want for Christmas?” Crap! I didn’t say that, did I?

“Are you drunk?” He smirks.

“I should be.” I down the glass of cherry-flavored vodka, happy when it chases off my humiliation; humiliation that grows ten ugly horns when my gut protests.

I protest harder. Betray me, stomach and that half bag of chocolate chunk cookies gets trashed.

Trash it then, Mallory. My gut mocks me as alcohol climbs my esophagus, similar to that one night in college after I guzzled twelve Rum and Coke’s, and spent the whole night over the toilet. Twenty years later and I can’t even tolerate one drink.

Dumb old body. Come on, please. No!

I heave over and puke on Six-pack’s shoes, expensive Italian leather slathered in my pink goop. I attempt to mop the sloppy mess with my fingers but end up smearing it into it a crusty paste.

Shit! Maybe he won’t notice.

He’s quiet. That’s good. I think. I hope. Oh, God.

I swallow a wad of acid, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand before I rise. Slowly glimpsing up, I gulp under his widened eyes.

He stares at me as if I lit myself on fire, and am now racing around screaming hysterically. 

I mumble. “Um…Sorry.”

Anyone want to trade places with me? Anyone!

“Hey, pretty lady.” Someone shouts.

I revolve on my heels and point at my chest.

“Yes, you.” Glasses-guy flags me from the cafeteria door. “Care to join me for dinner?”

I gaze from guy to guy, amazed how fast this day took a complete one-eighty, one I never expected. Truth is, Glasses-guy is super sweet, and dorkishly cute. Plus, he called me pretty and asked me to dinner. Absolutely a sign that I don’t belong with Sargent six-pack. He’s probably a player anyway.

I leave him and let my heart lead.


© Copyright 2018 Joy Shaw. All rights reserved.

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