Karen spent hours getting ready for tonight. She washed her hair twice to make sure the smell of French fries was gone. The dress she had worn to her cousin’s wedding last year wasn’t the height of style, but it flattered her figure. Henry said the color made her eyes look like sapphires. She was happy to be on Henry’s arm, but wished they were somewhere else.
“Excuse me Henry, where is the rest room?” she asked, interrupting a conversation he was having with one of his fraternity brothers. They were talking about someplace called Vietnam. They might have been speaking Latin and she wouldn’t have understood them any better.
“Do you see that doorway across the room? Go down that hallway and it will be on the left. I can show you if you want.”
“I’m sure I can find it. I’ll be right back.”
She weaved her way through the roomful of students toward the doorway Henry had mentioned. A blond girl stopped her.
“Are you Henry’s girlfriend?” she asked, pronouncing the word girlfriend like it was something unpleasant she had stepped in.
“I’m his date,” Karen said. “And you would be?”
“Just another one of his conquests I guess,” she said as her eyes filled with tears. “Maybe you’ll have better luck with him than I did.”
“What’s going on dollface?” a large guy said. “You look upset.”
“No. I was just introducing myself to Henry’s date Karen.”
“I know you. You’re that waitress that Henry was stuck on.”
“A waitress? Henry dumped me for a waitress?” Her expression intensified. Whatever was stuck to the bottom of her shoe was even fouler than she realized.
“Settle down Joni. Waitresses are vital members of society, right Karen? For instance, you could run along and fetch me a beer.”
From across the room, Henry spotted Karen talking to a girl he had spent a hot and heavy evening with a few months back. Karen’s face was vivid red and her lips were clamped shut as if she were trying not to say what was on her mind. Henry abruptly ended the conversation he was having and headed her way.
“Everything okay Karen?”
“I was just asking Karen to get me a beer, since she’s a professional,” Mickey said.
Henry pulled his arm back to punch Mickey and Karen stepped between them.
“Whatever you’re going to do, you’ll do it without me. I’m going home,” she said. She turned and walked away leaving Henry with his conquest, his Neanderthal friend, and their opinions.
I’m linking up with Write On Edge this week with another scene from Karen’s life. This week’s topic is to write about a moment when someone crosses a line legally or ethically. Click here if you want to read more about Karen.