“I don’t know. He’s playing in Miami and I’m thankful to be on the other side of the country.”
“Is he still with the woman he cheated on you with?”
“Of course not. He told me marriage wasn’t what he wanted. He felt like we got married too young and he wanted to sow his oats or whatever. So he’s out doing that, I guess.”
“No doubt. But he’s not wrong. I was a freshman in college when we met and a sophomore when we got married. That’s too young.”
“It actually surprises me that you would make such a spontaneous decision,” Mia says.
“I was in love and he was the big man on campus. He was getting NBA recruiters out to see him all the time, so it was only a matter of time for him to get picked up to play pro. And at twenty, I thought being married to a pro basketball player would be really glamourous.”
“Well, he’s a shit for breaking your heart.”
“He says that from time to time.” I let out a sigh. “It’s okay. We’re mostly cool now and he’s living his best life or whatever. I’ve just learned to guard myself, you know?”
“Well, don’t guard yourself for too long. You’re, like, the most beautiful woman in the world and a damn fine catch. I’d hate to see you miss out on someone good.”
“Are you trying to get rid of me?”
Mia laughs. “No, definitely not. But I’d at least like to see you take a booty call every once in a while. A girl’s gotta get off.”
“Who says I don’t?”
“With a person. Not a vibrating massager that they keep stashed in their nightstand drawer.”
“How do you know what’s in my nightstand drawer?”
She makes a face and changes the subject. “So what’s on the docket for your oh-so-exciting sports nutrition conference?”
“Well, there’s a product expo, and a keynote by this top sports doc that wrote the best book about…”
I’m interrupted by the sound of snoring again.
“And there’s a mixer tonight in the bar,” I say drily.
Mia perks up at this. “Okay, that’s promising.”
“Well, I wasn’t gonna goooo. I was planning on taking a long bubble bath, ordering expensive room service, and watching Netflix in this big-ass bed.”
My friend is silent, but her raised eyebrow says enough.
“I mean…I guess I could go, but do you want to come down and go with me?”
“Okay, you big introvert. I’ll come protect you from the legions of people who will try to say actual words to you.”
I have to laugh because I am, indeed, an introvert. I’d absolutely rather take a bath and curl up with a good book or binge-watch a show. The idea of mixing and mingling with people I don’t know, keeping a smile plastered to my face while I ask, “What do you do?” forty different times just doesn’t sound all that fun to me.
An hour later, Mia is knocking on my door. She’s dressed to kill in a short, black skirt and cheetah-print top. And she’s obviously not impressed by my choice of business suit, from the way her lip curls as she looks me over, head-to-toe.
“You are eighty-years-old, I swear,” she shakes her head and clucks her tongue at me.
“What? It’s a professional conference, not a night club. These are other nutritionists.”
“It’s a mixer. In a bar. Wear a pair of jeans, you old woman, you.”
I look helplessly at my closet. I brought lots of options because it’s been a while since I’ve been to a multi-day conference like this. Mia just huffs and stomps over, rifling through my clothing until she emerges, triumphant, with a pair of skinny jeans and a soft, off-shoulder, cream-colored sweater. “These will do. You got heels?”