More than twenty years later, the feisty four would once again come together.
The first girl through the door was Julie and she immediately spotted Irene. Irene wasn’t sure if she would have recognized her if she had passed her on the street. She looked matronly and haggard but she certainly recognized the squeal Julie let out.
Her once long brown hair was now short and grey. Although she obviously dyed it, she had the famous raccoon look. She immediately apologized for her roots, citing little to no time for self-pampering. Time, childbirth and recently quitting her lifelong habit of smoking had taken a toll on her. She was almost as wide as she was high but her jovial nature hadn’t faded in any way.
She had never left the sleepy little town and there was no mansion on a hill. She hadn’t married a rich man but she had married a man who she said treated her like a queen. She proudly described him as the kindest, most gentle man who ever lived. He stood six feet, six and a half inches tall and worked as a lineman for the telephone company.
They had three boys. She called them her “three” but everybody else called them her “trees” due to their height, which they inherited from their father. They inherited her practical joke inclination and kept her on her toes with their pranks, at which they were as masterful as she had been all those years ago.
She laughed as she told Irene a few stories. “Once, while I was taking a relaxing bath, my three boiled all the eggs and then replaced them in the carton. The next morning, they asked for scrambled eggs. Their snickering should have been a tip-off but I fell for it.”
“I got them back though,” she said. “They were whining about not being able to do something and I said ‘I didn’t let your older sister get away with this kind of behavior and I’m not going to let you get away with it either’.”
“They looked at each other with confused little faces and finally said ‘but we don’t have an older sister’. I looked them dead in the eyes and said ‘not any more’.”
She laughed and said “I tell you. My three are making their mother old before her time,” and didn’t seem to mind admitted that she spent most of her days in her bathrobe and slippers. Irene wondered if she realized that she had become one of the women she used to make fun of when they were in school.
Irene glanced toward the door and saw Amy walk in.
Her hairstyle hadn’t changed but the color was now salt and pepper. Time had touched her relatively lightly both physically and mentally. She started relaying verbatim, the conversations they used to have and brought thunderous laughter as she recalled them to Julie and Irene.
Amy hadn’t quite decided what she wanted to do when she graduated, so she enrolled in the local college, hoping something would give her some inspiration. That inspiration came in the form of a young man named Tony Phillips. After a whirlwind three month courtship, they were married but a happy life was not in the cards.
The Vietnam War was raging and Tonys’ number was called. Three days into his tour, his helicopter was shot down and he was killed. Amy had never taken off her wedding ring and the grief was still evident in her eyes.
After several years of mourning, Amy got up one day and started writing. Having never lost her flair, she began creating stories which eventually segued into best-selling novels.
Her genre was writing about unsolved mysterious deaths. Some were based on real events and others were pure fabrication from her, as she called it “dark and twisty” mind. She revived her long ago abandoned talent for art and illustrated all the covers of her books.
Her most successful book, titled “In All Fairness,“ was based on fact and hit close to home for Tut-Tut. Almost three years earlier, the boy from out of town who killed her mother, disappeared without a trace. No clues were ever found.
As Amy did research and delved into his life, she discovered that it was fraught with petty theft, drugs and other drunk driving accidents. His wealthy father and their attorney had managed to keep him out of jail. He had never had to pay any significant penalty for his crimes, until the swift hand of justice apparently delivered a fatal blow.
Tut-Tut had never stopped wanting retribution but now finally embraced what she had heard almost her entire life since the accident. “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
To be continued________________