This is a new short that I hope to expand into a full piece of short fiction. It began as a subplot of the story that I worked on in November. I hope you all enjoy this part and the next segment that I share.
As she watched the clouds pass her by Savage Lawrence wondered how it all ended up like this. Somehow a lifelong friendship had crashed and burned in a matter of hours and she shivered and wrapped her gray cardigan closer to her as she recalled the words of her best friend McKay Ellison. Sav looked up in time to see the attendant hurry towards her and to offer a warm blanket. She gladly accepted and wrapped it around herself.
More than a month and a half ago she’d spotted her best friend’s longtime girlfriend kissing another man who had his hand up her dress. She’d mistakenly told him what she’d seen and he proceeded to call her everything but a child of God. As opposed to staying around the city and moping and listening to old Jodeci and Boyz II Men songs, she’d accepted a series of commissions that would keep her away from Brooklyn for the next three months.
As she exited the plane intent on heading towards the car that Justin sent for her Savage ignored the looks that took in the package she presented wrapped in a gray open front cardigan, white V-neck t-shirt, distressed jeans, knitted cowl and electric blue pumps; her long tresses were pulled into a simple braid and she wore sunglasses even though the day was a bit overcast. She strode quickly though the hangar handing her bag to the waiting driver and walking into the waiting arms of her other best friend Ryan’s wife.
Three Weeks Later
Sav stood at the large mullioned that overlooked the front porch and watched the rain. She’d spent the past week working with a group of students who were helping to design and construct a new school on the reservation. This particular job was the result of faux nepotism as her other best friend Ryan’s cousin Daemon Clay had put in a good word for her. But at night when she returned to the sparsely decorated cabin provided for her all she could think of was the fight that brought her across the country.
She’d called both Jimmy and Sin as she’d packed for her first assignment but she hadn’t shared the most hurtful parts of the argument hoping to spare Mick some of the pain he’d so casually inflicted upon her but they’d already heard the majority of the tale from Ryan. She thought back to the moment when she’d G-chatted with them before her flight since she didn’t want either of them to mention what had happened to McKay while she was gone. She’d withheld the ugliest parts of the exchange knowing that they would have gone directly to McKay’s and given him hell; she was pretty sure that one or both of them would have thrown some blows as well.
Savage recalled the conversation that she’d had with Ryan’s estranged wife Noelle while she hung out with her in San Francisco. They were seated in the living room of Noelle’s suite. The ladies sat facing the large window; Noelle was curled up in one of the armchairs while Sav was in the one next to her. There was a bottle of Gewürztraminer on the glass coffee table along with their glasses and several open containers. Noelle’s nude patent toe pumps lay on the floor under the table.
“I just can’t believe that Mick would tell you that he couldn’t be your friend anymore; after 30 plus years of friendship. That is so crazy” Noelle said to her.
Sav didn’t say anything she just picked up another chocolate covered strawberry and took a huge bite.
“I would have been so pissed!” Noelle said. In her opinion, Mick just went too far by questioning Savage’s friendship. He of all people knew how much she loved all of her friends and even though Noelle had initially been uncomfortable with Ryan having a female best friend she’d quickly seen exactly what kind of person Savage was and she trusted her implicitly.
“I am not even pissed off anymore. I’m just so hurt that this man whom I’ve known for my entire life would look me in my face and call me a liar. Noelle we have known each other forever! This man knew me when I was decorating my Barbie Dream House every week, when I begged my dad to make me a bunch of model homes out of cardboard boxes and he even beat up a bully who threatened me when we were in first grade. Mick knew me before I had anybody else and he questioned my friendship” she said. Even though it had occurred more than a month ago, the hurt was still fresh and Sav could honestly admit that even the pain of her divorce was nothing compared to what McKay had done.
“I totally get that” Noelle said before taking a sip of her wine. She looked Savage in the face and asked “Are you hurt that he took her side?” She watched the emotions play on her friend’s face She knew that McKay and Savage had been friends for a long time and she knew that his betrayal stung.
Even though she’d flown into town on Justin’s private plane Sav had still needed a shower when she arrived at Noelle’s. It was one of the only ways that she could relax after a cross country flight; the other was to talk to McKay. Unfortunately that was no longer an option. She had her left her long hair down and dressed in a pair of leggings, a tunic and slippers after her shower. Noelle wore a long sleeved maxi dress they had candles lit on the shelf above the room’s oversized love seat and had the sounds of Bob Marley playing in the background.
“No” Sav said honestly. “I think that I’m most upset that he questioned my integrity. That he feels as if his relationship is so fucking precious that no one can say anything against it. Do you remember when he didn’t want anything to do with my wedding? He refused to be a member of the bridal party, didn’t attend the bachelor party and he refused to come to the wedding.”
Noelle nodded her head before adding “Until Ryan and Remy threatened to knock him out. I think even Papa Fred said something to him about it.” Noelle had always thought that Mick’s behavior had more to do with the fact that Savage was getting married more than the fact that he didn’t like Ivan but now wasn’t the right time to mention that.
Sav looked at her with sad eyes. “What you don’t know is that he came to the bridal suite and asked to have a word in private with me before the wedding. He told me that I was making a mistake marrying Ivan, that he was no good for me, that he would always be looking at the next woman and was a condescending ass. He said when, not if, my marriage failed that he would be the first person to say ‘I told you so’ and that I would regret not listening to him. Then he walked out of the room without looking back.
Noelle gasped and looked over at Savage in surprise. In the 15 years that she’d known him, McKay had never had that kind of negative personality. He’d always been sweet to everyone which was part of the reason that she’d apologized for her nasty behavior when she showed up at the house a few months ago. “He said all of that?” she asked.
Savage nodded hard without meeting Noelle’s eyes. She said, “On my wedding day, while I had on a full face of makeup and my wedding gown. I was just waiting for my dad to come and get me.” Noelle could see that the memory still hurt as Sav’s gray eyes turned stormy.
“Wow” Noelle said. “Well damn”
“So you can see why I mistakenly thought that I had the same freedom to speak to him although I never said anything nearly as harsh to him about Emily” she said. Noelle knew that because Savage and the rest of the crew had plenty of time to give McKay their unfettered opinions about Emily but Sav always held back.
“So…” Noelle began but her voice trailed off.
“What” Sav asked before she finished her glass of wine in one gulp. She was normally not much of a drinker but this whole situation had thrown her for a loop.
“Did he say ‘I told you so’?” Noelle asked.
“Of course he did” she told her. At Noelle’s outraged gasp she explained that he waited until the divorce was final and she’d had a bit of time to heal but he did say it.
“I cannot believe it” Noelle said to her. She picked up another marinated bocconcini and popped it in her mouth. She closed her eyes and moaned at the tangy and creamy taste of the cheese.
“Believe it! He said it at Aunt Cate’s birthday party while I was talking to Satchel who had just threatened to ruin Ivan’s business. He came right up and asked to speak to me. He said that since I was listening to offers to hurt Ivan that it was time that he made the announcement and he did” Sav told her.
“Damn!” Noelle said. “That had to hurt”
It absolutely did but I didn’t hold that against him. Not until he acted like I’d cursed Jesus when I told him what we saw.
You could have easily got the ladies to tell him” Noelle said. “You know that Jimmy and Sin would have backed you up.” Those ladies had known McKay for a long time too and he would have believed them. But he should have believed Sav.
“I know but I just didn’t want anyone else to get involved. I didn’t want him to be embarrassed and worried about who knew” Sav said. She had gone to him and told him what happened and he’d gotten so angry and accused her of trying to ruin his relationship. He said that she wanted him to be alone because her marriage had failed and that he never knew that she could be so spiteful and mean. It had taken everything for her to not burst into tears right in his living room.
When she left that day she’d planned to give him some time before they spoke again but he had other plans. McKay showed up later that night with Emily who also called her a liar. She cried some fake tears and asked what she’d done to make Sav hate her so. That’s when Savage realized that she needed to get them out of her face before she spewed the same kind of disrespect that they’d burned her with. She shared all of this with Noelle who could only shake her head in disbelief.
“So I didn’t leave New York solely to soothe my wounds I also needed some space. I was so pissed of Noelle! I could have shot both of them. At that moment I knew how all the women on Snapped and Deadly Women felt before they fell off the ledge” she said.
They both burst into laughter recalling how many times Ryan had accused them of plotting on people because of their addiction to those shows.
“You are awesome because I don’t know what I would have done in that situation” Noelle told her.
She asked whether Jimmy and Sin knew what happened knowing that they would give McKay hell for his treatment of Sav; as would Ryan, if he knew the full extent of their argument. Noelle wondered for the first time at the price that Sav was paying for McKay’s devotion to Emily.
Sav smiled blankly before closing her eyes and leaning her head against the chair. She didn’t feel awesome; she felt shaken and broken. In the moment, she didn’t think she’d ever feel like herself again.