Friday, November 4, 2011

Guardian Angel

     “Hey buddy, another gin and tonic!” Tiffany had to shout so the bartender could hear her over the noise of the crowd.
     Audrey kept a close eye on her friend, and the car keys sitting on the bar. I’m not letting anything bad happen to you tonight, she thought. The burden of responsibility was heavy, but she was up for the challenge.
     The bartender delivered the drink, and Tiffany slid a five-dollar bill across the counter.
     “That’s six gin and tonics, right?” Audrey was careful to ask in a casual tone so she wouldn’t come across as prying.
     “I guess so,” Tiffany said. “I can’t keep count.”
     Bad sign, Audrey thought. Time to take action! Without another word, she snatched the keys from the counter.
     “Hey!” Tiffany shouted, but she was too late. Audrey darted across the room, pushing her way through the crowd, and ran out the door.
     Once outside, Audrey looked for an escape route. The parking lot was surrounded by a tall wooden fence and a busy highway stood in front of her. Row after row of headlights zoomed by in the dark night. She didn’t have much time to think, though, because Tiffany burst out of the door a moment later.
     Their eyes met. Immediately, Audrey ran across the street.
     “No!” Tiffany screamed. “Come back!”
     Cars honked and screeched to a stop, but Audrey made it across. Looking back, she saw Tiffany keeping up the pursuit. A minivan nearly hit her, but she also made it across the road.
     On the other side of the highway was a patch of woods with the noise of a river flowing behind it. Audrey ran through the trees without even slowing down.
     “Stop! Stop!” she heard Tiffany yelling from behind.
     The ground was muddy and Audrey’s feet sank into it, ruining her new pumps. Pine needles scraped her face and arms as she ran. She tripped over a log and twisted her ankle. It doesn’t matter, she thought. This is for my friend! She moved her legs as fast as she could, but when she reached the river, Audrey had to stop. There was nowhere else to run. She turned around just in time to see Tiffany emerge from the trees, out of breath.
     “Not another step, or I swear I’ll throw them in the river!” Audrey dangled the keys over the edge of the water to show how serious she was.
     “What the hell, Audrey?” Tiffany said. “Why would you—“
     “That’s enough!” Audrey shouted, and she threw the keys as far as she could. They landed in the middle of the river with a small plop! “You’re safe now! Friends don’t let friends drink and drive!” She fell to her knees and dropped her head into her hands, exasperated and victorious.
     Tiffany sighed. “You drove, Audrey. Those were your keys.”
     “They were?” Audrey asked, looking up.
     “Yes,” Tiffany said. “And I don’t care if it’s your birthday, that’s the last time I buy you six gin and tonics.”

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