So, there we were sitting at the head table and I’m so nervous I can’t stop shaking. Gawd, how I hate being in the spotlight. Where is the waiter with my drink? I ordered a double martini a half hour ago. Well, maybe just a couple of minutes ago but it feels like a half hour.
Why did I agree to come? These corporate dinners are a bore what with the long speeches and all. OK so Fred has to give the main address and asked me to join him. He’s a nice guy and I’ve known him forever so I accepted.
Actually, Fred is gay but nobody is supposed to know that. Wanna know something? Everybody knows that. He’s just too handsome to be straight what with his dark hair and deep blue eyes. He’s tall, fit and a real sharp dresser. So what am I doing here, anyway? I hope the other guests are not laughing at me or looking at me with pity. Am I a beard? Is that what they call it these days – or any other days, for that matter? At the same time, I feel protective of Fred. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s had his problems with romance too. Why, just last year he broke up with his long time boyfriend.
The lights are shining in my eyes and I think I’ll pass out if that damned waiter doesn’t hurry up. Finally, he arrived with that pitcher of martini. Never had anything looked so enticing. Some old broad at one of the other tables keeps looking at me then turning to her husband and whispering. I wonder if she thinks I’m an alcoholic. Screw it. I just want to stop shaking. Is there a phobia for what I’ve got? There must be. There seems to be a medical condition for every little thing.
Anyway, I took a big sip and lit a cigarette. Then another sip, then another. I started to calm down a bit. But I had no idea this could be so unnerving.
Fred has done this to me before. Like the time he asked me to come along to a family function. Turned out the family function was in Windsor and I had to spend the night with him in his parent’s house. We even slept in the same bed, for God’s sake. I guess his parents were not supposed to know, either. Personally, I think they knew. I saw the looks on their faces during dinner. Nice people and not stupid. After all, dear Fred is now in his mid-thirties and no steady girlfriend. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but how long can he pretend?
By now my martini is only a memory and I motion to the waiter to bring me another. This one came faster. By now I’m feeling real relaxed and hoping to see dinner being served. I’m starting to get a bit dizzy and need food.
Dinner was great what with the escargot, rack of lamb, and crepe suzette. Yummy. Lots of Chardonnay to wash it all down. Eehaw.
As soon as dinner was over, the speeches began. My eyes were starting to feel really heavy by this time. Now I just wish I could curl up somewhere and sleep. I stifle a couple of yawns the best way I know how but I don’t think I fooled any of the folks there.
Next thing I remember, we’re in the car driving home and Fred is not his usual kind self. In fact he’s yelling at me. Something about I embarrassed him.“Ah, shuddup and drive,” I muttered under my breath.
“If you do that one more time, I am never taking you anywhere again,” he shouted.
“Ah, but you love me anyway.” I slurred.
“You are incorrigible,” sighed Fred.
“Yeah, I know, but you love me anyway. Right?”
“Right. Go to sleep princess.”
The next day I woke up beside Fred. I mean, how sweet is that? I feel safe and warm beside him. Too bad he’s gay but maybe that’s a good thing. I’ve never felt safe or warm beside a straight guy. Seems I’m always watching to see if he’s going to do something to hurt me. With Fred, this is not an issue. However, if I ever want to settle down in that white picket-fenced cottage of my dreams, it won’t be with him.
Suddenly, I feel sad.