conniption; noun: a bad tantrum. One has a conniption or conniption fit.
janky; adjective: broken or functioning poorly or improperly; messed up.
scooch; verb: to move over, or to scoot.
“Scooch over. Is that a Dr. Pepper?” Tara picked up my drink and took a pull on the straw.
“What? Don’t get all sour-faced. I’ll buy you another!” She set my drink back down, now defiled with her signature shade of “Party Pink” lipstick. Tara couldn’t help being dramatic. I barely finished that thought when she sighed loudly and and leaned against the back of the booth, hard enough to make it creak. She wasn’t fooling me, I knew she was very aware that sitting that way thrust her breasts out. She glanced around, to see if anyone was watching. Her dark shoulder-length hair fell over one side of her face and curled around her chin perfectly. My boring light brown hair always seemed to stick out at odd places. Of course, all the guys in the place were looking. They always did. It was lunchtime and half the construction workers in town ate at Lulus. It wasn’t gourmet but the portions were huge and the coffee pot never got empty.
“Would you stop already? Do you have to do that?” I tried to whisper but I should have known better. Tara liked attention.
Tara rolled her eyes while checking out her reflection in the napkin holder. “Well don’t have a conniption fit. Honestly Kate , sit up straight. Why don’t you do something with your hair?” She reached out and pushed my hair back from my face.
“Shhh! Do you have to talk so loud?” And leave my hair alone. It’s fine the way it is!” I should have been used to it but she still made me feel like I dressed right out of the Salvation Army store. I picked up my purse and stared pointedly at her.
“Alright. Alright! Don’t be like that. I’ll be good.” Tara smiled and gave me that look that she thought was sincere and would make everyone forgive her. We had been friends since grade school and I wondered at least once a week, why I put up with her. Well actually I knew. Nobody knew Tara the way I did. She was, well…her life had not been easy so far. She tried to act like she didn’t care about anyone or anything, but that wasn’t close to the truth.
“I thought you were shopping this morning.” Tara was always shopping. She constantly complained about the lack of variety in Newton. She dreamed about moving to the city.
“I was. Arielle told me they were supposed to get a shipment in Friday but the truck never showed up. Same old stuff.” Tara bit a french fry. When she reached for another I slapped her hand. “Don’t you ever buy your own?”
“You know I am on a diet!”
Not that it mattered. Tara had more clothes than anyone I knew and she didn’t need to diet. She was a perfect size six.
“The reason I stopped was to tell you the news!” Tara’s dark eyes were wide and I knew whatever she had to say would probably mean trouble for me. It usually did.
“What now?” I sighed and rolled my eyes. I could plug my ears, but it would just stave off the inevitable.
“There’s a party tonight at the quarry! Barrett Evers is going to be there! Now, don’t look at me like that. You know I have been trying to get him to notice me ever since he moved to town. This is the perfect opportunity!”
Tara had crushes on half the boys at Newton High and she had dated most of those. Nothing long term though. She was easily bored.
“You know we have a history test and my mother still hasn’t gotten over the last party you talked me into. I was grounded for a month!” I sat back and put both hands on the table, trying my best to look determined. I don’t know why I bothered. The janky leg on the booth wobbled as Tara got up.
“I will pick you up at six. Wear something sexy and for God’s sakes, fix your hair!”
Tara flipped her hair out of her face and turned and limped out the door, her leg brace creaking as she popped her hips. The construction guys quietly turned back to their plates, suddenly busy with their meals.
I put my head in my hands. It was going to be a long night.