I should really put more thought into taking trips with friends. I mean, I love them, but some of them just aren't good traveling companions. Traveling brings out the ugly side in some people. But I wasn't thinking about that when I grabbed my overnight bag and hung my suit in the car. Nope. I was just thinking about having a good time as I pulled out of the parking lot and headed for the highway.
A few months ago, I got an invite in the mail from an old friend who was getting married. She lived a few hours away from me, and I was happy for her. I was looking forward to attending her wedding. That's where I was headed Friday afternoon. It would've been just a three hour drive to her place, but another friend called me up earlier in the week, asking me if I was still going. When I said yes, she asked me if I was going alone. Again, I said yes. I have no problems attending social functions by myself; but this friend did. She asked me if I could pick her up so we'd go to the wedding together. It would add another 2 hours to my drive, since I had to go to a different city to get her. But I didn't mind. I figured, it'd be fun. I hadn't seen her in over a year. I told her that I was going to stay at a hotel, but she told me that she was going to make arrangements and get us a room, so we'd share the cost. It sounded like a good deal, so I agreed.
When I arrived at her place, I went to her door, knocked and waited for her to open. She opened the door and smiled, telling me that school just got out. She was a teacher. I bet her students had crushes on her. She was a tall, beautiful, buxom blond with blue eyes and a shapely body on long, limber legs. When she spoke, her tones rang with the Southern accent that reminded me that she was really a country girl now living in the big city. Her sweet smiles and easy laughter belied her iron will and great strength. That's the thing about Southern belles. Underneath the pretty faces and fancy laces were a calculating cunning and a defiant, fierce spirit.
I helped her put her bags in the car and we drove off to the wedding rehearsal dinner. I was pretty sure that, even taking traffic into account, we'd make it in time. Plus, I knew to avoid downtown and just take the back roads to get to the rehearsal dinner. During the drive, Teacher criticized my choice of radio stations. I like to listen to rock, dance, and hip hop when I drive. No slow music, because I don't want to fall asleep at the wheel. And when she wasn't complaining about the music, she was texting her boy toy on the phone, often giggling at some private joke between them. And when she wasn't texting him, she would pout and complain about her relationship with Boytoy. That should've been my first clue that Teacher wasn't going to be a good traveling companion.
I try not to pry into other people's business. And I all ready knew why Boytoy couldn't come. The truth is, I didn't have much faith in Teacher and Boytoy's fling, because that's all it was, a fling. And while Teacher might frequently refer to their relationship as something casual, she sure didn't act like it. I suspected it meant much more to her than she was willing to admit. And it was all going to end horribly; that much was obvious to anyone but her. She kept telling me about all his wonderful qualities and how much fun she was having with him. I had the feeling that she was looking for validation. She wanted my support, except, I couldn't give it to her, at least not the kind she was looking for.
That left me in an awkward and uncomfortable position. Because as much as I cherish and support Teacher, I couldn't lie to her and encourage her to pursue something more with Boytoy. It would end up badly for everyone involved, but especially her. Nothing good would come of her involvement with Boytoy. To be honest, I've never even met the guy. I only know him from what she's told me. But what I did know about him gave me a bad vibe. And it wasn't the fact that Boytoy was much younger. They were both consenting adults. No, age wasn't the problem-- although I've joked with her about the fact that he wasn't old enough to buy alcohol yet. And I didn't care that he was waiter, working on his GED. So what? People are more than what they do for a living. No, I didn't have a problem with that.
My problem with him was something much bigger and more serious. You see, Boytoy had a girlfriend, and he was living with her. Teacher was the other woman. And I wasn't quite sure how to deal with that.