Chapter 1 - part 1"So are you ready for your trip?" Laura asked.
I looked up from my mostly packed suitcase. "Yeah, I think I have everything."
"What time are you leaving tomorrow?"
"Early, the girls will be here at seven."
"I'm going to miss you, Sarah."
"Aw, I'll miss you too," I told Laura as I walked over to hug her.
As we silently held each other, I thanked my lucky stars again that I had found such an amazing, wonderful woman. We had met through mutual friends about three years ago and clicked right away. Laura was a little shy, but had a wonderfully silly side that emerged often enough to be quite endearing. We had moved in together a little over a year ago and our relationship had only gotten stronger.
I have to admit I felt quite protective about her still. She came from a very conservative family that pretty much disowned her once they found out she was attracted to other women. About two years ago we had started going to therapy together to help her get over a lot of the rejection she had suffered and it made me so happy that she was starting to come out of her shell.
One some level, I felt guilty about leaving her home while I went on a 3 week road trip with some friends from college, but I also knew that it would be really good for her to have some time to be more independent. She often followed my lead on things and I thought this would be a good opportunity for her to start taking the initiative herself.
It was actually a bit of a miracle that this worked out at all. Back in college, I was really close with three other girls - Jill, Bren, and Marcy. We all called ourselves "foodies", but truthfully we were probably just fat girls at heart. We dreamed about taking a trip one day to explore all our favorite restaurants but I never really thought anything would come of it.
As it turned out, though, we all ended up having a chunk of time off this summer. All four of us had jobs connected to locals schools or colleges, and for the first time in the 6 years since we graduated college, we each had some time off that overlapped enough to take a trip.
The four of us had gone to college in Santa Fe, New Mexico and we settled there after graduation. This road trip we planned consisted of a drive east to Oklahoma City, then on to Little Rock and Memphis. From there we'd turn north to St. Louis before heading back west to Kansas City and finally to Denver.
The idea was that we'd spend about three days in each place, sampling from a wide array of local eateries. Now that we were doing it for real, we spent a good month or so scoping out all the most renowned places in each city, everything from five star restaurants to greasy spoons and food trucks. We scheduled at least three places for each day, sometimes more when there were places that specialized in snacks or desserts.
It's true that seems like a lot of food for four young women. While being self-professed "foodies", we didn't actually indulge that often and for the most part remained quite active. This was going to be our big splurge, and I told myself that it wasn't like 3 weeks of heavy eating could really have that big an impact on my waistline. If I needed to diet and up my gym time when I got back to drop 5 or so pounds, that was no big deal.
"So have you been saving up your appetite for this?" Laura asked me as I finished putting one or two more things in my suitcase.
"You know it," I chuckled, patting my flat stomach. "I've been practically starving myself for this trip so I can pig out without guilt for the next couple weeks."
Laura giggled. "What if you came back really fat?"
I laughed out loud. "That would be funny, huh? Could you imagine it if I came back so fat and was just waddling around like this."
I pantomimed waddling around, holding my arms way out in front of me. Laura joined me in laughter, almost with over-exaggerated enthusiasm.
"I am going to miss you, though," Laura repeated when we the giggles died down. "It's going to be so quiet here without you."
"Then I guess you'll just have to liven up the place," I told her, wrapping her in another hug. "I'll be thinking about you every night, wishing you were in my arms. We'll make sure that we have a special night together when I get back, just the two of us."
"Sounds nice," Laura agreed, her head resting on my shoulder.
For a few more quiet moments we held each other, enjoying the warmth and closeness that was so important to our relationship. I almost had second thoughts for a moment and I may have changed my mind if I wasn't so sure that this would be really good for both of us.
The next morning we kissed before I headed out the door, tossing my suitcase into the back before joining the other girls up front. Fortunately Marcy drove a pretty large SUV so there was actually room for 4 women with all their luggage. It's not easy packing for three weeks, even for a rather "low maintenance" girl like myself.
"You bitches ready to ride?!" Jill hollered as we drove off.
She was always a bit of a party girl. A pretty blonde who was a cheerleader in high school, from a distance she could seem fairly vain and stuck up. As soon as you met her, though, you realized what a kind and generous woman she really was. Jill was always going out of her way to bring other people into the group and make them feel welcome.
"Eight hours to OKC!" Marcy cried. "Hope you gals brought your fat pants, we're about to EAT!"
Marcy was a natural beauty with dusky skin and dark hair, a byproduct of her Native American blood. Many in the Southwest claimed that they were "part Native", but Marcy's mother was actually full-blooded. As much as she looked like she belonged on a runway somewhere, she was much more comfortable working in her garden or tinkering with her motorcycle. Married early out of college, she and her husband had two gorgeous children, but you'd never know it looking at her trim form.
"Are you excited, Sarah?" Bren asked me.
"Absolutely! We've been talking about this so long, I'm so happy we finally get a chance to actually do it."
"Tell me about," Bren replied. "My mouth has been drooling for like the past month thinking of all this super yummy food."
Bren is probably the last person you'd expect to be excited about a trip like this. Barely over five feet tall and very petite, she seems like she should be a vegan yoga instructor or something. The girl can eat, though, that's for sure. I remember once watching her take down a whole pizza by herself on a dare. How she stays so skinny I'm not sure, but I know it's not by starving herself.
"So I was thinking we'd get an hour out before having breakfast, then we'll stop a little before Oklahoma City for lunch," Marcy informed us.
We all replied that it sounded good, I knew I was hungry.
10 chapters, created 8 years , updated 8 years
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