You see, the thing my mama would never understand is that a woman needs to have her friends. I’m not talking about the girls she meets in a book club that she randomly signed up for online, or the ones she calls friends but never sees outside of the breakroom at work. No, I mean real friends. The girls she’ll always surround herself with, like a queen does a court.
I had my girls, and my mama didn’t necessarily approve of them. She thought I partied with them too much, and often told me that I needed to give it a rest. But, these were my girls! My best friends! I don’t think Mama has ever had girls like I did. They’ve never abandoned me, and I could never have dreamt of abandoning them.
My girls were so unique. Each one was as different as the colors of the rainbow. There was Vonda and Teena, the two wild girls I met at a party some time while I was in college. Then there was the ever classy Winnie, an old girlfriend, who Mama started to bring around the house when I was a little girl. And, lastly, there was Patti, who just seemed to fit right into the group. They’ve been there through good times and bad, through celebration, and heartache, and sometimes when I just felt like going out and having fun.
It was a Friday night, and we decided to go out for a girl’s night like we did every Friday. I’d seen them all week, but we’d mostly hung out in my living room each night after I got off from work. I piled into my convertible with Teena, and we picked up Vonda, Winnie, and Patti along the way.
The sky was dark, and there were no cars on the road, so we blazed down the highway with the top of my car rolled down, and the music blasting. I raised my left arm, and waved it in the air with a loud cheer. I felt free, with the wind blowing through my hair, and the excitement pumping through my veins.
Teena was sitting next to me in the front passenger’s seat, Vonda, Winnie and Patti were in the back. I cheered, again, before pulling Teena over to me by the neck. My lips met hers in an open mouthed kiss. She tasted a little like lipstick and lemon juice. I tried to pull her closer, to sit her in my lap. I wanted to kiss her again, but there was a shift in the air, and suddenly red and blue lights flashed, reflecting in my rearview mirror.
I pulled over onto the shoulder of the road, and when the cute officer came to my window, I smiled at my girls, and shifted Teena off of my lap.
The women in the cage the officer put me in were all dressed like me in one way or another. The officer took my girls off somewhere else, and forced my to sit on a bench, trapped behind bars with these other women. He went on and on about how my license was suspended but I didn’t really care, because my girls were nowhere in sight and I was pissed.
The next morning Mama was there to get me. She had my purse and my phone, but the girls didn’t come out with her. She didn’t say a word, but when we started to drive away from the godforsaken cage, I noticed that we were heading somewhere in the opposite direction of where my home was. When Mama finally turned into a parking lot, I noticed that the building she pulled up in front of was brick, and that men in white uniforms waited in front. Mama cried, and told me that I must go with them, and I was about to tell her that I was a grown woman and I wanted to go home, but the men pulled me out of the car and escorted me away.
I missed my girls, but talking about them helped deal with the fact that they hadn’t come to visit me. When she visited, my mama told me that they weren’t good for me, and I knew that she was right but it didn’t make me miss them any less.