Are You Awake -1-



There is no place that I hate more than Portland, Oregon, in the spring. Rain, rain, and more rain. If you suffer from seasonal depression, this place will send you over the edge. Out of all the colleges that I could have attended, I chose the University of Portland for one reason. Haze, the voice of a God, or as close to one as I will ever see.

As I sit in the coffee shop across the street from the radio station, my phone vibrates a warning signal. In five minutes, Lola will run across the street and get a coffee. Bullet coffee would never be my choice, but sitting in front of me is a cup of his favorite brew. It’s godawful, but if he drinks it, I should too—Strong black coffee with a teaspoon of both butter and coconut oil. The cup looks like an oil tanker spilled, and this is the result.

“How in the hell could he like this?” I whisper, trying to swallow another sip.

“Did you say something?” said an older woman across from where I sat.

I laughed, shaking my head, “Oh, this coffee is horrible. I’m not sure why I torture myself with trying to drink it.”

As she held her cup in both hands, the steam rising in a cloud of smoke, the woman nodded, “We all have our reasons.”

I lost all sense of focus when the radio station’s door opened. A pink umbrella pushed open, and Lola ran across the street to the horns of weaving cars. My heart was beating fast, you would think the man himself was walking in, but no, it was Lola. Not that I’m upset to see my best friend, but she spent five days a week with the love of my life, and I couldn’t get the time of day from him.

Shaking her umbrella before walking in, Lola rushed to the counter, ordering the coffee before looking over and waving.

“Hey, you want to have lunch with me?” Lola asked.

I nodded, my coffee shaking as I did. God, can this shit spill, so I never have to drink it? If I ever meet, the first thing I will do is show him what a decent cup of coffee is.

“Sure, but, well,” I said, my voice coming in almost a stutter. “Can you invite and see if he will come?” I said.

With a disgusted eye roll, Lola quickly paid for the drink, walking to the table, “No. You know I can’t do that, plus, you would spill your food and make a fool of me.”

Before I could even reply, Lola was out the door and walking through the rain this time. She forgot her umbrella, and the downpour seemed to open the sky with a vengeance. I shouldn’t find amusement in that, but she got what she deserves.

“See what happens to bad people?” a voice said.

It was the same woman as before, but before I could respond, she was gone. Taken back for a moment, I didn’t know this lady, yet she seemed to say in five words what I couldn’t admit in a year. I knew Lola liked it, but I never thought she wanted to keep him to herself until now.

Before leaving the coffee shop, I sent a text to Lola about lunch. “Hey, what time and where?” send.

On the way out, I grabbed a regular coffee and Lola’s umbrella. No reason for both of us to get wet, right?

My phone chimed the moment I pushed the umbrella up. “Goddammit,” I growled.

“Hey, meet me at the Roadhouse, and I have some information you want to hear,” Lola texted.

“What the fuck? What information? How could you do this to me,” I screamed into the phone using the talk feature.

Nothing, no response from Lola. I swear on everything I have, I’m going to kill her the moment I see her. You can’t do this to a girl. Tell her you got the news and shut her down without telling. It’s against the law or something like that. Females are not okay enough to be led on with a secret.

The walk back to campus was short, and the moment the rain let up, I tossed her umbrella in the trash can. It serves her right after doing what she did.

Every inch of my body tingled as I watched the clock tick too slow. Holding my phone tight just in case Lola texted me, the second the class was over, I bolted for the door. No standing around talking today. Whatever Lola knew was driving me insane.

Thankfully the rain lifted, and the sun finally peeked through the scattered clouds. It’s a five-minute walk to Roadhouse, and I know with each step, my heart will bust through my chest in anticipation. Lola better not keep me waiting, not today.

The Roadhouse is a local college hangout. As usual, it’s packed. I scanned the room, finding Lola in the corner alone. I half-heartedly wished that she would have asked to join us.

“Okay, what the hell?” I asked. Slipping into the booth across from Lola, I held my phone up to the text she left me hanging on.

“Oh, that,” she laughed. “Haze Luc is going to be at the opening of that new club on Friday, and guess who has two VIP passes?” Lola said.

“Oh fuck, oh god, oh shit,” I squealed.

Lola looked like the cat who ate the canary with that smirk on her face. I swear if she’s lying, I really will cry.

“I do!” Lola smiled, pulling out the two laminated passes for the grand opening of Club Volume. “Don’t worry, I got you on this one, but you have to promise not to drool on him,” she laughed.

“Har har, I swear I will be on my best behavior,” I giggled.

“Hey, did you happen to grab my umbrella?” Lola asked.

Shaking my head, smiling, “Some lady took it, and before I could say something, she was gone. Sorry.”

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