Christie, Doug, and Tammy sat in Tammy’s living room reminiscing about old times. These were Christie’s best friends. It started in High School and had lasted for almost fifteen years. Their careers had separated them by miles but Christie thought it was great when they got together. The conversation turned to their current lives.
“How’s your anxiety disorder? Has it been rough since you were attacked?” Tammy asked Christie.
Christie was shocked by Tammy abruptness in changing the topic to something so sensitive.
“It’s tough but I’ll be fine. How about your promotion?” She quickly changed the topic.
Tammy prattled on about her promotion and the interior designer she had hired.
“Look’s nice.” Christie wasn’t listening. She wondered if Tammy was different or had she always been this self-absorbed. Maybe I’m the one that changed, Christie thought. She interrupted Tammy when she finally paused long enough to take a breath between sentences and asked Doug a question.
“My job’s great but Dennis and I are starting our own business.” He went on telling them about his business plan and potential investors. When Doug started going into the esoteric details of business financing and the tax differences of different types of business models, she couldn’t listen to another word.
Christie lifted her glass. “Here’s to good friends and bright futures.”
Christie heard a loud bump coming from a back room. She jumped.
“Did you hear that?” Doug asked.
“Oh, did that scare you?” Tammy looked at Christie. “It’s probably nothing.”
There was a louder bump. Then another. They all stared at each other wide-eyed.
Christie’s mind whirled. She lowered her voice to a whisper. “Is anyone else or a pet in here?”
The bumping continued.
Christie turned to Doug. “Do you have a pocket knife?”
He fished one out of his pocket. Instead of heading down the hall he handed it to Christie. She glared at him then flicked it open and headed down the hall herself.
“You’re going back there? What if it’s an intruder?” Tammy asked.
Doug also muttered some half-hearted protest.
“If there is an ax murderer back there, I’m not going to just sit here and wait for him to come kill us.” She turned and continued toward the back room.
Christie noticed neither of them followed her down the hall in case she needed help.
When she entered the room, she saw something move in the dark. She held the knife tightly as she flipped on the light. What she discovered was a large, slightly deflated Winnie-the-Pooh balloon floating in the air. It was tied to a chair but it had deflated just enough to put it in the path of the fan. The fan was pushing it against some books and knocking them to the floor one by one. She cut the balloon ribbon. Maybe all three of them had changed, Christie thought, or maybe they had just grown in different directions. It didn’t really matter because she just knew it was time for new friends.
She dragged the balloon to the living room and presented the culprit to Tammy and Doug.
“I just saved your pansy asses from a horrible bear attack.”