Jane stood in the middle of the Morgendorffers’ front yard, another snow ball going up and down in one hand and a cell phone in her other. There was no one else is sight. Daria finished wiping the mess off of her face and frowned at her friend. Jane looked back at her with a small apologetic smile on her face.
“You know I could have put a rock in there if I wanted to. I just wanted to get back at you for ignoring all of my phone calls. That reporter you got wet this morning is probably off smiling somewhere now too.”
Daria’s frown deepened as she slammed the window shut and sat back on her bed.
“Daria, I know your folks took off for the holidays without you. You said so much on the message that you left for me this morning. I know you’re sitting up there with your telephone wrapped in your jacket and shoved into a drawer,” Daria’s eyes dropped momentary to the drawer in question, “but I’m not going to leave you alone for the holidays.” She paused. “Daria? Come on, Daria. It’s a bit cold out here. Daria?” Daria sat on her bed looking at her boots. “Daria, don’t make me do something to get you to come to the door. You know I well.” Daria heard a loud sigh from outside followed by Jane greeting someone. She wouldn’t.
The front door flew open. Jane had her back towards it and Daria ran out of the house. Two neighbors stood opened mouthed in front of her.
“It took a week before I could sit down again. And another thing. My girlfriend, Daria, she likes it when we’re in the shower together and I shove my tongue insi….,” Jane finally noticed Daria standing beside her. She smirked and motioned to the couple. “Daria, what a pleasant surprise. I was just telling my new friends…”
Daria grabbed Jane by an arm and hauled her into the house, slamming the door behind them. The two neighbors looked at one another, shrugged, and walked off.
Jane took off her coat, plopped down on the couch, noticed that she was sitting on something, pulled the remote out from underneath her, smiled, and turned on the television. “So, amigo. What’s cooking? What’s baking? What’s shaking?”
“Jane? What are you doing in Lawndale.”
“Um, I live here? Come on, Daria. You’re not turning into one of the dumb people that we make fun of, are you? Hey, Megas XLR is on.” Jane leaned back into the couch and rested her feet on the table. “Thank God for quality cartoons.”
“I mean what are you doing back in town. Aren’t you supposed to be at that artist’s retreat?”
Jane’s smile dropped. She sighed, sat forward and dropped her boots to the floor. “I meet this guy…”
“What else is new, Lane?”
“Funny, Daria. He was there as part of the writer’s conference. He was an older guy and we seemed to hit it off well.”
“So, what happened?”
“Weirdest thing. He had this thing for penguins. And he kept on changing his name.” She put her feet back on the table and leaned back. “I seem to pick up on all the strange guys. I don’t know what to tell you.”
“So you came back to Lawndale over this guy.”
Jane shrugged. “Made things uncomfortable.” Jane perked up a bit. “Plus I received your voice mail. Couldn’t let you celebrate the holidays all by yourself. Got any coffee? It’s cold out there.”
Daria smirked as she made her way into the kitchen.