We weren’t thrilled to have our housewarming celebration crashed by one of our least favorite people in Vieques.
“I feel like I need a shower,” Michael said as Daniel headed for the bar.
“I know. It’s like we’re at the Decameron party and Black Death walks in.”
I was definitely on a roll with the literary references tonight.
Michael gave me an odd look and decided to ignore me. “Who brought him anyway?”
“Charlie,” I said, cocking my head in the general direction of the door.
“The grouchy guy from the coffee house. The one who told us how much he loathed and despised Daniel.”
“And who invited him?”
He glanced at Daniel’s retreating back. “Let’s cordon them off and declare that section of the party a disaster area.”
“I’ll look for the police tape.”
The minute Daniel and Roger drifted away from the bar, I moved in. “Make me the smoothest martini of your career,” I said to Pablo flirtatiously.
He batted his very long eyelashes and gave his shaker a tremendous workout.
“By the way,” I remarked as he handed over my delectable-looking drink. “See that roly-poly guy over there?”
“The one with Roger?”
“That’s the one.”
“What’s he drinking?”
“Absolut and tonic.”
“Make the rest of his drinks triples. Every one of them.”
An hour later the party was going gangbusters. Pablo was shaking up cocktails like nobody’s business, and a dozen or so people were dancing in the great room.
Our next door neighbor was standing on the balcony doing his rooster-crowing imitation over and over again in approximate rhythm to the music.
During a brief lull in the music Daniel rushed up to me with an exceedingly mournful expression plastered across his disheveled face. He was clearly having a rough evening. His glasses were askew, his hair standing on end.
“I did it deliberately,” he slobbered. “I’m so sorry.” He appeared to be on the brink of a crying jag.
“Painted the room this color. I knew you’d hate it.”
He stared at me a moment, a thin line of drool seeping from the corner of his mouth.
“Because I’m an asshole.”
It was impossible to disagree with him. It really was.
On the other hand, an apology is an apology.
“Don’t worry,” I said, smiling brilliantly. “I absolutely love it.”
As I finished speaking, his little pug-face crumpled into a mask of despair, and he began to weep.
Apparently, my forgiveness was the worst blow of all.