26: “Where did you get that bra?”

Jacklyn had actually been looking forward to High School Tim’s coming out party. She and High School Tim had been quite close throughout high school. Jacklyn had taken part in a multitude of extracurriculars. She was part of the French club, the Classics club, the math homework room, and latterly the graduation committee. She was also a part of several sports teams, including the track team, the volleyball team, and the badminton team. She’d been quite social throughout high school and she had been looking forward to seeing everybody again.

And then Melly turned up annoyed beyond reason and paranoid that David was going to do something he shouldn’t. In the Facebook group High School Tim had started in order to invite everyone to his coming out party, Rachel Danvers had posted an old photo from a party with a note about being excited to see everyone. On the surface, it was a very innocuous comment. Even under the surface, Jacklyn found it innocent, but the photo had been of her and David with a few other members of the geography club, which was a very real club that David had really been a part of for all four years. Melly was most concerned that the photo Rachel had dredged up was an indicator that she was aiming to steal David out from under Melly yet again. Personally, Jacklyn felt Melly should’ve been more concerned that the photo would remind people that her husband used to be part of the geography club.

“I’d forgotten about that,” Iggy said when Jacklyn brought it up, effectively proving Jacklyn’s point. “Christ, what a dork.”

Jacklyn didn’t even bother disagreeing.

Since Melly was twenty-five months pregnant and pretty slow-moving, she ordered Jacklyn to keep tabs on David. Jacklyn did not want to do this. When she told Melly she didn’t want to do that, Melly began to cry and sniff unintelligible things. Clearly her pregnancy hormones had gotten the best of her. Melly normally rarely cried. She was a very practical woman. Regardless, tears were Jacklyn’s weakness and, solely in effort to get Melly to stop crying, Jacklyn agreed to help her. And that was how she ended up following David through the throngs of crowds for most of the night until she ended up on the edge of the dance floor watching David and Miles dance together like two newborn calves struggling to walk for the very first time.

“Good God,” Jacklyn said in awe.

“It’s something else, eh?” Dick returned, materializing next to her with two beers. He handed one to her. She accepted it with a frown, surprised that he would’ve bought her a drink. They were not especially close, nor had they ever been. He had always been closer to the Miles and Oscar side of David’s friend circle as opposed to the Jake, Dan, and Taylor side. As such, Jacklyn had had fewer opportunities for interaction with him because Iggy had been firmly against fraternizing with Miles in any way. Of course, that had very much changed and perhaps this offering of beer was merely the beginning of a long and fruitful friendship between Jacklyn and Dick.

“Miles handed me a twenty and asked me to buy him a beer,” Dick explained, nodding to the beer he’d given her. “So you can have that because he’s clearly busy and I’ll keep the change.”

On the other hand, perhaps not.

“Well, I guess this means Melly doesn’t have to worry about what David’s getting up to anymore,” Jacklyn commented, mostly to herself. “Unless he’s having an affair with Miles.”

“Unlikely,” Dick replied.

“I assumed,” Jacklyn nodded. She took her newly acquired beer and returned to Melly to report her findings. Melly was sweating profusely in her gigantic Mumu, leaning against one of the walls beside Jana and Iggy. Jana looked perfectly poised, not sweaty in the least, and approximately three months pregnant. Melly kept shooting her sidelong, bitter looks.

“David is drunkenly dancing with Miles,” Jacklyn announced.

“Oh, that’s not good,” Iggy replied immediately. “Miles is a terrible dancer.”

“Well, he’s not much worse than David, if that helps you at all,” Jacklyn offered. Melly glowered.

“I saw Rachel Danvers earlier,” she said darkly. “She looked at me all smug because she’s so thin and she can wear whatever she wants.”

“In your defense, you’re growing another human right now,” Iggy told Melly, gesturing to her belly. “Rachel Danvers is just out there being skinny and wearing capris pants, like it’s 2006. You’re preparing a baby.”

Jacklyn raised an eyebrow at Iggy, but refrained from saying anything as she actually seemed to have appeased Melly slightly. She was still angry and she continued to give Jana sidelong, resentful glares, but she at least stopped badgering Jacklyn about David’s every move and Jacklyn got to enjoy the party for a while.

As it turned out, she should never have given up her David duty so cavalierly because Miles was bad at keeping track of him. Miles claimed it was because David was stealthy, but as Jacklyn had known David for several years, she didn’t believe that at all. He had about as much stealth as a goose. Nevertheless, David managed to escape Miles’ sights and disappeared into the crowd, only to resurface an hour later wearing someone’s hot pink bra over his golf shirt. It was a bold look and not one he could really pull off.

“It is a nice bra, though,” Iggy said, as if that made it better. Melly looked like she was seriously considering the merits of murdering him and raising their children on her own. She could do it. Not only was she very efficient and strong, but if this next baby turned out anything like Madison, it would be asleep roughly eighty per cent of the time and that surely made things easier.

“What the hell happened?” Jacklyn hissed to Miles as he ran up behind David.

“I don’t know,” he answered, flushed and looking wild. “I lost him! He dodged me!”

“You’re useless,” Jacklyn told him harshly, but he didn’t seem particularly bothered by it.

“Why is David wearing a bra on the outside of his shirt?” Oscar asked, sauntering up to join the group accompanied by Helen and Priscilla.

“You don’t want to know why he’s wearing a bra at all?” Jacklyn asked him, frowning.

“I don’t want to limit him as a person,” Oscar shrugged. “I just think that wearing underwear outside of your clothing is usually a bold move. You know, because then you’re, like, Superman.”

“Where did you get that bra?” Melly demanded through gritted teeth, clearly not finding the whole ordeal as whimsical and amusing as everyone else.

“I don’t want to hear it unless you got it from Anya With The Braid,” Priscilla told him, holding up her hand to stop him from speaking before he even began.

“Where did you get the bra?” Melly repeated herself, more aggressively than the last time.

“Cassie DuClark,” David answered.

“Anya With The Braid’s best friend Cassie?” Priscilla checked excitedly. “That’s almost as good!”

“Why did Cassie give you her bra?” Melly pressed.

“I found her explanation difficult to follow,” David admitted sheepishly. Jacklyn assumed that was true; he was quite drunk. “But it had something to do with the patriarchy.”

“Ah, that’s even better!” Priscilla cut in enthusiastically. Iggy walked around behind David and checked the tag on the back strap of Cassie’s bra. She poked her head out from behind David so that everyone could see her again.

“Is anyone else impressed that David has managed to fit himself into a size 32B bra?” She asked conversationally.

“Oh, David, you’re quite slim,” Helen told him, a compliment he accepted graciously with a nod of his head.

“We’re going home,” Melly announced darkly. One look to David and he was following along behind her like a puppy that had peed in the house. Jacklyn watched them go before turning back to face her other friends.

“Well that’s going to be a terrible trip back to their house,” she remarked.

“At least Melly has a free bra now,” Iggy replied. Jacklyn assumed she’d meant it as a positive.

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