Okie fan fiction is what happens when Marisa is supposed to write a post, but wasn’t assigned a topic. She’s great at following directions, but when you leave her alone, she imagines that the world of Oklahoma media and politics is a world of intrigue, where only she can bring justice.
The evening started out normal enough. I was just hitting that second beer buzz on the third floor of McNellie’s when they approached me. At first I pretended not to notice. Perhaps they had come for someone else. But as they got closer, I knew they could be looking for no one else.
“What’s up, Marisa?” Emily Sutton asked, sitting next to me. She stared straight ahead at all sixty glorious tap handles.
She asked the bartender for two Leinenkugel Sunset Wheats. That’s when Joleen Chaney sat on my other side. I thought about making a comment about how they were drinking girlie beers, but decided against it. I knew why they had found me, and I knew it would be better if I made it easier on myself. And besides, after I finished my COOP F5, I fully intended to have a Leinie myself.
I took another swig. “What’s up?”
They didn’t look away from the taps. I guess we all may have been being so nonchalant that it would’ve appeared strange to outsiders. What group of women at a bar don’t look at each other and animatedly speak and gesture? But then, I suppose we all knew what was coming. This wasn’t some joyful reunion of friends. This was business.
He had called in to collect on that favor. They had been sent to get me.
I looked down at my watch. It was only six o’clock. I hoped whatever he needed wouldn’t take too long. I still had to make it all the way from midtown to Norman for trivia night at O’Connell’s. That Coor’s Light served in a football helmet with a tall protruding tube of beer wasn’t going to drink itself.
I finished my beer and they did the same. I stood up from the bar stool and Chaney did as well, perhaps a little too quickly. I could tell that she thought I was going to run. Not being nearly one-sixth the athletic specimen that either of them were, the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. They ushered me out the door and down the stairs. They stood so close to me that I could smell their perfume. They both smelled like the pretty girls from high school, you know, the ones whose prom dates didn’t leave with other girls like mine did. I marveled at their ability to walk down stairs in skirts and heels.
We loaded into the back of a black SUV with extremely tinted windows—the kind of tint that got you pulled over in Edmond. Sutton and Chaney sat on either side of me. I couldn’t tell who the driver was, but it didn’t seem important. I could tell we were making our way towards downtown. But with all the twists and turns, I was getting lost. Hell, I got lost in downtown anyway. And with all the construction lately, there was no chance that I would be able to find my way.
I could tell we were near the Civic Center, and in the heart of a lot of the construction. The driver pulled over onto some gravel where a sidewalk used to be and stopped the car.
“We’re sorry,” Sutton said.
I looked at her for the first time since I got in the car. Why would she be sorry? We all knew this day would come and there was nothing that any of us could do about it.
Chaney put her hand on my shoulder and nudged me to get out of the SUV. “There was just no way around this,” she said.
Thoroughly confused, I got out and tried to find where I was. I could see the Devon Tower nearby, looming. A chill ran down my spine. I reached in the pocket of my hoodie to find my phone, only to realize that it was gone. I looked up. Chaney had it in her hand. She’d had plenty of chances to grab it. I should’ve thought about it sooner.
That’s when I saw him. He emerged from the shadows of one of the many nameless buildings in the downtown area, his signature sweater and popcorn bucket a menacing clue as to what the night had in store for me.
I nodded to Chaney. “Text Tony Hanadarko for me. Tell him I’m going to be late to trivia.”
To be continued…
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