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Meet the Boys Part I - Brian

Brian is Amanda’s “perfect” boyfriend. He’s easy on the eyes, smart as a whip and he manages to tone down much of Amanda’s crap—which is a miracle in itself. But don’t take my word for it; let’s hear Jayne’s colorful description of him…

Brian (as told by Jayne)

Once I had calmed Amanda’s fraying nerves for the eight millionth time in my life, I returned her to the table, into the arms of a semi-plastered Brian. That boy was such a crack up. On an average day, he completely looked the part of the investment banker—the perfectly groomed hair, the well-cut suit and the shiny shoes. (Tonight’s foray into sweater vests kept throwing me off. I knew he was wearing a costume, but his casual attire seemed wrong.) Nothing was out of place. He could discuss every political, intellectual and religious issue on the planet with an accuracy that would put most newscasters to shame. But he could also tell you a joke that would make you blush and would rave about the “dope” laser tag place he found for his nephews. He was great at keeping me on my toes.

Even though Amanda and Brian had been together for a long time, they still seemed like they were in the early days of their relationship—the days when you couldn’t seem to get enough of the other person. Theirs was the stuff fairy tales were made of. It was nauseating, but in a good way. Didn’t stop me from miming hurling gestures behind their backs from time to time.

While they certainly seemed to be happy, I was starting to wonder if their relationship had reached a plateau. They had been dating for six years and Brian had yet to pop the question. Amanda insisted she didn’t have time for a husband, but Holly and I were fairly certain this was simply an excuse to cover up her own concerns. Still, we knew better than to bring it up. Whoever did would most likely be on the receiving end of the world’s most profane rant. Pass!

Engagement ring or not, the two of them were a matched set. They had the same taste in music, craved the same food, shared the same political views and had the same annoying habits. Case in point—Brian shared Amanda’s keen ability to ferret out any issue in the room. I had really been hoping to forget about Tony for the night, but one semi-snide comment from me and Brian instantly knew what was wrong.

It was my own fault. I never should have opened my big mouth. I honestly had no desire to discuss that weasel, but the rise in my bitch-o-meter (and resulting mini-tantrum) had made this an impossibility.

While Amanda and Holly were off discussing their next karaoke adventure, Brian had tried to get me to talk about Tony’s latest offenses. I had managed to stave him off by reminding him that someone had to rescue Amanda from having to sing and bolting before he had the chance to argue. However, the sneaky little bastard cornered me later in the evening, during Amanda and Holly’s Duckie vs. Blane debate. (Holly was Team Duckie while Amanda was a die-hard Blane fanatic.) Neither of us would touch this raging Pretty in Pink dispute with a ten-foot pole.

Once their argument reached its usual fevered pitch, Brian tapped my arm.

“You’ll feel better if you talk about it.”

I knocked back the remainder of my Merlot before answering. “I really won’t.”

“Come on, Jayne. Talking about your guy problems is our thing.”

I gave Mrs. Johansen the high sign that I was ready for another glass of wine before absently saying, “Fine.”

Wait. What?!

I hurried to correct myself. “Brian! Tony isn’t another one of my ‘guy’ problems.” I made exaggerated air quotes with my hands. “We’re not romantically involved!” I pulled a major face before spitting out, “Nasty!”

Brian grinned. “I’m sorry, but how old are you?”

I waved away his attempt at teasing. “Tony isn’t even a guy. He’s a…a…cretin!”

“Good word, Jayne.”

“Thank you.” I deadpanned. “You have to be articulate on the air, you know.”

Brian scratched his chin thoughtfully, his deep blue eyes squinting in concentration. “It seems like there’s far too much tension between the two of you for just a manager-employee relationship.”

I scoffed. “Haven’t you ever hated your boss?”

“With the white-hot passion of a thousand suns.”

“I think you’re mixing up your movie lines, pal.”

“I think you get my point.” He smirked. “Your feelings for this guy seem to run a little too deep for you to actually hate him.”

How was I supposed to respond to such a comment? Were my feelings for Tony deep? Yes. Were they passionate? Absolutely. Did they resemble romance, love or gooeyness of any kind? No friggin’ way.

(Excerpt from Girls’ Night Out by Glynis Astie, Copyright 2018)

Intriguing, no? Amanda sure knows how to pick ‘em. Come back next week to hear a little more about Tony…

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