Vanishing Act

DENEEN L. BROWN is a staff writer in the <a href="" TARGET="_blank">Style section</a> of The Washington Post. She can be reached at
DENEEN L. BROWN is a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post. She can be reached at (Courtesy Author)
By DeNeen L. Brown
Sunday, November 9, 2008

She called me the other day. Frantic, from New York. Had just broken up with a man. Needed to chill out.

Girlfriends are all about drama. I had just watched "Sex and the City: The Movie," and if it taught me anything, it taught me that women need each other, especially when a girlfriend has been jilted.

So I told her: Of course I would pick her up at the train station, even if it was too late on a Monday night. Of course she could stay in my basement, even if it had not been prepared for houseguests. And of course my friend could stay as long as she wanted. I didn't mean that last part, but that is what good friends are supposed to say.

She arrived sporting skinny designer jeans and a fresh manicure. She was famished, so I served her leftovers. We talked about the good times in the past, such as our travels together, and then about the various turns life had taken since. We would have been up all night catching up, but we were getting too old to wait for the sun and still look good the next day.

I put fresh sheets on the futon, put out fresh towels and a new bar of soap, asked whether she was comfortable, then went upstairs.

While brushing my teeth, I heard something.

I peered out and saw her on the staircase laughing and calling my name.

"The bastard," she said. "He promised to call me back in an hour. He's probably with that blonde!"

"I'm brushing my teeth," I mumbled. I came out of the bathroom only to find her in my bedroom, checking my closet door.

"It's locked," she said.

"No, it's just stuck," I said. "It's an old house. Doors swell in the summer."

But she kept pulling on the knob. By now, I was suspicious.

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