Hot Blacktop – Ch. 1 – Coffee Break


Sienna Appleton brought her coffee mug to her lips on a strangled sigh and took her first sip. It didn’t help ease her broken heart but it cleared the fog that had settled in her brain since Monday. Memories of her ex rutting on some skank…

“Bastard!” She whispered.

The air draped the landscape in a cottony blanket as it hovered the grassy fields behind her house. Scents of soil and pine mingled and rain descended in an orchestra of chaos. She wiggled her toes perched on the white porch rail, and hugged the coffee mug to her chest. It was a morning ritual that she’d let slide over the past few years. Now she watched the rain run in rivulets that glistened across her new pedicure. The bright poppy-red enamel a burst of color in the dreary scene. She’d treated herself the previous day because Sienna deserved it after discovering her boyfriend, earlier in the week.

“Knock, knock!” A voice hollered from the front of the house. Sienna’s head turned and she saw her best friend Megan walk toward her through her new kitchen. “Hey, baby cakes.”

“Hey, Megs.” She took another sip, her eyes going back to the rain that matched her mood.

Megan plopped down on the seat next to her.

“So,” her friend said. “I see you’ve discarded all of the asshole’s belongings onto your front lawn. I think the sopping wet look is the next big thing from Assholes-r-Us. I’m sure Layton will appreciate it.”

Sienna didn’t reply, the silence was comfortable, but she knew Megan arrived because she wanted to help Sienna get out of the breakup muck that mired positive thoughts.

“So,” her friend said. “I see you’ve discarded all of the asshole’s belongings onto your front lawn. I think the sopping wet look is the next big thing from Assholes-r-Us. I’m sure Layton will appreciate it.”

Sienna didn’t say anything. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see her friend’s lips pinch at the non-response. Sienna had been like this all week, hiding from pitying looks following her in town. She didn’t need that.

“Listen baby-cakes, it’s time to get out of your pajamas and re-enter the real world.” Megan turned to Sienna, grabbed her coffee and set it down on the railing with a thwack. The coffee jumped over the sides to escape.

“Hey! I was drinking that!” Sienna dropped her painted toes and reached to pick up her dripping mug before the rain made it a watered down mess.

“Nah ah, missy,” Megan barked. “You touch that coffee I’ll kick your be-hind.”

“Come on Megs. I haven’t even had a full cup yet.”

“Nope.” Megan grabbed the cup to keep it out of Sienna’s reach. “You don’t get it back ‘till you agree to go out with me tonight.”

Sienna drew her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. “I don’t feel like going out.” She pouted, looking at her friend.

“Doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like going out. You need to get out, show off that great mani-pedi you got yesterday.”

Sienna couldn’t help it when the tears started to come. She thought she’d run out of tears. “He hurt me bad, Megs. How could he do that to me? And for what? To enjoy some anonymous sex when he could have had me. What’s so bad about me?” Sienna sniffed madly, no tissue around to sop up her pathetic tears. Layton didn’t deserve her tears. “Bastard. Bastard.”

“That’s right honey. Get it out.”

“Bastard!” She screamed her heartache into the storm. After a few deep breaths Sienna got her crying under control and wiped her puffy, tear streaked face on her pajama shirt. She turned to her best friend. Sienna flashed back to the time when Megan literally fell into her life.

Skinny arms and legs twisted in a tangle of limbs when Sienna slammed into someone coming out of Hampshire’s Stop and Shop just as she took a drink of her pop. She screamed and groaned as she hit the ground. She flapped her arms like a bird that tried to right herself, the Rock & Rye Faygo running in rivulets down her arms and legs and splattered all over her head. The sticky mess patched together a puzzle of bar-b-que and sour cream and onion potato chips too.

“Gross,” the female voice said.

Sienna flapped her arms some more trying to flick off the chips and pop when she finally looked up to see who spoke. The explosion of pop had hit both girls like a geyser, red dye No. 40 their new skin color. They stared at each other, hair matted, wet and sticky, shorts and shirts stained. They looked so preposterous they burst into hysterical laughter, drawing the attention of everyone in the vicinity.

After the giggles settled down, the girl said, “I’m Megan.”

“Sienna. Nice to meet ya.”

After getting more chips and pop, Megan asked Sienna, “Want to come to my house?”

“Sure,” Sienna said. They’d been inseparable after that.

She smiled fondly of the memory. Nine and ten and gangly was not as complicated as twenty-four and twenty-five. A lot had changed.

Megs was now a curvy-all-in-the-right-places five foot eight woman. She was no longer the tomboy, but a strong, independent, successful woman with the best afro Sienna had ever seen. Her skin was clear and beautiful, the color of a latte. Sienna in looks was the polar opposite of Megs. She had straight blond hair verses Megs’ curls that would disappear on the black beaches of Hawaii. Sienna stood more like a sturdy tree at six foot two and 160 lbs. compared to Megs’ hourglass shape. And she didn’t even want to get into her pitiful cup size.

“What are you smiling about baby-cakes?”

“Do you remember when we first met?” Megan smiled.

“Yeah. Good times.” Megs’ eyes narrowed. “So you’re coming out with me tonight. No more sittin’ home feeling sorry for yourself. You’re coming out with your girl and livin’ it up.” She gave Sienna a quick hug and then pulled her up out of her seat.

“Thanks Megs,” Sienna whispered as she took hold of her friend and returned her hug. “I don’t know what I would do without you.”

“Not much, considering we’re practically joined at the hip, socially and financially speaking.” Sienna laughed, and Megs laughed too, the quiet trill of it relaxing Sienna a bit.

She wasn’t kidding when she said they were joined at the hip. They’d started their own jewelry business right out of college. Sienna dove into an art major while Megan crunched numbers. Sienna had never had a good hold on numbers but Megs, on the other hand, could look at a set of digits and know the total in an instant. She was a beautiful brainiac. They were the perfect pair.

“So, you going to help me pick out an outfit or what?”

“Sure thing baby-cakes.” When her friend turned to open the door off the back porch, Sienna grabbed her coffee mug, when she thought she heard, “And I’ll be sure to find you a good man too.”

Sienna shook her head and followed Megan into the house. For the first time all week, she was truly smiling.


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    • Kelly Bixby on July 14, 2015 at 10:43 pm
    • Reply

    Wendi, the friendship between your characters seems genuine and makes me think of my closest friends. I like the ladies already. You’re mention of “pop” is perfect here in the Midwest; and I enjoyed the other carefully planted details, like “Rock and Rye Faygo.” I’m eager for more of the story.

    1. You’ll be getting more on Aug. 10th. I’m introducing the hero. I think you’ll like him.

    • Sue Remisiewicz on July 12, 2015 at 5:43 pm
    • Reply

    I loved the sensory details. Great story!

      • Wendi Knape on July 12, 2015 at 7:46 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks Sue, I was wondering how it would come across, if it was to wordy.

    • Claire Murray on July 12, 2015 at 3:09 pm
    • Reply

    Good story! I enjoyed it.

      • Wendi Knape on July 12, 2015 at 7:45 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you Claire.

    • Yibbity on July 10, 2015 at 2:41 pm
    • Reply

    Enjoyed “Coffee Break”. I wanted more of it to read.

      • Wendi Knape on July 12, 2015 at 7:45 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks. I’ll have to write some more.

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