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Jude McLean Author

A Tale of Two Margaritas

00:00 / 04:19

It was a dark, humid, rainy Summer afternoon just two days ago.

“Jude, hi!”

“Sara! Hi!

“I love your hair!”

I laughed into her sleek ponytail as I tightly hugged the woman in front of me like she was my life raft. If anyone was watching us, they would have easily thought we were old friends, maybe sisters that had been kept apart during the pandemic and were now able to see one another. But that wasn’t the case at all. We had never met. Until that moment, we had never even heard the sound of each other’s voices. We had only ever texted. 


Sara and I were contact tracers. We had started work at the same time in June of last year and somehow found our way to each other. We would help one another out when the workload got heavy and eventually found ourselves gabbing about our lives and found that we had a few things in common. Although, not much. Not on paper anyways. She has four children and, therefore, a life very different from mine. As you all know, I don’t have kids. I have godchildren, and that is as close to having kids as I want to be. Most women who are mothers want nothing to do with me. I’m not in the club. But not Sara. When she told me that she spends her birthday taking her kids around to all the local bakeries, I begged her to adopt me, and she welcomed me with open arms. Little does she know I plan on making good on that idea. 


After we had squeezed the last breath from each other, Sara and I hurried inside the restaurant through the rain. Neither of us bothered with an umbrella, and it was much too hot for jackets. We laughed the whole way. She laughs like she means it, and I love that! The hostess looked at the pair of us with a disapproving smirk. We exchanged a ‘what’s her problem?’ glance. Finally, the waitress asked if we would like drinks. I wondered if they made margaritas, and Sara chimed in, “That’s what I was going to ask too! Two margaritas with salt, please,” she said, ordering for the two of us. We both smiled wide, excited to finally be meeting and sitting down to lunch. We both were starving, and it was evident that we would need sustenance to give us the energy to keep up with each other. 


Everything was easy with Sara. Smiling, listening, talking, laughing, sighing. We swapped life stories. Neither was a bed of roses. But both of us were able to shrug our shoulders and move on. She has seen tragedy and came out the other side. I respect that. She knows how to enjoy herself and thoroughly make fun of life. She is a successful mother who adores her children. She is a member of the local dramatic society. Her story of their production of Merry Wives of Windsor was hysterical. I wish I had been there to see it. Next time. And here is where I fell in love with her - she’s a baker. In fact, one of her specialties is Frozen Margarita Pie! I proposed marriage to her right then and there. She said no, darn it. I had visions of Margarita Pie being served every day, and it what a beautiful dream that was. Give me a moment while I enjoy the thought … ahh. She and I filled each other’s gaps. She bakes magnificent pies, and I make delectable cakes. She acts, I write. She kicks like in the teeth. I kick it in the rear. She’s responsible for a family of kids. I’m responsible for a family of cats. A friendship made in heaven if ever there was one. 


We both overate, could have done with one less margarita, laughed until our faces ached, and left with the solemn promise of another lunch date soon. I’m going to use this article as a shameless way to bribe her into keeping that promise. So you’re stuck with me, sister-friend! Cheers!

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