That Rainbow Feeling
Peggy J. Herring
Bailey looked at her watch again more out of habit now than anything else. Traffic was no longer inching and had come to a complete stop. She heard the helicopter overhead and wondered if she could get some news on the radio that would tell her what the problem up ahead might be. Then just by accident she noticed a woman in the car beside her waving her arms and pantomiming rolling down a window. A bit curious about what this stranger wanted, Bailey obliged.
“Hi,” the woman said.
About my age, Bailey thought, and some seriously nice long red hair.
“I saw the rainbow sticker on your car and knew it would be safe to ask you for a favor.”
Bailey couldn’t help but laugh. That sticker had more than paid for itself on several occasions. “What’s the favor?” Bailey asked.
“I forgot my cell phone this morning and I’m going to be late for work. Do you have one, by chance? And if so can you make a call for me?”
Bailey casually reached down and fingered the cell-phone lying next to her on the seat. It was definitely a weird thing for someone to ask, but it made sense, and Bailey knew she should just offer the woman her phone. After all, it wasn’t as if she could run off with it.
But if she made the call for the woman, it would give her a chance for some interaction with her, and, another glance verified that this would be a pleasant way to pass the time during the traffic jam.
“What’s the number?” she asked, turning on her phone.
“Hello,” a sensuously deep, definitely feminine voice answered.
“Uh, hi, I’m calling for...” she glanced over at the redhead.
“Valerie,” she quickly supplied.
“Valerie,” Bailey continued parrot-like. “I’m calling for Valerie, she’s stuck in traffic...”
“So I have to cancel our date,” Valerie said, just loud enough for Bailey to hear, but not loud enough for the other woman to hear.
“So she has to cancel your date.”
“And just who the heck are you?” the woman on the other end asked angrily.
“Me? I’m Bailey. I’m in the car next to Valerie and so she asked if I could give you a call on my cell.”
“Yeah, right, like I’m gonna believe that one. Put her on the phone right now!”
Bailey stared at the phone for a moment, then began to hand it to Valerie, who quickly, and violently, began shaking her head and mouthing, “No, no!”
Laura DeHart Young
“Uh, I’m sorry. Valerie’s in her car and I’m in mine. So I can’t really put her on the line.”
“Then you give her a message for me,” the angry woman replied. “You tell her we’re through. Got that?”
“Yeah, sure.” The phone went dead. Bailey glanced over at Valerie and shrugged. “She said to tell you that you guys are through.” Bailey made a slicing motion across her neck. “Through as in kaput, you know?”
Valerie shook her head. “Ah, she’ll get over it.”
“I don’t know. She was damned pissed. Say, I thought I was calling your work number, not your girlfriend.”
“It was my work number. That was my boss. Guess I’m out of a job, too.”
Bailey laughed. “No job, no girlfriend, and stuck in traffic. Nice way to start the day.”
“Well, I met you, didn’t I?” Valerie winked and gunned the engine. “I think it’s been a great day so far.”
Karen, reclining in the seat next to Bailey, sat up. “Think again, honey. Bailey and I’ve been together for five years. Got it?”
Valerie turned a bright shade of crimson. She looked at Bailey and smiled meekly, raising her hands in mock surrender. “You’re right. So far, this day has sucked.”