Oreos and Areolas: by JENNIFER OBI
“So what’s this about Crystal?”
I dabbed my finger in what was left of my whipped topping that topped a sinfully calorific hot fudge brownie. Crystal’s treat of course. Treat for what, I hadn’t figured out yet.
“Not that I mind a free meal, it’s just that I can’t help but feel like maybe someone died or is about to die and you need me to hide the body.”
“Don’t be so morbid, Stephy. It’s nothing like that, it just that—I need to ask you a favor.”
My longest and oldest friend, Crystal Daniels is the only one who still calls me Stephy and when she needs to ask me a favor, I know it’s going to be for something ridiculous.
“Go ahead, ask. I’ve already been calorie guilted.”
“Now before I ask, I’m going to need you to remember something. Do you remember Corey Tepton?”
“That guy who played the tuba in the band? The one with the nose?” Because of course there was also Corey Handler—the one with the hair, and Corey Trent—the one with the toes, which I could explain but you’d have to had been there for that one.
“Yes, that Corey. Do you remember when I almost lost my virginity to him freshman year?”
“I remember you complaining about the grass stain rash you got from lying on your back behind the bleachers. You bitched about that for about a week.”
“Focus, Stephy. This is serious.”
She had her “I mean business” face on, which usually meant she meant business, or needed to pass gas and was trying to divert focus by wearing her “I mean business” face. I’m not completely sold on which side of line she’s falling on today.
“Go ahead, Crystal. So what about Corey?”
“So, you know I don’t like to talk about it—you know—about what happened when we almost,” Crystal paused to move in and whispered, “had relations.”
I rolled my eyes, “You mean had sex?”
“Stephy!” Crystal looked around to make sure we hadn’t caught anyone’s eye, “Don’t be so loud and vulgar.”
“Crystal, if we’re old enough to have it, it can’t be vulgar. Besides, there are about a million words I could have said that are far more vulgar than sex.”
“I know, it’s just, you know how I feel about that word.”
Crystal, ever the prude.
“Well, anyway, you remember what happened when we tried, right?”
“What? Crystal, that was like ten years ago. I can’t be expected to keep a biographical account of every single thing you do.”
“This wasn’t just some thing. This is something I’ve had to deal with every day of my life since. It’s been scarring!”
“Just what could the Corey with the nose have done to scar you for life?”
Truth be told, the Corey with the nose was likely the least threatening of the three Coreys. Now the Corey with the toes was the one you might’ve wanted to keep a look out for, but again, you would’ve had to have been there to be clued into why.
“It’s what he said, Stephy don’t you remember?”
My blank stare told her “no.”
“I can’t believe you forgot,” Crystal moved in closer and lowered her voice, “he said they looked like pancakes.”
My blank stare told her “go on,” but I guess this one got lost in translation.
“What looked like pancakes?”
“Crystal, I’m not a fucking mind reader.”
Crystal let out a sigh, “Stephy, sometimes you’re just—you’re making this so hard!”
Dropping her voice even lower, Crystal mumbled something.
Now she was wearing her “nervous and I’m frustrated” face. It could have also been her “I need to pee” face, but I’m fairly certain it was the first one. She mumbled something again, and I could just barely catch something.
“Oh for crying out loud, Stephy not Oreos, areolas! Areolas for cripes sake!”
Now everyone was looking at us because of course Crystal looked incredibly crazy screaming about areolas. Her face flushed a deep color of red velvet. How I could go for some red velvet cake.
“Corey said your areolas looked like pancakes?” I stifled back a laugh.
“It’s not funny, Stephy.”
“Actually Crystal, it kind of is. It’s kind of super fucking hilarious.”
“You don’t get it, Stephy. After I revealed myself to him, he laughed for five minutes straight because of how big and dark they were. He said they looked like pancakes with a tiny dollop of butter on top. I was so mortified, I ran away before we could go any farther. It’s haunted me ever since. I refuse to get intimate with a guy with the lights on. If I can get away with not even taking off my bra, it’s a relief. Do you see how this has taken over my life? Not so funny now is it?”
Crystal, ever the drama queen.
“Nope, still funny.”
Crystal was wearing her “I’m glaring at you face,” as she glared at me, hard.
“Don’t be mad, it’s just, I’m just surprised you’ve let this take over your life like this. It’s a little silly if you think about it.”
“Well, it’s not silly to me. It has taken over my life, so I’ve decided to do something about it.”
“So what, are you going to therapy or something? Areolas anonymous?”
I let out a laugh. She makes this so easy.
“Okay, okay, so what are you going to do?”
“I’ve booked an appointment. I’ll be getting surgery.”
“Surgery? What kind of surgery?”
“It’s purely cosmetic, but it’ll make me feel better about—you know—my situation.”
“What is it?”
“Areola lightening surgery.”
“It’s all the rage in Asia. They go in and lighten your areolas. For me, it’ll be a bit different though. They’ll be lightening some of the skin around my areolas so it matches the skin of the rest of my breasts. It’ll be like they’re surgically shrinking them.”
“I’m serious, Stephy. I’ll finally have my life back.” She clasped my hands in hers, it was like she had witnessed a miracle.
“Well, if this what you want then I’m happy for you. Good for you Crystal. Go get your life!”
Crystal should get her life and unless another hot fudge brownie was going to materialize on my plate, we should get the check.
“I knew you would be happy for me Stephy, and that’s why I wanted to ask you this favor.”
“That’s right, you wanted to ask me a favor. That’s why you’re bribing me with sweets. So what is it?
“As my best friend, it would mean the world to me if you could come with me to my surgery.”
“Really Crystal? I’m sure you’ll be find.”
I couldn’t imagine there was much of a history in botched areola surgeries.
“Please, Stephy. Anything could happen. Just think about it. What if the surgeon decides to have an off day and forgets to sterilize his instruments and I wind up with Aids, or hepatitis, or cancer!”
“Crystal, you cannot catch cancer from unclean utensils. Aids and hepatitis, sure, but not cancer.”
“That’s not the point, the point is I’d feel so much safer and more secure if you were there.”
I let out a sigh, “Okay, well when is it?”
“I’d have to leave Kingman’s early, who knows if they’ll let me.”
“Oh, you just have to come. You can tell them you’re attending Geraldine’s funeral.”
“Christ, Crystal, why would you wish death on your dog?”
“She’s been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She’s got one paw in the grave as it is. I can’t be responsible for her life choices, Stephy!”
“Life choices? Crystal, you’re the one who feeds her!”
“Stephy, I just can’t deal with semantics right now. Are you going to come or not?”
She was staring back at me with her puppy dog eyes not unlike the ones Geraldine would give Crystal right before Crystal would cave and slip little Geraldine some bacon.
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll come. It’s not like number one checkout girl at Kingman’s doesn’t give me some pull.”
“Stephy, you’re a real friend.” Crystal started to waive down a waitress to get the check, but I stopped her.
“Wait, we’re not done yet.”
“What is it?”
“Well, this calls for a celebration. Oreo milkshakes on me to commemorate your new areolas.”
I was wearing my Cheshire grin because she knew I just had to.
“You know, Stephy, you’re a real jerk.”