“Don’t you be giving me that judging look,” Eleanor sat crossed-legged on her bed in her Star Wars pajamas. She was memorizing the lyrics to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody while spooning cookies and cream ice cream straight from the container into her mouth.
Rudy, her pug and best confidant, was curled up on the corner of her queen sized mattress, giving her an unenthusiastic glare. Eleanor set the ice cream aside and cleared her throat.
“Mamaaaaaaa just killed a man.” Eleanor stood up on her bed, Rudy didn’t even flinch. “Put a gun against his head, pulled my…the…his…trigger now he’s gone…dead.”
Eleanor let out a loud sigh and plopped back down on the bed.
“I thought I had it this time, Rudy. I really did.”
“Oh, don’t be giving me that sass. It was a good effort,” Eleanor said, “besides, I’m pretty sure Ashley won’t mind if I don’t get every word right tonight. It was her idea to go to karaoke in the first place.”
Eleanor flopped to her back, tracing her finger along the patches of the quilt she was laying on.
“I don’t even know why she wants to go out tonight. I mean, I get it that she broke up with Graham and wants to get wasted to forget about it, but seriously, when has that ever worked?”
She rolled her head to the side to glace at Rudy, he hadn’t moved an inch, but was still looking towards her in a listening fashion.
“The last time this happened with her and Will’s tragic end to their romantic two week fling, I had to literally carry her out of Zeke’s Pub on my shoulder while she sang ‘Sweet Caroline’. When the Uber showed up, she laid down on the sidewalk and refused to get up because the ‘gravity was pushing her down’. I mean, I guess it wasn’t as bad as when David ended their two month love affair. She stood on the bar, belting Shakira. But when the ‘hips’ part came, she slipped and landed on my mojito glass.” Eleanor paused, “at least the nurse was pretty cute at the hospital that night.”
“Babe,” Devon called.
“I’m up here with Rudy,” Eleanor yelled.
Rudy shuffled on the bed and scrambled down his little bed stairs. Devon came into the room and was greeted with snorting and slobbery kisses.
“It’s good to see you too Rudy. How’s my favorite little man, huh?” he looked up to the ice cream container on the nightstand, “dibs.”
“No way! That one’s mine, go get your own.”
Devon lunged for the ice cream, but Eleanor snatched the spoon away. He tackled her to the bed, reaching for the spoon, but Rudy had other plans as she snatched it from her hand and ran for it.
“Rudy, you little shit, get back here!” Devon laughed.
“Oh well. He deserves it. I was telling him about Ashley’s newest heartbreak remedy she’s come up with. Karaoke.”
“Oh boy. I can already hear ‘Dancing Queen’ over the loudspeakers. When are we going?”
“In a couple hours. I was just waiting for my favorite nurse to get home.”
“Well I’m hoping that you’re talking about this nurse,” Devon said as he gestured to himself.
“Of course. Who else?” Eleanor smirked.
“We just have to make sure she stays off the bar this time. Wouldn’t want to end up at the hospital again and you meet another nurse to ask on a date.”
Eleanor laughed, “Alright, sounds like a plan.”
“Let’s go get the spoon from Rudy before he buries it in the backyard,” Devon got up off the bed and helped Eleanor to her feet.
“You know, we could always stay in tonight. Hannah said that she was going and would make sure Ash got home okay,” Eleanor said.
“So you’re asking whether or not I would like to stay here with you in our nice cozy apartment or go out to a dingy, smelly bar and listen to drunk people sing overdone 80’s tunes?”
“I love you so much. How did I manage to land a girl like you?” Devon laughed.
Eleanor could only smile back. Because she knew that both of them had been through hell and high water to get to where they are now. The broken hearts, the frustrating days at work, the pressure for perfection. But now, as she’s bouncing on her mattress in her PJ’s, belting out the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody with Devon, she couldn’t help but be thankful for the happiness she always kept through it all. Because she never gave up hope, and never gave up the happiness she knew she deserved.
Even if that meant ending the night digging up the backyard with Devon, looking for the spoon Rudy buried.
“Do not set aside your happiness. Do not wait to be happy in the future. The best time to be happy is always now.” ― Roy T. Bennett