“What are best friends for?”
She giggled, laying back onto the grass with me. We both stared up at the sky for a few minutes.
“I can’t believe it’s been four years since we’ve been here. I remember how excited we were to be entering the next stage in our lives.”
Hearing her say that, I reached for her hand, holding it in mine.
We stayed like that for the next hour, neither one of us brought up the fact that we were only there because…
She was leaving tomorrow.
I parked my truck in the parking lot of our next destination and Mila’s face lit up when she realized where we were.
“Jack Daniel’s distillery, huh?”
I smiled, opening the door. “I couldn’t let you leave without recreating your twenty-first birthday from last year.”
“I can still taste the whiskey burning down my throat, Leo.”
“Well, it’s a good thing you already unloaded your cargo, so your stomach should be good to go.”
“Oh my God.”
“What? That was like two hours without me mentioning it. I should get a medal.”
“Okay, so new deal. You’re not allowed to talk about what happened to me for the rest of the day.”
We jumped out of my truck and made our way toward the front of the building.
“Or I’ll tell the boys about you dancing to ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ with me last summer, and how you secretly enjoyed it.”
“I was shitfaced.”
“Then I guess we’re both in shitty situations.”
Grinning like a fool, I gripped onto the back of her neck. “And you made your first joke about opening the gates.”
She swatted my hand away. “How many number two puns can you possibly have?”
“I have balls and a dick. It comes with the territory.”
“Whatever. No more talking about this or I’m texting them the video.”
“You have a video?”
“Only one way to find out.”
“You’re lucky I’m feeling generous.”
“You’re lucky I haven’t uploaded it to TikTok yet.”
“I fucking hate TikTok.”
“Leo, you hate all social media. You only have a Facebook because I opened you one.”
“And look how well that turned out. I never use it.”
“You’ll be using it soon.”
“Is that right?”
“How else will you keep up with what I’m doing?”
“Oh…” I glanced at her. “So, I’ll be using it to stalk you like most of your friends?”
“Nobody stalks me.” She smiled at me. “You’ll be the first one.”
“Lala, have you seen what you look like in a bikini? And now you’re going to be on a fucking island, wearing one on a daily basis. You’re going to get spammed with friend requests. Trust me on that one.”
“Maybe I should open an Only Fans account?”
“And maybe I should go ahead and start collecting bail money.”
She giggled, “Plus, you can talk to me on messenger. For free.”
“Look at you, already budgeting your money like a big girl.”
“Look at you, still going to be living at home like a little boy.”
“There’s nothing little about me, Mila.”
She rolled her eyes. “Maybe not little, but definitely something huge. Have you checked your ego lately? Phew, I’m surprised you can get through the doors of this building it’s so huge.”
“See, now you understand. Everything about me is just so huge. Especially.” I winked at her. “My ego.”
After the attendant checked us off the reservation list, she introduced us to our older tour guide, Bill.
“Hey, I never forget a pretty face,” he greeted, shaking her hand. “You two been here before, right?”
She nodded. “We have.”
“I knew it! You were here for your birthday?”
“Wow, you have a good memory.”
“It’s all the whiskey I drink, darlin’. Now, are you two ready to have a good time? I’m the best tour guide of this distillery so you’re in good hands.”
“Let’s do it.”
I nodded. “You heard the lady.”
He signaled to the first stop on the tour which was Jack Daniel’s office. The property had five different locations that you walked through, beginning with his life, to how they made the whiskey in the barrels, and it ended with a taste testing of ten different brews of the liquor.
“What brings ya two back?”
Our eyes connected, it was obvious that neither one of us wanted to answer his question.
“Ummm… I’m actually moving tomorrow.”
“Movin’? Where to?”
I stared out in front of me, but out of the corner of my gaze, I could still see the cautious expression on Mila’s face.
“Virgin Islands?! What part?”
“Damn. Talk about a whole different life!”
You could say that again, Bill.
“Is your boyfriend goin’ wit’ you?”
“We’re best friends.”
“You two are just best friends?”
“Yes.” Her hesitant expression didn’t change.
“You know what? You guys remind me a lot of me and my wife. We were best friends too. Did everythin’ together. Until she decided she needed to spread her wings and move away from everythin’ and everyone she knew. My girl didn’t last longer than four months. Our time apart made us realize that we’ve always loved each other. She came runnin’ back to me and we got married a year later.”