City Lounge: New York (Book One, Chapter Fifteen: Sunday Barbecue)

Chapter Fifteen: Sunday Barbecue:

This is the best part of their Sundays.

Kris has Sunday off today too. He, Izzie, and Diane all arrived at Washington Square Park around near. Their friend, Shasha, flagged them down at the Washington Square Arch.

“Yo!” she said when the trio got closer. Already, she had a bottle of beer in her hand.

“A little early too be drinking, isn’t it?” Diane asked. The wild brunette laughed loud enough to reach the sky.

“Nah!” she said. “Beer always tastes better with meat.” Izzie resisted the urge to make a dirty joke this time as she covered her mouth, giggling. Shasha raised her eyebrow.

“I did not mean it like that!” she said.

“I didn’t say anything,” Izzie said back. Diane gave her girlfriend a small slap in the back of her hand.

“Ow,” the author mouthed. Shasha with the beer in her hand rolled her eyes.

“Whatever,” she said. The three lovers followed her further into the park. Everyone in their group was already in the swing of things. They didn’t remember how this weekly tradition started, but it was too much fun to stop. Ian threw a frisbee at Shane while Liz and Hayley were talking under a tree.

“Looks like everyone is here,” Izzie said. “Shall we divide and conquer before we eat?”

“Yes,” Kris and Diane said.

“Right,” she replied. The three split up and joined their friends in the crowd of hungry people waiting for that savory Sunday barbecue.

-Izzie-

She didn’t get out much. Sundays were the only exception. Mainly because of the food involved. When you when to a Sunday barbecue in Washington Square Park during the summer, you were out until three in the morning. You didn’t leave until you were hungover, stuffed, and couldn’t stand up straight anymore. What started out as a small group turned into the size of a giant block party. Izzie took a peek around who was doing the grilling today. She followed her nose all the way over to the giant grills. Her lips curved into a giant, cat-like smile at who was behind the grill.

“Mr. Cheng!” she said. The forty-something Chinese man behind the grill looked up.

“Oh, Izzie!” he said. “So good to see you again!” The author happened to look over and see Maggie and Naomi sitting by the grill.

“Hello, Naomi, Maggie,” she said. Maggie glanced up and waved while Naomi stared at the grilling meat intently.

“I can’t take my eyes off of it,” she said, swallowing back her drool.

“What are we having today?” Izzie asked as she looked down at the yummy meat on the grill herself.

“Today, we will have duck, pork, beef, chicken, lamb, and vegetables,” Mr. Cheng said. Izzie licked her lips.

“Will it be spicy?” she asked.

“Tangy and sweet,” he said.

“Are you going to use your secret sauces?”

“I always do.”

“Nice!” Izzie turned to Naomi and Maggie. “May I join you ladies?”

“Sure,” Maggie said.

“Cool,” Naomi said in a dream-like tone without taking her eyes off of the grilling meat. Mr. Cheng chuckled to himself as he flipped over a piece of chicken bathed in peanut sauce.

-Kris-

Katie raced over and grabbed Kris by the arm, giggling. The soldier smiled and shook his head.

“Hello, Kate,” he said. The blonde-haired one looked up at him for a minute.

“Oh!” she said. “I caught a wild Kris at the Sunday barbecue!”

“Yes, I had time off today,” he said.

“Sweet!” Katie said. Her old friend laughed.

“And how have you been doing?” he asked.

“Great!” she said. “I am hoping that I’m not on call tonight. Mr. Cheng is doing the barbecue today.”

“Nice.”

Katie looked around the blended crowd. “I don’t see Izzie or Diane anywhere.”

“Oh, they are around somewhere. Diane is probably talking to Liz and her group and Izzie’s is near the grill, drooling over it.”

His friend laughed. “That sounds just like them. Oh, that reminds me of something.”

“What?”

“You know Matt, the doctor I went out on a date with last week.”

“Yeah?”

“I brought him here to the barbecue. Would you like to meet him?”

“Sure.” The old friends went off to search for Katie’s potential new boyfriend.

-Diane-

“Look out!” Ian shouted as he threw the frisbee at Shane while Diane made her way over to Liz and Hayley. The journalist ducked just in time. Shane jumped up in the air and caught the red plastic disk.

“Nice!” Liz shouted.

“Hey, guys,” Diane said.

“Yo,” Shane said, waving the frisbee in the air.

“Back together again,” Hayley said.

“Yeah,” Diane said. She sat down with Liz and Hayley under the tree.

“Let me guess, Izzie’s at the food again, right?” Shane asked.

“You know she is,” the Scottish woman said. “She only comes out if there is good food.” The girls laughed. Hayley looked around like she had heard a gunshot in the air.

“Come on,” Shane said. “Neil’s not here. If she was, you wouldn’t be able to find her right away in this crowd of people.” Diane tilted her head.

“Neil?” she asked. Ian chuckled.

“Oh, just a butch black lesbian that Hayley here has a crush on,” he said.

“Shut up!” Hayley yelled, covering her ears as her face turned red. Shane patted her on the head.

“Why don’t you just go ahead and tell her that you like her?” she asked.

“She scares me,” the comic book artist said in a tiny voice.

“But you still like her?” Diane asked. Hayley slowly nodded.

“What are we going to do with you, huh?” Ian asked.

“Help me?” Hayley asked. Liz smiled and shook her head.

“Oh, you,” she said. The comic book artiest flopped back on the grass.

-Everyone-

Just like last Sunday, everyone ate, socialized, drank beer and relaxed. They will do this again next Sunday and the next, all the way until autumn sets in. Food and booze makes them all put off that fact that most of them have to work tomorrow just a little bit longer. Already, the guests were counting down to next Sunday.

Izzie smiled as she took a bite of her grilled lamb bathed in spicy lime and peanut sauce.

End of Book One

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