“You sit here, and Trish and I will share this seat, and Sally, you sit there by Loretta.”
Everyone did as Brenda said, even though it meant cramming into a space on the streetcar that left them all cramped and awkward. Of all of them, she was the only one who had been to Toronto before.
After a few minutes, Brenda jumped up. “There’s one of those cute step-up four-seater areas open! C’mon!”
Loretta, tired of walking all day, and tired of being bossed around, dared to question her friend’s demand. “Can’t we just sit here, it’s fine.”
Brenda’s eyes blazed. “No, those seats have more room and we can all face one another!” She got up and strode up the aisle to grab the empty seats before anyone else could claim them. Sally followed immediately, while Trish shot Loretta a baleful look before following as well.
When Loretta joined them, Brenda was fully into a recount of the last time she had been to Toronto, some twenty years earlier. Brenda pointed out John Street, “That’s where we started this morning.”
They rode along, talking and laughing, relaxed after a long and adventurous day, excited to slip into their plush hotel robes and stay up late drinking red wine, with no kids to wake them up in the morning. Loretta wanted to ask how much further it was to their hotel, but figured Brenda would let them know. She had been to Toronto before.
Suddenly, a voice on the loudspeaker advised them they were at the end of the streetcar line.
“This vehicle will short-turn at Dufferin Street. This is the last stop.”
Brenda stopped talking, her eyes wide, her mouth agape, and looked around, bewildered. Had she missed their stop? Were they on the wrong route?
Loretta watched as the expression on Brenda’s face revealed more than concern of being lost. There was fear, then anger, then chagrin, then embarrassment. Brenda had lost control of the whole trip; she was supposed to be responsible for getting them everywhere safely. She was in charge of the whole thing. She had been to Toronto before.
As they stood on the sidewalk, arguing about which passerby looked safe enough to ask for directions, Loretta was smugly happy. Best girl’s weekend ever.