• mariokiefer

Bougie Chronicles - Episode 3

“Thank you for picking me up,” Bougie Becky said to Cali Kerry as she got into the front passenger seat of her friend’s Tesla. “I can’t believe that old Toyota broke down again.”


“No problem,” Kerry replied. “You were on the way. We just need to drop Johnny off at the school then hit the coffee shop.I simply cannot function until I have my coffee. I’m just sorry that you had to see me looking like this.” Kerry let out a little laugh at her joke.


Becky looked over at her friend. Kerry was wearing her pajamas and flip-flops, no make-up, and her hair had possibly received only a momentary brush of her hand.


Kerry noticed Becky looking at her and said, “Yeah, I am not fit to be seen in public while sporting my disheveled-mom-in-the-morning look. Some people can get away with walking around in their jammies. I am just not one of those Walmart people.”


Kerry slowed the car until she came to a halt. Up ahead, a school bus had stopped acting as a dam to a river of red brake lights. “This traffic has gotten out of control,” she said to Becky. “I can’t believe how bad it’s gotten. And it seems to get worse every day. They need to do something about it.”


From the back seat, Kerry’s son, Johnny interrupted, “Mom, I forgot to tell you. I have a meeting with coach after school. I will be about thirty minutes late.”


“That’s okay, sweetie,” Kerry replied. “I will be there to pick you up - at the usual spot.” She smile at the image of her darling child in the rearview mirror. Like many boys his age, he was quite active and Kerry often found herself playing chauffeur.


Becky said, “The growth out here has been amazing. Not sure what they can do about the traffic as long as it keeps growing.”


“Too many people, too many cars,” Kerry replied as the school bus ahead of them started to move and the traffic that had backed up behind it started to move along.


***


It was another twenty minutes after dropping Johnny at school when Kerry and Becky sat in the line of the drive-thru for the coffee shop. Kerry bemoaned, “We need another coffee shop. We’ve already been waiting ten minutes in this line! There is an obvious need.”


Becky turned to look at her friend sitting in the driver’s seat and replied, “There are a number of coffee shops in town. There is that Cafe in the Village Square, one down across 71 from the Galleria. There is also a few up 620.”


“Those are out of the way. I can’t drive all the way over there after dropping Johnny at school. I need one between my house and the school.”


“What about the one in the old ‘Mizu’ building? Across from the hospital?”


“They don’t have a drive-thru,” Kerry complained and in a moment of altruism said, “Besides, I wouldn’t want to subject anyone to the way I look this morning. I am hardly fit for human eyes at this time of day.”


Becky pursed her lips looking at Kerry and wondered to herself, “If you are embarrassed to be seen in public looking that way, why are you going out in public looking that way? Maybe, get dressed before you leave the house.” Of course, she didn’t say this to Kerry. She didn’t want to get into an argument with her erstwhile friend.


Changing the subject, Becky asked, “Are you coming to the meeting tonight?”


“Of course. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!” Kerry proclaimed. “I can’t believe that developer would even think about building townhomes or apartments on that plot of land. There is way too much development out here, now. Everything has gone to shit. We have to oppose this however and whenever we can.”


Becky averred, “Well, let’s hear him out. I don’t want to judge without all of the information.”

“What more information do you need? Right now, that land is wild and pretty. It should remain so.”


“Once upon a time - not that long ago - the land where your house sits was ‘wild and pretty’. I am sure there were people who opposed building where you are.”


“That’s different,” Kerry replied.


Becky did not say, but thought to herself, “It’s always different when it’s you.”


“What is taking him so long? How hard can it be to make a simple cup of coffee?”


Becky, who had been looking at her phone, replied, “I see here on the local group that a brewer is down. They are also hiring. Likely, they are terribly short-staffed.”


“Maybe if they paid these guys a living wage they would have less trouble hiring,” Kerry responded and Becky thought, “They will never pay them enough to afford to live out this way - and who wants to drive all the way over here for this job when they can find one closer to home?”


“I plan to speak up at the meeting pretty loud against this development. The last thing that we need in this community is townhomes or apartment buildings.”


“Not everybody can afford the homes out here. Where are they supposed to live?”

“Up the road in Austin. There are plenty of apartments up there. We want to be sure that our city attracts only the right kind of people.”


And Becky thought, “Who exactly is the right kind of people?” But she held her tongue. She didn’t want to get into an argument with her friend.

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