Nell and Evelyn sit on the couch just looking at me. Each seem anxious to get started. I start by asking them to tell me about themselves.
Nell speaks up first. She is a lanky looking elderly woman wearing a knee length gypsy looking dress topped with a crocheted sweater. Her earrings are large silver loops that complement her shoulder length silver hair.
“My name is Nell and I’m ninety one this November. Evelyn has been my best friend since I was fourteen. We’ve been through it all together.”
“We sure have.” Evelyn smiles and nods in agreement. “I’m Evelyn but I guess you knew that already. I’ll be ninety this November and well, Nell here has outlasted everyone in my life.”
Evelyn is about the same size and body shape as Nell but her hair is shorter and puffier. She is wearing a black t-shirt with a big rhinestone cross on it and jeans with an elastic waist. Both ladies have metal walkers strategically parked next to them.
I ask them about their relationship and how it has lasted this long.
Nell chimes in first again, “Evelyn here came to my school. We were in eighth grade. She had always gone to a private school but her parents couldn’t afford it no more so they sent her to public school. She was scared to death.”
Evelyn laughs, “Nell here was my real teacher that year. Soon she had me wearing stiletto boots and talking tough before the second semester.”
They continue to tell me about their life together as best friends. They were each married multiple times. They both lost friends and family members over the decades to overdoses, suicide, murder, cancer, heart attacks or car wrecks. They each had fought their own battles with drugs and alcohol and raised their daughters with each other’s help.
“It wasn’t until we turned seventy that we decided to start taking vacations together. We’ve been everywhere except Vegas until this year. That’s why we are here.” Evelyn motions with her arms at the lovely hotel room where we are seated.
Nell gives Evelyn a little punch on the leg. “Tell him what we are going to do tonight.”
These old ladies are intriguing and mischievous. Evelyn smiles broadly and leans towards me. She grabs both my knees with her bony hands and says, “We are going to ride the roller coaster on the top of this hotel tonight!”
I’m sure my expression gives me away. Nell notices first and explains, “The hotel manager at first said we couldn’t ride because we are so old but then Evelyn here told him that she had a note from the doctor saying it was okay. He had us sign some sort of waiver saying we won’t sue the hotel if we die.”
I inquire if there was really a note from the doctor. Both ladies shook their head and laughed.
“See, we are Christians and we don’t gamble or drink. We already have enough to answer for when we get in front of Jesus so we try not to add to it. We figure riding the roller coaster will be the most fun ever. Oh, and if we do die, well at least we’ll be together.” Nell pats Evelyn on the leg as she explains.
An hour later both ladies are hugging me tight and bidding me farewell. It appears their limo has pulled up to take them to the airport. They are flying out in a helicopter to the Grand Canyon for a picnic. I thank them for their time and wish them the best. As I am walking out the door I hear Nell whisper to Evelyn that I have cute rear end. I blush as I walk out the door. There is no doubt Nell and Evelyn are behind me smiling as they put on their lipstick.
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