Virginia

“Get me a goddamn drink!” she yelled.

Mumble mumble, was all she heard.

“What? Get the marbles out of your mouth.”

“You’re ornery Vir,” her grandson-in-law said.

Vir held her hand out. “I may be blind and almost deaf, but I know when I don’t have a drink in my hand.” If she could walk she’d already have drank her quota. These damn descendents didn’t know shit. “I’m waiting, Jason!”

She felt cool, female hands gently put a glass in her hand. That would be Atria. “Thank you dear Atria.*

“How did you know it was me?”

“Magic, my beloved descendent.” Vir took a swig of her drink and spit it out. “What the hell is this?”

“Lemon honey kambucha.”

“Taste’s like someone fermented a pie and forgot the alcohol. Get me my bourbon.”

“Granny Vir, you’re not supposed to…”

“I’m not supposed to have salt. The restrictions on my alcohol are set by whatever descendents I’ve outlived. Bourbon, neat.” Vir only took one medicine at age 103 and that was less than what her grandchildren were taking. They better not cut  her off on her own birthday! She snapped her fingers and said, “Hop to it.” 

Firm, warm hands put a glass in her hand. She felt lips on her ear and could barely hear the young voice say, “We don’t have bourbon, Gam-gam, but I got you Scotch.”

Vir took a sip and the smoky liquid slid down her throat. It was silky and delicious. “You are a gem. What’s your name?”

“Hunter.”

Vir took another drink from her glass and said, “Girl or boy?”

“Does it matter?”

Well, Vir thought, Sure it does. “How will you have children if you don’t know?” She felt the body sitting next to her shake. That usually meant the person was laughing. “Tell me your relation.”

“Jason is my granddad.”

The web of descendents spread before her inner eye and she saw the multicolored image and followed the lines and said, “Got it.” She finished off the Scotch and held out the glass.

“I don’t know if I can sneak you another.”

“Sure you can. Get one for yourself too.” Vir knew she was encouraging a young teenager to drink, but if they were invested, they’d be more likely to get her a drink. “The minute I start slurring, you can cut me off. I’ll be you $50 that you start slurring before I do.”

“You don’t have $50.”

Vir reached into her pocket and pulled out the bills. “Unless my aide lied, I do.”

“Son-of-a-bitch! You’re on!”

What would Hunter do with the $50? If Vir could walk, she’d go to a concert. Damn, that wouldn’t be any fun. All her favorites had died fifty, sixty years ago.

Hunter’s warm hands were putting the glass in her hand again. “Why do you think girl-boy doesn’t matter?” Vir quizzed.

“Because we all love who we love. Boy, girl, poly-”

“Poly? How the hell does ‘poly’ procreate?”

“It’s about love, not procreation.”

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Love happens because we’re driven to procreate.”

“Humans are evolving. Sex is still fantastic, and humans will never stop that. But we-”

“You’re not old enough to have sex.”

“How do you know. You didn’t even remember who I was.”

“You weren’t born ‘Hunter’. You should be about fifteen right now. Take it from someone married at sixteen that fifteen is much too young to have sex.”

“But not too young to drink?”

“Well, the bet assured me of my drink.”

“You’re a sly old lady.”

“No, I’m ornery. Your granddad said so himself.”

Vir heard the laugh this time, so Hunter must have really bellowed. 

“He thinks everyone is ornery,” Hunter said.

Vir held her glass out and Hunter did a quick refill. “Oho, I’m not the only sly bitch around here. Your mother must be very busy not to have noticed that bottle going missing.”

“Who told you I stole the bottle?”

“No one. I’m old, not stupid. You’re convinced you’re going to get that $50. What are you spending it on?”

“A phone for my girlfriend.” 

Vir could hear the slightest slur in Hunter’s speech. She’d go easy. Didn’t want to embarrass the child. “I thought they cost $200?”

“Some do, but I’ve already saved $50 and $100 should get a nice phone.”

“Why does she deserve a phone?”

“It’s not about what she earns, it’s about what I want to do for her.”

“Why are you spending money on her? That sort of girl is trouble.” Vir held her glass out for a refill.

“She didn’t ask for the phone. She’s not like that. It would make her happy, and I’d like to see her happy.”

Vir pursed her lips. This child was an idiot when it came to love. Should she shut up? “There are better ways to make her happy.”

“You sound like mom.”

Vir smiled. Of course she sounded like her grandchild. That girl had heard her give advice on many occasions. “Your mother knows what she’s talking about. She was drinking at a younger age than you are now.”

“Are you shitting me!”

“Pay attention. This is the important part. It destroyed her life.”

“Not that bitch!” Hunter said, arms waving wildly and smacking Vir in the head. 

“Oops! Sorry Gam-gam! You okay?” 

“Yep. You?”

“S’aright,” 

Vir clearly heard slur now. She switched the glass to her other hand and held out the one nearest to Hunter. “Give me the bottle.”

“Why?”

“Hunter…”

The bottle was in her hand. “You’re slurring. I win.”

“Shit! Who knew a 103 year old woman could out drink a sixteen year old.”

“I did.”

Hunter laughed loudly again. “You’re sharp, old lady.”

“Watch your back with that girlfriend, girl-child. She’s using you.”

“Fuck! Maybe you’re right. You were right about the Scotch.”

Vir waved the $50 and said. “Stop swearing and buy yourself something that will last.”

Warm arms circled her shoulders and soft lips kissed her cheek. “I love you Gam-gam, and not just for the $50.”

Vir patted Hunter’s back and said, “Love you too sweetie. Be happy.”

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