A Change of Plans

Printer-friendly version
A Change of Plans

A Last Minute New Year's Resolution Contest Entry

By Melanie E.



“That’s so….”

“True? Accurate? Logical?”

“Stupid,” I said, frowning at my friend Sara and getting a return frown in response.

She rolled her eyes and stood up with a huff. “No, it’s not! Just look at all the signs that are there!”

“Like?” I asked, trying not to talk with my hands, since I was currently half-way through tearing a very messy turkey off the bones.

Sara set her phone aside and went back to prepping the salad. “Like, he’s always coming over to hang out with us, right?”

“Yeah, because we’re friends.”

“And he buys me all these little gifts.”

“He does for me too,” I pointed out, hissing as I stabbed myself on a turkey bone.

“He pays for my meals when we go out.”

“And mine, because he knows we’re barely making rent most months.”

“Ugh! Seriously, Mikey. It’s all there.” She pointed with her elbow toward her phone.

I looked over at it and read the video title again: “Why Men And Women Can’t Just Be Friends,” in big lurid letters. Just to add insult to injury, it was even in comic sans.

“There’s a big flaw in your ‘logic’ you’re ignoring, Sar,” I said, finally wrestling the stabbity bone free of the turkey around it.

“And what’s that?”

“I’m a guy?”

“Psssht.” Sarah waved that off, sending a slice of cucumber flying in the process. “You don’t count, you’re an honorary girl.”

I sighed and shrugged that off, giving the bowl full of turkey meat one last look-through to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. “You sure? Maybe I put up with your messes and your bringing guys home at 3 AM and your smelly farts because I’m in love with you?”

“Bfah! I don’t have smelly farts!” Sara complained, half-way between an indignant snort and a laugh. “And if you were in love with me I’d know.”

“Is that so?”

Sara thought about it for a moment, casually popping a cherry tomato into her mouth as she did so. “Yeah,” she finally said. “See, according to the video—”

“Ugh!” I gave up and took the salad away from her before she could pick anything else out of the bowl. “You’re right, though.”

“About the farts?”

“No, about not being in love with you,” I said, softening it with a hug. “Not that I don’t LOVE you, just….”

“Yeah, I know,” she said, hugging me back. “I’ll get you about the fart thing though.”

“Sure. For now, can you get the black eyed peas off the stove?”


It didn’t take long for us to finish prepping all the Big Things for dinner that night. We slid most of the casserole pans and bowls into the oven to stay warm, and made sure the rest were secure in their plastic wrap in the fridge, then both sat down, proud of our work.

“What time are they supposed to be here again?” Sara asked me, popping the cap on a wine cooler.

“In about….” I checked my phone. “About an hour and a half.”

“Why so late?”

“Football,” I said, sharing a grimace with Sara at the thought.


I agreed. I was more than happy for them to do the football thing at Davey’s place.

Sara took a long drink from her wine cooler and sighed. “So, you still going with your regular resolution this year?”

I thought about it. “Yeah.” My ‘regular resolution’ was a simple one: to get one of the big publishers to accept one of my books for publication.

“That’s nice,” Sara said with a stretch. “I think I’m gonna make this year’s resolution to get my MRS.”

“MRS?” I asked, curious.

“Yeah, my MRS degree. Get married,” she explained when I continued to look at her cluelessly.

“MR-- Oh.” I rolled my eyes and walked over to the fridge to grab myself a drink, going for a root beer rather than anything alcoholic in case I had to drive folks home later that evening. “Why that?”

Sara shrugged. “I’unno. We both turned twenty-eight this year, and it just seems like it’s time, y’know?”

“I guess,” I admitted. “Though I can’t imagine you settling down with one guy.”

“Hey!” Sara said indignantly. “Just because I had a couple dozen boyfriends last year doesn’t mean --”


“—I can’t… what? It can’t be that many.” She looked off and counted on her fingers, then counted again. “I only get 37.”

“Are you counting all three Steves?”

“There weren’t… huh.” She shrugged. “Well, it was a bad year.”

“Year before it was 44.”

“No way.”

I gave her a Look.

“Ugh! Okay! So maybe I’m not great at sticking with one guy! I’m telling you, Mikey. Davey’s in love with me, and I think I could really make something work there.”

Awkward pause.

“What are you thinking, Sar?”

“Oh, it’s nothing! Just….”

“Come on, out with it.”

She sighed again. “Listen. It’s Davey and his roomie Ryan, and Lisa and John?”

I nodded.

“Okay. So, ever since Lisa and John got married they’ve been all insufferable and shit with trying to get the rest of us hooked up with someone, right?”

I nodded again, laughing a bit at the disastrous triple-date they’d tried to arrange back in November. I could still smell the axle grease on the guy they’d brought over for Sara. I’d lucked out – the nonbinary person they’d brought for me to date had told me right off the bat they were ace and only along for the free meal, so we’d had a good time talking about MMOs and writing and ignoring John and Lisa’s attempts to get us to smooch.

Come to think of it, Sara’s date was one of the Steves.

“So, here’s my plan. Ryan makes an extra guy at the party… if you attend as a guy.”

“Sara, no.”

“Come on, Mikey!”

“Sara, NO.”

“But it’s—”


“Pleeeeease?!” She begged me, tossing her now-empty wine cooler and dropping to her knees. “I need this!”

“I’m NOT going to try and seduce Ryan just so you can ruin your friendship with Davey over this whole stupid thing.”

“I’m not asking you to seduce him! Just, y’know, keep him occupied so I can make my move.”

“Sara? I’m. A. GUY.”

“But you look so cute when you dress up, I just thought—”

“AND,” I said, cutting her off, “you’re the only one who knows I’ve ever done that.”



“I mean….”


She groaned. “I’ve only sent them pictures a few times, okay?”


“Hey!” She said, backing up defensively. “Davey said you looked cute, and Ryan sent back peach emojis! They don’t care!”

“That’s not – wait. Davey said I looked cute?”

“You did!”

“When was this?”

“That lilac sundress with the daisies on it.”

“...Is that why he bought me that purple suitcase for Christmas?”



“Listen, I’ll….” She trailed off, staring at the trash can for a moment. To my surprise, she reached into it and pulled out a turkey bone. “I’ll make you a deal.”

“Oh, come on.”

“No, I’m serious!” She said, holding up the wishbone. “Snap it with me. You get the bigger piece, I concede to you that guys and girls can just be friends. I get the bigger piece… and you wear that lilac sundress again.”

“No, I’m not… really with the puppy-dog eyes, Sara?”

No answer: just pout.

“I’m not… ugh.” I rubbed my temples. “Not the sundress. It’s January.”

“How about—”

“Your grey slacks. The ones with the houndstooth pattern.”

“Pants?” She said, disappointed.

I nodded. “And your yellow blouse.”

She thought about it for a moment. “Cute, I guess. I’ll agree to the slacks, but only if you wear my pointy boots. And my plum wrap sweater in place of the blouse. You look good in purples.”


She held up the wishbone, giving me one last hopeful grin.

Reluctantly I reached out and took one leg.




“Hey guys!”

“Hey Sara, hope we’re not – whoa!”

“Hey guys,” I echoed Sara, waving from the kitchen. “Surprise?”

Sara gave me a nasty look as both Davey and Ryan pushed past her, both of them looking me over with wide grins.

I’d told her this was a bad idea.

“Wow! You look….” Davey started, then trailed off. Shaking his head, he walked over to the counter and placed the casserole dish he was carrying next to the plate full of turkey. “We brought over some leftover seven layer dip from the football party.”

“Oh, that’s, ah, great?”

“And chips,” Ryan added, tossing two brand-new bags and one with a clothespin holding it closed on top of the plastic wrap over the dip. His hands empty, he walked over and gave me an unexpected hug. “Dang, Mikey, you clean up nice!”

“Ack!” I screeched, and smacked him with my spatula when he grabbed my ass. “Hey!”

“Yeah, don’t be a prick,” Davey warned him, stepping forward and pulling Ryan back, then giving me an apologetic shrug. “Sorry. You do look nice, though.”

“Oh, this old thing?” I gave a little curtsey, holding out the apron I was wearing like a skirt. Last thing I wanted to do was pay the dry cleaning bill for Sara’s sweater.

“Geez, I was just… alright,” Ryan said, pulling away from Davey’s grip. “Sorry, Mikey.”

“No big,” I said. “But next time I use the sharp side of the spatula.”

“The sharp side?” He asked, then winced when I held up the metal, serrated spatula for him to get a good look at. “Yikes! The hell is that?”

“Combat spatula,” Sara said, stepping up and wrapping herself around Davey in a close hug. “So how’d the game go, handsome?”

Davey looked at me and rolled his eyes, and I rolled mine back. “Pretty good,” he said, giving Sara a light hug. “The Commodores won my six bases, but the Ataris got four yellow flags and led in layups for the first six quarters.”

“That’s great!” Sara said. “The Commodores are great, huh?”

“Yep,” Davey agreed, rolling his eyes at me yet again. “What about y’all? Anything big going on?”

“Not really,” I said, hanging the combat spatula back on its hook over the island. “Talking resolutions and losing bets.”

“So that’s?”


Sara grinned. “I got the bigger bone.”

“That’s surprising,” Ryan said, wrapping his arms around her from behind. “I thought you were the only one of us who didn’t have one.”

“Eep!” Sara eeped as Ryan pulled her away from Davey. “Put me down you jerk!” She slapped at his hands, but she was laughing as she did it.

Davey shook his head and we watched Sara and Ryan wrestle for a while before breaking things off, Sara dashing out the door and Ryan chasing after her.

“Is she twenty eight, or twelve?”

“Twenty eight,” I confirmed for him. “I checked her birth certificate.”

“Hmm,” Davey said, smiling. “So what’s for dinner?”

I started pointing at dishes. “We got turkey, and salad, and potato casserole, and dressing, and cheesecake, and Hawaiian rolls, and black eyed peas with bacon in ‘em.”

“Sounds more like Thanksgiving than New Years,” he said, walking over to the potato casserole and reaching a finger toward the bowl.

“Naaht!” I warned him, pointing at the combat spatula again. “Not unless you wanna lose the finger.”

“The blood would ruin the food.”


He laughed. “So, really, what’s up with the outfit?”

I sighed. “Sara wasn’t lying. I lost the wishbone pull.” I shrugged, choosing not to add the rest of her plan, given that at the moment she was the one distracting Ryan while I was hanging out with her supposed target.

“Well, I approve,” he said, wrapping me in a much friendlier and warmer hug than the one Ryan had given me. Even with the two inch heel on the boots he was still three inches taller than me.

He was still hugging me when we heard a knock on the open door to the apartment, pushing us apart like we’d been electrocuted.

“Oh, hey, you two! Wow, is that you Mikey?” Lisa asked as she walked in, grinning mischievously at us. “Something you wanna tell us?”

“I lost the wishbone pull,” I said again, not bothering to explain further.

“Ah. Well.” Lisa held up the half a watermelon she was carrying. “Sorry it’s so weird, but SOMEone ate the plate of cookies I’d baked to bring over, so we had to improvise.”

“Hey, they were white chocolate macadamia nut! I was powerless!” John said, walking over and giving Davey a high five. “Man! Those Wolverines, right?”

“Yeah!” Davey said, stepping away from me and toward the couch. “Alabama just….”

I tuned them out as I walked around the island and into our little kitchen area, now overflowing with dishes of food.

Lisa gave me a commiserating look as she began unwrapping things and pulling spoons out of our drawers to go in the dishes. “Guys, amirite?”

“I mean, present company excluded?”

Lisa laughed. “Hon, just because this is the first time I’ve seen you dressed like this doesn’t mean you were one of the guys before.” She looked around the room, her eyes twinkling. “So where’s Sara run off to this time?”

“Last I heard was the stairwell door slamming behind her and Ryan while he chased her down the hall.”

“Are we sure she’s—”

“Twenty eight, yep,” I confirmed, reaching into one of the bottom drawers and pulling out the salad tongs for her. “So how’s the baby doing?”

Lisa groaned, patting her only slightly more obvious than usual belly. “Doc says they’re due in April, but I’d swear she wants to be out in February.”


Lisa rolled her eyes. “How much of a bitch she is sometimes? Trust me, she’s a she.” I laughed at that, and Lisa poked me in the side. “So, what about you and Davey, huh?”

I pulled away from her and looked over my shoulder, making sure neither Davey nor John were listening. To my dismay, they’d put a replay of the game on the TV in the living room. “Ugh, really? I thought—”

“Hey, no distractions! You two?”

I shook my head at her. “No way, Lise. He’s not into guys,” I said, ignoring her bark of laughter as she looked at my outfit. “‘Sides, you know Sara’s convinced he’s in love with her, right?”

“You mean the girl who’s probably making out with Ryan in the stairwell right now?”

“The very same,” I agreed, more than aware of what my less-than-chaste roomie was likely getting up to. I would be surprised if making out was all that happened.

“Hey girls, can we get some beers?” John called from the living room, his eyes never leaving the television.

I groaned. “Y’all know that’s getting turned off when Sara and Ryan get back, right?”

“You know that’s not gonna be for at least another ten minutes, right?”

I looked at Lisa.

Lisa looked at me.

We both shrugged at the same time, then grabbed the guys some beers, and orange juices for ourselves.





“What?!” Sara asked, giggling, before letting out another belch. “Bluuurp.”

“Ohmigod, stop!” Lisa said, waving her hand in front of her face. “That’s so rank!”

“Least it’s not—” I started, only for Sara to cover my mouth with her hand.

“Don’t!” She said, still giggling like mad. “They don’t stink!”


“Nothing!” Sara said, then fell down laughing.

There had been an extra ten minute delay after Sara and Ryan had returned before we sat down to eat, mostly because I’d immediately told her to go to the bathroom and at least use some mouthwash before we did.

She hadn’t found that as amusing as Ryan or the others did.

Despite that the meal had gone well, and we’d all eaten our fill. Now we were all sat in the living room, some of us with alcohol and some without, chatting like good friends do.

“So who has a resolution they wanna share?” John asked, leaning back and unbuttoning his pants in a very Al Bundy way.

“I’m hoping this is my year to get published,” I said, getting a cheer from Lisa and a positive thumbs-up from Davey.

“I’m resolved to John carrying the next cantaloupe,” Lisa said, getting a slightly sick look from her husband in answer, and more giggles from Sara.

“My folks want me to have a serious relationship this year,” Ryan said, not at all sounding enthused about the idea. “So I guess I need to do that.”

“I’ma get married!” Sara said, reaching for her wine cooler on the table and looking a little disappointed when it wasn’t there, because I’d taken it away the third time she’d almost missed the coffee table setting it down.

“Oh, who’s the lucky groom?” Davey asked.

Sara looked at him, ready to say something, but instead began giggling again.

Davey gave me an odd look. “I think this year my resolution is to start a real relationship, too.” He kept looking at me as he said it, and I couldn’t help but blush.

Ryan propped Sara up in her seat, then looked at John. “So what’s your resolution, since you started this?”

“To not be the only married man in the group!” He said, giving both guys a manly wink before taking another sip of his beer. “And to get a vasectomy so Lisa stops threatening to shove melons up my ass.”

“I threatened that once!”

“And that’s enough!”

We continued to laugh, and chat, and joke for another couple of hours before Lisa stood up and yawned. “I’ve had a good time, folks, but the cantaloupe insists it’s time we get home and get in bed.”

“Aww!” Sara complained, then giggled again, the most coherence we’d gotten from her in almost half an hour.

“Davey, Ryan,” John said, giving each of them a handshake. “Mikey,” he said, surprising me with a hug instead. “Take care of yerself.”

“Will do,” I agreed, then loaded him down with as many leftovers as I could convince them to take, including the last quarter of a pan of Davey and Ryan’s seven layer tip, the guacamole starting to look a bit gray around the edges.

I escorted them down to their car and gave both of them one last hug, promising them we’d see each other again in two weeks for the tabletop game at their house, before returning to my apartment to find Davey the only one still in the living room.

“Umm?” I said, looking at the place where Sara and Ryan had been sitting before I’d left.

Davey chuckled. “Sara whispered something in Ryan’s ear and they stumbled off to her bedroom.”

“Oh.” Well, so much for her seducing Davey. “Well, umm….” I looked around at the mess.

“Want some help cleaning up?”

“Please,” I said, relieved by the offer.

Davey gathered dishes and trash while I began the process of storing what leftovers were left and loading the dishwasher, and between the two of us we almost had the place in presentable order before the bed springs started creaking.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the whole situation.

“What’s so funny?” Davey asked me, leaning against the counter while I perched myself on the island.

“Oh, nothing. Just… Sara,” I said, as though that explained anything.

He laughed too. “Yeah, well.” He shrugged, then stood up from the counter and walked over, hopping up next to me on the island. “You really do look nice tonight, you know.”

“Thanks,” I said, feeling oddly embarrassed. “I was kinda annoyed Sara sent y’all those pictures.”

He gave me a one-armed hug. “They were good pictures. I especially liked the ones of you in her old cheerleading uniform.”

I snorted at that. Sara had been annoyed when I’d fit in the thing and she couldn’t.

“Though I have to say, I think you looked nicer in that black dress last week.”

“I would hope so,” I agreed, sighing. The dress had been three hundred dollars, and the makeover another one fifty, and I had no idea when I’d wear it again.

“You still haven’t told her we’re—”

“No,” I said, leaning on his shoulder. “Not yet. I don’t wanna upset her.”

“You think she’ll be upset?” He asked me, tilting my head so he could look into my eyes, then glancing toward the bedroom where we could now hear a vocal accompaniment to the twanging springs.

“She’s Sara,” I said, like that explained anything.

“Well, I was serious about my resolution,” Davey said, leaning down and kissing me. “And I don’t want us to have to keep hiding it, either.”

“It was nice, just sort of being with our friends tonight,” I agreed.

“It woulda been nicer if we coulda been US with our friends, though,” he said, kissing me again.

The bed springs quieted down, but neither of us moved. There were only two possibilities – either Sara and Ryan were asleep, or they were going to have a round two, and neither meant we’d be getting interrupted any time soon.

I glanced over at the counter, where Sara’s phone was still sitting where she’d left it when we’d began my makeover, and thought about the video she’d been watching.

Could guys and girls just be friends and nothing more?

I was still sure the answer was yes… but then again, what did I know?





Okay, so this is something I just kinda cooked up over the last couple days, and wanted to try and get written and tossed out before the deadline just to say I did. I hope folks enjoy it!

As always, all comments and kudos appreciated. Love y'all!

110 users have voted.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos! Click the "Thumbs Up!" button above to leave a Kudos


Total Fail

joannebarbarella's picture

I think Mikey and Davey are kidding themselves and each other. No way could those two be just friends.

I Agree

Marissa Lynn's picture

They're also not far from not being able to fool their circle of friends, either. Even Sara would be bound to get it eventually, especially if Mikey is open to Davey's resolution (and they didn't pooh pooh the idea).

A cute little charmer of a story to arrive at the wire, I have to say.

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Mikey is, perhaps, somewhat less attached to being considered a guy than they implied at the start of the story, for sure.

That said, I can't help but feel the only way Sara will obtain her resolution is if either a Vegas trip or a pregnancy test is involved.

Melanie E.

Could guys and girls just be friends and nothing more?

okay, I did not see coming that the two of them were already in a relationship that they were keeping on the down low.

still, a funny and sweet story, so you get a Dottie huggle!


It wasn't the ending I'd originally planned, either!

When I started writing this I'd imagined that Mikey and Davey would end up together in some way... but them already being together surprised me about 1/2 way through too :P

Melanie E.

A mighty fine caboose

Dee Sylvan's picture

Your story, that is. Although yours may be as well. giggle. Great story, Mel, as usual. Love the dialogue- and the combat spatula. I've got one of those -by Cutco- and it is handy for a lot of things. :DD TAF


A wonderful little story……..

D. Eden's picture

With an unexpected twist at the end!

I truly liked this one Hon - you should think about expanding it. You could easily add a precursor, or simply continue from where it ends.

It was pretty easy to see that Daley was attracted to Mikey as soon as he and Ryan walked in the door, but I didn’t expect to find out they already had an ongoing relationship! Also, Sara is quite the little slut, lol!

D. Eden

Dum Vivimus, Vivamus

Dag, now I wish I HAD named him Daley.

Much better name than Davey.


I doubt I'll expand this, but I AM trying to do more writing, so we'll see :)

Melanie E.

Cooked up

Podracer's picture

And turned out nice, Melanie.

"Reach for the sun."

One Choice to be the best ever BCTS story (and win a prize)

You move me with this story like you always do. I wish I could have been the protagonist and gotten a taste of my true self much earlier in life. This brings in the emotions and images and tastes and smells and just creates a world that I want for myself. The conversation is first class with all the way that they talk just like real people. I like that your protagonists blaze their own path instead of following the same path well-worn in our fiction. It warms my heart that you writes protagonists are not cookie cutter This story has just got to win a prize!

Jo Dora Webster

Sara missread all the signs.

Davey was sending the signs alright, but never to Sara.
That was very naughty of you to lead everyone in the wrong direction,
with all your clues. It was never going to be Sara that was going to get married.
Her lifestyle was a clear signal that she couldn't settle for one man.

Polly J

Didn't expect it.

Lily Rasputin's picture

The revelation that Davey and Mikey were already in a relationship was both surprising and adorable. This was a cute, fun story. Great job!


"All that we see or seem, Is but a dream within a dream." Edgar Allen Poe