Rumors are such strange things. I hadn’t seen Tori in five years. Or maybe six. I’d hear things, though. Like she was divorced and dancing in a strip club, some titty bar where she didn’t get fully naked. Unless some high paying person wanted to explore the VIP room and more.
I heard she looked rough. Perhaps she was doing drugs? She was pale. Probably from working odd hours. Or maybe she was sick. You know, the diseases you can contract from those places, those people.
Maybe she was dying.
Someone heard she was.
Someone else said she was dead.
But here she was, walking into the store, instantly recognizable even though she was no longer the dumpy girl I had barely noticed in high school. She was slender and curvy all at once, with the kind of petite body most women envy and then begrudge with dismissive suggestions that the breasts were fake and the thick mane of hair was probably extensions.
“Tori?” I questioned in spite of my knowing.
“Gypsy? Oh my god!”
Her voice was too loud and her arms thrown wide pulled me into a hug before I could back away decorously.
“Look at you,” Tori shoved me back but her hands slid to grasp my own and spread my arms out for me as if we were about to dance together. “So chic. But weren’t you always?”