We were roaming the streets on the first warm night of Spring in our t-shirts and jeans and the first skirts of the year. We were drunk and smoking and loving it.
"Look! Look!" Jen said. She was bent over picking up something in a shadow just off the sidewalk. "Look at this!"
She held it up, cradling it with both hands. It was dark and I was drunk and I couldn't see. I think I was still walking.
Someone said, "Oh my god. You just found that?"
"Yeah, it was sitting right there. What should we do?"
"Ask it a question," Sam said.
She ran under a street light and shook it, the Magic 8-ball that she found hiding in the shadow. Everyone huddled around her, taking turns.
"That's not how you play. Yes or no questions, only," Jen said.
"Here." She handed me the Magic 8-ball but all I could do is watch her lips form the word, 'here.' The way they kind of puckered while smiling, the corners turned upwards, her bright eyes, the matter-of-fact nod. "It's your turn!"
I took the toy and put it close to my ear as I shook. It sloshed and I shushed everyone and I made a big production out of it. I'm sure it was more annoying than anything. I whispered something to the Magic 8-ball.
"That's not how it works! You have to ask out loud." She said.
"This is important, Jen." I said, "I need a real answer."
This was true, I did need real answers. We all did and I thought for a second how this magic found us - Five desperate twenty somethings who needed an answer. A real answer to anything - We would have taken it.
I cheated, though. I didn't ask anything. I turned the 8-ball window side up, closed my eyes, looked toward the sky and waited.
"What's it say?" I asked.
Sam said, "Uhh… it says, Without a Doubt."
I handed him the 8-ball and pulled Jen in and kissed her hard under that orange street light. We had only just met an hour ago.