top of page

Flamingos and Cokes, Part 5

Part 5 of the series finds Sadie introducing Lana to boiled peanuts. Brady arrives to tow Lana's car out of the ditch, and we learn a bit more about Sadie and Brady's past. Would Sadie have guessed what is going through Brady's mind? Will her sharp tongue bring them closer together or farther apart?

Catch Up on Parts 1-4 at the links below:

Part 1: Click here.

Part 2: Click here.

Part 3: Click here.

Part 4: Click here.

“This is positively uncivilized!” Lana exclaimed as she attempted to open her first boiled peanut and the juice ran down her palm and all the way down her forearm to her elbow.

“You know, for someone unafraid to take on anyone in the New York establishment, are you really shrinking from an honest to God peanut?” Sadie said as she smiled.

“I’m not shrinking…I’m slightly disturbed is all.”

“Disturbed. Huh. Well why don’t you just try it instead of wearing it down with your words? Otherwise, my next collection may be called ‘A Battle of Wills: Lana and the Peanut’.”

“You devil! You wouldn’t! Never mind, don’t answer that; I know you 100% would.”

Sadie raised both of her eyebrows, bit the bottom of her lip, and nodded her head in agreement. “The peanut awaits.”

Lana proceeded to, in the most awkward way imaginable, open the peanut, scoop out the three peanuts and place them in her mouth. “Oh my. This is good. Like really, really, good.”

She grabbed one peanut after another as Sadie’s truck drove them both back home after their stop at the roadside stand. Sadie had purposely bought two large cups, as she was not fond of sharing. By the time they pulled up Sadie’s drive, Lana had eaten most of her allotment of boiled peanuts. Rivulets of peanut juice and seasoning snaked their way down Lana’s arms.

“Ah, good—I thought we’d never arrive. I seriously need a bath after this experience,” Lana said as she shook her head in disappointment at the state of her arms and hands.

Sadie reached across the seat, undid Lana’s seat, and opened her door. “Please try to not mess up my truck as you get out. I swear you’re like a little kid. Go in through the back porch, there’s a sink there. Make yourself at home. I’ll be in the barn.”

“Please don’t tell me that there are animals in there. The roads have tried to kill me, and I am at a literal crossroads of figuring out what is edible and what is not. Any animal encounters would be the final nail in my coffin. The obituary would list cause of death as ‘Southern orientation,’” Lana said.

Sadie rolled her eyes, “You are saved from an animal encounter. My barn is my studio. So I have saved you from imminent death and a life cut short.”

“Oh thank God. Go create, be free! I will be soaking in a tub and contemplating every step that has led me to this very moment. I am going to need your best work of art to date. Unless it’s for that pretentious Chelsea. Then proceed to make it an abomination.”

Sadie let out a laugh, “Duly noted. One order of abomination coming up for the High-Falutin’s, oops, I mean the Hightowers.”


Though the evening was young, Brady could see the lights on in the barn through the wooden slats and the door that had been left partially open. He quietly slid his way in through the door and leaned against the doorframe. Music crackled from a speaker on the far side of the open space. Patsy Cline. Of course it would be Patsy Cline.

He stood there and watched Sadie as she worked, completely unaware of his presence. Hair pulled back with loose tendrils floating as she moved back and forth, paint smears were on her arms and face. In another time, he had watched her unaware. She never knew he had been there.

That night a year ago he had good intentions, but things went off course. He had wanted to talk to her about it all. Put things right. Start a new path, a new life. Rekindle what they once had. But she wouldn’t have it. The moment he could separate himself from Chelsea, he walked outside The Songbird and into the parking lot and tried to find her. After Sadie assaulted him with a stinging barrage of words, she left in a cloud of dust. What she didn’t know was that he had driven to her place later that night and found her in the barn, listening to Patsy Cline’s “She’s Got You” as she created, immersed in a world all her own. Rather than risk riling up the hornet’s nest again, he burned that perfect image of her into his mind. He drove off knowing he had lost his chance with the best thing he had ever had. The what ifs plagued him even now.

Who would have thought a drenched high-society woman who had driven her car into a ditch would have brought him to Sadie again? He took in the image of Sadie before him now. Her tongue was sharp, but her smile, sense of humor, and peace were stronger. During the worst days of his deployments, it was her face he would see before he closed his eyes. And it hurt, no it ached, as he felt the loss even now.

He coughed to announce his presence and took his hat off. Running his fingers through his hair, he said, “Hope I’m not intruding. I saw the light and figured you were in here.”

Sadie looked up, surprised. How did the time get away? she wondered. “Oh, hi. I’m sorry. I lost complete track of time. Hazard of the job,” she said as she motioned to her work in progress.

“Do you want me to come back another time?”

“No, no. It’s fine. It’s not like I got to get all fancied up to go pull a car out of the ditch. Let me go grab my boots.”

“Surprised you still have a pair.”

“And how am I supposed to take that?” Sadie asked as she made her way to a nearby corner to take her shoes off.

“Easy…just a passing comment,” Brady said as he threw his hands up in a mock gesture of surrender.

“Yeah, well maybe you should think about those comments before they pass your lips.” Sadie balanced one-legged as she pulled a boot onto the other foot. She hopped a bit before it slid on and inadvertently, she lost her balance. Grasping for the nearby ledge to catch her balance, she felt an arm around her torso steady her. Her surprise was readily evident as she took a few steps back in response.

“Sorry, just trying to help. Didn’t want you to hit the floor.”

Sadie looked at him and swallowed the first several responses that came to mind. A struggle in her mind waged between wanting him to feel the stinging pain he had caused her and wanting to forget it all and start new. In the end, she thought best to keep it short.

“Thanks I suppose,” Sadie said.

“You’re welcome. Ready to head out?”

“Yep. Let me go tell Lana we’re heading out. I’ll be right back.”

Lana had impeccable timing, coming out onto the front porch as Sadie turned off the barn lights and was walking towards the house. Lana’s cell phone was raised up over her head as she walked back and forth, seemingly offering up a sacrifice to the gods of cell phone reception.

“Lana, Brady and I are headed over to go get your car. Can you hand me your keys?” Sadie asked.

“Thank you, you’re an angel. I can’t wait to be reunited with my Valentino, Chanel, and Givenchy. It’s been entirely too long.”

“It’s literally been less than twenty-four hours,” Sadie replied.

“We must be in a time warp, it seems like an eternity. Before you go, is there some secret to getting a signal? It’s like playing hide and seek. One bar shows itself, and then immediately disappears.”

“Nope, no secret. You can get a better signal in town though. Do you want the keys to my truck? Well, maybe that isn’t such a great idea after all, in being that we’re going to get your car out of the ditch. Rather not be all night pulling cars from the ditch, if you know what I mean.”

“Ha ha, very funny! But no, I do not want to drive anywhere without a proper escort. Maybe we can go into town tomorrow?” Lana said as she handed Sadie the keys.

“No problem, I need to grab a few things at the grocery store anyway. See you a little later.”

Brady was waiting in the driver’s seat of his truck as Sadie walked back from her house after talking with Lana. If one thing was for certain, that Lana was an odd one, he thought. Sadie opened the door and slid in, putting her seat belt on. As they pulled off and drove away, for the first time in a long time, Brady thought things felt totally and completely right.

He stole a glance to his right to admire Sadie and his eye caught a piece of paper on the floorboard. His invitation to the Hightower Ball. From Chelsea. Please don’t see it Sadie, please don’t see it, he thought internally. Why was it that Chelsea and the Hightowers seemed to always ruin things? He had never wanted anything to do with anyone in that family, but they had dug their talons into him and weren’t of a mind to let go.

Sadie readjusted her position in the seat, moving her feet and crinkling the invitation in the process. She leaned over to pick it up.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page