I hadn’t heard from Oakley in more than three days; I was getting nervous. “Just call her,” prodded The Husband helpfully, “Pick up the phone and call.”
I did as instructed and she answered on the first ring.“Oh, it’s you,” she said with the identical level of enthusiasm normally reserved for emergency dental work, “I can’t talk long.”
“Why, what’s going on?”“I was just waiting for a supervisor at American Express to call me back. Seems your little friend Muse has a spending addiction.”
I thought very carefully about my next choice of words. Being the older sister, my role in our growing up years was to tell her I told you so. However, now that we were adults, I realized those same four words, even from a place of sisterly love, could be misconstrued as insensitive.“Well, Oakley … I told you so.”
“I knew you were going to say that. Look, I don’t have time for your preachiness. Muse made some unauthorized purchases and I am in the process of returning the items, even though the policy was no returns.”I was dying to know what she had bought. I couldn’t contain it any longer. “Oak, what did she buy?”
“Oh, you mean besides the Ferrari?”
This was typical Muse. My sister might not have noticed if Muse had bought, say, a Honda. But a Ferrari would most likely draw attention.
“Wait—so your credit card can take a charge for a down payment on a Ferrari? Wow.”“Down payment? No, MOV, she charged the whole thing.”
I was instantly envious. Not only did Muse have a new Ferrari (red, is there any other color) ...
... but apparently Oakley had stellar enough credit to support such a purchase. I usually would develop a nervous twitch if I tried to charge a grande latte and a blueberry scone (Please don’t say declined like last time, please don’t say declined like last time, Please don’t say declined like last time, I would chant out loud at the Starbucks counter).“Oak, your credit is that good? I had no idea. You must have the gold Amex card.”
“Gold? Are you kidding? I have black.”“Black? Don’t you mean platinum? There’s no such thing as black.”
“Uh, yeah, there is, Sis, ‘cause I have it. Black.” She said black the way someone might say, I own my own Concorde supersonic jet, which come to think of it, she probably did if she had credit that good.A normal person would NEVER ask another normal person how much money they made or what exactly they did to earn such a large income, an income that apparently American Express deemed worthy of charging a Ferrari or perhaps a small continent. And, in fact, I did not have to ask Oakley because I already knew: she was a pro bicyclist. I internally vowed to become a pro bicyclist myself, and I would start by biking at least half a mile every day on my stationery bike. Or maybe just once a week to ease into the competitive training schedule.
Oakley's voice cut out. “Oh, MOV, that's Amex beeping in, I gotta go.”“All right, that’s fine, but could you put Muse on the phone first? Or tell her to call me on my cell? I need to talk to her.”
“She’s not here. She left three days ago to do her bike across America thing.”“Without you? But did she even buy the right biking gear? The helmet, the special shoes, the reflective clothing?”
“MOV, I can't talk. I need to straighten this out with Amex.” She hung up abruptly, as if her financial security was more important than my question.It didn’t matter, though, because Muse was already at my door. “Hey MOV,” I could hear her familiar voice on the front lawn, “Come out here! I am biking across America!”