“What can I get for you?” asked the barista, a man who couldn’t have been older than twenty-five, with thick black eyebrows and an easy smile.
I ordered an iced mocha and checked my phone again. When they called my name, I wrapped a brown paper napkin around the plastic cup. It was five-twenty. I walked around the corner to the church. In the basement with scuffed white walls and hardwood floors, fifty chairs were set up, with a group of people settling into the front rows. Once, early on, I’d made the mistake of trying to sit in the back, and the others from Bernice’s group had almost collapsed laughing. Denial Aisle! Relapse Row! they’d shouted, as Sheila had ushered me front and center.
No Aubrey yet, but I could see Johnette and Martin, and both Brians from my group. Gregory was there, fussing with the crease of his jeans, and Alice sat next to him, with a tote bag full of knitting in her lap. “We saved you a seat,” said Sheila, and tapped the empty metal chair that stood in the center of the front row. I held my cup, feeling the cool of it against my palm, and I took my place among them.