I had only been dating the husbeast a few weeks before he told me that it was important that I know that if his two best friends did not like me he would be forced to end our relationship. He told me that his mother could hate me and it wouldn't make a difference, but what these two people said meant everything. No pressure.
I met the two a few weeks apart. He and I had been dating about six weeks when I met the mighty B. She was his best friends ex but was like a little sister to him. For as rocky a relationship they had had in the beginning they had grown into a powerful friendship. A powerful enough friendship that her opinion of me could be a game changer in my relationship.
Our first meeting was both memorable and strange. My roommate at the time was having lots of family in town to see her in a show. I offered her my room so her family could camp out at our apartment instead of getting a hotel. I was planning on going to crash with the husbeast. He didn't actually live in town at the time and was sofa surfing at B's place.
Now you have to remember that the husbeast is a big man. He is 6'6" and 3 feet across at the shoulders. B and her roommate Griff only had the one couch. Us sharing that couch and trying to sleep was comical at best. It was not really resulting in a lot of sleep.
Sometime around midnight Griff poked us and told us to just go take B's bed. She wasn't home yet which meant she had decided to crash at her boyfriends house. Her bed would be much more comfortable for us, so we happily took his advice and moved to her room. Oh how I wish we had all had cell phones back then.
As it turned out B was not spending the night at her boyfriends. It turns out that her truck got broken into at work (she was the bartender at a local biker bar) and after she dealt with the cops her boss had had a beer with her to calm down. So it wasn't that she wasn't coming home, she was just coming home unusually late.
This is when I learned that you should never startle the husbeast awake. Ever.
Around 2:30 in the morning B came home and headed straight to her room. She was tired and she was pissed off and just wanted to get in bed. I heard someone running up the steep narrow staircase, and I heard the bedroom door slam open. The next thing I was aware of was that the husbeast, who had been snoring beside me a moment earlier, was now crouched over me facing the door and loudly growling.
I opened an eye and looked toward the door where I saw the tiny back lit shape of a woman bracing herself in the doorway with both of her hands flung out in front of her "Iliveherethisismyroomthatismybedyouknowmedontkillme" is exactly what she said. I did not include spaces because I promise you that all the words ran together just like that. She apparently knew better than to startle the husbeast awake.
It took a moment but the husbeast fully woke up and realized what was happening and relaxed. He told me to go back to sleep (because I had a very early call in the morning and he knew it) and he went to explain to B why we were in her bed. I am actually told they went out for pancakes.
The next afternoon when I got done with rehearsals I got to meet her properly. She was a tiny little red headed woman who was loud, brassy, and incredibly spunky. She laughed and smiled and thought that if the previous nights kerfuffle hadn't scared me off that I would probably be just fine.
I met his other best friend, Tommy, a few weeks later. It was the night I was being initiated into my fraternity and he randomly showed up on my doorstep. B and the husbeast and I were getting ready to go to dinner when there was a knock on my door. I was a little confused by the tall cowboy that was standing on my front stoop grinning at me.
I wasn't prepared to meet him or to make a good first impression. I was nervous about the initiation and I was in a huge rush. I couldn't also be worrying about impressing a man who's opinion of me could cause a man I was in love with to leave me. It was very stressful.
Thankfully because we were running late, and the restaurant we were going to had a long waiting list, I got to skip dinner with him. I instead excused myself quickly and headed to the theater. I would deal with Tommy later.
After I finished up with APO the husbeast was waiting to pick me up. He took me to the bar where B worked. I was only 19 at the time, but he was friends with the owner and I was allowed to slip in. Someone pulled me up a chair in a quiet corner and I was handed a Dr. Pepper.
By this point in the evening I had a raging migraine headache. I was also dressed really nicely and was sitting in a biker bar where I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was aware that Tommy was there and I was supposed to be making sure he liked me, but at that point I didn't care. I would try in the morning when I didn't feel so lousy.
We only stayed a short while before I convinced the husbeast to take me home. He grabbed Tommy and we headed toward the door. I saw Tommy stop and say something to B's boyfriend (I did mention Tommy was B's ex fiance right? Well he was) before we headed to the door. The guy just sat there as we walked away.
We were actually just out the front door when the guy decided he didn't like whatever it was Tommy had said. We were all outside when we heard him start to shout from inside. We looked back and saw him making his way towards the door with that stupid look men get when they want to fight. Tommy had the same look on his face.
What happened next was two fold. In the parking lot Tommy and the husbeast began to basically wrestle. Tommy wanted to go in and kill B's boyfriend, and the husbeast was trying his damndest to keep Tommy outside. He wasn't really feeling like bailing Tommy out of jail.
Inside everyone was trying to stop the other guy. I was still pretty much in the doorway so I could see everything. The guy managed to get to the door which was when B caught up to him. When she grabbed for him he pulled away and in that act knocked her back against the door. She hit the door and the door hit the wall.
Now this bar was basically a giant metal barn. When the metal door hit the metal wall it made a horrible clanging noise. She was also bent over looking very much like she was in pain. This just made everything worse.
Tommy was now trying even harder to get inside. The guy was trying even harder to get to Tommy. B was bent over and shaking. Everyone inside was pissed off because they thought B had just been punched.
Now being the peacemaker I am I went to check on B. I reached out and touched her. This was when I learned several things about her, the most important being that she should not be touched when she is angry. Turns out she was shaking in rage and not pain.
My hand touched her and it was like she exploded. For such a tiny woman she sure as hell can take up a huge amount of space. She was screaming and ranting and swinging. She went after her boyfriend first, but one of the bikers, Chicken Charlie, managed to grab her. We are pretty sure she broke one of his ribs. Her boss grabbed her next and threw her onto a pool table and crawled on top of her using a pool cue to hold her down. This was impressive because Laura was maybe 110 soaking wet.
B says she sort of blacked out during that time. She came around to her boss telling her that if she punched her again that she was going to be fired. She calmed down pretty quickly after that happened.
Outside the boys were still wrestling. After what seemed like forever the husbeast managed to restrain Tommy and get him into the car. The fight had ended.
On the drive home the husbeast was fairly certain that I was going to leave him for the entire crazy incident and his lunatic friends. In reality all I could think was how much I wanted some tylenol and my bed.
When I woke up in the morning there was a note slid under my apartments front door. It simply said 'Welcome to the family" and was signed by B. I had apparently passed the friend test with flying colors.
Fourteen years later B is my best friend. The story of how we met and that night at the bar don't even begin to document our friendship. She is still a little firecracker and a little crazy, but I love her for that.
Tommy is still the husbeasts best friend. He is married with two adorable little girls, our god daughters, and has left his bar brawling behind him. He is a dear friend to me and I consider him to be a brother as much as I consider him to be a friend.
In the long run I really was the winner in all of this. I got the husbeast and two amazing friends out of the deal. Not to mention a ton of really interesting stories to tell.