The DH and I were invited to attend a pre-Halloween party by friends we hadn't seen in a dog's age. This was to be a casual gathering of adults, sans kids, to get together before the rush of the winter holiday season swept us all into family adventures of madness and holiday-shopping hysteria.

Then the DH got called in to work.

"Go anyway," he said. "You know you'll have a good time."

"Okay, but how am I going to carry this 15-pound hunk of Brie on the bus?"

Yeah, it was that kind of party. Where no one served Doritos and everyone had their best "casual" duds on. A chi-chi-poo-poo soiree, if you will. So the portable karaoke machine stayed at home with about 11 pounds of the Brie. I even put my offering into a nice dish instead of the usual Ziploc container.

When I arrived, I was startled by the new faces in my friend's living room. Who were these people? Had I been so focused on my novel that I missed out on meeting all the cool additions to this gaggle?

The hair on the back of my neck stood on end when I spotted one gentleman near the crab dip. He bore a striking resemlance to the leader of the Others from Lost.


So I did what any nosy party guest would do: go to the hostess for all the details.

"Who's the dude near the dip?"

Janet, who had just finished assembling a tower of phyllo bites, peeked over my shoulder to see to whom I was referring.

"Oh, that's Drake. Petra's new beau."

As if on cue, Petra approached the creepy-looking man and he wrapped his arm across her shoulders.

"What about Steven?" I asked, wondering what had happened to Petra's boyfriend of over two years.

"He up and left one day. She hasn't heard from him since."

I nibbled on a edamame bean and glanced over at the couple, now lounging near the stereo system, sipping what looked like apple martinis.

Janet leaned in closer to whisper, "The best thing is how they met. On holiday. Petra had cashed in her air miles and went to Oahu - solo. She bumped into Drake at a scuba lesson. They've been together ever since."

"So he's from Oahu?"

"No, I don't think so. Petra never said. I just assumed he was from around here."

Yeah, just like they did on Lost.

For the rest of the evening, I tried to catch Petra alone, but Drake always seemed to be within earshot. I'm sure it was because they were still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship and not because he was using some form of mind control to take over my friend's life.

Not that we were that close. She was more Janet's friend than mine.