"You sound awful, baby," Cayden said when my coughing woke him up.
"Good-COUGH-morning-COUGH-to you, too," I said sarcastically.
He sat up and patted my back as if I were a choking baby. I appreciated his effort, but it was going to take more than a pat on the back to kick this cold.
I collapsed in a fit of coughs, grabbing my stomach muscles in pain. I felt like I'd just done 500 crunches.
I grabbed for my phone to check the time and saw that I had a text message from Rae.
Cough or no cough. Rain or shine. Starving or full. I never turned down brunch. Just reading the word "brunch" made me feel a tiny bit better.
We sat on the patio and let the sun and coffee keep us warm.
"It's January and we're outside," Rae said, shaking her head. "We're not even wearing coats. Texas weather never ceases to surprise me."
"If we were in London right now, we'd have frostbite," Cayden said. "I'm absolutely loving Texas weather."
I felt the tingle of another coughing fit and tried to swallow my mouthful of coffee before I made a huge mess. The result was an awkward squawking sound and what might have been second-degree burns on my throat.
"You really should go to the doctor," Chaz said, a look of concern on his face. I nodded in agreement and pulled out my phone to search for a CareNow app. Minutes later I'd made an appointment and checked in online. Oh, technology.
Our waitress came by and refilled our coffee cups and left a plate of fresh bread and butter at our table. Cayden ordered a farmhouse scramble and I ordered biscuits and sausage gravy in an attempt to soak up the previous night's alcohol.
"So how many prizes did we end up winning last night?" Cayden asked.
"Let's see," I said, holding back a cough. "You won the Sound Bar, Chloe and Drew won, what was it? Like, a coin sorter or something?"
"Yeah," Rae said. "And we won the XBOX 360 Kinect, and didn't someone win a set of knives?"
"I think Carson did," I said. "And someone won a soda machine, right?"
I, on the other hand, left the bar empty handed because I was outbid by some asshole with a $214,000 voucher. But I got to go home with Cayden, so that was a prize in itself.
"Oh, man," Chaz said with a smile on his face. "I just remembered how good that honey butter chicken biscuit tasted last night."
All of a sudden, our 3 a.m. trip to Whataburger came back to me. I'd completely forgotten about it. But he was right, that honey butter chicken biscuit was heavenly.
"It was well worth the 30 minutes we sat in the drive through," I added.
It turns out we weren't the only ones who wanted to ring in the new year with a Whataburger delicacy. Also, considering the fact that I'd demolished a honey butter chicken biscuit and I'd just ordered biscuits and sausage gravy, it was apparent I didn't have any New Years resolutions to lose weight.
We spent the next hour recalling bits and pieces of the night before and laughing about how ridiculous we'd all been. I'd chalk that up to the best New Years Eve yet. I was starting to love New Years in my old age.
After brunch I dropped Cayden off at my place to watch football with Joey and then I headed to the doctor. I would have taken him with me, but I didn't want to make him suffer through the whole waiting room process.
After being molested by a cold stethoscope and posing for the Xray machine, the doctor diagnosed me: bronchitis and a sinus infection. Happy freakin New Year.