A continuation from Fiction #3
Sitting there in silence, at the bar eating Fish and Chips, listening to William’s chatter, it was like we were 10 again, and no time had past. There was something so comforting, and yet brought incredible sadness. His life didn’t change that morning, mine forever changed, there was a part of me that couldn’t look at him, that didn’t want to be reminded of those happy times, and yet, when I finally left the Philippines, and moved to Vancouver to move in with my Aunt, nothing ever seemed to fit again, I forever felt like a fish out of water.
I felt eyes staring at me, I turned to find William staring at me, he reached over, and I felt him pinch my upper arm.
He leaned over and said “just checking to see if you are still with me.”
I rolled my eyes, between my Brother and his Brother, I constantly got pinched, to the point I had a permanent bruise on my upper arm.
Mid bite, I let out a laugh, and slapped the back of his arm in reflex.
I turned to him, smiled “it’s good to see you, but I have to get going.” It was time to find my escape, I needed time to grieve. Memories were swirling in my head. I had suppressed everything for so long, emotions were bubbling up. William turned to me, an eyebrow raised, he swigged some scotch and said “no, I am not leaving you again, and you aren’t going to run away.”
tears welled up in my eyes, he didn’t seem to understand, I didn’t want my colleagues seeing me this emotional, I was breaking, I squeaked out “I have to go, I can’t do this here.” as I leapt up, and dropped 30 pounds on the table, I ran out of the pub. William was close behind me, I could no longer keep the tears in or the sobbing. William grabbed me, pulled me to one side, and somehow swooped me into a black cab. William held onto me, the same way he held onto me the morning I passed out from the news. He had no idea how painful it was for me to cut off all ties from him and his family, he just had no idea, I just couldn’t be a part of their life anymore. There he was, cradling me once again. The cab stopped, and William took my hand, and led me out. My head was foggy, I had no idea where we where we were, it was not my neighbourhood. I looked up at the grey 4 story building, William must have noticed my confused look.
He looked at me “ya, we are at my place, I have no idea where you live, but I figured we needed somewhere quiet to catch up. I am not letting you go so fast this time, we aren’t teens anymore.”
As we entered the foyer, we took an old lift up to the 4th floor. It opened to a large open space, sparse in furnishings, huge 14 foot ceilings, it was a shell of a place, yet there was something so William about it. I grinned and shook my head. I had looked him up, I knew he had sold a few apps, and owned a few businesses. He had always been sharp, earily sharp, yet, socially, he had always been slightly awkward. He was good looking without ever knowing it, he had an insane quick wit, but he never dated, instead, he spent hours on his computer, or reading odd ball books. My awkward friend, has turned himself into a successful entrepreneur, yet as I looked down at his feet, his wild socks bright green socks with pineapples on them, told me he hasn’t changed a bit. His clothes might be slightly more stylish, probably someone else is dressing him, but his socks, are all him. When we were kids, he always said fun socks made him happy, no matter how drap his clothing were, his socks were always something to appreciate!
I took off my heels, and walked in. I realized, I actually needed the loo. The whole time I was hiding out in the Pub loo, I was hiding, not doing my business. Instead of asking, I started walking around slightly aimless, not really knowing what to do with myself, brazenly opening doors, being nosy without really wanting to know what was behind the doors. I heard William’s laugh, I turned, to find his standing with a bottle of scotch, 2 crystal tumblers in his hand, his dark wavy hair, slightly too long (probably driving his mother, Elsa crazy, she liked her boys neat and tidy at all times) falling to the side. His eyes crinkled on the corners with amusement.
I tilted my head to the side, not really knowing what was funny. William blurted out “are you snooping, or are you looking for the loo?”
Well dang “Jeez, my bladder is about to explode and so is my head. I am looking for the loo.”
Still laughing “second door on the right.”
I walked to the door, and opened it to a beautiful, serene white bathroom, with an old claw bathtub, it was stunning. I finally relieved myself, and went to the sink, to be greeted by a puffy mug of myself. I looked like I had aged 10 years since the morning. I had no makeup left on, my cheeks and forehead were red and puffy. I washed my hands, and found a wash cloth, I washed my face to just freshen up. I then fished inside my purse to find my brush and an elastic to put my hair on top of my head. I was exhausted, it had been a long week at work, and I was supposed to head back to the office in the morning to finish up a brief for the High Commissioner.
I took a few deep breaths, and walked out to find William on the phone. His chatter in Cantonese threw me off, I had no idea he had learned to speak it. There was so much I didn’t know about him anymore. We were complete strangers, yet we were so familiar with each other. His eyes caught mine, he smiled, and motioned 2 minutes. I nodded, and headed to sit on his massive chocolate-brown sectional. It was the only piece of furniture in such a large living room, there was absolutely nothing out, it was almost tragic, and out-of-place.
I was deep in thought, when William went right past me, he came back with 2 massive bags, something smelled really good.
He went back into the kitchen, and began taking out containers and yelled “chinese!”
My first reaction was WTF, I just ate fish and chips. Then realized, I didn’t actually eat very much of it. Having never really liked fish and chips, chinese was always up my alley.
“so, Missy, are you going to fill me in on what you have been up to, and why you never bothered to return my phone call 10 years ago?”
“Aren’t you straight to the point, not one for small talk are ya? Well, are you going to tell me why your flat looks rediculously empty, and out of sorts with you personality?”
“sure thing little miss, after you answer my question first.”
I took a deep breath, and flat out said “I couldn’t go backwards, I was no longer part of the diplomatic tribe, and had to figure out life without just Mum and Dad, but everything attached to it. We no longer belonged in the same world, what was the point.”
William looked down at his kungpow chicken, we sat there in silence, finally he broke “I don’t see the point in decorating, I spend most of my time in the office, and traveling. This place is really just for sleeping and eating.” as he shrugs, he let out a sigh, and his hair fell into his face.
To be continued.