I really love chemistry because it's so easy to understand. You have to know the characteristics of the elements before combining them. You can make a lot of interesting experiments and you can predict the results very closely. It’s much easier to understand relations between chemistry elements than relationships between people. That’s why I have a doctorate in chemistry, not psychology.
My phone rings. It’s my best friend Jenny. She never calls me when I’m working unless it’s urgent. “Hey Jenny, what’s going on?” I really hope it’s not bad news.
“I’m just calling to invite you for a drink later today. Around 5p.m.?” That’s a surprise. Usually she sends me a text message about such things while I’m working. I’m really not in the mood for drinks. She’s so damn cheerful. But I don’t have a good excuse. That’s probably why she’s calling me, since I turned down the last six invitations she sent via text messages. She knows I can’t come up with an excuse so quickly.
“I don’t know when I’ll finish working.” This isn’t a lie although I can leave whenever I want since I’ve worked overtime almost every day in the past few months.
“Emma, you’re the leader of your department, you can leave whenever you want. See you at 5, the usual place.” She hangs up. It seems I don’t have a choice, I’ll have to see her today.
I’m on my way to see Jenny. I haven’t seen her for almost two months which is unusual. Normally we have a lunch together at least once a week. I’ve been avoiding her. I’ve been avoiding everyone – Jenny, my Mom, my sister Karen. I’ve been avoiding everyone who could notice that I’m not ok because I don’t want them to worry about me. And I don’t want to talk about my problems anymore.
“You have a new haircut. It’s lovely!” I’ve had this haircut for over a month now but Jenny hasn’t seen me for a long time so it’s new to her. I’m glad she likes it, but now she’ll probably talk about her problems with her hair.
“I’ve gone to a new hairdresser again. Maybe I should go to yours, he has done an excellent job.” The waitress comes and I order a glass of wine.
“I though we could eat something. They have a new chef, he’s from France and I’ve heard he’s amazing.” I’ve heard about this new chef too but I don’t want to eat anything because I want to go home as soon as possible.
“I don’t have time to eat right now. I have something to do so I can’t stay for long.” I try to sound convincing and I hope she’ll buy it. We’ve known each other for 10 years now and she usually knows when I’m lying. But not this time.
“You shouldn’t work so much. I’m worried about you.” I’m working to distract myself, you shouldn’t be worried about me working too much. Now you’re having your monologue about balancing your life, this should distract you for at least 10 minutes. I’m not interested in balancing my life since I’m a total mess right now. The waitress brings me the wine. It’s very tasty. I love white wine.
“Were are we going for New Year’s Eve this year? We have to make plans it’s already December.” You’ve changed the topic. I don’t want to make plans for any celebrations. How could I avoid this?
“I don’t know. I haven’t thought about this at all.” That’s completely true. And I don’t want to think about this in the future either. You should make your plans without me this year. I’ll probably stay at home.
“Well, I’ll talk to the other girls and we should meet this week and make plans and reservations. We’re so late we probably won’t get anything. Maybe I could organise something at my place. That would be so much fun.” You can do whatever you want just don’t force me into planning.
“I should go now.” I have to leave before you try to convince me to help you plan the party. I used to love event planning and I was good at doing it since I’m a control freak but I don’t have strength to plan right now.
“You just came here.” You look at my empty glass of wine and seem surprised. Usually I drink my wine slowly and enjoy it. Not today.
“I told you I’m busy. I’m really sorry, I’ll call you next week.” I kiss her on the cheek and leave.
“I’ll call you this week, we have to get together and plan things!” I’ll pretend I didn’t hear her.