My phone rings. It’s Jenny. I should go talk to her outside; I don’t like to talk on the phone when I’m in the bookshop because I hate it when people have their conversations while I’m trying to buy some books. I reject the call and go outside; I’m sure she won’t mind I hung up on her. And maybe I could buy a book for her too. So many gifts to buy yet so little time. Its the 17th of December today and we’re leaving on the 23d, and I haven’t even done my Christmas shopping list yet. I really have to do the list today and the shopping tomorrow.
“Hey Jen, what’s up?” I’m already outside and I call her back. I could ask her what she wants for her Christmas present. Or… that’s a great idea… I could buy presents in Seychelles.
“Tomorrow at 4p.m., the usual place. No excuses, we’re making plans for a new year party.” Of course, I forgot to tell Jenny about Seychelles. I hope she’ll take it better than my Mom did. She really hated the idea of me being away for the holiday season though I can’t see the reason why.
“Jen, I’m really sorry but I won’t make it. I have tons of things on my to do list because we’re leaving on Thursday. We've decided to spend the holidays in Seychelles.” I’m sure she’ll be disappointed but she’s not the control freak me or my Mom are, so it won't completely destroy her plans.
“You didn’t say anything. I’m surprised. Well it’s wonderful that you’re going over there, I’m sure you’ll love it. It’s wonderful and warm. I have to admit that I’m a bit disappointed though. I expected to spend the New Years Eve with you, just like for the last eight years.” She really is disappointed but I can’t stay here just because she wants me to. I want to get away. That’s all I know right now.
“I’m sorry. I’m sure you won’t miss us and it’ll be a wonderful party. I have to go now I’m meeting Tim and I just noticed how late I am. Bye.” I hang up and hurry. We’re meeting at a restaurant two blocks away and then I have to go back to the bookshop and find that damn book. Luckily I saw Tim reading a review of some book on architecture a couple of days ago. He was quite excited about it and I have to find it. What else could I buy for him? I really have no idea, he has everything.
I come to the restaurant and I notice you in a second. I can’t miss your blonde hair and slim figure which stand out in the crowd. I hope didn't wait for me for too long. But you know me, you know how easily distracted I am and how often I forget about the time.
“I’m sorry I’m late again.” You hear this every time we’re meeting somewhere. You don’t seem upset; in fact it seems to me that you’re in a very good mood. I hope you didn’t buy that book. You’re like a small child; you get so happy and enthusiastic when you get a new book. Though children nowadays don't get excited about books, it’s usually about computers and videogames.
“I didn’t expect you to be here on the time.” You’re smiling and making jokes. What are you hiding? I’m sure you’re planning something I won’t like. The waiter comes and we order.
“Phil is getting married. He proposed to Melinda yesterday.” Who is Phil? Is he one of your co-workers? I always forget the names of people you work with and that’s one thing you get upset about sometimes. I can’t help myself, I forget the names and it really doesn’t matter how often you mention them. They slip out of my mind as soon as you mention one of them; I really don’t care about details like this.
I think Phil is the name of some attorney at your company. Oh right, he’s the one with the orange hair. At least I think so.
“Phil is the one with the orange hair, right?” I’m very careful when asking this; I really don’t want to upset you. You nod. Uh, that’s a relief. Luckily I’m a good guesser.
“I thought they met at the Christmas party last year. Did I mistake them with someone else?” I’m sure they’re the ones; I remember this because they met at the Christmas party and by New Years they had already moved in together . I remember saying that they'll last for a couple of months only. But it looks like I was wrong.
“They seem happy together. What do you think about marriage?” Are you joking? Is this a proposal? No, you’re probably just asking me what I think about their engagement.
“I think it’s a bit quick, don’t you think? They’ve been together for less than a year.” Don’t you think it’s too early? You’re a very reasonable person and usually you try to convince your friends not to do stupid things.
“I was asking you what do you think about marriage not what do you think about them getting married.” You smile.
“Are you proposing?” Don’t say yes, please. I don’t want to say no to you, but I can’t say yes either.