Joshua lay on his warm bed, well rested when a huge bang woke him up. He sighed in anger, was that a knock on his door? He lifted his face from the covers and starred at his alarm clock. It was three o’clock in the morning, he’d be damned if he woke up.
But the knocking persisted, getting louder and more desperate with each knock. Then he heard a voice, her voice, and suddenly, he started making excuses for her.
“Josh…Josh open up,”she shouted a bit slurry from the alcohol she had consumed. “I need a heart to heart Josh, it’s bloody cold out here!”
He sighed, getting out of bed and groggily walking towards his front door.
He muttered under his breathe with each step he took. One of these days, she would have him evicted. His land lady already called her his special friend, you know, the one who visits in the wee hours of the night. He always smiled at this, thinking how scandalous his neighbors thought him to be. But he rally didn’t care, he’d still choose her over the whole damn world if he had to.
“Calm down Debz, I’m coming!” he said picking the key from the cabinet.
The knocking stopped, and he could hear a bottle clanging. She was still drinking, and it was Sunday. He was definitely going to be late for work tomorrow.
The door opened as she threw herself into his arms and hugged him. “Oh Josh, I missed you,”she said sounding teary.
“We saw each other two days ago Debz,” he said, trying to lock the door.
“I know, I know. But you were with Julie and I was with Ryan, and we never had time to talk like we used to back in the day…do you have any ice cream in the fridge?” she said walking towards the kitchen to inspect it.
Joshua watched her. Here she was, at twenty six, still stuck with the notion that ice cream could cure every thing. He smiled, she looked so innocent and frail at the moment, just like she did when she was twelve.
“Trouble with Ryan again?” he asked looking at her keenly.
She smiled. “Let’s have ice cream first,” she said, walking towards the living room with two bowls of ice cream.
“How was your day today? Still ruling the world I hope?” she asked gleefully.
“More like the world’s raping me in the ass, but business is growing, I’m hoping to be my own boss soon. What about you? How’s the bakery going on?”
“It’s fine…work is good, work is very good. Mum’s coming to visit on Tuesday, she’s bring her special pie.”
He smiled. “Hope I’m invited for dinner, you know how I love your mum’s pies.”
“Of course you are, she’ll be so happy to see you.” She sighed. “You remember that time I had a huge crush on Anthony? Back in High school?”
“And once he liked you back you no longer wanted him, and you thought there was something wrong with you?”
“And I did the whole Eat, Pray, Love thing?”
“Ha, you swore off Pizza for a month!” he said laughing.
“It was still a sacrifice,” she said laughing back. “I was so confused then.”
“You mean like you are now?” he said a bit more serious than he meant.
“Am I that obvious?” she said sitting up. “And here I was thinking I had fooled everyone.”
“You could never fool me Debz, I’m your bestie,”he said smiling sheepishly.
“I love him Josh, you know I do, but it’s all wearing down on me right now,” she said placing the bowl away. “It’s like we never have time alone, and when we do, all we want to do is sleep before the circus comes back. It’s always about him and his friends, his family, his life. And in between the bakery and sleep, I have no me time. You know I haven’t watched a proper chick flick in three months? I haven’t had any weekend to stay in naked and dirty and lazy because there are always visitors in the house. I mean, look at us even! I had to get super drunk and start a fight so that I could get time to come and hang out with you? And all your thinking is for how soon this will end because you have work in the morning…”
“No Debz, I never thought that,” he said sadly.
She laughed. “Liar! If this were you, I’d be here for you but I’d keep looking at the watch. It’s human Josh, no hard feelings.”
He smiled back at her. “I already made peace with it.”
She held his face in her hand and kissed him on the cheek. “Promise we’ll always be friends.”
He smiled. “Till death Debz, friends.”
“Now I’d better get my drunk self back home,” she said smiling. “My husband’s waiting for me. I think I’ve punished him long enough.”
“Punished?” he asked walking her to the door.
“Oh, I never told you,” she said hiding a smile. “He thinks I’m having an affair with one of my chefs.”
“Another story for another day Josh, good night!” she shouted, walking to her car, with a smile on her face.
Joshua smiled. She was going to be just fine.