“Thanks for inviting me over, Sammohini. I’ve been wanting to talk to you one-on-one, well, with cute little Allie Pally here, too, for a while.”
Both childhood friends adjusted as the baby fussed, crawled out of the guest’s lap, and returning to her mother.
“It’s been too long! Right, huh? You haven’t seen Auntie Jane-y in a while? Have you?”
They both smiled. Jane wanted to smile, but there was too much on her mind.
“You are so adorable!” She smiled wider.
Mother and daughter were absorbed in their own world, so Jane let her mind wander around the small apartment. Her friend since forever and her child sat on one end a large brown couch, while she sat closer to the window and a chic floor lamp.
“Who’s so happy?” Allie Pally laughed.
“Hey, Sammohini” “Who’s a- ah, sorry” “Sorry-” “No, go ahead Jane. You’ve been, I mean, it’s been rough, huh? You said you were on a few interviews, you went to that one place, but it didn’t work. So you hanging in there OK?”
“Yeah, it’s been tough…”
“I’ve been doing the best I can to get you in. They just had some lay-offs that nearly took me out. They might have an opening in a few months. We’re kinda recovering now, so it’s not all that bad, I’ll probably be able to stick it out for a while now.”
“Yeah, it’d be tougher for you three.”
“Well, that shouldn’t discredit you! I mean you’re better at this work than me, smarter than me, and wow! You could get anyone or anything you really want!” She slouched. “Did I tell you I met up with Drew again last week?” “No!” “Well, it… hmm…”
“We drifted apart. Since I got my act together, it’s just not the same. I was hanging out with Chris when Drew stopped by. They both went inside to, you know, so I just left. No emails or Messe or anything. Last online three days ago. I should move on…”
“So, the moving job’s paying the bills. I am kinda itching for something a little more up our career path-” “Allie, come on, Auntie’s talking. Sorry-” “No worries, so it’s a conundrum. At least it’s flexible enough for job hunting and that Loans fiasco.”
“You know, you actually helped me through the worst of it.” “Huh, really?” “Yeah, that last day was rough. I was thinking of bugging you to make sure I didn’t screw up, but your note in the book you gifted me helped. Thank you…”
Jane’s eyes started to tear up.
They talked for another hour or three about more personal topics, trading off concerns that they needed to talk about with someone that had a nuanced understanding of the other’s psyche, before concluding with laughter.
Their stresses had drifted away.
“You know what I miss the most about growing up?”
“We can still have them…”
“I know! …How’s your next weekend?”
|Sources: Borrowing from conversations past and present.
Quotes: I borrowed some general phrasing from those conversations, but it’s not enough to consider worth citing as a source.
Inspirations: The title popped up after a long day of work just before bed, along with the urgent need to write the whole thing right there. So I did, in two blasts. There were a few word choices I cleaned up days later, but it’s almost entirely the same short story.
Photo: The former apartment living room of a friend.