“Alex! Where are you!?” Alexia heard her best friend and neighbour, Andrea, call from downstairs in a sing-song voice.
She sighed and rubbed her eyes. She had been home all day, watching her favourite serial, “Winx Club”, back-to-back. And now, she was very nearly done – just one more episode to go. She did not want to leave it hanging in the air!
Nevertheless, she turned off her laptop and adjusted her glasses. Then, just as she was getting out of her chair, the bedroom door behind her burst open and she heard deep panting. She casually turned around to see a brunette, slimmer than her, leaning on the door, clutching the knob for support.
“So…you…were…here...” she gasped out the words.
Alexia feigned innocence. “Yes, Andrea, I’m here. Were you searching for me?”
“Yes, I was.”
Alexia looked her friend and neighbour up and down and frowned, genuine confusion wrought on her face. “Were you actually running?!”
Andrea groaned. “I wanted to show you the dress that Max bought for me yesterday at the mall! I called your phone, it rang and rang and rang, but you just didn’t pick up!!” Now, she sounded thoroughly frustrated.
Andrea took hold her arm and dragged her down the stairs. She left her grip only after they reached the front door.
“Now, Alexia Hudson,” she said, rather sternly, “you just follow me, okay?”
“Yes, ma’am,” replied Alexia, trying her best to control her grin. She followed her best friend into her house. She looked around the living room.
“Where’s your mother?” she enquired, curiously. “Has she gone out or something?”
Andrea abruptly stopped so that her friend very nearly bumped into her, and turned around, obviously annoyed.
“Don’t you EVER pay even an ounce of attention?!” she cried. “She and your mother had gone shopping right after Lunch!!” Alexia opened her mouth to speak when Andrea held up her hand to stop her: “No, don’t you dare tell me your mother never told you! I know for a fact that she did!”
Alexia sighed. She had been going to say something like that. ’Oh well.’
“Now, come along!” And Andrea marched upstairs to her bedroom. Alexia followed behind as she opened the door.
A flash of pink always greeted the visitors to Andrea’s room. Some liked it, some did not. As for their other best friends, Janet would say that she had a revolting experience, while Max would tease Andrea till she begged him to stop.
Andrea ran to her wardrobe and opened it to reveal an array of colourful dresses. The most prominent of them all was, however, one pink and purple frilly yet simple dress. Alexia could not help admiring it; Max had a good taste, after all.
“So, what do you think?” Andrea asked her, all excited. It seemed that all her earlier frustration was gone out the window of her mind.
Alexia looked it up and down. “It’s really nice,” she said.
Andrea gave a small gasp, her hands immediately going to her mouth. “You think?!”
She shook her head. “Nah-uh, not think. I love it!” Even if she did not, she knew she would only dispel her friend’s happiness by saying so. “I must admit, Max has a great taste!”
“I know right!” her friend exclaimed, eyes going all dreamy, and Alexia knew what was coming next: “He took me out on a date yesterday!!” she squealed.
“Yes, yes, we all know that. You told us a dozen times, remember?”
Andrea went a deep red. “Oh, yes! Well, he took me to the Decaf Café and we had a great tea! And then, we went shopping. Believe me when I say that I did not want to buy anything; I just wanted to check out all the new stuff, you know!” Andrea was the queen of all shoppers, according to Alexia. “But, it was Max who went in and bought this for me.” She fingered the dress tenderly, as if it was made out of delicate material.
Alexia just nodded her head. She had zero experience in romance, much less love. Nevertheless, she was glad for her best friend. She liked Max and had approved of two of two of her best friends getting together.
A few minutes passed by. Andrea got a text message and soon became absorbed in her phone. Bored, Alexia adjusted her glasses on her nose before going to the window. A serene environment, calm and quiet… She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. She was glad Andrea had at last found somebody to be with – to spend her life with. She knew Max would make her happy – he always did. Of that, she had no doubt: Andrea never failed to express her happiness whenever she was with him… just as if they were both soul mates…
And maybe they were, too.
As if on cue, Andrea looked up her phone. “I was just chatting with Max,” she told her, by way of an explanation. “You know what, Alex? I think love would do you the world of good.”
Alexia scoffed, fixing her eyes on the garden below. “Whatever for? I’m happy the way I am, without having anybody to interfere in my life!”
Andrea sighed softly. “You don’t know, Alexia, but love is a beautiful experience. The feeling of being complete is just mind-blowing. You’ll know when you feel it.”
Alexia turned around and smirked. “Oh, sure. You know I don’t really believe in that kind of stuff!”
Andrea giggled lightly.
Alexia gave her a perplexed look. “What?!”
“Oh nothing, dear Alex!”
Later, as she watched Alexia walk back home in the dusk, Andrea thought back on their conversation they had had earlier that evening.
She really had meant what she said – every word of it. Alexia was a smart and beautiful girl, but oftentimes, she kept things to herself. Also, she sometimes looked like she was lonely, despite all her friends around her all the time...
Therefore, Andrea concluded, someone had to make her feel more comfortable to talk to and pour out feelings to. Andrea felt the same way with Max Wilson, who had always been supportive of her and cherished and respected her. Alexia needed someone like that in her life. Andrea knew that, somewhere deep down, Alexia was waiting for someone to complete her insecurities and imperfections. She just did not find him yet.
Andrea thought back to the days when she first fell head over heels for Max. The two of them had known one-another for a few years by then, but suddenly, two years before graduating from senior school, something had changed. She had become increasingly uncomfortable in his presence, while he was being noticeably shy towards her. It was only at Jimmy’s party the year before, that they had realised their feelings for each other.
Somehow, despite the events that had occurred that night, Andrea never regretted ever having gone to that party, no matter how much her fifteen-year old self would have denied. It was something amazing and fantastic – something she would have never imagined at the time. And yet, it had happened.
That was one kind of feeling Andrea was sure she would never forget.