My Two Loves

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Extra California Rolls

We stop off at the sushi bar first, I’ve had a craving for California rolls all day, surprisingly it’s packed even though it’s a Wednesday evening. “ The usual please Tomi.”

“Extra California rolls.” He says with a smile, nodding my head I ponder trying something different.

“Throw in a couple of surprises for me too Tomi I’m feeling adventurous.”

“Sit in or take out?”

“Take out please.” He hands me a ticket and informs me it will be approximately 5 minutes, thanking him I move to the waiting area. The thought of Alice knowing about her mother in law to be’s involvement in this debacle keeps playing over in my mind. I hadn’t even entertained the idea until Red mentioned it, now I can’t get it out of my head.

“Number 53.” Is shouted from behind the counter bringing me back to the here and now. No-one else moves, looking down at my ticket, “Oh, that’s me.” I say waving my ticket in the air. Collecting my order, I say, “Thanks.”

“Enjoy,” Tomi says with a smile.

“How do you eat that stuff?” Red asks as I climb into the car.

Shoving a tiger roll in my mouth, I say, “With great pleasure.” Inside the bag, I notice a handwritten note taped to two small parcels. I think you’ll love these. The Dynamite roll, they’re crunchy, creamy and warm, the spider roll has your favourite crab in it. Tomi.

“Ooh is Tomi sending you love notes.” Joey teases snatching the note off me. “He fancied you like crazy when we were at primary school.”

“Don’t talk rubbish, Joey,” I say taking the note back off him.

“He did he was very disappointed when you went off to boarding school.”

“How would you know that you went to the same school I did?”

“We were pen-pals, you know back in the good old days of pen and paper when people did such things as write letters.”

“Oh, in the dark ages, you mean.”

“Haha. He always asked about you, how you were doing, if you’d got a boyfriend yet stuff like that. I told him he should write to you and ask you himself, but you know Tomi he was shy around girls.”

“I never knew any of this.”

“Of course you didn’t, or you’d be Mrs Suzuki now.”

“Don’t be silly; I never thought of Tomi that way he was cute, now his older brother mmm mmm.”

“Oh the kendo champion, of course so typical of you girls.”

“I was 10 Joey.”

“That’s no excuse.”

“And I suppose you only ever bought Vampirella comics for the Shakespearean writing.”

“No comment.”

“I’m not sure about this weekend any more.”

“Don’t mind what I said Livi she might not know of any of it.” Joey says as devours a slice of his caramelised onion bacon and spinach pizza.

“That’s the problem Red I can’t, so typical we’re finally moving forward, and now this puts us back to square one, even further back if I am honest.”

“If you want my advice Livi, you either ask her outright or forget all about it.”

“I can’t ask her Red; I’m not sure I could forgive her if she did know.”

“Then you have to forget about it if you want to have a relationship with her.” He says as he consumes another slice, I’ve never known anyone who can vacuum up a pizza quite like he can.

“I do, I really do, maybe there are some things that are better left alone.”

“Want a slice of my pizza?” He asks, offering me a slice of his very delicious-looking pizza.

“Of course, maybe a few of your little onion rings too!”

“Now you’re pushing it.” He smiles as he pushes the bag of onions rings across the table. “Help yourself.”

“Thanks, Red.”

“Well, what sort of person would I be if I didn’t share my onion rings with my best friend.”

“A normal person.” Tabitha jumps up onto the chair beside Joey hinting at him she would like a piece of his pizza too. Breaking a small piece off he offers it to her, sniffing at it she looks up at him blinking. She chews it for a moment then spits it out and runs off in the direction of the living room.

“Where’s Pearse at haven’t seen him for a few days?”

“He’s at some yawn fest of a conference, health spa related.” Pearse doesn’t seem to mind them; I’ve always avoided them like the plague.

“He be joining us all this weekend?” Joey asks probingly; it’s P, of course, he’ll be joining us.

“Sure will, he gets back on Friday afternoon.”

“How’s Anna doing?”

“Surprisingly well I’d say, she’s happy, the baby is doing great. Not sure what possessed her to stay at the Abbey for a few days but she got the urge to so why not. I miss her being here, it’s only been a couple of months, but it’s been nice to have her here when I get home.”

“I bet it has most nights I dread going home to that empty apartment of mine.”

“Weirdly, I thought after growing up with so many people around that I’d enjoy the quiet; truthfully I don’t think I’ve ever gotten used to it.”

“Now you’ll maybe understand why I enjoyed being at your place when we were kids so much.”

“Honestly no the Abbey was one step away from being bedlam.”

“Better than being a mausoleum.”

“I guess, maybe somewhere in between would have been nice. You know there’s always a bed for you here if you want it.”

Moving to the living room we plop down on the sofa, he replies as he lays his head in my lap, “Thanks Livi.”

Stroking his hair, I say, “Anytime Red.”

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