I tried calling her again, but she didn’t pick up. Oh Brooklynn, why can’t you ever listen to me? Since it was only 1:15, I went to Starbucks and ordered a strawberry acai refresher and a fox cake pop like I did the last time. You know, I would’ve never expected myself to visit this place if it weren’t for Joshua. When I was ordering, the cashier from before was at the cash register and searched the area, noticing Joshua wasn’t with me.
“Hello ma’am, I know it’s probably not my business to ask, but where is the man that came along with you the last time you were here?” she asked.
“Oh, he went back to his home country, England,” I replied.
“He was British?”
“Yeah, he was supposed to stay here for three more weeks, but he had to head home early.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.” I paid for my snacks and waited for my food to be ready. I didn’t really want anything special like a sandwich because I wasn’t really hungry. Plus, I wasn’t in the mood for an overload of food.
“Oh, hey! I came to see you,” Brooklynn said.
“What are you doing here? I’ve been trying to call you.”
“I came here to ask for advice.”
“Look, Lucas has been acting a little weird lately. He’s been hiding his phone everytime I’m around him and I don’t want to believe this, but I think he might be cheating on me. What should I do?”
“You came all the way down here to ask me that? Why couldn’t you just call me?”
“Well, that’s not the only thing I’m down here for though. I’ve thought about what you said and maybe dad has changed. I wanted to visit him, but I still don’t know if I could ever look him in the face again.”
I sighed and unlocked the door. Placing my food on top of my kitchen counter, Brooklynn sat down on my couch and I plopped down right next to her.
“So, you’re going to visit dad?”
“Yeah, I just don’t know what to say to him.”
“Just let him say the first word and after that, try to have a conversation with him. That’s how it went with dad and I.”
She sighed. “Do you think I’m ready to forgive him?”
“Actually no, I don’t think so. You probably will never forgive him for what he did to you, but maybe talking can help your relationship with him.”
“No problem, now what’s going on with you and Lucas?”
“He’s been acting a little suspicious lately and I don’t know what to do about it.”
“Well, he doesn’t seem like the person to just go and cheat on you. I’ve met him before and he really is a sweet guy. You guys have known each other since you were seventeen and I think he’s trying to do something special for you,” I explained.
“Do you think he’s buying me a ring and proposing to me?!” Brooklynn exclaimed.
“Um…” Brooklynn’s face illuminated with joy, her smile widening ‘till you could barely see her eyes.
“I don’t know, probably, but do you think it’s too soon? You guys have only been dating for a year.”
She looked down at her feet, her gleaming face drifting away. “Yeah, you’re right. We’re only nineteen and I’ve always wanted some kind of big wedding, but it’ll be too expensive and I don’t know if I’m ready for marriage.”
“No, I’m ready! Wait, am I?” She slammed her face into her palms. “Ugh, I don’t know.”
I wrapped my arms around her shoulder. “It’s going to be okay, Brooklynn. Just relax.”
“Will it be? I’ve always thought that maybe in the future, Lucas could become my husband, but not while we’re not even in our twenties. I’m about to start college soon and I don’t know how I’m going to handle being without him.”
“Don’t you think you’re jumping the gun here?”
She looked up at me, her face all soggy like she’s been crying for days. “Yeah…”
“Talk to him. Don’t just make assumptions about him. He might get the wrong idea.”
“Yeah, I’ll make sure to.” She got up from my couch and grabbed her bag, her face shimmering once more. “I got to go, Rebecca. Thanks for the advice!”
“No problem! Now, go talk to dad.” She smiled and gave me a hug goodbye. I reddened. I haven’t gotten a hug from Brooklynn in ten months and couldn’t believe that I was even seeing her. After she was done talking to dad, I was hoping we could try hanging out since we haven’t done that in forever.
All of a sudden, I got a call from an unknown caller. “Hello?”
“Rebecca, is this you?” a mysterious voice replied.
“Um, who is this?”
“You don’t remember me?”
“No, I’m sorry.”
“Yvonne Hoffman, your old friend from college.”
“Oh, Yvonne! How did you get my number?”
“I just looked your name up and found you, that’s all.”
I haven’t talked to Yvonne in two years. She was always with me and would do anything for me. We fell out when I left college and I’m surprised that she would call me now, something’s up. “Okay Yvonne, why are you calling me?”
“Rebecca, why aren’t you happy to talk to me after all these years?”
“Well, we haven’t talked to each other since we were twenty, so it is a little shocking.”
“I was hoping that we could get together and talk.”
“You don’t like talking to me on the phone?”
“I would like to see you in person.”
“I’m going to ask you this again, why are you calling me?”
“Like I said, I just want to talk to my old friend.”
I sighed. “Alright Yvonne, where do you want to talk?”
“That fancy place?”
“I can always pay for everything.”
“No, that’s fine.”
“Good, I’ve already made reservations.”
“Yesterday, I knew you would say yes to me!”
“When are we meeting up?”
“In an hour?!”
“Yeah, make sure to be here on time please.”
“Fine, okay.” I hung up and smacked myself in the face. I can’t believe I’m going to meet up with Yvonne. I wonder if this meeting is just a game. I hope not because I’m not trying to waste my time.
It was now 2:55. I saw a woman walking towards me wearing a black blazer bodycon dress. She had sandy blonde hair and aqua marine eyes. Her hair was up in a braided bun and she had a black jewel hand purse.
“Rebecca, is that you?”
“Um, Yvonne?” She squealed and bolted towards me. Yvonne was wearing high heels, so she would have fallen, but obviously, she didn’t care. She was really happy to see me and gave me a big hug, almost breaking my bones.
“Ugh, how long has it been? I’ve missed you so much!”
“Like I said over the phone, it’s been two years.”
“Well, I’m very happy you came.” She let go of me and looked up and down my body, studying my outfit.
“I was hoping you would wear something better.”
“I didn’t think it would matter. We’re just here to talk. It’s not like we’re having a contest to see who’s outfit is fancier.”
“Still, I was hoping for something a little more...attractive. Not something that you would wear casually everyday. Now, let’s go inside.”
We entered the restaurant and there was a man standing in front of us. Yvonne gave him her registration name and we followed him to a private room.
“Thank you, young man,” Yvonne said. He nodded and walked out of the room. We sat down at the table, our seats across from each other.
“Okay Yvonne, what’s up?”
“I just wanted to get to know you. What have you been up to, Becs?”
“You know I hate that name.”
“Oh yeah! You always hated it because your father used to call you that. How is he anyway?”
“Can you just get to the point?”
“Not until I get to know you a little better.”
“Look, there really isn’t anything special about me. I’m still the same old Rebecca.”
“How’s your sister? Is she still living with you?”
“No, she isn’t. She lives with her boyfriend now.”
“That’s good to hear! Do you have a boyfriend or are you still single?”
“Single, Yvonne. Is that a problem?”
“No, it isn’t. I was just hoping that you would be at least dating someone by now,” she replied.
“What about you?”
“Actually, I’m married.”
“At twenty one?”
“Yes, we’ve only been married for two months.” She showed off her big diamond ring which painfully blinded me. “See?”
“Yeah, so what does he do?”
“He actually is an engineer. He’s a really kind guy.”
“How old is he?”
“Does it matter?”
I glared at Yvonne, trying to get an answer. Like always, she surrendered.
“Of course he is, you gold digger,” I mumbled.
“Hey, I’m not using him for money!”
“You shouldn’t be marrying a guy who is almost ten years older than you!”
“That doesn’t matter! We’re already married!”
“I can’t believe one of your best friends wasn’t even invited to your wedding,” I clarified.
“Ex best friend, Rebecca. Like you said, we haven’t talked in two years.”
“I’m guessing you’re still a lawyer?”
“Yep, I’m almost finished with college. Unlike some people, I have only five more months left,” she stated.
“Good for you.”
“So, nothing has happened to you lately? I’m not going to talk about my fabulous life all day.”
“A British guy, but he’s gone now.”
“Let me guess, you pushed him away.”
“Okay, what’s wrong with you? You never acted that way around me two years ago! What happened to you that’s making you like this?”
“You still didn’t answer my question.”
“Neither did you.”
“Ugh, I’ve changed Rebecca. Maybe you should do that sometime. It really helps you mature.”
“When you mean by mature, do you mean marrying someone who could be your brother?”
“This is what I mean! You haven’t matured the last time I saw you. You’re still the worthless Rebecca. I see why that British guy left you.”
“He didn’t leave me! He just had to go back to England for his job,” I responded.
“Where is our waiter?”
“Oh, we’re not eating.”
“Then what was the point of having to come here, if we’re not going to eat?!”
“My friend hooked us up to just talk. If you really want to eat something, go ahead. But I must say, everything here is probably not in your budget range.”
I groaned. “Are we done here?”
“We haven’t finished our conversation yet.”
“Look, you’re no longer my friend. You’re different than before. You didn’t dress like this and you didn’t wear contacts like you’re doing now!”
“I...never liked my brown eyes.”
“But I loved your brown eyes. And now, you’re not...well...you.”
“Rebecca, there’s a reason why I’m here.”
Yvonne took a deep breath and looked me straight in the eyes. Tears started running down her face, her makeup receding.
“Help me!” she cried.
“I’m being manipulated, so please, help me.”
“Yvonne, you’re not making sense. Who is manipulating you?”
“The thirty year old?” She scowled. “Okay, sorry.”
“Yes, he made me drop out of school. I wanted to complete college and be independent, but he wouldn’t let me. He makes me wear these stupid fancy clothes and wear these dumb contacts. He wanted me to marry him, but I told him it was too soon. He still didn’t listen to me and I-I want to leave him, but I can’t. He won’t let me,” she explained.
“Yvonne, why didn’t you just leave him from the beginning?”
“I tried, but he threatened me. He thinks he’s all that and wants to control my life. I really, really wanted to contact you Rebecca, but he didn’t let me. He said you were a bad influence on me and I didn’t deserve you. I love you with all my heart, but he keeps trying to push me away from you. That’s why I need your help.”
This reminds me when Brooklynn ran to me with my dad’s problems back then. My life just keeps getting better and better. “What can I do though?”
“Please, just try to figure something out. I have to go or he’ll get suspicious.”
“Does he know we’re here?”
“Yes, but I only told him I was just going to talk to you for thirty minutes and come home. Do you still have my number?”
“I-I do now. Yvonne, no matter what, I will get you out of this and have my best friend back.” I said, determined.
She smiled and wiped her tears away. “Thank you, Rebecca. Gosh, how could I let you go?”
Yvonne opened the door and left the room, without saying goodbye. I felt bad for her. She doesn’t deserve this.