“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” -Mahatma Gandhi
The taste of Mango-Orange Bellini reached my lips as I glanced over the terrace to see Jason socializing with family and friends. Not for a second did Jason leave Dana’s hand unaccompanied. “Alexia, how have you been?” I turned my head to the left to find Dana’s mother, Penelope.
I answered back as she embraced me with a hug, “Great Mrs. B. How has everything been going for you?”
“It’s been alright. Nick is going to be starting college next year. My nest is going to be so empty.” Penelope’s voice trailed off sadly as I took another sip of my drink to fill the void of silence. Honestly, I was unsure how to add to her comment.
Mrs. Bennett glanced over to her daughter and boyfriend and gained back that bubbly happiness aura she possessed. “I’m so glad for Dana. I’ll admit I was worried when she was dating those other boys before,” Penelope’s face scrunched up in distaste.
I couldn’t blame Penelope for worrying about Dana a while back. After Dana’s break up with her four year boyfriend from high school, she had decided to test the waters. And when I mean test, well, Dana had been with some award winning losers. “….But she’s finally found herself a good catch.”
“Yeah, she’s been really happy since she been with Jason,” I added as I scanned the patio for more to drink.
“And what about you Alexia? Haven’t you met that special someone yet?” Penelope stared with hope in her eyes.
“Not yet Mrs. B. I’m still waiting for the one.” I said feeling embarrassed again. Was it really bad that I hadn’t really found Mr. Right? I mean had a few dates from high school and beginning of freshmen year of college. Were they long relationships? No. It seemed I go out with them in one date and make up my mind. Maybe I was too picky?
She patted my hand and responded sympathetically, “It’ll happen someday. I’m glad you’ve got standards unlike some girls I’ve heard about.” She smiled before getting up to leave, “Don’t you settle, Alexia.”
“Good. Excuse me for a moment Alexia,” Mrs. Bennett said spotting a relative she wanted to talk too thus leaving me alone again to pick up another drink from a tray going by.
“I’ll just stay alone forever,” I whispered as I down a gulp of my drink.
“I highly doubt you’ll stay alone forever, Lex.”
My green eyes shot over to the familiarity of the voice. There stood a guy in nice black slacks, a white button down shirt that was covered in a light weight grey jacket. As I examined him in more detail, I observed he was rather tall with his lean muscular physique.
But the most intriguing part of his character was the way his golden wheat hair allowed me small glimpses at his mocha eyes. They held hilarity as the stranger watched me study him with uncertainty.
He nodded affirming my guess and added, “Long time no see, Alexia Woods.”
Still flabbergasted, “You look…” I ended deflated, “different.”
Peter smiled down at me with humor still dancing in his eyes. “Well after twelve years I hope I look different,” Peter joked as he scooted a seat next to me. “You still look so surprised to see me.”
Of course I was. Peter was a pain in my ass when we lived right next door since babies in diapers. He did anything to pick on me. Pull my hair. Kick a snowman down that I just spent four hours making. Call me names. Put worms or bugs in front of my face. We get into fights were I tried shoving dirt into his mouth. And if you saying in your mind, Aww, he liked me and that’s how he was showing his dire affection for me.
Well you’re dead wrong.
The only good thing to ever, ever come from him was meeting my best friend, Dana; which incidentally was her distant cousin. After that, I escaped him when I move way around eleven.
Trying to compose my disdain inside of me, I responded, “Sorry. I just forgot you belong to this family.”
He smirked a little and responded back, “Yeah, I don’t get to go to many of the family functions, but Jason said this was one I wouldn’t want to miss.”
Oh, so apparently he was friends with Jason too, I was mentally deducting.
Peter rummaged through his pocket and gently placed a folded paper on the table. He said as his attention caught on to Jason raising a glass. “I bumped into your dad before leaving a conference meeting I had. He asked me to give you this.”
“Good evening family and friends. I first of all would like to thank everyone for coming out to this wonderful dinner to celebrate Dana’s birthday, which,” Jason glanced over to his girlfriend smiling, “apparently she forgot about.”
Dana looked over to me embarrassed and I just smiled as the note seemed to burn in my hands. She wasn’t the only one who forgot too. Mental note, get her a gift tomorrow.
“But I want to give her my present.” Jason, who was a very striking and handsome match for Dana, turned to his girlfriend. “Dana I have known you for two years of my life. And in those two years I have learned a lot. You like chocolate syrup on your waffles, to finish the last piece of a puzzle, doing community service for the elderly, and your dream of becoming a clothes designer. With time I will learn more of your lovable qualities, but I want to do that being much more than we are right now. Dana Jacqueline Bennett,” he got down on one knee, “you will do me the honors and be my wife?”
I was going to need a bigger gift.
Jason pulled out a diamond ring and Dana latched onto him with a kiss. Peter whispered close to me as we clapped in applause, “What did it say?”
I didn’t have to glance down at the paper to know already what he wanted. Crushing the paper in my hands I noticed Dana was making her way over to me. I retorted quickly before placing a grin on my face, “Nothing.”
“Can you believe it!!?” Dana squealed as she grabbed my hand to jump up and down like teen girls screaming about getting their first kiss.
“Yes! You’re perfect for each other,” I said somehow forced. I wasn’t sure at first why I was feeling suddenly deflated and on the verge of tears. Until it hit me hard. Our once single trio was now a numero uno.
“Oh my!! We’re going to have to plan! You can be my maid of honor.” I was still shocked by the situation and Dana laughed as she added, “like that’s a shock I pick you.” With a sudden fierce hug from Dana, I clung back onto her.
I was happy for her. I was happy for Jason. My two best friends were getting married. And I did hope they have many wonderful years together. But yet, in the back of my mind jealousy was eating me up.
I was being left behind.