I have to explain everything to her.

But should you?

Better late than never, right?

She will -

I know she won’t forgive me.

Make an excuse. Say you couldn’t make it.

Too late now. She agreed to meet with me at 10:00, in front of her favourite restaurant, ‘CelebrATE’.

The time is 9:56. I am here, sitting on this jagged wooden bench (which is digging into my bottom) in front of the restaurant.

More importantly, I am early.

I am trying to make a good impression.

Is this going to work?

What other option do I have?

I spot her. She is getting off the bus. That same cream lace dress and red heels. She wore the exact same outfit when we first met. At a family barbeque. She is my cousin’s classmate. We became best friends instantly.

That was two years ago. Maybe three. Wow, the dress still FITS her. The magic of elastic! Her tight brunette curls bounce on her shoulders as she walks towards me. She stops in front of me.

Say something. Don’t just stare at her.

“Daniel, getting a tad chubby.” she says.

I get on my feet and look into her eyes.

Her face is tight. So is her dress.

Maybe there is a limit to how much elastic can stretch…

“Wanna grab a taco?” I ask, with a touch of enthusiasm.

Out of everything you could’ve said, this is what you said.

Stop it, inner conscious.

“At 10 in the morning? You’re still the nutcase I knew of. Nothing has changed with your stupid personality.” Her sharp voice cuts my enthusiasm. She struts into the restaurant.

If she thought you had a stupid personality, she wouldn’t have spent a total of $2000 on you.

Is that how much money she’s spent on me? I guess over two, maybe three years, the cost of gifts and pampering can add up.

Leaving a hole in her wallet.

That’s not the only thing that has a hole.

I notice a hole in her stockings as she sits down.

“Uh okay. I guess I’ll have scrambled eggs,” I follow her inside.
“So how have things been?” I ask, taking a seat at the table.

“Yeah. Good.” she says sarcastically as she flicks through the menu.

“That’s nice,” I nod. “Hey, maybe you should try the salted caramel macaroons.”

Stop trying too hard.

“I will. I have been hearing a lot about them,” she says with a gentle smile.

Don’t be fooled. Her smile is a warning. You can still get out of here.

Stop it, inner conscious.

People have the capacity to forgive and forget.

“I have been thinking a lot about what happened over the summer, Daniel. It’s only fair if I hear you out,” she says slowly.

Or maybe not.

Don’t panic. Say it, word for word, just like you rehearsed in front of the mirror this morning.

“Lizzie, look. I am sorry. I know what I have done is irreversible. You have to understand that it was a mistake. No, really, it was. I am not lying. It was a miscalculation and it turned out to be a…”

“Disaster,” she finishes my sentence. She looks up from the menu, “How could you do that to Mitzy, Daniel? To me? I thought we’re best friends.”

“We are.”
“No, we aren’t. EVERYTHING is different now. You didn’t even talk to me after what happened. If you did, at least I would’ve…considered what you said. You just ran out of my house. All of this proved that you were the one who…I came here to see if you feel sorry for what you did. Of course not. You just want to eat scrambled eggs and macaroons at 10 in the morning and soak up the sunshine.”

“No, no. I was trying to…”

“Daniel, stop trying. Nothing can change the fact that you’re a horrible person.”

The waiter comes to our table. “Vat doez za lady and za mister want to ‘ave?”

Only I can laugh at a waiter who has a thick French accent when I am amidst a serious discussion. The waiter narrows his eyebrows at me. I hold my breath and sink into my seat.

“A chocolate milkshake and nothing for the mister, thanks,” she smiles.

Show her that she’s not the only one who knows how to be the bad guy.

Plus, she is trying to starve you.

Damn you, inner conscious.

“Look, I don’t care about your lame excuses. Mitzy was my world. You hurt her. I can’t forgive you for that.” She slams the menu on the table.

I look away. This is getting too intense. I don’t say anything for a couple of minutes. Lizzie doesn’t either. Ah, the blissful silence.

 

The waiter brings the milkshake for her to devour. She takes a little sip and grins instantly.

“It’s nice. Thanks,” she says to the waiter.

His eyes light up. “Eye med it, special for you. Glad you savour it.” He bows and walks away.

I contain my urge to laugh at the waiter when she faces me. “Mother is heart-broken. She stays in her room all day. After what happened to Mitzy, she quit work. She loved Mitzy more than she loves me.”

I cringe.

She knows that emotions are a sensitive subject for you.

She finishes the milkshake. She leans forward and whispers, “Pay for it, will you? She points to the empty glass. “That’s the least you can do for everything you’ve done.”

“So Lizzie, are we good?” I ask her. She walks to the door and just before she walks out, she shouts, “You don’t get it. You killed Mitzy. You killed my cat.”