You By My Side

“Well, I for one am excited about the new addition to our routine,” Stevie said taking a sip of her self-made mocha latte. “And, I am one talented latte machine,” she winked. Her strawberry blond hair was mostly stuffed into one of Stevie’s many baseball hats. She says her dad wanted a son, so he treated her like one. I personally think it was because one day Stevie discovered how awesome they looked on her, but I let her tell her stories.
“I know, I’m way more excited about the job than I thought, but the book cafe rocks, so it’s the right fit.”
“For sure,” Stevie smiled.
I took a sip on my caramel latte. It was good, but I wasn’t quite as please with my latte making abilities as Stevie was. My phone buzzed four times in a row.
“Who’s blowing you up?” Stevie asked. She had on a navy-blue, woolen coat that went down to her calves.
“Probably Jared still,” I said as I unwisely pull my phone from my pocket. I took in the four text messages from Jared, two missed calls from him. I shook my head, then saw a single MyFace notification. Benny sent me a friend request, and I felt a shameless smile on my face.
“Who on your phone smiling?”
“Benny,” I hung my head, “He sent me a friend request on MyFace.”
Stevie giggled, “Something is going on there isn’t it?” She pressed her lips in a tight, very knowing line.
“Look, I don’t know what that is, but I do know I don’t need it.” I took another sip from my cup and decided I’d need more practice.
“Did you accept it?” Stevie’s mouth widened into a grin.
“Well, yeah sure I did, we are friends,” I rolled my eyes.
“Did you know that I’ m officially MyFace friends with your dad.”
“Oh man, really? He mentioned he made an account so he could connect with other toy collectors. I haven’t checked his page out.”
“Well, you really, really should,” Stevie nodded at this, “I’ve learned things about him.”
“Like what?” The wind had both of our hair again.
“I had no idea your dad was so cat obsessed. He either posts about toys or cats.”
I shook my head, “My dad.”
“Why doesn’t he have a cat?”
“You know, I didn’t know he liked them, honestly.” I scanned my memory and couldn’t place my dad around or talking about a single cat or cat-related subject.
“Then, you should look up his page,” Stevie nodded.
“It sounds like I don’t have a choice,” I laughed. Silence hung over us as we made it through the wooden part of the park. Just as we made it to paved paths and panic benches, Stevie said, “I’m finding living in the present difficult,” Stevie said this and then quickly following with a deep breathe, “Saying that felt good.”
“You are feeling it too?” I asked.
“Big time. My world feels fake, weak almost, like at any point everything could just fall over.”
I tossed my almost empty cup into the trash can, as we passed one. “I feel pretty much the same way. It’s like all the sudden I forgot how to just be, and I’m obsessed with what’s going to happen.” I shared, also feeling a sense of relief. Of course, we were in the same boat.
“It feels so much more unsettling than working toward it,” Stevie added.
“I agreed,” my words came out quiet.
“Things with Pike are different, weird almost. Ever since I forgot out, I got in,” Stevie twisted her wind-grabbed hair and shoved into her coat, “I feel like we are partying more, more focused on doing crazy stuff, and less like Pike and me, ya know?”
“Yeah, I get it,” I looked over at her, taking in her sad eyes, “It must suck that you and Pike are at this split-path. You guys are great together.”
“We are,” she said this in a way that said everything else she needed to say about their change. We continued to walk in comfortable silence until we came to the playground. Stevie had to go left, toward her house, and I went right to the apartment building. A sense of knowing I wasn’t alone, that I had Stevie, and were both going on a similar enough journey that our friendship will maintain. I knew at the moment we would always have each other. Knowing that made me feel like I could do anything.

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