Part 1

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Part 1 of a new Multi-chaptered fic.

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"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to you!" sang with all his lungs her dearest friend of all the world while holding a cake too big for just two, but that is how James was, always doing more than what was asked from him, going all the way and never holding back.

Trust James to buy the biggest, expensive looking cake and plant exactly 33 candles in it, as if she needed a remainder of her age. But, oh well she still loved him to death, he was her dearest friend, they practically grew together covering their misdemeanors for each other, trusting each other their deepest secrets, their greatest sadness and all in between... Their friendship was beyond the ordinary, people sometimes were misguided by their closeness but that never caused any kind of worry to them, they were just friends.

"Isn't that a little too big James?" asked Nadine looking with doubt the huge cake that he was putting in the table in front of her.

"Not every day you turn 33 Naddie" He said smiling widely, he was enjoying the whole thing. Recently he was into rubbing to her face her age, maybe she deserved it, after all she had paid a company to decorate his office with colorful banners celebrating his 33rd birthday, yes big 33 banners all over the place... If only she had stopped herself at decorating his office and music studio... but no she had to ask for the biggest banner to be hanged outside his office building too. At this moment she didn't know if she should be worried or not, he was uncharacteristically quiet about the whole thing, except for rubbing her age every now and then. "If you have let me throw you the party I wanted to, you wouldn't be looking forward for a weekend full of chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner."

"Awww you got me my favorite" said Nadine sparkling at the mention of chocolate. Clapping her hands in glee.

He winked "As I do every year, I don't get how by this moment you are not sick of eating so much chocolate?" He took the chair on the other side of the table and sat in front of her. "By the way my parents send their love and said they are sorry for not being able to congratulate you on the phone."

"I will call them during the weekend to say my thanks." said Nadine smiling fondly as she thought of James' parents, their families have lived next door to each other for the longest time, until James' father had to move to Makati for business, luckily for them James and his brothers were already in college in Tagaytay and his parents decided to left the house under their care, while he moved with his wife to Makati. "How is your brother's wife?"

"She is going to be released from the hospital tomorrow, she gave us a big scare, but she pulled through." Nadine smiled sadly. "For a time I thought the baby was going to grow without his mother... I was packing my bags to go to Australia and join them, when they called me to say she was getting better."

Nadine moved her hand and grasped his. She gave it a good squeeze as she said "But now she is fine and the baby will have his mother."

James smiled back and said "But let's stop talking about sad things. How are you parents?"

Nadine smiled "They called earlier, now they are in Greece enjoying the Mediterranean sun. For what I grasped in the conversation they want to extend their holiday a few more months. They sound happy and I'm happy for them."

"Well they are already retired, and your dad said it was their second honeymoon so I'm not surprised. Say hi to them from me the next time you talk with them."

"I will." She smiled "They always love to hear about you and your latest conquest, specially my dad."

"Nadine, I have asked you again and again to please stop talking about my failed relationships with your parents."

"But it's so entertaining." She patted the back of the hand she was still holding. "Don't worry I always left out the juicy the details, I can't repeat some of the things you say to me to my parents." Nadine said grinning.

"Sometimes I wonder, how we ended been so good friends." Said James as he shook his head.

"You know you love me."

"And you know I do, but how you will feel if I begin to talk about your failed relationships with my parents."

"It has been so long ago, I really don't care anymore... And as if you will have much to tell." said Nadine trying to avoid the topic.

"Nadine, if I began to count the nights I stayed with you holding you as you cursed and cried your eyes out about those two bastards I will need not days, but months to finish the tale."

"Don't be so dramatic James." She said rolling her eyes, dismissing the whole thing. But he was right, he spend a lot of his time consoling her as she mourned the loss of what she thought were the love of her life... She was too innocent for her own good during that time. But life have teach her a lesson to remember and that is why 5 years ago she decided to just concentrate in the success of her business, that is why now the marketing firm she co-founded with her friends Yassi and Trisha was a ravishing success. Hard work got her out of her depressing thoughts and it has been a one way road since that moment... Until a few days ago her life moved out of its axis... In her eyes her accomplishment didn't look as great as people said they were. She felt empty and unaccomplished... Life was not just work and recognition. She understands that now...

"So deep. What is bothering you?" said James as he tilted his head to the side and looked at her knowingly. This was one of the things she hated about been childhood friends, he knew her too well.

"It's nothing."

"You knew I was going to America, but I cancelled in the last moment, were you really thinking to spend your birthday alone Nadine?"

"No." Said Nadine clearly, but he gave her this look that told her it was better to start telling the true. "Yes..."

"Why?" Was his simple question, but full of intent. He wanted an answer.

"I don't feel like celebrating, it's just depressing to be one year older." She said praying for him to stop asking questions. It was not the whole truth but it wasn't a lie either so they were even.

He must have understood her silent plea because he said nodding in the direction of the cake "Naddie this cake is going to burn down if you don't blow out the candles in the next few seconds." By his expression she could tell the conversation was not over. But a few minutes will give her time to order the ideas in her head and give him the answer he wanted.

"You are right!" said Nadine as she hurriedly leaned forward to blow the candles.

"Wait. Aren't you going to make a wish?"

"A wish?"

"Don't tell you think you are too old for that?" Said James smiling encouraging her.

Nadine stopped and thought for a while. "Yes, I have a wish." She closed her eyes as she said under her breath "I wish..." She wished with all her heart, it was the first time she took this moment so seriously, but she was running out of options she needed all the opportunities she could get to try to get her wish some help. She opened her eyes and found James looking at her intently. "Done." She said smiling and began to blow with all her might the 33 candles on her cake.

She pulled out a candle from the cake and licked the icing from it. "Can I ask what you wished for?" asked James as he did the same and grabbed a candle too.

"Of course." she said smiling as she looked at him, she grabbed another candle and licked the icing in one swift move.

"I want a baby..."

-

Hello! This will be like a spin-off of FRIENDS. Well, medyo same set-up, just different objectives in life. I'll post the next part right after FRIENDS.

And for How to be a Dad readers, guys, you need to wait a lil bit. I lost all my drafts. I'm so sorry.

Ciao

JDnHart

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