Juxtaposed

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The following day, Saturday, my phone rang at 10 in the morning.

*Lowell Baron Ching calling*

I rubbed my eyes to look at the clock and quickly answered the call.

“Louie, is there an emergency?” 10 AM is too early a call from Louie, if he has something to tell me, Nadine usually calls on his behalf to relay the message. If it’s truly important or an emergency, that’s when he calls me himself.

“Hey, see you tonight okay? Be here by 8, I’ll be home then.” My friends are all busy members of society, especially their husbands. Louie’s family owns one of the largest industrial manufacturing firms in the country: iron, plastic and other industrial products. Louie assumed the CEO position right before he and Nadine married.

“Why, what’s up?” I lay back on my bed and yawned.

“What else!!?? We’re celebrating your newly restored singlehood!” I pulled the phone away from my ear as he yelled this out.

“No need to yell! Does your wife know?” I placed the phone near my ear again.

“Of course, she knows. I told her to tell you. Did she not tell you last night?”

 “Yes, she did. I thought that was a joke! You told her we’d drink every day if I wanted.”

“And when did we ever kid about alcohol?”

“NEVER!!!” we shouted together. We’re immature 30sh wackos. I’ve known Louie as long as I’d known Nadine. 20 years ago I transferred to their grade school.

“Good. I have to call Jordan to remind him. You know he sometimes escapes our session when he really just wants to take of his baby or maybe just scared of his wife.”

Jordan TanChi and I, on the other hand, have known each other since preschool. Yep, toddler age. Our families became friends because we ran the same circles. It was a coincidence that when I transferred to the school owned by Louie’s family, he transferred there too. He and Louie became fast friends, around the same time I and the rest of the girls did. The beginnings of our lifelong friendship.

 “Hey, she’s my friend! She’ll come too, I’m sure.” Julianne can be a little bossy with Jordan but given the circumstance, I know she’s still itching to talk to me about Ty.

“Fine, fine! I’ll just call Zeke to make sure Jordan can make it.”

“Zeke?” Jordan’s cousin, I don’t even know his full name. I met him during Jordan and Julianne’s engagement party. He would be present during birthdays, weddings, engagements, some holidays and even occasional dinners. There were times we’d bump into each other at the mall, at a bar, even HongKong. We usually just say Hi and Hello but during the drinking sessions, Zeke and I are like buddies.

“Yeah. He’s been wanting to drink. He was looking for you the other month, when we were supposed to have dinner but you weren’t in Manila. I told him you went to Palawan with Tyler for your anniversary.” Tyler and I spent out anniversary in El Nido. It was during the trip that I realized certain things. We didn’t get in to an argument but there was just something lacking. When we got back to Manila, I pondered further and before he flew back to Sydney, during the post anniversary dinner, I broke up with him.

“Ah, so Zeke kinda misses me. Haha. Well, I missed him too and I missed you and Jordan. So tell them to be there tonight! Thanks for the call, I’m going back to sleep. I might not wake up on time later!”

“Zelene!! Don’t go back to sleep, dammit. You might not make it tonight!!” I have this bad habit of sleeping on and on if no one wakes me.

“LOWELL!! It’s only 10 AM! Buhbye!” He hated his first name. I ended the call and went back to bed laughing. My friend’s husband is as crazy as we are.

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