Sipping on one my favourite 15-year-old Laphgroue whisky, neat, after the long day I had in work. Finally, it’s great to feel that strong shot of whisky gliding smoothly down my throat, that sensation that burns it just so exhilarating. I can’t be more grateful that he week has ended and coming home to this apartment just makes me so contented after a days work. Slouching on the couch, there’s a sudden punch in my heart, how I miss my Finance, Guy. He’s in his mid-thirties, have an amazing career in advertising and was just recently promoted to the Regional Manager. This also does mean he travels constantly in and out of town.

I’m really happy for him, having to have such a wonderful career at such a young age but part of me misses him so much when he is not in town. When he first started travelling, we would Skype every night. As time passes by, travelling has gotten from once a month to at least four times a month. I’ve to admit, work has gotten in the way, time differences, the number of times we Skype has gotten from every night to once a week now.

Sitting here, admiring this apartment that we have just moved in one year ago. How we decorated and fuss over from cutlery to the paint we wish to see on our wall.  All these things are just items, what makes it even better, is knowing I’m going to share the rest of my life with a man I love. He makes this place my home. I can’t wait for him to be in my arms tomorrow.

Waking up with the sun shining in my eyes, naturally, my hands swung next to the bed to look for my beautiful smile. Ahhh, I can’t wait to see his beautiful smile in a few hours time. That happy thought made me jump out of bed to start my day right.

Just about when I heading into the shower, my phone rang. It’s Pat, my so ever best friend.Picked up the phone call, knowing Pat, she’s going to keep calling till your phone explodes.

“Hi dear, it’s only 9 am and it’s a Saturday. What are you doing up so early?” I could just imagine Pat rolling her eyes at me and hissing at me for knowing every habit of hers.

“Thanks for reminding me of how lazy I am on the weekends! But I had this sudden craving for a plate of pancakes. Drizzled with that sweet, fragrant vanilla maple syrup. With a side of fresh berries. Just thinking about it makes my tummy rumbles. You in?”

I don’t crave for pancakes, but the thought of smelling to a cup of cappuccino is what I really need. “Of course! A good breakie with a good friend, what more can I ask for. Meet at our usual? Will be there in 30 minutes. How does that sound?”

“Great! Get your ass out of the house as fast as you can! I’m starving like a little dinosaur!”

Hanging up, quickly step into the shower to freshen up. The right way to start the day.

Stepping into Lola, one of the favourite cafe that I love. The smell of strong, pungent, yet a hint of sourness coffee beans filling up the entire cafe is just one of the many traits I love of this establishment. Jenny, the young lady in her mid-twenties who owns this lovely establishment saw me and a smile was on her face.

Still, remembering the first week of her cafe opening, I passed by Lola on a Thursday cold morning while running an errand. What caught me to stop on my footsteps was a customer who ordered a plate of Scrambled Eggs with a Poppy Seed bagel. That caught my eye and made walked into the cafe. When I walked in, Jenny was standing by the doorway ready to welcome another customer into the cafe. There she was with a glowing smile on her face, very warm and sweet girl.

“Hi Welcome to Lola’s! Table for ?”

“Just 1 will do.”

“Great! follow me”. Jenny took a menu with her and has guided me all the way to the back of the cafe. That spot was quiet, a little isolated from the crowd as it is all the way to the back of the cafe. There’s a window by the table and the light sun rays were shining onto the table. This sight made my day a little better.  Looking out of the window, I saw a beautiful Orchid tree with a thick trunk. The roots have rooted itself into the pedestrian pathway. It was mid winter then, the tree was filled with a baby pink flowers. Filling up the whole tree with it making it so luscious and grand. Just like a picture out of the fairytale book. Ever since then, that was my spot to sit when I come to Lola’s.

Jenny handed me the menu, ” Is beautiful, isn’t it? This is one of my favourite spot in the whole entire cafe. Looking out to this sight, just makes my day a little better when I come to work”. She said it with much appreciation. “Sorry, didn’t mean to be nosy! My name is Jenny and let me know if I can be of any help. Whenever if you are ready to order just let me know”.

“That’s very much alright, I do like this view a lot. Just makes you feel at peace just by looking at it. Hi Jenny, I’m Zoey and it’s my pleasure to meet you. Before I came in, I saw a gentleman outside enjoying his scrambled eggs with poppy seed bagel. It just looks so scrumptious. Can I have one plate of it and a soy latte to go with”?

“Zoey, this name suits you, “life” I can tell by the way you appreciated the view. Good choice, we use only organic eggs and we make our very own bagel in-house. Coming right up for you!”

There she goes, clicking onto the iPad and sending my order right in. “Meanwhile, just enjoy the view”.

“Thank you very much, Jenny! I can’t wait for my food to come!”

Ever since then, that was my go to cafe. I’ve been back at Lola’s every fortnight making it my must go to breakie place on my list. Jenny and I have also started to bond a lot more sharing our stories whenever I’m there.

The weekends at Lola is always filled with huge crowds. Ever since it has open, business has been growing steadily. Every food review sites have Lola’s Cafe on high recommendations. As usual, Saturday is crazy. Thank God, I was still considerably early for a Saturday before there’s a beeline queue waiting.

Entering the cafe, from afar I spotted Jenny behind the cashier counter. Giving orders to her employees on the orders coming right through. When she turned, she spotted me.  With a quick motion, she’s standing right in front of me. Giving her a warm big hug, she pulled apart. Started to talk real quick, when she does that it means she’s excited.

“I’ve not seen you here for weeks! What have you been up to!”.  Before I could answer, Pat walked through the door, glowing. The sunshine shining upon her brown hair, adds a little glamour. Even though she’s in a T-shirt, jean shorts, she looks gorgeous. Her legs are slender yet defined, she has all the right curves in the right places. She’s the type of girl that guys would have a second look at and try their chances on getting a date.

Giving me a warm embrace first and hugging Jenny next. As usual, Jenny knew I loved to sit by the window to look at the cars passing by and the mature Orchid Tree. She was kind enough having to offer that seat and I’m thankful no one was sitting there. Before I sat down, the ever so thoughtful Jenny asked:

“The usual for you girls? Or craving for something different”

Without a doubt, “The usual for me please”, somehow I can feel a slight judgemental pass made at me who is sitting right across me. “You are just so predictable, what’s the fun in that! Jenny, can you please introduce something new to her that she has not tried anything on the menu. As for me, I would have a plate of the Buttermilk Pancakes, with Fresh Berries and a few slices of bacon. Ah, all the sweet, savoury taste one in one”.

Jenny can’t help but giggle as she knew I’ve never once changed my orders and have stuck to the same dish. ” Zoey, Pat is right, please at least try our eggs benedicts for once. Everyone loved it and I know you will fall in love with too. I’ve been trying to get you to try them for months now.  Something different will do you good, it might even surprise you!”

“Alright, let me adventurous today and try Lola’s eggs benedicts today with salmon on the side. Pairing it with a cup of skinny cappuccino!”.

“Orders taken down, sit tight ladies your orders will be coming real soon! I’m sorry, but I’m swarmed today here at the cafe. I would love to sit down for a short chat, but I’m short handed today. Catch up with you girls later yea?”

“Of course Jenny, do what you have got to do. Pat and I will be waiting for our food”.

Facing towards Pat, one of my best friends who has stuck through thick and thin with me. The countless heartbreaks we have been through together, getting drunk, playing truant and spending much girl time together. Something is amiss with her together. Just by looking at her, I know something was up.

“Pat, are you alright. Something seems to be out of sort with you today. Wanna share what’s going on?”. Slowly her eyes met up with mine. I can see her brows frowning and something was really bothering her. The chirpy and bubbly girl I knew is not here today.

“I think I’m in trouble”, she said in a nervous tone. I’ve not heard this tone in a long while. The last time I heard this fear when she was caught smooching her first boyfriend in her bedroom and got caught by her dad. She was grounded for a strict one month. Her mum would send her and pick up from school each day. Leaving her with no room to breathe at all.

“Trouble? What happened? Don’t leave me hanging, I’m getting very concerned right now.”

“I think I’m falling hard for someone and is freaking me out so badly! When I wake up and before I head to bed, she’s on my mind. We are texting… ” before she could finish her sentence I interrupted her, “I think I didn’t hear very clearly but did you say that the person was a SHE?”. Pat was just looking blindly at me and gives a nod.

“Woah! I’ve never seen this coming from you especially when we are friends for 18 years now! Never did you mention that you are actually interested girls before. Besides the fact that you went camping and you kissed a girl because of a dare. Since when? I mean all along you have dated countless of men. Oh and trust me! when you say the word all straight men will queue to just have a date with you!”. My voice was practically screeching from the news I’ve just heard that my best friend is a gay and there weren’t any signs at all!

“Oh Zoey, I know … I know … Believe me, but love is not something that can be controlled. But you are the only one I can talk to. You are my best friend and to me, you are the sister I never had”. Looking at her straight in the eyes, oh her beautiful bluish green pupils are slowly filled with tears. Before she can let her tears run down,  “can you just be my listening ear, my heart is really troubled right now”.

I reached out to hold both of her hands, holding it tight to reassure her. “Oh my dear sweet Pat, you know I love you so much and I see you like my sister too! I’m just shocked that things turned out this way, after all, there weren’t any signs”.

A sigh of relief was just lifted off Pat shoulders and her eyes turned a little brighter. “I know this might be coming to you as quite a shock. I’m shocked too. But you are the only one I know that wouldn’t judge me for it and would actually be open to the choices I make. Will you support me on this?”.

Looking straight into her eyes, “Of course I will! I’m so glad you have finally someone you actually can say you, LOVE! That’s rare coming from you, especially the only serious relationship you had was 6 years ago! Dish out everything and tell me all the details!”

 

 

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