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A Short Piece

"You're very quiet, Nini."

His sudden observation broke me out of my reverie. I stopped gazing out of the cafe window at the passing cars and shoppers to sip my London Fog tea and take a nibble of my now room-temperature quiche. I still wouldn't look at him.

"You do remember that you brought me here to talk?"

"Yeah, David, I remember." I mumbled, trying to keep my composure. I remembered that I had asked him to meet me here. I remembered that I wanted to talk to him because he was my best friend, but we hadn't spoken in three months since the incident between him and Kyle in my apartment. I remembered that I had forgiven both of them and I wanted to forget the whole thing ever happened. I wanted to forget that they had both hid something so crucial from me. But, how do you forget that the guy who was supposed to be your best friend slept with the guy who was supposed to be your fiancé?

"Nini, look, if it's about me and Kyle—"

"Yes, David, it is. Look, I'm sorry that I took so long to get back to you, but this was hard to deal with. It's one thing to accept that the man you were engaged to turned out to be gay, but it's another thing to accept that your best friend hooked up with him in your bed, in your apartment, while you were at work. And to come home to find you in the act..."

David looked down at his shoes and put his head in his hands. "Anita.. I'm still sorry that it ever happened. I wish I could take it back and we could have talked about this first. I wish that Kyle would have not lead you on like that."

"Like I said, that wasn't the issue. The issue was that he hid it from me and so did you. I trusted you. Both of you."

"I know, Anita, I know, and I'm sorry."

He ran his hands through his hair like he does when he's anxious. He looked up at me then and I could see nothing, but guilt and pain etched into the lines of his face. His eyes looked glossy and bloodshot, like he hadn't been sleeping much and he'd been crying. He was paler than he was three months before, like he hadn't gone out much. I wanted to cry just seeing him like this, knowing that he felt so guilty for everything and that my silence didn't make things any easier for him.

"Nini ... I don't want to lose my best friend. We've been inseparable since high school. You were there when I came out to my parents, and you've been the rock to my roll all this time. And, for fucking your man, I was a shit friend. And he was a shit man for not being honest with you. But, please ... I don't want this to ruin our friendship. I haven't spoken to either of you since, and I told him that we couldn't work because it felt so wrong on so many levels."

I smiled then and got up to hug him, gripping him tight and letting him cry into the fur collar of my parka. I cried, too, and we both became the two crazy bitches crying in the middle of a coffee shop.

"So, you really do forgive me, Nini?" He said as he looked at me with shiny eyes and a tear stained face.

"Of course I do, David, you're my best friend on the planet! And, I always knew Kyle was gay. Our parents set us up thinking that if he was with me, it wouldn't ruin his reputation. And, I don't mind if you date, but... Please, please don't ever fuck in my apartment again, okay? You made me get a noise complaint from Mrs. Simmons."

"Oh, that crazy bitty complains about everything, though!"

We laughed. I finished my quiche before deciding it was time to get out of here and head to my apartment.

"You know, Nini." David says as we stand outside the shop, "I'm glad to see that you're doing okay even after all of this. And I'm glad that you don't hate my guts for what I did."

"It was what you both did. But I could never hate you. And I never wanted to lose you. But, I guess, I'm okay because I make the conscious effort to be okay. I know that shit like this happens. Did I think it would happen to me? Hell no, but it did."

David could only nod. Then he asked "Do you think you'll ever find love again, or want to be in love?"

"Right now? No. Not really. I mean, yes, I'll find it one day, and it will be perfect, but I'm not looking for it. Besides, I haven't found the right person yet and that's okay."

"But, how will you know when you have?" David has always been curious on how true love works and my ideas of it. He has always just been very open to love. He's had only one partner since high school, and until Kyle, it had stayed that way after he couldn't be with him anymore due to long distance.

"Because, the right person will realize my complexity and not run away from it. I've come to realize over the past three months that I'm a very complex person, David. I'm deep. I'm driven. I'm so focused on what I want in life. I'm so deep inside myself on my own that anyone else who ever gets to see my depth is only capable of going deeper. So deep that they could drown in my depth, but they won't because they know that they can always get out. But, they don't want to, so they learn how to breathe under this water."

"Damn, Anita," David exclaims. "That's eerily poetic. What made you realize this? Aside from being single."

"I did some soul searching and realized that I'm a fucking ocean with dark abysses and deep-sea monsters inside of me. And I need to be with someone who can handle that better than me."