“Oh my God!” Jodie cried. “I can’t believe you’re leaving so soon.”
Janet shook her head in disbelief and clicked her fingers. “Just like that.”
“What am I going to do without my roomie?” Chloe whined, pouting.
I laughed, swirling my glass of wine. “Lighten up guys. I’m not dying.”
“But you’re going to be very far away!” Chloe flung her arms around my neck, pulling my hair and almost strangling me at the weakest grip. “What if you make new friends over there and forget us completely.”
My fingers left white marks on her skin. “Chloe,” she pulled back and I huddled closer with my girls. “Look, I love each and every one of you. And I’m going to miss you so much, you have no idea. There’s no way anyone could replace you. No one. With that being said,” I shrugged, “I’m excited to start a new chapter in my life, as corny as that might sound. I can’t wait to be a better version of me.”
Janet grinned. “You do know what we all promised each other, right?” We all stared blankly back at her. She rolled her eyes. “If anyone moved away for a very long period of time, then we all have to share a kiss.”
It was all coming back to us. We peered up in remembrance, thinking of long ago when we all made a silly young-girl pact about sharing an intimate kiss between each other. It was our version of Angelina Jolie’s and Billy Bob Thornton’s blood vials, although much less stomach churning. The day we agreed on this was blurry, but I do remember feeling giddy and excited. For a long time, I was looking forward to that one day where we all shared a special kiss that is mutually understood and respected. Where yearning, love, and hope become intertwined in a simple act of pursing the lips and planting a kiss. More so, it was going to be our little secret of our little leap of love.
“Dude, do you know how gay you sound,” Jodie joked.
We all burst out laughing.
Janet slapped Jodie on her arm. “Come on! We all have to do it!”
“Janet, we all made that little deal ages ago,” I pointed out. “It barely holds water now.”
Janet stared me down. “It has to.”
“This sounds like Jodie’s dream moment,” Chloe muttered.
Jodie lifted a cushion off the couch and threw it at Chloe. Chloe’s hair aired out at impact and she couldn’t help but laugh. Jodie laughed too. “Come here you,” she said, waving her index finger backwards and forwards, her eyes sensually aimed at Chloe.
Chloe grinned, in both excitement and courage. Then she threw herself onto Jodie. Jodie managed to catch her and turn her on her back, holding her upright.
“This is definitely a movie kiss guys,” Chloe smiled.
Janet and I watched eagerly on the sidelines. It all seemed romantic; I wondered how many drinks we had.
Then Jodie leaned down and planted a kiss. Their mouths closed, their time taken with ease of pace. When they both pulled away, they wished each other a happy new year.
“Now our turn, Anna!” Janet said when Jodie and Chloe situated themselves firmly next to each other. They used each other for leaning support; both looking sleepy.
I turned to Janet, and in the dim but glowing light, have never seen her so beautiful, and never have felt a deeper pang in my chest at the thought of missing her. At missing all of them. I was not looking forward for that feeling. When it would hit me so hard, I could barely breathe. But to live a life happily for myself, to grow and progress, I had to be healthily selfish. I had to think about myself; and I had to throw myself out there. Into uncomfortable situations; into maddening emotions; into the deep end of my life.
Janet and I simultaneously leaned in, and in the spirit of the New Year coming, we both planted a kiss. Her lips were incredibly soft, and her skin as smooth as silk. Her hair smelled of peaches and her skin of Calvin Klein. By the time we parted, Jodie and Chloe had fallen asleep. Janet and I soon followed after; slipping into an undisturbed deep slumber. And even through the fog of a slight sniff and few tears streaming down the side of my face, while I slept on my side on Jodie’s thigh, I had the best sleep, and the most intricate of hopeful dreams full of promise.
Jennifer Lazo was 22 years old, 5’0”, petite and Spanish. She had big blonde curly hair, hazel eyes and an athletic build to die for. Upon immediate inspection I became slightly jealous of her and overrun with the desire to gym. Hey, I’d even gym with her! She welcomed me with open arms at the airport, and even helped me with my luggage.
“So I hear you’re in finance, Jennifer?” I asked her as she drove to Adam’s place.
She smiled a perfect set of pearly whites. “Oh, JLa, please. Or Lazo.” I nodded. Ding, I’m in! I smiled and waited for her to continue. “Every industry has its finance department. I don’t exactly head the one at the magazine, but I’m still a hell of an asset.”
“That’s amazing,” I said, genuinely impressed. “I’d have to take a page out of your book to get by in New York City.”
Jennifer laughed. “Want to know the first and foremost rule of thumb?”
I nodded, wide-eyed and listening intently. “Please.”
She grinned. “Stay the fuck away from Adam.”
I remained silent; the smile still frozen onto my face, all its meaning lost. I didn’t really know if she was joking or not, but then again it seemed a little left of centre for a joke; especially relating to none other than Adam. Last I checked, they weren’t together for her to be telling me this. And in such a way that would insight confusion and shock.
“You heard me,” she smiled. How did she keep her voice so serene and her smile so angelic the entire time? “Stay away from him,” she warned, her words spoken much slower and chopped. Then she grinned wider. “Happy new year!”
***Follow me on twitter! Alessandra Torre retweeted my tweet; it was awesome! Happy New Year my gorgeous, lovely, Souls xo!***