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Assisi & Brannan #16: I’d Rather Be Someplace Else

May 20, 2014

The apartment was quiet just the way I liked it. I tiptoed past the dining room into the kitchen. I was ready to sleep.

The light in Catherine’s room was on. I went in to say hello and found her packing.

She said it had nothing to do with the text that I received at the party. She had been planning to visit her sister in Kona for some time and this week was as good a time as any. Ticket, a place to crash, her cell phone was all she needed.

“I can work from anywhere as long as I have my phone.”

Catherine’s not good at lying. She talks very fast and way too much as if by doing so she can distract me from the real issue.

The first thing that comes to my mind is where am I going to spend the night? It creeps me out to stay alone with a couple of people so angry at me for reasons I wasn’t even sure about.

“Have a great time in Kona.” I hugged Catherine.

“I’ll call you when I get there.” She looked at her bags. “Why don’t you ask your Sam to come over for dinner or something?”

“He’s not my Sam.” I remind her.

She raised her eyebrow, started to say something, then suddenly rushed back to hug me.

“You’ll be okay?”

Guilt seared her, but there are limits to friendship. She would never admit she was ditching me.

Her ride, a very nice ’68 Pontiac wrapped around a very attractive man, growled outside. They were long gone before I finished waving.

Okay, I was hurt. I blinked away my tears. Since we started rooming together, she’s never done this to me. We were really close. We are very different but somehow we stayed together.

To assuage my fears, I called my parents. They were at their favorite restaurant having breakfast. We talked about everything except for the one thing that bothered me the most. I had learned a long time ago not to share too much. My father told me there was a typhoon near Hainan Island about 500 kilometers from Hong Kong. I thought about of all the sailors who worship A-ma, the goddess protecting the people who live off the sea, for their safe return.

After I hung up, I saw a new text, “You know I am innocent.”

I grabbed my keys and ran out. Gunning the Vespa I raced down Hillsdale to the Barnes and Noble and called Sam.

As I waited for him to arrive, I looked around at the people browsing the shelves of magazines, novels, self-help, manga and inspirational books. The crowd made feel better, just a little.

We went to B Street & Vine in crowded downtown San Mateo.  B Street & Vine was the happening place with a group of mothers celebrating a birthday, couples and another small party. Dark and loud, it was the place for my frayed nerves. I ordered a pinot while Sam got a merlot. He also ordered a Panini and salad.

As I ate his food my phone buzzed a few times. I looked down. It was Kevin.

© Jocelyn Uma 2014. All Rights Reserved.