"So how, you been?" The old gang came around on Christmas night. As it was, it felt like Christmas was over by Christmas eve. I was keeping secrets from mum, about this Ben.
But it was a relief to hear from him. We actually thought it best to e-mail each other, instead. And I told him every bloody thing there was about Will. The highs. The lows. Mishaps and this last little catastrophe.
Of course, Ben said I deserved better. But Christmas was bitter, even if we wore our worst Christmas sweaters and drank honey brandy like we needed it. Mum and me. It wasn't much. Now here was the gang, wanting to take me out for a drink.
Liza said it had been ages. As it was, she was with a cute lass who was very enthusiastic to be more than just a mate with her.
I rambled on a bit how I was revising and what not.
"You know." I laughed it off.
"No, we don't know." Pip winced. "What's up with you and Will?"
"Its the holidays." I guess we'd played each other out. I just didn't hear from him. Exactly.
Yeah, he'd came around the night before Christmas eve. Just to warm himself up, I suppose. But I wouldn't have it. Even if he wanted to shout about it. I remembered Ben saying I deserved better. Just what did I deserve?
I'd eaten chocolate custard for breakfast on Christmas morn. We were not traditional in the least. Mum spent the day in bed reading and drinking tea. We'd watched ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE on Christmas eve. Suppose we were done. It was time for my mates, but I didn't want to see Will.
Actually, I was rather fond of Ben. His texts made me smile. Like now.
"Oh, she found another, already." Pip wrapped her arm around mine as we huddled in the cold, bundled up in our winter's best. She'd left Simon home with a sore throat. Luckily, she didn't get it yet.
"No, I haven't!" I snapped.
"OK, don't be so wicked." Pip festered a look as if I needed to explain.
After we got to the pub, I couldn't hold it in much longer. I needed to talk about my brother in South Africa. Well, half-brother who didn't live at home, anymore. I wasn't sure if he got along with my Dad. Actually.
"Well, is he coming?" Liza wanted to know while Sam took liberty to get us drinks.
"No." I laughed. That would be so awkward. Nothing that weird would happen.
"So... are you and Will finished?" was Liza's next question.
I nodded even if I found myself on the brink of tears. What was next? Some pills to help me cope?
"I don't think he wanted to get you any prezzies." Pip pressed a smile. "The wanker is a cheapo, you know."
"Oh well," I really felt as if I might be coming down with something. Perhaps my resistance to the outside world was compromised. But I couldn't say my heart was broken because I knew I was better off without him. I was and yet I felt I needed to run home and cry into my pillow.
But my mates toasted to a new year. It was good to see Liza smile. She was with someone who loved her company. I could tell, even now. They must be soul mates.