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Chapter 4

Mike was busy preparing the dishes as Joe enters the kitchen with an angry expression on his face.

“Mike! I have had it! Your workers are idiots.”

“Relax, Joe. You just need to get to know them better,” Mike said reassuringly.

“No, I will not relax” Joe nagged. “ I can’t take it. I can’t take anymore jokes on how old people have ‘rooster necks’. I can’t take anymore sick innuendos on the word “jacked.” And if I hear one more person say ‘OMG shoes!’, I will personally dig a knife in my skull.”

“Joe…Chill…” Mike said slowly. “It’s only going to be for the night and you will never see these people ever again. I promise!”

“ONE…NIGHT!” Joe warned.

As the party began, Joe introduced the many hor’dourves Mike had prepared to the crowd and set them on the punch table, with the rest of the food.

The party itself was elegantly designed. Lights were hung crisscrossed all around the ceilings, the dance floor glistened from the marble, the guests were each beautifully dressed and the night sky added a sophisticated air.

Rainie however, was having a crummy time. “It’s already 6:30pm and I’m bored outta my mind,” she sighed to herself.

Suddenly she feels two hands cover her face.

“Ariel! You made it!” she excitedly said.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” said a beautiful girl who was dressed in a yellow summer dress with her hair tied up.

“You look wonderful Ariel.”

“Same to you birthday girl!”

“Oh and who do I see behind you?” Rainie said to the man who had his arm around Ariel. “Well hello stranger,” she joked. “I haven’t seen you in a while.”

It was Ariel’s boyfriend of two years, Peter. He had inherited his late father’s company a few months ago, therefore both Ariel and Rainie saw less and less of him, which bothered Rainie. She didn’t like how he would always abandon her best friend. But for Ariel, Rainie would pretend to like him.

“Hi Rainie, happy birthday,” he said gently.

“Thanks,” she added. “How are you guys enjoying the party?”

“It’s very classy…” he said innocently enough.

“In other words, boring right?” she laughed.

“A little,” Ariel said with a small smile.

Suddenly Peter’s cell phone rings.

“Oh sorry girls, but I gotta take this. It’s about the company. Ariel, wait here for me OK?”

“Sure,” she softly said.

He kissed her on the forehead and quickly ran outside for better reception.

“So how’s the relationship been?” Rainie asked cautiously.

“Kinda tough, you know with the company and all,” she said sadly.

“Ariel, if he keeps treating you like this…” Rainie began.

“He won’t,” Ariel said frankly.

“I just don’t want you to get hurt Ariel,” she reasoned.

“I know and I appre…”

Ariel stopped dead silent. Were her eyes deceiving her?

“Another plate of the crab cakes, MIKE!” screamed Joe from a distance.

“Coming up!” he yelled back.

“Hey I didn’t know these things would please these people like this!”

“Yeah, rich folk LOVE my crab cakes. I think they figured that it looks nice so it’s expensive hahah!” Mike laughed.

“Well, I guess.”

“Like I always say ‘you eat with your eyes, before you eat with your mouth,” he explained.

“mmm, OK, well I’ll head back now,” Joe said to Mike as he held a plate of fresh hor’dourves.

Suddenly, Joe froze from where he was standing. We’re his eyes playing a trick on him?

“BAG LADY!”

“STUPID MAN!”

Joe and Ariel were staring at each other from a distance, with fire blazing in their eyes.

“What is he doing here??!” Ariel said aloud to herself, not realizing Rainie is right beside her.

“Who?” Rainie asked.

“Stupid man…” she mumbled to herself.

“Stupid man???” Rainie said looking at Ariel’s direction.

Joe on the other hand had nobody to talk to so all he did was sucked in the anger and continued through the crowd handing the snacks.

“C’mon Rainie, I think we’re blocking other people’s way. Let’s move” Ariel asked.

“But nobody’s here,” she whined.

“MOVE!” Ariel screamed.

“Aiight, don’t be so pushy!” Rainie pouted.

As they made their way to the other side, Rainie asks Ariel a random question.

“Oh I’ve been meaning to ask you. Did you ever find that guy who broke the strap off your purse?”

“NO, and he is definitely not at your party right now!” she reasoned to herself, still shoving at Rainie.

Suddenly they bump into Joe.

“S-Sorry, ma’am…” Joe said. “You!”

“I’m sorry do I know you?” Rainie said bewildered.

“Let’s not talk with the help,” Ariel said trying to avoid the situation.

“Yeah, run away again without apologizing, princess,” he mumbled under his breathe.

“What did you say?!” Ariel asked in a high pitched voice.

“I said ‘please have a crab cake ma’am’” he lied with a fake smile.

Quietly to themselves, Ariel continues their argument, “Why, is it poisonous?”

“Only the one you touch,” he joked.

“I wouldn’t accept anything from you except an apology,” she smiled lightly trying to devoid from making a scene.

“Well then you can just take this crab cake and shove it up your rich little ego because there isn’t a chance in hell I’m apologizing for YOUR mistake,” he said continuing to smile.

“Then I hope we will never see each other again!” she scowled.

“Ditto,” he nodded nonchalantly.

“Goodbye!” she added.

“See ya,” he waved back.

And with that, they both went there separate ways.

“What was that, Ariel?” asked Rainie.

“Nothing.”

Suddenly Peter comes rushing in.

“Ariel honey, we have to go back right now! The company needs me,” he said out of breathe.

“Oh, but what about Rainie?” she asked

“I am so sorry Rainie but this is an emergency,” he explained.

“Oh I understand, go ahead Ariel. We’ll talk about this tomorrow.”

As the couple leaves, Rainie stands by herself alone at her birthday party.

“I’m pathetic,” she says to herself walking out of the room.

She walks to a ledge near the riverbank and reminisces the times she spent with her mother, who past away a few years ago. The only thing she left Rainie was the pendent she was playing with her hands.

“I miss you so much mom,” she said quietly too herself. “It’s so lonely without you…”

“You know,” said a familiar voice. “When you get lonely the best place to be is with a friend.”

Mike had taken a walk outside as well. He was done making the hor’dourves and decided to take a quick break.

“Oh, hey Mike.”

“Hi, miss Yang. Do you mind if I accompany you tonight?” he asked sweetly.

“No, I guess not.”

“Why so glum?” he asked her.

“It’s my party, and none of my friends are here to celebrate it,” she said frankly. “Even my best friend left because her idiot of a boyfriend…well he’s an idiot…”

“Oh yeah I have friends like that,” he joked. “But, you know what? If you considered me a friend then you’re not entirely alone.”

“You want to be my friend?” she asked.

“Well, I think a real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. Apparently I’m the only one here, so I would like to think…yeah, that we’re friends.”

She smiled at that. But at that very moment, the pendant her mother gave her dropped into the river. Stunned, Rainie, tried to retrieve it but it sank quickly.

“Oh no…” she whispered.

“BONZAI!!!!!” Mike screamed in the air, before landing in the river.

“MIKE NO!”

“YEA! I found it!” he screamed as he held the pendant.

Getting out of the freezing water, Mike shook himself from head to toe.

“Wow, I am never doing THAT again!”

“You idiot, you could have gotten yourself killed!” Rainie screamed.

“Not in that river,” he joked. He handed the pendant back to Rainie.

“Why did you do that?” she asked

“Because you’re a friend…and because that little fella looks more expensive than my whole year’s salary!” he joked again but in a more serious manner.

“…Thank you…so much,” she said genuinely.

“No problem. But I should probably wash up now, its cold hahah!”

Joe was cleaning up the rest of the equipment as he see’s a soaked Mike enter the kitchen.

“What did you do? Fall into the river?” Joe laughed.

“Something like that…” Mike said smiling.

 

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