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Chapter 7

“Are you sure you’re going to be alright?” said a very worried Rainie.

They had finally reached the airport and Rainie was finally leaving her best friend for a couple weeks and she couldn’t help but feel guilty. Ariel and Rainie had been friends for the longest time and it had always been Rainie who would protect Ariel like a bigger sister, but now, what would she do? What could she possibly do all the way from Japan to protect her dear friend?

“I’ll be fine, Rainie,” Ariel said comforting her. “I’m sure the new apartment you got for me will be great.”

“I know, but you never can tell,” Rainie pouted. “I mean my friend was really nice to lend you the space, but I don’t know how you’re going be.”

Ariel took her hand and said “You’ve always protected me and taken care of me. Let me fend for myself for once. Besides, I’m sure the place is fine. Like you said before, you trust your friend right?”

“Yeah,” Rainie said with a smile.

“Then it won’t be a problem,” Ariel said comforting her. “Stop worrying about me and enjoy the trip. I don’t want you coming home empty handed because you were stuck trying to plot my escape when you could be out shopping.”

“You know I won’t be able to shop without knowing if you’re safe,” Rainie lectured.

“Stop nagging me and have a good time. Make sure you come back happy! Happy, happy, happy!” Ariel said wagging her finger.

“Sure, sure, just as long as I know you’re OK.”

“Rainie!” Ariel sighed.

“Don’t ‘Rainie’ me! Make sure you use the rest of your money on the rent OK? And try to be nice.” She continued to lecture.

“I think you’re confusing me with you, Rainie!” Ariel joked.

“Seriously Ariel, I don’t want to come back seeing tattoos and whatnot on you that I didn’t know tattoos and whatnot can be placed!”

“I swear,” Ariel said holding three fingers up like a scout. “I will not have tattoos, a piercing, blue and orange hair or anything where they don’t belong…”

“Good,” Rainie nodded.

“…until next week,” Ariel joked with a laugh.

Rainie wasn’t impressed however.

“Rainie! It was a joke! Laugh! HAHAHA!!!” Ariel mocked.

“Why don’t you just shoot me on the foot right now and get it over with?” Rainie pouted.

“Aw, c’mon. I’ll be fine. OK, ok, I swear I will be the same Ariel Lin whom you know and love when you come back. Deal?”

“Sigh…”she said.

“You know when you say your actions, you make my heart hurt,” Ariel continued to joke.

“Laughing!” Rainie said sarcastically.

As they gave each other a final hug, Rainie heads to the gate. Ariel, who had put on a happy and tough front, was actually scared to death. She had been placed in an unknown apartment with money only for rent. What would she do now?

“So Mike…” said an exasperated Joe, who had been lugging large and heavy suitcases for Mike. “What exactly is it that you have in these bags?”

“Oh you know the usual. My clothes, pots, pans, cooking equipment…the essentials,” Mike said casually.

“That’s it?” said a suspicious Joe.

“And about 80 pounds of pork fat.” Mike said looking around. “Now where is my gate…”

“80 POUNDS??? What on earth…WHY, MIKE? Why would you do that to me?”

“Do what?” Mike said confused.

“Why would you make me carry this when you can buy it in Japan?” screamed an infuriated Joe.

“Goodness Joe. You really don’t know a thing about my pork fat,” Mike scoffed.

“I try not to,” Joe gritted between his teeth.

“I can’t use another source, man. It would be like sacrilege” Mike nodded.

“Please do indulge my moronic friend,” Joe said sarcastically.

“My fat makes my food the way it is. Regular lard, oils and fat is just a waste,” Mike said proudly.

“That’s the stupidest thing I have….” Joe said before being interrupted

“DON’T INSULT THE FAT!” Mike said shocked but not in an angry manner. “It’s sacred!”

“You know what? This is our last couple of minutes together before you go on your trip, lets not fight about…I can’t even say it! Its pork fat MIKE! It’s weird!”

“Yes, I’ll miss you too my friend,” Mike said completely ignoring Joe’s rant.

They exchange a brief hug and Joe see’s Mike off. As the plane leaves, Joe looks onward feeling a bitter sweetness to their parting. For the first time in years, they had been separated. They had times where they didn’t see each other for whole days, but they would always make an effort to hang with each other to make up for those sad days. But not now; Mike will be gone for weeks. Joe could only think of one thing as he left.

“Damn 80 pound pork fat…”

When Joe got home he was dead tired. It was already late at night since the trip to the airport had taken a long time. Dropping the keys to the floor, Joe stumbles his way to his room. Suddenly he trips over something.

“What the…oh man! Mike left a suitcase!” he said trying to get up. “Ugh, I bet this one is full of chicken stock!” he said sarcastically to himself.

He takes his shirt off and rubs his face to wake himself up.

“Gotta get outta these threads,” he whispered to himself. “I’m gonna kill Mike for doing this to me.”

He grabs a towel and tries to make his way to the restroom to take a shower but his eyes kept on closing. Shaking off his sleepiness, he finally reaches the door.

“AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!”

The door slams shut! Was his eyes deceiving him? Was it because he was dead tired? Was it really…

“BAG LADY!!!!!” he screamed to himself.

 

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