I had been waiting for this special occasion for over a year. My best friend had moved away to Portland last year promising she’d visit. She told me she had a new boyfriend and that she wanted me to meet him desperately. We had set up a reservation at our favorite restaurant. I was finally going to see her and meet her new boyfriend.
I got in my car and started driving quickly but not too quickly. The restaurant was only a couple of blocks away from my apartment. I got there in no time.
Lucky for me, Anna was always punctual. She was waiting for me outside with her boyfriend. She was wearing her black silky boots and her red satin dress. Her hair was long now, down to her waist.
As soon as she saw me she ran as fast as she could and squeezed me tightly. Her boyfriend, Danial, walked over and smiled. I knew that smile. I could tell by his face he recognized me too.
It was the seventh grade. Danial and I went to the same school and were good friends. The seventh-grade dance was coming up and I decided to ask him. He said yes. I used to think of it as the happiest day of my life. I put on my nicest dress and coolest shoes and my mom drove me there. I waited an hour for him to show up. The dance ended and he still hadn’t shown up. I was heartbroken.
“Mia! Mia! Mia!” I must have zoned out because Anna was waving her hand in my face and calling my name.
“Oh, sorry.” Was all I could say.
“I’d like you to meet Danial! And Danial this is Mia.” Anna gestured to me and smiled. Danial glared at me and I tried to remain happy.
Why was he mad at me? He was the one that didn’t show up. Anna was looking at us weird and decided to end the awkward conversation. She pulled us inside and we each ordered our favorites.
“So Mia, What do you do for work?” He looked at me with total disgust.
“Well Danial, I am a musician. I play at clubs, birthday parties, anywhere they hire me.” I said trying to keep my cool.
“Aw, look at my two best friends becoming friends!” Anna said excitedly.
“Friends? Do you think we are friends? I would never be friends with this girl in a thousand years!” Danial screamed in my face.
“Oh, so does that make you think I wanna be friends with you? I have hated you ever since that dance!” I screamed back.
“Oh you mean the dance you didn’t even bother to show up to?” He said more calmly this time.
I paused. Did he say the dance I never showed up to? He was the one who didn’t show up.
“What is going on? Do you two know each other or something?” Anna said.
“Pft... Us? No.” I don’t know why I said that I guess I just didn’t want to mess things up for them. After all, this was her first real relationship. What kind of friend would I be if I ruined that?
“Okay, then what are you talking about? Actually, you know what, I don’t care. I don’t wanna ruin what was supposed to be the perfect day.” Anna said through a raised voice.
We sat in silence until our food arrived. Danial and I both finished quickly, while Anna took her time. Savoring every bite. “Would you excuse me for a second,” I said gesturing to Danial to follow me.
Anna nodded and Danial followed me outside. We walked out to the parking lot. I didn’t want Anna to hear anything. Once Danial was standing across from me I started talking.
“Why did you say I didn’t show up to the dance? I waited hours for you to show up and you never did!” I said this trying to sound angry but sort of whispering, I didn’t want to draw any attention.
“I was at the dance waiting for you for hours. You were the one that didn’t show up!”
“What are you talking about?” I didn’t know what else to say.
“I was waiting with a bunch of people I didn’t know for you!” He screamed once again.
I paused to think this time. He said he waited with a bunch of people he didn’t know. I tried to think of a solution, but nothing came to mind.
“You were there with a bunch of people you didn’t know? Are you sure you were at the correct dance?”
He paused. “The correct dance? Of course I… Actually now that you say that,” Pause. “I didn’t know anyone there. Not even the teachers. And now that I’m thinking more about it, the school I walked into wasn’t even our school!”
I smacked my hand to my face, implying his stupidity. We both laughed and decided to forget about it. We walked back into the restaurant laughing. When Anna saw us she smiled. “Is everything alright?” She asked. We both looked at each other and continued to laugh. Anna joined in, even though she didn’t know what we were laughing about.
The waiter came to take out food. He stared at us as if we were crazy as we continued to laugh hysterically. We walked out of the restaurant and into our cars. We all hugged and said our goodbyes. Anna said Danial and I should exchange numbers. We both agreed. I hugged Danial then I squeezed Anna. “When’s the next time I’m gonna see you,” I asked Anna.
“This time next year? We can make it a special holiday!” She said cheerfully.
“Can I come?” Danial asked. We both agreed. We now had a special holiday every year. We would come to the restaurant, laugh for no reason, and then say our goodbyes.
I drove back to my apartment, waiting for next year to come faster.