Please read my comment below to know the backstory of this story. Enjoy!
The light puncturing through the clouds seemed to be radiating through the window, illuminating my room with a heavenly glow. This light seemed to peek through the clouds, greeting me to the start of my day.
These series of knocks shattered my transfixed moment. As I stumbled out of my bed to dress myself, I yawned with a sense of wonder. The postman, I thought, or maybe a nei-
Rolling my eyes in annoyance, I shouted: "I'm coming, just give me a minute!" Jeez, people these days can't be patient, I thought.
After that, the silence maintained until I returned to the door.
"Sorry for the wait, I just woke u-" I stopped mid-sentence, in a state of shock.
The woman that stood before me was... different. A tight dress, black heels, sharp red lipstick. If I didn't see all those things, I would almost have thought she was-
"Chloe," she smiled brilliantly, "remember me?"
I blinked, composing myself.
"Oh, hi Chloe!" I stuttered. "Um, do you, like, wanna come in or something?"
As I ushered her in, I was screaming in my mind. Why is she here? Where's the goofy, modest Chloe gone? I shouted in my head.
"Uh, so, do you want a coffee or something?" I nervously asked.
"I don't drink coffee anymore." She had this uptight smile threading across her face, but I was uncertain as to why. "Do you have tea?"
She QUIT COFFEE?! She used to have one every day...
"Um, lemme see if I have any..." I replied, shuffling into my kitchen.
As I was searching for the tea, I kept turning around to glance at Chloe. She had whipped out her iPhone 12 Pro and was scrolling through Instagram. Her heeled legs were propped on top of each other, and she subconsciously swung her legs in a... fashionable manner.
"Did you find any?" she inquired, politely, stealing a quick look at me.
"Oh! Um, no, I don't think I have any, sorry..." I muttered.
"Yeah, that's totally fine!" She smiled distantly.
As I sat down, the time that was spent staring at each other felt like forever. The continuous ticking of the clock and the uncomfortable shuffling made it even harder.
I took a deep breath.
"I guess your relationship with him turned out pretty well, huh."
She flicked her eyes away, obviously hiding something. She had never been good at keeping secrets.
"No, he... left me for someone else." She grimaced.
Told you so... I scolded her in my thoughts. But I couldn't bring myself to actually say that. Not out of kindness, but out of the fact that it would feel like we were friends again. That, I told myself, would never happen.
"Did you end up becoming a paediatrician then?" I asked politely as I eyed her crisp, ironed clothes, juxtaposing the bubbly personality she used to have.
Her eyes looked up for a split second, as if she thought I had forgotten about her life-long dream.
"Pfft, I gave up on that ages ago." She brushed the question off with a pretentious cooled face. "If I have someone else to support me, there's nothing to worry about"
That made me raise my eyebrows in surprise, asking her to explain without having to say a word.
"Fiancé. Getting married in 3 months." She smiled once again, but it had a lace of sadness within it. She flashed her 5-carat ring. It was beautiful, but... not HER.
"Actually, that's why I came here today!" She passed me a frilled invitation card, which was embedded with big, bold letters:
Save the Date: Carlos George Hawkings and Chloe Constantine
"You put your middle name on there? I thought you hated it." I raised my eyebrows.
"Well! What can you do." she replied tightly. "Carlos insisted."
It was then that I realised that she was inviting me to her wedding. It just hadn't occurred to me that I would have seen her again, let alone be invited to her wedding.
"Look, I know things are different, Becca," she paused, blinking back her tears, "but you were my closest friend for most of my life, I had to invite you."
These words hit me like a wave on the beach on a summer's day.
I had thought that I had accepted not being her friend anymore.
I had thought that I wouldn't want her back in my life.
But now, as I looked at her vulnerable face hiding all of her troubles and fears...
I realised I had thought wrong.
Tears rolling down our cheeks, I reached over to hug the girl in front of me, taking off her invisible mask. Turning back time, I remembered.
Remembered that we were there once...
And we could be again.