Coming of Age

Last year I was the odd one out. My friends planned a huge deal of a fake party to prank me for April Fool's day. Then I did not realize that they were pranking me. I seriously thought that they were planning a surprise party for one of our dear friend who had been asked for a hand in marriage by a lad that we all admired! He lived overseas so it was a big deal to us because we considered him exotic to say the least. So when one day at dinner she had a huge smile on her face and announced his intentions about her and how she accepted his request, it was like the New York skylight on December 31st. We hugged each other. We kissed each other. She called him on the phone and he was on facetime watchng intently as all of his wife-to-be friends went beserk.

It wasn't so much that she had managed to tie him down to a promise. It was more like one of us was asked out, no not asked out, was asked for a partnership in a marriage by a guy whom we deemed was above average and so almost above our league. He smiled, we waved, grateful of his intentions, our friend sobbed, we hugged her and told him good bye we will see him when he arrived in town.

She was happy enough to convince our friends that we should officially celebrate and invite others for an official announcement. That too set us off because we just felt like a live wire having so many good news in one sitting.

We went home hoping to meet again and probably maybe one of us will find a date and have something else to announce at the party. It was not going to be so. We had lives busy lives. We had responsibilities and our friendship had secured us for many years and we had overcome many obstacles in the past. This seemed like a bridge to a better tomorrow a sign of us aging and becoming serious about life and living.

We met and talked, planned and measured our wishes. Betty who was our most trusted friend decided to take the lead. I should have noticed then or I should say that I should have felt the signals that something was about to happen. Joyous and looking forward with expectations, I had no clue or suspision that something other than our excitement of knowing someone who was angaged was going to turn into what we never expected.

Like I said, we had been friends since our birth. We all lived in the same neighborhood. We went to different colleges and decided to move to the same city where we pursued life like city girls on a very intimate plane where we all met every Friday for drinks and dinner as a force of habit.

We hurt and cried together, called home together, met for birthdays together. Occassionally we would be joined by new friends who will like us or perhaps stay and be one of us or maybe dump us out of feeling left out because we finished each other's sentences that is how much we knew each other.

The day was the day when all that we knew to be true changed. Our announcement to a party recevied a lot of notice and we were joined by many co workers that we worked with at the firm. Other friends also brought in some of their neighbors whom we were not familiar with. It was interesting to see friends that I had known for life navigating with others. Betty approached me and said; " I organized this party to be full of many new faces so that we can all move along. Besides Molly is happy to have so many strangers with us at the party. I see Molly's marriage announcement as a wake up call to all of us to start taking life seriously!" she said

"Oh, I get it" I said

"By the way I am planning a surprise party. Don't make plans for this year. I want us all to be happy actually we should all set goals that we will have new dates for that party so that Molly does not feel awkward being a newly wed." Betty said

"Totally, I agree." I said

On occassion I would hear from Betty about her arrangements and plans for the party that we all looked forward to. I woud call her sometimes and ask her if she needed any help or if at all there was something that I could do maybe make phone calls or help with the plans. She seemed determined to carry out all the plans by herself. All of it was to be out of her pocket ofcourse and I soon learnt to not ask too many questions.

The day that Molly got married was also a day to remember. It also was a day that I met my Mr. Right. A huge guy who was one of the groom's men approached me and asked me my name and where I lived. That is how the conversation started when I realized that I enjoyed speaking to him even though he was so tall and so extra large in his presence. A guy that I would not normally gravitate to because I would have been intimidated. He did not mind at all commanding the space around us. He was willing to talk even though, I was slightly apprehensive because I was unsure where our meeting would lead to. He asked me to sit down and I am glad that I did. I think that without a chair I would have floated out of the room and never looked back. We sat and talked for hours. We did not even get a chance to talk to our friends or the groom and the bride in our minds it was as if we were there to get married. It was our marriage. Our day. We talked, to be honest I don't remember what we talked about. It was very important and very interesting from what I could recall.

Once one meets a life partner one disappears from the core group that one once belonged to. I could not tell that I was the only one holding on to the friendship more than I should have. Because I now had someone to share my life with, I was happy and fullfilled and my friends were not that important as they once were. As much as I liked hearing from them, I also needed to save myself for someone whom I so desperately wanted to be with and make him happy.

I still worried if I was okay without my friends. Are they feeling anything at all about my new turn of events. I was just too happy to be anywhere in the world of pain and doubt. I loved my life and needed no new surprises. One was awaiting me though. A surprise that I could not have planned for.

Betty called me and said:"Don't forget, tonight we are having the party that I have been preparing for all this time. Ready"

"Oh, sure I am ready!" I said

Betty responded: "Do you have the address where the party will be?"

"Oh sure, I have it thanks, See later." I said.

My boyfriend and I drove together and arrived at the destination where the party was going to be. We looked around there was no light in the room perhaps, they were all hiding in there plotting something!

We opened the door. Yes, there were decorations and the lights showed many gifts and a set table but noone was there!

A note was on the smaller table read: "April Fool's: That is for not liking us and sharing with us your life story!"

I was so glad he was tall, handsome and overpowering. His presence was going to take it all and let me breathe.

What do they mean? Will I see my friends again? What must he think of me?

I started to cry. He held me tight and told me to go to the car and drive away from that. We left I think that we were supposed to wait for them to arrive and have the e-x-p-l-a-n-a-t-i-o-n. I was too hurt for that. I also was too embarrassed to be having my first crisis of such magnitude with him in our honeymoon phase of the relationship. I had to think straight. I had a headache. My eyes felt painful. I wanted to be away from everyone. Pranks are putting salt in a sugar basin. A party with noone is a slap on the face; my face.

March 27, 2021 20:15

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