The sun shone through the slightly tinted windows, painting the polished table with a slightly red glow. Against the rose flower vases that garnished the table, it looked royal. Esteemed. It was 5:45pm on a Friday. The work week had ended and all that was left was for an enjoyable weekend. Or so would be the thoughts of the people walking outside the window.
Annemarie glanced at her phone temporarily as she wiggled slightly on the stool she was seated on. The restaurant had been billed as being ‘earthy’ by the numerous reviews online, which had translated to wooden stools, low tables, flower vases and pots as well as the soft smell of lavender.
Her phone remained on standby, devoid of the blinking light she was already hoping to expect. After all, she had told everyone the time for the meet. As well as the place.
It had been months since she saw them all last and in the interest of keeping in touch, she had made a messaging group with everyone for the sole purpose of being able to do this. To go out for dinners occasionally.
Her university friends had been a strong and positive part of her life and Annemarie couldn’t bear the thought and effort of making new ones.
They weren’t perfect, however. They had all missed the last two meetings she had set previously. But she couldn’t blame them. Urgency is something life is known for. It’s not every day you can control who gets hit by a car speeding down a residential street. Though, they hadn’t told her till she called them, hours after waiting at the club located in a different city.
She had found it suspicious when they told her she didn’t need to visit. Even though she insisted and they countered that it wasn’t that big a deal. It had almost turned to an argument so she had dropped it.
The sun began to set, the previously bright skies turning light purple. The red glow on the tables and vases had transformed to a light purple. To her surprise, the flowers seemed to almost light up. Annemarie couldn’t help but smile. It really was a beautiful restaurant.
She glanced at her watch. 6:39pm.
She stood to stretch, getting the attention of one of the attendants. She ordered some red wine and returned back to looking out the window.
She wondered what new developments had occurred in her friends lives. She couldn’t even wait to relate the tale of how she had been promoted in her place of work. After slaving for months, she had finally achieved managerial status.
She smiled wider, turning only to accept the wine glass the waiter had returned with. She took a sip, relishing the taste of grapefruit that blessed her taste glands.
She couldn’t wait to celebrate her success with her friends and toast to new ones together.
It was one of the few things she had dreamed and hoped for. To be able to celebrate successes with them. Or failures. Anything really. As far as she was concerned, they were family, tied together by the hours spent in the library and in their residential houses, with all the shared secrets and boy troubles.
All those days of study and stress were finally beginning to pay off. And she couldn’t contain her excitement.
Annemarie took the receipt from the waiter and exited the restaurant, pulling her jacket tighter as the outside chill washed over her.
The moon’s gaze hung in the sky, it’s pale bluish light illuminating the night. She walked briskly to her car, sticking to public spaces as much as she could, to avoid being caught unawares by any creep.
As soon as she was in her car, she took a deep breath and deposited her belongings in the seat next to her. Annemarie dabbed at the corners of her eyes and sighed.
It was now 11:48pm.
Checking her phone, she confirmed she hadn’t gotten any reply from any of them. She nodded and let out a shaky breath, ignoring the tears rolling down her face. Navigating to the group’s setting, she opted to leave the group. After which she deleted the app from her phone.
They had made her set the date and the reservation and all. But that’s always when they forget to show up. They’d be really sorry, and apologize and cite reasons to why they forgot. It would be genuine but she knew she was done. She couldn’t handle the embarrassment anymore.
She didn’t need them to have fun by herself. However, it’s hard to save face sitting on a reserved table for hours on end. She was done.
But it was alright. Life would go on.
Annemarie put the car into ignition and exited the car park, heading home.
It was alright. Life will go on.