What are friends for?
“Anna” She hear Ron say in the sort of sing-song voice people use when they have been trying and failing to get your attention. She focused her gaze on her coworker, half wondering what exactly about the singing of a first name gave it the power to penetrate deep though, and apologized for not hearing him the first time.
“Oh no, don’t be sorry. Instead,” he flashed a big smile, “have lunch with me and tell me all about mister fabulous.”
Anna rubbed her eyes and sighed “Is it that obvious?”
“Girl, there’s a flashing neon sign hovering over your head,” he waved a hand in an arc “man-on-my-mind.”
She shook her head slightly embarrassed and grabbed her purse. She wasn’t really hungry, but getting up from her desk and a change of scenery sounded like a good idea. Maybe if she could get her head straight she could still salvage the rest of the work day.
After Anna and Ron found a table in the cafeteria, she fished her phone out of her purse to show him the picture of Sean she took while they had coffee the day before. Ron, who had just taken a bit from his sandwich, still managed to make a series of approving noises as he studied the picture. Anna was gushing about how Sean had made her laugh until her cheeks hurt and how cute his own smile was.
Ron, handed the phone back. “He looks fantastic. You know it’s funny, I have never seen him. I would have remembered that face. Yet he looks so familiar”
Anna nodded. “He’s Leah’s brother,” she explained, “there’s a strong family resemblance isn’t there?” Then she caught Ron’s glance “What’s that look? Don’t give me that look. That’s your shit-is-about-to-hit-the-fan look.”
“Leah? As in, your best friend Leah?” Ron leaned back in his chair and sucked in air through pursed lips. “No no no no sweetheart, you do not want that kind of drama.”
“Life isn’t a Novela, you know” Anna retorted. She felt hurt and deflated. “We are all adults, I’m sure that…”
Ron interrupted her. “You’re sure? You mean you don’t even know if Leah is okay with the two of you dating?”
“She pretty much set us up!” She protested, slowly getting annoyed.
“Who are you going to vent to when he’s an ass? Who are you going to brag to when he’s romantic? Who are you going to ask for advice? Who are you going to share your doubts with? Think Leah want’s to hear all that about her brother?”
“Anonymous on the internet if I have to”
“You have no shortage of potential dates, Anna. A best friend is harder to find”
She snorted. “Bullshit”
“Is this guy really worth losing your best friend over?”
Anna was getting fed up with the interrogation. “Yes!” She replied and then fell silent for a few seconds, shocked at how confident and forceful she had sounded. “Yes, he is” she repeated quieter, marveling at the words coming from her lips. She had not realized they were truthful until she spoke them.
Ron looked at her with raised eyebrows. “He must be really great in bed”
“I don’t know,” Anna confessed “Probably. He’s a really great kisser”
Ron stared at her. Suddenly his face lit up. “You are in love” he declared smugly and then squealed softly with excitement. “It’s about time, girl”
“Oh it’s clear as day. You’re combative, distracted, totally irrational…You are in love, and you’re in deep.” Ron was beaming at her.
“Ronnie…” Anna began, not sure how she was going to continue. He interrupted her anyway.
“What am I, 10?” he said with a wrinkled nose. “It’s Ron. Ronaldo if you can roll your R properly.”
“Rrrronaldo” Anna tried.
He shook is head “That sounds awful. Just keep using Ron.”
She snickered. “All right, Ron, I can’t be in love. I’ve seen him only two times. We hardly know each other.”
Ron waved his hand. “The heart doesn’t concern itself with such trivial matters.” he said it with such an air of authority it was clear he considered himself an expert on the ways of the heart. “There’s no logic or reason to love. It just is. And you are very much in love. The only question now is are you going to follow your heart or not?”
“I think you should”
“You were just telling me what a bad idea it was to get together with Sean”
“No, I was telling you you don’t need the drama that comes with screwing your best friend’s brother. But you are not screwing him. You are in love with your best friend’s brother. That is a whole other thing.”
“Is it?” Anna asked hopefully
“Oh, yes. Not following your lust will make you masturbate. Not following your heart will make you physically ill.” He nodded gravely.
Anna burst out laughing. “Thanks for clearing that up.”
“I’m right, you know.” he muttered with feigned indignation.
Anna patted his hand “You always are.” Then she sighed deeply “You could be right about me being in love too. What do I do now?”
“I think, first you should talk to Leah”
And on that, Anna realized, he was right as well. Since she still had her phone out, she texted her friend imediatly. ‘I need to talk to you.’ Within seconds she got the reply ‘Drinks. After work’