Friday 6th February 2009by Tina
“To us! To all the single people on Singles Awareness Day!”
“Wow, bitter much?” Ashley told Trix, who had raised her beer bottle up in the air with her declaration.
“I am not bitter,” Trix said defensively, then taking a swig from her bottle. “I am just stating a fact.”
“Gee thanks,” Ashley replied. She glared at Trix and drank from her bottle.
“Well it is!”
“You girls fighting again?” A familiar male voice piped up behind Ashley. She turned around and saw her friend Ian together with some of his friends.
“Ian, just the guy we’ve been waiting for,” Ashley said with a grin. “Come on, sit.” She waved at the vacant seats she’s been saving for the guys.
“Hey Trix,” Ian said to Ashley’s companion, who waved back at him.
“Sorry I had to choose this place. Every other place is booked and this is the only decent place without too many people.” Ashley emphasized on the last word while shooting a glance at Trix.
“She meant the couples. You know, dating on this day.” Trix added. “Why can’t you just call it the way it is?”
“Excuse me, who’s calling today ‘Singles Awareness Day’?”
Ian laughed. “You’re fighting again. Ash, it’s okay. By the way, these are my colleagues, Miko and Charles. Guys, this is Ashley and Trix.”
“Good, more people to share drinks with,” Trix said. She signaled for the waiter and asked for another bucket of beer.
“Trix, we are never going to finish that.” Ashley protested.
“That’s why we have the guys, duh.”
“Don’t worry, it’s okay,” Ian told Ashley. “Think of us as reinforcements.”
Ashley relented. She wasn’t really one to stop a drinking session, she was just watching out for her friend. “Ah well, it’s Friday anyway. But thank goodness you are here and I would have three more people to watch over Trix.”
“Hey, this is my day, I can do anything I want,” Trix retorted. She opened another bottle of beer defiantly.
“Is it your birthday?” Miko asked. Ashley looked at him and he seemed to be observing Trix carefully. Not that she could blame him, anyway. Trix has always been very noticeable — she was always clad in bright, loud colors, clothes that screamed “Look at me!” without being too immodest. It wasn’t like she needed it, as she’s also very tall, which made Ashley look like a midget beside her.
“No, it’s not. But it’s my day. Ashley too,” Trix said. “How about you guys?”
“What does she mean?” Charles asked Ashley.
Ashley rolled her eyes. “Are you guys single?” She was met with three nods. “Welcome to the club. Happy Singles Awareness Day.”
“How can you be single?” Miko asked Trix. “Today, of all days?”
“Oh no, you just had to ask,” Ashley said with a moan. She shook her head and covered her ears.
“Shut up,” Trix said, before turning to Miko. She opened her mouth to speak and then paused, and turned to Ashley. “Will you trade places with him, please?”
“Wow, and you still manage to say please,” Ashley muttered, but did what her friend said. Ashley ended up on a seat beside Ian, who was watching the entire exchange with an amused smile.
“Don’t just watch, drink,” Ashley said. She pushed the beer bucket to Ian and Charles, who each took a bottle each. “Why are you guys here anyway? Don’t you guys have somewhere else to be? Dates? Girls?”
“Got hung up at work,” Charles explained, after drinking from his bottle. “You know how it is during this month. Everyone has something to do, and it’s up to us to make it work. Hence, no time for ourselves, at least until March.”
“Aw, that sucks,” Ashley said sympathetically. “You too?” she asked Ian. He nodded in reply.
“That’s work life,” Ian said with a shrug.
Ashley sighed for them. Then she looked at Ian mischievously. “You know we went out on this day last year too?”
Charles looked from Ashley to Ian, confused. “Were you guys together or something?”
Ian laughed. “We went out a couple of times last year.”
“And that’s it.”
“Nothing happened?” Charles asked, looking at them expectantly. “Did you guys get together?”
Ashley and Ian exchanged looks and then laughed. “No, we didn’t,” Ashley said. “We were much too different to get together.”
Ian nodded. “I like Ashley and all, but she’s a little too wild for me.”
“I am too much for him to handle,” Ashley winked at Charles and he laughed. Ashley turned to her other side to check on Trix and she still had Miko captivated by her singlehood story. It would take some more time.
“So are you seeing anyone right now?” Ashley asked Ian. Ian hesitated, but she pressed on. “Come on, don’t hide it from me. I wanna know who they are.”
“Why do you want to know?” Ian said with a chuckle. “So you can stalk them?”
“Of course not,” Ashley said. “I just want to know. Come on, we’re friends, right?”
Ian grinned but said nothing. Instead he looked away momentarily, as if in deep thought. Ashley glanced at Charles, who was now also listening to Trix and then turned back to Ian. At that moment, Ian’s eyes lit up and he lifted his hand to wave.
Ashley turned to where Ian was waving and saw a couple of girls waving back at Ian. One of them carried a laptop bag and was obviously from work, glanced at Ashley and then back at Ian and smiled at him one more time before they turned to head somewhere else. Ashley looked back at Ian and saw he was smiling as well.
“Who were they?” Ashley wanted to know. There was something about Ian’s smile that made her curious.
“Just some officemates,” Ian said, still smiling. “Working late too.”
Ashley looked at Ian one more time, who had sat back in his chair, still smiling. There really was something different about his smile, something she could remember seeing back when they were still seeing each other, or when he told her about some of his dates. She was definitely curious, because it has been a while since Ian smiled like that.
She opened her mouth to ask, but Trix spoke up first. “Come on guys and girl, let’s go and party.” Ashley and Ian looked at her, and then at the table and realized that the three had finished drinking up the beer.
Ashley rolled her eyes. Now she wouldn’t be able to drink without having to watch over Trix. She looked at Ian, who just shrugged and signaled for their bill. It seems like the would be all in for a long and very single night.