Saturday 28th March 2009

by Tina

“Have you talked to Mitchie yet?”

Those were Carol’s first words to me the moment I entered her shop that Saturday morning. Carol owned a flower shop a few blocks from where Pia’s restaurant was, which was where I came from to get some goodies to bring home. Carol’s shop was my next stop to get flowers to bring to the cemetery where my mother lay.

I found Carol’s question a bit strange since I was with Mitchie almost the entire day up to late night yesterday at the office, and there was nothing I could recall that merited that much importance. It’s still early in the morning, too, and knowing Mitchie she’d be sleeping in, so what could be something I had missed yesterday?

I told all of that to Carol and added, “Why, what’s up?”

“So you don’t know too?” Carol asked, her gasping in the demure way only she can do. Pia and I have been trying to copy that for years but we were always too loud. “I thought since you were with her yesterday that you were there when it happened.”

I suddenly had a bad feeling about this. “What happened?” I demanded, putting my purse on the counter.

Carol hesitated, clearly debating if she should spill. I raised my eyebrow at her, the way I do with my younger sister when she was trying to hide something from me. Finally, Carol spoke up.

“This is supposed to be a Really Important announcement so I really shouldn’t be telling you yet,” she said, lowering her voice. “But I think you should know about this.”

“Uh-huh…” I said, nodding slowly and wishing that Carol would get to the point. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell and I’d pretend I don’t know when Mitchie makes the announcement. Now what is it?” I finished impatiently.

“Mitchie and Noah…they’re officially together.”

Suddenly, all thoughts of the things I had to do for the day and how much I needed to get going flew out of my head. Carol’s news hit me like that volleyball that did during a game we had at work last week. “What? Noah? And Mitchie? Our Mitchie? When? How?”

Carol looked kind of relieved with by reaction, clearly glad that I was as bewildered as she looked. “Just yesterday. I was hoping you’d get to answer the ‘how’ part.”

“Didn’t they just go on what, three dates?” I asked. I started pacing in front of the counter where Carol stood.

“Four, actually,” Carol replied. “Although they’ve known each other for a while now…I remember Mitchie meeting Noah back when she and Leon were still together.”

I cringed at the sound of Mitchie’s ex’s name – bad memories. I stopped pacing and leaned against the table on the side of the store where we’d usually sit whenever we’d be hanging out at Carol’s. “Yeah. But four dates? And just last week Mitchie told me she was annoyed at him for not calling. Why the sudden change of heart?”

“Well, you know how Mitchie is,” Carol replied, with a hint of affection in her voice for her cousin. I sighed. She was right. Carol was lucky enough to get the guy of her dreams way back in high school. And while Pia is still not in a relationship, her longtime suitor, Angelo, is showing no signs of giving up. I’m honestly too busy making sure everyone is okay and that my sister or my friends don’t get in trouble to have to have time for any romance.

But Mitchie…she almost lives on romance. She can be totally hopeless romantic, and she’s always, always on the look out for anything. She’s the only one always actively looking for love, be it for herself or others. In a way, she also falls in love really fast which always gets her in a mess when things don’t work out.

“You think it’s too fast huh.” Carol said after observing me quietly for a while.

“Yes!” I exclaimed. Carol raised her eyebrows and I took a deep breath before continuing. “I mean…okay, so they’ve known each other for almost a year…but was there even a formal courtship involved? Do her parents know? How many times have we met Noah anyway? Has he ever been to Pia’s ever?” The questions kept on coming and Carol listened to me patiently. After a while, I finally quieted down. Then Carol chuckled.

“What’s so funny?” I asked, suddenly feeling weary from all my rants.

“Nothing, it’s just nice to know that someone is still as old fashioned as I am,” Carol smiled at me and carried a bunch of white flowers – the ones I always get to bring to my mom’s – to the table where I was leaning on. I move to the chair to make way and she sat across me.

“I am old fashioned, eh?” I said, letting out a small sigh. “Maybe that’s why Mitchie’s always at it on me.”

She smiled at my last comment but didn’t say anything about it. “It’s nice to see someone who still believes in that. You know, the old Filipino traditional courtship thing? That’s rare nowadays.”

I nodded, then wrinkled my nose. “I mean, I’m all for dating and stuff, but if we’re talking serious relationship here, I want the works. Meet the parents, meet the friends, and all that. Is that so bad? Is everyone always in a hurry to fall in love?”

“Not Pia,” Carol winked and I laughed. Carol started pulling flowers from the bunch on the table and started arranging them.

“I’m just worried about Mitchie,” I said after watching her for a while. “She wears her heart on her sleeve too often that anyone can just grab it and do what they please.”

“I’m worried too, Ruth,” my friend agreed softly. “But it’s not like we can do anything.” She paused before adding, “At least we know Noah’s not a Leon.”

“Not yet, at least,” I said darkly. Carol sighed but I could see that she agreed with me.

“But Mitchie’s a wiser woman now,” Carol continued. “And we all know how you’ll knock sense into her if ever she screws up.”

“Always the antagonist,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I just don’t want her to be hurt. Or any of you, for that matter.”

“For that, I am thankful,” Carol said, tying my bouquet with a matching white bow. She picked it up and handed it to me. “And I’m sure Mitchie knows that too.” She added kindly.

“Thanks,” I said, smiling at my younger friend. I reached for my wallet and paid for the bouquet and picked my things up. “And thanks for telling me, Carol. At least I have time to digest all of that before she tells me.”

“Promise you won’t tell her I told you?” She asked anxiously.

“Promise,” I replied. I started to head out of her shop then stopped and turned back to her before I pushed the door open. “You know what?”

“What?” Carol asked. She had just returned back to the counter to throw away the extra clippings from my bouquet.

“Do you think that’s why I’m still single right now? Because of my being old fashioned?” I asked. I cringed again when I realized how desperate the question sounded and was about to take it back when Carol smiled.

“You know what? I think you’ll find someone who’s willing to go old fashioned just to win you,” Carol said. “And I think you’ll find him soon.”

[1254 words]

Author’s Note: Wow, after twenty days, an entry! I’m starting to get it back, yay. 🙂 I missed my characters. 🙂 This is all over the place though, so excuse me while I get my bearings back. 😀

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