John is happy

Published May 7, 2013 by Johanna

Kiki seems to have found the faith to fight her addiction. I’m proud of her. The hardest part is done.

“I guess I can live without booze,” she keeps saying over and over, as we walk to Starbucks. The workday has been dreadful. And it’s only 3 pm.

I turned down a job offer yesterday. I thought now was the time to make sure Kiki’s okay. Just can’t be selfish. Yes, I’d have made more money and probably not sweat my ass off spending the entire day with lame sales pitches. But Kiki needs my help. And her health is more important than my financial security.

“Are you mad about not taking this job?” Kiki asks me while we wait for our coffees.

She definitely looked relieved when I told her I’d still be her minion for a while.

I shrug. “I’ll be okay. Another opportunity will present itself.”

She smiles. “I know. I just feel bad.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s my fault if you turned it down.”

“Don’t worry, okay?”

She smiles. “Okay. By the way, Carmen is trying to set me up with her dyslexic cousin,” she adds while tearing with her teeth the wrapping paper around her straw.

I laugh. “Like you need more shit hitting the fan,”

She laughs back. “Yeah. This dude isn’t even good looking.”

“Is it only about looks with you?”

“Nah. I guess I can hand a free pass on dyslexia.”

We get our coffees, and exit the always over-crowded Starbucks.

“Hey you wanna come to a pizza party on Friday night?” I ask.

Raised eyebrows, she stares at me, confused. “A pizza party?”

I nod. “Yeah. You can eat pizza, and you like pizza, right?”

“Is that another sober thing to do when people can’t drink?”

I laugh. “I think you answered your own question.”

She laughs. “Right. Yeah. Okay,” she says.

“Does it mean you’re gonna come?” I ask, amused by her use of affirmatives.

She nods. “I guess.” Sipping her coffee, she seems lost in her thoughts. “Just do me a favor?”

“Anything,” I answer.

“Please don’t invite Carmen and her dyslexic cousin?”

I laugh harder. “Okay. What about the free pass?”

She glares. I nod. “I’ll take mental note of it,” I say.

“Thank you. You’re a good friend,” she mumbles in between coffee sips.

I smile. I couldn’t be happier to be there for Kiki. She has found her balance, even if sober only for fifteen days. An accomplishment really given how often she was drinking. She’s still in a fragile spot, and that’s why I didn’t take this job. There’s so much out of my control, but if I can help just a little, I’ll be satisfied.

“Are you lost in your thoughts again?” Kiki asks me as we pass our office building security.

I smile. “How did you know?”

“I can tell. Need to improve your poker face skills, lad.”

“Lad?”

She winks. “I started watching a lot of British shows lately,” she says. “Don’t be a wanker now!”

We both laugh. No one has ever called me “wanker” before.

To be continued…

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