To say that Louise mended bridges well would be undermining his ability. He was the person who brought everyone together no matter the issues that had arisen. Ruby mulled over the thought as she walked towards her home. She could not understand what could have driven him to be this secretive and this lost.
“Not today”, he had said, “I am busy with something.”
“What exactly are you busy with? You never miss our meetings.”
He had just smiled at her when he moved away. You see Louise did not do that, he did not smile and hide secrets just because he could. In fact for him to hide a secret seemed like a ridiculous idea. He was just too much of a weak link to manage that. Ruby gave out an exasperated sigh, men were such a complex species when they wished to be.
Yet, Louise could hardly be classified as her main problem right now.
“You are loosing your touch Ruby.” The old man over the counter had said after her shift.
She had tried to defend herself with multiple excuses but, in fact she had lost a bit of touch with all the things that had been happening around her. Kara and she had been together forever but, with her getting a boyfriend it had been tense around the apartment. You hardly get a lot of energy for doing work during the day when you have slept to the noises of your best friend’s moans. Now when she thought about it, the apartment with paper-thin walls was a bust idea from the start anyway. Specially when the landlord was such a little bitch.
The sun was gone down hours ago, and the road seemed overlong with her cell phone. It was awkward walking down a London road without a cell phone in your hand, even if you did absolutely nothing with it. It was one of the things about modern life she had not quite understood.
The apartment door was ajar when she reached home. She saw the white brassiere lying on the sofa and sighed. Did these people wish to compete in the rabbit Olympics? She was pretty sure that if a thief had come in on them, he would have left because of the lack of common human decency.
“Hey Rubes, can you close the door?” Kara’s voice came from the next room.
“I already did!” She shouted.
Someone had to have common sense around the house. You couldn’t just keep the door open and your undergarments on the floor or on the TV. She saw it, the oversized, blue Family Guy underwear on top of the new LCD. Why did British men bother with that overdone show anyway? If she had the time she would have sat them down and showed them the videos of Monty Python until they realised comedy. On the other hand, that would mean interaction.
The one thing that she could do was phone people and ask them to come over. That would help cheering her up and possibly Kara would finish quickly too. From the noise it was clear that they were now moving on to the “we’ve had sex so now we will make cute snoring noises” anyway. How could someone manage to be so gross and so cute at the same time escaped Ruby.
Then again, Louise also snored like that on sleepovers, and he was cute. In a totally non-platonic, friendship way of course. She mulled over the friend list she could call over for a chat, and he was on top of the list.
“Hey Louise, could you com over?”
“Why? Something important?”
She hated this attitude in people, as if every call had to be related to emergencies to make sense. Did people not have tea with friends anymore?
“No, I just wished to have tea.”
“Sure, I would come.”
Louise’s voice seemed cold to her, almost uncharming. She put down the phone and stared at the disheveled place. It looked like a disaster, Louise would know what to do.
Kara and her boyfriend left when she was making tea, taking their wreckage with them. They knew that Louise was coming, and they knew that he had a cleaning fetish. Kara made a face before going though, it made Ruby smile. She might have been 28 years of age, but, in her head, she still treated herself as a child. Even the boyfriend was 6 years younger. Ruby often wondered where she got the energy from. She had never seen Kara being idle, she was always busy with something or the other.
Tea with Louise was like always, he talked and talked about everything under the sun. Sometimes topping to look at her. And then going on and on again.
Louise couldn’t stop himself from stealing glances at Ruby. She looked lost in her own cause as she listened. She listened even when he went onto say a lot of irrelevant topics.
“You know Ruby, you’re kind of beautiful.”
Ruby stopped and looked back at Louise. She used to gloss over the facts when he said them. She used to love hearing him talk and being cute, but, this. She stopped and took it in.
“We’re not doing this.”