Colleen came through the office’s door and saw that Misty was on the phone, so she just went to her desk and tidied up the stationary.
Misty put down the phone and said, “Guess what? My friend is coming to town.”
“It sounds great,” Colleen said. Misty looked happy. She’s been gloom after she’s broken up with Danny and Colleen was glad that she was coming to herself. “Who’s the friend?”
“Jean, my former roommate. You’ll love to see her. She’s a great fun to meet.”
Colleen’s curiosity piqued. Misty rarely described people this way. “Then I must see her.”
“Hello! Long time no see!” the red-haired woman who must be Jean cheered, and held Misty into a tight hug. Misty hugged back equally tightly.
When the hug ended, Misty said, “Let me introduce. Jean, this is Colleen. Colleen, this is Jean.”
“Nice to meet you,” Colleen said, stretching a hand.
Jean had a surprisingly firm grab.“Nice to meet you!”
“Let me take you to my flat first and put down the baggage, “ Misty said, “And then we can have meal together,”
Colleen asked, “Where’ll we eat?”
“Jean loves Chinese food.” Misty turned to Jean and said, “Remember the place you like? It’s still there.”
“Great!” Jean said.
Colleen said nothing.
At the Chinese restaurant, Misty handed an egg roll to Jean. “Have some egg rolls. I know how you like them.”
“Thanks. The Kung Pao Chicken is good, too. Do you remember the time when we hunted for good Kung Pao chicken?”
“Of course I remember. You were so obsessive.”
“It’s never too much to hunt for good food, remember that time...”
Misty and Jean talked non-stop, exchanged knowing glance, laughing loudly, and shared little joke that clearly only they understood. They seem really close, in fact...
“I’ll take Jean back to my flat. See you tomorrow, Colleen.” Misty said.
When Colleen returned to her flat, she took a shower, let the cold water calm her down. She thought about the whole day, remembered the little smile, the coded language, the touch, and came to a conclusion that she was reluctant to make. Misty and Jean were lovers, and probably will be again.
Colleen didn’t know what to think. She had loved Misty for so long, not at first sight, but gradually. After too many conversations, too many back-to-back fight together, too many nights staying wrapping up each other, then one day she looked at Misty, really looked at her and realized that she would like to spend the whole life with her. She loved Misty for her strength, for her rare vulnerability, for her humour, for her everything. But she said nothing. Misty was open-minded about sexuality, she knew, but she was straight. So she said nothing and be the same friend that she wwas when Misty started dating Danny. Danny was a good dorky guy, and she was happy for them. There was just a place on her heart that refused to heal, that hurt when she looked at Danny and Misty together. But it was par for the course for life, right? Life always came with misfortune and dissatisfaction.
Then Misty broke up with Danny. Colleen wasn’t sure why, but she admitted that she’s a bit shocked. Misty looked down, Considering how long they had been together, she wasn’t surprised. She did the part of the good friend to lend her a shoulder, to listen, and ruthlessly crushed the little spark of hope. Nothing changed. Misty’s still Misty, and she’s still her. It’s unethical to imagine what may have happened when your friend were just broken up and not in the best state. She’s still one of the straightest person that Colleen knew, and that’s all right. She treasured the friendship with Misty more than fancying impractical things. Nothing was worth ruining it. Once she thought that there was something between them. She would say something, and Misty would return with a smile, not shock and confusion, and they could... But it was a dream. She was too well-trained to dwell in the impossible.
But now she realized that she might have a chance after all. If she had said something earlier, if she had done something rather than waiting, she might... But she didn’t. The chance was gone. Misty had chosen. She would have to be the same good friend, again, to see them laugh and touch. The Heaven was cruel in reminding her of what could have been and ripped her apart again. She smiled bitterly. She would continue to be silent, to be stoic, as she was her grandfather’s granddaughter. She wouldn’t let her emotion overcome her and did something she would regret later.
She walked out of the shower, drying herself up with a towel, and poured a cup of tea. She drank it slowing, basking in the favour, the smell. When she finally put down the cup she already had a decision.
Speak no harm. Do no harm. Hear no harm.
It was a sleepless night.
Colleen thought that she collected herself well, but the worrying look on Misty’s face told her otherwise. “Are you all right? You look tired.”
Colleen supposed that it was normal for Misty to see through her ---- they had been friends for so long --- but she still frowned internally. She must have lapsed in her self-control. “Staying up late to watch a film actually. Dolls. I ordered it from the Internet, and it’s better than my imagination.”
“You and your Japanese film,” Misty said, “now let’s talk about our clients...”
Colleen settled into the usual easy routine and blocked herself from thinking what she shouldn’t. She had live trough this before, and she would live through this again.
When the nigh fell, Misty packed up her things and said, “I will go meet Jean. Do you want to join us?”
Colleen shook her head, “No, thanks. I has things to do.”
Misty only nodded and left. Colleen dwelt until she had to go, and actually watched Dolls. Halfway she regretted it and gave up. It reminded her too much of what she didn’t want to think.
Colleen was in Misty’s kitchen, washing her cup. Misty invited her to Jean’s parting party, and she couldn’t find a good excuse. Jean seemed to be a good person, cheerful, energetic. She should be a good match to Misty. She’s going to leave again when someone came inside.
“I think... we need to talk,” Jean said.
Colleen said, “We’re not really close.”
Jean broke into a smile, “You care about Misty, right?”
“We’re friends,” Colleen said.
“I want to tell you three things. One, Misty and I ‘re only friends. Two, I already have a partner, who’s awesome. Three. “ Jean leaned toward Colleen. “You should go for what you want. You’d be surprised.”
What? “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You know what I mean.” Jean winked at her. “Let’s go outside. Misty’s waiting for us.”
“Jean’s gone now.” Misty said, lying back into the office chair.
Colleen said, “You’re close.”
“Yes, We haven’t seen each other for a long time. I’ll miss her.” Then Misty looked at her, looking hesitated.
“Jean and I talked. She told me that sometimes the thing you wanted most was just here waiting. While sometimes it might be easier to say nothing, sometimes you needed to reach out, to take risk.”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you know why I break up with Danny?”
“No. I don’t want to ply.”
“You can always ask. There’s not much secret between us. Anyway, Danny’s a good guy, and I really like him, but at the end I realize that we are so different. I need someone... “ Misty paused, “...like you.”
“Are you serious?” Colleen couldn’t believe her ears.
“Yes, I am. It’s all right if you don’t feel the same thing. I can understand, and I really hope that if it doesn’t affect our friendship.”
Colleen finally found back her voice. “I...” she held her hands. “I like you too.” I sound like a teenage girl she thought.
Misty burst into a smile. “Thank you. Thank you for every thing.” She paused. “I would kiss you, but I do have a rule of no PDA in the office.”
“The fruit will only taste better if we wait,” Colleen said.
There was definitely a sense of flirting in her eyes. “Can’t wait.”