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Andante, Andante

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Kurtz had been laying in bed and ignoring his buzzing phone for the last several hours. Nobody ever called him at this time of night besides students and wrong numbers; none of his embarrassingly small circle of friends were night owls on his level.

Finally, he scooped up the phone. 10 missed calls from M’biya. Either there was new drama in her circle, or something had gone seriously wrong with her vacation. It began to ring again, and he answered.

“Paging Dr. Kurtz, building 1890, room 101, head so far up his own ass he can’t answer his phone for five hours-“

“Yes, M’biya? It’s about three in the morning here, in case you forgot that time zones exist.” Definitely drama. He sighed and propped up one of his pillows to lean on. This would probably take a while.

“Shit!” M’biya put the phone down and said something incoherent to whoever she was with, then picked it back up. “Well, it’s eight-thirty at night here, and I’m getting married! Valentina is going to be my wife! I’m going to be her wife! I love saying this already! My wife!”

“Mazel tov.” He had known that this was coming for a few months already- Valentina was awful with secrets. Thankfully, this one hadn’t made it to M’biya before tonight.

“I just checked your work page- damn, they really need to delete my student email already- and Dr. Kurtz has no lectures scheduled over winter break, so you can’t get out of this that way! We’re going to be the Kasongo-Santiago family in about eight months-that’s December thirty-first, but we’re sending out save-the-dates pretty soon,” M’biya took a deep breath. “And what would this wedding be without my best friend as my best man?”

“Better. Less nihilistic.” He waited a beat for dramatic effect. “Boring as fuck, of course I’m doing it!”

“Yes! I told her you would!” Valentina said something in the background, and M’biya accidentally responded into the phone. “I told you he would! He’s finally going to start living his best life!”

“I’m so happy for you two. You’re perfect for each other, and I don’t know any other couple who’s as in love as you are.” He actually knew very few other couples to begin with, but it was true.

“That was very sincere. Thank you. I have a lot more calls to make, but before you go back to sleep, make sure to find a plus-one and renew your passport soon- oops!”

“What? Why-“

“I wasn’t going to tell you yet, but because we’re both extra and her grandpa owns a fucking amazing beachfront house in the Caribbean that he’s letting us use as the venue!”

“M’biya, holy shit.”

“I know! I’ve always wanted to get married on a beach! And I don’t have to wear shoes. Oh, and he’s also got a boat! We could have the reception on a boat!” He could practically feel M’biya shaking with excitement.

“You should write a book to document your excitement. Just imagine it, ‘Crazy Rich Lesbians’. You’d be famous.” Come to think of it, that might already exist. Or something similar.

“Sounds progressive. I like it. All right, I really have to make a lot of calls. Talk later?” She sounded out of breath, and something bumped the speaker button.

The sound of enthusiastic post-engagement making out was projected into Kurtz’s apartment, and he turned down his phone volume. “Is ‘making calls’ what all the young people are calling it lately? Your speaker’s on. Hi, Valentina!”

“Ah, son of a bitch-“ M’biya hissed, and amid the shuffling and sounds of Valentina giggling, someone managed to hang up the phone