Apple blushed unexpectedly. “ Well, I met someone.”
“ Really? “ Abigail’s eye widening in excitement her current distress momentarily forgotten.
“ Where ? Who is he?”
“ Online. “
“Oh.” She leaned back, looking skeptic.” People still chat? “
“ Well he’s nice. I like him. He’s from India.” Apple answered defensively. Lowering her eyes and blushing again.
“ India? Bombay? ” Abigail snickered.
“ Don’t be stupid, they are called Indians not Bombay. Bombay is a city. “
Abigail wrinkled her nose as if smelling something pungent.
“ I’m not fond of Indian food.” Abigail said as if she meant to say something else. She looked at Apple as if she was laughing at her.
“ Who’s talking about food. Well I was reading about this book by an Indian author, Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. It’s an amazing book. I totally fell in love with the characters. The ending made me cry so much. It’s about the partition in India–“
“ Where do you find the time to read.” Abigail interrupted. She was not all interested about anything Indian.
“ Anyways, I am really curious about India and their culture.” Apple continued, slightly annoyed at being interrupted.
“ Does he speaks English? “ Abigail teased.
“ Don’t be stupid he speaks perfect English. Plus he sounded nice. “
Abigail raised her eyebrows. “You spoke to him on the phone? “
Apple blushed even more. “ He calls me sometimes.”
“ What does he do? “
“ He’s an artist.”
“ Hmmm…Anyway, do you think I should call Oliver? “
Apple knew that Abigail’s interest in her life had ended there.
“ Oh shoot! I don’t have any money!” Abigail said after rummaging through her purse. Apple shrugged and said she’ll take care of it.
“ I hope your car tank is filled? ”
“ I didn’t check.” Abigail bit her lower lips and looked wide-eyed.
Apple pretended to be annoyed but can’t help but smile. She can’t resist Abigail when she put on the charm.
Abigail was always running out of cash and constantly borrowing from her. She had a fondness for expensive clothes and bags and can’t seem to control herself when they go out shopping. Apple in contrast was very frugal and sometimes Abigail found it frustrating that Apple takes forever to decide in buying one item of clothing. “ What is there to think about? It’s only 500 pesos.” Abigail would say in exasperation .
“ Well, I don’t really know if I need it. And it doesn’t match with any of my clothes.”
“ Arrgh. We wasted time for nothing! ” Abigail would exclaim, irritated.
At the end of the day Abigail would have tons of shopping bag in her hands while Apple would end having a new book instead.
Apple glanced around the café. The place was packed. Young professional like them were yapping away while drinking their cappuccinos. Some just got off from work. Some engrossed with their laptops.
“ Oh I’m so bored. I wish he’d call me and apologize for what he said. How can he think I’m so needy? “ Abigail exclaimed, still thinking of her ex-boyfriend.
“ Forget about him. You’ll find someone new. Look, that cute guy over there is checking you out.” Apple said teasing her, subtlety pointing with her lips at the guy sitting on the table on their right. The guy had been constantly looking in their direction all evening. He smiled when they caught him looking at them. He has nice dimpled smile. Abigail giggled.
“ You’re crazy.” Abigail said shyly. “ I can’t think about other guys right now. I am heartbroken.” But she was blushing and stole a glance at the guy.
Apple laughed and shook her head. “ I’ll just check my mails.” She opened her laptop and logged on to her yahoo messenger.
“ He’s online”
“The guy I was telling you about.”
“What’s his name?”
“Suraj? ” Abigail laughed. “What kind of name is that? Show me his photo.”
Apple searched for a downloaded photo of Suraj in her computer.
She showed her a close up photo of a man with a charming smile. Abigail looked at the photo and looked at her with both eyebrows raised. “Hmm. He’s not bad looking.” The guy was slightly tan with prominent well shape nose and forehead. He has deep set eyes curtained by long curly lashes. Expression in his eyes gentle and easy. Jaws evenly shaped and masculine with strong slightly pointed chin. His smile created a nice dimpled line on his cheeks. His hair was slightly wavy just tucked behind ears curling around the lobe.
“ He doesn’t look Indian “. Abigail remarked.
“ Yeah I know.” Apple replied, smiling.
“ He looks more like Italian or something. “ She added.
“ Is he tall?” Abigail asked, interest growing in her eyes.
“ 5’10 or 5’11 I think. He’s very smart too.” Apple said, feeling proud now.
“Are you sure he’s not a psycho. I heard horror stories about guys in the internet. He could be a con artist or something. “ Abigail looked at Apple, trying not to sound impressed..
“ No I don’t think so. I am very good judge of character. I’ll know if he was lying to me. He is just a regular guy. “ Apple felt defensive again. She wondered why does she always seeks Abigail’s approval on her choices of men. She can’t help feeling inferior to Abigail in this aspect. She hates to admit that she actually cares what Abigail thinks about Suraj.
“ Still, you should be careful. If he’s all that great why is his spending so much time on the internet?” Abigail said leaning back on her chair.
Well, I am there too and for sure I am not a psycho. Meeting people online gives you a chance to know more the person’s mind first and appearance comes secondary as opposed to when you meet someone in person. They judge you with how you look first before they become interested in you. “ Apple replied almost crossly and blushed profusely afterwards. She knew she sounded desperate to justify her friendship with Suraj. She didn’t need to.
Abigail nodded. “ Well, that’s true. That’s what happens to me all the time I guess. I get fooled by someone’s appearance. Sometimes they can appear to be intelligent even when they’re not. Sometimes it’s too late in the conversation before you notice how idiotic they were.”
“ I want you to meet him. Let’s have a conference online.” Apple felt grateful that Abigail finally saw the sense in what she was doing. It assuaged her fears that she was doing something silly.
Abigail reached for her bag and took out her pink Apple Macbook pro.
“ Do you have an YM ID?” Apple asked.
“ I think so. Let me check if it’s still working.” Abigail double clicked her yahoo messenger application.
Apple sent Suraj a message.
BookWormIsh85: Hi there.
005Nightcafe83: Hey, how are you?
BookWormIsh85: I’m good. I’m with a friend. She wants to meet you.
005Nightcafe83: Oh okay. What’s her name?
When Abigail went online, Apple invited the two for a conference.
005Nightcafe83: Hi Abigail, nice to meet you.
Decadent_Diva0022:Hi Suraj, what’s up?
005Nightcafe83: Nothing much. Just drinking beer and chatting.
Decadent_Diva0022: Cool. What do you do Suraj?
005Nightcafe83: I paint occasionally. Most of the time I’m on bike, traveling.
Decadent_Diva0022: Do you carry an umbrella?
Apple pinched Abigail
Shut up Abigail.
Abigail could not stop laughing.
BookWormIsh85: I am sorry Suraj. Abigail is teasing you. Most of the Indian who lives in Philippines rides a motorcycle and carry umbrellas.
Decadent_Diva0022: And they have this business. 5-6.
005Nightcafe83: What is that?
BookWormIsh85: It’s like this. Supposed they lend you money for five thousand and you return it to them as six thousand. They come to your house everyday and you have to pay 1 peso a day until you fully paid it
005Nightcafe83: Lol, really.
Abigail was still laughing.
“Abigail, stop it”. But Apple can’t help but laugh too.
005Nightcafe83: I know that some Indian went to Philippines when they fought for the British army during World War 1. They were called Sepoys.
Decadent_Diva0022: Oh. We didn’t know that.
BookWormIsh85: Well, I kind of heard about that. In history class I think.
Decadent_Diva0022: I also paint. Sometimes. I’m a graphic designer. Who’s your fav artist.
005Nightcafe83: Van Gogh.
Decadent_Diva0022: Mine is Gauguin.
005Nightcafe83: Hmm. I like Gauguin too. He was friends with Van Gogh. I like his palette.
Decadent_Diva0022: And I really hate Picasso and Dali.
005Nightcafe83: Why do you hate Picasso? I hate Dali too. I think his works are bullshit.
Decadent_Diva0022: Picasso and Diego Rivera were both blatant womanizers. Ugh.
BookWormIsh85: I like Frida Kahlo’s work. She’s a strong woman and it shows in her work.
005Nightcafe83: Yeah Frida Kahlo is cool.
Decadent_Diva0022: Anyway, do you have sample of your work?
005Nightcafe83: Hold on.
After a few minutes Suraj started photo sharing his work. It was a caricature study of his face.
Decadent_Diva0022: Wow these are good.
“I told you he is good.” Apple whispered.
Time flew and they found themselves still chatting after a few hours past midnight. Common interests were shared. Suraj mentioned he liked beaches and the two girls exclaimed that their country was surrounded by it. Suraj in turn told them about his bike trips to the Himalayas.
BookWormIsh85: On a bike? In the snow? Isn’t it dangerous?
005Nightcafe83: Not really, one has to be slightly careful. There’s nothing like it. It’s exhilarating. The landscape changes after every few kilometers from green meadows to desert to snowy mountains.
BookWormIsh85: Oh wow. Let me Google some photos of that.
Decadent_Diva0022: I would really want to see Taj Mahal. I think it is just amazing. I am really fond of Mughal architectures.
005Nightcafe83: If you are really interested, you should both come here. I would be glad to show you around.
Apple and Abigail looked at each other. Go to India?
“We’ll think about it.” They both typed at the same time and laughed.
A bit of light was already creeping in the horizon when they finally stopped chatting. But the café was still full.
“That chat made me crave for the beach. I’m thinking we should go to Boracay. “ Abigail said, dreamily.
“ Aren’t you looking for a job? “ Apple looked at her frowning.
“ Not to worry about that. Sooner or later I’ll join my father’s company. For now I just want to take it easy. And you can do your job anywhere. “
Apple already joined a pool of writers for a local tv station after their internship. She will start writing for a daily soap opera very soon.
“ It’s the rainy season now, not exactly the best time for the beach.” It was already middle of June and the rainy season had begun.
“I like rainy season on the beach more than summers. The annoying Manila crowed would no longer be there. Besides it is off season now. Everything will be cheap.” Abigail said looking at her with half smile. She knew Apple’s weakness for discounts.
“ I guess I can take a week off before they started shooting the soaps and we are also done with the brain storming, anyway. I’m doing the episodes for the third week though. I suppose it would be nice to write my stories there.”
Abigail looked at her. “As if I will let you write in peace.” She chuckled naughtily.