I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My brother was crazy.
“You did what?!”
“Selena, calm down! I don’t think there’s a nice way to say this, so I’m just gonna say it. You need a life!”
“I have a life!”
“No you don’t… look… you don’t… you haven’t talked to anyone since that… man.”
“I’m sitting here talking to you.”
“Besides me. Besides anyone in this household!”
“If you won’t do it for you, do it for me. Selena, you deserve to be happy. It’s only two people, and I’m not saying you have to date them.”
“Fine… when are they coming?”
“9:00, and they used to work with me, but they got other jobs now.”
He was right, but I wasn’t going to tell him that. I just didn’t know where to start. His friends were nice, talking to people was nice too. I was outgoing, and maybe my so called ‘seclusion’ wasn’t helping anything. I felt better than I had in years. Years. Can you believe that? It’s been seven years. His friend Brynlee had nice moves. She could really dance. I learned she’d been on her school’s dance team in high school. She was more than willing to show us how it’s done. And his other friend, Derek, was just smart. Like way too smart. But hey, to each their own, right? We also rented a pop up bar.
“So, can you believe it?” I asked, laughing. “She actually said no way, I’m outta here!” I smiled, telling a story from work. Cora, a young girl who’d only been working with us for a few weeks had the nerve to ask for a raise, and then when she didn’t get one, she left. This was when I realized I was laughing and really having fun for the first time, in a very long time.
I noticed, about 2 hours later, that Derek wasn’t really doing anything anymore.
“Do you want to leave?” I asked.
“What? No. My sister wanted me to come. She said I need to ‘get out more’. I think it’s too late for that, don’t you?”
“What do you mean?” I asked. It wasn’t like I knew the guy.
“Well, I’m already an adult. I know it’s weird, but I always wanted a family. I got too caught up in my job, and now that I noticed that, it’s too late.”
“There’s no such thing. It’s my adult birthday today, and I don’t have kids, and for the record, I want kids.” I left out the part where I actually needed them for the legacy.
“What happened?” He asked.
“Life happened to me too.”
“Yeah. Life is nicer to some people than others.”
I blew out my adult birthday candles with little fanfare, I just snuck into the kitchen to blow them out.
“Hey, happy birthday.” Derek said.
“So what are your plans for, I don’t know, the next part of your life?”
“I dunno… get married, have kids?” The words simply fell off my tongue, almost as if they were always there. It was the answer I’d gave since I was in high school.
After they left, at like midnight, I pulled my brother over.
“Hey, Jonathan… thanks. I needed this.”
He smiled. “You’re welcome.”