Before Laura knew what was happening, her full glass of pink bubbly tipped clean over and spilled all over Bec Lam’s lap. Bec’s face froze in a look of astonishment.
Beside her, Li-Xia clutched the tiered platter of tiny cakes, her whole body seeming to cringe around her culprit elbow that knocked over the drink, while Vanessa’s perfectly manicured right hand remained clamped firmly over her own mouth in shock.
“Bec, I’m so sorry.” Li-Xia’s voice was low and slow in a deathly whisper.
Laura tossed Bec a tea towel as she stood up gingerly and waddled he way to the bathroom.
Vanessa burst into giggles as soon as the door shut. “Oh, poor Bec! Lix, you’re the worst.”
“Shut up, Ness. I didn’t do it on purpose! You know how clumsy I get when it’s that time.”
“And it’s the best entertainment every time.” Vanessa gave Li-Xia a reassuring pat on the shoulder, then carefully extracted the platter from her friend’s hands. “But I’ll just be taking these now, thank you.”
With a sigh, Li-Xia turned to Laura, who already had another tea towel in hand, mopping the spill on the floor. “So, as I was saying—“
“Before you ruined everything?”
“Yes, that… How was Sarah’s wedding? I haven’t seen her in years.”
“It was all right.” Laura shrugged.
“Was there a singles table?”
“A couple. Mine had like, eight people?”
“Don’t give me that, girl! And did you meet anyone?”
“Hell yeah, she did!” came Bec’s voice from the bathroom. “Tell them about Brown Eyes, Laur.”
“Brown Eyes, hey?” Li-Xia practically sparkled at her, as Vanessa sidled up and made it very obvious that she was listening.
Laura rolled her eyes. “Don’t get your hopes up, guys. Bec’s just excited cos he was a massive tool and it put me in a foul mood and so I left.”
“Oh. Well, that was an anti-climax. I thought you were actually going somewhere with this. Like, sparks flew, you two rage-danced like in Pulp Fiction and then you went home with him after.”
“Or…!” Bec came bounding in, smelling like traces of sparkling rosé and clutching something in her hand. With a gleeful grin, she opened it up to reveal her lucky find, an unfastened bracelet made of braided leather, adorned with a single wooden bead. “This doesn’t look like one of yours, Laurie Loo.”
“Uh, that’s clearly a man’s bracelet,” Vanessa declared.
“So…” If Li-Xia could sparkle harder, she would have combusted in the kitchen. “Rage-dancing?”
Laura chewed her tongue with a cheeky smile on her face. It’s not that she left the bracelet out on purpose after finding in the soap dish in the shower, but she wasn’t exactly rushing to hide it either. After so long, it was nice to have a guy story that didn’t end in disaster, even if it didn’t end in very much at all.
“OK, so, he did come back here, but it’s not what you’re thinking, so get your mind out of the gutter.”
“Uh huh, so that’s why there’s a man’s bracelet sitting damp on your bathroom sink?” Bec waved it at her.
“It’s a long and not very interesting story.” Laura snatched the bracelet and wrapped it in a paper napkin.
As they sat around the living room, nibbling and half-watching She relayed the events of the previous night, leaving nothing out, not even the part where he caught her staring twice and said nothing about it.
“Maybe I’ve been out of the game too long, Laur, but he doesn’t sound like a bad guy to me.” Vanessa punctuated her statement with a sip of rosé.
Li-Xia nodded. “Yeah, why didn’t you get his number?”
“Well, the thought crossed my mind. But like I said to Bec, I want some time to myself for awhile.” Laura shrugged. But even as she said the words, she found herself second-guessing them, just like how she was kicking herself the night before for not saying goodbye to Aidan before he left.
Truth was, she wouldn’t have minded getting to know him better. He was cute and he knew how to apologise. A guy had to be more than that of course, but this was a promising start. And not everything had to be about dating.
She cleared her throat. “Besides, he’s pretty fresh out of a long-term relationship, so you know, it wouldn’t have been a good idea anyway.”
Her friends accepted her answer, and it surprised her how disappointing that was. The conversation about Aidan was over and it killed her a bit to let it go. But it would be weird to bring him up again now.
“So, Ness, what’s the goss you wanted to tell us?” As nonchalantly as she could, Laura reached for a ladyfinger.
She bumped Bec’s wine glass on the way, but just as it looked like they’d have another spill situation, Vanessa’s left hand shot out and caught the glass.
Laura’s belly did a flip-flop when she saw. How did she not notice her friend’s new bling before? A mix of feelings rushed at her as she put on her best happy-for-you smile she could muster.
“Ladies, Josh proposed last night. I’m getting married!”
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