Mysteriously, Ailis went missing for a very long time. She didn't come visiting, I didn't have her contacts and I didn't meet her randomly. Of course, this had everything to do with that awkward moment when we defied the laws of personal space, discovering mutual attraction (so I hope) which neither of us knew what to with (not always obvious).
Life continued. My wounds healed. My ankle pretended to heal and managed to fool me.
One day I met Angela randomly, during time I had set aside to sit in the shade of trees. She was surprisingly friendly towards me, for someone whose boyfriend I had chased into dark oblivion. I was understandably reluctant to believe that relations were back to business-as-usual. But she confided immediately after greetings that she had decided to leave Lucas.
Understanding washed over me in waves. In the throes of a break-up, frenemies like myself could provide a crutch for the emotional battles ahead. That break up had been long in coming, for a variety of reasons. Her comely looks hadn't fared too well from physical battles with Lucas. And she had entered an eye-shadow phase which was obviously a smokescreen for black eyes. Most imporantly, she seemed to live under permanent black clouds of depression vibes, which only became darker in her transparent attempts to smile with everyone and hide her troubles. (The eyes tell all.) Now all that was at an end. I was happy for her, and I told her so.
“Really?” she beamed. “Only you and BFF support my decision. My other girls think I'm mad for even thinking about it.”
A whiff of scepticism inhibited my joyous spirit from bursting forth in jubilation. I knew Angela's scrap-heap of previous partners correlated consistently on one counter: they were all moneyed and flashy. Lucas was (is) a fashion-nerd and a big-spender, his rides the envy of many of my contemporaries, his popularity among the ladies extends even to many he doesn't know exist, and his worldly reputation pursues his popularity hotly. He wields influence in a pack of similar young men and their hangers-on. The fact that Angela was sacrificing all that high living for some hypothetical ideals earned my respect.
I voiced my backing for and solidarity with her decision.
“Good!” she said, talking fast. “I'm going to tell him at lunch time; you'll be my attorney. Watch out - he reacts badly.”
Feeling ambushed, I flatly refused. The whole thing looked like a fishy proposal. But she wasn't exactly ASKING.
“I see. You've forgotten that I was your attorney when our wife was bringing beefs,” she pouted. “Now you get to return the favor.”
I accepted, even though it shocked me that she still referred to The Ex as Our Wife.