Liv and I are waiting outside a newly opened sushi train, we’re both getting impatient of this long queue, especially Liv, ” Gee, this queue takes like forever, grrrr, I’m starving.” I look at her, pulling a smile, ” Hmm, well, I know you really want to have sushi, but do you want to go somewhere else instead?” I try to be nice because I know what she’s like when she gets hungry and that has never changed since high school, I’m not in the mood for another fight today. Liv shakes her head, ” I’m trying to eat healthy and this is the only sushi train around this area.” Fine, typical Liv, I stare at her, not saying a single word.
The wait is finally over, we are guided by the waitress to the seat. Liv sits down, stirring the wasabi in soy sauce while mumbling,” Ok, I’m just going to have 5 plates today.” ” What? Are you talking to me or something?” I take a glance at her, frowning and somehow trying to have eye contact with her to make sure that she sees the irritation on my face. ” I don’t want to eat much, trying to save money.” Whatever, I tell myself, after all she’s no longer that sloppy girl in high school who always needed my advice on everything, she’s making her own money now, she deserves to do whatever she wants.
” How’s it going with you and Greg?” Liv slowly picks up a piece of salmon, waiting for my response.
” We’re still together, if that’s what you’re wondering.” Over the last two years, since I had this relationship with Greg, Liv is always asking me this every time we catch up, as if all the relationships are just like hers, never last for more than two weeks.
Liv nods, ” So how often are you guys seeing each other?”
” Ahh, Liv…….” I don’t really want to share this type of details with her otherwise she’s going to hurt herself by comparing her casual dates with a proper relationship. ” Not often, once a week.” Having heard that, Liv looks content, giving me a lazy smile. But what I didn’t tell her is that every time we get together, I’m staying at Greg’s for at least 6 days on a role.
” So tell me about yourself, Liv, what’s been happening to you?”
“There are a bunch of guys I’ve been talking to online, but nothing too exciting. I’ll let you know if I go on a date.” Liv looks confident.
After the dinner Liv asks me what my plan is for tonight, ” I don’t know, maybe go for a drink?” I respond.
” Nah, I’ve been trying to lay off alcohol lately, plus I have to hit the gym later.” She curls her lips.
Of course she is. Tonight has been so disappointing, and maybe that’s what she wants, more dullness in her life! I couldn’t keep it all to myself anymore, ” Why are you being such a funsponge lately?” I lost my temper.
” What do you mean by funsponge?” Liv looks at me confusedly.
” It means a killjoy, a downer and a total boring human being! Gosh you’re lame.” I shouted confrontationally knowing that Liv wouldn’t be quarrelsome. See, the good thing about Liv is that unlike me, she’s never pugnacious, maybe that’s in her personality or maybe she knows that we’ll always come back to each other after the fights, she never gets aggressive.
” Yeah, I am lame. Liv nods, doing the usual ‘ I admit that I’m lame but what can you do about it’ face. “I think we should call it a night.” She then turns around and leaves quietly.
Ok, it might be my fault, again, I shouldn’t have called her a funsponge. But every time shit like this happens, I’ve always asked myself why I still see Liv as my best friend. Perhaps because I know that without Greg, I’d be her. I could be Liv, in fact, I used to be her two years ago. Liv is like another me, and I just want that me to be happy. I can feel that my face is getting hot just by thinking about this.
3 weeks later
Liv and I start talking again, once again, we both moved on from the previous argument. This time I agreed to let Liv take me to her favorite whole foods café.
“So any luck with Tinder yet, Liv?” I look at her, knowing this time it would probably just be the same as before; otherwise she wouldn’t have been this quiet.
Liv takes a sip of her “green cleanser smoothie “then shakes her head, “Nah, not really.”
Yew, I look at that drink, how could she even swollow it?
“What do you mean by not really? So you did go on a date with someone lately, didn’t you?” I keep asking.
“Well, there was this guy I met, his name is Jack, I had a date with him 2 weeks ago, it went pretty well, at least I think so. But he’s never talked to me after that, just like all the dates I went on.” Liv looks frustrated and confused.
Hmm, I’m not surprised. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely want her to be happy, in her case it means having a relationship. But since she knows that most of the guys online just want to have fun, maybe she shouldn’t take it too seriously.
Liv looks at me, “Effy, do you think it’s because I’m too boring for them? Some of the guys I dated can either go skateboarding, surfing or playing in a band, but I don’t have anything interesting to share in my life. Do you think that’s why?”
Ahhh, is it because what I said to her last time? It was just a bad joke. I’ve never meant to hurt her, definitely don’t want her to take it seriously. But on a second thought, maybe I wasn’t all joking, she is kind of colorless.
“Oh no, don’t be silly, you guys just don’t want the same thing.” I quickly stop her.
“I don’t think so, I’ve had so many first dates but never got a second one with the same guy, must be my problem, I need to change. You’ve said that too, Effy.” Liv sighs.
“So how would you like to change?”
“Well, just between you and I, we could do some naughty things together, that would help build up my character.” She widens her eyes.
“ What? Hold on a sec, naughty? Did you just use the word ‘naughty’?” I burst into laughter, blushing.
“Not like that Effy!! You should come with me to the shops later and be my partner in crime.” Liv shows a sly smile.
“Sure, my pleasure.” I’m actually pretty looking forward to finding out what she wants to do.
I stand up and turn around to put the coffee cups in the bin while Liv is still busy swiping on Tinder.
“Thought you wanted to go to the shops?”
Liv looks up at me and quickly grabs a thick bunch of serviettes on the table then puts them in her bag, “Start from this.” Looking smug.
We walk into a big supermarket; Liv drags me straight to the fresh food section.
“Want some pomegranates?” I ask, as Liv is standing here like she’s got something on her mind.
“Ah yeah, that seems like a good idea.” She grabs a bag and puts 4 of pomegranates in it.
“Woah, someone seems hungry.”
“Do you need anything, Effy?” She asks.
I shake my head as we’re walking towards the self check out area.
Liv puts the bag of pomegranates on the weight while I put my hand on the screen, looking for the price for these fruit. Liv stops me, removes my hand from the weight, “Let me.”
She selects brown onions, clicks on it, then check out.
“But these are pomegranates, not……..”. I point at the screen.
“Shh, naughty things, remember?” She tries to keep her voice down.
The total price showing on the screen is $2.85$; Liv takes the receipt, grabs the bag and walks out with a complacent smile on her face.
“This is fun! We should totally do this again, F.” she looks at me.
“Ah, I don’t know, what if we got caught? That would be total embarrassing!”
“Not if we’re cautious.” Liv stares at me, waiting for my response, looking confident.
“I’m not sure if it’s worth it. We could only save, say, 2 bucks every time? At most?” I raise my eyebrows.
“That’s fine; I can do this on my own too.” Liv shrugs her shoulders.
“Good luck then. Be careful, Liv.” Phew, I almost said yes.
5 weeks later
“Is this even real?” I reach my hand to touch Liv’s new septum piercing.
“Ouch, it’s still painful.” Liv puts down her warm banana chia loaf and covers her nose with her hands.
“So, what’s been going on Liv? You said you have something to tell me.” I’m secretly checking out her new look, her super dark red lips and the matching manicures actually look pretty bad ass.
“Guess what? I met this guy, Max. He’s so groovy. And he lives in a van! I think he likes me too.” Liv looks excited.
“Awesome, Liv, I’m happy for you, so tell me more about this guy, Max, right?” Honestly, I’m a little surprised, but hey, he’s into her, isn’t that great?
“He says he likes how adventurous I am and the fact that I don’t follow the rules makes me a cool chick. I think he gets me.” Liv blushes, perhaps because she could also feel how cheesy this speech is.
“Oh, so did you show him those naughty things you did?” I frown a bit and air quote the word “naughty”.
“Mm hmm.” Liv nods. “Sometimes we do it together. He likes the scarf I nicked from Top-Man.”
I don’t know how to react at this point. Maybe that’s who she is the whole time? And that evil side of her was concealed by her cuteness this whole time? Well, not evil but…….
“Coo, cool, congrats. So umm, what are you guys doing next time? Another date in the shop or something?” I’m half joking.
“There’s this party we’re going to, on Saturday night, you should join us, it would be EPIC! I told him about you too” Liv points at me with her index finger and winks, like she’s from some sort of K Pop girls group.
Well, I know that I don’t really like the sound of this guy Max but Liv and I are party buddies, I can’t say no to this. So I promise Liv that I’ll see her there on Saturday.
I have to say, whoever hosts this party tonight seems like a real cool guy. All the free snacks, oh my, I’m loving this. Whereas Liv, judging by her behaviour, clearly has gone back to drinking, and she’s making out passionately with Max at the corner.
“Hey don’t you guys need anything to eat?” I shout, feeling a bit awkward just standing here and eat on my own while everyone else is partying outside, still I can’t stop shoving chips in my mouth.
They two slowly move towards me, holding hands. It seems the only thing they’re interested in is alcohol as they’re checking all the cupboards to look for more.
“Hey guys, that’s not nice, it’s someone else’s kitchen.” I can’t help it but say something, that’s nothing like Liv anymore, the “fun” her is making me annoyed.
Neither of them takes my advice. In fact, I don’t even know if they’re still sober enough to understand what I just said.
“Hey Max, what do you think this is?” Liv slurs in her whiskey soaked voice as she takes out a sealed small bag of while powder she found in the freezer. Seeing Max is on the other side of the kitchen, she walks up to him, stumbling a little.
“Did you guys hear what I just said? Liv? Stop!” Liv is completely blocking me, either deliberately or unintentionally, this is making me mad. The old me would go up to Liv and stop her but ever since the argument about two months ago, I’ve told to myself to stay out of her business. So I grab my purse and walk out of the door. “I’m Leaving!”
The buzzing phone wakes me up, I get a call from Liv. Has she been all sober up now, trying to apologise for what she did earlier? I pick up the phone.
“Effy, I, I don’t know what to do, it’s Max, he kept throwing up in the bathroom and now he’s twitching all over his body. Help me, F, what should I do?” Liv cries, sounds panicking.
I know this is serious, but somehow this makes me mad. It’s Liv, she screwed it up herself. I sit up, telling her the best thing to do is to call the ambulance.
“What? I can’t do that, whoever owns the drug would come after me and I’ll be in deep shit. He’s also stashed some in my house.” Liv responses, without even pausing to consider my suggestion.
“But Liv, he might die if he doesn’t get help!”
Liv says in a wobbly voice, ” I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this, all I did was trying to be fun so they could like me.”
“Call the ambulance, Liv.” I will the anger out of my voice.
“I can’t, I’m not prepared for this.” She weeps.
“What do you want me to do then? None of this would happen if you did what I told you to”, I argue, hoping she’d realise how she got here, even though I know it’s too late for her to think everything through now.
“Never mind, I’ll call someone else.” Liv hangs up the call.
But I can’t just sit here and let it happen, so I pick up the phone and dial 000.
10 weeks later
I know Liv and I always need to take a break from each other each time we fight but it has never been more than a month. She hasn’t responded to any of my messages ever since but on social media I can see that she’s still kicking ass, perhaps better than before. The selfies of herself lying on the beach somewhere looking just like the old days when she still has her perfectly natural dark hair without any of the crazy piercings or make up. I hope she’s enjoying her “getaway holiday”. As to myself, I need to reconsider if everything I’ve done for the friendship will still be worth it.