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As easy as saying I love you...

This is ridiculous,” they said in unison.

Kimberly and Ralph were watching a movie together at their favourite coffee shop; actually, this is where they met. It was years ago, at least 6, give or take a few months. It was one of those super rainy days, Kimberly was desperately sprinting to the coffee shop which then, wasn’t her favourite place. She got there and she saw it was packed, obviously! She decided to wait it out, just look around to see if someone would share or if someone decided to get up.
There was this guy, huge headphones, he had a laptop, a couple books, another pair of headphones, a notepad, some pens and somewhere in this mess his coffee. He was sitting at a table for 2, with this stuff covering the table and a huge backpack and weirdly huge jacket on the chair. Kimberly was mad that he was taking this much space while people were standing. He had gotten comfortable so he wasn’t waiting for anyone, she assumed. She was mad but she was not the type to go and talk to him or ask him to share, she decided to stare at him till he looked up instead.  

She was so busy practicing her best angry stare that when he looked up she was stuck in between 2 expressions; there wasn’t a mirror around but she guessed she looked ridiculous. She quickly gave him the best poker face she could and looked away. In a bit she felt a tap on her shoulder; she looked around and saw that the messy man was gesticulating wildly at her. Finally, she understood that he wanted her to come and share the table; he had cleared up the chair and was pointing at it.  

Hi. I am sorry I didn’t see that so many people were waiting around. I didn’t even realise it started raining. I was just a little lost; you need to work on your death stare by the way,” he said as he chuckled. “Hah, that is what I was working on when you decided to look up. Well I am glad you decoded the death stare anyway. My legs were aching standing there,” she continued as she set her takeaway glass on the table, trying to save his mess.  

“Have you opened up an office here or something? Or are you a student?”
“Well, I don’t know you but you will be my favourite person here on out for thinking I am a student. As much as I would like to be, I am not. I am on a sabbatical from work, which is fairly boring and I am not bludgeoning you with the details, but I am writing a novel.”
“Oh! An author, that is cool! So you took the sabbatical to write the book?”
“Again, thank you for calling me an author. Nope, I had some free time and my company forced me to take a leave, so here I am.”
“That’s interesting, Ralph?”
“We have met! Where?”
“Umm, no the sticker on your laptop says so… I’m Kimberly.”
“Oh, thank God. I thought I made another blunder, remembering names is just not my strong suit and sometimes I don’t even remember people.”
“Yes, I know how that feels.”
“So Kimberly, what do you do?”
“I am a student; I'm in my first year in college.”

 The conversation went on for so long, before they knew it the café was shutting down. That was the beginning of an amazing friendship. She graduated; he switched jobs; she got a job; he published his book; a lot happened, but they were together, friends, confidants and mirrors. They were eerily alike and that is what kept them together through all the changes that came about in their lives. Every other weekend they would go their favourite spots, gave each other company while they both worked or watched movies. This was a custom apart from the other times that they met.

This is ridiculous,” they said in unison.

They were watching a romantic comedy; it was “research” for Ralph’s new escapade. Yes, that is what she called it, among months of procrastination and other months of research, ralph would manage to write a couple lines. “Seriously, why did you pick this subject for your next book,” she said taking her bright yellow headphones off her head, “WHY?” Ralph took a sip of his coffee and said he wanted to explore other subjects. “First of all, why am I doing this ‘research’ with you, second of all, I need another coffee, you want something?” He nodded and she walked off to order for them.

It shouldn’t be this much work honestly, falling in love, I mean I am not saying it has to be effortless but isn’t the effort the big part of the after of the happily ever after?” she said as she came back to the table and plonked herself down with her feet on his lap. This was usual for them, nothing was sacred anymore. “I mean, all the chasing and the misunderstandings and everything else, how is this even… I mean…” she looked exasperated. “It should just be as easy as saying I love you, like I love you so and so person because I know you so well that I know what the response is going to be. How do you have a happily ever after without even getting to know every side every nuance of a person? And when you do get to know a person that well, I love you is just a statement of endearment. There isn’t a happily ever after because a happily ever after is what they have been living!” she said as she nudged him to say something.  Breathe child, breathe. I get it. I totally agree. This is why I wanted you around for the ‘research’,” as they both started laughing at her rant.

Almost a year went by, his book was published and it was time for the launch party. Kimberly was super excited to see his book, she had read the edit and she had loved it. As soon as she got to the launch, she rushed to the aisle where the book was kept and took one off the pretty display.

The book opened to the dedication page and there it was,

I love you Kimberly and I know you well enough to know that you will be crying at this point, aren’t you glad that I got you that waterproof mascara for your birthday?

Yes, it was the start of an amazing friendship and it was out there for the world to see.

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