|© 2002 Farida Kalimi|
"What am I going to do?" This was the nth time Tara was thinking this and it was still as scary as it had been the night before. How do you tell your best friend that you're in love with her crush of the past two weeks?
Eric was her boyfriend now. Tara had met him in the bar where he worked, they had become closer and closer in the past month and now she had just found out that Eric was the same guy Stacey, her best friend, had been talking about! In fact, he was all Stacey ever talked about these days. How handsome he was, how she would love to be introduced to him.
"Oh hell! This is the worst!" She had to tell Stacey; she had never been good with keeping things from her. Ever since they were in high school they had been inseparable. And now, to Tara's panic-stricken mind she thought she was finally going to lose Stacey. She just knew Stacey would never forgive her. Tara cried again as she had all of last night. Then after the tears subsided she wiped her face clean, wore a little more makeup than usual and headed out the door for her lunch with Stacey.
When she entered the restaurant, Stacey was already there. Beautiful as ever, she was in a light pink suit with matching shoes and a small beady bag. Stacey always looked elegant and sophisticated without trying. It was something that came to her naturally, unlike Tara who looked like a gypsy with her wild hair in ringlets around her shoulders and long hoops in her ears. She always wore a short skirt. She took a deep breath and moved towards the table.
Stacey smiled and asked her excitedly, "So? What is it? What's this important thing you wanted to tell me?"
Seeing her friend's enthusiasm, Tara got even more nervous. "I have to do this!" she said to herself and sat down.
Slowly, she said, "Stace, I love you very much, you mean the world to me. Please don't hate me for this."
Stacey looked at her friend properly for the first time since she had arrived and said, "What is it, Tara? Hurry up and tell me, you're scaring me now."
Tara gulped and said, "Alright, here goes nothing! Stace, you know that bartender you have had this major crush on?"
Stacey replied, "Yeah what about him?"
"Well, you finally told me his name last night and I have just found out that he's my Eric."
"What?" said Stacey. "What do you mean?"
Tara went on to explain how she had found out only last night that Eric her boyfriend was the same guy Stacey had a crush on. "I'm so sorry, Stace." As soon as Tara said these words, she cringed and shut her eyes. She did not want to see the look on Stacey's face.
Then after a second, she heard Stacey's rich laughter surround her. She peeked at her friend to see her laughing uncontrollably. Confused, she opened both eyes and looked at her questioningly.
"Oh God! We even like the same guys now!" said Stacey, in reply to her friend's unasked question. "Too bad though you found him first. Oh you silly girl! I'm so happy for you." She smiled happily.
Relief washed over Tara like sunshine on a cold clammy day. "Oh I love you so much. You're the best friend ever," she said as she went around to Stacey's side and wrapped her arms around her friend. "You sure you're okay with this?" Tara asked, one last shred of concern still lingering within her.
"Of course. Now tell me is he really as nice as he looks?" she joked and Tara told her everything.
Lunch over, they bid goodbye and promised to meet next week as always. Tara promised she'd introduce Stacey to Eric soon.
Stacey got up first, kissed her friend on the cheek and after walking towards the exit, wiped a tear off her cheek.
No guy was worth losing Tara over