Two best friends experience different lives.
She called me foolish. That was usually what she called me anyway. I always managed to bring that look to her face, the look of utter disappointment and some mild disgust. I didn't do it on purpose. I just didn't understand.
There were a lot of things my best friend did that I didn't understand. Most the time, she would laugh off my 'foolish' questions and call me innocent. But lately she only looked at me with that look that called me a complete idiot and she would say, "Jasmine, stop being foolish!" or "Jasmine, you're so naive!"
I don't know what I had done to make my friend become so annoyed with me. We had grown up together and seemed to compliment each other all our young lives. Jasmine and Rebecca.
Now it was Rebecca and whomever she was dating at the time and Jasmine. Only me, alone. I was alone more often than not and I missed Rebecca terribly.
Well, not so much now that my best friend seems so fed up with me. I had wondered if it was something I had said or done.
I tried and tried to recall our conversations and discover what could be the cause of the rapid decay of our relationship. Nothing came to mind.
The phone rings and I glance at it. It is Friday night. Surely Rebecca wasn't calling. She always has dates on Friday nights.
The phone trills again and I hesitatingly pick it up.
"Jasmine? It's me,"
I roll my eyes. Keeping my voice even and light, "Yes, Jasmine,"
"Why are you calling me?"
Was there coldness to her tone? Irritation? Surely not my best friend Jasmine. She's always anxious to talk with me, always willing to hear me out and hang out with me when I have no other plans.
"Are you all right, Jasmine?" I ask, genuinely concerned. Granted, Jasmine annoyed me greatly as of late but that didn't mean I didn't care about her. I'm not heartless.
Well, then. I am tempted to slam the phone down on her peevish tone. No wonder she can't get any dates. I mean, she wasn't bad looking. Not truly. She always said that I had the looks of the two of us but if she would just do something with her hair, put on a little makeup, you know.
"I'm not going to talk to you if you're going to be like this."
She hung up on me! Why, of all the immature, stupid things to do!
I hang up the phone only to pick it up again moments later. I dial the number rapidly, batting my blue-green eyes at myself in the mirror as I listen to the ring.
"Bruce, darling," I purr.
I stare at the phone for at least a minute, waiting for Rebecca to call back but it doesn't ring. I flop back on my couch and think about how I had just treated my best friend. And for what reason? There wasn't one.
I'm not even jealous. Well, not really jealous. I don't have some horrible desire to be her, to live her life, even if it would mean that I would feel less invisible as a human being if I could get just one scrimp of the attention she got.
Okay, so maybe I am jealous of her. I look at the phone again. Ring! Please...
Groaning, I sit up and reach for the telephone, my fingers dialing Rebecca's number automatically.
I slam the phone down with a rage I can't explain. She has others to call but I don't! My friendship doesn't matter to her, not one iota! And why should it? She has a whole fan club chanting her name. Rebecca! Rebecca!
I stand up and head for the bathroom. At least I can take a shower without the fear of being interrupted by the phone ringing.
I look at my reflection in the mirror and wonder if I am beautiful. I know I am attractive but am I beautiful? This matters to me. It matters a great deal.
See, anyone can be called attractive but it takes a great deal of effort and looks to be called beautiful. I pause in applying red lipstick to my pouty lips as Jasmine flashes in my mind. I wonder if anyone sees her as attractive. It would be a major stretch for someone to consider Jasmine beautiful. Jasmine and I both knew this.
I am shocked at the coldness in my eyes when I meet my blue-green gaze in the mirror. Am I jealous of Jasmine? How could I be? She's...Jasmine! Plain, boring Jasmine.
I shrug and continue to apply my lipstick while I ponder my original question. Am I beautiful?
I wipe the steam from the mirror and look at my hazel eyes reflected back at me in the hazy bathroom. They are my best features, fringed in long dark lashes. My eyebrows could be a little better, though.
I look at my nose. It's not large but it's definitely not button-like. I frown at this thought which immediately draws my gaze to my lips. Uneven. My lower lip is obviously fuller than my upper lip. In fact, my upper lip is practically invisible.
This thought causes me to smirk, which brings my dimple into focus. My smile broadens. I have always loved my dimple and Rebecca despises it. I think she may be jealous of my dimple.
I lose my smile as I think of my BFF once more. What is the matter with us? It doesn't make any sense to me. We were living life so well, getting along, each of us content with the roles we were chosen to play.
Why am I foolish to her all of a sudden? True, I'm a virgin and she no longer is, but I know plenty about that side of life. Just because I have no experience doesn't mean I don't have knowledge.
And who has her judging me anyway? I meet my gaze in the mirror once more and feel the rage in me grow. My best friend doesn't respect me any longer but I'm not the one in danger of disrespect. Rebecca better look in the mirror for more than vanity if she wants to see who is truly at fault in this relationship.
"No," I tell Bruce for the eighth time. This time, he flings himself back in the driver's seat of his Camero and stares at the city angrily. I roll my eyes. "I didn't call you up to sleep with you."
"You never call me up to sleep with me!" Bruce rages and I think of getting out of the car and walking. He takes a deep breath. "I'm sorry,"
"Sure," I say, the word emerging before I can stop it.
"Hey, come on, Rebecca," Bruce practically whines and I roll my eyes again, this time when he's looking at me. "Fine!"
He starts the car angrily and backs away from the ledge overlooking the city in a mad rush that kicks up dirt and rocks. Thankfully, we are the only people there. It's the middle of the day, after all, and makeout point only becomes busy at night.
"Take me to Jasmine's house," I say bitterly as I buckle up. He doesn't respond but I know he's listening. "I don't know what you expect." I say and he still remains silent. It seems like forever before he drops me off outside of Jasmine's apartment and speeds away.
Good riddance! I climb the steps to my friend's place and hope she is over her foul mood and ready to be my friend again.
The knocking is loud and familiar. I know, without a doubt or second thought, that it is Rebecca. I finish drying my hair and look down at my outfit. I am wearing my faded blue jeans and a worn t-shirt that had belonged to a guy I'd had a crush on when I was eighteen. He'd liked Rebecca instead. I smile softly. The outfit is perfect.
I walk to the door and fling it open, looking at the annoyed face of Rebecca without emotion.
"Hey," I say as I turn and walk away. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
I hear the door close and a sigh come from my friend as she sits upon my couch. "What's the matter with you?"
I don't respond. I return to the bathroom to clean up my mess, which isn't much but could easily grow if I ignore it. I know that she's here to tell me some great horror story that I am supposed to sympathize with and comfort her for. I'm not in the mood to comfort.
I lean my head back and stare up at the ceiling. I take in a deep breath, hold it, and then release it slowly. Time to be a best friend.
"What's up?" I call as I move from the bathroom to the kitchen, pouring myself a bourbon and offering her nothing.
"You got any scotch?" She asks as she joins me. "I need something strong."
I feel my face twist in annoyance and I am glad that my back is to her. "In the pantry."
The door creaks slightly as she opens it. I swallow the bourbon and pour myself another glass before returning to the couch in the living room. I wait for her to join me, sipping bourbon and thinking not so nice thoughts about her.
She flops down beside me with the bottles of scotch and bourbon, handing me the latter. She drinks straight from the bottle of scotch and I glance at her.
"What am I missing?" She asks in a tone that tells me she doesn't want an answer. "No, scratch that. What are we missing?"
I stare at her and she smiles sadly at me. "What are you talking about?" I ask.
"Something is not right in our lives, Jas." She says and I am shocked that she has included herself in that statement.
"Really and truly, my friend," she says with the warmth I have missed over these past months. "Now, our mission, should we choose to accept it, and we must, is to find out what."
I nod. My best friend is beside me, asking about a dilemma that concerns both of us, for once, and I am at a loss.
What are we missing?