Lazing on the couch on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Kity and I sat in comfortable silence, minding our own business on our phones. We had been best friends for years, and the two of us knew everything there was to know about each other, so we didn’t engage in mindless small talk.
The reason she was over was that my sister and her husband had invited us over for lunch, and they hadn’t seen us in a while. My sister was a micromanager, so the lunch was planned to the T, from appetizers to our favorite cheesecakes for dessert, to furniture placement for the perfect ‘sun-kissed’ aesthetic.
Lunch was good… but not as good as we had expected it to be. My sister, Tia, and her husband were hostile with each other all day, till they broke into a mild argument, which turned into a full-on brawl.
For anyone who has ever been a silent witness of a couple’s fight knows how awkward it gets. So Kitty and I, well, we even took calculated breaths to not make even a decibel of noise.
That was an hour ago. Now we’re just trying to come up with a polite way to leave.
Two weeks later, Kitty and I were on call, talking about what best friends usually talk about: nothing intellectual.
I was in the office, and she was at the mall, both of us taking a break with some gossip. It was then that I got a call from my sister, so I decided to merge the two lines. What could be better than a conference call with my girls?
“Hey guys, how’s it going?” I kick-started the conversation.
On cue, Kitty began asking a million questions about what she was up to, how her day was going, and when the next lunch date was.
In fact, I was going to bring up the disaster that was our last lunch, but my sister beat me to it, “Guys, about that…” and an uncomfortable silence followed for the next moment or so.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” I asked.
Although we were on call, I could see her shake her head, “no, it’s nothing.” Another shake of the head. “I just need to tell you guys something and I’m really nervous about it”.
That can’t be good.
“Is everything okay?” This time Kitty spoke.
“Um, actually, it’s about me and Ronnie.” Her husband.
Suddenly, I was filled with dread, and I knew Kitty was too, considering the heavy silence that ensued.
“Yeah we decided we’re going to-” but she stopped talking. “Okay, give me a minute, I’m going to call you back, someone’s at the door”. And the line went dead.
Kitty and I were nervous wrecks. I went over to her house immediately after work and we began to stress eat.
“How can they break up, they are the literal definition of a perfect couple!”
“They’ve been married for 10 years, do they think vows are a joke?”
“We need to put some sense back into them.”
So we came up with an elaborate plan.
We were going to set up a grand dinner, candle-lit with flowers and fairy lights and all the cliches my sister was obsessed with, and get her to believe it was all Ronnie’s doing so she could see how much he was still in love with her!
It didn’t matter if she found out the truth later because she would have realized her mistakes by then.
She just needed a nudge in the right direction to know she was making a grave mistake.
Kitty called the best restaurant in town to fix a date, while I got all the party favours ready. We discussed the menu, flowers, gifts, and drinks, and pooled money to cover all the expenses. We were going to make this work.
If this couple didn’t last, I would stop believing in love. And that was detrimental for a hopeless romantic.
2 breakdowns and a million consoling words later, Kitty and I finalised the plan. The dinner date was fixed for the next day.
It didn’t come without its fair share of disasters though.
When Kitty and I reached the venue to make sure everything was in place, nothing seemed to be in place.
Our plan to trick Ronnie into coming to the restaurant wasn’t working out because he wasn’t answering the phone. So, I sent Kitty to his office to go fetch him.
The flowers that were delivered were the wrong ones, and I knew my sister would be able to tell instantly that her husband didn’t pick them out. My mind went back to the lunch day and I cursed myself for not realising sooner that they were having problems.
2 hours later, and there was still no sign of anyone. My sister was refusing to leave the house, and Kitty was still struggling to get Ronnie to leave work.
So, I decided to leave and get her myself. The waiters and manager at the restaurant stopped me because apparently, they didn’t have the time or bandwidth to manage and look after this ‘failed’ little set-up alone. And obviously, it came with an extra expense.
Alas, I had to tip them, and a generous amount at that. I had lost a lot of money on this whole incident.
I reached her house and rang the doorbell a million times.
What I saw, I didn’t expect to see. Both Ronnie and her were at home, with the TV blasting on full volume, a bunch of flowers strewed across the floor, a dozen cakes on the counter, and probably a hundred people in butler uniforms walking around like they own the place.
“Uhhh, what’s going on here?”
They both looked at each other.
“Kitty’s at your office, unable to reach you, what are you doing here?” I asked.
They both held hands. Wait. Weren’t they in a fight?
“We have something to tell you,” my sister finally spoke after a moment’s silence.
“Oh god, no, please you can’t be breaking up! Kitty! Where are you!” I screamed.
They looked at me, confusion evident on their faces. “What are you talking about?”
Maybe I was mistaken?
“Aren’t you guys breaking up?” I asked.
“No!” They both screamed.
“Well, then what do you have to say to me that’s so important, and why were you being so weird on the phone?” I was on the verge of tears.
“I was nervous to tell you because I didn’t know how you felt about the whole idea,” my sister spoke, “but Ronnie and I have decided we want to renew our vows.”
As if on cue, Kitty came barging into the house, screaming, “no, no, please tell me I’m not too late! No, you cannot be getting a divorce!”
All I could think was, the waiters and manager back at the restaurant are not going to be happy with this. All my time, money, and emotions.
Kitty hadn’t even begun to process what was coming for her.
Oh well, at least it made for a good story!
(Picture credits: Pexels)
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