Tuesday, April 29, 2003

More writing to do:

As Nadine stood behind a short man wearing a blazer who had the comfortable, unkempt look of a professor, she felt a tap on the shoulder. Glancing around, she saw Beth standing there.

"Hey!" Nadine said, and it was with a genuine burst of affection that she embraced the other woman, even though they had barely spoken since October. "How've you been?"

"Not bad," Beth replied. "Getting by. I'm just trying to make it to Valentine's Day, because Matt is going to come and visit me." She had a dreamy smile on her face.

The old feeling of disgust and discomfort returned, and Nadine could not help but feel like her friend had been stolen from her by someone two thousand miles away. She smiled and expressed her happiness that Beth and Matt would be able to spend some time together, but inside she was almost disappointed that they were still together.

It was a feeling she had had before when friends of hers were dating, especially before she had found Richard. Things changed when men entered their lives, and there seemed to be little room left for the care-free girls' nights out that Nadine had enjoyed so much. In the year since she had been with Richard, these times had dwindled to almost nothing.

"I'm going to surprise him. He always wants to take me out to eat, but I'm going to cook something for him and have it all ready when we get back from the airport."

"That sounds really nice," Nadine said mechanically. Beth had never liked to cook that she knew of.

There was a short, awkward silence, and then Beth asked, "How are you and Richard?"

"Good." Nadine's voice sounded a little high and strained, even to her ears.

"Is he still applying to Berkeley?"

"Oh, yes." The envelope, hidden underneath the notebook and pens in Nadine's hand, suddenly seemed to take on extra weight, pulling her fingers down towards the ground.

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