by Doreen F.
That night when Tommy called, Julia knew that something terrible must have happened to him.
They had been friends ever since they had worked together at an ice-cream parlour during the summer after their graduation. The summer was not hot at all and they had only a few customers a day. This meant they had plenty of time to simply talk and learned quite a lot about each others lives. They had remained friends throughout their years at college and university and had met at regular intervals. They went out to sport events and phoned each other regularly. Julia had always thought that Tommy was really attractive, but he was happy in love with his girlfriend and Julia thought it would be best to remain only friends anyway. She got a boyfriend that very summer. He was one of their few customers and he only came to see her. They were happy for some time, but during the following years Julia had many boyfriends. She was a beautiful girl and had a way to make people feel at ease when they were around her. Some relationships lasted longer, some shorter, but only the friendship with Tommy remained.
Tommy, however, stayed with his girlfriend until he started at university. There he soon was surrounded by girls who felt attracted to him. Tommy was very handsome indeed and found himself a new girlfriend with whom he stayed together until he finished his studies and started working. Most of his friends thought he would be getting married rather soon, but they were quite wrong. He was happy in his relationship, but his girlfriend, Brittany, had other plans. One day, out of the blue she cheated on him with a man much younger than him and one of the people Tommy liked least. He was really disappointed and did not know where to go or what to do. Their flat was actually hers and she wanted him out as soon as possible, preferably that very night.
So Tommy called Julia and told her everything that had happened. She offered that he could stay with her for a while until he had found a new place. Julia had broken up with her latest boyfriend a month earlier and had been enjoying her single life ever since.
When he arrived she hugged him and tried to say something to cheer him up. She was not very successful, but Tommy felt a little better, at least better than at Brittanyís.
They watched one of their favourite movies and drank quite a lot of beer. It was really late when Julia decided to go to bed. Tommy was going to sleep on the couch and did not mind that since the couch was really comfortable.
When Julia woke up the next morning Tommy was still asleep. She went jogging as she usually did in the mornings and bought something for breakfast on her way back. Back at her place Tommy was already awake taking a shower. Julia did some stretching exercises while waiting to take a shower herself.
"Hey Tom, remember that others might want to take a shower as well!"
"Itíll only be a minute, Jules."
After five more minutes Tommy emerged from the bathroom. Julia went in to take a shower, but as soon as she got out there was a knock at the door.
"May I come in?"
"Just a second. Alright. What is it?"
Tommy came in.
"You donít have anything to clean contact lenses, do you?"
"No, I donít, sorry. Why? Donít you have yours?"
"I must have forgotten to take it with me yesterday evening. Oh gosh, I was so distracted by Brittany and I only wanted to get out. I didnít even take my glasses with me."
"Iím sorry. This means you have to go back to her place as soon as possible, right?"
"Shall I come with you?"
"Would you do that?"
"Of course. I bought some donuts for breakfast, but we can eat them on the way anyway. So what are you going to do with your contacts in the meantime?"
"Iíll try to put them in anyway, letís see if that works. If not, I guess Iíll have to go without."
Julia got dressed meanwhile Tommy was in the bathroom trying to put in his contacts. Somehow he managed to put them in again, but it did not feel comfortable at all. Better than not wearing them at all, but only slightly better. Tommy had come by car the previous evening.
"I donít think I should drive, my visionís kind of blurry at the moment; could you?"
"Certainly, give me the keys."
So they went to Brittanyís place and Tommy and Julia got in. Brittany seemed to be out which was good. Tommy collected most of his stuff, clothes, everything since he did not want to go there again. Back at Juliaís place Tommy removed his contacts and put on his glasses. Julia had always known that Tommy wore contact lenses, but she had never actually seen him in glasses in all these years. When she saw him, she was stunned. Tommy looked really good in them, very attractive, but also very different. She knew he was really self-conscious about wearing glasses and that he hardly ever wore them in public. Julia could not see any reason for that, but what could she do?
"Nice glasses", she commented.
"Theyíre quite new. I was told to wear them more often to give my eyes time to relax from the contacts. I havenít worn them much yet."
"Well, you should, you look good in them."
"Thanks, itís so good to finally hear someone saying something nice about them."
"No, she didnít like me in glasses and kept asking me to do Lasik."
"Sounds just like her."
Some weeks passed and Tommy and Julia got along very well. Both of them had to work during the day, but they spent most evenings together, Tommy wearing his glasses more often. Julia had some dates, but none turned out to be serious, so did Tommy.
One evening upon watching a boring show and having drunk a bottle of wine Julia leaning against Tommy asked, "How come we never ended up as a couple?"
"I donít know, probably the timing was never right. One of us was always engaged, when the other one was single."
"Thatís not the case now."
"I know, but what about our friendship?"
"What could be better than having your best friend as a partner?"
"Maybe having your very cute best friend as girlfriend", Tommy said smiling and kissed her.