#10

She felt sad for this street.  Solitary cars passing by once in a while, gates bordering it completely oblivious to its existence, feeling the presence of people only during the process of getting in or out of the yard, no children to use it as a football pitch on Saturday afternoons.  It must be so bored.  So this is the price for being a ‘good’ street in a ‘good’ locality.  She bet it would be ecstatic to trade places with her street some time.  Oh yeah.  Would do it good too.

 
And it could get kind of creepy too.  Glancing at her watch, Atena sighed.  6.30pm already, and here she was sitting down on super-clean Terres Street, knees pulled up to her chin and silently thanking her ten year-old oversize sweater for the comfort.  Where in the world was he?  He had promised to pick her up, and he was already half an hour late.  Not that she had big plans for tonight, but still.  Rehearsals had been hectic today, and nothing felt more welcoming now than a nice, long hot shower followed by dinner followed by sleep.  She missed Allen.  His sister was getting married in Canada and though he had put up quite an act about how sad he would be without her for two whole weeks, she knew he was on top of the moon to go there.  Atena smiled.  It had only been 3 days and she was already missing her boyfriend like crazy.  6.45pm?  Already?! Stan where are you?

 
Then she heard the familiar engine sound of Stan’s cute blue car.  Grabbing her knapsack, Atena waited for Stan to pull up before jumping in next to him. 

-You pig! Do you know for how long I’ve been waiting here?  Where were you?  You could have at least called!

-So sorry At.  Car broke down, and believe me, it took quite a lot of effort to convince this baby here to get going again.  About me calling you, how about next time you make sure your phone is actually switched on for once?

 
Stan smiled.  The same smile he had given her back when they were in kindergarten and he had held her hand, made her sit on the swing in the playground and told her ‘See, the swing is our friend.  I already talked to him and he agreed to take us to the moon one day, just the two of us.  So don’t be afraid of it, ok?’  And just like that, her fear of swings had vanished.  She trusted Stan.

 
Grinning sheepishly, Atena gave him a peck on the cheek, and the two of them delved into an excited chatter about the completely meaningless stuffs of everyday life that only good friends can share with each other without feeling stupid.  Atena loved Stan.  She always had.  They have known each other ever since they were 5 year-olds, played together, went to school together.  And year after year, their friendship just kept getting stronger and stronger.  Stan was her best buddy.

 
-Are you sure this car of yours will be able to get us both home?  I am tired Stan, I just want to go shower and eat!

-It will, don’t worry.  You trust me, don’t you?

-That’s a stupid question.  I trust you more than I trust myself.

 
Some 15 minutes later, Stan’s car pulled up near Atena’s gate.  Atena smiled.  She loved her street.  Sure, it was dusty, bumpy and with an impressive number of broken street lamps, but at least it was alive.  And of course Stan always cursed and swore when all his honking did not succeed in budging the domino players or the gossiping women or the children who seriously considered themselves to be famous football players, but hey, at least the street was happy.

 
-Wanna come in?   Been a long time since you squatted at my place!

-Naah, you go.  Let’s meet up some other time.

Jumping out of the car, Atena smiled smugly at him through the window.

-Tell you what, let’s go out and find you a girlfriend on Saturday.  That way, we can double date when Allen comes back.  What do you say?

-Oh.  I don’t know…

-Oh come on!  It will be fun!  So what kind of girl do you want to hook up with?

 
Starting the engine, Stan’s brown eyes turned to her.

-Someone who trusts me more than she trusts herself.

 
And just like that, the cute blue car drove away, leaving Atena with a pair of haunting brown eyes on a street which felt so confused by all the noise around that it probably just wanted to scream out loud.

 

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