By Isabelle Orr, Entertainment Editor
My friend would appear sporadically, every time she needed something. She materialized in front of me one afternoon, her frantic breath clouding the glass of the pastry case between us.
“I need your help,” she said.
I had been up at the crack of dawn and working for six hours straight without any break.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I need you to come with me,” she scrubbed her nose with the nubby sleeve of her sweater. “It’s later—it’s later today. An appointment. Later today.”
“Like a doctor’s appointment?” I used tongs to move a piece of banana bread from one side of the case to the other, streaking the glass shelf with oil.
“I’m getting an IUD put in,” she said. “My boyfriend can’t come because he’s out of town. And I’m not talking to Breanna. She’s being such a bitch right now.”
“Who’s Breanna?” I asked. I had plans to go ICBC to get my driver’s license renewed.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said, picking the skin around her lips. “I need you to be there. Please. You’re the only person who can help me.”
The corner of the banana bread broke off in the tongs. “Okay.”
I went with her to the cramped gynecologist’s office and held her clammy hand as she had the procedure. She cried and told me it was like she was going through labour pains.
“I can’t believe I’m going through the pain of having a baby in order to not have a baby,” she sniffled.
Afterwards we went to sushi and I let her talk about everything that was going on with her.
“Breanna is my best friend and I totally love her but honestly I never should’ve told my boss to hire her because now we see each other all the time. Like, all the time. And sometimes I feel like she’s judging me for being a shitty employee but I’m not, like I get my work done. But sometimes I slack off, you know? And I should be able to. Because I’ve worked there so long. But enough about me, let’s talk about you.”
I feebly muttered with a story about a similar coworker I had, but my friend only paused for a moment to shove an inari into her mouth before continuing on.
“And it’s not like this is like, my job job. It’s nothing to me. But at the same time, I want to have fun at work. And I just can’t have fun with Breanna there.”
I listened to her talk, nodding and shaking my head at appropriate intervals. I paid for the sushi (“thank you so
much! You’re so sweet!) and my friend ran into the rain without a hood or umbrella.
I texted her three days later when my cat died. There was no response.
I texted her seven days later to invite her to a mutual friend’s birthday party, and received:
can’t talk right now sorry lol u know how i be. im going thru stuff but lets hang next week PLEASE !!!
I texted her 13 days later to tell her that my boyfriend had broken up with me, and the message was marked as read, with no response.
Three weeks went by without a word. Then, one day—a text chime. I read the message:
omg i can’t believe this!! breanna totally got me fired. I came in hungover on sat and she told my boss. idk what to do i have to pay rent and i’m freaking out fml!!!!!!!
My roommate knew someone who knew someone who once went to a party at my friend’s house. I took a bus, then
a train, then another bus to a street that looked too peaceful and idyllic to contain someone like my friend.
When I knocked on the door, a guy who looked like he skateboarded opened the door. I asked for my friend.
“Oh yeah, her?” He used the doorframe to crack his back. “I haven’t seen her in forever. You can check her room out and wait for her, though.”
I pushed the door to her room open. In it was a bed and a desk, and nothing else. I sat on the unwrinkled bed and stared at the blank wall. It was if she never existed at all.