“Georgieeee!!!” she shouted with excitement. She ran towards him and clung to him. He enclosed her in his arms for a bear hug.
“Georgie! Georgie! You look amazing! I’m so – ” she stopped short.
He felt her body stiffen in his arms. She pushed him away, gently but firmly.
“What is he doing here?” She asked George under her breath.
“Well – He – He didn’t have anywhere to go so I brought him with me. I know you are upset with him but can’t you kiss and make up? I mean he is your boyfriend!” George explained.
“EX!” She hissed. “And what is this about him not having anywhere to go? What happened to John and Darla?”
John and Darla were the parents of Brooke’s ex-boyfriend, William – the guy who had accompanied George to Brooke’s house.
Ignoring her question, he said slowly, “Shall we go in?” And then turned towards William, “Let’s go Will!”
“You have got some explaining to do. Don’t think I’ve let you off the hook.” Brooke reminded George who grinned teasingly at her.
Brooke looked at William who chanced a smile but got a cool stare in return.
They went in.
Brooke had invited her childhood friend George to spend his vacations with her in her parents’ farmhouse. William was George’s close friend and roommate and by chance, their vacations had started on the same day. However William’s parents, John and Darla, were abroad on a once-in-a-lifetime world tour that they had won in a lucky draw, which meant that William had nowhere to go to spend his vacations and was not looking forward to living alone. Therefore, George had suggested that he went with him to Brooke’s farmhouse. William saw this as an opportunity to make it up to Brooke and so he agreed.
This was the explanation that George gave to Brooke’s questioning glances, in William’s absence, skipping, of course, the part about William’s intention to make up.
Brooke sighed. “I guess you had no option… like I don’t have any, now.” She paused as if taking a decision, “O-kay. He can stay. He can stay as long as he doesn’t come in my way. I’ll do all that is required of me as a hostess but that is as far as I’m gonna go.” She declared.
“Aye, Aye Captain!” George responded.
William entered the sitting room and suggested that George also go and freshen up. George agreed readily and left Brooke and William to themselves. After a few minutes, William broke the silence,
“I know you weren’t expecting me and I’m sorry about that. But now that I’m here can we at least talk?”
“Talk? About what, Will?” Brooke snapped. “And how come you have things to talk about now? A few months back you could find nothing to say!”
William sighed. “You know I didn’t have the time.”
“Oh of course you didn’t.”
“Look, I still love you. Can’t we just forget the past and move on?”
“William, I have promised George to be civil to you. Please don’t make me break that promise. You’ll be staying here for a month and I don’t want to ruin it for you or for him. So its a request. Please, please don’t talk to me about forgiving and forgetting while you’re here. That is all I’m asking of you.”
“Okay. Yes. I understand. ”
She nodded, “Thank you.”
He risked a smile and was relieved when this time she smiled back.
[Continued in SMILING FACES (Part II)]