Will you help?

"Do you think she's gonna come back?" we were nursing a pot of sakura tea between us. The Japanese restaurant, despite hearing mixed feedback from other friends who patroned the place before was pleasant.

"Nopehh." She purposely added the 'pehh' to make a single syllable word two.

"For Christmas?" I asked again.

"You won't be there beside her." She quipped.

"Maybe she'll call." I said.

"You'd turn blue."

"I wasn't gonna hold my breath." Flustered.

"Yeah you would." I love-hate she knew me so well. It's like she's in my head. "You still have her stuffs?"

I nodded. I had plans to return them over the weekend but there were excuses.

"and... you're still taking care of it?" she nudged the word 'it' a little strong. I knew what she meant. It wasn't our idea to get a pet together, she got it for herself. Never had a chance to disagree because the decision was already made.

"I'm not sure what I should do about it." I honestly don't. Pets need that care and attention from their humans, not just simply feeding. Hers, was especially social. I ended up taking care of it. On one hand, returning it would take the responsibility off of my shoulders; but on the other I know it won't get enough attention in her house.

"Return it. It's not yours to keep. You can't even travel anymore because of it. Speaking of travel, what are you gonna do with the trip? It's in a couple of weeks, right?" Yeah I arranged a trip to the highlands with her on the weekend of her birthday. It was supposed to be a surprise, I'm half glad I haven't told her yet.

"I was gonna cancel the bookings." It was a lovely cottage with a smokehouse - not exactly common in this country. Surrounded by multiple flower gardens: lavenders, tulips, lilies, roses of all colours. There's strawberry farms where you pay a sum and eat all the strawberries. Apples, grapes too. There's even a Time Capsule Museum, I know she would appreciate that because she loves museums!

"while hoping she'd call you up and then you'd have the chance to bring it up in a conversation and she'll be all grateful and would get back with you."

"I really was." She sniggered and emptied her cup. She's starting to get antsy, probably itching for a cigarette. I poured her another cup, the smell of sakura flowers wafting between us.

"Look, you're the nicest, sweetest, most generous, selfless, romantic, heartiest person I know.."

"Thanks you." I raised my cup and drank.

"... but you're also in denial..." I placed my cup, there quarters empty, back on it's tiny mat that serves as a coaster. It looked so cute and well placed. "... which is fine. Denial is the first stage of moving on. You can hope that she'll call you tomorrow, text you the next hour, maybe leave a comment on your Facebook or like one of your Instagram photos..." She looked straight into my eyes. "but she hasn't since when?"

"About a month.." my voice trailed.

"A month. Before the two of you broke up, the only conversation you had with each other was about cats and babies, and that was purely sending each other one video after another."

"Yeah." I couldn't disagree.

"She never asked about how it was doing. She never asked about how you're doing for that matter. She never talked about herself with you since she left. She told just about everyone else about her apartment, her job, her colleagues. Heck she told me about her coffee machine and she couldn't tell you where she lives! No, not couldn't, wouldn't. She made her decision long before she told you. She was just keeping you around for plan B."

I was at loss of words. You'd think if my heart was a china shop she's the bull that ran rampage, but this is her picking up the pieces after. The bull had already left.

"Look, I loved seeing you two together. It's the first time I actually saw you take pride in a relationship - not to say the ones you had were a shame. I just thought you two belonged together."

"It was as real as it could get. For me at least."

"... but like I told you, we're all looking for the next best thing. I say this for your own good, but I really hope she dumped you for another guy, because if she left you for reasons that is who you are right now..."

"I know. Please don't finish that sentence." I've lost or had to gave up so many things. Her leaving was ice on a burnt cake.

"You're gonna get through. You always do. But for now, you just have to give her up and let her go."

"I know..."

"And the first thing you're gonna do is gather up all her stuffs. Every physical thing that could remind you of her. You're gonna pack them nicely, and return it to her. Or at least her brother since she's never coming back."

"Will you help?"

"What do you think, dummy. Of course I'll help. Now can we please move outdoors. I need a puff." She stood abruptly and started to put on her shoes. I couldn't help but smile. What would I do without her.