It was an annual tradition since I was 16. Me, Sage and Mia would all go dance the night away the Friday before my birthday. We’d chosen the hottest club back in the day and it really hadn’t changed much in those 9 years. I missed two birthdays with them and I tried not to think about them as much as possible.
I was turning twenty-five and the whole going out, get drunk, get laid scheme didn’t play out well, but it was tradition. And I still enjoyed dancing. And a good beer. We decided to meet up outside of Bonnie’s diner across the street from the AU building. I was early – they were late. Typical.
I stood staring into the street wondering where the fuck my friends where.
My phone rang with a cute little rendition of Pop Goes the Weasel and I answered it. “Mia. Don’t tell me Naya is sick and you and Jace can’t make it.”
She sighed, “Nox, I’m so sorry, but all of us have this stomach bug or maybe we ate something bad. I don’t know but it’s hell over here.”
“It’s alright Mia. Give Naya a kiss for me and we’ll call it good.”
“But it’s your Birthday. I feel so bad.”
I sighed. “Don’t worry about it.”
My phone beeped and I glanced at it. “I gotta go Mia, Sage is calling through and I’m sure he’s canceling too.”
I stopped her before she could apologize again. “It’s alright Mia. I’ll just go hang with Ant.”
“You will do no such thing. No more brooding. Get on that dance floor, get laid and have a great birthday.”
I sighed. “Fine. I’ll stop in for a beer and then I’m going to go hang with Ant. I gotta go.”
I didn’t wait for her to acknowledge that I hung up on her and answered the next call. “Don’t tell me you are sick with a stomach bug or it’s food poisoning.”
“How did you know?” Sage asked over the sound of vomiting in the background. I’m sure Dee would just love to know that her husband was in earshot of her puking her guts out while he was on the phone.
“Mia just called. You guys had dinner at the same joint or fucked the same guys?”
“We went to a party last night. I think someone was sick with the stomach bug.”
I shrugged. “Whatever, Sage. I’ll see you guys around.”
Fuck tradition. I hung up on my friend and started walking in the direction of the clubs. I walked slowly. I wasn’t in a hurry.