“Clear!” she entered the room proudly with open arms. Jamie sat in the reading chair with a paperback novel folded in his hands. His blue eyes shot up to her brightly after the good news. He flashed her a big smile. Bowie was slumped on the settee against the back wall with his laptop balancing on his legs. He took his eyes away from the internet and sat up straight to look at Rosie. “No chlamydia! Whoo!” he cheered. Rosie let herself fall onto the poof with a sigh from relief. Now the three friends sat opposite each other in a triangle shape. “I want to go out! And date!” Rosie stated happily. Jamie had leaned forward in his chair and put his book to the side, attentively listening to what Rosie had to say. Bowie was still sat with his feet up on the edge of the coffee table. “I have been waiting for this,” he replied with an excited look on his face. Rosie turned to him and announced carefully, yet determinedly, “I am ready for a rebound”. He answered with a crooked, cheeky grin. “We’ve got to get you to the pub.”
After a big gulp, she slammed her pint down on the table and whooped. She was ready to celebrate her new freedom. If asked, she felt ready even to take on the whole world. Bowie laughed encouragingly. Jamie sat and observed, as he often did, while drinking along with his friends in the meantime. Rosie and Bowie were talking strategies now. “How do I do this again? I’ve been out of the game for three years,” she leaned on the table and looked at her friends for an answer. Jamie shrugged, “this is Bowie’s expertise.” He leaned back in the booth and waited for Bowie to take the lead. “Okay, well, first, you’ve got to determine what you want,” he said earnestly. “I want a rebound!” she shouted a little too loud, bouncing once on the red leather cushions of the booth. A tipsy glaze lay over her eyes. “Good, that’s clear then. Are you looking for someone to spend time with, or do you want casual?” Bowie continued his questionnaire. Rosie pushed her right hand on the table to stable herself. “No relationships!” she answered. “I am done. I don’t want to be with someone for a while,” she spoke sternly, although somewhat slurring her last words. Jamie smiled at the scene in front of him. He was seeing a different side to Rosie tonight. “Okay, that’s cool. Do you want to go out and meet people in person or do you want to go on the apps? Truthfully, the apps are a little easier,” Bowie went on. Rosie thought for a second, distracted by the ceiling slightly swirling above her. She had never gone on the apps before. “Yeah!” she shouted once again, “let’s do the app thing! Will you guys help me set up a profile?” she looked at her friends with sweet drunken puppy eyes. Both of them smiled. Of course they would help her. “All right, that’s enough steps for tonight, I think,” Bowie said. He took Rosie’s pint away and started sipping it, his way of making sure she wouldn’t drink more. He leaned back and turned to Jamie. “Who’s next on your list?”. Jamie broke his gaze away from Rosie and refocused on Bowie to his right. “Sara,” he answered, inhaling deep. “I’m meeting up with her tomorrow,” he continued. For a brief moment, a picture of Sara’s white face, framed by long brown hair and laid out with a large careless laugh, filled his mind. “Oh, that’s nice, we’re sharing the news in person now?” Bowie interrupted, nodding to show he was impressed. “Yep,” Jamie gave a short reply, “let’s see how that goes.” He picked up his pint and felt the nerves rising in his stomach.
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