City Lounge: Berlin (Book One, Chapter Two: Em and Stephanie)

Chapter Two: Em and Stephanie:

“Hello? Hello?” the woman on the other line asked. I crawled over and picked up my phone.

“Hello?” I asked again.

“Em, are you feeling okay?”

“Uh… who is this?”

“Stephanie. Stephanie Martin.”

I narrowed my eyes. That name… Why does it sound so familiar? I tried to dig in my brain for any spark to pop up. I was starting to remember that loud Australian accent. When I first heard it, I think I went about deaf.

“I’m sorry, I can’t put a face to you.”

“You remember your junior year of high school?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you remember geography and drama classes?”

“Barely.”

“Okay, picture a girl with bright red hair in a ponytail high on her head.”

“K’.”

“Tall, pale, and stuck by you.”

“Vaguely. Was your ponytail frizzy?”

“Yes.”

“We’re you in the choir?”

“Yes. I sang for graduation.”

I tilted my head. “I think I remember you. How did you get my number?”

“I asked your mom for your number. I wasn’t sure if I still had the right one.”

I rubbed the back of my head. “Hm.” The more this woman spoke, the more memories appeared in my head about Stephanie. She was an odd duck in my circle of friends. She didn’t really go for the usual girly things that must high school girls at school were interested in. She had her own sense of fashion and looked like a model every day she came to class. Because of that, Stephanie became popular with the girls in all of her classes. The last time I had seen her was our graduation day. Stephanie went back to Australia for college. Her ambitions could circle the planet about five times. She wanted to be an actress ever since she was a little girl. She joined the drama club at our old school and proved herself to be a stellar actress in her class and club. Sometimes, she would drag me into the school productions. Stephanie told me about the plays that she would put on for her parents in Australia. Somehow, she always brightened up my day. That last thought made me ask the following question.

“Say, have you done plays for your parents back in Australia?” I asked.

“Of course,” the woman said on the other line.

“What was your favorite play to act out?” If she gets this right, I will know it’s her.

“Shasha, Queen of the Sky. I wrote it myself, directed it, and played the star role.”

I covered my mouth as I gasped. “Stephanie?”

“That’s me!” she said.

I flopped back on the floor, trying to think of a response. “Wow! I can’t believe that it’s really you! How have you been?”

“Good. I am looking to start an acting troupe here in Berlin,” she said. My eyes grew big as my free hand dropped to my side.

“Wait, you’re in Berlin?” I asked.

“That’s right.”

“Seriously?”

“Yes.”

I sat back up. “When did you get into Berlin?”

“Yesterday morning. I meant to call you, but I was trying to get settled in my apartment. I’m still waiting for the rest of my stuff to come into the country. We should get together and hang up sometime. Say, what are you doing today?”

“Uh… nothing, really.”

“Smashing! I’ll come over to you and we can hang out today.”

“Wait… what?”

“Just give me your apartment address and I’ll come right over.”

I rubbed my forehead as my eyes grew big. “Right now?”

“Yeah.” Stephanie’s excited tone brought back more memories of her. She was the leader in our group of friends. She was the one who came up with what we should do on the weekend and led the way. I didn’t complain. Most of what she wanted to do was harmless fun. Maybe a couple of pranks or so. I could see that part of her didn’t change after all this time. The pause over the phone wouldn’t let me back out of the adventure that she was planning today.

“Uh… I live at the Hons Apartment Complex in downtown Berlin,” I said. “I am on the third floor in apartment number eight on the corner.”

“Got it,” Stephanie said. “I can get the directions via Google. I will be there in about twenty minutes. We have so much to check up on. We have so much to check up on.” She hung up before I had a chance to get a word in. I fell back onto the phone, staring at my phone. What just happened? It was just like old times. Once Stephanie gets a plan, she won’t listen to anyone else until she goes through with it. Today’s going to be another wild ride with Miss Stephanie.

Another thought crossed my mind as I realized something.

I looked down at my towel wrapped around my body and felt the ends of my hair. I’m not even dressed. My hair’s still damp. Damn it! I need to get ready. I jumped to my feet. I’m going to need to pick something wear and fix my hair. I frowned as I looked in the mirror. Well, shoot. There go my plans of staying in all day today. I don’t even know what to wear. I am so sorry, Wendy. I won’t be able to get started on that book you loaned me today. I ran to my clothes and began dragging through my clothes. I finally found a pair of black jeans and a cute  bright yellow t-shirt that looked good enough and ran back into the bathroom. In twenty minutes, I was ready to go. I took one more look at myself in the mirror. This should be okay, right?

I jumped when I heard my door buzz.

“Coming!” I shouted. I smoothed out my clothes and ran to the open.

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