Poles Apart
2 min read

Poles Apart

Audrey and Antoine are close friends. And yet, they are poles apart. Years after their last meeting, Audrey receives an unusual voice message from Antoine.
Poles Apart

Audrey felt the heat in her face as she hurried into the restaurant. She was late. Again.

As soon as she entered, she noticed a small crowd around a table. Although she couldn't see him, she knew where Antoine was.

He was always the centre of the world.

Young servers in their twenties leaned forward and giggled while Antoine twisted his lips and waved his hands, mocking the snooty Englishman he met on his recent trip. Even the people dining around grinned and laughed, watching Antoine's antics.

And he basked in all the attention he received. Show-off.

Catching a glimpse of Audrey, Antoine stood up and bowed to his audience with flamboyance. And he spoke in a fake British accent, "Ladies and gentlemen if you don't mind, this lovely lady who happens to be my best friend merits all my attention now." And the crowd roared with laughter and glanced at Audrey with admiration. Or perhaps envy.

Before they could settle down on a table, Antoine took out his smartphone and took a selfie with Audrey.

Audrey narrowed her eyes. Why does he always do it?

"You know I've decided to take a year off and go backpacking," said Antoine taking a sip of the Merlot wine he had ordered.

"But you just went on a month-long trip to England!" said Audrey with a flinch.

Audrey never understood Antoine's attitude towards life.

Why wasn't he serious about his work and other priorities? Why did he immediately indulge in anything remotely interesting, abandoning everything he had on his plate? Why was life a joke to him?

Audrey, however, was the polar opposite.

She was meticulous about every move and every decision. She'd take hours to decide the colour of the curtains that'd go well with her furniture. Antoine, meanwhile, would have changed his house twice.

"Can I see your ticket, please?" The ticket inspector's voice jolted Audrey back to the present.

She gazed out of the train window. She was still confused about Antoine's voice message. It said, "Hey Audrey. We need to see each other as soon as possible before I embark on my new project."

And he left an address. It was a hospital. A hospital? Is he working as a nurse now?

As soon as she got there, she learnt Antoine had left. A kind nurse with puffy eyes handed her a note.

"Hi Audrey, you're late again. But never mind. Here's a small gift for you. Love, Antoine"

Audrey's heart ached as she took the photo album in her hand. It brimmed with photos of a frowning Audrey and a grinning Antoine since the very day they met.

Audrey wiped her tears. The poor devil knew how to live.