‘Single since Birth’ that’s a phrase Rukia Simmons always uses to describe herself as she’s never had a boyfriend. Even though she's an adult now that has not changed. She’s still single - a single person who has never mingled. All through secondary school, she would joke her way through teenage girls’ conversations about Boys, Love, Make-up and Shopping. All of the things about these four very popular topics she told the other girls were lies. The facts were that she knew nothing much about boys, love, make-up and shopping. The only boys she knew of were those from her favourite boy bands as well as the ones in anime and those in her favourite Korean Dramas. Make no mistake, she loved them all and that’s the only thing she knows about the topic ‘Love’ where ‘Boys’ are concerned. She’d never want them to know that though, and that it’s not only her but her parents and siblings, one older brother and one older sister, as well, who are avid anime aficionados. As for make-up, that world was one she’d never understand or fit in because every time in previous attempts when she would try to put on make-up, she’d end up mentally and physically exhausted. Fed up of trying to get that eyebrow make-up and lipstick to go on just right without smudging on the side of her mouth or teeth was a test in patience. That older brother of hers also made it worse when he laughed scandalously like a hyena when she walked out of her bedroom and into the living room by spitting the milk from the carton he was drinking from all over her face. Upon remembering this, the left side of her mouth would twitch with anger whenever the word ‘make-up’ was mentioned in secondary school, which was a lot, and that did nothing good for her social reputation. In terms of shopping, she had nothing to do with that as her mom would be the one who buys clothes for her and she was never bothered by that as it gave her a chance to get some catnaps as a result of her binge watching funny videos or behind the scene clips of her favourite boy bands or multiple episodes of an anime, or a movie-long episode of her favourite Korean Dramas. This was her life then and sadly, as she was told by her best friend, is still her life now. Trevyn Emmanuel, the best friend, despite being the one giving the advice had no luck yet in the romance department due to her name and quirky personality but being a hopeless romantic she was going to keep pushing on until she was successful. Christmas time as it is now would be no different as she was resolved to find love and she’d encourage her best friend too so that she can finally have a love life.
However, Rukia always found a way to dodge any attempts of Trevyn’s to set her up on a blind date with anyone, even if that person was one with a high paying job like a doctor or not. If avoiding romance like the plague was a year-round contest she’d be the undisputed champion. It was like a talent, she was that good. Until, she was caught off-guard by Trevyn who had schemed prior to the Christmas season to get Rukia to go on a blind date by, like her manly name, thinking like a man. Whereas she always nagged and plotted to get Rukia to go on a date, a month prior to the Christmas season she stopped doing that until Rukia grew accustomed to and completely unsuspicious of her actions that had changed overnight. It was a foolproof plan as Trevyn knew Rukia’s habits and as strange as it was, Rukia has a habit of being keenly observant when it comes to watching videos related to her favourite boy bands, animes or her favourite Korean Dramas, but watching on-screen and in real life, the former appeared much more interesting than the latter.
One day they were having lunch together while chatting and reminiscing about the day that they became best friends, which was a funny story altogether as they met in the washroom of their workplace where Trevyn, upon coming into the washroom to use one of the stalls to relieve herself of a call of nature, found Rukia dozing off and snoring on top of a toilet seat in one of the stalls positioned awkwardly with her mouth open wide and a phone in her hand that was playing an anime. Soon after, they became quick friends as Rukia was nervous about Trevyn discovering her secret but she subsequently learned that Trevyn didn’t care about that much, she was okay with it. As Rukia grew more comfortable with Trevyn and their new-found friendship, she spilled the beans about herself, her habits, her life inside and outside of the office.
During their conversation, Trevyn mentioned that she wanted to go see a new movie that was coming out in cinema with Rukia on the weekend, a Saturday. That Saturday, Rukia arrived and so did Trevyn a while later. They bought the tickets, their huge box of buttered popcorn along with two large hotdogs topped with ketchup and mustard and two cold beverages, and they watched the movie which was a Romantic-Comedy.
After leaving the cinema, Trevyn suggested that they go have dinner at the dine-in restaurant opposite the cinema. When they get there and are seated at a table in the restaurant, she tells Rukia, “Hey..uh, I set you up for a blind date today. Well, actually…it’s a double date. You’re always duping me when I tell you or try to get you to go on a date so I figured this would be better since I’m positive we’d both be too nervous to try this alone. This is important. Really important for you to find love! Me too! You’re 29 years old already, I’m 30 and we’re not getting any younger! I can’t let you spend your life like this ’cause you cannot wind up an old lady with a house full of cats and dirty litter boxes but no husband and beautiful kids, and I don’t want to wind up like that either. You need to experience life outside of boy bands and anime and Korean dramas. Also.you’ve confided in me about so many of your insecurities and as your best friend I want to help you through them. Believe me when I say that! Just trust me! Please…okay?! Do this, hmm?! The guys will be here in a few minutes. Prepare yourself!”
Shaking her head, after what she thought was a convincing argument by Trevyn, Rukia agreed to go through with the date.
A few minutes later, two tall handsome men walked through the front door of the restaurant approaching the table where Trevyn and Rukia were sitting. Just then, Trevyn grabbed Rukia’s hand and said, “Don’t even think about it! Put those legs of yours back under the table! You’re not running away at the last minute! Don’t get nervous! This is happening! Tonight, we’re getting boyfriends, my friend!” Rukia, though slightly embarrassed and silently pouting, obediently put her legs back under the table and took a deep breath with her hand on the right side of her chest saying, “Ohh! Be still my heart! You can do this! Everything will be fine! Gwaenchanha! Gwaenchanha!” This word, Gwaenchanha meaning “It’s alright’ among several other words like Wae meaning “Why” even though they were Korean were some words that Rukia had integrated into her daily vocabulary that she sometimes would switch from speaking English to Korean, or in some cases Japanese, in the middle of saying a sentence or conversation - she’d say something she heard while watching her Korean dramas. The men arrived at the table and sat down. Though Rukia and Trevyn were nervous, it seemed that their dates, Alex Carsonn and Nathaniel Bryant, were equally nervous so that after greeting Rukia and Trevyn and introducing themselves, Nathaniel blurted out, “So, um…Rukia, I hear that you like Korean dramas and anime?” Nathaniel upon realizing what he impulsively said immediately facepalmed himself out of embarrassment but the look of shock that came across Rukia’s face when she heard him say this resembled those scenes in anime where a character discovers some shocking revelation with lightning striking above their head. Nani?! (meaning What?! In Japanese) How did he know that?! Eotteonhge (meaning How?! In Korean). Turning to Trevyn with a fake smile, she pinched her arm under the table and bending towards her whispered in her ear though audible enough so that the guys overheard her saying, “Hmm! Trevyn! How could you?! I can’t believe you told him that!” To this, Trevyn opened her eyes wide while slowly turning her head towards Rukia and simultaneously but forcibly removing Rukia’s hand from pinching her arm and grinding her teeth she said, “That hurts, Rukia! Look! I told them honest things about us according to the questions on the Best Friends Date App when I was setting up our double date on the app, okay?! And it worked! Just think, these guys came here even after knowing these incredibly embarrassing things about us and still they decided to come on this date today! You should be pleased! Honestly, it’s nothing less than a miracle! It may have been awkward just now with him asking you that question when you weren’t expecting it but I’m glad he brought it up so that we can get it out of the way. So just answer him please?!”
Trevyn was scary whenever she got annoyed or angry which was a lesson Rukia learned one time during the early years of their friendship when she was suffering from hunger pains at work and she sneakily went off to the staff kitchen area and opened the refrigerator door looking for something to eat. She then saw a box of KFC in a clear plastic bag tagged with Trevyn’s name in bold letters but decided to open it up and swipe a piece of chicken and some fries anyway. Trevyn, who saw her leave her desk and wondered why she snuck into the kitchen at working hours, caught her red-handed and all hell broke loose. In the end, there was a commotion and they both were suspended for a week from work.Remembering this incident, Rukia turned back towards her date and said shyly, “Well, uh…yes! I’m afraid that is true. I do watch anime and Korean dramas.” To which he quickly replied, “It’s okay, you know! You like what you like! Your hobbies are your hobbies and besides that I think they’re kinda cool. So don’t worry about it! As a matter of fact, I’m kind of introverted so…I hope we’ll get along and you’ll be able to accept me too…as I am. ”
With that, a comfortable atmosphere started to settle into their dining area, and all four began to relax and talk comfortably with each other and their dates respectively.
At the evening’s end, cellphone numbers were exchanged between both parties and it marked the beginning of new romantic relationships for both Trevyn and Rukia as the double date was a success and though it had an awkward start, the evening went smoothly and all involved had fun and laughed as they got to know each other and their partner better as they ate and engaged in conversation. As Trevyn and Rukia were leaving the site of the date, they linked arms and talked with each other saying, “Well, Trevyn! I’ve got to admit, you were right! This double date…I don’t regret it and it was fun and not as awkward and awful as I initially thought it would be. Thanks, friend! I got a boyfriend now!”
Trevyn responded, “Yes, that’s the spirit! I told you it would be worth it! You should stop doubting me about these things, my friend! Now, we’ve both got great boyfriends who accept us and even better, this Christmas season, when we’re each visiting our parents’ places, we won’t have to dodge the subject of Love because we’ve got that now. And, finally, we can show it off to our families. Isn’t that great?!”
“Yeah! I agree with you. For the first time in a long time, I’m excited to celebrate a Christmas where I won’t be at the center of attention for teasing by my family, especially by my older brother. I can just do the Christmas caroling that I love, going house to house, with my family. And go to church on Christmas day with my family as well, sing choruses and celebrate the reason for the season, Jesus.”
Rukia continued, “Also, it feels a little weird telling you this but thanks for always thinking about me in everything that you do. I know I’m not easy to put up with but you do it anyway. And..I never told you this but Trevyn…I’m really happy that we met and I hope we can really stay friends, best friends for a long time. You accepted me so easily and before anyone outside of my family did so I’m really thankful for you.”
“Oh! You’re giving me such great praise, bff! You may continue…but just know you’re not getting away from giving me a Christmas present! Keep that in mind, okay?! ” said Trevyn.
“Ah! So close yet so far! I thought that would have worked. I mean I meant every word but the price of goods these days is just so high and the economy. I just…Okay, you’re not buying it! No worries, I’ll buy you your gift, your royal highness! Don’t get mad! Also, you know I love you but you are way too good at scheming. As your bff, I’m telling you this because I care…I think you should work on that for your new year's resolution. I’m just saying!” replied Rukia.
“Trevyn, don’t get mad! I’m joking, I’m joking! Come on, you know me! Hey! Wait up! Stop walking away so fast. I’m just kidding! Are you mad, hmm?”
“Gosh! You are so…I’m not mad, alright?! Why would I be?! Let’s just go home, okay?!” Trevyn responded.
They both laughed jokingly with each other, and soon after, they took a taxi to ride home together, and indeed when Christmas Day came, they both had nothing else but a Merry Christmas.