Josh sat waiting nervously at the restaurant. He didn't know what to say to Billy, at least Chleo would be there to break the ice. He watched the door like a hawk, everytime it opened he expected it to be them. When they did walk through he felt under prepared. He stood up as they approached the table, Billy looked good, he had put on some weight and was greying a little but he looked healthy. He smiled at Josh and the two men hugged.
''Long time no see', Billy said as he sat down.
Josh hugged Chleo and sat down aswell.
''I know yeah'', he said a little awkwardly, ''sorry I never got in contact...''.
''Hey it's my fault as much as yours don't worry'', Billy said smiling.
''Let the past be the past'', Chleo said, ''now, what's good to drink?''.
They ordered their food and drinks and began to chat, mostly about work and Chleo's kids. Billy was facsinated with Josh's job.
''So you've been like everywhere?'', he asked.
''Yup, except Antartica or the Poles, but pretty much everywhere else'', Josh said smiling.
''I'm so jealous'', Billy said shaking his head in disbelief.
''Me too, it's hell trying to drag kids around with you on a holiday'', Chleo said ordering another bottle of wine.
''Do you have any kids?'', Billy asked Josh.
Josh almost choked on his food.
''Me? Kids? No'', he laughed, ''I mean I love kids, but having my own? I don't think so''.
''Really? I always thought you'd want hundreds of kids'', Chleo said resting her chin on her hand.
''Well yeah but, yknow, things change'', Josh said shrugging.
''I'd love kids'', Billy said sitting back, ''Dean hates them though, thinks they're messy and loud and too much hassle''.
''They are messy and loud and waaay too much hassle'', Chleo laughed, ''ah but they're worth it, they're great''.
They had moved on to the local pub and were sitting in a booth down the back of the main room. It was packed full of middle aged men and women escaping their children for a few hours, pretending they didn't have a mortgage or bills to pay at home, basically getting hammered. They, themselves were already tipsy. Laughing over stupid jokes and old memories.
''Remember when I told you I was gay'', Billy said, they all burst out laughing.
''Remember when I said I was pregnant'', Chleo wheezed holding onto her side as they all laughed harder.
When they had regained their control they all sat back in silence. Josh smiled to himself as he took a sip of his pint. This is what it should've been like always. His phone buzzed, he opened it.
''Hello'', he said loudly over the noise.
''Josh it's Jane''.
''I know that's what caller ID is for you dzope'', he said.
Billy and Chleo burst into laughter again.
''What do you want?'', he asked her.
''Nothing Josh. How about you grow up you fucking dick''.
She hung up, Josh shrugged and put the phone down. He raised his glass.
''To being back together'', he toasted.
The others cheered and they clinked their glasses.
''Remember when I slept with the guy whose parents owned the nightclub, told the bouncer I was called Darla Jones and got us a private booth'', Chleo said smiling.
''No'', Billy and Josh said in unision.
''The night you tried acid'', Chleo said slowly.
''Oh yeah'', they said.
They all looked at each other and subsequently started laughing again. Josh felt great, he was worried that they wouldn't want to talk to him after being away for so long, but it had been a great idea to come home. It felt like the old days.
[authors note; yes people actually do say dzope over here. I don't know if they say it anywhere else.]