Abby threw herself at Gabriel the second she saw him.
– Happy birthday!!!
– Abby… I can’t breathe…
Amelia and Gabriel’s birthdays were so close that they generally had one big party on the day Gabriel was born, for both of them. Amelia had invited Marcello and Gabriel felt uneasy: she hadn’t told anyone but him and their parents that she had a boyfriend. But now, Johan was bound to see him. Not knowing anyone, poor Marcello wasn’t feeling comfortable either.
Then Amelia, who was until then chatting with Johan, gave him a warm welcome.
Johan didn’t react in any way, he simply stared at them. Gabriel would have liked to tear him away from that sight, but he was in the middle of a conversation with Anna and couldn’t shake her off. Next to him, Abby didn’t make any comment but looked at her feet, apparently in deep thought.
Anna finally walked off.
– So she’s got a boyfriend. You knew?
– Yeah… It’s quite recent.
– What about Johan?
– Good question.
They couldn’t talk much longer because Gabriel aged up at that precise moment.
– What the f…?! Why do I have the same clothes as Johan?
– Hiiiiiiiii! You’re so handsome!!
– Look at you! We finally have the same size!!
– Abby! Stop it!
“First kiss as young adults!”
– Will you give me some time to just breathe??
When he finally could reach Johan, they both burst out laughing.
– You like my style that much?
– We both look like idiots!
– You look like an idiot! I’m fine, thank you!
Once they had recovered, Gabriel took a serious expression: “Jo… Are you ok? I mean, Amelia’s boyfriend’s here and…”
“That, again… What do you want me to say? She can do what she wants.”
“Come on, I’ve seen your face just now. If you don’t do anything, that guy will be part of the family. In fact, she’s already introducing him to mum…”
Gabriel was right: on the other side of the room, things were going their way.
Then Thomas also joined them for an introduction.
Gabriel and Johan were gazing at them rather sorrowfully.
“COME ON GUYS!! Party time!!! Stop ruining the mood!”
– Gabe, why don’t you give Johan a break? Can’t you see he doesn’t want to talk about it?
– Why, thanks Abby!
– Hey, aren’t you the one who’s always pestering him?
– I’m the only one entitled to pester both of them on that topic.
– Oh… That’s not what I was hoping for.
“Oh you, shut up!! Just how long are you going to be in denial? If we’re in that situation, it’s because you’ve been too much of a coward to admit you have feelings for her! Now we have to extricate Amelia out of a threesome!”
After that outburst from Abby, Johan didn’t wish to stay for too long. Gabriel and Abby accompanied him outside, where it was beginning to snow for the first time of the year. ”Oh, look! Snowflakes!”
– Have a safe trip home. Are you sure you’re gonna be ok?
– Yeah, thanks. Sorry for getting mad at you… I… I need some time to sort out my thoughts.
After Johan left, Gabriel got closer to Abby, looking at her in the eyes.
– You’re always making trouble on my birthday, aren’t you?
– But I’m right!
He pulled her to him. “Yes, you’re right but you’re a pain in the butt.”
Gabriel and Johan rented an apartment together. While Gabriel had found work as an engineer in the city, Johan had to commute to go to the school he was teaching at. But he needed a place for himself, as it had become increasingly difficult to share a room with his cousin Seth. For Johan, the contrast of the buzzing city life with the quiet country style he had always known was very striking. He couldn’t say he liked it, though.
But they were both happy to have their independence and live together.
Gabriel got around town on his scooter.
And often went out with Abby. Although he often looked annoyed, he had grown to love her more and more.
The only thing about her he couldn’t approve of was her lack of ambition. Her parents were filthy rich and she wasn’t looking for a job. She didn’t appear to have any other purpose in life than marrying him.