I get home from work one night and kick my shoes off, my feet are killing me.
The phone rings, I answer it.
"Hey, Rachel?" I recognize the familiar voice.
"Yeah, hey - how are you?" he laughs uncomfortably.
"I'm doing amazing actually... what do you want?"
"Huh, great um I was calling because I was hoping I could get my ring back," he tells me.
"You mean my engagement ring?" I correct him.
"Rachel, it's my grandmother's ring - I really need it back," he pleads.
"Well, you should have thought about that when you decided to cheat on me."
"Rachel...please. I'll come pick it up or meet you anywhere," he tries again.
I shake my head, my blood is already boiling at his request.
"What do you need it for?"
"Oh, uh...well it's kind of funny-not really funny, but... I'm going to ask Mindy to marry me."
I nearly drop the phone.
My mouth drops instead, I can't believe this!
"Yeah, I think she's the one," he tells me.
"Oh - my - god."
I'm frozen with rage.
"So, could I please get my ring back?" he asks again.
I hang up on him.
I'm in a mood all day thanks to the Barry thing.
So, when I hear Joey getting home from work I hurry over across the hall to feel better.
I open the door without knocking because they always leave it unlocked.
He turns around when he hears me walk through the door.
"Oh, hey Rach," he greets me but I'm bee lining it straight for him and I crumble into him with my arms around him. He hugs me back without knowing what's going on.
"Hey, you okay?" he asks softly.
"No," I whine.
He rubs my back.
"Why, what happened?"
He stays hugging me until I'm really to let go.
I didn't realize my eyes would be watery and my voice would be hoarse but when I tell him everything, that's what happens.
"Barry wants his stupid ring back because he's proposing to stupid Mindy!" I cry.
Joey looks heart broken for me and just pulls me back into a hug.
We moved to the couch and Joey still has his arms around me. He's been trying to make me feel better by saying what an awful person Barry is and that he's a loser. I like hearing him say awful things about Barry.
Chandler walks through the door around 5:30.
He sees us.
"What's this? You want me to leave?" he partly jokes like always.
"No, it's okay Chandler," I say and I sit up from Joey's warm embrace.
"I wasn't heading out," I continue and Joey looks at me.
I look at Joey.
"I have to return the ring," I explain.
"You decided?" Joey questions me.
I nod my head.
"I need to, it's the right thing to do and I don't want it in my life. I want to get rid of it and everything Barry," I share.
Joey nods and rubs my arm.
I get up and leave.
I'm dreading seeing Barry. I don't want to see his loser face and I definitively don't want to see Mindy.
When I get to his apartment, my old apartment, I feel a knot in my stomach.
I knock on the door.
Barry answers and looks surprised to see me.
"Here," I speak plainly and hold the ring box out to him.
He opens it to check the ring is inside.
"Great, thanks so much - really Rachel," he breathes relief.
I roll my eyes.
"Look, I'm sorry how things ended," he apologizes.
I shake my head.
"No, you're not."
"Yes, I am. I know I messed up, but I never should have hurt you. I should have done it the mature way and filed for divorce before cheating," he presents as if he's so noble to say this.
"Oh my god," is all I can mutter.
I cross my arms.
I'm so glad I'm free of this man. He disgusts me now, he is unbearable now and he wasn't that much of a prize before.
"Well, hey at least I have good news for you," he claims.
"Doubt it," I mumble under my breath.
"You're free of me forever," Barry announces.
"What?" I ask confused.
"The divorce, it's final - as of today."
My arms uncross and fall back to my sides.
"Yes, everything is signed off on, approved and filed," he confirms.
A huge smile forms on my face.
"This is amazing!" I exclaim.
"Okay, well-" he starts talking again but I run down the hall.
My plan is to get home as fast as possible but coincidentally I run into three more people. My old girlfriends.
"Rachel?" I hear and I stop dead in my tracks when I see them.
"Girls, hi!" I greet them excited and I go to hug them all.
"What are you doing here?" Leslie asks.
"Are you moving back?" Joanne inquires.
"No, I just found out my divorce is final, I'm free!" I celebrate.
"Yay!" Kiki claps for me.
"So, what have you been doing, where have you been living?" Joanne jumps to more questions.
"Oh, I moved in with my old friend Monica," I tell them.
"Is it a big apartment?" Leslie asks.
"What do you do for money?" Joanne interrupts her.
"I... um work now. I got a job," I reveal and their faces all turn disgusted at the idea of working.
"It's really great actually and I'm seeing someone new, I'm really happy," I tell them.
"But you're living a poor person's life," Joanne comments negatively.
"Ooh, who are you seeing?" Kiki lights up.
"Um, his name's Joey."
"Does he have money?" Joanne continue to press about the money.
They all wait for my answer to the question.
"No, he's an actor and... a waiter," I say.
They gasp at this response, literally gasp, as if I told them I'm dying and this was my last day.
"Rachel, you need to come back," Leslie insists.
"Yes, come live with us. We have room, even with the baby," Joanne urges.
I shake my head.
"No, I couldn't be happier and I actually have to go," I tell them
They look at me shocked and I walk away.
I hurry outside and catch a cab.
Maybe I should feel bad or sad that I just lost my friends, but I couldn't care less because I know this cab is going to drop me off at a building where I have a home, four amazing friends and an incredible, wonderful boyfriend who I'm about to celebrate my divorce with - naked.
The cab stops and I run out of the car and up the stairs of my building.
I run into Joey and Chandler's apartment and find them playing fooseball.
"Chandler, now you need to leave," I say.
"I do?" he asks confused.
"Yes, leave," I point to the door.
He looks offended, but then he shrugs and walks out. He probably is going across the hall to hang with Monica. I don't know and I don't care.
I look at Joey who looks confused too.
"What's going on?" he asks.
I'm smiling so wide.
I walk over to him.
I grab his face and kiss him hard.
When I pull back, Joey's eyes widen and he smiles, wrapping his arms around me.
"Okay, I don't care what's going on," he teases.
I run my hand down his cheek and over his chest.
"Get these clothes off," I say.
He looks at me.
"I said take these clothes off and carry me to the bedroom now Tribbiani," I demand with a smirk.
"Really? But what about-"
"The divorce is final," I tell him.
He stares at me in shock.
"It's final, it's done - I'm a free woman," I announce.
He keeps staring at me and I start to wonder what he's waiting for, but in another second he lifts me up into his arms like a new bride and speeds to the bedroom.
I laugh as he kicks the door closed and tosses me onto the bed.
Joey and I celebrate my divorce more than once and continue to celebrate evey day.
I couldn't be happier.
Maybe I never did see my life going this way, but I would never look back.
I have the most amazing friends and the love of my life.
And you know the best part? No one bought any of it for me.