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I can’t let him walk away without him knowing how I feel about him. He’s already devastated, and I know I’ll only make it worse for him, but I have to. It’s only right. And he deserves so much explanation.
“Wait,” I call out to him. “I need to tell you something.”
He looks back and I can see the pain in his eyes. I could feel tears stinging at the back of my eyes. I shake my head and go over to him and take his hand, just like I did when I entered the party. I dragged him to my best friend’s backyard, which has a swing set (Also because my parents can’t see us.) and make him sit down. I can see the confusion on his face.
I take a deep breath and sit next to him. He still doesn’t say anything.
“There’s something you need to know.” I say.
He crosses his arms. “I think I got that covered. What’s new?”
Ouch. That hurts. But, I know he’s hurting more. For wanting me. Even if he has no idea what’s wrong with me.
And that just makes me more sure about him.
“No interrupting me, again,” I say. He nods.
“I really enjoyed tonight,” I begin. “I’ve enjoyed being with you all these days. And, I know I like you. You like me. And I know you want to take this a step further, and I want it too, but I also want you to know that… I need time. I know that a bitch broke your heart a while back and someone did it to me, too. I guess we’re both healing.”
I take a deep breath. This was NOT easy. Thinking about the guy who broke my heart is probably the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. And talking about it to someone who genuinely likes me back? It’s worse.
I can’t continue. Not with him looking at me as if my every word is breaking his heart. Not with me hurting like this. Even after almost a year after the break-up.
“Thank you,” I finally say, which was definitely not what I wanted to say and I know it was not what he wanted to hear but I can’t bring myself to say anything more. I breathe out, not knowing I was holding my breath, and stand up. He’s still transfixed on me. I lean in and peck his cheek, and turn away quickly. I don’t want him to see these tears. They’re not worth him.
I turn and run back to my house, second time today, and all because of him. I ran to open the door for him a little while ago and now I’m running away from him. Running away from the only person that can most probably heal my heart. And, I may also be able to heal his, if I could just allow these feelings to wash over me.
I reach the back door and go inside and shut it behind me. I slide down to the floor, trying hard to not make any sound while sobbing. The position reminds me of the party.
It’s funny, how, just a few days ago, before I even knew he existed, I was aware of every movement, every gesture I made, and how that connected, or how often I made those when I was back home. With him.
And after only a week of meeting him and spending only three days with him, I no longer thought about the one back home. The only thing I was aware of was how intently he looked at me when I laughed at something stupid or when I hi-fived his cousin (AKA my best friend) when he did something stupid.
I cannot believe I’m allowed to feel this way.
I somehow tell my parents that I’m home and that I’m exhausted and head to my room. They don’t ask if I’ve had dinner. I was honestly relieved because I do not want to eat anything tonight. I go to my room, flop on my bed and try not to think about all the bad things that happened over the year.
Flashes of his wedding run through my head like a slideshow. They’re all random, and I know most people there. Then suddenly, I’m aware that he’s in my bed for the first time. The bed in my room back home. And we’re naked underneath the covers.
I scream and close my eyes, wishing it to all go away. Closing my eyes only makes it worse.
That night, the night I thought I became his, the night he’d told me he’d loved me, the night I finally decide to defy my parents.
But, the truth hit me hard. A girl should always belong to herself.
I opened my eyes and it was daylight already. My phone was flooded with missed calls and texts from my best friend, who was having a family get together during the whole festive season and I was a part of it. A part of her family. And it made me whole again. Almost.
I quickly bathe, and put on the clothes I had prepped previous night and head out. My parents know where I’m going and where I’ll be all day today, so I don’t bother telling them.
I almost wish I could skip today, because I don’t really know if I can face him. But I owe it her. She’s done nothing but tell me over and over again that it’ll eventually be fine. All the times I’ve cried on her shoulder hits me square in the face and I go.
He’s the first person I see when I go over and his back is to me. Just like the first day I saw him. The same day he offered me his amazing chocolate chip cookies. The same day I refused them because I loathed seeing chocolate.
Because he always brought me chocolate. Rice crisps with chocolate which burst and crackle like fireworks in your mouth.
He turns around and sees me and his eyes soften. He comes over me and looks at me for several seconds.
“You look like you didn’t sleep too well last night. More nightmares?” He asks.
I nod. I don’t know how he knows this, but I want to hold him and cry. And thank him over and over again for everything he’s done.
I go into the house with him, and look for my best friend. I help her with some work and she keeps me busy all day. Talking to people. Making sure they’re eating right. Serving amazing food that he cooks. Serving amazing snacks. I ate a little breakfast, the breakfast that he cooked, and some lunch too. Also, dinner. It was around midnight when I finally went back home.
I was offered to stay back and sleep in her house, but I couldn’t bear the thought of him being so close to me. Also, there were too many people in her house already.
All through the day, I steal glances at him, and he at me. Also, sometimes smiles. Those times, and the times he came really close to me, my heart would do the flitter flutter. It sometimes felt that he could probably hear it. And I would look elsewhere.
I know he felt it, too. That just makes me feel worse. But not anymore. I can’t take this heart break anymore. I can’t do this to him.
That night was the most pleasant night in what feels like ages. Also, it was about him. That gave me strength to do what I had to do today.
I went to my best friends house, since her parties don’t last for just a night. They’re several days long, and themed. Anyone not fit for the theme was not allowed.
I go over with a huge smile. When she sees me, she clutches her hand to her heart and asks, “Who are you and what did you do to my mopey best friend?”
I laugh and brush off her comment. She hugs me and whispers, “I love this girl. I missed her,”
And I turn around to see him looking at us, with a huge smile on his face.
When my heart does the flitter flutter this time, it’s not nervousness. Or anticipation. Or fear. Or hurt. Or like.
It was on the way to love.
I notice the pain has subsided in his eyes and probably in mine too. We don’t talk much again today, but I can see the tension has diminished. Completely.
Sometime in the afternoon, I find him alone in the kitchen. And guess what he was doing? Staring at the oven which had his chocolate chip cookies.
I go over and sit on a stool at the breakfast table, carefully watching him. He turns around and smiles when he sees me.
Yes! I’d been waiting for that unhurt smile.
He says, “Why do I get the feeling that I’m in trouble?”
I raise my eyebrow. “Maybe because you are.”
He walks toward me, opposite to me, slowly, not taking his eyes off of me. Not once.
“And,” He says, slowly, “why do I get the feeling that something good is happening?”
“Maybe because it is,” I say coyly, and I point to the oven. “I want to eat them, you know.”
“Really? Is someone over her hatred for chocolate?”
“It was never there,” I confess. “It was the person that I hated.”
He touches my cheek and I can’t believe the first time he did that was only two days ago. It seemed like a long time ago.
“You ready to talk about it?” He whispers.
I shake my head. “I don’t need to. It’s not worthy of you.”
He leans in, and the oven timer goes off.
We laugh. He pulls away from me and the moment has simply vanished, but pleasantly. I watch him take them out carefully and put them on plates for cooling. After he’s done, he goes over to the plate of cookies from the first tray and hands them to me.
“To a new beginning,” he toasts.
“To a beautiful new beginning,” I say.
And he kisses me.
He was chocolate, and I was totally in love with it.