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He looked back one more time. I could feel his intent gaze on my back but I didn’t turn back. I just didn’t feel like it. He kind of got on my nerves when there was no point to him. Any other girl could have liked him and would’ve been pleased to have him as a boyfriend. But I just didn’t like Like him the way he felt for me. He was my way to escape the cruel reality of not having the guy I always loved at my side.
I still remember the last time Alek and I had a conversation. His dazzling dark brown eyes looking deep into mine melted me every time I went near him. We were conversing about the impossibility of love when a friend came in the middle. He seemed to completely understand every word I said as if he was an expert in the subject.
“Has that ever happened to you?” he asked curiously.
I coughed. “No,” I lied. I didn’t want to risk spilling out everything in a moment of temptation.
“Oh,” he said indifferently. “Well, I’m glad cuz I’m pretty sure it must hurt,” he added.
“Yeah. It sure must,” I replied knowing it was the most painful feeling I had gone through.
That night Lily called to tell me how much she loved him and how lucky I was to be able to talk to him. Her sobbing broke my heart even further. I nodded and tried to comfort her. Eventually, I promised to get him to talk to her. I made a promise to myself, too. As soon as they began talking, I’d avoid any conversations with him. To end with, I decided to give Max a chance since he had been crushing on me since a long time. I had to move on and stop being selfish.
Now, I was here trying to pretend everything was okay with a smile. All the days seemed to drag endlessly when I didn’t speak to him. He gave up when I avoided him and he began talking to her more. I boiled with fury when I saw them together but I tried holding myself together.
Next day, Max brought me roses for our one month anniversary and a cute silver necklace with a heart in the middle. He said he loved me for a thousand times and after a while it got tiresome. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and claimed I had to go to some teacher to take a quiz.
“I’ll be thinking about you. I can’t wait for lunch,” he said happily.
I smiled but it didn’t quite reach my eyes like his.
The halls this early in the morning were empty. Rarely, you would find someone sitting somewhere or walking. But I preferred for it to be alone and not hear or see drama. I had too much of it in my life and didn’t find a way to put it aside and run for what I truly wanted.
As I turned one corner I bumped my head into someone’s chin. I quickly looked up and saw Alek. My heart beat fast and my thoughts spun in my mind rapidly. Our eyes locked on each other’s. He looked the same but a different look in his eyes appeared. One that wasn’t there a month ago. Even then a million things could have gone on in one month. Things that I wanted to be part of but Lily was supposed to take on that part.
“Uh…are…are you okay?” I asked worried when I remembered that my head went against his chin. I touched it, inspecting any marks I had left. I found myself caressing his cheek. His eyes closed for a moment taking in the moment.
I quickly jerked my hand away not understanding what I had possessed to do that.
“Yeah. It doesn’t hurt much,” he responded after an awkward silence between us.
“Just a little pain.”
I almost reached to touch him again but I only looked closely. But then his lips were there, untouched, as if waiting for the first move from me. They were such a temptation to not just kiss them. It felt as if they were calling me but I looked down.
“It…it looks okay to me,” I finally said with my mind going blank with his presence.
His eyes focused on the roses and the little box with the necklace Max had given me. He said nothing. Absolutely nothing. I didn’t dare to look at him. I didn’t want to think anymore. This month had to serve for something. It couldn’t have all been in vain to bring those feelings up again.
“Max gave those to you,” he said quietly, almost a whisper.
“Yeah,” I said almost wishing I had left all of this somewhere else. I didn’t want him to think that I had another guy but Lily came first. She was my friend and as my duty I was supposed to be another one, too. She had not been too progressive with Alek but didn’t care because she knew she had to try only harder. At least that’s what she said.
“You guys love each other a lot. Don’t you,” he asked as if wanting to be reassured one more time.
I didn’t normally lie to him only when he got too close to the truth. Lily was my only reason. “Yeah, he says he loves me a lot. He’s really nice and sweet.”
“But do you love him?”
I shifted the weight of my body to my other foot. Then, I just sat down against the wall when I didn’t think of another thing to do before giving him an answer. The thing was that I wanted him for lily so bad but at the same time I didn’t want to discourage him even if I knew him and me couldn’t happen.
I stared at my golden flats for a long time. I didn’t look at him when he sat down very closely next to me with our shoulders touching. I didn’t move away from him and neither did he. He was so close to me that he sparked the hidden feelings in me to live. Him was the only one I had longed for this past month. Max didn’t create that feeling within me and as much as I tried to like him a little bit the more I got annoyed by him. Sometimes I considered him just a pest. Our first kiss was horrible. He liked it but I got sick afterwards. I avoided every call from him that weekend. He could be so annoying when he said he loved me. I know he was trying to be charming but the only feeling he got out of me was frustration.
He was staring at me. I could feel it on my face. My face flushed a deep shade of red.
He grabbed my hand. The one with the roses. The roses instantly fell to the ground. I didn’t pick them up. He played with my fingers and I looked at his intertwined with mine. A strange courage in me pushed that shy me to touch his fingers and caress them lightly. I traced circles around his knuckles and he stared at me. I looked back at him, how I longed to do and didn’t move my eyes from him for a long time. The world around us froze for that special instant. Time stopped for both of us and it was only us that mattered.
I looked down when I remembered Lily. Lily who thought I was her friend and trusted me. “Do you like Lily?” I asked pretending that it would not matter in the least if he said yes.
“No. I thought I had set that pretty clear with her a week ago.”
Lily hadn’t mentioned anything about that. “She told you she liked you already.”
“Yup. Two days after she began talking to me and you stopped,” he answered. “But I don’t think she likes me anymore you know. Just yesterday I saw her with one of my friends kissing so I don’t really things could work out between us.”
My eyes went wide. “Lily’s not that type of person. I mean not only cuz she’s my friend but I know her and that’s not her. It’s just not possible.”
“I’m not lying. If you want you can ask Eric and he’ll tell you, too.”
The news hit me hard. Lily hadn’t said anything of this but she had been distant lately. “I’ll have to talk to her later. I need to find out what’s going on with her.”
He grabbed both of my hands in his and I tried to hide the tingling inside my body. “I’m pretty sure there’s an explanation to that,” he paused. “But are you ever going to tell me if you actually love Max or keep on going with this lie to put yourself aside for Lily.”
His words nearly threw me over. I coughed, nearly choking with what I thought I heard. How did he know? It was only me that was supposed to know about this!
I pulled my hands away from his. “Did someone tell you that or what?” I asked angrily.
He grinned. “No one has to tell me that because I know you like me as well as I did since I met you. Your eyes tell me that you feel the same way I do when you stare back. I know you love me and I want to let you know that this past month has been horrible without you. It’s like you’ve been trying to kill me but I’m not going to die without kissing you.”
He cupped my face with his hands. He slowly leaned down, wrapping his arms around my waist. My hand rested on his back. I faced him like I had always wished. He smiled down on me knowing this is what we had both wanted for such a long time. His lips gently brushed mine softly. Then, we let the passion spill out and we held each other for a long while. Finally, we pulled away.
He held me in his arms for the rest of the time. Occasionally, he would come down and kiss me. We talked about everything except Max. Neither of us knew how to bring him up. He somehow threatened us. I tried thinking of a way I could end the disastrous relationship I had with him. As much as I thought about it the more I thought it would hurt to him.
“I know you’re thinking about him. What are you going to do about it?” he finally asked.
I sighed. “I don’t know. It’s best to tell him the truth.”
That same afternoon there was no need to tell Max anything when I saw him with Lily kissing. I didn’t explode or get mad. I had found a way to get rid of him and found out who Lily actually was. I wasn’t mad or anything. Only regretted how long I had to wait to be with Alek.
“That must hurt,” Alek said behind me, knowing I had seen it, too.
“Kind of does.”
“I’ll make it up to you. You and I are going on a special date tonight.”