Patience

Endless school duties prevent her from spending time with him, especially during after school. Without even discussing it, ever since they started the relationship, he always sits by the school stairs and waits for her every day after school to walk her home, even though she didn't ever agree to it. To test his patience, she sometimes deliberately makes him wait for long hours after school or sometimes takes a detour with her friends at the back of the school unseen and leaves him there. She had never agreed to him walking her home, anyway. Surprisingly, the next day, however, he is never angry, and waits for her again. And when she does agree to walk home with him, she makes sure their conversation comprises nothing more than small talk.

The school bell rings, and as she walks the hallway unseen, she notices him walking with a girl as she clutches his arm. She stands on the hallway, surprised. This was the first time she had seen him with someone else. Another friend, she supposes, but she couldn't ignore the little fear emanating from within her heart. Does the girl keep him company after school as he waits for her? She wonders.

Despite her wishes to stay and get her questions answered, certain obligations require her to be at Room 51 immediately after school to attend a very important meeting. She turns her back and walks away, her face stoic but her eyes are telltale signs of worry.

But deep within that worry was a small shred of hope, even if just a tiny but, existing beyond all reason, driven by love. Even though she knew he had a reputation of a philanderer, she kept a small amount of hope in her heart that despite all those who are better than her, she was the only one he loved, the only one in his heart. That he'd remain hers, despite temptations, now until forever.

That little shred of hope is the only thing that keeps her sanity in the first place. The only thing that stops her from walking off that meeting that instant and going off to find him. Hope is water that prevents her patience, a short candle, from melting away.

***

The meeting finishes quite abruptly. All hope shatters as she listens to the girl laughing merrily with him. The other girl teases him, coyly touches his face as she leans against the wall, trying to suppress the tears from streaming down her eyes.

After a few moments of laughing, the girl asks, "Let's go to my house."

"Nahh, it's alright. I'm waiting for someone."

"...it's her again, isn't it?"

"Yeah."

"I doubt she'll be coming. She never comes, anyway." A snort. "I don't get why you always wait for her."

"I...don't know, either. I guess it's the thing that comes with love, you know? I want to be with her often, even if it's just a second. I want to see her home safe--I don't know what I'd do if anything ever happened to her. Even if we don't talk much, I'm just thankful--happy--of just being able to walk with her, you know."

A silence.

"Well, I ain't waiting any longer with you, so you're on your own." The sound of retreating footsteps reverberate in the silent school. "See ya later."

***

The next day she makes an excuse of not being able to attend the meeting. The school bell rings and she immediately runs to the school stairs. As she sees his silhouette approaching from the distance, she quickly grabs a book from her bag and pretends to read, feigning boredom.

Surprised was marked on his face when he saw her, for the first time, waiting for him.

"Sorry. Did you wait long? I didn't expect you'd be here too soon." he said.

"There wasn't any meeting today so I'm going home early."





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