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I stood next to my friends scanning the room simply for something entertaining to do. I didn’t expect much out of this night, I was tired, I was frustrated, I was—my eyes collided with his and an immediate flood of shame charged through my veins. I couldn’t look away as fast as I wanted to and I knew that he saw me. Even when I finally turned my head, made my way around a group of girls, and began walking down the hallway—I knew he saw me. I felt so hot inside I thought I would faint and the tears were piercing my eyes.

“Stop,” I heard his voice but I tried to pretend as if I hadn’t and continued to walk.

“Nadia—oh so you’re going to pretend you don’t hear me.”
I looked over my shoulder at him and stopped walking. He began walking toward me. I started moving away.

“I’m going to the bathroom, we’ll have to talk later,” I said as I started to turn away

“No you’re not. I saw you practically run when you looked at me. What’s the problem?”

“What are you talking about, there is no problem.” I felt the tears boiling in the back of my eyes because although I lied, I knew exactly what the problem was. I had embarrassed myself, admitted feelings for someone who didn’t reciprocate. I went against my better judgment and the pledge I said to avoid relationships. Well, the whole avoiding relationship thing is still intact considering the fact that he doesn’t want me.

“Nadia.” His voice snapped me back into the present.

“Drew, seriously, everything is fine. I just need to go to the bathroom.”

“Bullshit”

“Excuse me?”


“You heard me.”

“Look, I don’t know what you’re even upset about. If anything it should be—” the lump building in my throat had reached its peak and I could feel the tears before I even thought to stop them. I quickly turned away but was not fast enough. His hand seized my arm and he turned me to face him. I exhaled a loud shaky breath involuntarily and fought to free myself from him.

“Let me go,” I said in a voice that sounded more like a sob

“Stop it. Come here. Come here,” his grip tightened on my biceps as he brought me closer to him. I didn’t dare look at him—instead I focused on holding my breath until it was no longer shaky and blinking my eyes until the tears dried.

“Look at me,” he demanded in a soft voice.
I shook my head.

“Why not,” his voice grew incredibly tender and I wanted to punch the butterflies that fluttered in the pit of my stomach. I felt weak and electrified in his arms but I had to fight through the fog of my feelings. I had to understand that he was an athlete, a football player who would never be interested in me. We had nothing in common besides going to the same school and taking one class together. Where I developed the nerve to even shape my mouth to ask him out will forever puzzle me.

“Hey,” his voice a soft caress that made me turn my head so that I was looking at the other end of the hallway.

“Damn Nadia, why do you have to be so difficult,” he shook me lightly then let me go. I felt a breath of relief escape my lips as I found myself in familiar territory. Soon he would leave and I would be alone like I wanted to in the first place. No one had ever chased after me, no man has ever flinched when I decided it was time for me to remove myself. So why Drew was doing this baffled me, especially when the same night I told him I had feelings, he never responded and instead I saw him making out with someone in the club a few hours later. I was stupid, I had embarrassed myself and it was a feeling I hated most in the world. To be made a fool out of, to be the only one to reveal your vulnerability while the other remained guarded. I had used poor judgment but I could see clearly now.

“If this is about last night I--”

“What about last night?” I cut him off

“When you said you had feelings for me”

“Oh that, just forget that I already have”
He gave me a look to let me know he was irritated. Well that was just fine because I didn’t have to deal with this. I began walking, looking from door to door for this damn bathroom that seemed to spaced so far away.

“What’s wrong with you?” He asked, with a tone laced with such repugnance as if the idea of me detested him.

“I don’t know, I’m all kinds of f*ed up,” I said, no longer caring about saving face. He was insistent on trying to make me feel bad about myself so the least I could do was indulge him. I heard his footsteps get closer as I neared the end of the hall and still came across not a single bathroom.

“I’m not stupid,” I felt his breath on my neck and it made me involuntarily straighten.


“Never said you were, my friend,” I looked to my left and began walking. He grabbed my arm.

“Stop doing this, you look crazy,” he said

“Has it ever occurred to you that I just very well might be,” I snatched my arm away.

“I know you have feeling for me and--”

“How many times do I have to say forget it? Why are we even discussing this? You chased me all the way down this hall just to remind me that you don’t like me. While I appreciate your thoroughness, trust me—I can take a f*ing hint,” I didn't mean to sound so angry but I couldn’t help it and what’s worse is that I felt a tear fall onto my cheek. I quickly wiped it away and continued to walk.
He grabbed me with a force that let me know there was no use for struggling. His eyes were filled with such anger it frightened me.

“You’re hurting me,” I growled through gritted teeth.

“Shut up and listen,” he grunted back, “I came over here to tell you that I have feelings for you too.” He then released me so roughly that I stumbled backwards and had to grab at the wall to catch my balance. Next thing I knew he was retreating back down the opposite end of the hall and for the life of me I couldn't call him back.




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