Wednesday, February 15, 2012
This is just a story I typed up sometime ago. It just came to me while I was stirring my milk tea. This is no one in particular.

"Hey. HEY!"

It started with that certain call. That voice that ringed in her ears for so long that cause so much pain and wasted time, but, this time, it didn't hurt anymore. Nothing hurt. She just felt... the same, except, now, she forgot why she was there.

It took place at the mall; a usual place where she would see familiar faces, or try to hide from them to avoid conversation just so she could get to a store and buy what she needed, whether be a clothing item or a sale where you could buy one doll and get another cute doll for free. Today was a different day as her personal agenda was interrupted when she saw that familiar face, that familiar voice with that all too familiar smile that once made her knees buckle and the butterflies in her stomach fly out of formation. Now, she felt...nothing.

He was wearing a brown long sleeve with his jeans; it was color she knew he always wore. It surprised her, even until now. His face was still the same, still carrying that goofy-clueless expression unless he was smiling or laughing. Oh, for so long she wanted to rip his mouth from his face and throw it into busy traffic, but today, she didn't feel violent or harmful. In fact....she felt nothing.

Everything was the same. Nothing changed.

"Hi," she began, "It's been a while, hasn't it?"

Yes, it has been a long time. Maybe a year now? Two? How long has it been since she had actually seen in him person? It didn't matter; she lost count after it all happened.

He replied with a half-hearted laugh. "Yeah, it has been. How are you?"

Ah, yes, this question. How does one answer this question? There were two ways to go with it: You can lie or you can be honest. As far as she remembered, she had lied to him for a very long time, always saying "I'm all right" or "I'm okay," and her most famous quote, "I'm fine, just tired." This time, she decided to be honest.

"I'm doing very well, thank you. I've been really busy." she smiled. "How about you?"

"Heh, can't complain, I guess," he shrugged.

His infamous vague and apathetic answers were always something he did. It annoyed her for so long, but, today, it didn't bother her at all. She nodded politely.

"Well, it was good seeing you," she said, trying to sneak a good bye and step away from the past. Yes, she considered him the past. Everything she had to do with him ended the moment he left her. It was a rather sad ending, now that she looked at it from a different perspective. They were such good friends, then lovers, then, suddenly, nothing. They were only acquaintances now, only to be introduced to other people as "my ex". She despised that title, but she never referred him as someone he used to be. To her, he was just him. That is all; nothing more and nothing less.

Before she could take a step away, his words roped her into place.

"D-Do you want to get some coffee?"

Stuttering was a sign of nervousness. Why did he have to be so nervous? It was only her-- Oh, right, it's her. She tilted her head at him, confused by his proposal.

"Coffee?" she repeated his suggestion. "If I remember right, you didn't like coffee."

He shrugged for the second time. "All right, maybe not coffee. How about a soda?"

"I don't drink carbonated drinks," she murmured.

"Milk shake?"

"Lactose intolerant."

"Lemonade?"

"Citrus make my throat itchy."

"Beer?"

"I'm allergic to alcohol."

"You're making this hard for me."

"I could say the same to you."

She didn't mean to put up a fight. It was all true. She knew he didn't like coffee; he personally told her that fact. What got her was everything he didn't remember. Then again, it was a lot of take in, but what can you expect from being with a person for two years? Once again, she sighed and crossed her arms impatiently.

"How about tea?" she suggested. "There's a coffee shop here that sells tea, too."

He nodded in agreement. "Sounds great."

--

The coffee shop was only a few steps away from where they had encountered, located in the outdoor promenade of the mall where all the more expensive shops were located. He ordered something he had never tried before, while, she, ordered her usual.

This was how they were all the time. Dating, friends, and even as acquaintances, this was them.

And it was still them.

They sat near the window, overlooking the outside of the mall where people occasionally pass by, look at the window and fix their attire or hair. The both laughed at the self-conscious pass-byers, only to be ended with an awkward silence.

"So, how have you been?" he asked.

"I'm really good! Very busy now," she nodded while she smiled. "Lots of work, projects, but I like it. Keeps my mind on a roll and I feel accomplished when the day is done. How about you?"

He answered simply: "The same."

The detailed versus the vague.

"Still staying up late?" She pried.

"Yup."

"Partying as well?" She pried more.

He laughed. "You know me too well."

He was right; she knew him way too well. She didn't like it because now he was so predictable. Then again, why should she care?

Unless...

She still cared.

"..."

"..."

It was time to break it in.

"So, how is she?" she asked.

"Who?" he asked.

"You know..."

"Oh."

Silence invaded between them.

"Who told you?"

She shook her head.

"...She's doing all right, I guess."

Is she pretty? Do you miss me? Does she make you feel how you once felt with me? Is she better than me? Could she measure up to me? For what I did for you? What I gave up for you? Do you know how much pain you put me through?

"Are you happy?"

The question caught him off guard. "Come again?"

"Are you happy?" she repeated. This was always a difficult question to answer; it fools people. It reveals itself as a simple yes or no question, but, instead, it makes people think about everything and nothing. Zero to infinite. All of it and none of it. His face contoured in many ways, he almost answered quickly, but suddenly stopped himself, and propped his head in his hand, almost deep in thought. He rubbed the bridge of his nose and sighed.

"You don't have to answer me."

He opened his mouth, and then closed it. He chuckled a bit to let out some of the awkwardness that built between them. "Thanks."

A noise interrupted them as she quickly dove into her bag to scoop up a phone.

"Whoa, when did you get that?" he asked pointing at it.

"About a year ago," she answered with a shrug. "I hate it. Everything's just...everywhere," she flailed her free hand.

She read the message and quickly tucked her phone back in her bag. Suddenly, she remembered her reason to be at the mall in the first place.

"I need to get going," she smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry to cut our meeting short."

He smiled too. "It's all right."

She got up to leave. "It was really good seeing you. Good luck with everything."

"Thanks, same to you."

Taking her drink with her, she took two steps. She, then, turned to him, giving him a warm smile.

"I'm happy for you. I hope she makes you really happy." Her heels clacked against the floor, as she approached the door.

"Wait," his voice, once again, pulled her. She turned her head and met with his eyes. Everything started flashing back into her mind. They met one bright day and laughed every single time they got together. He officially asked her to be his better half a year later. Their first date was on a cold evening. Their first kiss happened on a rainy day. He broke her heart on a Friday. The sleepless nights and endless tears for many months. And now here he was.

"I'm sorry."

She tilted her head once she heard the words that finally repaired her years of struggle, bitterness and pain.

"I caused you a lot of pain. I'm really sorry."

In the past, he always said those words to her, but never meant it. That day, his eyes meant every single word, as it sealed every crack of her newly repaired heart. She smiled genuinely.

"All is forgiven. It's always been forgiven."

With that, she stepped out of the coffee shop, putting the past to rest now. She knew if she stayed any longer, she would have cried her eyes out, letting her make up run down her face. She didn’t want that, so she began walking at such speed as if she was late for a certain appointment.

She walked to the area of the movie theatre, looking through the crowd to find a certain someone who was waiting for her. She found who was she was looking for; he was wearing a black jacket and jeans with his hands hidden in his pockets to prevent them from getting a frostbite. She smiled and surprised him by sneaking up behind him. Almost dying of fright (or so he claimed), he smiled at her and playfully poked her cheek. He asked her if she was ready to watch the movie. She replied by nodding happily. Before he led the way, he noticed her eyes were slightly red.

"Hey, are you all right?" he asked.

She looped her arm with his and then tip toed for her lips to reach his cheekbone, giving him a reassuring kiss.

"I'm fine," she smiled and snuggled closer to him.

"I'm all better now."

posted by Kat at 6:32 PM | 0 comments