“Aa..ron? Can you hear me?”
I blink and shake my head hard. “What?”
Linda scowls, and I scowl back. “Did you
even listen to what I said?” she asked, looking peevish.
“So?” She’s still beaming brightly. I lost
my words all of a sudden. I don’t know if I’m happy seeing her bright smile.
For the first time in my whole life, I don’t feel so great looking at that
smile. Because I know it doesn’t belong to me.
“Do you think I should accept?”
“What a stupid question.” I replied
quickly. “What do you think? Don’t you like him?”
She turns quiet for a moment,
contemplating. “He’s a nice guy.”
I’m not sure what happens to me, but I
don’t feel like talking to her at all. I whirl around and walk back in to my
house. Linda must have not sensed a change in my current attitude, because she
follows me behind.
“What do you think?” she repeated. I don’t
blurt anything out. I pace to the living room and slide down the back of the
couch. Just sit there on the floor.
“What!” I yelled, feeling extremely
Linda’s taken aback. This is the first
time I yelled something out at her in a three-years of friendship.
“Forget it.” she said quietly, looking a
half guilty, a half uncomfortable.
“I don’t know, Lindy. Like I said, it’s up
to you. Don’t ask me anymore. I’m exhausted.”
“What did you do?”
“Been thinking a lot.”
“Myself.” I mumbled. “Go home. Take a
rest. I’m going to bed too.”
“But it’s still—“
“Go home.” I cut in. “extremely worn out
Linda just sighed. Right, I’m the worst
best friend in the whole world. It’s so immature of me to be mad at her just
because of another guy. She’s just Linda, my best friend. Not Linda, my
girlfriend. She’s not mine. She doesn’t deserve to be treated like this. But I
can’t help it, because I can’t let her go. So I just let myself do as my heart
“Alright.” She uttered after a moment of
silence. “Call me up if you need me? You don’t look your best.”
I just nod slightly. Unexpectedly, Linda
leans down and kisses my head gently. I don’t even give her a glance. But I’m
convinced that she’s still not realising the reason behind my changing mood.
She then walks away. I want to reach her
hand, but I resist.
I couldn’t sleep last night all because my
mind was racing. You thought this kind of thing just happened to girls, but hey
that means you know nothing about boys. I kept pondering over my conversation
with Colin at the prom the night before.
We were just standing next to each other,
looking into the same direction where Linda was lost in her piano play. I would
admire every second of it if only Colin weren’t next to me, inviting me into a
“She’s so stunning, isn’t she?” he asked
with a thoughtful gaze.
I said nothing. Colin suddenly chuckled.
“I should’ve asked her out before. I guess I’m too late already.”
I raised an eyebrow. He noticed my baffled
expression. “You must be so happy.”
I finally understood what he was saying.
“I thought you guys?” his eyes widened, I
wasn’t sure if his expression was meant to be a disappointment or relief. But I
knew he must have been feeling so glad. “Too bad. A bunch of guys must be
“Indeed.” I muttered. “That’s what I’m so
“Shoot her then.”
I looked at him awkwardly. “What? Everyone
can see that look in your eyes, Jones.” He said confidently. “You like Linda.”
“I like her. No, I would have loved her for
eternity. Even when the word didn’t have quite the same connotation.” I
declared, picking a line from the Twilight Saga novel. Just thought I might
imitate his exaggerative mannerism.
Colin then held out his hand and smiled
neutrally. “Let’s have a fair fight then. An upright competition.”
“This won’t be the first time for me.” I
held out mine and gave him a firm shake.
So that was what we were talking about.
Declaring our war in a civilized manner, though that was the start of a blazing
fire inside of me, dying to defeat him. I didn’t expect Colin to move this
quickly. I guess I’m too late now. I’m starting to lose hope. I actually don’t
really want to meet Linda today as I’m expecting to hear her going on about the
same topic as yesterday. But I have no choice. I’ve promised to try the
cheesecake she just made this morning. I know she has put so much effort into
it, because she likes cooking. Every time she tries out a new recipe, she’ll
ask me to try it out in the first place. It’s some kind of a privilege of
course. But just like seeing her bright smile, being offered a cheesecake
doesn’t really boost my mood up for now. So what do I need now? I need her. I
need Linda. Not just her presence around me, but her. I want her to choose me.
I know I sound like a whining jerk. But there are still guys who love
On my way to the campus lawn, I bump into
a girl. She lets out a little shriek. “Oh, I’m sorry!”
I didn’t notice who she is until she
looked up at me and adjusted the position of her glasses. Natasha Craig. A
whole lot of laboratory equipments that she was holding scattered on the
ground. She bends down to clean the shards of glasses, and I instinctively hold
her arm. “Don’t. It’s dangerous.”
“It’s okay Aaron. It’s my fault.”
I bend down to help her carefully picking
up the shards. “Shoot.” I grimaced as a fragment pricked my finger.
“Are you okay?” Natasha touches my wounded
hand and looks over the small slit on my index finger. I didn’t notice it’s a long
fine slit extended along my index finger until Natasha wiped the blood away.
Well, it looks awful indeed. The girl in front of me winces. “It’s pretty bad.”
“Doesn’t hurt as it seems.”
“It needs to be treated. C’mon, I’ll take
you to my lab. We’ve got some first aid there.”
I shake my head and smile neutrally. “It’s
just a light wound. Don’t worry.” I stand up and give Natasha the lots I’ve
“Thanks. And I’m so sorry.” She said with
a guilty face.
I wave my hand reassuringly. “It’s fine,
“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?” she asked
out of blue. “How have you been?”
“Run-of-the-mill.” I can’t think of
anything else to say, but I find one. “You’re in the middle of exams?”
“How do you know?”
I eye the rack of shattered equipments.
“The ex-conical flasks.”
She just chuckles quietly. “It’s been such
a busy week. I guess I’ll get a hell out of professor Flinch.”
“It was just an accident.” I told her in a
“Yeah, I’ll be fine.” She looks down,
looking doubtful. But she then looks at me in the eye. “I miss you, Aaron.”
At that time I notice I miss her too. Natasha
was my girlfriend for a year. We started dating in the beginning until then end
of year eleven. Simply because we found nothing else in common. But she is a
beautiful and smart girl, Natasha. Not only that, she’s one of the kindest
people I’ve ever met. It was just me. I couldn’t find myself falling so much
for a girl until Linda came into my life. She has changed everything, that’s
“I miss you too.” I hug Natasha briefly. And before she lets out another
word, I walk away.
“You’re late five minutes.” Linda scowls
at her wristwatch.
I look at her amusingly. “Are we having a
date or something?”
“No. But you were never late before.” She
then unpacks the white lunch bag she’s been having for two years. I walk up the
slanted ground to where she’s sitting.
“I got held back a bit.”
It’s not long until Linda notices my still
bloody finger. Her eyes widen and she looks anxious. “What’s wrong with your
hand!” that sounded more like an exclamation.
“Not my hand—“
She grabs my hand abruptly. “Didn’t you
notice the ground? You left a bloody trace!”
I choose not to speak anymore, since
she’ll yell even louder for sure. My mouth twists into a grimace as she gives a
slight pressure on the wound.
“Good thing I bring a first aid kit.”
“You carry them everywhere.”
“That’s my quality.” She muttered. “Unlike
you who is so careless and unorganised. What in the world did you do anyway?”
“Nothing negative. I was just helping
Natasha out. We accidentally ran into each other and she dropped her
Linda stops her movement and looks at me.
I nod. “How is she now?” She continues
treating my wound and smiles thinly. I tilt my head, trying to get a sight of
“Busy, she said.” I watch her hand tentatively
wrap the band around my finger. “What’s wrong?”
“This is why I can’t be a doctor.” She
winces, as if she’s the one who’s wounded. “I hate blood.”
I pull my hand away but she keeps holding
onto it. “No. Let me.”
“You’re looking so pale.”
“I can stand this one. Now you better stop
or I’ll ruin this.” She clamps my hand in between her hands and continues the
wrapping carefully. I smile, looking at her thoughtful face.
“Is she still pretty?” she asked
“Natasha.” She’s concentrating on my
finger. “I remember she was the most beautiful girl in high school.”
“So you never looked in the mirror all
She stares at me, confused. “What?”
“Nothing.” I pull my hand and look at my
swaddled finger. “You did really well. Though you were shaking.”
“What, you thought I didn’t understand
what you said just now?” she said, ignoring my compliment. “I know I was the
prettiest, Aaron. I know.”
She beams at me and chuckles. An innocent
laugh. “You still are.” I corrected her.
“Whatever. I stand corrected.” She puts
the first aid kid into her small bag and places a small plate of cheesecake on
my hand. “Now eat.”
Before I do as she instructed, I observe
the cake, turn it around slowly to have a glance at every inch of it, as if it
is a piece of art. “I’ll surely indulge myself in this.”
“You’ll love it.” she replied.
As I’m about to allow myself a mouthful of
smoothness, Linda’s voice stops my motion. “Aaron.”
“My uncle just called me.”
I put the plate down on my lap. Suddenly
intrigued by her words. Linda looks down and looks up at me, waiting for me to
ask her back, I suppose. But I say no words, waiting for her to tell me more.
She then smiles weakly. I can sense
something wrong immediately. “I have to go back to Indonesia.”
So I was right. I lost my appetite all of
a sudden. Don’t give me food; I’ll throw it in your face.
“My mom needs me.” Linda added. I guess this is the end of me. I lost
her after all. But I never noticed, until now.