I didn’t have to turn to know who it was. I knew it like the back of my hand. I rolled my eyes and continued to walk towards the classroom. I was sure that all he would talk about was that Michelle girl he had a crush on. I wasn’t in the mood to listen to his blabber about some girl, when I was aware I had feelings for him.
“Reg!” It was louder this time. Honestly, it always sounded as if he had been able to swallow a megaphone. It was annoying but could be useful.
I grunted then turned. “What?” I didn’t expect to see him with swollen eyes. I walked towards him. “What the hell happened to you?” My brows were furrowed. I looked into his eyes, hoping it would tell me what was wrong. I wasn’t in the mood to guess what his goddamn problem was.
“Michelle and I broke up.”
I looked at him dumb-founded. He never ever mentioned that he was dating anyone. First of all, I felt offended considering he was my best friend and I knew nothing about the matter. Second, I was jealous. Third…I was pretty sure it was just the jealousy part.
“She cheated on me for the past two months.” His voice broke in the end. That was one of the few times that I heard him crack. Obviously, he had it bad with that girl. He was usually chill after a break-up. Maybe it was just different considering the girl cheated. Well, I warned him. He never listened to me. That wasn’t really my fault anymore.
Met a girl at seventeen
Thought she meant the world to me
So I gave her everything
I wanted to hug him and, at the same time, to leave him. I was so close to burst out crying. I was glad I had enough self-control to keep myself sane. “Where did you meet this girl anyway?”
“Does it even matter?”
“It does to me! You’ve gotten yourself too attached to someone who you may not even meet personally. That’s not my fault. I warned you about that girl but you never listened to me.” I was his best friend. I was supposed to be there for him, but he just had to keep his dating life a secret. Now, I knew nothing, I was broken, and I had no idea how to help my moronic best friend from a heartbreak. That was the first.
“That’s because I love her.”
“Sure you do.”
I shook my head in disappointment then went on to class. It may seem rude but I couldn’t keep on ignoring my very own feelings for him. I was breaking and he couldn’t even notice it, not a bit.
For two weeks, I stayed under the radar. There were no means of communication between me and Dane. It was the only way I could think of to spare my feelings. I needed time to think and during that little time, I met someone online. His name is Kris. I knew I had been bashing on Dane dating someone he met online then there I was, sort of doing the same thing.
KRIS: how was your day?
REGENE: Okay, I guess.
KRIS: you guess? tell me…
REGENE: Haha. No. It’s petty.
REGENE: Not the ideal first day of vacation. I’m sick. I think it’s due to walking under the pouring rain.
KRIS: that’s a really bad way of spending your first day of vacation
REGENE: Tell me abt it. Rain is my kryptonite.
KRIS: never ever forget to bring yer umbrella
Kris was in a farther place but it always felt like he was closer to me. The sweet thing was he always considered my feelings and my opinions. It never felt like I had to beg for time or attention. It was constantly there. Maybe I was just being lured with the constant attention but somewhere at the corner of my whole being, I was feeling something that could be real. In some way, he could be the key to forgetting my feelings towards Dane.
For a month, I thought I developed serious feelings for Kris. It may be just a little flirtation but it was hard not to invest feelings in that kind of game. I was well-aware that there was a possibility that I would get hurt in the end, but it was like I stopped giving a fuck about my own feelings since it was okay for Dane to step on it.
Speaking of Dane, he never initiated a conversation. It was like he was fine with the whole non-talking thing. Maybe he was giving me space but it was more than a month. Maybe he was expecting that I would just talk to him whenever I felt like I was ready. Still, wouldn’t he leave any messages? Didn’t he miss me? I, sure as hell, missed him. Even if I sometimes hated his guts and I just want to punch him, I miss him.
REGENE: KRIS! WAKE UP!
KRIS: i am awake. hey it’s really early. why the hell are you awake at this hour?
REGENE: I rlly dunno. I watched a horror movie so I’m not really in my LET’S SLEEP mode.
KRIS: want me to call?? i’ll stay with you ‘til you fall asleep.
REGENE: Are you sure?
REGENE: Okay then.
“Hallo.” His voice was deep that it was slowly melting me. It wasn’t how I expected it to sound because it was so much more.
“I’m just here. Now, go to sleep. You need to complete at least seven hours of sleep.”
It was like the giant ball of fear living in my mind melted. I just felt incredibly safe after hearing his voice. There was something about him that just made me feel safe. I couldn’t point out what it was in specific. Add up that it sort of felt like the feeling was mutual.
REGENE: You’re crazy!!!
KRIS: crazy about you…
REGENE: Ha ha. Very funny.
KRIS: heeeeey i am being honest here
REGENE: Whatever you say.
For a couple of weeks, Kris would call me at night and stay up until I fell asleep. It was a whole lot of effort. To be honest, I totally forgot to get back to Dane. I was too hung up on Kris that it was like I didn’t care about Dane at the moment. Rude, I was aware. He could be flirting with someone new for all I care. The idea of having an “us” with Dane was far from impossible. It wasn’t going to happen when even in friendship, it was getting toxic.
Who knew the darkness could be a place of happiness? In a different context, maybe.
“You haven’t told me anything about your love life and here I am ranting about the guy who I would never ever have.” Almost every night, he would ask me about everything about me. Especially, details about the love department. He never told me anything about him.
“You really want to know.”
“Of course. Spill.”
“First, her name is Monika…” The rest was a blur. I was too stuck at the mention of the name because I thought it was going to be a tug-of-war because he was going to say it was me, but I expected too much. It wasn’t me. “…she doesn’t like me back though but she told me I have a chance.”
I was mouthing the words “Pick me instead” but of course I would never say it out loud. Once again, I wasn’t chosen. Well, I guess that was that. I couldn’t force anyone to feel something for me. It wasn’t like I was considering begging for someone to love me. I knew I could stand on my own two feet without help from a guy.
‘Cause I know I'm not the easiest one to love
Slowly, I was trying to detach myself from Kris. I was too tired of the fairytale-dreaming that Kris would feel the same. Why? Why did I even bother hoping that it was possible? It wasn’t possible with Dane, what was different with Kris?
“I actually like you. I’m just trying to move on from Monika. I don’t want to use you as a rebound.” With that, I let myself put my hopes up.
DANE: THERE’S THIS GIRL, MONIKA, WHO CONFESSED SHE LIKES ME. HAHA. BUT I LOVE YOU, REG. TALK TO MEEEEEEE.
Well, that was extremely magical. After three months he had enough decency to actually tell me that he “loves me.” What a joke, right? That was the most stupid thing I have ever heard for quite some time. How can one actually have the guts to ignore someone for three months and then confess their feelings? It actually felt like one of those sappy romance films that made me want to vomit.
I don't wanna take your precious time
‘Cause you're such a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty face
But you turned into a pretty big waste of my time
It was incredibly stupid how I was starting to question my judgment towards Dane. How was I able to love a guy who was that shallow? He ignored my feelings for who knows how long, and now he had the audacity to confess his love as if he was Romeo. He didn’t have the right to demand that I would talk to him because that was something I never begged from him. I always made sure that I wasn’t going to ask for more. I learned how to be satisfied with the friendship we had.
DANE: I LOVE YOU, REG.
What an idiot, right? How the fuck was I supposed to believe a guy like him? Why? Why? Why? I kept on asking myself, so confused. I wanted to pull my hair or maybe his hair would be better.
Stay the hell away
While I sit here by myself
I seriously wanted to just hide away. I wanted to ignore him so bad but it was so unlike me. I was usually the one who never got mad. Why was I even reacting like that? Why was I so pissed that he ignored my feelings? I was just his best friend. Nothing more than that. In the end, all I did was to acknowledge the message.
DANE: Don’t you want to be with me?
REGENE: Huh? Are you on drugs?
DANE: A drug called REGENE! DATE ME, BABE.
Trust me on this one but if he said that in front of me, I would have punched him straight to his nose. I don’t give a fuck if it would ruin his whole pretty face but I would. It wasn’t something I was ever scared of doing.
REGENE: If you told me that three months ago, I would have. BUT you were too busy with MICHELLE. And besides, you have a girl on your effing hook. Try to ask me that next time.
That was the thing about hooks. We keep people on them to boost our egos. We don’t even care about what that person is feeling. We keep other people on our hooks unconsciously yet sometimes in full consciousness.
Unconsciously, I put Dane on the hook.
Dane put that poor girl, Monika, on his hook.
Monika had Kris on her hook.
I was on Kris’ hook.
Coincidence or a trick of fate, we were all a bunch of pathetic losers that didn’t know better than cling on someone who clearly didn’t want us.