Days past - well only two has past but it felt like a lifetime - and things weren’t as great as I thought it would be.
Me and Austin are still not in speaking terms because he just had to say that skank’s name to me and God knows how jealous I can get, even if he was just joking.
The first day was spent with me dragging myself down with hateful comments to myself like ‘why am I such a pathetic girl?’ and ‘I wish I can be someone else’. I didn’t ate everything from my plate at lunch and dinner, which made Ray and my parents worried. Austin tried to talk to me and I give him credit for that. I gave him some unintelligent responses and just ignore him most of the time. I couldn’t even look Cara in the eye knowing that I would shove a fucking knife into her heart if I do so I ignored her too.
The second day was like the first day but the hateful comments to myself stopped. Instead, I put all the blame on Cara. I ate a lot on the second day - which was the total opposite of the first day - and I knew that it was out of anger. My parents seemed pleased that I was feeling myself again even though it’s not much but Ray know that something was up. I told her on the phone about the silly situation that I was going through and I ended the call when she was in the middle of explaining how ridiculous I sound.
Austin… Well I kept ignoring him until day three - which is today, that is.
“Paradice, please just talk to me. It’s killing me inside out.” He reveals as we queue for lunch. I want to talk to him so bad too but I had to stand by my ground even though I had to admit that this is ridiculous because we aren’t dating or anything.
Honestly, I don’t even know why am I standing by my ground.
“Par.” Ray turns around and gives me a pleading look, telling me to stop killing myself mentally and just talk to him. I shake my head vigorously, showing that I don’t even want to look at him or have any some sort of contact with him.
I sigh and take my lunch tray from the lady. I was debating on whether to talk to Austin or just keep going on with this tough girl act. Of course, ‘talk to Austin’ wins the debate and I had to agree with that side of me; it was time.
We - no wait, I - have to clean up this mess between us because I know that it’s my jealous-ass’ fault that Austin keeps trying so hard to talk to me and the fact that I’ve been so sour that a lime would be jealous these few days.
But before I could even put down my food and walk towards Austin, a loud crash sounds and everyone’s eyes are focused on the cause of the crash.
His tray was on the ground and food was spilled all over the place. His drink was also spilled across the floor, colouring it with red. “Shit.” His cursing echoes throughout the cafeteria.
He kneels down to pick up the mess and I decided to go there and help him. It seemed like the right time to go to him. “Here.” I offer softly as I help him to pick up his plate, fork and spoon.
But what happened next wasn’t what I had in mind.
He picks up the remainder of his salad and throws it on my face! I could hear the whole student body gasping at his actions. I wipe the mayonnaise off of my glasses and glare at him.
“What the hell is wrong with you?!” I shriek and take off my glasses.
He fucking smirks and then flicks my nose. I yelp in pain as he stands up. “What the hell is wrong with you? Maybe you should stop being such a bitch for once in your life.” At this rate, I was already fuming.
I stand up and jabs my finger onto his chest. “Maybe you should stop being such a bipolar asshole for once in your life!” I scream back. I wasn’t expecting him to throw shit at me or flick my nose, for fuck’s sake, God knows my intentions were good.
Then, he fucking laughs. He walks away without any other word. But then, he steps onto his spilled drink and he slips. He falls down but luckily, he didn’t hit his head. But despite everything…
“Karma is a bitch.” I spit. The cafeteria is filled with laughter, either from his clumsiness or my comment. I offer him a hand, even though he just threw his fucking salad at me. “Just like you.” He groans in pain and accepts my offer.
I decided to ignore his remark and bring him to the nurse’s office so he can get a check up just in case he fractures a bone or something. At first, he tried to pry my hands off so he doesn’t have to go but I keep a tight a grip on him. He gives up and let me do what ever the hell I want with him.
Hell, I have a chance to kill him here but I decided to go against it.
“Why are we doing this?” He asks after a short silence between us. We are almost near the nurse’s office as we are taking a shortcut. “I don’t know.” I admit. Then, he chuckles. His laugh is contagious, so I decided to join in.
“I’m sorry that I threw the salad at you.” He apologises as I knock at the nurse’s door. I give him a little shrug. “We’ll talk after this.” I mouth and he nods in agreement.
The nurse opens the door and gasp when she takes in our appearance. To be honest, I would have reacted the same if I see two students walking into her office like this; one with red - somewhat looks like blood - stained clothing and the other with salad on her face.
Overall, we look like we just came back from a food battle which includes real sacrifices.
She opens the door wider to allow both of us to come in. I could feel her staring at our every single movement and I know that Austin feels the same when he scowls, “Stop staring like we are prey, for fuck’s sake.”
I let Austin sit down on the plastic chair near her desk. I thank him when he hands me some tissues after I clean my face using the small sink at the back of her office. But then I roll my eyes when I realised he got up from his seat.
The nurse gives Austin a small check-up, then concluding that he has no broken bones. We both got out of the nurse’s office together and walk back to the cafeteria in silence, just like before.
“I should’ve known ‘Cara’ was a trigger word. Or name, I guess. I’m sorry.” He murmurs loud enough for me to hear it.
I sigh and then stop, him following suit. “What’s wrong?” He gives me a puzzled expression. “My appetite is gone. Can we go somewhere else?” I ask. He turns to look at the hallway that leads to the cafeteria and then back at me. “Yeah, sure.”
“And stop apologising. It’s alright.” I comment as we walk to the one place that I know will calm us down. Austin didn’t question where we are going. He just keeps walking beside me. “No, it’s not. I’m the one who made you into this - I don’t know - jealous, hurt, whatever mess you are right now.” He frowns.
It’s surprising how he knows that I’m jealous yet he doesn’t comment on anything because jealous is the biggest sign that you have a crush or love someone.
I wave my hand in dismissal. “Yes, I am a mess but you aren’t the cause of it.”
Liar, my inner self said while she rubs her eyes which has bags underneath, reminding me the reason why I couldn’t sleep for a few days now.
The negative effects of loving someone: no sleep, you keep thinking them 24/7 until you forgot to do your shits, jealousy always has a way to creep inside you and of course, the pain that it causes you.
“Stop trying to blame everything on yourself, Par.” He tugs his hair, a habit that he does when he is frustrated.
Of course I would blame myself, I was destined to like you. God didn’t really give me a choice, you know.
I open the small gate to the school garden and take a seat on one of the benches. “I should’ve known that you will take us here.” He chuckles lightly and glance around. I give him a faint smile. “Last time we were here, I confessed of liking you.” He claims while staring into my eyes.
“What?” I question, double-checking. He is a giant compared to me; I am sitting down whereas he is standing in front of me. His arms are crossed in front of his chest and he had a smile on his face.
He gives out a laugh. “Yeah, I basically - well indirectly - just told you that I love you on that day. No one thinks of their friends randomly unless they like them, Par.” He is so calm and collected. I can hear the seriousness in his tone and I knew that my perceptive side was right all along…
Austin likes me.
No wait, screw that; Loves me.
Based on his sentence, Austin loves me.
“I’m sorry that I acted like a total asshole these few days. You are definitely something - or someone for all that matter - to me.” He utters and somehow, I feel like the world stops turning, time stops moving.
I feel like I finally found that missing piece to make my heart whole again.
He holds out his hand and I didn’t hesitate to hold it. He helps me to stand on my feet and I feel like we are on this loop again; he becomes an asshole, we fight, all is forgiven, he sweeps me off my fe-
“Sweeps me off my feet.” I say my thoughts out loud. He grins, not letting my hands go. “Glad that you are catching on.” He teases. I stare at his hands holding mine. His hands are big and comforting, mine are slender and delicate, but they both fit very well together.
It all finally made sense to me.
“Par? Say something.” He says like it’s a plea. I want to tell him everything that is in my mind but is it too early? I mean, we have only met for three months. Is it possible to love someone so deeply in such a short time?
I know the answer to that: If it is meant to be, then yes.
Somehow, all those late night conversations and soft laughters were leaving permanent marks on both of us. When I thought that he was joking about some things - like going to Europe together, maybe he wasn’t joking after all. Maybe, he really felt the same spark that ignited in me during Presentation Day. Maybe, he didn’t really mind that sometimes I annoy him with my little remarks.
Maybe, we are really meant to be.
“I don’t know what to say.” I say honestly. I have so many thoughts in my mind that I don’t know which one to tell him. I am somewhat lost because I didn’t know how to respond to him. I want to tell him that I feel the same but the words just can’t come out.
“Do you feel the same?” Mr. Nike asks, hope glittering in his eyes. Looking into those same brown eyes that I fell in love with during Presentation Day, I couldn’t help but nod slowly, and then vigorously.
His smile widen and he opens his arms as wide as he can. I jump right into his arms and tears couldn’t help but brim in the corner of my eyes. I can’t help but feel that he is feeling the same way as me.
This feeling that I’m feeling right now just can’t be described. It’s like Nasa sending their rockets to outer space; it feels like fireworks on the 4th of July; it somehow feels like I was flying up in the air with the breeze in my hair; it feels like I was in paradise.
No pun intended. I am totally serious here.
I feel like my heart - which had a Austin-shaped like hole - has finally found its missing bit. I’m sure that many people has felt this way before but certainly not this young. But I know for sure that this is what people feel like when they are hugging their first love.
The feeling between us is filled with such pureness and sweetness, not stained by the corruptions of the outside world; an attraction that is so strong, it is unbreakable.
We hug each other tightly, not wanting to let the other go. I smile into his chest, my heart swell with happiness.
Finally, I got what I wanted.
“Be my girlfriend?” He questions without letting me go. I can hear nervousness lacing through his voice and I can’t help but giggle at his cuteness. I didn’t really see the point of labelling yourself and your lover if you love each other but he looked like he waited a very long time to ask that question to a certain someone.
“If you would be my gentleman.” I say softly. I hear him chuckle and what seemed like a few million years later, we finally let go.
He looks straight into my eyes and claims, “Paradice, for you, I would become everything that you want me too. Dinosaur, tiger, mouse, postman… You name it.”
I giggle and then wrap my arms around his waist. “A postman? You would sacrifice your time to become someone as boring as that because I wanted you to?” I ask.
He wraps his arms around me. “Yes because I love you.”
I suck in a deep breath as I try to calm my heart down. I have got to get use to him saying that to me or I’ll be dead before I even reach my twenties.
“Are you going to say it back anytime soon?” He jokes, with a hint of seriousness behind his voice. I let go of him and he grabs me hand, lacing our fingers together.
“I love you too.” I confess shyly, realising that it was the first time that I have ever said those three words to someone other than my family.
He lets out a breath and I can hear him say a small ‘yes’. I couldn’t help but smile at the boy in front of me.
I knew that he was going to make an impact on my life the first time I laid my eyes on him but I didn’t know that he was going to be my life.