"You look at me and you see simple. You see nothing but this awkward girl who doesn't have a clue what the hell she is doing in life. And I can't help but want to show you more."
I stare at him now, the words leaving my lips barely making it to my own ears. And he stands there, clearly shocked by my outburst, not quite knowing how a little conversation about making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich suddenly turned into a love confession speech.
"But I know that in the end… This is as good as it gets."
My eyes are watering now, and I look to the floor. He doesn't say anything yet, and I don't expect him to. I don't want him to.
It's stupid of me really. I just became emotional out of nowhere. Maybe because I felt like I was losing him already, even though technically he wasn't mine to lose. But just seeing him look at her that way, and giving her that smile for the millionth time…. I couldn't help but snap.
This wasn't how it was supposed to be…
This wasn't how I was supposed to be acting…
This wasn't supposed to happen at all…
I was supposed to be keeping it all in. I was supposed to wait a few years, eventually get over it, find a nice guy, marry him, and forget all about the past and just live my boring life.
Drama wasn't my thing. I don't do drama. Drama was supposed to be avoided….
But somehow, drama just found me….
And I bet it's laughing at me right now.
I sighed, the silence finally getting to me. I looked up again, knowing that it was time to do the unthinkable.
"I love you…"
His staring intensified, and he blinked twice. Emotions flashed through his eyes, but I was always a bad reader of human expressions. Never could tell what the eyes were saying. Words were always my thing. Books were the way to go.
"And I can't have you in my life anymore."
I looked at him one last time. Still, all this time, he had yet to say anything. He was just standing there, his mouth doing that slight opening and closing thing. He wanted to say something… Needed to say something. But we all know what those words were going to be….
And frankly, I didn't want to hear them.
Not bothering to even say goodbye, I turned around and started walking away. Tears were already rolling down my face, and I was sure I had this blotchy look. My eyes were going to be puffy, and my nose would be all plugged up. And I know while this was supposed to be a heartbreaking scene of unrequited love, that in the end this was just a plain and ugly sight to behold.
Love was ugly, that was for sure.
"You think you can say some crap like that, walk away, and figure that was it? Well, guess what? THAT'S A STUPID ASSUMPTION!"
Okay… Not what I was expecting at all. Instead of the pizza boy holding a pizza that I ordered 20 minutes ago, it was him. Great. Not only was my pizza running late, but now I had to deal with this again.
Whatever happened to simplicity? Whatever happened to the ending where you confess to the man that doesn't love you, walk away and never having to deal with it again? Why is it that drama always has to throw another curve, wanting to make you face something you really just wanted to end already?
Well, I guess it's because drama is a bitch.
In a way I can't really blame drama… Not my fault I fell in love with a guy who feels he has to do something to make up for my broken heart. Not my fault that I fell in love with a guy who obviously needs to deal with love confessions with confrontation and apparently yelling.
Just blame my stupid heart for choosing an idiot to fall in love with.
"Um… You want to come in? The neighbors don't really like crazy guys standing in the hallway yelling. It kind of brings down their mood. They already hate me for installing the "Deck the Halls" bell jingle."
I moved towards the side, and after taking a few deep breaths, he went in. I closed the door to my apartment, and turned to stare at him. He's pacing now, trying to get his thoughts to gather. He does that a lot.
Before I could say anything, he started ranting.
"I mean come on! Who just all of a sudden confesses their love like that? We were talking about peanut butter and jelly for god sakes! How the hell did that relate to love? Everything was fine. We were going to hang out and watch stupid infomercials and make fun of the gadgets! You just turned it all around!"
He turned to me and started pointing at me. My eyes widened. I was amused in a way. Usually, this guy was calm, cool, and collected. Now he was just all over the place. I was kind of touched that my confession could do this to him…
Slightly worried about his sanity right now, but touched nevertheless.
"You're my best friend! You're the one person I could talk to," he cried, still pointing at me. Only this time he started moving towards me, and I started moving backwards. "I was happy with the way things are going. I mean, sure there were those stupid little fights where you got all crazy over nothing…"
Nothing? NOTHING? Well, excuse me for being jealous at every girl you flirted with. HELLO? I'M FREAKING IN LOVE WITH YOU!
Of course, I wanted to voice these thoughts, but the crazy man wouldn't let me get any word in edgewise.
He was still pointing by the way.
"… and you tell me you love me? ME? And then you tell me you don't want me in your life anymore and you WALK AWAY WITHOUT LETTING ME SAY ANYTHING! What kind of best friend are you? I mean, god, if I knew sitting next to you in the cafeteria would lead to this, I would have skipped lunch and just worked overtime or something…"
I would be insulted and yelling right now, but of course he's still ranting and I didn't want to throw off his thoughts. Plus, memory lane was kind of getting to me now and I couldn't help but smile at the reenactment of our first encounter in my head.
See, the thing is… He's my boss.
Two years ago, I had gotten a job at this up and coming corporation, a pretty decent business that involved the latest computer software and whatnot. I was just the measly secretary and I never laid eyes on my boss…. If anything I was the secretary of his secretary.
So one day, I was in the cafeteria, eating by myself in the company's cafeteria in the corner. I was still new and people were barely talking to me. Suddenly, someone sat in front of me; I glanced up and saw this guy in a nice suit, tall, with dark brown hair and green eyes, staring at my lunch tray. I followed his gaze…
He was looking at my chocolate cake.
Clearly uncomfortable, and totally not going to give up my cake, I was all set to leave and eat my cake somewhere else, when suddenly he said to me, "I'll give you a hundred for the cake."
Of course, this led to me going "Seriously?"
He nodded, his eyes still hungrily staring at the cake. Somehow, we started fighting over the damn thing, and all the while I didn't know that this was the genius behind the software program.
Eventually, we shared the cake and soon our names.
Of course, when finding out he was my boss, it sort of made me embarrassed and ashamed of myself for being so petty over the cake. But he never acted like I was his subordinate. Before I knew it, we started working pretty closely together and he soon made me his personal assistant. I had a desk outside his office and all that good stuff.
So here we were a couple of 25 year olds, colleagues who joked around. Somehow, we eventually became best friends.
It was all gradual of course. At the beginning everything was worked related with the occasional insults and jokes. And of course, I had the small work crush, but he was engaged to this beautiful blond, who was his childhood friend, so I knew not to fantasize and fool myself into thinking about anything serious.
But one day, his fiancé left hi and he started to throw himself into his work. Everyone ignored it, thinking he would get over it. Yet, I saw the pain.
He got drunk one night at a club, and the bartender had gotten his cell phone and saw that my number was the last person he had called (that was earlier in the morning when he wanted me to pick up some documents). I came, took his drunken butt back to his fancy apartment, and stayed the night to watch over him.
He had muttered her name over and over again, and though he was sliding in and out of consciousness and was drunk like a skunk, there were times when he would talk to me, revealing his personal secrets.
His mother had died early… He was on rocky terms with his father, yet he wanted to be everything his father could be proud of. His fiancé left him without a word, but despite all the pain and anger, he just wanted her back….
He loved her…. All he wanted was her to just be by his side, and he could just forget everything else.
He fell asleep after all of that, and I was there to wipe away the sweat, put him in bed, and make sure he didn't vomit or kill himself.
See, I guess that was when drama stepped into my life. As I sat there by his bedside, watching the moonlight make his face glow, I slowly found myself liking him.
Our relationship changed after that. The next morning, it was that awkward, embarrassed moment where he apologized for drinking so much and having me come to take care of him. After that, we spent the next few days tiptoeing around each other when finally I had enough.
I told him to get over himself and that if anything I was his friend. He should just stop pretending to be fine. I saw him drunk and pathetic and I knew his secrets (to this he became vastly afraid of what I knew, which I found amusing and didn't bother specifying exactly what he had revealed to me), so he might as well just get over it and confide in me. I knew he was human, so there was no need to act like anything other than he was.
During this time, the company was negotiating some huge deal with another company, which meant overtime work for Damien and me. Instead of the usual surface jokes and insults, we started to really talk.
I found out that his father was still emotionally unavailable; he had a deep love for chocolate and cake, and an even more intense love for chocolate cake; he was afraid of spiders; he loved his nanny and still sees her from time to time; he was ambitious and can be petty over little things. But most of all, he still loved his fiancé and wants to search for her. But because she left so abruptly leaving a simple note "Don't find me" behind, he wasn't going to. He knew she had a reason for leaving and so he would wait for her.
In turn, I told him about me. I told him my parents had died in a car accident when I was a baby. I grew up with my grandmother who had passed away when I turned 18. I never went to college and so I gave up my dream to be a doctor. Instead, I was more into living a simple life. I was happy over stupid things like seeing a cute puppy or baby, watching a cool movie or show; I was strangely fascinated by infomercials, and that I liked to avoid complicated things.
Eventually our conversations took place outside of work. We started going to baseball games together (his friend bailed out at the last minute and I was conveniently there when it happened) even though I knew nothing about sports. We started eating out, going to watch movies, and going to each other's places (the first time I went to his place after the drunken night was for work, and we soon got distracted with playing tennis on his Wii and the first time he went to my place was because I had left a document at home and he needed it and in the end he stayed for a few hours helping me fix my fridge. He ended up making it worst and had to pay for a new one). We became buddies. I craved the complexity of his life and his issues. He liked my simplicity and drama free life.
Everything was great until one day he finally decided to go on a date (his father wanted him to move on already after a year of waiting). I found myself despising the thought and getting mad at him for even considering it. But that was when I realized that I was feeling jealousy and that somehow, along the way, I fell deeply and crazy in love with him.
I kept it in though. I stayed through his dating period. Some were dates set up by friends and families. Other were cute girls he picked up at wherever he was (usually these lasted a few dates. Anyone that stayed through 3 dates were potential girlfriends), but always none of them truly stuck. I got used to the dating and I accepted it. I knew that as long as none of them lasted a month, it was all good.
Despite the dating, he always had time for me. He never really broke our hang out dates. We just got closer and he could tell me anything, vice versa.
Of course, the ache in my heart came from time to time. And there were moments when I wanted to tell him. Moments when I thought that maybe, just maybe he would give me a chance. But each time I felt like confessing, he would do something to show me that he was still in love with his ex-fiancé and I knew I couldn't.
Unrequited love sucked, but I felt like I could handle it….
Then, just as quickly as she disappeared, she suddenly appeared again.
We were just getting off work and we decided to go eat out. As we were walking in the basement parking lot towards his Mercedes Benz, this beautiful blond was standing by his car.
He had stopped walking, his breathing irregular as he stared at her. And I knew this was the woman he loved.
The awkwardness and intense eye conversation they were having were the obvious clues that told me I should leave. So I did and when I excused myself, I found myself in pain when he didn't bother trying to stop me. As I walked away from them, I found myself desperately wishing nothing would happen between them. I selfishly wanted him to turn her away, for her to leave and to just leave us alone.
I wanted him to leave with me, to forget about her.
But I knew that wasn't going to happen.
They had talked that night. Damien found out that she had left him because she had found out she was pregnant and had lost the baby. She was scared to tell him, scared that if he knew, he would blame her for losing it. She was so depressed about the loss that she couldn't stand to be around him and was scared that she would bring him down. She had needed time to get over it, to find herself. So she left. She was a fool and she soon realized she couldn't go on without him. She needed him. And so she came back.
Drama threw another curve at me. As Damien was telling me all of this the next day during lunch (we were inside his office, sitting on the floor), he suddenly looked at me and asked, "What should I do?"
I wanted to be selfish. But instead of saying what I really wanted to say, I asked him, "Do you love her?"
He answered with an 'I don't know', but the way he said it was obvious. He did.
So I told him to take her back and be happy with his decision.
He listened. They started dating again, slowly taking their time to get back together. As that happened, we started hanging out less and less, though he still tried to not forget about me.
I was pretending I was fine. I was keeping it in, thinking I would get over it now that he was with his true love once again. But of course, I wasn't fine. I was in pain. I would cry at the most inopportune moments especially during romantic movies. I wasn't crying for the leads, instead I was crying for the poor supporting characters that never get the lead.
One day he asked me to hang out with him at his place. He had found himself recording a bunch of infomercials on his tivo and wanted to have a marathon with me. The thought of him doing something for me made me feel so touched so of course, I said yes.
… which brings us back to the night of my sudden confession.
I was outside his apartment, about to ring the bell when suddenly the door opened and she stepped out. Damien smiled at her, telling her he would see her later. She walked past me, smiled, and stepped into the elevator. Once it closed, he looked at me and asked if I wanted him to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Apparently he had mastered the art of making it and was just so excited to do it (the man was a horrid cook and making simple things like this pleased him immensely).
It was then that I snapped. I just found myself not being able to handle it anymore. The thought that he saw her first before me broke me. And I just found myself revealing my ultimate secret to him right there and then in his hallway and finally leaving….
And now, here we were, in my apartment with him ranting now about my flaws.
"You are so annoying when you constantly hum that stupid "Do re mi fa so" song whenever you type up documents, and you always have to add things to my letters every time I dictate to you, and you have this irritating habit of always giving me your vegetables whenever we eat together!" He cried. "And did I mention how you SUCK at confessing your love?"
By now he was all up close, completely interfering with my personal space. I would have backed up more but by now my back was pressed up against the wall.
Suddenly, he stopped ranting, his eyes examining my face.
And my heart literally dropped and I found myself tearing up. He was calm now, though his breathing was deep, and no longer was he excited and agitated. I looked into his eyes and tried my best to read them, which I failed miserably doing.
"You need to ask why?" I whispered to him.
He didn't answer. Or he did, but I didn't really know how to interpret his answer… Because, right after I had said that, he did the unthinkable.
He kissed me.
Now, while this whole ordeal seems to be something in the story books and this scene seemed to be something you would find in a chick flick movie, you have got to know that once something like this happens to you, you don't really care exactly how cheesy the moment is.
Nor do you think about the ex-fiancé- now-girlfriend-and-perhaps-soon-to-be-fiancé-again and how you are committing the act of cheating.
Of course, this does register in your mind after a minute of heavenly kissing.
Did I mention how much of a good kisser he is?
Not that I have much experience in this but still…
"Wait, wait," I muttered against his lips, which were persistent. I placed my hand on his chest to push him away. "What about…?"
He didn't bother stepping away. His arms still around me, he answered, "We broke up. That night when you confessed, remember how she was there before? We had broken up before you came."
"See if you hadn't rushed with your confession that night, I would have told you that things weren't the same between us. That whenever I was around her, I found myself missing someone else. That every time we had a conversation, I would constantly mention someone else's name and tell her countless stories of my time with this girl…. That every time I see this person smile, I feel like life's just… Great… I told her that I loved this person…"
I held my breath as he embraced me, bringing me towards him.
"My best friend," he whispered into my ear.
And with that he kissed me again.
You know what drama… Even though you kind of gave me hell for a while, I got to admit… You sure do take a simple life and make it interesting….
And you sure as hell know what a happy ending should be like.
Author's Note: I know this was full fluff and clichés, but I just needed to write something and this came about. Nothing great, nothing original per say, but I just needed the practice… And as you can tell, I really need to practice more. Anyway, thanks for reading!