Bring In the Clowns


When I say "okay", I actually mean, "Brace yourself, I'm going to start rambling pointlessly about some very silly subjects that have little relation to my real reason for opening my mouth." So… Well, brace yourself.

Okay, okay.

The thing is, I come from this little town in Australia, where people actually hold random parties for pretty much everything.

For starters, we have the typical New Year celebration, complete with champagne and all that jazz. Then on the 26th of January we have Australia Day Celebration, which is absolutely vital for Australians (I think). Hello to Valentines Day on the 14th February, where people go around making mindless proclamations of love, and then throw a party about it.And then there's the whole Easter party, which really isn't that bad until they start bringing in scary monsters that are supposed to look like rabbits. Oh, and then we have Mother's Day celebration, followed soon after by Father's Day celebration. And then it's Christmas (all I want for Christmas is no Christmas), Boxing Day slash Proclamation Day (can anyone tell me what's that about again?), then New Year's Eve party all over again.

You'd think the people here would get bored with all these celebration shindigs.

But nooo, they just had to look for more reasons to hang up the mistletoe and throw colourful confetti everywhere.

Whoop-dee-doo… Not.

Soon enough, we started celebrating International Women's Day, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Day, International Midwives Day slash Nurse's Day (They just can't seem to get enough with the whole women-ish celebration. I mean, I know we women are important, but this is getting way out of hand here), Sorry Day (just think Mean Girls.), and oh, wait for this classic one.

CambodiaPeace Treaty Day on the 23rd of October.

Don't even get me started on that.

I mean, I would've really, really enjoyed the parties they have over here, because honestly, they're all one helluva party. That is, if you enjoy getting drunk and love having hot hate-sex with random strangers you found under the mistletoe, and then start having babies that go by some weird, quirky name, like… like Chris, if your kid was conceived during Christmas, or Esther, if you, uh, produced her on Easter day.

I know, total fun, right?

… That was a joke. You were supposed to go all 'ha-ha she's so funny'.


Unfortunately, I never really enjoyed all these magical festivities. Or rather, I never really understood how people could laugh and be all jolly when there're big, intimidating clowns that go by names like 'Button!' or 'Hat' (and no, I'm not scared. Just… you know, intimidated), or how they could laugh and blow on the bloody annoying whistles like there's no tomorrow.

You know, actually, I don't even like champagne.

So thank you, I'll take that 'Party Pooper' crown and enjoy the rest of my life. Thank you, thank you very much.

Phew, am I glad I got that off my chest. Moving on to the main topic!

…Oh, darn it.

What was it that I wanted to say again?

Oh, right. You see that guy over there, sitting at the other end of the classroom? The one who's clad in faded jeans and a white polo shirt, messy dark brown hair and really, really murky grey eyes?

His name is Nataniel, he's never had time to date girls, and he was never found in any party scenes. So we've never really talked (well, not since he turned fifteen), but I know that his voice is deep and sexy.

He noticed my stare and returned it with a small, heart-tugging smile. I think I just melted right there and then.

Deep and sexy voice, doesn't like parties, brilliant smile. Now that's my kind of boy.

Remember the whole party-issue we talked about?

Yeah. See, my parents don't take it very well. Oh, of course they wouldn't. They're the ones who hold half the parties in this town, for Christ's sake. What would people think if their precious daughter hated the celebrations and its jolliness?

So here I am now, dressed in this really colourful, flowing, 'princessy' dress and I'm doing endless twirls in the living room of my house to show people how beautiful I look tonight!

Okay, that was a lie. I'm wearing a black, knee-length skirt that looks like any other black, knee-length skirt, and I'm sulking on the couch that I love with a glass of champagne that I absolutely hate. I'm a boring person and I wear boring dresses. So sue me.

"Aww come on, Jade, live a little, will you?"

I looked up from my half-empty glass of champagne, only to see a petite, green-eyed brunette smiling back at me.

I grinned and got up to launch myself in a warm embrace with my best friend, the most annoying brat in the world. But meh, you know what they say: Can't live with them, can't live without them.

"I hate this birthday party, Ash." I grumbled as I plonked myself back onto the couch, patting the empty seat beside me as a motion for her to sit. "There's absolutely nothing to do here, and I don't even know whose birthday is it!"

"You say that at every party, Jade." Ashley retorted teasingly, her hands smoothing down her velvety purple dress. "You know, you can always content yourself by checking out hot guys in the room, or something."

"Like who?" I asked dryly, my eyes scanning through the crowd in my house. "That fifty-five year old man who came with his second wife? Or that eight-year old kid who just told me I look fat and hideous?"

Ashley's lips started twisting a little, like she was trying very hard not to do something she so desperately wanted to do. You know, like laugh out loud.

"Well, that eight-year old kid isn't that bad looking…" She trailed off, finally choking with loud guffaws, her right hand slapping on whatever that was beside her (which just so happened to be my thigh) in amusement.

"Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather go for that clown over there." I said, my index finger pointing over to the tall figure in the other end of the room, who was busy doing funny faces and making all those balloon shapes for the kids.

The clown we paid for tonight was dressed in bright yellow and green jumpsuit with puffy handcuffs, large red shoes, a tall hat, scarily painted face, and that stupid red nose. They always have that stupid nose.

I suppressed a shudder.

"You'd be surprise to learn that said clown actually has very gorgeous grey eyes, Jade." Ashley argued, her cheeks still flushed from all that laughter. "And underneath all those clown clothing I think he might just be one of those guys with a hot–"

"Or he could be one of those homeless, besotted middle-age men who secretly fantasize about doing his thing with Jessica Alba." I interjected with a bemused sigh and set my glass on the coffee table beside me. "I'd much rather go out with the kid than the clown, thank you very much."

Okay, so that wasn't exactly true. I mean, come on! That kid digs in his nose and licks the digging finger!

Ashley gasped in surprise.

"Ah, but you see, I know for a fact that he isn't besotted, isn't going through menopause –do men even have menopause?" I shrugged, and she continued. "Anyway, I found out from your mum that he's probably around our age, and your mum thinks he's cute."

I snorted and took a big gulp of champagne, trying to finish it all at once.

"My mum thinks that eight-year-old is cute as well, Ash. Let's go for him instead!" I yelled with mock-enthusiasm, punching my fist slightly in the air for the dramatic effect.

She just gave me that eerie look.

"That was a joke." I muttered.

"Oh. Oh, thank goodness, for a moment there I thought something went haywire in your brain." She said with an embarrassed grin, and then stood up, pulling me along with her, her green eyes blazing with determination. "Come on, let's go get his number."

I halted mid-step, my eyes wide with apprehension.

"But why?" I asked warily, my legs now back-pedalling, to absolutely no avail. This was so humiliating.

She looked back to toss me a nonchalant grin.

"Because how many other clowns are there that your mum would actually find cute and good looking?" Was all she said in reply, before trudging towards the other side of the room, pushing through the disgruntled-looking kids, and pulling me along while at it.

I wanted to tell her that my mum thought all clowns are adorable, but refrained myself from doing so. I mean, after all, why spoil her fun of asking for some creepy middle-age clown's number, right?

But I forgot something really, really important.

When she says 'come on, let's go get his number', what she really means is 'come on, you go get his number', which is a totally different matter.

"Hello, my lovelies! What can I do for you today? Now just so you know, I can only make puppies and little heart-shapes, so don't go asking me to make you a ballerina-shaped balloon, alright?"

Followed by loud, throaty, scary, clown-like laughter.

Oh, too late.

"Good luck, love." Ashley whispered cheekily into my ear, gave my butt (of all places) a light, encouraging push, and then scurried off as fast as her pink kitten-heels could carry her.

"Why, we have someone above the usual age range today!" The clown quipped cheerily in front of me. You know, his voice really isn't that bad… I mean, you can tell that he's trying to conceal his deep, low baritone. Wait, what did he just say? "What balloon can I do for you tonight, milady?"

How about one with Ashley's face imprinted on it, so I could use something sharp to burst it?

Once I get this over and done with, she is so dead.

I managed to force out a tiny awkward smile as I edged closer, so that we were face-to-face.

Only, you know, he's almost a foot taller than I am, so I'm actually facing his shoulders.

"Uh…" I trailed off. What do I say, what do I say? I could see his chest rising and falling steadily underneath his clownish attire. "Uh."

Smart, woman. You're just too bloody intelligent, not to mention articulate.

"I'm sorry, darling," The clown replied with a lipstick-smudged smile, his head tilted to the side. "I don't do 'Uh's."

The little kids nearby who heard him started giggling, causing me to blush angrily. Just get his number and be done with it, Jade. Just… get his number.

Get his number. Right. Okay.

I took a deep breath.

"Can I get your number?" I asked in a supposed-to-be-sultry tone, but for some reason it turned out scary and high-pitched, like I just inhaled helium. I screwed it up, didn't I?

I stared up into his grey eyes. For some reason, they looked really, really familiar. In a really nice way.

He has nice eyes. Hmm.

"Uhm," He said, cutting me out of my reverie. The corner of his lips twitched slightly. "Why?"

I shuffled my feet nervously.

"Why not?" I asked after a while, peering up into his really dark, murky grey eyes.

He looked at somewhere behind me and grinned a little, then bellowed in a higher, clownish tone, "I'm sorry kids, balloon-time is over! Now go enjoy yourselves, but don't burn the house down, alright?"

The kids squealed and ran out of the room happily with mischievous glints in their eyes.

… They're not… really going to burn the house down, are they?

I turned my slightly panicked gaze back to the clown, who was returning my gaze with an amused smile.

"So…" I trailed off, waiting for him to produce papers out of thin air and start scribbling down his digits. It can't be that hard, right?

"Should I be worried that you're asking for a clown's number?" He asked in his normal tone, his voice unbelievably low and appealing.

I shook my head slowly, not sure where this was leading to.

He leaned in closer, and I could smell a slight hint of his cologne. Light, fresh, not stinky. I love that smell.

"Do you… uh, have a clown fetish, or something?"

Now, I must say that I don't know what got over me at that moment, because the next thing I know, my hand created a loud, smacking sound across his left cheek, leaving a small handprint on his white face.

Uh, I… got possessed?

Then, I went on my tip-toes so that I could (almost) see him eye-to-eye. Then, I leaned forward.

"I hate clowns." I growled into his ears, and then I turned around to leave the room, leaving him alone with his hands caressing his wounded cheek.

You know, I'm actually pretty damn proud of myself for walking out on a clown (guy) like that.

And it would've been like, an absolutely grand exit, if my legs hadn't decided to step on one of the party bags that were abandoned on the ground, making me trip and fall. Not very gracefully, I might add.

But it's cool, it's cool. I stood up straight the next second and continued striding out with my head held high.

I only managed to find out the next day that the clown's name was Tan (as in surfer-tan, tan), and he left his number for me on the living room table. But the stupid, nutcase of a maid thought it was some rubbish, so she threw it away. So there goes his number.

But then again, it's not like I care or anything. So, yeah.

Yeah. I don't care.

In my school, we sit according to the plan. And since we already have the plan, we don't go against the plan, because, I mean, if we do, what's the point of planning the plan, right?


I am rather certain that Nataniel isn't following the plan today, because as of now, he is sitting right next to me, and he is smiling at me.

That's what the geek who usually sits beside me does; only Nataniel actually looked good doing it.

"Hey." He greeted casually, his elbow placed on the desk so that he could prop his chin up. He stared into my boring brown orbs. "Had a great night?"

Funny question. What did I do last night again?

Oh. The stupid grey-eyed-sexy-voice clown meeting.

It was horribly humiliating, I wanted to say, but my mouth decided to sweeten my words up a little, so I ended up saying "It was okay, how about yours?"

He grinned handsomely.

"It was pretty good," He told me with enthusiasm. "I met the girl of my dreams, and I think I'll be meeting her again this Saturday."

For a moment there I thought I saw something different in his eyes, something akin to fondness, but it left just as quickly as it came. I cleared my throat awkwardly.

"Oh," I said. Right then, the teacher walked into the classroom, demanding all our attention. I turned and gave him a quick smile. "Cool."

It wasn't cool at all.

The next few days went by in a blur (though I must say, I enjoyed the yelling-at-Ash part), and the following weekend, we had another party in our big, neat, good-for-nothing house.

I think it was to celebrate the return of some neighbour who spent the last few years researching in Africa. I didn't even know we had a neighbour missing for the past few years, but then again, I also don't really know who invented the light bulb, so it's nothing, really.

(I'm kidding. Of course I know Alexander Graham Bell invented the light bulb. Phone. Same difference.)

Oh, and guess what?

My mum decided to hire a clown again, for the sake of the kids. She even made sure we got the same clown from our last party.

Ashley couldn't make it to the party, so I've decided to indulge myself in my maid's trademark treacle pudding with extra caramel sauce in the kitchen, ignoring the crowd outside that were discussing –of all things– golf.

But that was before someone decided to block my view from my treacle tart with a pink flower balloon.

"A pretty flower for a pretty girl!" The clown exclaimed dramatically, and I rolled my eyes at his cheesy antiques. He was wearing the same outfit, only with different colour combinations this time. Pink and red. Uhm. "Aw, come on, it took me forever to find something that fits your personality perfectly!"

I stared blankly at the balloon, and then looked up at him.

"Flowers are boring." I muttered deprecatingly, my eyes drawn into his grey ones.

"Ah, catching up pretty quickly, aren't we?" He laughed and pulled a kitchen stool out to sit beside me.

"Ooh, getting a little witty, aren't we?" I remarked sarcastically, but took the flower nonetheless. "But thanks, anyway."

He cocked his head sideways and peered at me through his long eyelashes with what seemed like inquisitiveness.

"I don't get it." He muttered after a while. I shoved in a mouthful of treacle pudding and blinked at him. "You don't look like you're having fun."

Blink. Blink, blink.

"Why should I be having fun?" I asked bluntly.

"Isn't that the point of throwing a party?" He retorted in return, his face now leaning closer to mine for affirmation.

It's… Uh, really distracting, actually.

"Uhm…" Was my eloquent comeback. Not wanting to lose so easily, I straightened my stance and said, "One only enjoys the celebration when one has a reason to celebrate."

He gave me a queer look. Then, to my absolute horror, he pulled my bowl of treacle pudding towards him, and took a large mouthful of it.

"And one only devours in something that would rot ones teeth when one is feeling bitterer than a pit of shit." He countered brusquely, now standing up from his seat and adjusting his attire. "Enjoy the party, Jade."

"Wait a minute, how did you even know my name?"

But he already left, leaving me alone with a bowl of half-eaten treacle pudding and a pink flower balloon.

"I think love is overrated."

I glanced up from my lunch tray and raised a suspicious eyebrow at Ashley.

"Coming from someone like you, I find that absurdly hard to believe." I told her with an amused smile, and continued munching on my cold sandwich.

She rolled her eyes at my attention (or rather, the lack thereof), and moved forward a little, like that would get her point across better.

"No, I'm serious. I went on a date last Saturday with a guy I thought I like –love, even–, but as I sat there in the overcrowded, dim restaurant, I was, like, bored, you know? And then I started thinking, and eventually I realized that love is unproductive and completely transitory. Like snowflakes on hot pavements, love eventually evaporates." She explained through a mouthful of cereal.

Something she said triggered a memory in my mind, but I didn't know what, so I just smiled easily and said, "Ooh, deep. Got that from Google?"

Ashley flushed and grinned.

"Nah, Yahoo." She admitted as she took a gulp of orange juice.

We allowed the comfortable silence to settle in. But when I took another bite and sneaked a glance towards a particular table and found a certain pair of grey eyes on our table, my heart sank.

I already knew who Nataniel's dream girl was.

I met Tan again, this time in my neighbour's annual Easter party.

"Geez, you'd think she'd enjoy parties that aren't actually held in her home, or something." Tan muttered jokingly as he sat beside me on the couch with another balloon in his puffy-sleeved hand.

My eyes landed on his ever-similar outfit, from the bulky jumpsuit to that annoying tall hat.

"Shouldn't you be dressed up as the Easter bunny for this occasion?" I asked curiously.

Because they always have big, monstrous Easter bunnies. My neighbours are freaky like that.

"We ran out of that particular costume today. Big demand, you know." He replied seriously. Then he placed the balloon in my tiny hands. "Here, something you should learn from."

I grabbed the pale green balloon and grimaced.

"You want me to be a bitch?" I asked, staring at the dog-shaped balloon incredulously.

"Oh, no, of course not, you're doing fine in that already." He muttered offhandedly with a clownish smirk. Ass. "I meant you should be more fun and loving."

I laughed dryly, then slump my back against the luxurious cream-coloured sofa with a sulk.

Ash couldn't make it to this party (again), and I can't help but think of the possibilities of her being with a certain grey-eyed guy right now. The very thought of Nataniel holding hands with another girl that isn't me is enough to shred my heart to meaningless pieces.

Of all the people that I can choose to fall in love with, why does it have to be some guy who's irrevocably in love with my best friend? Talk about living a real life cliché. Only, you know, without the bloody happy ending.

Avril, I can so feel you right now.

"What's wrong?" Tan asked, his voice lacing with curiosity and… is that concern I detect? "Come on, confide in me. I won't go running around with a loudspeaker and tell the world what you're about to say. And besides, I might be able to help!"

"Tell a soul and I'll kill you." I threatened. He nodded his head vigorously, and I sighed, my eyes focusing on the ugly vase in front of me. "I like a guy."

He gasped, clamping a hand to his mouth.

"No, really?" Tan asked mockingly, but quickly turned sombre upon receiving the glare. "Go on."

I took a deep breath. He's just a stranger. It's okay, you can tell him everything.


"When I was eight I met this very awkward-looking kid whose name is, uh, nevermind. Anyway, we started hanging out for a while, and he was really nice to me. I mean, he didn't like, give me any promise ring or anything of that sort, but he was just… lovely, you know? And I have a thing for nice guys with really cute smiles. His smile is just gorgeous, did I tell you that? No? Well, it is. And before I know it, I started looking forward to seeing him in school, looking forward to see him smile at me. We ended up with different crowds a few years later, so we stopped talking, but it didn't matter. As long as he smiles at me then I know he knows I'm there. And that's enough for me. That's what I thought." I halted for a while and took a sip of plain water while I let a short silence settle in between us. "But I wanted so much more than that, and I didn't even know. Not too long ago my friend went out on a date with a certain someone, and for some reason, I found myself thinking that, hey, she might be dating him. And that was that. My heart just got crushed. Thus the depression."

And then we just sat there, silently contemplating and collecting our own thoughts. It was probably a very comical picture: a tall clown with rainbow wig and tall hat dressed in pastel blue and orange jumpsuit; and a much shorter teenager in a short green dress and matching heels sitting side-by-side on a cream-coloured couch, unaware of the noises created around them.

It was a while more before he started speaking again. I realized he wasn't smiling anymore, his frown deep and thoughtful.

"When I was just a kid I fell in love with this really adorable girl who always talked to me when no one else would. She wasn't drop-dead gorgeous, but she was someone I could relate to, and that was all I wanted. And then puberty happened, and all of a sudden we just stopped talking. No major fights, no disagreements, nada. It just ended like that. She, too, would always smile at me whenever she'd see me, and I smiled, too. It was hard not to. But I didn't know if she was still the same girl I knew and fell in love with, so I started looking for ways to see her, to talk to her."

"And…? Is she still the same?"

He laughed lightly, his grey eyes gleaming happily.

"For the most parts, yes. The thing is, I just found out not too long ago that she, too, liked me, but she thinks I'm in love with someone else. She's always stupid like that." I rolled my eyes and smacked him playfully on his jumpsuit-clad thigh. "So I'm just… I'm just hoping that I'll be able to find a way to let her to know that it's been her. It's been her all this time."

I sighed wistfully and gave him an encouraging smile.

"I guess we're both stuck in the same boat, huh?" I joked.

Then, he gave me a smile, a smile so earnest and heart-melting as he leaned back against the couch and placed an arm over my shoulder casually, squeezing the balloon dog between us.

"You have no idea."

And so we sat there quietly for a moment, both thinking through the things we've just said...

Until the balloon popped and went flying all over the room.

I have a brilliant idea to cure my heartache.

Said brilliant idea is to ignore both Nataniel and Ashley as much as possible. That way, I won't have to feel a stabbing pain whenever I see either one of them. And they get their lovey-dovey time together. It's a win-win situation, right?

Hell wrong.

The whole theory is like trying to shake off the fat cells from your body, actually. The more you want to lose it, the closer it stick.

So for the past few weeks, both Ashley and Nataniel have been trying their best to glue themselves to me whenever possible. Nataniel managed to switch seats with the guy who usually sits beside me every damn time, and he just can't seem to stop smiling and doing the whole googly eye maneuverwhen he tells me how he wishes to tell the girl of his dreams that he loves her. Ashley, on the other hand, constantly pulls me along in between classes just to tell me how she realize she was wrong, that she truly loved that guy she dated that last time.

… Yeah, way to rub it in, people.

And it didn't help that Nataniel suddenly remembered all the stupid, embarrassing things we did when we hung out together.

"Remember that one time when you cried at the airport just because I was going to Japan for a one-week trip?"


"Oh, how about that time when we poured chunky peanut butter into Jefferson's trousers' pockets? A classic, that one!"

When he said 'classic', he meant 'a detention-worthy stunt'. And I got grounded for two whole months.

I was nine.

Nine-year olds weren't even supposed to know what 'grounded' means.

"Hey, you used to call me 'Poopee', and I called you 'Peepoo'! We were one cool 'Peepoopoopee' team, weren't we, Jade?"

I gave him one last glare (oh, his gorgeous eyes), slammed my textbook shut, and left the classroom without giving an excuse to the befuddled Maths teacher.

Got a detention for that, too.

Everyone's talking about the upcoming party. Again.

In my house. Again.

Only this time, it's the Christmas Eve party. Which, in my book, spells 'Absolute Disaster'.

The last time we had a Christmas Eve party, I ended up under the mistletoe seven times with darling Ashley. Uh, I love her and all, but kissing her is a completely different topic.

We made sure that we stood a meter apart for a week.

That, and the fact that some kid accidentally toppled the table over, smashing the entire Christmas cake onto my pretty white dress, creating a whole new masterpiece out of it.

I honestly didn't think this year would go any smoother than the last.

"Merry Christmas, doll." Ashley greeted brightly as she leaned in for a quick hug. "Make sure you don't come near me this year, alright?"

"Will do." I promised, then added, albeit grudgingly, "So… where's your date?"

Then, to my absolute surprise, she pulled onto the hands of a very familiar looking guy.

The one who used to sit beside me, before Nataniel budged in and claimed his place.

"Jade, I'm sure you know Marcus." She said, happily entwining her fingers with his. "We've been dating for half a year now."

Holy cow. I think my jaw just dropped to the ground.

Marcus laughed awkwardly and gave me a slight wave, then pulled Ashley into the living room for food.

"A little surprised, aren't we?" A deep voice came from beside me, and I jumped.

"What the-" I halted as I took in Tan's newest attire. Well, in short, just think Santa Claus without the belly. "Santa?"

He swayed his hands in the air dismissively.

"Yes, Santa. Also known as Tan, also known as Clown. Or The Clown. Sometimes the 'scary one'. You know, whatever floats your boat." He offered with the tiniest smile.

"Don't you ever do that again." I warned, but relaxed into a happy grin. "Nataniel isn't with Ashley, can you believe it?"

Tan quirked his eyebrow. Funny. I think he looked better in his Santa outfit. And somewhat familiar…

I shrugged that thought off. Hallucinations. I hear they usually come when you're really happy, or something.

"Well, is Nataniel here tonight?" He asked. "I would really like to know how he's like."

I took a hopeful glance around, but he wasn't there. My face dropped into a subtle frown.

"He isn't here." I muttered bitterly, and was just about to turn around when Tan pulled on my hand.

"Well, do you want him to be here?" He asked again, his grey eyes staying on mine.

"Is that a trick question?" I retorted. He shook his head slowly, and I sighed. "Yes. I'd fly to the moon if he were here right now. Happy?"

He tilted his head sideways, his right hand reaching upwards to grab onto his Santa hat.

"Well then, Jade." He said, and then stopped. I stared at him questioningly, more because of his awkward pose at that moment. He looked like hangman.

But suddenly, he removed his cap to reveal his messy, dark brown hair, and flashed me that familiar brilliant smile through that white beard.


"Fly to the moon."

But it was too surreal, too impossible. I knew something was familiar about those grey eyes, but why didn't I think of the possibilities before?

I blinked slowly, frozen on the spot.

"Hey, what ever happened to flying to the moon?" He grumbled jokingly, his arms now crossed over his chest.

"This is impossible." I choked out, but before he could come out with a reply, I pulled him down, pushed his fake, white beard up, and pressed a long, lingering kiss on his lips.

"Or you could just fly us together… I mean, who am I to object such a decision, right?" He murmured between kisses, and despite the supposedly romantic situation, I burst into laughter.

"You've liked me all these years?" I questioned. He pretended to ponder over the question for a while before nodding enthusiastically. "You didn't have to pretend to be a clown to get that point across, you know."

He released me from his grip and gave me a weird stare.

"Well, actually I was just doing my dad a favour, you know." He explained slowly. "He runs the whole party entertainment company, remember?"



I felt my cheeks flushing from utter humiliation.

"Yeah, I knew that." I choked out, trying to preserve my last shred of dignity (if I even had any left).

Nataniel laughed, the deep, husky vibrations sending shivers down my spine, even more so as he wrapped his arms around me.

"And because I really, really wanted to talk to you." He whispered lightly into my ears, pressing a kiss there, as well.

I… I…


Oh my God.

I am so dense.

I looked up from the ground and stared into his grey eyes.

"So, I was thinking…" He asked, resting his chin on my head. "Am I your favourite clown?"

I rolled my eyes at this question and pulled hard on his fake beard, smiling in satisfaction as he let out a loud, agonized groan.

"I hate clowns, remember?"

You know how the rule goes: If you're still in high school, then you're too young to fall in love?

Yeah. There was a time (okay, a lot of times) when I tried convincing myself that I wasn't in love with Nataniel. Merely a serious infatuation. A crush.

But then I realized that love isn't a game. It isn't something that you have to play by the rules, or something that you must achieve victory over.

So I've fallen for him. I don't know when, and I can't tell you why, or how. But then again, since when was love ever describable? Love is a feeling, a feeling so overwhelming that all you want to do is just grasp onto it and never let go.

Then don't let go.

I didn't.

Believe it or not, I found it. I found love.

And it ain't going anywhere.

a/n: First of all, no offence to whoever, whatever that may be, uhm, offended in this story (Chris and Esther are actually very beautiful names. REALLY.). And, thanks to GrannyP for checking the work when it was all awful and crap.

I know for a fact that this one-shot isn't as good as my previous one (And that wasn't exactly great, either), but I spent so much time on it that it would be SUCH a waste if I just abandon it or put it in the recycle bin, you know?

Oh, and by the way, I realize that Jade is just too dense to be true. -cough-

Would still love to receive reviews and constructive criticism! :)

much love.