"Sometimes, people can't let go of the hurt… because it's a constant reminder of a love story they never expected to end."
You're on the phone...
"You're joking right? Snipers have more fun!"
She could hear him smiling through the phone and she couldn't help but smile too. He always got excited when they were talking about his favorite computer games. He didn't have to know that the only reason she started playing was so she could spend more time with him He didn't need to know that. He didn't need to know that his smile made her heart jump in her throat. He also didn't need to know that he was always the highlight of her day. She would never say it out loud, but she was falling. Fast. And hard.
"Yeah, I notice you always want to be the Sniper when we're playing. But for me, playing the Soldier is more fun. You get to whack all those people. Just keep hitting to your heart's content. I don't have the patience to be a Sniper." She laughed.
"You should try it, still." He insisted.
"Okay, next time." She couldn't say no. Just imagining his sad puppy dog eyes if she said no tugged at her heartstrings. How can he not see that I- ? She couldn't blame him. She was a good actress. And it also helped that her classmates were so sure that she liked someone else in the class, teasing her incessantly. It did help to protect her secret. But it didn't help to protect her heart. She was always looking, always waiting for a sign from him. Maybe even a hint of jealousy. But no, it seemed like he couldn't care less.
They stopped talking for a few minutes. The silence didn't even bother her. She felt happy just knowing that he was on the other end of the line. Feeling his presence was enough. She would content herself with that.
"I'm bored. What are you doing tomorrow?"
"Well, I don't have any plans. But I'm up for anything."
Her heart was racing. Sweat was forming on her right palm. And her ears suddenly felt hot. Must be my blood rushing... She transferred the receiver to her left hand and held it up to her ear. Is this it? She wiped her right hand on her shorts as she nervously waited for him to say something.
This time, the silence was agonizing. She held onto the phone for dear life that her hand was sweaty again. But she didn't shift the phone to her right ear, fearing that she might miss a single word. What was taking him so long? Why hasn't he said anything yet? She waited. And waited. Then finally...
"Oh. Okay then. Anyway, it's late. Goodnight."
"Good-" He hung up.
Yani couldn't understand Denny's sudden weird behavior. What was that?? She debated with herself for the next hour, wondering what went through his mind during those moments of silence. Why didn't he say anything for so long? What made him change his mind? She should have said something else. Feeling restless, she called her best friend's cell. It was kinda late, but she knew she wouldn't be asleep yet. Probably Facebooking.
"Hi Yani! What's up?"
"Liz! Denny and I were talking-"
"Yes??" She could hear the enthusiasm in her voice. Liz was a big fan of the Denny-Yani love team. She had already given her best friend seal of approval. Too bad, her enthusiasm was for naught.
"Well, it was so weird. One minute he was sort of asking me out and the next he was saying good night."
"What???!" Liz exclaimed so loud that Yani had to distance the phone from her ear. "What did he say, exactly?"
Yani told her overly-excited friend what Denny had said word for word, reliving how her heart had raced when she heard his voice on the other end, the nervousness she felt when he asked what she was doing tomorrow and the dull ache at the end when he suddenly ended the conversation.
"Hmmm... you're right. That was so weird. He was going to ask you out. I can tell. Why did he change his mind?"
"I don't know..."
She was remembering The Day. Her best day. When Denny had invited Rick, Yani and Liz to watch a movie after doing their school project. It was the second time Liz had hung out with Denny. That was the day she had told Yani that she approved. Denny was almost perfect that day. He bought them lunch. Treated them to four races at the arcade. Liz had won twice, much to her surprise and much to Rick and Denny's outrage. They both demanded a rematch. And to top it all off, they had watched the chick-flick of the weekend. No one would ever question its status as Yani's best day.
"Haayy... Emo guy." That was their code name for him. The name came to Liz when she first saw him. How his short, black hair stuck out in the back and how it fell over his eyes gave her the idea. Denny wasn't really emo in the eyeliner-wearing sense of the word. But if he was, he could totally rock that look.
"At least you still have July 31, Yani." She laughed.
"I know... but it's so frustrating. This is obviously going nowhere."
"You can't just give up! You know how hard it is to get my approval."
"I know, I know." Liz had never liked Yani's three past boyfriends. The first one was too pushy. The second one she called a pervert. And the third one only lasted a day. Denny was the first guy Liz had actually liked for Yani. So did her other best friends.
"I don't even know why you guys approve of him. He's a flirt!" It made her blood boil thinking about how he was flirting with one of the girls in their class and how she was flirting back. It took all her will power to not strangle him.
"Well, I don't see that side of him. But I don't like the fact that he doesn't wear seatbelts. That's the only thing wrong with him. Other than that, he's perfect."
"Then maybe you should chase after him instead."
"Ha-ha. Very funny. I want him for you, not for me. You guys have chemistry."
"Well, apparently, it's not enough..."
"I'm sure you guys will get together soon. I have hope."
"Yeah, well, I'm being realistic."
"I'd rather you not. Go to sleep. And dream of him." She said, laughing.
"I will." Yani muttered sarcastically.
She went back to remembering that day. How she could barely control her happiness. How Liz had teased her every chance she got. How Denny had smiled... She smiled too. And then she smacked her forehead in annoyance. Why did Denny even change his mind??!
She closed her eyes and fell into a grumpy sleep, thinking about tomorrow's could-have-been.
...With your girlfriend (???!)
"Argh! Denny is driving me crazy." Aina complained. "I don't care if he is my best friend, but he is too bossy."
And he's so unreliable… Yani thought but couldn't say. She was still angry at Denny for ditching her the other day. They were supposed to go to school together early in the morning. He was her ride. Or at least she thought he was. In the middle of the night, after Yani first contacted him, Denny had franticly tried to contact her. He couldn't give her a ride the next day because something came up. Luckily, Yani was resourceful. But still, she was angry that Denny wasn't even responsible enough to tell her sooner. It was like he completely forgot about her. No. He really did forget. She had fallen asleep waiting for his reply. And if Yani hadn't seen it when she woke up, she probably would still have waited for him, instead of commuting to school. If she hadn't contacted him first, he may never have even remembered to inform her about the change of plans. In her annoyed state, she had called Liz up.
"I now have a reason why I should move on." Yani had said once Liz picked up. Ever since the weird conversation on the phone with Denny, Yani had been trying to convince herself that moving on was the best thing to do. But of course, Liz had tried to convince her otherwise, asking Yani to provide a valid reason. Now she had one.
"What is it?" Liz asked, worried.
"Denny is so unreliable. And irresponsible. He bailed on me. He was supposed to give me a ride to school and he cancelled at the last and worst possible minute." Yani said, still seething.
Liz had tried to point out Denny's silver linings. But she had to concede that it was a valid reason.
It had been a couple of months since The Best Day. Yani was slowly losing the reason to fight for what she felt. And now that she'd seen Denny in a new light, she didn't care. She wasn't going to forgive him so easily. Even if he gave her his sad puppy dog eyes. She had silently declared a cold war. But of course, in the back of her mind, there was this nagging voice saying that it wouldn't last long.
"Hey Yani, do you know that Denny has a new girl?" Aina said in passing.
Yani turned her head to look Aina. She turned so fast that it gave her a whiplash. But other than that, she remained calm and said "Really? Who is it?" The way she said it was just right. Just curious enough for gossip but not too curious in the I'm-obsessed-with-him way.
" It's Bree." Vince answered with a sigh, slamming his fist on the table.
"Honestly, Vince. If you liked her so much, you should have asked her out. You can't be mad at Denny." Aina said.
"I know. But still. It's Bree… why did it have to be her? I'm sure there are other girls for Denny. I can't help but feel cheated."
Yani was not following the conversation at all. "Who's Bree?" she asked.
"Bitch!" Liz exclaimed.
"What did you say?" Yani said, half-laughing. Liz was never one for profanities. So this was quite a shock to Yani.
"That Bree girl. She stole Emo guy from you! That creative-writing, guy-stealing flirt!"
Yani had filled her in on Denny's relationship status. Bree was from their school, but in a different course. She was a Creative Writing student.
Her best friend's reaction took Yani's mind off of the ache in her heart. Listening to her outrage over Denny's "lapse in judgment" was an effective anesthetic. She was funny when she wanted to be, but Liz was still one of Yani's more serious friends.
"I don't need to take up creative writing to be awesome in writing stories and poems. I'll show her." Liz mumbled on and on. Yani could almost the venom in her words. This thought made her laugh.
"Honestly, bitter much?" Yani asked, stifling a laugh.
"Well, she stole Denny from you! Of course I'm bitter. I'm bitter for you."
"It's over. He has a girlfriend now." Yani said, resigned. But it didn't come out the way she wanted it too. Instead of sounding cool and collected, she had actually sounded jealous.
"Now who's bitter?" Liz teased.
"I'm not bitter!" She said, a little too defensively.
"You don't believe me. You're supposed to be my friend."
"Sometimes friends know you better than you know yourself." Liz laughed.
"Anyway," she cut her off, "I'm sure they won't last long. Denny will realize sooner or later that you guys are meant to be. My Magic 8-ball said so. Without a doubt."
"Ha-ha. That Magic 8-ball is flawed. It always gives you the answers you want."
"Well. It knows I'm right." Liz laughed again.
"You are the most annoying person I'll ever know." Yani rolled her eyes, but she still couldn't help but laugh.
Liz yawned. "Hey, I'm going to bed. We'll take about Bree tomorrow. And Denny."
"Okay, good night." She hung up.
Without Liz as a distraction, Yani's thoughts wandered to Bree and Denny. If that isn't a sign for me to move on, then I don't know what is. She sighed. Still, she knew even if she set her mind to it that moving on would take a while. But now, all she had was time.
And for the time being, she was going to torture herself more by looking at Denny's Facebook page. She was a member of C.S.I. after all. Crush-stalking was in her nature. What do we have here? Wall posts from Bree….
She'll never know your story like I do.
"Wait, let me show you guys what Bree looks like." Yani offered.
It had been a month. A month since Yani found out that Denny was officially off the market. She and her best friends were hanging out at the mall, specifically at the Apple Store. Though they had no intention of buying anything, Yani and her friends liked "testing the merchandise". They would sneak in a few minutes to surf the net. In this case, Facebook. So far, only one of her best friends knew what Bree looked like. Liz. And she never passed up the chance to say what she thought of her.
"Flirt. Boyfriend stealer." Liz muttered under her breath.
"Stop being bitter, Liz." Yani laughed as she typed in her password and quickly navigated to Bree's page.
Chesca leaned in to get a better view of Bree's profile picture. "Ooohhh…"
"Just look at all her previous statuses." Yani scrolled down so they would know what she was pertaining to.
"Bree: Notice how we're so different?" Chesca read. "Denny: Yeah, I keep wondering how I got you to fall for me. But then again, you're my missing piece."
"Awww… Emo guy is so sweet. Bree is having doubts, Yani." Liz nudged her.
"I hate you, you know that? You should be comforting me right about now."
"Why? My interpretation is acceptable. Denny is still approved in my book. Bree is having doubts so you should destroy her." She said is so seriously that Yani and Chesca couldn't help but laugh.
"Look here," Yani pointed to one of Bree's posts, "'I love you.' And here's Denny saying 'I love you too.'"
"It doesn't mean anything. People say 'I love you' all the time that it has lost its meaning." Liz argued.
Chesca was making herself busy by taking control of the mouse. She was scanning Bree's posts one by one. She knew Yani and Liz were going to have another one of their heated debates. Truly, it is better to watch from the sidelines. She stifled a laugh.
"Come on, Liz. Don't be mean. They love each other. It's really time I moved on."
"But Yani, don't you remember how you were with Denny? You were so stupid in love," she laughed, "I remember you telling me about that one time when you couldn't even answer a question properly."
"How can I forget? It was so embarrassing." Yani moaned.
Yani had come to school wearing a white shirt and jeans. At some point, she also put on a white jacket. Denny noticed and commented "Wow. All-white." And I… I actually said… "Well, it's cold today." Yani could still remember that puzzled look Denny had given her. She laughed at herself for being so stupid.
"And then, there was the time when you said Denny opened up to you about his dad…"
"Yeah…" Yani admitted.
It had happened a while back. I can't believe she even remembers. Denny had asked Yani for help with their Programming lessons. They had stayed at school later than usual so Denny had offered to give her a ride home. And to thank her for helping him, he had treated her to an early dinner. It was after that when he sadly told her, "Yani, I don't think I'll be able to give you a ride home." And then, he explained about his dad. She was actually surprised that they had this in common. In that moment, it was like the planets were aligned or the universe was conspiring to bring them together.
Yeah, look how that turned out, Yani thought bitterly.
"That's why I know you guys are meant to be. I'm sure you know him better than that wanna-be."
"I'm sure Denny already told her about his dad. They've been together a month."
"Yeah, but I doubt she can relate to him like you can." Liz insisted.
"Fine, fine. You win. But I'm telling you, it's hopeless."
They were about to start a whole new debate when Chesca interrupted them.
"Guys, look here."
I can't help thinking this is how it ought to be…
"What?" Liz asked.
Chesca pointed to a specific post in Bree's wall.
"I've seen that already." Yani said. "There's another one somewhere below."
"What are your chances with the one you like?" Liz read aloud. "Ha! 1%! See Yani, she has nothing on you and Denny." She patted her on the back.
"Here's another one. 5%. I think this was her first result." Chesca said.
"Serves her right." Liz muttered.
Yani wouldn't admit it to anyone, but she did feel somewhat smug when she first saw that. Like Fate was giving her a sign that she was not a Bree-Denny fan, but a Yani-Denny fan. She smiled to herself. But the smile left a bitter aftertaste when a thought suddenly came to mind. Well, she's the one who has a boyfriend, and I'm here Denny-less. Fate was cruel that way.
"Come on, guys. I think that's enough stalking for today." Or ever. Yani added in her thoughts.
"Don't give up, Yani. I'm sure Denny will see soon enough that what he really is looking for is right here." Liz said.
Yani didn't want to argue anymore. She didn't want to tell her for the nth time that she really was going to move on. Staying in love is a choice. Falling out of love is a decision. And I've decided.
She didn't know how long it would take. She didn't know when she'll finally be okay. The time when they'll talk about Denny and she won't feel the least bit sad or hurt. The time when her heartache will finally disappear. When will that time come? When will the time come that hearing his voice and seeing his smile won't have any effect on her? I don't know…
All she knew was that Denny was happy. With Bree. They were happy together, happy in love. And loving someone means being happy when he's happy, even though it's not here with me. I can accept that.
I just wish I knew when I'll be okay again…
Author's Note:Yay! First oneshot. Tell me what you really think. Be brutal. haha. Anyway, this story is totally a product of my imagination. If it sounds like someone you know, then it's a beautiful coincidence. haha. I hope to finish Chapter 23 of It Started With A Dream tomorrow so look forward to that. Remember, the first one to review, gets to be my editor for a chapter. haha. :)
I don't own the song or the lyrics to You Belong With Me. All rights belong to Taylor Swift. Her songs are awesome. :)
Anyway, if you read this, then please review. Even if you just say, "I read it." or maybe even a smiley. I'm not picky. haha. :) Thanks!