My first one-shot. I figure since I never finish any story, it's probably better that I come up with short stories instead. Some parts of this story are based on real life, only modified to protect persons involved. Leave a review if you please.
The Evolution of David and Me
loved you once.
love you still.
always have, always will.
It all started with a bet.
It was a Friday afternoon in late May and classes had just let out for the last time. We were seniors and graduation was just a week away. So under the bleachers in the school gym, Sarah, Meryl, Jade, Trina and I made a bet. Or the bet, I should say. It's quite an important bet, because it was four against one.
Before we jump in to the story, let me give you a quick background on me and what led to the bet. You see, aside from being the regular seventeen year old girl who hates but does her homework in time, watches live bands in under twenty-one clubs, and involved in various school organisations because of the fun of it, I am also one who is interested in neither boy or girl. That is to say, I didn't really care about having a boyfriend. Or girlfriend. I've been called lesbian one or two times, but I guess with a healthy dose of friendship and self-acceptance, stuff like that just doesn't faze me. Besides, my mothers are lesbians and far be it for me to consider that an insult.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I never once cared or even thought I'd have a boyfriend. I'm too preoccupied in living my life and furthering my studies to even consider taking on a boyfriend. I figured I'd have one after college. When I'm past the prime of my life and can handle excess baggage weighing me down.
But don't get the wrong idea, I've had my fair share of dates. It's just the drama that comes with the relationships I find hard to take. I'm sorry if I don't put out after just a couple of dates, it's really just not my style. No offense to anyone who does. I also really hate getting texts in the middle of the day just to ask how I am. If I don't text you, it doesn't mean I don't care. It just means I'm lazy to pick up my phone. Ugh. Stop acting so needy.
Okay, yes, I'm a girl. Just… a bit different, I suppose. And when men start acting clingy instead of the other way around, I suppose that's saying something about my character.
So again, the bet. It was the last day of school and we were all parting ways, but we had the kind of friendship that would last. We're that sort. So huddled under the bleachers, they bet against me that I'd have a boyfriend before the age of twenty-one. Twenty-two for Sarah. It would be ridiculous to last four whole years in college without having one, they reasoned.
Poor reasoning, yeah? So I bet against them. The earliest I'd ever have a real boyfriend would be the age of twenty-four – if that. If they win, I'd have to pay them two thousand dollars. Each. If I won, they'd have to pay me two thousand dollars each as well. And at that time, I knew I'd be raking in the money.
We'll now fast forward to my fourth and final year in NYU. I was standing in registration, taking down the time slots of classes I needed when this random stranger sidled up next to me, his heavy light brown curls – an Afro, if you will, only he isn't African-American – bouncing across his eyes.
"Hey, uh, you have a pen I could borrow real quick?" he asked, his hand quickly side-sweeping his curls away from his face.
"Yeah, sure," I shrugged and reached into my backpack to hand him a spare pen.
"Thanks," he grinned at me and stole a look at my paper. "Word to the wise: do not get Fischer. If you value your future and your sanity."
"B-b-but… he's the best…" I sputter, and then thought back to who told me he was one of the best professors for Introduction to Econometrics. Melissa Ricks, that lying scumbag. Just because I accidentally spread the rumor that she was pregnant with Tom Bjorn's – the sleaziest drug dealer in New York – baby. It was an accident! I promise.
Afro guy just arched his eyebrow, as if daring me to take Fischer's class, and went back to his note taking. "You don't have to take my word for it, but since you did me the huge favour of giving me your pen –"
"Lending," I stressed.
"I figured I owed it to you to save yourself before it's too late," he continued on as if I hadn't spoken. He shrugged nonchalantly. "But Fischer does pose a huge challenge, if you're one of those masochist types. Although it's more of a challenge to get your diploma rather than proving yourself."
I sighed and crossed out Fischer's name.
"Well done, young padawan, there's hope for you yet," he smirked and waved goodbye with my pen still in his hand. "Thanks for the pen!"
I rolled my eyes and went back to listing down classes. It was a good thing I gave him the Bic pen.
So I guess to sum it all up, it started with a bet and then a pen.
His name is David Madeira, an honors Biochemistry student in his fifth year – thus completing a master's degree – and varsity soccer player. To say that he is perfect doesn't even begin to describe him. What he sees in me, I don't quite understand.
It started off friendly. We saw each other again in the library and I ragged on him for stealing my cheap pen. He carelessly tossed the matter aside and invited me to sit with him. I soon learned that not only was he smart and talented, he was also a regular jokester. Which was sometimes good and sometimes bad. You wouldn't want to hear some of the stuff he comes up with. Seriously.
But the best thing about him is that he was essentially kind. The type of kindness you don't see in this day and age anymore. He actually cared for other people other than himself and his friends. He cared for the world – which was why he was majoring in biochemistry. He has this notion that he can discover and create all the drugs in the world to make everyone healthy and live until a thousand years old. But not just discover and invent – he wanted to change policies as well and make all medical drugs universally accessible worldwide as long as it came with a prescription.
Seeing as I was taking up Economics with a focus on socio-development, you could see how he appealed so much to me. By the end of the semester, we were practically inseparable. And so it wouldn't come as a surprise that by the start of the second semester, he grabbed a dandelion, tied it around my ring finger and declared us boyfriend and girlfriend.
"What?" I asked, looking down at the weed attached to my finger with dread. "Why?"
"Why not?" he countered, flopping down to the bench, his head comfortably placed on top my lap.
"I… I don't want…"
"Yeah, you do seem to have a phobia for relationships," he rolled his eyes. He took my right hand in his and absentmindedly placed it on top his lips.
"You know and yet you're asking – no sorry, you haven't really asked, have you?"
"Will you be my girlfriend?" he grinned, looking up with me with his light brown eyes twinkling as though he knew a secret.
He scoffed. "Please. We pretty much are. Not that we ever slept together, but that's really just the only thing stopping us from being a full-fledged couple. Look, I'm cool with the no-label thing. I'm down with that, pretty girl. Just as long as I'm yours and you're mine."
This is what I'm allergic to.
I rolled my eyes and looked away. He was too attractive for his own good.
It was a month into the second semester that he started acting distant. He no longer called; he rejected my calls and was suddenly always unavailable.
I never agreed to be an official couple, so I knew I had no right to complain and get angry, but damn it, I needed him. I finally managed to corner him in the library on a Monday morning. I knew his schedule and where he usually spent his breaks.
"What's going on, Madeira?" I asked, glaring at him, my arms akimbo.
"I don't know, you tell me Brooks." He stood in front of me, arms crossed, eyes steely. It was unlike him. Even the crazy Afro on his Brazilian looks didn't lessen the impact of his anger. He was positively seething.
"I don't know! This is ridiculous," I hissed, keeping my voice down for the sake of the rest of the people who went to the library that day to actually study. "This is why having a boyfriend is stupid – because of idiotic arguments like this that no one really understands."
I stomped away, but not out of earshot enough for me to hear him bite out, "are you sure it's that? Or is it because of a high school bet you're not willing to let go?"
"What?" I turned around. His face was red with anger.
"You know very well, Alex," he said, trying to control himself. He collected his books in less than two seconds and left me staring at his back with my mouth agape.
I later found out that he learned about the bet through Sarah, who was studying in Columbia University. As I said, our group were the kind that would keep in touch. We were sure of that because we all got into East coast schools, and out of the five, three of us were in New York.
No, Sarah didn't do it to spite me. It just slipped out. And it wasn't like it was such a big secret anyway. Hell, my Macroeconometrics group mates knew of it.
That night had me carefully studying my thoughts on my aversion to having a boyfriend. There was the occasional heartbreak, yes. Mountains of drama, I'm sure. Jealousy, there's always that. But when it came down to it, it told me I was afraid and was just playing it safe. And at the rate I was going, I was definitely going to grow old alone.
It didn't come off as an epiphany. It was more of a "duh" and several shots of vodka to try to erase how stupid my reasoning was. But that's not to say I came running back to him the next day. Or even the following week. No, just because I knew I was being a pussy didn't mean I suddenly turned over a new leaf and got rid of my fear of getting hurt.
It took a month of us having an internal civil war until he finally broke and showed up at my doorstep at three in the morning on a Saturday with twisted dandelions in his hand in the shape of a crown. He plonked it on my head the moment I opened the door and grabbed me by the waist.
"I'll pay off fifty percent of what you'll owe, just say yes," he growled before planting a kiss on me.
"Nuh-uh," I garbled out, my voice muffled between kisses.
"You're mine. Not forever, if that scares you. But in this moment, at this time, I need you. And I hope you need me too."
"I'll pay off the entire thing. It's my deal," I said breathlessly before grabbing him by the shoulders and jumping up to wrap my legs around his waist.
He staggered backwards, confused and surprised, but his quick reflexes saved us from completely falling down. He stopped and stared at me, "are you sure?" he asked, still confused. I don't blame him, my decisions come at the drop of the hat. Even I don't understand myself sometimes.
"I can pay off the debt," I smiled and kissed him again. I couldn't help it. Once I started, it was really hard to stop.
"No, I mean us. This. Are you sure?"
"After you hound me about this for months, you're suddenly questioning me?"
"Not unsure. Just… really confused. But happy, really, don't get me wrong."
I shrugged. "I don't know what to say. You're my best friend. You're the only person I could ever even think of doing this with. You're the only guy I even trust. So for a first boyfriend, I'd say you're exactly the right choice. And yes, I'm sure."
He smiled. I love his smile. His happiness radiates in his smile, his eyes, even his cheekbones. When David is happy, everyone around him is happy. That's just how he is.
And that's how it came to be that David and I were sitting on my couch with our legs entangled around each other. I was breathing heavily, still trying to catch my breath while he was snuggling down next to me, his lips pecking my neck every so often. It took a while, but I finally came to the realization. I love David as a best friend, but I knew it isn't too hard, nor would it be too far in the future for me to come to be in love with him.
He must have heard the rustling of the dandelions on my hair because he stopped his sensual attack on my neck to observe me trying to rid myself of the homemade crown that is impossible to get off.
"I like you like that," he said, a dreamy smile on his face. "Reminds me of the time we got married."
"Say again?" I asked, my hands suddenly frozen in place. When he didn't reply, I asked again. "What did you say."
"I knew it would freak you out," he muttered. Sitting up and untangling himself from me, he gently helped me up into a proper sitting position. "And that you wouldn't remember."
I was definitely confused. "Remember what?"
Then he proceeded to tell me everything. How he fell in love with me years ago and how finding me in campus was a huge shock to him that he had to rush to meet me. How us being best friends made him both happy and sad.
And then I remembered.
I was nine years old and in Camp Holloway for the summer. He was the only boy who agreed to play with girls, and all the girls adored him. He was nice, he said his 'please' and 'thank yous', he was really good at sports, and best of all, he was good looking.
Whereas boys his age avoided girls like the plague because of non-existent cooties, he politely nodded yes when we asked him to play Marriage with us. He could've gotten his ass kicked or been called names for agreeing to, but no. He was too good of an athlete to be bullied. He was heaven sent, surely. And I was the lucky girl whose name was picked from a bunch of folded papers bearing all the girls' names.
And so on that fateful July day, surrounded by our peers, in a forest very close to camp, we were married. Two pieces of paper signed with cornflower blue Crayolas served as our marriage certificate.
He grinned. "Yeah?"
I gazed at him in wonder. A rush of old and new feelings surfaced. "How come you never told me?"
"I guess I just kept hoping you'd remember one of these days."
I cupped his cheek. "I had the hugest crush on you, it was ridiculous. And all the girls were jealous of me for having married you."
"I added extra ballots for you, you know."
He leaned in for a kiss again but remembering another detail, I pushed him back. "You promised you'd come the next summer!"
"Ah, yes, about that. My parents brought my family back to Brazil. They were undecided where they wanted their kids to grow up in. I put up a fight, you should know. I was intent on seeing you again, but ten year olds don't really have much say in big family decisions. We stayed in Brazil for three years before moving back home, and by that time, well... I was too old for camp."
"I kept waiting for you, you know."
"If you liked me all that much, why didn't you ever recognize me?" he teased, feigning hurt.
I rolled my eyes. "Maybe because you used to have blond hair then? And it wasn't as long or curly as it is now. In fact, your hair wasn't at all curly then."
"Well, hair can't exactly curl when its cut so short now can it?"
He held my hand. It was so simple that it brought shivers up my arm.
"Hey," he said, nudging me after some time of comfortable silence. "I have something for you."
I cocked my head questioningly.
He reached for his wallet in his back pocket and pulled out a folded, crinkled piece of yellowing paper with frayed sides and handed it to me. Without even having to open it, I knew what it was.
Sure enough, the familiar cornflower blue Crayola writing greeted me. I forgot the name of the girl who forged the certificate. Mary, maybe. Or Melissa? But on the bottom were both of our childish scrawls that served as signatures for the marriage certificate.
"Looks like we're still married then, Mrs. Madeira," David said softly before leaning in to kiss me again.