ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE
Chapter 5: No accidents
Two weeks has passed since that breakdown in the KTV bar. Still, Jane didn't do anything about Noah. Her friends were getting worried but they trust her enough to do the right thing, they could only interfere so much. Now, she stood in front of a huge hotel's doors. Inside was the birthday party of the person she's been avoiding and she wasn't even sure what she was doing there.
She hadn't talked to him in days and she felt herself dying. She knew her confession was long overdue but she had to build up her confidence day by day before she was sure she could say what has to be said.
Taking a much needed breath, she went inside the building. It was a very beautiful hotel. There was a small receiving area in front of the receptionist desk that boasted a huge and comfy couch. In her right was a small café with a few patrons drinking what she assumed was coffee.
A long winding staircase took her to the second floor which was filled with beautiful ornaments from statues to potteries to paintings. She took her time, studying each of these as she tried to calm her nerves. She knew she was stalling and didn't care. She needed it to be able to gain her determination that's slowly slipping away. It was stupid to get this anxious over something so simple but she's never been in her right mind the moment Noah came clean with his feelings.
But however she tried to delay the inevitable, she still found herself behind the doors that would open up to the party. A small tarpaulin was hung above the door announcing his 18th birthday to anyone who cared to read.
She gripped the knob, turned it and opened the door. The first thing that she noticed was the sweet music that was flowing right out of the speakers. The lights were dimmed as people started to fill in the dance floor. She was glad she timed her arrival to this part of the program. This way she can be able to speak with him with as little interference as possible.
It was his birthday and she wanted to give him her heart.
She started to walk in and search for his face. Acquaintances and friends tried to catch her attention but she was too much preoccupied to pay them any heed. She looked from table to table and scanned every face but he wasn't there. She moved near the stage where his family gathered but there was still no sign of him and so she moved to look into the dance floor.
It was there she found him and her heart broke.
He was dancing with one of the loveliest faces she's ever seen. She was tall, reaching up to his ears. Her doe-like eyes looked joyfully into his while her lips were curved seductively into a gorgeous smile that was irresistible. Her hair was as black as the night sky and flowed silkily over her back. Her red dress hugged her perfect curves beautifully and her skin was smooth and fair.
He was looking at her and listening to her words with all his attention. His arms circled her waist in what she assumed to be a rather possessive grip. Their bodies were close, too close to her liking and she realized she was already too late. If she had just told him right from the start what she really felt for him then this wouldn't have happened. She should've been the one twirling in his arms and not some other pretty face.
She was still frozen in her spot when the other girl looked up to meet her eyes. She saw her whisper to him and watched him turn his head to look at her direction. Their eyes met up and all the hurt crashed upon her. It overwhelmed her that she once again took off before he could cross to her.
"Damn," Noah cursed as she, once again, ran away from him. Would they ever get past playing 'catch'?
"Aren't you gonna go after her?" his cousin asked with a knowing glint in her eyes.
"What for? She's just gonna reject me again. I'm not immune to hurt, y'know," he replied.
Suddenly, she hit his head.
"Ow! What the hell was that for?"
"Are you stupid?" she scolded. "Why do you think she's here? Why do you think she ran when she saw you dancing with me? Didn't you see the hurt flash before her eyes? C'mon Noah, you can't be that dense. Can you?"
His eyes widened with sudden realization. He remembered her in the beautiful white dress looking at him with shock and hurt evident in her eyes. He turned to look at his cousin, "You think?"
"I know," she confirmed with a gentle smile.
It was all he needed before running after the only girl who managed to capture his heart. He didn't know if what her cousin was saying is true but he just wanted to know. He has to know why she came here and why she ran. He'll be damned if he once again let her slip away.
He caught her just before she went down the stairs. Immediately, he grabbed her hand and pulled her to an embrace.
"Let me go," she said as flatly as she could though her heart was hammering a thousand beats per hour. Questions such as 'Why is he here?' and 'Why am I locked in his arms?' flew in her head as she tried to push him away to no avail. He was too strong and she wasn't trying that hard.
"Not a chance," he whispered into her ear. "Not until you tell me why you came here today."
"It's your birthday. I didn't realize I wasn't invited."
"Then why are you leaving when you just arrived."
"I arrived hours ago. You just didn't notice me because you were too busy entertaining your new girl friend." She didn't mean to show him her anger but it was very conspicuous in her words. She was way past caring.
He knew it was wrong but he was pleased to her the fury in her voice. So she isn't so indifferent towards him, after all.
"You sound jealous."
"I'm not." And though she didn't want to, she couldn't help but picture the smug smile that was obviously in his face. "Now let me go."
He loosened his grip just enough to see her face without fully releasing her. He wouldn't. Not now. Not ever.
"You have to be honest and tell me the real reason why you're here."
She looked away, afraid that he'll read the hurt and anger in her eyes, afraid that he'll see the real reason why she wanted to see him. She just felt so hollow and so full of regret and hopelessness that she just wanted to curl to a ball and curse his existence. That's before she beat herself up for being too late.
"I just wanna greet you a happy birthday. Is that illegal now?"
"And wish you more birthdays to come."
"And may God bless you with more blessings?" she added unsurely. He held her chin so that she could do nothing but stare back into his eyes that were filled with love and care. He wanted her to see them and wanted her to trust him.
"If I told you that the girl that I was dancing with was my cousin and that I stayed by the door the whole evening just to wait for you before she dragged me to the dance floor a minute before you came, will you tell me the whole reason why you're here?"
Her eyes widened in shocked and her cheeks heated up in embarrassment. She wanted to bang her head on the wall for being so foolish. She thought she was too late. She was too caught up in her own hurt that she directly assumed things without even asking anyone.
Fueled with new hope, she looked at him more confidently and answered, "I just came to give you my gift."
Fear filled him. Did he just assume things? Was he wrong in thinking that she might return any affection that he had for her?
Swallowing his dread, he asked, "What is it?"
He was silent because of shock but she took this the wrong way. She thought he moved on already that he was thinking of the best way to turn her down and so she hastily added, "I'm sorry if I was too late. I was too confused, too afraid to tell you anything back then. If it wasn't for my friends, I wouldn't have realized things. I really do apologize. I hope you understand. I didn't mean to fall in love with you. I mean, accidents happen right? This is one. So of course it took me a long time to realize things. So, really, forgive me for being too slow. I'm new to this. But you don't have to worry, I can manage. You don't need to pretend to like me back. I understand that you've already move on so I'll just…"
And anything she was about to say was silenced when her body was suddenly crushed to his in a tight embrace. She hugged him back, not knowing what to feel.
"There are no accidents, Jane. You're meant to fall for me and I'm going to keep it that way," he whispered.
"You mean, you still…" she was filled with too much joy to finish her sentence.
He pulled back to rest his forehead over hers. "Still in love with you? Truly, madly and deeply, Jane. And I think I will be for a very long time."