Distance

Chapter 10: Thinking of You

The next Monday after the Valentine's incident, I wasn't really acting like myself. I was more distracted, thinking of Andrew. I still couldn't wrap my mind around the idea of not talking to him everyday, of not seeing his face through the computer. Sure, I could just log onto Facebook and click on his profile, but it won't be the same. His eyes don't sparkle like they usually do whenever I get lost in them, his smiles are more polite and forced than natural and full of joy. I know he wanted distance—and I respect that—but why exactly? What's he keeping from me?

"Jamie!" Tony snapped his fingers in front of my face. I blinked, shaking my head to clear my thoughts. Where am I? I take in my surroundings, it looked like I was at school. This was the last place I want to be at right now. I wish I was at home…in my bed…with Andrew-STOP THINKING ABOUT HIM, JAMIE!

I sigh and laid my head against my desk, shutting the world out. Somehow, I can't get Andrew out of my head. He doesn't want anything to do with me, why can't I just accept that?

"Are you ok, Jamie?" Esther asked. I lifted my head slightly and rested my chin on my arm. She looked worried, her perfectly shaped eyebrows knitted together, her thin lips curled downwardly in a deep frown. Knowing me for five years, she's the only one besides Isabelle who can tell when something's bothering me.

"I'm fine," I say quietly. Esther doesn't buy any of that crap, neither does Tony.

"You know you can trust us," he said, reassuringly. I flash him a strained smile.

"I'm fine, really," I said. Before either of them could question me any further, our teacher walked into the classroom. I didn't really pay attention to the lesson, instead I thought about Andrew. I thought about what he was doing, probably he's in class, or with friends, or maybe he's thinking about me. I doubt the latter. Why would he think about me? After all, he's the one who wanted distance. I just hope it's not forever.

After school, I sat alone on my bed, staring at my phone. My thumbs were absentmindedly wrestling as I contemplate whether or not I should call him. Any other day, I would call him without a second thought. But this wasn't any other day, was it? Besides, he would probably think I'm annoying. Calling him two days after he said we shouldn't. Why is it when we're not supposed to do something, it's what we want to do the most? I guess it's human nature. I sighed and placed my phone on my nightstand, if he wants to talk to me, he will. Right?

I ran a hand through my wavy brown hair as I doubt the chances of him trying to communicate with me. He might even forget me. Ironic, because he was afraid I might forget him. Sometimes I wonder how his mind works. I slumped deeper into my bed and closed my eyes. Andrew's face popped into my mind. His beautiful smile, his captivating eyes, his joyful laughter. I realise now how deep my feelings are for him. It's no longer attraction. It's love.

My eyes flew open and my arm shot out to grab my phone. I quickly typed a text to Isabelle. "COME OVER NOW. IT'S AN EMERGENCY!" Hitting "send", I stood up and left my room. I walked out of the house and into the garden. The sun was shinning, but not too brightly, like most days. I took a seat on one of the outdoor sofas and waited for Isabelle. I opened the box of orchids I brought from my room. The ones Andrew gave me. They still look beautiful.

I looked up when I heard the front gate open. It was Isabelle. She smiled and waved at me. I waved back.

"Hey, I got your text. What's wrong?" she asked, standing over me.

"Adam and I broke up," I said quietly.

"I heard," Isabelle said, "Are you ok?"

"No," I shook my head slightly. I felt the sofa dip beside me. I look over at Isabelle. "He told me he loved me."

She gave me a confused look. "What?"

"Before we broke up, Adam said he loved me."

"Why?" she asked, "N-Not that there isn't any reason to love you, it's just that, I didn't think he would."

"Me neither," I said. A couple beats of silence followed, each of us in our own world. I still didn't understand why Adam would say that, throughout the relationship, he has never shown signs of affection until recently.

"What did you say?" Isabelle asked. I looked at my hands.

"I didn't say anything," I replied, "I couldn't. I didn't love him."

"Because you love someone else."

I look at her in surprise, how did she know? "I'm your best friend, Jamie. I know these things before you do," she smiled. I'm glad I have a friend like her. I smiled back slightly.

"There's one problem, though," I said, "We're not speaking to each other."

"What, why?!" Isabelle exclaimed.

"I told him, about the kiss," I said.

"What happened?" she asked.

"He said-" I swallow the lump in my throat, "He said we should keep our distance."

"Why?!"

"I'm not sure, maybe he couldn't handle it," I said slowly.

"No! You know how hard I ship you two?!" Isabelle grabbed my shoulders and started shaking me.

"What-the hell-are you talking-about?!"

"I ship Jamdrew! You guys are my OTP!" she exclaimed.

"What?" I forced her to stop shaking me and raised an eyebrow.

"OTP? Don't you know what that is?" I shook my head. "One true pairing. You guys are my one true pairing!"

"You have issues, Izzy…"

She scoffed. "Like you don't?"

"Well, that's basically the whole reason I called you," I mumbled, playing with my thumbs. Silence fell around us. Isabelle reached around me to take something.

"What's…this?" I looked up. She was holding the orchids and the note. I didn't even stop her from reading it. A grin slowly creeped onto her face and she suddenly tackled me in a bear hug.

"Jamie, you have to call him!" she squealed.

"I can't!" I pushed her away, "Don't you see, he doesn't want anything to do with me."

Isabelle looked at me with sad eyes. "Of course he does, Jamie. He's just too scared to admit it, like you were too scared to admit your feelings."

I shook my head, not believing a single word. He doesn't like me, that's why he wanted distance. I bit my lip, I need to think. I need to be alone. At least for a while.

"I, um, I think I some homework to do," I lied, "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Jamie-"

"Just…leave," I whispered, "Please?"

Isabelle pulled me in for one last hug before leaving me. I heard the gate shut quietly and sighed. Above me, the sun was slowly setting, leaving a trail of orange light. I felt a drop of rain on my exposed thigh. I should go back inside, but my body's not responding. It reminds me of the time I met Andrew. I couldn't move, I could barely even breathe. I chuckled at the memory. Somehow, everything I do tracks back to him. Like when I listen to any Ed Sheeran song, I'll always remember that phone call in January. Or whenever I tell a joke, I'll always remember Andrew telling me first. I'll never be able to escape him, will I?

By now it's already drizzling and I can feel every drop seep into my almost-wet clothes. I really should go back inside. But the rain feels so good on my skin. It won't hurt if I stay out here for a few more seconds, will it? My mother always said staying in the rain was fine (though she doesn't encourage it) as long as it was already raining for, at least, fifteen minutes. But that totally doesn't apply to me since I've been sitting out here before it even started raining.

Who cares if I get sick? It would be a miracle if I do, that way, it's a sign that I'm a normal human being. I rarely get sick. When I do, it's almost like I have the plague. I get all pale and sickly, my voice turns husky, my eyes are bloodshot red—it's a good thing my mother lets me stay at home, otherwise I would scare the shit out of people.

I can feel the raindrops getting heavier by the drop. I guess now's a good time to head inside. Luckily, my body agrees with me too as I take the orchids with me into the house. I stomp my feet dry on the welcome mat and shake the droplets off my arms. I placed the orchids on the side table and walked up to my room. I switched my wet T-shirt for a new one and kept my shorts since they weren't totally wet like my shirt. I threw my shirt in the hamper and sat at my desk. I didn't really have any homework to do since I've done all of them the minute I arrived home. So what do I do now?

I turn to my door. My brother's room was just across from mine, the only things separating us were two thick pieces of wood. It's been a while since I've went there, mostly because I spend all my time here. I could go there, I mean, it's either that or staying in my room thinking about Andrew. I'd rather the former. My heart can't take any more of him. At least for today.

So I stood up and walked out the door. I barged into the room because I didn't bother to knock since it's just my brother's room. It's basically like my room except the walls were a darker shade of blue and lined with sketches of buildings or people. The floor was covered with dirty clothes and discarded paper. Unlike mine, where you can actually see the floor.

I expected Danial to be on his bed, plugged into his laptop or sleeping, but instead he was hunched over his desk, sketching with only his desk light on. He didn't even look up when I open the door. My eyebrows knit together and I flip the light switch on.

"Turn it off, please," I hear Danial mumble from his desk.

"Since when did you use the word please?" I retort, stepping deeper into the filthy room.

"What do you want, Jamie?" he swivelled his chair so that he was facing me. He crossed his arms. I shrugged and sat on his bed.

"Can't I come into my brother's room without a purpose?" I smiled innocently. He narrowed his eyes.

"No." I roll my eyes.

"What are you doing?" I ask, peering over his shoulder.

"You didn't answer my question."

"You didn't answer mine."

"What was it?"

"What was yours?"

"Gosh, you can be so annoying sometimes!" he exclaimed, turning back to his desk. I snickered, I win. Again.

Danial continued sketching while I admire his wall of art. Out of all the filth in his room, this was the only thing he kept clean. A whole wall of drawings and paintings. If you hadn't noticed, my brother loves art. He loves to draw, paint and sketch. He would always carry a sketch pad wherever he goes. All of his best work goes on this wall, which was already full after years of drawing. He even has a bookcase just for his sketch pads.

It's a shame that my mother wants him to be a businessman, because he has so much talent. Plus he hasn't got a clue about business. But, being the wimp he is, he didn't say a word against it. I know he wants to be an artist, but Mum would never pay for art school. It probably has to do with the fact that it costs a fortune. But so does business school.

I spot a drawing of Eleanor and smiled, they have such a cute relationship. I wish I had that. I know I never did with Adam, and my relationship with Andrew just…confuses me. What would we be if he didn't react the way that he did? Would we still be stuck as friends? Or something else? I could imagine myself being his girlfriend, being able to call him mine, able to kiss him freely (if we were in the same country), able to do all the things I wanted with him. I really miss him.

He's probably off doing something that makes him happy with someone who makes him happy. While I'm stuck here, thinking about him non-stop. I feel like some crazy stalker or something. But I guess when you love someone, sometimes you have to be crazy. For them.

"Why didn't you just leave?" I suddenly ask, immediately regretting it once the words fell out. Danial lifted his head. He peered over his shoulder to glance at me.

"What do you mean?"

I shrug nonchalantly. "Why did you continue schooling when you could've left?"

There was a pause before he answered. "I guess…I wasn't ready to leave."

I nod slowly. I walked to his bookcase of sketch pads and pull out a random book. As I flip through the pages, I notice panels of cartoons. It must be a comic strip. I stifle a laugh as read it. It's really funny and stupid at the same time. Most comics aren't nowadays.

"This is amazing," I said to Danial, laughing as I read another panel.

"Thanks," he mumbled out.

"You should show this to someone," I suggested.

"Like who?" he asked.

"Uncle Johnny could probably help," I shrug, "He works in that newspaper company, remember?"

"I'll think about it," Danial said. I nod and put the book back to its place. I walk over to Danial's desk. I had to crane my neck to see his paper. It was a sketching of a dove perched on a tree. The detail was simple amazing.

"Wow, that looks amazing. You should be an artist," I smiled.

"Thanks. You should get out," he smiled back. I punched his arm and whipped my hair in his face as I left the room.

I shut the door of my room quietly and slump down to the floor. I inhaled the distinctive smell of my room, cherry blossom and peach. With just a hint of vanilla. My mind immediately remembered Andrew's smell. He smelled like the outdoors. I like that about him. He doesn't really look like an outdoor type of person, and yet he smells like he spends all his time there.

Ok, Jamie, you're talking about smell. That's a new low for you.

I sighed as I pulled my knees up to my chin. I need to push him out. But at the same time, I don't want to. So what if I keep thinking about him? I'm not hurting anyone—except myself. Torturing myself by basically obsessing over the boy who broke my heart. He was the last person I'd expect to do that. And yet he did. By saying four little words. "It's for the best." Who knew that had such an impact on me? I certainly didn't. I wish he would take those words back, those awful words.

I wonder how would things be if I hadn't gone to London that day. I'd still be in an unhappy relationship, I wouldn't have a gain an amazing friend, who cared about me, and made me smile. I definitely wouldn't be in this situation. I'd probably be normal.

But I'm not. I am struggling. I am frustrated. And I'm in love. In love with a boy who's hundreds of kilometres away with a sleeping problem. And he doesn't even know it. He probably never will. Because of this distance.


AN: Hello! I'm back! Sorry for the late update, but I did warn you, right? Anyway, this chapter was pain to write. Seriously, I started on New Years, and I finished on Valentine's! And I only end up with 2000 words. I had to sacrifice my homework to write this (not like I'm complaining ;)). The next chapter should be up in a couple months, so I'll see you guys then. :)