A/N: This chapter was a hard one to write. I didn't know how to transition smoothly from one thing to the next. The result was I spent more than a week working on this scene, and I had to cut chapter five and continue it onto chapter six. After many blocks and periods of feeling unmotivated for days on end, I present to you, chapter six of '100 Reasons Why I Love You'.
"Reis and I had been best friends since we were ten, and we started dating in sophomore year. He was my first boyfriend, and we were going strong. At least, that's what I thought…" I can feel my eyes start to water at the thought of what Reis did. Eyelids fluttering, I turn my head up, trying to hold back tears.
Kai senses my shift in mood, and places a warm hand on my back, caressing up and down slowly. "It's alright if you don't want to tell me," he says, his voice like a comforting caress.
For a moment, I consider accepting his offer. But then I strengthen my resolve. It's been nearly three months. I need to get over it. "It's ok. It's time I get over it anyway. Towards the end of junior year, Reis started to become more...detached. He would ignore me for days on end, and then apologise after that, with some flimsy excuse."
"Then one day, I walked past his dorm room, and heard… noises. So I knocked on the door, and pretended that I was one of his friends. He opened the door and I saw…" as I reach the part about his betrayal, I feel hot tears prick the corners of my eyes. "I saw clothes strewn on the floor, and he was just in a pair of jeans. Behind him, there was a girl lying in his bed with the covers pulled up."
All at once, it's too much for me to handle and the tears that I've been trying to hold back spill from my eyes down my cheeks. Kai pulls me into his embrace, encircling me with his long arms. I feel my body shudder with silent tears, and bury my face into his chest, breathing in the comforting scent of rosewood and warm cinnamon. Numbly, I register that my tears soak his black t-shirt, but Kai doesn't seem to mind. We remain like this for a long while, Kai's right hand rubbing comforting circles across my back, his left gently pressing my head into his chest. As my sobs begin to slow, I move out of his arms and bring my hands to my face, swiping at the lingering tears. Kai moves back to give me space, his soft chestnut eyes scanning my face with a look of quiet concern.
Somewhat shyly, I reach my right hand out and interlock it with his left. We walk back towards the dorm building slowly, a silence hanging in the air that feels admittedly more tense.
Finally, Kai speaks, "Hayley, with the risk of sounding insensitive...Would you like to go out with me?"
Hearing those words, my heart begins to soar. He likes me! Maybe he will help heal me where I have been hurt. Maybe he will be the one for me!
But then, doubt rises and confronts me like a nasty slap to the face. Reis lied to me. For months, maybe even a year, he lied through his teeth, full of nothing but sweet words and vague plans. Every smile of his was a carefully constructed facade, like a spider spinning its web, lying in wait of a stupid fly. I was the stupid, innocent little fly that flew right into his trap, not even realising until I was stuck.
What if Kai is like Reis? What if he hurts me too? I remember the saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Am I willing to take that risk, to open myself, to let someone fool me again? I'd be an idiot if I let myself get cheated on by two partners in a row. I conclude, with a sinking feeling, that if I were to be taken advantage of once again, I would fall back into the whirlpool of misery that I once was in. I might not even be able to emerge a second time. I push my budding feelings for Kai deep down into a corner of my heart, and gather my resolve, as if building a wall around it. Why, if only I could lock up my heart and throw away the key. Then I need not worry about matters of the heart, the fickle fancies of men. I nearly let out a laugh. I can't believe I basically just started thinking in dramatic seventeenth century prose. To put it simply, I can't afford to be the victim of another heart break.
The look in my eyes seems to be enough confirmation for Kai, because he nods understandingly, if not with a little dejection in his eyes.
"Do you think that we could be friends, at least?" he asks with a small grin. "Girlfriend or not, you're still an amazing person. I would hate to give up the opportunity to be friends with someone as awesome as you, Hayley Freeman."
I can't help but smile at his adorable manner. "Of course," I say as I open the wooden doors, and we head back to our respective rooms. I may not be ready to start another relationship, but I could do with some emotional support from friends.
Kai grins at me, a conspiratorial gleam in his brown eyes. "How about we fist bump to this friendship?"
A/N: We started this chapter with a love interest and ended with a new friend! Y'all probably want Kai and Hayley to date right now, but what can I say? Hayley just went through a heartbreak a few months ago. She's still healing. Well, some people say that time heals wounds, but only love heals a broken heart. Let's see if that's the case for Hayley. Stay tuned for the next chapter, that I will probably be posting in a week or so. In the meantime, stay safe, stay happy and don't forget to review! I read all my reviews (which as of now is only one HAHA) so feel free to leave your thoughts/ suggestions for improvement.