Chapter 10: Truth and Tulips
Jeff was hardly recognized by his friends in school for he was sporting new clothes. Gone were his long curly hair and his handsome face stood out to the delight of many girls. Anya was still the same pretty lady but everyone noticed her smiling for the first time. Maureen was blooming, she met a guy last break and they have been going steady ever since. Bart was no different; he too met a guy who loves him for who he really is.
One month into the semester and nobody has seen Nadine. Jeff was secretly searching all over campus but he failed to find her. One day as he was about to meet Anya he noticed a blond girl with short hair rushing towards the back of the campus. He never got to see her face but one thing that made him follow her was her unlaced rubber shoes. He was certain that this girl was Nadine and his heart was starting to beat faster, he was not over her yet.
Jeff followed her; he made sure she would not notice so he kept his distance. He watched her walk through the mud and take out a small cup from her bag. She filled the cup with water from the river and walked to the place where the Tulips were and watered the ground. He watched her do this repeatedly and after some time she walked towards the tree and started carving.
Jeff slowly approached her, Nadine noticed someone at her back but she continued carving. He saw lots of sticks figures carved on the tree trunk, “What are you counting?” he asked and Nadine paused and dropped the knife. “The number of days that I have not seen you. Now I made a mistake, I have carved one for today but when I turn around I get to see you” she replied.
“How are you Nadine?” Jeff asked and still she would not face him. “I am fine I guess, I want to ask you the same but I heard rumors that you and Anya are together now” she said. “They are not rumors, it is true” he revealed. “Good for you, I don’t think you should be here then. Anya is the jealous type” she told him. “Just like you” he said and she laughed. “Nadine you are being rude, I am talking to you but you wont face me” Jeff said and this was almost the same situation as before, that time she was the one saying it.
“I am not being rude, I am just afraid to turn around and face you” she explained and Jeff curious. “Afraid of what?” he asked. Nadine walked towards the riverside where the Tulips used grow, Jeff followed her but still she would not face him. “They are all gone right? Don’t worry I planted new ones, I just don’t know if they will grow the same way” she muttered.
“I am sure they will, let’s take care of them together” Jeff said and Nadine sighed and bowed her head. “No we won’t” she said and Jeff was surprised. “What do you mean we won’t?” he asked. “I will, not with you. Don’t worry I promise to take care of them” she said. “Hey, I know were not together now but we can still be friends right? Let’s forget what happened in the past” Jeff told her.
“Hey Jeff…I heard another rumor that you cut your hair” she said softly. “Yes I did, turn around so you can see for yourself” he replied. “If only I listened to you and trusted you then my heart won’t be aching this much. I can’t sleep at night thinking of what I had done to you. I just want you to know that the time you saw me in bed with Tony that was just an act to make you jealous. We never did anything I swear. I don’t know why I am still explaining myself now that you have moved on already”
“Jeff I want to apologize for everything I have done. The last poem you wrote me I never read it. I didn’t want to hear you say goodbye, I thought there was still a chance but now I think I am going to read it” she said. “Jeff, I am going to turn around now” Nadine said and she slowly faced him and she quickly hugged him tightly. Jeff embraced her and tears started falling down his cheeks. “I miss you so much Jeff and I am so sorry for what I have done” she whispered. Jeff embraced her back and caressed her back. “I miss you too Nadine” he said. The two of them just stood there embracing each other.
Nadine looked at Jeff and she moved her face closer to his, Jeff looked away and she leaned her forehead on his chest. “I’m sorry Nadine, you know I can’t do that” he told her. “Jeff, if I ever do something bad will you forgive me?” she asked. “What? What are you planning to do?” he asked. “I won’t harm anyone I promise, will you forgive me?” she clarified. “Of course I will, why what are you planning to do?” he asked. Nadine looked at him and took a deep breath. “I am going to kiss you…all you have to do is keep still. I know you can’t kiss me back so I will be the one to kiss you. Don’t worry this will be the last, I miss you so badly and I really want to kiss you right now. So please let me commit this mistake” she softly said.
“No, I can’t let you do that” he told her and Nadine bowed her head. “Nadine look at me” he said and she slowly gazed at his eyes. “Let’s commit this mistake together so that there will be no regrets” he said and he kissed on the lips. Nadine put her arms around his head and he embraced her tighter. He knows he was with Anya already but somehow he was not guilty, it just felt so right and he did not know why.
Even when they were out of breath they would stop but still continue kissing. Little did they know there was also another person near them watching them, she was fuming mad and could not stand seeing them together.
“What the hell are you two doing?!!!” Anya shouted. Jeff released Nadine and hid her at his back. “Jeff how could you do this to me?!!!” Anya said and she approached them. “I am sorry Anya its my fault, I was the one who kissed him” Nadine told her. “No! You don’t need to apologize! We don’t need to apologize! In fact you are the one who should be apologizing!” Jeff shouted at Anya’s face.
Anya was shocked, Jeff grabbed her arm and they walked towards the tree. “At first glance I did not realize it, but when I was kissing Nadine it all became clear. Look at this count Anya! Look clearly! Everyday Nadine came here and would etch one stick when she didn’t see me. Count them! Go ahead and count them!” he shouted.
Anya was just staring at the tree trunk but she bowed her head. “Did you count them? Those are the number of days Nadine has not seen me! What a coincidence, those are also the number of days I have been with you! Don’t you find it funny?!” Jeff was in so much anger already.
“You told me she went for a vacation. You told me called her. I trusted you and I cant believe I really did. Oh yes you found me here that day but if I waited a little longer Nadine would have found me too. Oh yes you made your phone available to me anytime but every night you would check if I used it. I didn’t use it! But let me tell you I was waiting for her to call up, I was praying for her to call up. You brainwashed me and I am such a fool to fall for it” Jeff said.
“You made me fall for you but the foundation of the feelings I had for you were all lies! I hate myself right now and it took one kiss to make me realize that” Jeff told Anya.
Jeff walked towards Nadine and knelt down on his knees and started to tie her shoelaces. “Nadine this time it was my fault. I should have waited for you, I knew you would come find me but I am sorry. I don’t want to hurt anyone anymore, I have caused so much pain for everyone” he said.
Jeff stood up and hugged Nadine, “I am sorry Nadine, I don’t want to hurt anyone anymore. Take care of our Tulips” he whispered in her ear. Jeff turned around and started to walk away but Nadine ran after him. “Jeff are you running away again? Will I ever see you again?” she asked. Jeff looked at her and smiled, “Of course you will, I just need some time on my own now” he said. Nadine let go and Jeff walked towards the muddy area and back to campus.
Anya was about to leave through the fence opening but Nadine caught up with her. “What do you want? Are you happy? We both don’t have him anymore” Anya said and with all her might Nadine slapped her. Anya fell on the ground and Nadine stared at her. “From the beginning you planned to take him away from me. I thought you were changing but I was wrong. Tony is bad but he has no balls and no brains. Now I understand how he was able to think of a clever plan to break us up. Tony gets me and you get Jeff. I never thought of that before but now I do understand”
Anya laughed and slowly stood up, her cheek was so red and she was caressing it. “Nadine you never grew up, you’re intelligent but you were never wise. I always knew you liked Tony, so I used him. You are right, that guy is dumb but I should say he is a good actor. We almost succeeded but he did not cover his tracks that fool. Anyway he got the job done, we managed to make you look like the bad guy and I got what I wanted. Well I had a great time with Jeff, he is all yours if you ever see him again” Anya said and she quickly slipped out of the fence.
“What do you mean if I ever see him again?” Nadine asked and Anya laughed. “Do you think I never plan ahead? Silly you, well you will see what I mean” Anya threatened.
The next day Anya filed assault charges against Nadine. She had bruises on her arm and face. Nadine’s parents planed in to be with their daughter but Anya’s plan was flawless. She had witnesses in tow to make her more believable. Nadine’s parents decided to settle the issue quietly and Anya’s parents agreed.
Anya wanted Nadine out of the country for one year, outrageous as it may seem but Nadine’s parents agreed. They missed their daughter so they brought her with her. Anya filed a restraining order, so Nadine could not come near her. Nadine found this silly but when she saw Anya by the river she understood what her purpose was.
Nadine didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to anyone. She could not leave Jeff a message by the river since Anya was always there. With a heavy heart she left hanging on to the last words Jeff told her. “Of course we will” is what Jeff said and she believed no matter how long they would be apart they would see each other again.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Chapter 10: Truth and Tulips