Palms and Pockets
by Paul Diaz
by Paul Diaz
Chapter 19: Letting Go
The bell rang and shouts of joy was heard all throughout the campus. There was nothing special except that it was a Friday and all students love Fridays. John lazily walked out of his classroom and saw his three friends by the corridor.
“Hey John we are going to the mall tomorrow and watch a movie. Do you want to come with us?” Rick asked. The young man sighed and made funny faces but they didn’t last long since he could not hide his sadness any longer. “Oh boy don’t tell me, you have a problem with Anne again” Kevin said. “If I become sad you guys think its about Anne?” John asked and his friends nodded.
“Wow I can be sad for many reasons and you think its about Anne again?” the young man said. “If its not Anne then what then?” Jeremy asked and John laughed. “See its about Anne again” Rick said and John sighed. “Well she has been acting weird since Monday afternoon. We do walk home together but she barely speaks. Its been days now and I don’t know why she is acting that way” John shared.
“Did you try asking her?” Jeremy asked and the young man shook his head. “You will never know why until you ask her. John you are making your life too complicated, just ask her” Kevin suggested. “Anyway are you coming tomorrow?” Rick asked and John looked at them. “Yeah sure, have to take my mind away from so many things” John told them.
“Stop torturing yourself John. Whatever pain you are feeling always remember its your fault” Kevin scolded him and the young man smiled. “Yeah I know, I should have dated Raven instead” John said and Rick looked at him and the three laughed. “Hey guys, kidding aside now. If Anne is mad at me then she would not be walking home with me right?” John asked as they saw the young woman waiting by the gate.
“Well it also depends my friend. Just like my sister, when I did something wrong she just keeps quiet and acts off. Then I start to feel guilty and I say sorry then we are okay again” Rick said. “So are you saying I did something wrong and she is waiting for me to apologize?” John asked and his best friend nodded. “But I don’t remember doing anything wrong to her. I would not do anything bad to her and you know that right?” he asked. “Dude you may think you have not but even I sometimes am not aware I am hurting someone. I will never know until they tell me. Think about it that way and don’t just think about what you have done. And Jeremy was right, you should ask her” his best friend told him.
The group met up with Anne and they greeted her. The young woman just smiled briefly and then started walking. John looked at his friends and shook his head, “See you tomorrow guys” he said and ran after Anne.
The long walk home was filled with silence, John looked at Anne several times but the young woman had her head bowed the whole time. “You have been acting strange since Monday, are you okay?” he asked. “No I am not” she replied but kept walking. “What is it? Do you have a problem? Tell me” the young man told her.
“I don’t want to talk about it” Anne replied and John started to feel guilty. “If you tell me then maybe I can help” he said and the young woman looked at him. “I said I don’t want to talk about it okay?” she angrily said. John fell silent and started recalling what he could have possibly done to offend her. They have reached Anne’s home but still he didn’t have any idea of what he did to make her feel that way.
“By the way we are going to watch a movie tomorrow, would you like to come with us?” John asked. “No thanks” Anne replied coldly and left her friend at their driveway. The young man watched her enter their house and this is the first time that she was cold to him. He could still remember the magical moment they had six days ago and he was wondering where it all went.
The following day at the mall were eating lunch and they were talking about the movie they just watched. “Well John didn’t seem to like it” Rick said as everyone looked at him. “Sorry guys I feel asleep watching” he told them. “Anne problem for sure” Kevin said and his friends all nodded.
“I barely slept last night. I kept thinking what I had done wrong but I really don’t know” John said. “Maybe you didn’t do anything and that’s the problem” Rick said. “Yeah definitely you didn’t do anything and that is why your life sucks right now so deal with it” Jeremy told him.
“Look John, we are fed up seeing you that way. You keep on whining and having mood swings. Basically its your fault, you didn’t tell her that you love her before. Now look what happened” Kevin scolded him. “I think its time we intervened dude, so seat back and listened to us” Rick said and John looked at his friends and they were angry.
“If it was not meant to be then it was not meant to be” Kevin said. “Move on already dude. Does she have a leash around your neck? She has Charles so swallow the pain and move on” Jeremy added. “John if you are hurt then you should know we too are hurting seeing you that way. What you are doing isn’t normal. You are so hard headed and instead of learning your lesson you still want to hold on” his bestfriend said.
John pouted and looked away but his friends made him look at them. “You are lucky you know. Sarah, you liked her. You tried but she said no but dude the tides have changed. She likes you too now, I know you still like her. Even if I got dumped by Irene I still like her. So what is stopping you?” Jeremy asked.
“Yeah you learned to love Anne but its clear as daylight that you will only be her friend. Accept that already will you? You have a second chance with Sarah and she is the one even coming to you. Still you want to hold on to the girl who does not like you? When will you move on? When Anne is married? Or will you still wait until they get a divorce or when Charles dies?” Rick told him and John felt worse.
“Okay lets compare the two” Kevin suggested. “In terms of appearance, Sarah has the clear advantage although Anne is very pretty too” he said. “Sarah is talented in singing and Anne has not shown us what her talents are” Jeremy added. “You guys have it all wrong, its not about appearances and talent. Its how you feel about them and I cant explain why I like Anne better than Sarah” John told them.
“There you go! You admit that you still like Sarah!” Rick said. “Okay then make us understand why? Tell us why John” Jeremy told him and the young man took a deep breath.
“Anne is caring, she is always concerned about me” John said. “Same with Sarah, everyday she would drop by my classroom to ask how you are doing” Rick revealed. “Anne takes care of me when we are together in her own simple way. At first I didn’t notice but when I am alone at night and remember what happened during the day, that is the time I realize that even if I didn’t notice she had done so much” John told them.
“Sarah went beyond means to cheer you up when you wanted to give up. She made you play at the talent show. She made you show up at the prom. And yeah we know about the wall punching incident but of course you didn’t notice all of those things because you were too busy thinking of Anne” Kevin said.
Everything that John would describe about Anne, his friends had a counter in defense for Sarah. The young man was now digging deep inside and thinking what his friends do not know. “Anne kissed me. Not just the normal kiss but the kiss where you can feel they like you” John revealed and his friends were surprised.
Victorious, that is what John felt as he looked at the three silent. “First kiss happened before her facial operation. Seven days ago, oh yes after the prom, we danced under the moonlight and she kissed me” the young man boasted with a wide grin on his face.
“Molly and I kissed too at the library” Kevin revealed and the attention was on him now. “You all know Molly, the cheerleader. Well I was doing some research and I finished early. I helped her and we had a snack at the mall after. We talked and laughed and then I walked her home. I almost died when she kissed me, it was my first kiss and it was with Molly”
“I would like to believe that in that moment she liked me but look she aint with me now. You call that spur of the moment and I think that’s why Anne kissed you” Kevin explained and again John felt so low.
“Nice one Kevin, he is correct. Sometimes we don’t like a girl but for some strange reason we end up kissing them. And the next day all you could say is that it felt right. So maybe John when Anne kissed you she felt that it was the right thing to do. Look at your sides, she isn’t with you” Rick said.
“I am holding on because I love her and she needs me. I know that is with Charles but there are times I can tell that she does and I want to be there for her” John told them. “Yeah right, she needs you when Charles is not around. Lets admit it we all have flaws and strengths. What Charles lacks you fill the gap is that it? She needs you when he is not around but when he is where are you John?” Rick asked.
“Don’t you think she is having too much attention? How about Sarah? Don’t you think she needs you? Oh yes you will never know that because you are not giving her the chance to need you. You are too blinded by the girl who does not like you. You swallow the pain and then complain to us” Jeremy said.
John knew what they were saying and for such a long time now he wanted to let go but didn’t. This time his friends have convinced him and before he could speak out Rick’s phone rang.
“Hello” the young man said. “Rick! Is John with you?” he heard Sarah say. “Oh hello Sarah!” the young man emphasized and looked at his bestfriend and winked at him. “Yes John is here with us, would you like to talk to him?” he asked.
“I need you to make sure he is calm and take him to the hospital” Sarah said and Rick laughed. “Why is he sick?” he joked. “Stupid its not time to make jokes! Me and my dad were passing by the park and we saw an ambulance. I saw Charles standing all bloody and his car was totally wrecked” Sarah said as she started to weep.
Rick was shocked and slowly looked at John. “Rick you have to make sure he is calm, get him to the hospital quick” the young woman said. John’s best friend turned off his phone and quickly stood up. “John can you take me to your dad right now” he said.
“Why? Is there something wrong?” John asked. Rick didn’t know what to say, it was too late for him to act sick so he looked at Kevin and Jeremy. He wanted to tell them the news but John would hear it so he was lost. “Can you take to him now John?” Rick asked.
“What for? And what did Sarah tell you?” John asked as he started to feel suspicious. Kevin and Jeremy stood up and looked at Rick, “Whats wrong dude?” they asked. “Please John there is no time to waste we need to go to the hospital” Rick pleaded. “Tell me whats wrong? You are not a good liar” John said.
“Come on lets go to my car, I will tell you when we get there” Rick said. Kevin and Jeremy knew something was wrong so they went along with Rick but John stayed behind. “Please John come with us” Rick said. “Why? Tell me why first” he replied.
“I think you two better help me on this one” Rick whispered as they walked towards John. “Sarah saw Charles by the park, he was covered in blood and his car was totally wrecked” he said. Kevin and Jeremy were shocked while John managed to have an evil grin on his face momentarily before reality struck him. “Anne!!!” he shouted.
The young man was about to run towards the exit but Rick collared him. “John! Calm down! The parking area is this way” he told him. The four ran to the parking area and once inside the car John panicked. “What are you waiting for!!! Start the car!!!” he yelled.
“Jesus Christ will you calm down! You are making me nervous” Rick told him. John kept tapping his feet, tears started falling down his cheeks and all Kevin and Jeremy could do was put their hands on his shoulders. “Hey Sarah said she only saw Charles, maybe Anne was not with him” Rick said but his friend was not listening.
They were forced to pass by the park because that was the only route towards the hospital. They all saw Charles’ wrecked car with police patrol cars around and the young man slammed his fists on the dashboard. “When I see him I am going to kill him” John murmured. “John! Will you think of what you are saying!” Rick yelled but his friend looked at him angry.
“Easy for you to say. You think this is easy? She should have been with me! Me! This is all my fault!!!” John screamed. His friends could not do anything to calm him down so Rick just focused on the road while the two at the back held on to their weeping friend.
A few minutes later the hospital was within view, “You are going the wrong way!!! Go to the back! At the emergency room!!!” John shouted for he knew the hospital better. “You don’t have to yell!” Rick snapped. “You know what stop the car! Now!!!” his friend said. John got out of the car and ran while Rick looked at the two. “Go after him!!!” he instructed.
Kevin and Jeremy were too slow, John had reached the emergency room entrance and he immediately saw Charles. “You bastard!!!” he yelled. The guards were not able to stop him, John had dashed towards the bloody young man and threw his strongest punch. His fist landed perfectly at Charles jaw, he momentarily froze and his legs gave way. The guards were able to pull John away from the fallen bloody young man but he was still able to kick his stomach.
Kevin and Jeremy held on to John as the guards sent him out. “Let me in!!! I want to go see Anne!!!” he shouted. Bob ran out of the emergency room and confronted his son, “What the hell is wrong with you?!!!” he asked. “Dad! Tell them to let me in!!! I need to see Anne!” his son shouted.
The young man managed to escape his friends’ hold but the guards were ready for him. “Jesus Christ such an embarrassment, take him inside and let him lay on one of the beds. Strap him down” Bob ordered. As the guards took his son in, John’s friends stood in front of the doctor. “But sir you have to understand” Kevin said. “Oh calm down, he is full of rage right now so I have no choice to sedate him” Bob told them. “Don’t worry he will be awake in an hour or so” he added.
Two hours later, John felt someone caressing his head. He slowly opened his eyes and saw a familiar sight. He was lying on the couch of his father’s office and his head was on Anne’s lap. “Youre awake” she whispered. “Anne! You are okay!” he said as he got up and looked at her. John pinched her cheek and touched her arms. “You are alive!” he added and the girl laughed.
“Of course I am, why would I not be?” she asked. “I thought you were with Charles, I got so worried when I heard his car got totaled” John told her and she smiled. “Oh my God I think I killed him! I really thought that you were in that car so I don’t know. I punched him with everything I got” he said.
Anne covered her mouth and kept laughing as John started to worry. “So you were not with him?” he asked and she shook her head. “Why would I be with him?” she asked. “Well you two always go out every Saturday” he said. “That’s true but this morning I broke up with him” Anne said.
“Oh great I made it worse. You broke up with him, he almost got killed and I almost finished the job” John said and Anne laughed. “Don’t worry he is too drunk to remember anything” she told him. After a few seconds John realized what she just said, “You broke up with him?” he asked but deep inside he wanted to jump for joy.
“Yes, I finally had the courage to do so this morning. I am sorry John for acting weird the whole week. I was thinking of the right words to say to him but you know breaking up with someone is difficult” she said. “So the whole time you were thinking?” he asked and she nodded.
“Well I thought it would be better if I do it on a weekend. Still I didn’t know what to say. This morning he came to pick me up and I told him that I am breaking up with him. I didn’t know he would take it badly” Anne told him. John stood up and paced around the office and looked at her.
“Why did you break up with him?” he asked. “I have my reasons” she replied. “Which is?” John further inquired and the young woman raised her eyebrow. “Why are you asking so many questions?” she asked.
“Of course I am your friend, you have to tell me” John said as he smiled widely. “Sorry I don’t want to tell you” Anne teased and John got back on the couch and rested his head on her lap. “Anne my hand hurts and my dad sedated me” he said. “Uhuh, so?” she replied. “Tell me” he said and they both laughed. “If I told you I don’t think you would believe me” Anne replied. “Oh? Try me” John said. They heard the door knob sound so John pretended to be asleep. “Shhhh he is going to get mad at me” he whispered and closed his eyes.
Anne laughed as Bob entered his office. “Oh he is still out?” he asked and the young woman nodded. “I am sorry dear but I had to sedate him. If not he might have killed Charles” the doctor said. Anne looked at John and caressed his forehead,
“I might have done the same if it were me in his shoes” she whispered. John opened his eyes and saw her smiling at him. “You” Anne said and John looked at her oddly. “What?” he asked but the young woman just pinched his nose and smiled.
(Yiheeee!!! Nakapuntos si TEAM ANNE!!! Continue the debate on the fanpage!!)