Saturday, March 27, 2010

Palms and Pockets Chapter 25: Palms and Pockets

Palms and Pockets

by Paul Diaz

Chapter 25: Palms and Pockets

It was the last day of examinations, Anne and John were discussing their answers as they were walking around campus. “The last problem at first look seemed difficult but it actually wasn’t” Anne said and the young man pouted and scratched his head. “Don’t tell me you didn’t get it. You got the answer right?” she asked. John sighed and put on a lonely face and the young woman patted his back. “That’s okay I am sure you got the others correctly” she said and the young man grinned.

“You got it?” she asked and John laughed. “Of course I got it. How can I not get it when that was the same topic you taught me before. Its similar to the practice problem you let me solve and I tried it again last night” he told her and the two were so happy. They passed by the post board and John saw his poem still there. “Wow they laminated it” he uttered but the young woman pretended not to look.

The two were heading towards the parking area when Eric and Sue approached them. “Hey Anne” the young man said. “Wanna come with? We are having a party at Eric’s house. His parents are out of town” Sue asked. John nodded his head and walked away and Anne was left with her friends. “No thanks, we have plans” she said.

“Oh come on Anne, I want you there” Eric said. “You can bring John too if you want” Sue insisted. “Sorry, we really have plans. Maybe next time” Anne told them as she ran after her best friend.

John was about to get in his car when Anne caught up to him. “You walked out on me again” she said. “Well I thought you were going with them” he told her. “I am sure you heard what I said to them” Anne teased and the young man smiled. “We have plans?” he asked and the young woman laughed. “Not yet but we are going to make plans, right?” she replied and John took a deep breath and got inside his car.

Once they arrived at John’s home Anne wanted to talk with him some more but the young man just nodded at her and entered their home. The young woman was left outside was lonely for he was still treating her coldly. She still had not responded to his question but she was determined to shatter the wall that was now standing in between them.

The next day Anne went to John’s house early in the morning. Bob and Linda were having breakfast and they asked her to join them. “I really need to talk to John” she said. “Oh sure, maybe you would like to bring him breakfast?” Linda asked and the young woman nodded.

Ten minutes later Anne entered John’s room and saw the young man still under his blanket. She set the tray down on the study desk and sat down on the bed and caressed her bestfriend’s face. John slowly opened his eyes and saw the young woman smiling at him. “What are you doing here so early?” he asked.

“I came to bring you breakfast” she whispered. “Let me sleep some more Anne” he uttered. “Move over then so I can sleep beside you” she said as she held on to the blanket. “No! I am naked” John said. Anne paused as they looked at each other, she let go of the blanket for a second but held on to it tighter. The young woman grinned and John started to laugh. “Really?” she teased. “Yeah because it was warm last night” he told her.

Anne pulled the blanket away and the young man laughed as she saw him wearing shorts. “Liar!” she yelled. “You are starting to get really naughty Anne” John said and the young woman grinned. “Hey John what would you want to do this summer?” she asked and the young man sighed and shook his head. “Nothing” he uttered.

“You have no plans whatsoever?” she asked. “No plans at all” he replied. “Good, then come with me for I have something to show you” Anne said and she held his hand and pulled him. “Anne! I am half naked!” he yelled but the young woman was persistent.

They ran down the stairs and John’s parents were surprised. “John! Wear some clothes!” Linda yelled. “Oh don’t worry I will bring him back at once” Anne said as the two went out of the house. “Anne! Let me go! Where are we going?” John asked. “In my room” she answered. “What are we going to do there? Look the neighbors are looking” he told her. Anne looked at John, “Something we should have done a long time ago. I am sure you will really like it” she teased.

They reached the doorstep of Anne’s home and John could not stop himself from laughing. “Wait, what are you talking about?” he asked. The young woman looked at him seriously and placed her hand on his chest. “Its about time and I want to do it with you” she softly said and the young man’s eyes grew bigger.

Anne entered the house and John followed her like a zombie. Before entering her room, the young woman smiled and slowly opened the door. Anne quickly sat on the bed and looked at him, his heart was beating so fast and he was too scared to enter the room. “Come inside John” Anne teased and the young man slowly walked towards the wall.

“Come closer, I want to show you something” she said and John did as instructed. He was shaking and the young woman was chuckling. He stood in front of her and Anne pointed towards her desk. John quickly turned around and was surprised to see hiking equipment.

“Could you check if I missed to buy something” she told him and the young man happily checked out her hiking boots. “Wow! These are the new ones and you even have a nice backpack” he told her. Anne stood beside him and she saw that he was very elated. “I want to go hiking with you John. A promise that I made a long time ago and I am sorry if we never got to go. Can we go this time?” she told him.

John bowed his head and looked at the shoes once again, “Well I have to check on the guys if they want to” he said. “No John, its just you and me” Anne said as she caressed his hand. “One condition” he said and the young man looked at her. “What is it?” she asked and Anne was starting to get nervous for what he was about to say.

“You have to let me wear clothes because I cant go hiking like this” he said. The young woman pouted and looked at him, a few seconds later she could not hold it in any longer so she burst in laughter. Anne pinched him and they both shared a laugh. A few seconds later there was silence and the two were smiling at each other. “Its been a long time since we both laughed like that” Anne said.

“Yeah, well when do you want to go hiking?” he asked. “Tomorrow? I heard that there is a family campsite nearby. You can park your car then hike the trail towards the campsite. I was thinking since its my first time maybe that would do for our first hike?” she told him.

“Yeah I heard of that, sure we could do that. Are you sure you want to go camping? Its not easy you know. You are saying goodbye to the things you are used to for a few days” John said. “I can manage, I have been experiencing that for a few months now” Anne replied and she looked at him. John looked away and pretended that he didn’t hear what she said but deep inside he was feeling the same.

The following morning John was all set, he went to Anne’s home to check on her. The young woman was busy stuffing things inside her bag when he arrived. John immediately laughed and the young woman scratched her head. “You are supposed to pack light” he said.

“That’s what I have been trying to tell her” Colleen commented as Anne pouted and sat on the couch. John knelt down on the floor and unpacked her bag. “You should not be bringing too much food” he said. “What if you get hungry? You always get hungry” she replied and the young man smiled.

“I know but this is different. We are going on a hike and camp to enjoy nature. Its not about the food. Consider at survival training of sorts or something like that. A little energy bars will do if ever we get hungry along the hike. When we are at the camp site then I already have food packs good for the two us. You don’t have to worry about anything, it’s a family camp site so its safe” John said. “And because I am with you?” she asked and the young man looked at her and smiled.

“And before I forget” John said and he started to untie her shoe lace. “What are you doing?” she asked. The young man removed her left shoe and took out something from his pocket. “This is a knee support. You know the ones worn by basketball player and other athletes. I know you leg is fine but just to make sure” he said. John placed the knee support on knee, he placed back her shoe and tied her shoelace.

Anne stood up and tried to walk around, “Its kinda tight and it feels like my knee has springs” she said. “Well that’s how its supposed to work. Are you ready to go?” he told her and she smiled. “John you take good care of her now” Colleen said. “Mom! You don’t have to say that. He always does take good care of me” Anne replied and the young man just smiled.

An hour later the two arrived at the site. There were only a few cars at the parking area so John was happy. “Are you ready to leave civilization behind for three days?” he asked and Anne nodded. The two got out of the car, they got their bags and headed to the trail entrance. “Finally, our first hike together” John uttered as he looked up at the bright blue sky.

Anne looked at him and she saw that there was a big smile on his face. She then looked at his hand, she missed holding it but she was too ashamed to do so. But she already decided to face her fears so she slowly moved her hand closer to his hand and they momentarily touched. John looked at her and she started to tremble but after taking a deep breath she held his hand. “Lets go?” she asked and he gripped her hand tighter and nodded.

The trail was very simple for there was a path to guide them. There were little climbs and a bit challenging downhill treks but the two managed them all. After three hours the two were huffing and puffing as they reached the camp site area. Their hands were red since they never let go of each other from the moment they started.

John set up the tent as Anne rested and watched him. “You picked a very nice spot” she said as she looked at the horizon. “The sun will set there later on” she added. “Don’t worry after I set up the tent we go look for wood then we might just be back in time to watch it” John told her.

Once the tent was up, they placed their bags inside and went for a walk to look for fire wood. John and Anne had fun as they were lost in the forest. Even if they had walked in circles they were not worried. When they saw that the sun was about to set that was the time John started shouting for help.

Anne could not help it but fall on the ground and laugh as her best friend acted hysterical. His calls for help were all an act just to make her laugh but the two got the shock of their lives when the forest guards arrived. “We heard you and we came as fast as we could. Are you two alright?” the tall man asked.

John was speechless but Anne could not stop laughing. “Follow us” the other guard said and the two got the wood they collected and followed the two men. The thirty minute walk was silent but Anne covered her mouth and chuckled as John imitated how the guards walked.

Once they reached their tent the young man was very thankful and they were in time to watch the sun set. “John! Come quick!” Anne yelled as she was seated on the ground looking at the sun. the young man sat down beside and Anne quickly held his hand.

The sun’s brightness was fading giving an orange color to the horizon. “Palms and Pockets” Anne uttered and John momentarily looked at her. “So you read it” he said. “Yes. It was beautiful John. You left a question at the end and I want to answer it” she told him.

“You already told me the answer before” John said. “And I was wrong. So I want to answer your question but before I do, I want to explain my previous answer” she said. “Okay I am listening” John said.

Anne took a deep breath and looked at him. “When I came to this city I was too scared of many things. You know I had a scar on my face and my leg, I was too scared to be with people. Then I met you, someone really different and I asked myself if this was all true. Was I dreaming? Does someone like you really exist? I am sorry but someone like you only existed in my dreams so that day you came to me and wanted to be my friend I secretly pinched myself”

“I felt the pain and saw that you were real. For the first few days I thought that you were just like the guys I watch on television, I didn’t socialize so that was my only way to see the real world even if it was only reel. The ones who take what they want and then leave. You were really different, and with you I felt so many feelings deep inside me that I could have felt if I were not a freak. The feelings that made me envious whenever I do watch television dramas or movies. It was all happening to me and I was very happy”

“I am sorry John but I still doubted you even if you made me feel so happy and accepted. I waited each day for the moment that you would take advantage of me but you never did but as each day passed you just kept making me happy to the point that my heart felt like bursting”

“When I watched dramas I would dream that I was the lead character. Sometimes I didn’t understand what they were showing, I didn’t know what they were really feeling. They keep saying that they are in love but how can I comprehend or understand it when I have not felt it. You made me feel them John. My heart beating fast, my cheeks burning up, my body automatically moving by itself wanting to rub against you. I was happy John, I was in love for the first time in my life…with you”

“After the operation to my face I could not take it anymore. I felt something different inside me wanting you badly. Every morning I wake up all I think is you and even before I sleep I still do. This feeling…John I was madly in love with you already and I became so scared”

“So scared that I might lose you one day and I would not know how to pick up myself. I tried to hold back my feelings for you because I didn’t want to fall in love with you more. I am sorry. I met Charles, to be honest I didn’t fall in love him. I don’t know why but I was searching, I had many questions about you. I was trying to get rid of these strong feelings I have for you. I was looking for someone like you so that just in case if I cannot control my feelings and do fall for you and get hurt in the end…I would be assured that there was still someone out there like you”

“But no John, I just hurt myself. I was trying to look for you in him and I really hurt us both. I am really sorry John. The talent show made me fall deeper, the lyrics you sang hit me hard. The prom made me so jealous and want you more. That day…you said you loved me…remember that day? You wanted to be my boyfriend and I really wanted that too but I was too scared John. Too scared of losing you one day. I could not imagine my life without you when that happens that is why I was too damn scared to say yes” Anne revealed as tears flowed down her cheeks.

“John I am still that girl you met two years ago. I am still that girl with the scar on the face and whose left leg is crooked. My appearance may have changed but I am still that same girl who is very much afraid…but not about the things like before…I am afraid of losing you. That is why even if I wanted you to be more than my friend I was so scared of losing you one day. So if you remain as my friend I knew I would not lose you but I was wrong. You were slowly slipping away, I knew I was breaking your heart but the truth is my heart too was shattering” she added.

“To be honest I didn’t need the operations. My leg wasn’t crooked anymore when I met you. Others may see me walking funny but whenever I am with you I was walking straight. You were my other leg John. When I got it fixed I still felt it was crooked whenever you were not around. I needed you beside me to make me walk straight. Without you I am scared that I might fall but with you I feel so free”

“Eversince I was a child I knew how big my scar was. I know where it was located, I could feel it. You changed all of that the moment you touched my face. Ever since that day I don’t feel the scar anymore, I feel your hand brushing against my cheek. Even when I got the operation, my scar was not there but still I could feel your hand”

“Without you its just the scar that I feel. I know its not there anymore but if you are not with me it is. I am deeply and madly in love with you John, I need you in my life and I am so sorry for causing you so much pain. I want you to be my left leg forever and I want to keep on feeling your hand on my cheek for the rest of my life”

“There were so many chances when I could have given up on you. Sarah was giving me an option and she was pretty convincing but I still chose to stick it out and wait for you. Do you think I would even want to hurt you Anne? I never will. Look at me, I am still here Anne. I have accepted my role as a friend but I am still here, hoping, wishing and dreaming. If you just give me a chance so I can prove it to you. I made you a promise, that I will be always there whenever you fall but if I am with you…you never will” John uttered.

Anne stood up and looked at John. The young man got up and faced her. “Palms or pockets?” he asked as he wiped her tears. Anne took a deep breath and got hold of his two hands. She placed his hands inside the two back pockets of her shorts and then looked at him. She caressed his face and noticed a frown starting to form

“Palms” she whispered and embraced him with all her might. John exhaled hearing her answer, he leaned his forehead against hers and they both stared into each others eyes. “I love you John” she whispered. “I love you Anne, I will never leave you” he told her. Once again their lips found each other; the sun was about to hide but it was able to shine its rays on the start of their new bond.

Forever in each other’s palms like the dream of many but only a few could achieve.

The heart may be easily fooled. Listen to it. Wait if you have to wait. Sacrifice if you have to. Don’t settle for second best.
If you want to achieve happiness you just have to listen to your heart.



Paul Diaz

Palms and PocketsChapter 24: Post Board

Palms and Pockets

by Paul Diaz

Chapter 24: Post Board

The semester was about to end and Anne was very sad because John never returned to his usual self. They would still go together to school every morning but gone was their cheerful talks and she did really miss his sweetness.

Every morning Anne would have a small post it and pass by the small board at the center of campus to stick it there. She was hoping that John would come with her so he could read the messages she made for him.

One day Saturday John decided to go to school and study at the library. He usually would ask Anne for help but he was firm with his decision of just being a friend to her. He passed by the small post it board and saw a schoolmate posting something.

“So you are the one that makes those poems?” John asked and the man nodded. “Do you like them?” the man asked. “Not me, my friend does” he replied. “My name is Aron, and this are my poems for my girlfriend” the man said.

“My name is John” he said and the two shook hands. “You say your friend reads my works?” Aron asked and John nodded. “Well she wants to tell you that she is sorry” the poet replied and the young man was surprised.

“Who she?” John asked and the poet laughed. “Oh sorry, I thought these little posts were for you” Aron said as he pointed at the dozens of little notes saying “John, I am sorry”

John froze as he recognized Anne’s handwriting. Those notes were indeed for him. “That is her handwriting” he uttered. “Then she wants to say sorry. You should forgive her man. Here I have a little note pad and you can post your reply” Aron offered.

“What we have is complicated” John said and the poet looked at him. “You don’t know the power of this post board then. Some may think of it as crap but to some its something special. This is where I met my girlfriend. I love making poems and when I was a freshman I did post some of my works here”

“I was happy to know that there were some students who loved my work. So every early morning when there are no people around I would add a new post. The funny thing is my old posts are all gone. Then one day as I was about to post she came to me showing all my posts with her. From that day on we are still together and the poems I make are now for her” Aron revealed.

“Good for you” John said and the poet laughed. “There are lots who benefitted from this post board. Couples that fight and don’t want to talk to each other. They post little messages with the hope that their partners do read them. Some do and some don’t. the ones who do are back together again and I cant say where those couples who didn’t read are. You are here and you have read her message, messages that is. Why don’t you try and respond to her and maybe you can work things out” Aron suggested.

“I really don’t want to talk to her. I told you our situation is complicated” John insisted. “Well if you don’t want to talk to her then use this board to do the talking” Aron said. John looked at the board and nodded, Anne would always pass by here every morning to read. “I just cant reply with a simple note, she loves poems” John said.

“So make her one” the poet replied and the young man laughed. “I am not like you who is talented in that area” John told him. “Oh no you are wrong. Everyone can write poems. Its very easy” Aron said. “How easy?” John asked.

“You have lots of things you want to tell her I can see that. So tell her through the poem. Its just like speaking to her directly. So whatever you are feeling just let it out through a poem” Aron explained. “But I don’t know how to write a poem” the young man said.

“The easiest and most common is the poems that have endings that rhymes. Stick with that for beginners, the dictionary can help you when you are lost for words” Aron said. “Yeah I could do that, but what am I supposed to say?” John asked. “Tell her what you feel. Tell her what you really want to tell her. It does not have to be a perfect poem to be loved by many, once she reads it she will know it is for her. Keep it simple but make sure the message is clear. So I have to go now dude, don’t forget to put your name so I can also read it” Aron told him and then left.

For several hours in the library John tried making a poem. Several crumpled pieces of paper later he gave up and decided to go home. The whole Sunday he did try again but he could not find the right words to say to her. He finally gave up and got his books and decided to study instead.

Monday morning John and Anne had a break. The young man decided to sit down alone on a nearby bench while the young woman joined her female friends. While observing people around, John looked at Anne and suddenly he took out his notebook and began to write.

“He still is not talking to you like you want him to?” Sue asked and Anne shook her head. “Well he keeps looking at you, maybe he is sketching you” her friend added. “He doesn’t know how to draw” Anne told her. “Well whatever he is doing he keeps looking at you like the way you look at him” Sue told her and Anne smiled.

“You know what when we saw you two at the start of the semester we really thought that you two were a couple” Sue said and Anne sighed. “You two were really sweet and remember the first day we met? You couldn’t stop talking about him for weeks” her friend added and the more sad Anne became.

“Now you two just look like you are normal friends” Sue said and Anne was surprised and looked at her. “What did you say?” she asked. “Normal friends, you know I know you and you know me. Or if you need help I am there if not then I mind my own business. That kind of friend thing” her friend explained.

Sue hit the target for that is what was really happening. Anne shook her head in disbelief, “I don’t want it to be this way” she said. “Then why did you break up with him?” Sue asked. “We were not a couple, we are just friends” Anne explained. “Yeah right, well if you want the old feelings back then get back with him” Sue said. “I told you we were not a couple” Anne reiterated. “Then be content with him being a friend then, if you want more then you know what to do” her friend said.

The following morning as John and Anne were entering campus, the young man walked towards the post board. “Where are you going?” she asked. “To the post board, aren’t you coming?” he told her. “I can see from here that there is nothing new” she told him. “Okay then meet you in class later” John said as he took out a light blue sheet of paper from his notebook.

Anne saw the piece of paper but didn’t bother as she walked to their building. After their exam they had a long break. John decided to go for a walk and Anne went to her friend. Before she could reach her friends the young woman turned her head to look at him and saw several students pointing at him. She stood still and watched several more students approach John and pat his shoulders.

Anne was surprised as more students, mostly girls walked beside John and they were all comforting him. “What the hell is wrong?” Anne asked and her friend Sue stood beside her. “Now I know what is happening between the two of you and I must say I really feel sorry for him” she said.

Anne looked at her friend and didn’t understand what she was saying. “What are you talking about?” she asked. “He posted a poem on the board this morning, you didn’t know?” Sue told her. “Oh my, was in on a light blue piece of paper?” Anne asked and her friend nodded.

The young woman ran towards the board. There were lots of students gathered there reading John’s poem. Anne squeezed her way in front and immediately saw what her friend had written.

To Anne:

Palms and Pockets

It took me some time to admit it to you
These feelings inside me that are so true
Such strong emotions gathered inside of me
In love with you i am completely

What made the occasion remarkable and oh so sweeter
Was when i told you and hearing your response after
I never expected those words from you
Those four words you said, i love you too.

A mere mention of you name makes my heart pump faster
I wish time stops so i can be with you forever
Sleeping at night and dreaming of your smile
Makes waking up the next day and living worthwhile

But then one day that smile became crooked
I felt quite alone and then unwanted
You would still flash your smile when you look at me
With your back turned still smiling, but who is he?

The lie shall set me free i tell you
the truth shall make me stay beside you
With that lie i have no choice but leave and let go
With the truth i can forgive and be forever with you

Am i in your palm that you hold close to your heart?
Or do you put me in your pocket when we are apart?
In you palms that is where i would like to be
Not in your pocket, only brought out when you need me

Whatever choice you make my love for you shall remain
Just pick one answer, there is no need to explain
Dont worry about my feelings, i will learn to forget
So tell me my love, am i in your palm or in your pocket?

From John

Tears poured down her cheeks, she didn’t feel embarrassed for lots of girls were crying too. Aron stood beside Anne and offered a hanky. “So tell me palm or pocket?” he asked and the young woman looked at her. “Excuse me?” she asked.

“Palm or pocket?” he repeated. “Do I know you?” Anne asked. “You don’t but I know him and you are the one that seem very much affected so I would guess you are Anne” Aron said. Anne kept silent as she could not stop her tears from falling, she tried to ignore him but he just stood there and posted a poem of his own.

“Wait you are the one that wrote those nice poems?” she asked and Aron smiled and nodded at her. “This is a bad day for me though, I really didn’t want to post my poem today when I heard someone posted a really touching poem but I had to because this is for my girlfriend” he told her.

Anne smiled and finally accepted the hanky and wiped her tears. “He came here last Saturday, we had a talk. I told him to make a poem because he wanted to reply to your posts. He said you liked poems so he will make one. I didn’t imagine that he would make one like this”

“The poems I make are for my girlfriend. Some people think they are great but they can never comprehend the real feelings hidden within the poems. John made one that everyone understands, look a lot are crying” Aron said as Anne looked around and saw a lot indeed sobbing.

“Still they don’t comprehend what he is trying to say except you. People may relate to a poem but the one who really gets affected is the person who the poem was written for” he told her. “Read the poem again and answer the question at the end” he added.

Anne started to read again but slower this time. While reading her mind was flashing scenes from the very first day they met. She could remember her first laugh with him. The feeling of her heart beating wildly for the first time and the unexplained feelings she had whenever he was around.

For the first part of the poem she was smiling for she could recall all the good things they enjoyed together. The feeling on her lips when they first kissed and up the last one that they had.

Towards the end of the poem she was in tears as she could feel the pain he was keeping inside. She knew even before what he was trying to say but this time it was clearer.

Anne was scared and he didn’t know that but this time it was time to face her fears.

It was time to respond to his question.


Palms and Pockets Chapter 23: Limit

Palms and Pockets

by Paul Diaz

Chapter 23: Limit

Two months have passed and the two have adjusted well into college. The two would go to school each morning riding John’s new car that his parents gave him. Every morning Anne would pass by a small bulletin board at the center of campus and she would spend much time reading poems and love letters posted by other students.

“Did you find something interesting today?” John asked as nodded her head pointing to one poem. “This person makes good poems, they are very uplifting. You should read them too you know” she replied. “I didn’t know you like poems, sorry I hate reading” John told him. “Well I do and I think you should start reading too” Anne said. “I don’t want to” the young man replied but he saw her eyebrows starting to raise so he pretended to start reading.

Anne laughed and pinched John, “I was just teasing, you don’t have to read if you are forced to” she told him. “Ssshhh this is interesting” John said and the more Anne laughed as the young man acted as if he was really into it.

After their last class Anne was with some girl friends so John waited for her in his car. A few minutes later his phone rang and it was her. “Hi John, me and the girls are going to the mall. Want to come with us?” she asked. “Oh I thought we were doing the research paper today?” John said. “Oh my I forgot, can I just go with them for a few minutes? You can go ahead and start then I will catch up” Anne said. “Okay, you take care okay?” he told her as he turned his phone off.

John happily went home and started work on their research paper. Anne was the brains and he was more of the listener but this time he was excited to do something good for her. A few hours later he was done, his stomach started acting funny and when he looked at his watch it was way past ten in the evening.

John laughed at himself because this was the first time in his life he every got serious in terms of academics. He looked at his phone and remembered that Anne was not home yet. He took her copy with him and decided to check on her. As soon as he got out of the door a car stopped in front of their driveway and he saw Anne step out. As the young woman was all smiles approaching him, John has his eyes fixed on the young man driving the car.

“Sorry I couldn’t break free from them” Anne said. “Yeah I can see why” John said and the young woman turned around and laughed. “Oh that’s Eric, he is a good guy” she said. “Yeah just like Charles” John commented and Anne angrily looked at him. “What’s your problem?” she asked.

“Nothing, here your research paper. Take it and I have to eat dinner” John said. Anne took the research paper and felt embarrassed. “I am really sorry John. I really couldn’t break free from them. I told them I had to go home but they asked me to stay longer” she softly uttered. “Its okay. You should go home now and get some rest. See you tomorrow” the young man replied and turned away.

“John, I am really sorry. I promise it will never happen again” Anne said but John just nodded and closed the door.

A few days later it happened again. After which it became more frequent until one night John received a call. It was Anne and she sounded in so much pain. He didn’t think twice and immediately got in his car and drove to where she was.

Thirty minutes later at the outskirts of the city, John saw Anne sitting on the road as her friends were laughing on the sides. He quickly got out of the car and ran towards her and pushed Eric aside. “Whats wrong?” he asked but he saw the young woman massaging her knee. “The car ran out of gas so we decided to walk to the nearest gas station” Eric said and John angrily looked at him.

“I wasn’t talking to you dumbass” John said but Anne held his arm. The young man took a deep breath and carried Anne to his car. Her friends were walking over to his car but he immediately took off. “John! You could have given them a ride” she said but the young man wasn’t listening to her.

John took Anne inside their house and immediately applied an ice pack on her knee. “It’s a school night” he uttered. “Yeah I know I am sorry” she replied. “That’s what you have been saying each time” John said as he massaged her leg and the young woman fell silent.

“Today you learn but tomorrow you are out with them again. What if something much worse happens?” he asked. “I know you will be there” Anne happily said and the young man just smirked. “You will be there right?” she repeated and John looked at her. “Yeah because that’s what friends are for” he told her.

John continued massaging her leg and silence engulfed the room. “Hey Anne, what am I to you?” he asked and the young woman was surprised. “Why are you asking me that?” she asked. “Just answer the question, I really want to know once and for all” he told her.

“I cant answer that right now John” Anne replied and John shook his head. “It’s a simple question. What am I to you?” he repeated. Anne sat back and took a deep breath, “Why are you asking me that question?” she asked.

“Just answer the question please. Do I have to beg for it?” John replied and the young woman seemed confused. “Please don’t let me answer that question” she said. “Why cant you answer it? Is it that difficult? I told you I love you. You said the same words to me. So what am I to you Anne?” John said.

“John please don’t do this” she said. “Tell me right now” John said and the young woman saw that he was angry. Anne was shaking, her heart was pounding rapidly and her mouth seemed to be frozen. “Youre my bestfriend” she uttered.

John smiled and nodded his head, deep inside he could hear his heart crying but he toughened up and smiled some more. “So that’s all I will ever be to you” he whispered. “I thought we were happy this way?” Anne asked. “I am but its just sad knowing that I will never be more than your bestfriend. Its okay Anne don’t worry about it. I got the answer and the message is crystal clear” John told her as he stood up and walked to the door.

“John we are okay right?” she asked. “Of course we are. You need a friend so I will be a friend. Come on let me walk you home” he told her. Anne slowly stood up and she felt something different with him already. “John are we really okay?” she asked. “Yes my friend we are okay” he replied and she was starting really get worried.

Morning arrived and Anne noticed many changes. She barely arrived in time at John’s place for his car was already leaving the drive way. “You were leaving without me?” she asked and John smiled at her. “Sorry I thought you were not going to school because it was getting late” he replied.

“You know that I am always late every morning” Anne countered. “Yup and I also know you come home late at night” he told her and the young woman decided to keep quiet for she didn’t want to argue with him.

Once in school Anne proceeded to the post board while John walked away. “Where are you going?” she asked. “To the classroom” he said. “Its still early, come read with me” she told him. “Its not my thing. See you in class” John said as he walked away. Anne was not liking it but she decided to keep reading to keep her mind calm.

In the classroom and during lunch John was back to normal and Anne was happy. She thought it was just a temporary thing but when end of classes arrived John walked ahead towards the parking area leaving her behind.

Anne ran after him and once she caught up she confronted him. “What’s your problem?” she asked. “I don’t have any problem. Do you?” he replied. “So why did you just leave me behind like that?” she asked. “Well I thought you would be going with your other friends” John said.

“Well you could have asked me” she snapped. “I don’t need to because its becoming a habit of yours lately” he told her. “So you want me to go with them?” Anne asked and the young man shrugged his shoulders. “Well if that’s what you want then go ahead. If you are not then get in the car because I am going home now” he said.

Anne was sensing coldness from him so she slowly got in the car and looked at him. “John, whats happening to you?” she asked. “Why am I changing?” he asked and she nodded. “Well you wanted a friend so I am becoming a friend” he explained. “But you were not like that before” she told him.

“Well I am now because if I go beyond being a friend I will just end up hurt. I don’t want to get hurt anymore. Don’t worry I am still your friend. The changes that is happening, deal with it because this is what you wanted” he said.

Anne pouted and took a deep breath. “I don’t like this. Cant we be like we were before?” she uttered. “Being friends have its limitations. What we were before that was something else. I thought I was going to be more than your friend but you told me clearly that I will just be your best friend. So I haved reached my limit, I don’t want to get hurt anymore”

“I don’t know why I cant be the one, but I respect you for you might have your own reasons. I just cant be the me of before because I know I am just going to get hurt. Prevention is always better than cure that is what doctors say so I am doing that. So I do hope you understand that my friend” John explained as tears started falling down Anne’s cheeks.

“I don’t want to be that stupid guy anymore who is waiting in line to watch a fairy tale movie that will never be shown” he added and the young woman turned to the window and sobbed silently. Just like her mother taught her before, Anne slept it off. She wished that when she woke up the next morning everything was just a bad dream.

The next morning Anne was sad to see that it was all real. They had no classes that day but John’s car was not on their drive way. She tried calling his phone but it was turned off. “Hello Anne, you didn’t go with them?” Linda asked and the young lady was surprised to see that John’s mother was by their porch. “Where did they go?” she asked. “Comic Con, didn’t he tell you?” Linda told her.

“Oh yeah he mentioned that before and I forgot about it” Anne said. “Well they left early because he was excited for his first long drive. I really thought that you went with them” the elder woman said. Anne shook her head smiling, “Maybe he just forgot to invite me” she said. “Oh that’s not true, he always thinks about you. Maybe he just thought that you didn’t like those kind of events” Linda said. “I have to go back home now, please tell him to call me up when he arrives” Anne said as she left with a heavy heart.

Back in her room the young woman started to get teary eyed. John would always ask her to go with him even if she didn’t want to. He would find ways and reasons for her to go with him but this time he left without saying a word.

She sat down in front of her study desk and turned on her laptop. Her wallpaper was a picture of them goofing around at an instant picture booth at the mall and while staring at it she was starting to miss him.

For a long time she had not sat down in front of her desk. John was right, she was always out so she decided to clean it. Anne was surprised to see her high school paper works were still there so she decided to go over them. All her school work had high marks except one which she recognized because that day John got of his way in order to help her.

She took the paper and looked at it carefully. Beside her grade there was a small note from her teacher that she didn’t notice before. “I can understand students being lazy sometimes. Next time when you let your boyfriend to type for you tell him to avoid inserting unnecessary remarks because we do really read your works. Teach him how to write a love letter instead” it read and the young woman laughed.

Anne was curious so she quickly scanned the research work. At the end of the first page she immediately saw a short phrase encircled in red ink. “Hey Anne, are you going to read this?” it said and the young woman laughed. She checked the other pages and there were small phrases at the end of each one. She took out the staple and arranged the papers so it would only show John’s little remarks and she read them aloud.

“Hey Anne, are you going to read this?”

“I hope not because I want to tell you something”

“I love you Anne”

“Yep, words I have been wanting to say”

“Didn’t have the courage enough to say them”

“But I really do love you. Very much at that”

“I know once you see your grade you don’t go over your paper”

“So I do hope you don’t read this”

“But if you do read it”

“I want you to know that I really love you”

“Maybe one day I will have the courage to say them to you”

“Hahahaha its not me John. Really its not me”

Anne burst in laughter with the last phrase but it was short because she could not stop her tears from flowing anymore. It was an awkward love letter inserted in her school work but no matter what this was her first one.

She wiped her tears but more came out. She got in bed holding her research paper tightly. She read the phrases all over again and memories came flashing back in her head making her realize that John really loves her.

He loves her more that a friend.

Palms and Pockets Chapter 22: Inseparable

Palms and Pockets

by Paul Diaz

Chapter 22: Inseparable

For the whole summer, John and Anne were inseparable. Today was no different as they went to the local university to enroll themselves in college. Rick and Jeremy were there to meet them but Kevin was no longer around for he was received a scholarship in an Ivy League University.

The four walked around the huge campus. There were so many buildings around and it was far different than high school. “So John have you decided what youre going to take up?” Rick asked. “Well I think I am taking up something in line with business and management” the young man said and Anne smiled at him. “Oh so you two are taking the same course then?” Jeremy asked.

“I want to be like my father” Anne told them and everyone looked at John. “I want to be like her father too” he said and they all laughed. “Oh well we have to leave the two of you now for this is our building. See you after enrollment” Rick told them as he and Jeremy proceeded towards the engineering building.

Anne and John walked around the campus and the young woman kept elbowing him. “You want to be like my father?” she asked and John laughed. “I want to be with you” he said. “But John this is college. You should take the course that you really like” Anne told him. “But I am taking the course of the one I really like” he countered and the young woman giggled and pinched him.

A few minutes later the two were busy choosing schedules of the classes they want to attend. “Do all of our classes have to be the same?” Anne asked and John looked at her oddly. “Okay let me choose other classes then” he replied as he started looking again at the schedule. The young woman laughed and covered his eyes, “I was just kidding” she told him. “No, it seems you don’t want me to be your classmate” John said as he really did list new schedules.

“Okay then let me copy your new schedule” Anne said and the young man laughed and showed her the new list. “I don’t know what these subjects are for but they sound exotic” he said and they both laughed. “We stick to our first schedule” the young woman said. “You want me to be your classmate in all subjects?” John asked. “No, but I have no choice” she replied and he was saddened. “No choice?” John sadly asked and Anne laughed and hugged him. “I have no choice because I want to be with you. Its just so sad you have to be my classmate” she said.

John was confused but after a few seconds the two again started laughing. “Gotcha!” Anne said and the young man scratched his head in defeat. “Excuse me” a girl said and the two turned around. “Hi, I am Daphne and this is Elaine. We are from the Sigma Alpha Tau Sorority. We are here to invite you to come visit our house” the bubbly blonde girl said. “Oh sorry I don’t think that is a good idea” John said as he played with his hair.

The four of them laughed for a moment, “We weren’t talking to you, we were inviting your girlfriend” Elaine said. “Oh he isn’t my boyfriend, he is just my friend” Anne said and everyone looked at her. “Why don’t you come with us, we wont force you to join. We just want you to see what we are all about” Daphne told her and Anne looked at John. “Sure go ahead. Let me finish the enrollment for us” he replied.

“Oh please let us help you with those. You don’t have to worry about anything, consider yourselves enrolled. We are the top sorority on campus and we do have connections here in school and out of school. So while waiting for her you can go around and visit the other fraternity houses” Elaine said and the two were impressed.

John walked around and after a few minutes he was surprised to see Sarah. “Hey John” the young woman greeted. “Hey Sarah, what are you taking up?” he asked. “Oh I just came here to check out the place where you guys will be going to” she replied. “You are not going to college here?” John asked.

“I saw a snack cart nearby, wanna go grab a bite?” Sarah asked. “Oh sure lets go I have time to spare” he replied. A few meters away they sat down under an umbrella shade. “So youre not going to college?” John asked and the young woman laughed. “I am silly but in New York” she replied.

“New York? So youre leaving?” the young man asked. “Tomorrow. That is why I am enjoying my last day in this city” Sarah told him. “Oh yeah that’s where your dad works. So how about your mom? She will be left alone here?” John asked. “No, we are already moving to New York” she replied.

“Whoa so this is goodbye?” John said and the young woman caressed his hand. “Don’t be like that John, your making me feel worse already. We still can chat and e-mail you know” Sarah told him. “I am really sorry Sarah if things didn’t work out between us” John softly uttered. “Oh John I already accepted that a long time ago. I am happy for the both of you” she replied.

“Happy as in happy or youre just saying that because you don’t have any other nice thing to say?” John asked and the young woman laughed. “Why can you read minds? I am happy for you my friend” she told him. John paused and looked at her, “Friend?” he asked and pointed to his hand. “No more, I don’t have to look at your hand anymore. I have let you go and that is why when my dad said we are moving to New York it somehow made things easier” she revealed.

“So you mean to say you have given up on the hope thing?” he asked. “Yes but not totally. For now I have accepted where I stand. Things didn’t work out like I wanted and I don’t want to remove you totally from my life. That is why I am going to be your friend and please trust me when I say that I am happy for the two of you” Sarah said.

“You know what a while ago she introduced me to some girls as her friend” John shared. “And it hurt you? You were expecting to be introduced as what?” Sarah asked and the young man grinned. “You know, boyfriend perhaps” he replied and she smiled. “People who see you two would think that you are her boyfriend. Maybe she was just shy to admit it” Sarah told him.

“Shy? She is ashamed of me?” he asked. “No, not that way. Look she just broke up with Charles barely two months ago. Maybe she was just being careful. You know people might brand her differently if she had a new boyfriend at once. Don’t worry even if she says that you are not her boyfriend, we can see that she treats you as such” she explained and the young man smiled.

“I will surely miss you Sarah. You explain many things to me in a way that I can understand. Who am I going to turn to when we have problems now?” he said. “I think you were not listening when I said we can chat and e-mail but don’t get caught” Sarah told him. “Get caught?” he asked. “We girls can be very jealous even if you say that you were just chatting with a friend” she explained and they both laughed.

A few minutes later the two were walking around campus and they saw Anne with her eyebrows raised approaching them. “Oh boy am I in trouble?” John whispered and Sarah chuckled. “Yes I think you are” she replied as Anne was walking faster towards them.

“Hello Anne” Sarah greeted and the young woman smiled and immediately wrapped her hands around John’s arm. “Sarah here was saying goodbye. They will be moving to New York” John said and Anne’s facial expression changed. “Oh that’s sad to hear” here she replied.

“Let me leave you two alone, I have to see other friends and tell them. Anne you take of John. And you my friend you take good care of her too” Sarah said as she smiled at the two and left. As the two watch her walk away Anne leaned her head on John’s shoulder. “I didn’t know she was nice” she whispered. “Who told you she wasn’t?” John replied but the young woman remained silent and deep inside she felt relieved.

“So how did the Sorority thing go?” John asked and Anne looked at him and was happy. “They have a big house nearby, it had so many rooms. If I join them I start as a pledge and I can live here in campus. They do have this big sister thingy where you get paired with an upper year of your same course so they can guide you. And they have study groups and lots of social activities too” she gamely said.

“So are you joining them?” he asked. “Nope” Anne replied. “Why? You seem to be so happy telling me those things” he told her. “Well we live nearby. If I stay here then you would be alone coming to school. If I join them then I would be too busy with activities and no time for you anymore. So I said no” she explained and John felt so happy.

“Would you like me to join them?” Anne asked as she looked at him. “If you join them then I have to go to New York” John teased and the young woman raised her eyebrow. “If you go to New York then I will go with you” she replied and they both laughed. “I don’t want you to join them” John said. “I told you I didn’t, so do you still want to go to New York?” Anne replied and John nodded. “Only if you come with me” he told her and they smiled at each other.

“So if you didn’t join them how about our enrollment?” John asked and the young woman took out some cards. “They still did, look here our classcards” Anne said and the young man was surprised. “They still did it even if you didn’t join them?” he asked. “Yup, I too was surprised actually but they told me they were not forcing anyone to join them. Whether or not girls join them they still help out” Anne said.

“Hmmm they are good people then” John said. “Yup that is why I almost said yes” she replied and he looked at her. “But I already know a person who is similar to them” she added. “Who?” he asked and Anne playfully smiled and bumped him. “So you prefer to with this guy?” John asked and the two of them were chuckling.

“Uhuh but this guy wants to go to New York it seems. Which is so odd because he never told me before that he wanted to go there. Maybe to follow a girl!” Anne said. “Really? Do I hear jealousy in your voice?” he teased and the young woman laughed. “Of course not!” Anne replied.

“You are not jealous even a tiny bit?” the young man asked as he grinned at her. “No, because I know he wants to be here with me” Anne responded and the both laughed. “Enrollment is over, I guess we have to go home now” John told her. “What do you think did your mom cook for lunch?” Anne asked. “Oh you want to eat lunch at our place?” said and the young woman smiled at him and nodded.

“Well after lunch I am going to my room and take a nap” John said and Anne burst in laughter and pinched him. “So what are you trying to say?” she asked. “Well I was just saying, that’s what I do after lunch when there are no classes” he replied and then flashed an evil grin.

Anne twisted his arm but John kept laughing. “Why are you grinning?” she asked. “I don’t know, I cant control myself” he replied. “You are planning something bad I can sense that” Anne said and the more John laughed. “I was just telling you that I do take naps. I never said anything that you take a nap with me” he clarified. “Okay then” Anne said. “Okay? Okay what?” he asked. “Okay we go eat lunch at your place” she told him. “And I am going to take a nap after” John repeated. “Me too” Anne replied and John looked at him. The young woman burst in laughter and pinched him hard, “I didn’t say beside you” she told him and John pretended to be sad.

An hour later they were seated in front of the dining table while they watched Linda cook. “You two seem to be happy today” she commented as the two could not stop chuckling. “It must be the heat mom” John said and Anne burst in laughter. “Yes that is why I am picking Colleen up after work and we two are going to the spa and unwind” his mother replied.

“Can we come too?” John asked. “Only to the mall after lunch if you two want” Linda replied. “Youre going to the mall?” Anne asked. “Yes dear, do you want to come with me?” Linda replied and the young woman shook her head. “Oh do you have plans after lunch Anne?” John asked and she covered her mouth and giggled. “I think I am going to take a nap at home” she replied and the young man pouted. Anne laughed and stepped on his foot. “Oh I think I am taking a nap too in my room” he emphasized.

After lunch Linda left the two at the living room and went to the mall. John yawned and stretched his arms and looked at Anne. “I think I am going to my room now” he said. “Okay, I will just finish this show then I will lock the door on my way out” she replied. The young man went to his room and got on his bed. A few seconds later he saw Anne standing by the door laughing. “This isn’t your room Anne” he told her.

“I know” she replied as she stood by the door and leaned on the wall. “Hey Anne, this morning you told them that I was your friend” John said and the young woman nodded. “You are my friend right?” she asked. “Yes but I just thought that I was more than that by now” he told her.

“What are you trying to say more than a friend?” she asked and John took a deep breath and looked at the ceiling. “Well something like Charles perhaps” he replied. “Boyfriend?” Anne asked. “Yeah. You know that I love you right? And those three candles you said were not just numbers so I guess you meant that you love me too right?” John said.

“Why John? Are you not happy just being this way?” Anne asked. “I don’t know, sorry I was just saying” he replied and closed his eyes. The door locked so John opened his eyes to look, he saw Anne walking towards him and a few seconds later she was beside him in bed.

Anne caressed his face and stared at his eyes. “Are you not happy this way?” she again asked. John took her hand and placed it on his chest, “Now youre making my heart beat fast” he whispered. “Feel mine too, it’s the same” she told him. “No its okay, I believe you” he said. “I insist” Anne told him and she grabbed his hand and placed in on her chest. John closed his eyes and his hand was shaking. “Whats wrong?” she asked.

“Anne…uh my hand is…feeling something soft” he uttered and the young woman laughed. “I told you to feel my heartbeat” she replied. “How am I supposed to do that when you just let me touch your…that soft thing” he countered and she smiled. “Well my heart is located past that soft thing you know. And if you have a problem with it why do you have your hand still there and squeezing it?” she told him.

John grinned a bit and the two laughed. “Hmmm makes me jealous of Charles. Really jealous for he was the first to touch these” John commented. “He never did. He tried but I made sure he couldn’t breath after” Anne said. “Still jealous for he must have kissed you many times” the young man said and pouted.

“Two times only” she replied and John was surprised. “You kissed me more than two times” he said and the young woman smiled at him. “I thought you were going to take a nap?” Anne whispered. “I find that hard to do now” he softly said as he looked her in the eyes.

“Do you remember how many times we have kissed?” Anne asked and John started recalling. “Of course I do, we have kissed nineteen times already” he proudly replied and Anne kissed him. “Twenty” she whispered and the young man smiled.

“I love you Anne” John finally had said the words that he wanted to tell her for a long time. The young woman embraced him and smiled. “I love you too John” she said.

Their kisses amassed in number as they tossed and turned in bed. Today marked something first in their lives, just as planned they slept in each other arms.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Palms and Pockets Chapter 21: Fifteen

Palms and Pockets

by Paul Diaz

Chapter 21: Fifteen

The school auditorium erupted in shouts of joy, graduation caps were flying all around, and the students jumping for joy. Today the seniors attained one of life’s greatest achievements and they really wanted to enjoy themselves before taking on their next educational journey.

Anne was finding her way to John and the young man was doing the same. They met at the center and hugged momentarily as Jeremy pulled his friend away. “Quickly, my mom wants to take pictures” he said. John looked back and looked at Anne, “I will be right back” he said. “What are you talking about? Anne you have to be in the picture too. Come on you two” Jeremy told her and the young woman happily tagged along.

While the four were happily posing Kevin’s mom waited in line to have her turn. “Oh by the way guys I will be expecting you all tomorrow at my party” Kevin told them. “Oh we almost forgot, tomorrow is your birthday. Me and Anne will surely be there. Right Anne?” John said. Anne looked at John and Kevin and she nodded her head.

As the picture taking continued the young woman glimpsed at John and the smile on her face slowly vanished as she started to feel guilty. Underneath her toga she was wearing the dress that the young man gave her for her birthday. She has known John for two years but she never knew when his birthday was.

The following day at Kevin’s home Anne enjoyed watching the four play their favorite video game. John and Rick won and the birthday boy was furious. “Hey! Its my birthday. You should have let us won” he told them. “Sorry four eyes but we came here to eat and since you are starving us then its no mercy” John said and Anne pinched him.

“Okay wait her I will go check on mom” Kevin said. “Let me help” Anne said. “Oh no, why don’t you take my place so they can continue the game” the birthday boy told her. “Don’t let her play or else I would be forced to let them win” John said and everyone laughed. “Please let me help” Anne insisted so Kevin brought her along.

“I am sorry if I didn’t invite much friends. I just wanted to have the ones I treasured the most with me today” Kevin said as they helped his mom with the food. “Its okay I am actually having fun watching you four” Anne replied. “Well it just seemed that you were not happy and bored” he told her. “Oh no, I actually have a problem” she said.

“With John?” Kevin asked and the young woman nodded. “Its so embarrassing but to be honest I really don’t know when his birthday is” Anne said and the birthday boy was surprised. “Say what? I thought you two were really close and you don’t know his birthday?” Kevin said.

Anne shyly bowed her head while the birthday boy laughed at her. “Rick and Jeremy are envious because me and John have our birthdays during summer. His birthday is in two weeks” Kevin said. “Summer? He never told me and I don’t remember him celebrating” Anne uttered.

“We actually did last year. Remember the day we all went to visit you at the hospital? We ate burgers and fries and that’s when you knew he loved chocolate cake because he ate half all by himself. Do you remember?” Kevin revealed. Anne smiled as she could clearly recall everything that happened that day but after a few seconds she felt sad. “So that was his birthday? No one even greeted him so I could know” she said.

“Well before we came over he told us not to mention it because he knew you would feel bad. He told us that you might tell him to go and have fun and he didn’t want that. He just wanted to be there with you” Kevin explained and Anne fell silent. “Later while eating I am going to initiate a conversation and listen to his answer” he added and the young woman looked at him. “What is it about?” she asked. “He keeps telling everyone his age is fifteen, no one knows why” Kevin whispered.

“Fifteen? But we are of all the same age right?” Anne asked. “Yes and he is the last one to turn eighteen” he replied. “So why does he say he is only fifteen? Didn’t you ever ask him why?” she asked. “We did many times but every time we ask he would just invent outrageous reasons so we stopped asking” Kevin told her.
Thirty minutes later John replied as Kevin expected. And when his friends asked him why the young man just laughed at them. Rick, Jeremy and Kevin all looked at Anne, she knew what they wanted her to do but she was too shy to ask so she just shook her head. Anne looked at John and smiled at him but deep inside she was very curious and she wanted to know why.

Three days later as Bob was about to leave for work, he was surprised to see Anne as he opened the door. “Oh good morning Anne, go right in. Sorry I have to rush but go ahead go inside” he told her. Before the young woman could reply John’s father dashed to his car.

“Forgive him he has an early operation scheduled” Linda said and Anne looked at her and smiled. “Well John is still asleep but you can go ahead upstairs and wake him up” John’s mother added. “Oh no, I was here to talk to you” Anne told her.

The two ladies sat down on the couch as Linda sipped her coffee. “Okay dear tell me whats on your mind” she said and the young woman was a bit hesitant. “Well I heard that John always says he is only fifteen. Do you know why?” Anne asked and the elder woman laughed.

“So you know about that too. Well you see when John was fourteen years old that was the first time I noticed acting weird. I knew that my son liked someone for the first time and I tell you he was so funny” Linda shared and Anne could imagine what he was like so she chuckled. “Before his fifteenth birthday he invited the girl to his party. He really begged us to prepare a nice party for him but she never showed up” she revealed.

“Ouch” Anne said but Linda laughed. “Well you know that John is a very emotional person and he really got hurt” John’s mother explained. “Now I understand, its just like his time stopped that day. That is why he always says he is only fifteen” Anne said and Linda nodded and smiled at her.

The two ladies laughed a bit but there was another question Anne wanted to ask. “I explained to him that he just met the girl so he should have not expected her to come. But you know John he is a bit hard headed so he still sulked about it” Linda added. “So up to now he is still hurt by that situation?” Anne asked.

“Oh no. He actually got over it after a while and decided to be friends with her but only to have his heart broken one year after” Linda said. “Sarah?” the young woman asked and the elder woman nodded. “So she broke his heart twice” Anne said.

“Not really, the first one was John’s fault. He just met her and he expected much at once. The heart ache came after he had the courage to tell her that he liked her” Linda said. “Wait, he and Sarah seem to be okay. He took her to the prom and I have seen them being really close. Yesterday he still said he was fifteen. Isnt his time supposed to start moving again now that they are close?” Anne inquired.

“Then there must be a different reason then. Have you tried asking him?” Linda said. “The guys asked but he didn’t give any reason so I don’t want to bug him about it anymore. He must have his own reasons” Anne replied. “Well you came here to know why so why stop?” John’s mother asked and the young woman pouted.

“Oh I get it. Its because of Sarah” Linda said. “He went to the prom with her and to be honest I saw them kiss at school” Anne revealed and the elder woman was surprised. “Well she kissed him I should say” the young woman clarified. “But still his time isn’t moving” John’s mother commented and they looked at each other.

“You know there are some people who make promises to themselves and these promises have conditions. Most often it’s the young ones that them but there are also older people that do especially when they experience heartache” Linda told her.

“Promises like I will never fall in love again unless I meet girl who has one red eye and one blue eye. I shall never fall in love until I graduate. I will doing this until this happens” she added and Anne laughed. “People that are hurt are often like that, they make themselves promises and they do set conditions for themselves. If you look at it, it’s a defense mechanism and a sort of punishment for them at the same time” she added.

“So until their conditions are met that is the only time they move on or stop the foolishness that they are doing?” Anne asked and Linda nodded. “But if something really great shakes their lives then it doesn’t matter if their conditions are met, they will be forced to move on” John’s mother said and the young woman was confused.

“Something great? I don’t understand” Anne said and Linda smiled. “Think of the reason why he started acting that way. If you counter that cause with an equivalent force or something greater then he surely will move on. I do believe that its is only you that can do that” Linda told her.

“Me? Why me?” the young woman asked. “Well I wont say but would you like the person who caused it all be the solution?” the elder woman teased and Anne angrily shook her head. “Then if you want him to snap out of it, make him” John mother told her and the young woman nodded her head with determination.

“Mom I am awake now! I feel sick so I want breakfast in bed!!!” they heard John shout and the two of them laughed. “Is he really sick?” Anne asked. “No, he is always like that every summer. He sleeps late and wakes up late then pretends to be sick so I bring him breakfast” Linda explained and the more the young woman laughed.

“Oh my stomach says it wants bacon! Toasted bread and lots of eggs!! Take your time mom!!!” John yelled and Anne covered her mouth as she could not stop laughing. The two ladies proceeded to the kitchen to cook him breakfast. John started singing out of tune and ranting about things which made Anne cry in laughter.

Ten minutes later Linda told Anne to bring the breakfast to him and she obliged. “Mom you know what, breakfast would be better if Anne was the one who brought it!! If you could make that happen then I promise to mow the lawn and do the laundry” John yelled and laughed aloud.

Anne entered the room and saw the young man in bed with his eyes closed. “Good morning John” she said. The young man opened his eyes and shrieked like a girl for he could not believe that she was the one bringing his breakfast. “Anne!!!” he shouted and the young woman laughed.

Anne set the tray down on his study table, she then sat down on the bed and looked at him. The embarrassed John hid under the blanket but the young woman kept pinching his legs. “Hurry up and eat, you have lots of work to do” she told him and they both laughed. “Too embarrassed” John said and Anne pulled his blanket away. “You are like a child” she told him.

“Yes because I am only fifteen” John said and laughed. “Your birthday is in two weeks. Sorry about last year, I didn’t know” Anne said. “They told you? Geez I told them not to say anything about it” he reacted. “Well I was going to find out eventually. I am really sorry I could not give you a gift last year. This year I promise to get you a good one” Anne told him.

“You gave me one last year” John said. “No I didn’t” Anne replied. “Yes you did” he countered. “Really? What did I give you then?” she asked. “You kissed me” John playfully said and the young woman smiled. “That’s the bestest gift I ever had” the young man proudly said.

“Bestest is not a word, its just best” Anne clarified. “Well it is now because I said so and I don’t know the term for something better than the best so its bestest” John told her and they both laughed. “I kissed you days after your birthday” Anne said. “Well it doesn’t matter how late the gift it actually” he said.

“And youre still fifteen” Anne uttered. “Yes I am” John smiled. The young woman was now confused. Her kiss was not the solution, not even Sarah’s. “John, is Sarah coming to your party?” she asked. “Hmmm yeah maybe” he replied and the more determined she was to find out what that greater force must be.

Two weeks passed and Anne already had a plan. She didn’t know if it would work but she was not letting this day pass without changing him.

John’s closest friends were there but Anne felt relieved that Sarah wasn’t. She was nervous and was just standing by the kitchen watching the four guys goof around at the living room. She was wondering if that greater force that his mother was talking about could be the strong feelings that have been amassing inside her, a feeling that she only felt for John.

An hour later everyone gathered around the dining table. Linda laid the huge chocolate cake on the table and John proudly counted the number of candles aloud. “Fifteen!!!” he shouted and everyone laughed except the young woman beside him. They all sang him his birthday song as his father lit every candle.

Before he was about to blow the little blue candles Anne stopped him and everyone looked at her. The young woman took out three little red candles and placed them one by one on the cake. Everyone fell silent and John seemingly froze and was just looking at her.

“Make a wish before you blow them” Anne whispered and John looked at the three candles on the cake that stood out. “There is three of them” he whispered. “Yes, and they don’t just represent numbers” Anne told him.

Those words of hers hit him hard, he clenched his fists as he fought off the formation of tears in his eyes. His heart was beating crazy as he stared at the three red candles. Years ago he made a childish pact with himself, he remains fifteen until that day when a girl tells him that they love him. Anne gave him three little candles, he knew what she was trying to say even though she didn’t tell him directly. For him it meant a lot and all the pain that he felt in the past was all forgotten.

John looked at Anne, he closed his eyes and held her hand tightly. After a few seconds he opened them again and blew his candles. Everyone shouted and clapped and the birthday celebrant smiled at everyone. “How old are you John?” Anne asked and everyone held their breaths for his response.

“I’m Eighteen” he proudly stated and Linda smiled and nodded her head at Anne.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Palms and Pockets Chapter 20: Scooters

Palms and Pockets

by Paul Diaz

Chapter 20: Scooters

The sun shone brightly Monday morning but it could not match the smile John had on his face. As they entered the gate he greeted every schoolmate that looked at them. “John, why are you saying good morning to everyone we meet?” Anne whispered. “Is it bad? It’s a wonderful morning and I am so full of energy and I want to share it with everyone! Good morning…good morning…and a good morning to you too” he said and the young woman held on to his shirt and laughed.

“Someone seems to be very happy today” a guy’s voice said so the two turned around. It was Rick and Raven and John immediately moved closer to his bestfriend. “Did you bring it?” he whispered. “Oh shoot I forgot. Will tomorrow be alright?” Rick replied. “Of course its alright. No worried my friend, oh good morning to you” John said and he hugged Rick and kissed him on the cheek.

Anne and Raven burst in laughter as Rick jumped around wiping his face. “And good morning to you too Raven!” John exclaimed. Rick’s younger sister’s eye grew bigger as the young man hugged. He was about to kiss her on the cheek but Anne pulled him away. “You need to accompany me to the library before the bell rings” she said.

Rick secretly laughed as John was being pulled away. He was backpedaling but his eyes were sparkling and there was a wide grin on his face. “Geez he really pulled it off” Rick whispered and Raven had her eyebrows raised and was furious. “And you are happy for him instead of feeling sorry me, your sister” she said.

“You really like him?” Rick asked as he looked at her sister. “Isnt it obvious? Do I really have to say it aloud?” she replied. “I thought you were just kidding. So you really like him. Well I really don’t see why you do like him” Rick said. “Dummy of course you are a guy. How should you know” his sister told him.

“Oh well you just have to let go now. He is madly in love with her so if Sarah couldn’t win him back, you will just suffer the same fate” Rick told her and the young girl pouted. “What does Anne have that we don’t?” she asked and her brother looked at her. “We are not John, so we will never know” he countered.

There was something different at the cafeteria at lunch. The five of them were reunited after a long time. “John don’t you want to eat outside today?” Kevin teased and the young man stomped on his foot. “You can go ahead at the back of the school and we can bring you food you know” Jeremy added and Anne started to giggle.

“Why did you eat outside John?” she asked and the young man almost choked. The three guys were grinning and John angrily stared at them. “Well food goes well with fresh air” he said. “Then why are you in here today?” the young woman asked and John started laughing. “I don’t want to get sun burn, summer is approaching” he reasoned.

“Hmmm and if you did eat here during those days you would get heart burned?” Rick gamely asked and John’s eyes grew bigger. “Heart burn?” Anne asked and the young man slapped his forehead as his friends laughed at him. “John you have a heart problem?” the young woman asked and the more the guys laughed.

“No I don’t” John replied. “Then what’s a heart burn?” Anne asked and the young man started laughing. “I was jealous and yeah I was avoiding you” he admitted and his friends were surprised. Rick, Jeremy, and Kevin were all stunned with his admission; they slowly looked at Anne who was frozen.

“You were jealous?” she again asked and the young man sighed. “I actually was and yes I am admitting it because eventually these three here would eventually slip up and tell you” John said and he looked away. Anne tried to bite on her sandwich but deep inside she felt so happy. Their three friends were still looking at her so she shyly looked away and smiled.

The walk home that afternoon was full of laughter as John did his best to crack jokes so that Anne would not get the chance to interrogate him further. As for Anne, she missed laughing her heart out. Ever since she was with Charles she barely laughed and as far as she can remember her ex boyfriend never tried to make her do so.

Anne stopped walking and covered her mouth. John looked at her but the young woman could not hold it in so she burst in laughter. “Did I say something funny?” he asked and Anne shook her head laughing. “Then why are you laughing? I don’t get it, I was telling you about what happened in class and there is nothing funny. Why are you laughing?” he asked. “John, look where we are” she said.

The young man looked around and was surprised to see that they had already passed her house. “Oh I didn’t stop talking again did i?” he said and Anne nodded. “Why didn’t you stop me?” he asked and she playfully covered his mouth. “Because I missed your talkativeness” she said. “My talkativeness?” he asked and Anne chuckled and poked his chest. “And you” she added as she flashed him her sweetest smile.

They turned back and John remained silent. Anne again laughed and kept looking at him, “Why are you not speaking now?” she asked but the young man just looked at her and grinned. “What are you up to?” Anne asked as she started to giggle but John kept his eyes on her as they walked. The young woman was curious, she could not stop laughing because she felt he was up to something.

She pinched him several times but he didn’t stop grinning. “John! Stop it!” she yelled as she laughed louder. They reached the driveway to Anne’s home and still the young man had was looking and grinning at her. Anne pinched him the last time and ran towards the door. “Whats with you?” she yelled and the young man laughed.

“Oh that was nothing, I just wanted to stare at you for a long time because I freakingly missed you so much!!!” John yelled. Anne’s cheeks burned up as she covered her mouth and laughed. “Did you really have to grin at me?” she asked. “I wasn’t grinning. I was smiling, sorry I have not been smiling for a long time so my facial muscles are stiff. Trust me that was a smile” he explained. “Why are you two shouting?” Colleen asked and the two kept still.

“Good afternoon ma’am, I have to go now. See you tomorrow Anne!!!” John yelled. “What is wrong with him today?” Anne’s mother whispered and the young woman giggled and hugged her. “He is just happy mom” she said. “And you?” Colleen asked. “I have never been happier” Anne replied as she kissed her mother and walked inside the house humming a tune.

The following day at dismissal John was not outside Anne’s classroom. She went to check on him at his classroom but there was no one there. She went to check at the music hall but John was not there either. After twenty minutes of searching she gave up and walked towards the gate.

Gloom started to fill up her mind but she saw him outside leaning against the wall holding a scooter close to him. “What took you so long?” he asked and the young woman smiled and walked up to him. Without saying a word she quickly got on the scooter and held on to him. “I thought you lost this one?” she asked as John started to walk.

“I just hid it” he told her. “Why did you hide it?” Anne asked. “Because I didn’t want to see it” he revealed. “So why is it with you now?” the young woman inquired and John smiled. “Remember that night when I said I lost it? I came from your house then I rode it around the neighborhood. It just didn’t feel right riding it alone and I felt it lost its purpose. Today it feels right…because you are here” John explained.

The scooter was back and so were the students who acted like spies who watched them. At the school gate stood Charles and one of his friends, the two watched Anne and John as they walked away. “Dude maybe she dumped you because you were not that sweet” his friend said. “Shut up. I bought a scooter and she just laughed at me” Charles replied.

“Just friends that what she always told me. Look at them and tell me if they are just friends” he added and Stephen smiled. “Very close friends?” he teased and Charles angrily looked at him. “I never even had the chance to hug her or hold her that way. She just let me hold her hand” Anne’s ex-boyfriend related.

“At least you got to kiss her” Stephen told him and the more angry Charles got. “What would you feel if your girlfriend kissed you and you see her act all guilty after? Do you think I liked seeing her that way?” he asked. “And if the school decides to give a examination and the topic is John, oh boy I sure will ace that test” Charles said and his friend looked at him. “Every freaking day we are together she cant stop talking about him. John this, John that, and it even came to the point where she calls me John” he angrily added. Stephen burst in laughter so his friend walked out on him. “Hey John come back!” he teased and Charles gave him the dirty finger.

The next day at dismissal, John was surprised to see Anne by the his classroom door. “Role reversal?” he asked and Anne laughed. “Hmmm I just wanted to. By the way did you bring the scooter?” she asked. “Yup its in my locker, why?” he replied. “Good, don’t get go get. We don’t need it today” she told him.

“But you like riding it” John said. “Yes I do but today I have something better” Anne said and it was her turn to stare at him grinning. “Oh you have a surprise for me? Where is it?” he asked as he touched her bag. Anne ran towards the school entrance and John chased her. Just like two kids the two ran around campus not minding of the laughs and stares from their schoolmates.

Anne stopped by the gate and John grabbed her backpack. He quickly opened it but didn’t find any surprise there. “Where is it?” he asked. “You really want to see it now?” she asked. “Hell yeah! Show me” he said. Anne took a deep breath and took out something imaginary from her bag. John looked at her strangely as she started to do motions similar to what he does when he unpacks their scooter.

“Anne? What are you doing?” John asked as other students started to stare. “Shhhh just a moment” she replied. After a few seconds the young woman stood up and smiled at him. John saw her hands holding imaginary handle bars. “Come closer and I will get on now” she told him.

He didn’t want her embarrassed so John played along. He stood beside Anne and placed his hands on the imaginary handle bars. “Okay now that the scooter is steady, now we can walk home” she said as she leaned on his body and wrapped her two arms around him. John understood now what she was trying to do, his heart almost exploded and his facial muscles almost tore.

John began to walk with Anne clinging to him tightly. He didn’t mind the stares and smiles of schoolmates that saw them because at this moment he was very happy. “John” Anne whispered. “Yes Anne?” he replied. “You can put your hands down now” she said.

John released the imaginary handle bars and placed his left arm around her shoulder. Anne looked at him and smiled, “So whose scooter do you like better?” she asked. “Yours of course” he replied. “Me too” she whispered as she leaned her head against him.

Charles was once again at the gate looking at the two, he had his fists clenched but his friend Stephen patted his back. “So it wasn’t about scooters” he said. “Yeah, if she was in love with him why the hell did she even entertain me?” Charles asked. “I don’t know, ask her that” Stephen replied and the young man started to feel envious of John.

“If she gave me a chance then I can win her back right?” he asked and looked at his friend. “Dude, do you really know what youre up against? How will you be able to enter a fight with an opponent whose weapon or skills you don’t know of?” Stephen told him. “Whats your point?” Charles asked.

“Just look at them, cant you see it? You had your chance but you still lost and the worst thing is he didn’t even make a move. When there are two guys fighting over a girl what happens? The guys show what they are made of and what they are capable of. When one gains the upper hand, the other one tries to fight back and win her. You had her but she left you for him, the sad part is that he never even lifted a finger. He didn’t even try to win her back dude but still she ends up with him” Stephen explained.

“That is where you are wrong. You just cant give up” Charles said. “Youre right but its always wise to know when to quit. Its better to admit defeat from the start rather than enter a fight that you cant really win. Don’t believe such crap die trying or you lost at least you tried. It takes greater courage to admit defeat from the start, and its dumb to keep fighting even if you already know you will lose” Stephen explained and his friend fell silent.

Minutes later the two reached Anne’s home and the young woman looked at her friend. “John you have not been eating right, you grew thinner” she told him. “I did? How can you tell?” he asked. “Hmmm when I hugged you. Come inside, we still have chocolate cake left. We should get back the weight you lost” Anne said.

John sat on the couch while waiting for Anne to return with their snacks. At the kitchen Colleen was smiling while slicing the cake and her daughter noticed. “Mom, why are you smiling?” she asked. “Oh nothing dear don’t mind me” her mother replied.

“Make the slices bigger since that is his favorite” Anne said and her mother obliged. “Is he staying for dinner?” Colleen asked. “Can he?” the young woman replied and her mother smiled at her. “The question is do you want him to?” Colleen clarified and Anne joyfully nodded. “So spicy chicken it is then” her mother said.

Back at the living room Anne sat beside John holding one plate of cake. “Arent you going to eat cake too?” he asked. “I am, we are going to share this” she replied as she took a slice and fed it to him. John took the fork and got a bigger piece and fed it to Anne after which the young woman retaliated with a bigger piece.

The two were laughing with their mouths full and they were surprised to see Colleen take the empty place and replaced it a new one. There was a bigger slice of cake this time and John burst in laughter as she saw Anne cut a very large piece. The young woman grinned as she moved the cake close to John mouth. John gamely opened his mouth but Anne paused and stared at him. “Icing on your lip” she said.

“Oh thanks” John said but when he was about to lick it off Anne moved her face closer to his and kissed him. The kiss was short because they had to turn around and look if Colleen saw them. Once they saw Anne’s mother not there they smiled at each other and kissed again.

The two sat scooted down on sofa so that their heads would not be seen by Colleen. “Anne did I really become thinner?” John asked and the young woman smiled at him. “Nope” she replied and they kissed some more.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Palms and Pockets Chapter 19: Letting Go

Palms and Pockets

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!!)