I can hear the rain drops falling and the splashing of water as wheels go through puddles. The rain just continued to pour heavily, filling the silence with its rhythm that I have always loved. Rain had always been one of my favorite things. It brings gloomy mood to most people but not to me. I have always enjoyed it as a kid. As I grew older, I learned to enjoy the rhythm it was creating as every drop showered every little thing.
On a day when my mood was not at its best, the rain helped me to clear my mind and to calm myself. It had always been that way. As a bonus, I get to share an umbrella with her too. Yeah, that was part of my sappy, romantic side. It was kind of fun walking under the rain and sharing an umbrella with a girl. But this was the first time I did that though. It was a fortunate thing that I managed to convince her to walk under the rain while sharing an umbrella. Of course, it was in the pretense that we could find the cafe that she was looking for if we continued to walk despite the rain.
She was in quite a good mood since morning being all chatty and energetic, the complete opposite of what I was feeling. But a little incident just had to happen and all the enthusiasm she had in the morning instantly went down the drain. Since then, we haven't exchanged a single word. It has been quiet all this time as we sat in my car with our clothes partly drenched from the rain.
"Angel?" I called out to her. She was looking out the window. I couldn't see her face or the expression she was having but I can imagine it. It was probably the same as what she had back then, only without tears running down her cheeks.
"Hmm?" She answered in a quiet voice. Once again she sounded broken. Just because of a simple, accidental meeting.
"Do you mind if we go to the supermarket for a bit?" I asked.
"Errands?" She asked in the same quiet and broken tone. I wondered if she will start to cry again.
"Unfortunately, yeah. My mom asked me to do it." I answered honestly. "I hate doing it but I couldn't say no. I'm just afraid of the consequences. We could get you a new phone too."
It was quiet for a while until I heard a soft, breathy sad giggle from her direction. "That sounds out of your character." I heard her say. "The afraid of consequences part."
I glanced at her direction. She was now facing me; looking at me with the same pair of lonely eyes she had that night when I first met her. She was trying to give me a smile but it did not reach her eyes. This girl just wouldn't pass for an actress.
"How so?" I asked, forcing a smirk so she wouldn't know that I was worried about her.
"I don't know. You just don't appear to be such...being afraid of your mom and all"
"What was my character to you then?"
"Hmmm...Someone with so much confidence, stubborn, never listens to others, a genius with excellent aptitude for everything. And a ladies' man, knowing how to treat a girl perfectly...I really thought that you could do anything under the sun. Something like that."
I pursed my lips at her honest answer, or at least I hope so. Well, it wasn't mostly good but it was almost correct except the part that I can do anything under the sun. "That sounded like someone else."
"If that's what you think, it's either you have a twin brother or you just have a split personality." She remarked. Again, my lips formed into a grin. I tried to hide it but to no avail. Sometimes I find her remarks funny although she was just saying logical stuff.
"Now, I wonder about that." I answered vaguely. I bet she would think that it was actually either one. She always had her guard up but I noticed that there were times that she was gullible. And I find her cute at those times.
"So you could actually have either?"
I was right. I could sense her growing interest in the subject, but I can still hear that sadness in her tone. I find her voice to be sexy, especially in her current state. Even if that was the case, I couldn't help but be partly annoyed at what caused it. I would admit that I hated her being sad just as much as I liked hearing her sad voice. And I hated it more that she was trying to hide what she was really feeling, pretending to be fine before me even if I know that she was not. It was just annoying.
I stayed silent as I started the car. We have a destination now so we could leave the place where her mood turned upside-down. "Hey!" I heard her called after I have drove quite some distance. I ignored it and remained silent. Thinking about what happened earlier royally pisses me off. Even the rain that had always calmed me down was not helping for that matter.
"Jacob?" She called out to me, in the same broken tone. I liked hearing her say my name but I can still count the number of times that she had called me that. I let out a long sigh keeping my gaze locked on the road ahead.
"No, Angel. I don't have a twin brother or a split personality..." I trailed off, hesitating on my next words. It sounded too bitter even for me. Before I could continue, she beat me to it.
"Are you sure?" She asked again.
"Yeah I'm sure." I took in a deep breath. "It just meant that you don't know me that much, Angel." I continued looking ahead, afraid to see her reaction.
"Oh...you're right." She answered simply.
We continued to drive in silence for the next couple of minutes. Only the sound of the engine and the faint rhythm of the rain filled the moment. I did not expect her to break it nor did I expect her to say the next words that left her lips.
"Why don't you tell me more about you then? So I could know you better."
I turned my head to face her, surprised at her words. She was looking quite hopeful, as if she was not really expecting me to agree to that. But I focused my attention on her pair of lonely orbs. I liked them but I hated to see them filled with loneliness. They were a beautiful pair even with sadness glazing over them. All the happiness that was apparent even in her eyes in the morning disappeared because of him. It frustrated me how much that guy can affect her. I hated it to the extent that it was almost aggravating.
"There was no way I would say no to you, Angel." I answered honestly. I heard her laugh - a sad, forced laughter - and said "Sappy." I knew she thought I was joking around but it was up to her what to believe.
"Where do you want me to start then?" I asked, playing along. I am still managing to hide the irritation that had built inside me. I just need to get the incident out of my head.
"Let's see...what about your hobbies? Or something you do on your free time?"
Safest topic to talk about. I told her about my interest in music and the instruments I could play. I even mentioned about me being part of a band with Nate, Mark and another person she had not met yet. She seemed very interested in the topic. Rather, she was clueless about music. She couldn't play any instrument nor could she read notes. The closest she has been to music was to listen to it, was what she said. It was kind of funny seeing her expression that was a mix of keen interest, confusion and ignorance as I tell her more about music.
My friends and cousin and other people that I usually hang out with could play an instrument or two. So I never really had trouble when I use musical jargons when talking to them. This was yet another first for me. To tell her in simpler, easier to understand terms just so she could get the idea of what I was saying was a hard feat. Absolutely zero musical inclination.
I have tried to avoid giving direct answers to her questions about us having gigs. Nor did I tell her about me composing songs and that my band actually played a song about her. Wait. Wasn't she in the same bar last night when we played the song? No fucking way. Could she have heard it? Well, even if she did, she couldn't have thought that it was about her right? Actually, did she see us? This sucks.
"You know, at the bar yesterday." She started and I was alarmed at the mention of it. "There was a band that played an original song but I don't know if they were actually a popular one or not. Besides, most of what they played was covers."
"Yeah?" I simply answered.
"So was it difficult to compose songs?" She asked.
"To be honest, it was." I answered before I decided to end the topic there myself. I still find it embarrassing telling people about me composing songs. "I tried before but it was just plain hard."
"Is that so? Then what about Nate or Mark?" She asked.
Our conversation just went on focusing on a lot of other things about me. She was talking a lot but I did not miss the sad tone in her voice. It was too faint to be audible but it was there. I can see that she was trying hard to look cheerful. I never said anything about it though. I just kept quiet and went along with whatever she wanted to talk about. Eventually, our chatter died down when we neared the mall. I killed the engine after parking but we stayed in the car.
"Angel?" I called her again. I grew to like the sound of the nickname I gave her. I still address her with her real name every now and then but, recently, it just became more and more difficult to say it. Actually, I was always hesitant every time I try to call her that. In the end, I just call her Angel all the time.
"Hmm?" She answered.
"Remember your question earlier?" I asked, not entirely sure how to approach the subject. I am not even certain myself how to do it. I just decided in the spur of the moment, while her lonely eyes were fixed on me, that she should stop becoming that sad.
"Back in the cafe. You were thinking of forgetting him right?" I asked despite my hesitation of bringing the guy in the conversation. I would be stuck on a standstill if I don't go for the target.
"Oh, yeah. I...am." There was hesitation in her voice. She seemed pretty convinced about forgetting him when she asked me earlier. But that was before she met him again. Did she change her mind?
"So I was thinking...I could probably help you in the matter. How about it?" I offered in a casual way. I just wanted her to get over her fucking ex. Even thinking of him annoys me.
"So, you mean...for me to start liking you? Like that? Or not?"
Her words pretty much surprised me. I did not mean it that way but do I want her to like me? I don't know. I just really want her to forget her dumbass ex. I want that loneliness in her eyes to disappear. I'll do anything for that to happen. She doesn't have to like me. Relationship shits are complicated.
"Not exactly. I could help you take your mind off of things related to him."
"Oh...I thought...Yeah, yeah. That would be helpful." She answered pretty flustered.
"You thought...?" I asked.
"Hmm? Nothing really?" I confirmed.
"If that's what you say." I heard her mumble something but it was not audible enough for me to hear.
"So what do you think?"
"Not a bad idea I would say." She answered. "But how will that work actually?"
"No idea, to be honest. We'll just go about it. First off, do not - no - never, I repeat, NEVER think of him. No matter what."
"I'll try." She answered simply, like she did not believe my words.
"Oh c'mon. Don't just try. Do it." I urged her.
"Fine, fine. I will never think of him no matter what."
Hearing it from her made my words sound way too dumb. What the fuck am I thinking? Actually, am I really even thinking? Asking her to never think of his ex in three days' time after they broke up...seriously?
"Ah! What the hell am I thinking?!" I remarked, leaning my forehead against the wheel. "It was too dumb eh?"
I heard her giggle in that sweet sound of hers. It just made me feel more fucking awkward. Just great I had there.
"Jacob, thank you." I heard her say.
"You're mocking me right?" I asked.
"No, of course not. I'm being sincere here." I looked at her. She has a gentle smile on her face but her eyes were still filled with sadness.
"You are always helping me ever since we met. You are always so kind to me even if you don't really have to. Today as well. For that I really am grateful to have you as a friend."
Friend. At her mention of the word, I felt a sting in my heart. No way! I am only staying by her side to keep her company. Because I was free and had nothing to do with the semester break and all. I am just like a big brother looking after a younger sister because I know that she was too broken. There could be no way that I like her when I know that she was madly in love with another guy. But, maybe, just maybe, even if I did not admit it, deep inside I already knew the reasons why I was with her.
I continued to look at her eyes and we stayed like that in silence. Her pair of lonely orbs just made her beautiful features stand out even more. She was like a piece of painting. Fragile. Too precious and delicate to the touch. But that just makes one to want to have it even more. The temptation to touch it, to own it, to call it yours.
I lifted my arms and reached for her face. I tuck the strands of her short hair straying on her face behind her ears. She twitched a little with the sudden contact. I traced one side of her face with a finger before cupping her cheek in my hand. She feels soft and warm. I like the feeling I get with touching her like that. I am fine with just a simple contact such as this for now. I have time. I will take it slow. I can wait for her.
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