Fiction · Short Story

Nothing But A Four-Letter Word (connected to The Sixth and Last)

Note: You need to read The Sixth and Last in order to understand this story.

2nd Note: This entry was originally on 29 May 2014.


“WHO I LOVED was a girl I met when I was still new in the university,” I started to tell this to the girl sitting beside me right now. “I wasn’t exactly close to her, but with a few interactions between us over the semester, I felt like I accidentally created my own fantasy world. And who she became in my head was probably far more than the reality.”

I saw the interest in Daisy’s eyes as I spoke those words. At first I thought it was ridiculous to talk about your exes in front of your girlfriend, but her persuasive eyes forced me to do so. Besides, the girl I was talking about wasn’t really my ex-girlfriend. Just like what I had told Daisy, she was just an acquaintance. We had interacted over the semester, and I wasn’t able to stop those illusions in my head.

“She was a third year, sorority girl, and I was just in my first year, and the few times we spent in the same class made me see her good heart and light spirit,” I continued.

Yeah, it felt like we were in hackneyed love story where opposites attract. Difference is, she was the bad girl, and I was the nerd. I met her in Creative Writing Class, for we were both Literature Students. She became my partner in a certain project, and as usual, she immediately ordered—rather than asked—to do the project whilst she would just proofread and check. Of course, I refused. I might be a nerd, but I didn’t enjoy working on group school works, especially if I was going to do it alone.

After a good—or worst—whole class period of argument, she and I had come to a simple agreement: with both of us working for our project. Actually, she didn’t agree, but of course, I was still the lad. I wouldn’t let a girl win an argument against me.

To pass the five minutes that were left before the end of the class, I started to become busy in writing down some things I know.

What the–” I heard her huffed as she held my chin lifting my gaze from my paper to her face, “you already have an idea?”

I was totally shocked with the sudden gesture. I was mesmerized by her look. However, I knew the gesture was just normal for sorority girls like her, so I just nodded and she looked away fixing her bag.

The professor dismissed us and I saw her scurrying out the door. What was she up to this time? I sighed. As if I care. Do I?

I walked out the room and I thought to myself, ‘Maybe this is the start of something. What is this something? I only have one way to find out. SIT BACK, RELAX, AND ENJOY THE RIDE.”

~nothing but a four-letter word~

AS PART OF the agreement, for the next two months of working on for the project, we would take turns on who will go to each flat.

The first weekend was awkward for the two of us; I kept quiet and reserved, but I was completely aware that she was stealing glances at me from time to time. We were in the living room of my flat, trying to come up with a catchy topic and introduction. She was sat on the sofa, and was too formal.

Was she sick? Why was she acting like this? As much as I would like to know, I don’t want her to think of me as a nosy person. Although, I knew that as I pried, for sure I was acting like one. Even I had thought of a topic already, she dismissed the idea and presented her own. I just agreed to get this finished once and for all. When we were working on it, I couldn’t help but notice that she might be a counterpart of a bad boy, but she was surely witty. Aside from that, she was being nice today (except when she dismissed my thought and forced her own). I felt uncomfortable with her acting like this. But still, I wasn’t able to fight the smile forming on my lips whilst I notice her writing whilst taking side glances at me.

The next two weeks, I get this giddy feeling in me whenever I am with her. I think it is what they call sparks. Oh come on, Kris, what is wrong with you? Why ‘ya suddenly acting cheesy these days? It is just her, okay? It is just her. I mentally scoffed. Of course, it is just her.

Whenever I was with her, I thought of those things I never knew I would think of. I would tell her things that I thought I couldn’t say. I even did those gestures I didn’t even knew I had in me. Moreover, I was definitely sure that it wasn’t just a one-way thing. I noticed her actuations when she was alone with me. Two weeks was enough to get to know the real her. She had a bad-girl image, but she was this cliché fictional character who had a good side.

Last week of our meet-up and we needed to finalize our work. Why was I feeling disappointed? As far as I was sure of, when I knew that I needed to be with her for a month, I couldn’t wait for it to get done. But as time goes by, I felt the clock was ticking too fast, too fast for me to be with her; to get to know more about the real her. I just wished this wasn’t the end.

Due to my excitement, I waited in front of her door with five minutes to spare before our sharp meeting schedule. She wasn’t there yet? What was taking her so long? As if on cue, I saw with my eyes that she was walking out of the lift with a bloke clinging on to her waist. I was sure they hadn’t noticed me. And that was when I saw the two of them by the wall doing the unthinkable. Maybe, it was thinkable. After all, it was her. What were they doing, if you would ask? Oh nothing! They were just making out!

Why was there sudden rage that I’m feeling? Why did I feel upset? Is this what they call j—I couldn’t even process that word in my head. But based on what I felt and what I wanted to do, I knew deep down from me, I was jealous.

I heard her say her good bye to her make out partner or whatever the hell he was called. She was walking with her face looking at the ground. She looked up to her door to open it and that was when she saw me by the side. I intensified my gaze on her. I stared directly onto her eyes. And that was when I saw—worry? Anxiety? Sorry?

Why? Why do you need to show it?

“You don’t care,” she snapped as if breaking out from a trance. Did I just ask those words out loud?

“This is my final work. It’s not that long. Just edit it and add what you want to add. Change what you want to change. This meeting is over. I know you could do it on your own,” Before she could shut the door on my face, I stopped it with my two furious hands and that was when I realized, our lips entwined for the first time.

I have always wanted to do that to her. She started to respond but stopped as if something dawned on her. She pushed me away and screamed, “Leave out of my flat or I’ll call security.”

“But—”

“I said go away!”

Before I could say a word, she finally slammed the door on my face. There I stood, utterly broken from the thoughts of her rejecting me without even explaining why.

I hurried down the road in my car and stopped in a secluded area.

“Why?!” I screamed on top of my lungs. “Why does it have to be her that I have feelings for?”

Remembering the paper she gave to me before she ordered me to leave, I got it out of my pocket and decided to read. I remember when she told me her chosen topic, ‘Love’s inevitability.’

I wondered why she chose it that time. She was known as the popular, sorority junior. God! She was two years older than me, but I still wasn’t able to stop my heart beating for her. Suddenly, I came to the realization; this was what she was implying.

Love, without a doubt, is inevitable.

Deciding to read her work, I studied her neat penmanship. “They say we don’t have a say on who will be our soulmate in the future, for it was already destined for us even before we live in this world,” It started. “When we fall in love in the unexpected times and unexpected place, some people say that this is the time we meet our soulmate. In addition to that, as ridiculous as it already sounds, our soulmate is the person who we least expect it to be.”

The first paragraph made me think how the hell she could talk about these things. “However, this ridiculous incident can only be proved if you experienced it on your own. At first, I thought I couldn’t be more absurd anymore from having this same happening, but I knew I became more ludicrous when I actually felt proud.”

Wow! She actually experienced this? But wait, this is a work of fiction. It couldn’t be her personal experience.

“It all started at a Creative Writing Class. See, what a silly place to even think of something romantic. It was a fine day of fall. Everything was okay, except for the fact that the assigned partner for me was a freshman nerd.” She called me nerd? Well, that was expected, anyway.

I continued on reading about her constant annoyance and irritation for my presence. Then I stopped when my gaze fell on the words, “I knew I felt something for him. These feelings were becoming strong that I needed to get out of this trance. I hated letting him see my old, bad side because I changed; and it was all because of him.”

However, these words were followed by, “But I know this change will never be enough. Unfortunately, I don’t deserve him and he doesn’t deserve me.

“He was too good for me. I never knew I did something good to be able to have someone like him. I knew he was my soulmate. I knew we were meant-to-be. However, there was no destiny or fate. And all I could do was to let go and let him find someone he deserves. Eventually, he would find someone who could love him with all her heart and someone who doesn’t have a dark past such as mine.

“I know he will. He will be happy. Since this essay is already as ludicrous but cheesy as it sounds, I think I need to add up this one last stereotypical quote before it ends. ‘When you love someone, you love to make him/her happy. Even when you need to set him/her free.’

“That is what I’ll be doing, because I love him.”

~nothing but a four-letter word~

“BUT THE BAD news is she’s like that to every other guy. She turned me down easily,” She wasn’t like that to every other guy, but I needed to tell Daisy that. I just knew I did. She didn’t turn me down easily, either; because I also knew she cherished every moment when I was with her. I did, too.

I tried to find her after reading that essay. I checked her flat immediately, but the manager said she left for good. She was leaving for another country. How could she be so sure she could pass this semester? How could she be so sure she could transfer easily to another university there? Why was I asking these questions to myself? I needed to find her. Maybe, she was still at the airport.

I scurried to my car and proceeded to the airport ignoring all the tickets I would get for over speeding. Fortunately, for me, I saw her with her luggage and she was only about to go inside the building. I sprinted to her fast as I could.

I called her name and she looked directly at me. I sensed she was about to go in fast when she saw me. Glad I was able to stop her.

She asked me what I was doing there. I replied, “I love you, and I know you feel the same way. Please don’t leave.”

“No, I need to. I don’t deserve you. I don’t deserve the way you treat me. I’m sorry but I need to go.”

“No!” I shouted and I knew people were starting to look at us, but I could only care less. “You said you love me, and I reciprocate those feelings for you. Why do you think it won’t work out?”

“Stop it! You’re making a scene,” She shushed me. We heard the PA spoke something I assumed was the last call for her flight. “I need to go. Sorry! Please let me leave. You’ll find someone better than me, I assure that.”

She was about to proceed but I held her left arm, “But you’re the best I’ve ever had. How about our love?”

She was trying to stop the tears to flow whilst saying those words I never knew I would hear from her, “I’m sorry, Kris. I hate to say this, but I need to. You don’t deserve me. You deserve someone better. And we both fully know I don’t deserve you. You’re too good for someone like me. I hate to say this but love is nothing but a four-letter word.”

With that, she stormed off inside the airport with her luggage and all I could do was stare at her as she did.

“But I know that this cliché sorority may have felt something for this typical, awkward freshman,” I knew she did; maybe do. I did too; but there was a fine line between the two words. Our love story was classified as stereotypical, except the ending. She was one of the past, but this girl beside me right now is my present and future.

-fin-

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