Cowardice. My leaving was nothing but cowardice. These things happen every day, to most of everyone. Yet I was one of the few who chose to run away–from my feelings, from her, from the world.
Akira and I had always been the best of friends. Since the day I first saw her, I had a feeling that something huge would explode, be it good or not. Everything was fine until the day I came to realize I couldn’t watch over her merely as a friend anymore.
“Angelo, look at your collar! It’s crooked, “Akira scolded as she fixed the white collar of my shirt.
Normally, I would laugh and let her fix it. On that day, though, I couldn’t smile. I simply stared at her nonchalantly.
After adjusting my collar, Akira looked up at me, still smiling. “What’s wrong with you today? Have you gone mute?”
“What? I snapped back to my senses. “Huh, no.” Then, I turned around to leave, but she caught hold of my arm.
Rolling my sleeves up to my elbows, she muttered, “That’s a lot better, Angelo.”
“Well, you’re thinking of a girl right now, right? I know you have great personality, and this now…” Akira looked me over with a serious expression. “This makes you look hot. Go for it, boy!” She flashed me a blinding smile.
“What are you talking about?”
Akira laughed. “Your eyes tell me you’re love-struck.”
“Really…you know me that well, huh?”
“Yep!” she nodded hard, and winked.
“Can you guess who it is, then?” I scoffed.
She looked away.
Oh god, she really knew me.
I grabbed her arm. “Akira, can–”
Abruptly, she turned to face me again. Gingerly, she wrapped her arms around my waist. Silently, she buried her head in my chest, as if placing all her trust in me.
That was how we started. Being with her felt like finding where I belonged, like everything fell into place at last. All went well. All went well…until Lenard decided to make a move.
Lenard was a colleague of ours. He was the nerd type, and he was always nervous for no particular reason. Ever since Akira and I advanced in our relationship, Lenard often came by me to look me over. The next day, he would be found wearing the same style of clothes as me.
I heard from Akira’s friend, Bonnie, that Akira and Lenard had been seen hanging out in a nearby meadow. When I asked her, she said, “We’re friends. Trust me, Angelo.”
I trusted her.
Another time, Akira and I were supposed to meet up in the cinema for a movie. I got there early, so I bought her usual favorites and waited.
Half an hour later, my hands were aching. I had already called Akira several times, but she never picked up.
In the end, it was Bonnie who appeared.
“Akira was held back by Lenard again. She just called me a few minutes ago. Angelo, do you still want to watch the movie?”
“No. Thanks for telling me, Bonnie.”
“Oh…okay.” She started babbling on and tried to cheer me up. It was all in vain.