shika: Hello, ya'll! Here's a one-shot for those who are hurt in the field of "love." I hope you like this one!
And that was it. My resolve just vanished in thin air.
After spending months (2 months, to be exact), to forget unpleasant memories, two months of consistent advice and guidance from friends, and if that still isn't enough, two months of self "pep-talk" that involved mirrors, diaries, and extremely long walks - don't forget to add the music classes that completed exhausted my whole summer that I had no time to do other things… or even think of other things…
But here we are.
He walks inside the classroom more suave and cool than anyone else (and I don't think those words are actually enough to describe him), with his dark bangs swaying as he moved, hiding his azure eyes that are framed by glasses. And no, he doesn't look like a computer geek. He looks exactly the opposite.
The way his pale hand ever so gently holds the chair and moves it with a mix of power and gentleness, like a lion and a cat all in one, completely lures me in his trap. The way his hand naturally moves to ruffle his already messy dark bangs draws me in completely. The way his lips curls into an all-knowing smile as he starts teasing his seatmate, Syaoran, and how he makes him become a human tomato in record time…
Not that I care about Syaoran and his red face, but it is, of course, the way he smiles…
And don't get me wrong! I did not fall in love with him he looked so beautiful that all the gods would be jealous of him, and shoot him daggers everywhere… I actually found him plain the first time I saw him.
OK, OK, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the very beginning.
It was a day, two years ago, the same first day of class after the long holidays (OK, it wasn't that long), that I saw him. I remember it as if it were yesterday. He just transferred from England, the teacher said, when he entered the class, looking so small compared to now. How could he have managed to grow so tall in just two years? Did he use magic to stretch himself, and manage to still look so darn handsome?
But wait wait wait! Back to the story.
I didn't really take any notice of him; I just stared out the window as usual, more interested in the birds than his face. Little did I know that that boy would actually shake me out of the "perfect" Tomoyo that everyone knew. Great, Mr. Eriol Hiiragizawa. That's five stars for you and your perfect ability of actually making me fall in love with you.
The first day, of course, I was indifferent. Every girl in school (except me and Sakura, who, in fact, already found her One True Love, which is Syaoran), was talking about him, whispering his name to every girl who didn't know him, and telling her how perfect he looked. Or so they say. By lunch time, every girl was gaping at him, and the bolder ones had actually managed to strike a conversation with him.
We were the only ones who sat in silence under the cherry blossom tree overlooking the canteen as all the girls giggled and shrieked as he passed. That was so typical. I had to resist rolling my eyes at the sight. The couple beside me, on the other hand, had other things to worry about... So I was left alone to survey the mess that the new student had made.
Every day, it was the same. He even matched my locker, which overflowed with the same dozens of letters. I proceeded to throw them out, he, on the other hand, likes to keep it. Use it as his wallpaper, I suppose. I didn't really care much.
You know, I thought we were only classmates in our first class, but then, I only noticed after three weeks, that we were actually classmates in five classes! That only leaves me with two Eriol-free classes. But to think I only noticed after such a long time! I just seriously didn't care. It was just one day when he came up to me, poking my shoulder, and then smiling, asking me what we should do for our projects.
It was then that I only realized that in three of the subjects, he was actually my group mate. And my partner in the other class. Was I daydreaming too much not to notice all these things?
I just waved my hand nonchalantly and accepted his offer of a whole Saturday for our Biology project, and for all the other ones as well. After all, my grades are my top priority.
But as the days went by… everything seemed to pass by as a complete blur, except him. The way he smiled, the way he laughed, the way he poked my shoulder gently when he wanted to ask me something… At first, I thought it was nothing! But then-
I fell in love with him.
He shared a lot of things with me, and I shared a lot of stories to him that I haven't even had the strength to tell Sakura. Everything was all free and comfortable. The planets were all in line. It wasn't hard to talk to him; he always responded in ways that would make me smile or laugh, and never frown. The silence spent in the library poring over books was never boring or uncomfortable, but rather, the opposite.
The Tomoyo Daidouji who kept her life in a shell was opening up to a man. And not just any man. It was The Eriol Hiiragizawa.
He once told me things about his family that no one else knows, and I began to understand him. I began to even be surprised at his kindness, when all that was in his house was grief and disdain. How could he manage to smile so cheerfully when things were so wrecked?
That's when I realized that we weren't different.
We were the same.
We were hiding in our shells, too scared to peek out into the beautiful world. But with him, my shell started to crack slowly, letting sunshine and specks of the powder blue sky reach inside the coldness, and bring warmth into it.
When he cried, he told me it was the first time he cried in his life.
I was sort of like his… best friend, I guess, because I knew more secrets about him than anyone else. And we were never even seatmates, for that very matter.
As the days went by, I longed more and more for his laughs, for his smile… I even tried to imagine how even lighter he would smile if all his problems and responsibilities were to fade from his heavy shoulders. And that was when I started to really care.
And I fell in love with him. Head over heels. Blindly in love. Whatever cliché you want to think of.
I was in love with him.
And I thought he actually felt the same.
It was one night, inside his car, when we went to the school fair, that I had asked him the stupidest question that had ruined my whole life:
"What's your ideal girl?"
It was the very first time I opened anything about love. We never really talked about it. I just thought it would be alright to ask him, being so close to him and all. And remember, I thought he felt the same way. When he asked me out for the fair in front of all my friends, we all dashed to the comfort room, with all of them screaming their heads off at how lucky I was. They told me that no matter how many flowers, gifts, letters or chocolates he received, he never asked anyone out. They cheered for me and tried to make me look pretty, while I just stared in front of the mirror in shock, trying to digest everything.
I was the first one.
I definitely got a lot of his firsts.
However, his answer to my question killed everything.
"It's Kaho," he answered so naturally, as if the name rolled off his lips every single moment of his life. He ruffled his hair and smiled at me.
I could only force a weak smile back, trying to fight back all my tears. I asked him what, not who, darn it! And then it started to dawn upon me why there were never any seating arrangements but we never sat together, despite our closeness - he was in love with her.
That was when I had started to notice everything, how he saved the seat for her, how his body naturally leaned towards hers, and how his eyes looked so playful when she joked with her.
Kaho was a bit older than us, since she stopped for a few years to help in some family crisis, but that doesn't make her look in any way older, rather, she looked like she was 18 as well. Except for the more mature attitude, that is.
I was so jealous and filled with so much hatred that I never even knew existed inside me, that one day, I just said, out of impulse:
"I like you, dammit!"
I know, I know it was stupid! But I was just so fed up with everything, because I actually expected too much. It was wrong, I know, but could you blame me? I had never fallen in love with anyone before. Maybe if there was a book to tell you what to do in times like this, I would have followed it closely!
You would have expected him to say "I'm sorry," or "I love someone else," or "I can't return your feelings," but no! It was an answer that still led me to hold on until now, unto a thread that never actually existed:
"That's the first time anyone's ever said that to me in person."
And that was it.
That was it.
If he had said "No, I don't feel anything for you," it may have made things alright, somehow. He said, days after, that it would never change the friendship we have, and that he wasn't feeling uncomfortable even if I had said such embarrassing words… But… but… I knew we had drifted apart, or maybe it was just me? Because he is still the same, except for the fact that I see him with Kaho all the time nowadays.
And yes, at this very moment, his smile had reached his ears, because she has just arrived, explaining something about work. I didn't want to listen or look, so I just closed my eyes and sharply looked away. Remember, Tomoyo, you promised yourself to forget him, right?
But there was no resolve anymore.
The moment I saw his face, it was completely erased from my mind. And there he was, in my mind's eye, ever so beautiful and so…
"Tomoyo? Tomoyo?" The voice I had longed for so much woke me from my reverie and that was when I noticed he was poking my shoulder a little bit harder than usual. Pain washed over my senses, crashing into my already wounded heart like salt on an open wound. I couldn't look at him. I couldn't let him see the despair in my eyes. I told him before that it was alright. That I never expected anything. That it was just a simple crush, and nothing else.
Nothing else, huh? How ironic.
"Tomoyo, Tomoyo," his voice was now dipped with worry, and he gently cupped my chin, making me face him, and I could swear my legs trembled right there and then.
"You're crying," he stated in a whisper, his brow furrowed in worry. "Why?"
"I-I-" What the- Why can't I think straight? "There's just dirt in my eyes!" I replied lamely, brushing the tears from my eyes.
"Are you sure?" his voice was a deep baritone, luring me to him, but I just closed my eyes and shook my head.
Please, no more. No more.
As if he could read my thoughts, he sighed heavily. "Alright then, just tell me if need help, OK?"
And I just nodded, not wanting to open my eyes and see him walk away. He could probably be teasing her, or laughing about some lame joke she made.
I just wish I could have turned back to my old self even for just that moment, when I was so filled with jealousy. I would have given everything else in the world to just wreck something or do something bad rather than tell him the truth.
Because his answer was so stupid, so lame an attempt to try and not hurt me, because it had done exactly the opposite. I cannot let him go until he finally says "No, I don't love you."
And just so you know, he told me that they're not boyfriend and girlfriend.
shika: How did it go? I hope you could drop your comments about the story, but more importantly, I hope it touched your heart somehow. :))