A Fine Line Between a Friend and a Lover

Chapter 1: Destiny's Cruelty

I sat quietly in a corner of the room watching my friends as they kept themselves busy on their own interests. Nigel was standing next to the window talking to his girlfriend through his cellphone, Abby was sitting in an armchair reading a beauty magazine, and Hoagie was busy in a nearby table designing aircrafts. As for me, I just sat there desperately trying to avoid looking at the couch. Every time my eyes ended up there, it was just like a knife piercing through my chest. And yet, I couldn't help it. I just had to look. It didn't feel good but…it was unavoidable. For the millionth time that day, I gave in to the temptation and the consequences hurt just as much as they did before. There on the soft, crimson cushions of the stupid couch sat the world's sweetest couple: Kuki and Chad. I stared at them for a long time, with only the dark blonde hair that hung over my eyes scantily minimizing the painful sight. It was sickening. I watched as Kuki leaned on her boyfriend's chest while he responded by putting an arm around her. What made it more sickening was the fact that I knew that no one else felt the way I did. For all I know, a picture of that couple could trigger and "awww" reaction out of anyone. But not me. Never.

Chad was one of the few people that I admired when I was a child. He was smart, athletic, cool…he had everything. I wanted to be just like him. Then again, I was only ten years old back then. I was just a kid, and not a very smart one either. It would only take a couple of years before I realize that my so-called hero was a mistake. When Chad turned thirteen, he became arrogant and mean. He started pushing me and my friends around. "Cruddy teenager" I always used to say about him. He was a big problem to our gang for a while, but in time he learned to back off. I guess he just changed into a better person. From then on, I was fine with him. But it wasn't until six months ago when my loathing for him came back. No, he didn't go back to bullying my and my friends. It's much worse than that.

I remember, it was one summer afternoon and I was at the clubhouse with my friends as usual. The clubhouse is a small place that we built in Nigel's backyard so that we could have a place to hang out at. It's a little childish, I know, but we don't really care. We love what we've made and we hang out there everyday. Anyway, I was there one day when Kuki came in with a big smile on her face. The moment she arrived she ran to Abby right away and started talking to her in a hushed voice. Despite the fact that I watched them as the whispered and giggled, I didn't really care about they were talking about. I figured that they were probably just gossiping again. I was wrong. A week later, I found out that their gossip turned out to be the downfall of my dreams: Kuki started dating Chad. Her announcement literally broke my heart because at that time, I already knew that I had feelings for her.

I reacted to Kuki's news in the same way that I've been doing for the past six years. I let my jealousy get the best of me and started treating her horribly. I criticize her, I scolded her, I even screamed at her. I called her stupid for agreeing to go out with someone three years older than her and not to mention someone who used to bully us friends. Of course, that's not really the reason. I was just jealous. Still, I refused to admit it and carried on with my attitude.

"It's none of your business!" She once screamed at me during a fight. She didn't understand. It is part of my business. Chad's dating the only girl I've ever loved.

I was angry with Kuki for weeks. I hated her for being so stupid. I spent years dropping hints, trying to tell her that I loved her and still it results to this. Deep down inside I knew that it was my fault that she ended up with someone else. But I denied it. I blamed her.

Kuki endured my harsh treatment for weeks. I criticized her more than usual, I criticize her as much as I could. Everybody told me that I was getting too harsh but they didn't know that it's what I wanted. I wanted to feel the pain. I wanted to hurt her as much as she hurt me. I wanted her to suffer as much as I did for the long weeks that passed. I wanted her to know what it was like to lay on my bed every single sleepless night, with my fingers tearing through the covers, as I burned at the though of her with Chad. I wanted her to experience the misery that I felt. I tried to make her feel what I felt. But I couldn't… For every time she ran out of the clubhouse crying because me, I always found myself running after her. I loved her. I could never hurt her no matter how much I wanted to.

It was raining on the very last night that I treated her cruelly. We were alone, standing in the middle of the street and I was holding her in my arms. That was the night I decided to let her go. She belongs to someone else now and there's nothing I can do about it. My chances of being with her only relied on her own choices and I was willing to go with whatever she wants. I knew that the hug I was giving her at that time was nothing more than a friend's embrace to her. It was painful to know that. It was painful to know that she will never know how I feel about her. I was glad that it was raining that night because when she pulled away and smiled at me, she thought that the tears on my face were just rain drops.