The Fine Line
I lay miserably on my side on my bed staring out the window. The sunlight from outside was blinding me yet I kept staring. I felt nothing but a combination of headaches, heartaches and unhappiness.
My mind gathered up all its strength to recall that night two days ago but no matter how much I tried, no matter how much determination I had, I was left with nothing but a vague memory of a fight and the image of Kuki.
I ran into her that night…I remember that…
I shut my eyes and tried to recall even more. And all I saw was a blurry image of her crying and begging.
What did I say to her? What happened?
Again I tried to think back to that night and all of a sudden, I found myself touching my lips. My eyes grew wide as I heard my own words ring in my ears. "I love you"
I told her…I know I did…but I don't feel any different…
It's true. I didn't feel different at all. I'm not sure whether I did tell her how I feelor notbut I don't feel any different.
Nigel said I would feel different…I don't feel anything…maybe I didn't tell her…
After a few moments of silence and relaxation I suddenly discovered something that I've neglected for the past two days. It was a gentle feeling deep down inside that gradually revealed itself. Little by little, I felt…relieved…
Suddenly, the sound of knocking upon wood sliced through the dull silence that surrounded me and I saw the door open on the corner of my eye. Before I knew it, Joey was right in front of me.
"Wally, let's go to the ice cream shop" He whispered and leaned over until his noise was an inch from mine.
"I don't feel like doing that, Joey…" I replied.
"Then let's just play in the back yard"
"I'm too tired…"
Before Joey could reply, the door squeaked and opened to reveal my mother.
"Go downstairs and play, Joey" She said, "Wally can't play right now"
Joey left leaving the room empty except for my mum and me. I stayed motionless and continued staring out the window as she sat on my bedside.
"How are you doing?" She ran a hand through my hair.
I turned my eyes from the window to her, "I've been better…"
"Want me to bring you anything?"
"Can't I have just a bit…?"
"No Wally. It's not good for you. Especially after what happened two days ago"
"I'll control myself this time, I promise"
"I still can't let you drink or smoke"
I looked away from my own mother and went back to staring out the window.
"Are you ready to tell me who this girl is?" She smiled.
I looked at her again. I didn't show it but I was truly amazed at her cleverness.
"I think it's time that you tell me"
"I don't feel like talking about her…"
"But she's the reason why you smoked and drank, isn't she?"
I stared at her for a while before nodding.
"Don't worry…things will work out soon"
Why does everybody keep saying that? Can't they see that things don't work out at all? Nothing does…
As I thought about it, I watched mom smile sweetly. And she said, "You know what would make you feel better?"
"Fresh air. Why don't you go to the backyard and relax there?"
"I have enough fresh air in here" I nodded towards my window.
"That's not enough, Wally. Come on" She urged me to get off my bed and I followed.
I kept my eyes straight down on the ground as my mom led me through the house.
"Mum…I'd rather stay in bed…" I mumbled.
"Oh shush, Wally. You'll find everything you need in the backyard. Don't worry"
I sighed as she continued to lead me and soon we were out the back door. When I stepped into our cool, breezy backyard, I closed my eyes for a second due to the brightness of the sunlight. And when I opened them I thought I was hallucinating. There on one of the beach chairs aligned around our sandbox sat Kuki. And she waved gently at me with subtle smile. I turned to my mom, letting her know that I was shocked, but she just smiled back at me.
"I told you I had a good mother's intellect" She smiled and gave me a kiss on the temple before going back into the house.
I took me a while before I turned back to Kuki. When I did, she shyly looked away then back at me. Realizing that I couldn't go back into the house, I just approached her slowly and I awkwardly sat by her side. Both of us avoided each other's eyes.
"What are you doing here…?" I finally asked her.
"I came to talk to you" She said softly.
"Look, whatever I did two nights ago...I'm sorry…"
"Why are you sorry…?"
"I must've hurt you…I don't remember much but…the only things I can recall…they're too unlikely to have happened"
"You mean it's unlikely that you kissed me?"
I didn't reply.
"Or that you told me everything? The truth?"
I sat motionless and whispered, "What do you want me to say…?"
"I don't want you to say anything. I just want you to listen"
I still stared straight ahead but I did as I was told. I listened.
Kuki sighed for a minute before reciting, "You kissed me once but you were just dreaming…I kissed you but you pushed me away…Not only that, you found someone perfect and I turned invisible to you…"
I shivered as I recognized those words. The sound of my voice saying them that night when I was drunk suddenly came back to me.
"First of all…" Kuki sighed hesitantly, "I wasn't dreaming that night…"
Before I knew it, I was looking directly at her even though she didn't' look back.
"That night when we were fourteen…I wasn't dreaming when I kissed you…"
I still didn't speak despite the fact that I was shocked.
"I really did wake up and I did kiss you on purpose because I really liked you. I just didn't tell you because I didn't want you to think I'm weird"
I continued to stare at her as she continued to explain.
"And a few weeks ago when you kissed me, I pushed away because I was shocked. I lost myself for a minute and I didn't know what to do…you know me…I'm pretty dumb especially when I'm shocked…" She tried to laugh.
Still, I continued to listen.
"And finally…I just want you to know that…I broke up with Chad…"
It was then that I spoke. "No…!" I said.
"This is what I was afraid of. You can't brake up with him. You're happy with him. Kuki, don't let me ruin you. Please…"
"Wally, I didn't break up with him. He and I broke with each other"
"Everybody knows that he's perfect…but this whole time that I was with him, it didn't feel right for me" Finally, she looked at me again, "I wanted to be with you"
"What do you mean…?"
"You never turned invisible to me, Wally. It's the exact opposite of that. I was with Chad but I saw only you. And remember that night that I laughed at you when I found out that you were dating Mushi?" She said, "When I got upstairs, I started to cry because I love you so much and it was painful to see you with someone else. The only reason why I dated Chad was because I thought you didn't want me…I thought I was just a friend to you…"
As I looked into her eyes I saw every bit of honesty in them and I truly believed her.
"You mean to tell me…" I said to her, "That this whole time…we were never really friends…?"
"I guess so…" She said softly to me.
The next thing that happened was stranger than anything that happened before. She and I laughed. We didn't laugh too much but we laughed.. Finally, we looked at each other and smiled. And we leaned towards each other and kissed. Neither of us was dreaming, neither of us pushed away and neither of us was invisible. From then on, we were no longer friends. We were lovers.
There is an alternative ending/continuation called Complications of Life and Love