Note: The events that will happen in this part are really weird, just so you know. Also, this chapter is not really an ending but it IS the LAST part of the story. I'm not so good with endings but I hope this'll be good enough. There are a lot of TWISTS in this chapter.
Destiny and Fate
I placed my hands in my pockets as I walked down the slippery sidewalk. It's been days since I encountered Chad on that cold night. I had left him standing there along with our unfinished conversation. I didn't know what he did, whether he broke up with her or not. All I knew was that this visit to the clubhouse will reveal something to me. I stopped in front of Nigel's house, standing by the mailbox. I was aware of how easily I could just turn away and go home. But no…I couldn't do that. I have to face this. What seemed like an ordinary day to hang out with my friends, will be a day of more melancholy between me and…her.
Hoagie greeted before stepping aside to let me in. Before taking my coat off, I looked around the place. Counting the number of people, including myself. I saw that there were only four of us. The missing person was Kuki.
"Come on, we're about to start a poker game" Nigel beckoned me to sit near by. I turned his offer down and settled on the couch. I figured that maybe my friends were used to me being serious since no one was coming up to me to see if I'm alright. A dull moment passed by with my ears almost blocking out the cheers and noises from the poker table where everyone else was. The thought of that night with Chad four days ago tattooed itself into my mind and I tried my best to erase it. I massaged the bridge of my nose, right between my eyes. I couldn't forget about it.
"Alright, let me join" I desperately stood and approached my friends.
"Come on, we just started" Hoagie whined, "Let us finish this game. I'm winning"
"Shut up and let me shuffle" I took all their cards and started to shuffle it. I could tell that everyone decided to let me have my way because they sensed the tension inside me. I distributed the cards and we all started playing. I started to lose right away. I didn't give a damn about the game. I just wanted a distraction. Realizing how much the game was boring me, I subconsciously started looking around. All of a sudden my eyes led to something that came to be a shock. There on the coat rack by the door hung a pink coat with rainbow colored hemlines. I recognized that coat right away. And just as I did, the front door opened to let in a beautiful Japanese girl. Everyone turned towards the doorway and saw her. Almost immediately, a heavy awkwardness filled the room. Kuki spotted me right away of course, as instant as I spotted her. Although she looked away very quick, I saw something about her facial expression. Loneliness, depression, pain…the very emotions I saw in myself. Nigel, Abby and Hoagie tried to continue to play. Meanwhile I watched Kuki as she sat on the couch. Without another word I stood up and went outside, dragging Hoagie along with me.
"Hey, what's the big idea? I was in the middle of a game!" He complained after I shut the door to separate us from everyone inside.
"Why is Kuki depressed?" I asked him.
"Come on, Beatles. It's cold out here! Let's go back inside"
I grabbed his collar before he could even reach the knob. Again, I asked him, "What's wrong with her?"
Threatened by my actions, he answered, "I told you! She's been depressed! You know that! You were with her less than a week ago!"
"Something's different. She looks worse than before. What happened?" I tightened my grip and almost choked him.
"Alright, alright!" He surrendered, "Put me down first!"
I did as he told me. After rubbing his neck a bit, he told me. "Chad broke up with her"
My sudden emotions were not understandable. All I knew was that I was shocked by what I heard. "What…?"
"Four days ago, after you drove her out of the clubhouse, she went to Chad. I don't really know what happened but that next morning, he broke up with her. She wouldn't even tell us why"
"Son of a…!" I muttered angrily.
"Why? What's wrong?"
"Get Nigel and Abby out of there. I need to talk to Kuki"
"Never mind why. Just do it"
Hoagie went inside while I stood out there in the freezing weather. In no time, he, Abby and Nigel walked out. I waited for them to enter Nigel's house before going into the clubhouse. There she was…sitting on the couch. I could only see the back of her head but I could still picture the sadness on her face. Without thinking twice, I sat with her. I didn't stay too close, and I didn't stay too far.
"Why did Chad break up with you…?" I asked her quietly.
She didn't answer.
"I'm not going to taunt you. Just tell me"
She still didn't answer.
"It's alright Kuki. I'm here to help you. I promise…"
"…He didn't tell me…"
She struggled to speak between her sobs. "He just said…things were getting too complicated…" She burst into tears and buried her face into her hands. Right away I scooted closer and wrapped my arms around her. She, in turn, hugged me back. "I don't know why he did it to me…We've gone so far into our relationship..."
"I know…" I whispered to her.
"I know I'm supposed to be happy…I also want to be with you but I also love him, Wally"
"I understand…" I said painfully and helplessly. This was what I was afraid of. Only a small part of me was happy to know that she no longer belonged to Chad. Despite that, I pretty much felt horrible to hear her cry. Having her with me today didn't feel as good as I thought it would. Especially when I know that she's miserable. I gently pulled away from her to look at her, face to face. She wiped her tears away and tried to be strong, although she avoided my eyes. The tears continued to run from her eyes and I gently wiped some of them away with my thumb. What I was about to do was painful. "I know why he broke up with you…"
"The night after we last met, he followed me home. We had a fight about this whole thing with you. He decided to break up with you so that you can be with me"
Everything inside me collapsed as I saw the pain in her eyes grow intense. "You talked him into breaking up with me?"
"No…He was the one who decided to do that. He loves you. He thinks being with me would make you happy"
She took time to catch up with her breath. The shock of what I said stopped her tears from running.
"Don't worry…I'll talk to him for you" I said, "I'll make sure he gets back with you"
Confusion added up to all the painful emotions I saw in her eyes.
"It's clear to me that you love him…a lot. I'll tell him to get back with you"
"No" She said suddenly.
I looked at her in confusion. I didn't understand.
"Don't do that"
"But you want to be with him"
"Yes…and no. I love you too, Wally. I have to make my decision first. I have to choose"
I continued to stare at her. What she said was supposed to make me happy…but it didn't. "Don't do that" I told her. "You don't have to choose. I'm not one of your choices…"
"Yes you are"
"No I'm not. You belong to him, Kuki. You're happy with him…so I want you to go to him and get back with him"
"Why are you letting me do this to you…?"
I looked deeply into her eyes…into her soul. The answer was clear and painful. "Only one of us was meant to be happy and it's not me…"
Weeks had passed and I dreaded the thought of what I told Kuki. I knew that I only did the right thing…so I freely accepted its painful consequences. I felt miserable to know what I did, but somehow happy to know that Kuki would be alright.
"Hey Wally" Nigel greeted as he allowed me into his house. I entered the British-fashioned manor filled with Christmas decorations and people.
"Nice party" I said as I scanned the room.
"Thanks" He replied, "Make yourself comfortable"
When he took off to assist other guests, I roamed around. I walked through the endless sounds of laughter and joy until I got to the snack table where I helped myself to the punch bowl. Then I leaned on the table, looking at everyone. It was then that I saw her. Kuki stood amongst the crowd, chatting with everyone around her. I gazed at her beauty, her white dress flattering her and an adorable overjoyed smile on her face. I felt an agonizing type of joy rise within me. I was both pained and happy to see her smile.
I turned to my side and looked at Abby as she gathered some snacks onto her plate.
"Hey" I greeted back before staring at Kuki again.
"Don't stare too much" Abby laughed, "You might burn a hole through her"
"Look how happy she is…"
"She and Chad must be doing great…"
"She and who?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Chad, her boyfriend"
"Not anymore. He broke up with her weeks ago, remember?"
"But they got back together four days after that"
"No they didn't. They tried but they decided not to"
I stared at Abby in shock and disbelief. When I looked at Kuki, I observed her smile. "Why is she smiling then? She's miserable without Chad…"
"I guess she just got over him real quick"
When Abby left, I turned back to Kuki. To my surprise, she was looking back at me. A gentle smile spread upon both our faces. For the first time ever, we understood each other completely…and it didn't hurt at all. Our moment ended when she looked away shyly and disappeared from my sight.
I walked through the thick piles of snow on the way to the clubhouse. All afternoon, I've been in the party and I was tired of it. So I came to the empty clubhouse to relax. Like always, I sat on the couch and looked around. The clubhouse looked delightful as it was decorated with Christmas ornaments, Christmas lights, mistletoes and even a Christmas tree. As I looked around the room, I was startled to find a cup of hot chocolate being held up right by my head. I turned around and found Kuki standing behind me.
"I thought you might be thirsty" She said.
I accepted the cup from her and moved over to let her sit beside me. "I didn't hear you come in"
"I tried to enter as quietly as I could. I wanted to surprise you"
"Well, you did" I smiled gently at her and she did the same.
"You look nice" She ran her hand down the sleeve of my brown blazer, which was covering my black turtle-neck sweater.
"Thanks" I said, "You look great in that dress"
She smiled gently, straightening up her white dress. By then her beauty had caused me to fall into a trance.
"You're really beautiful…" I said subconsciously in a more sincere way. She avoided my gaze as she was barely able to contain her broad, flattered smile. I saw her blush and it made me laugh gently. She responded by laughing as well. After that we allowed a short moment to pass by in order for us to clear our minds. At that time I was still pretending not to know about her being single. Yet, I wanted to bring that subject up.
"So, how are things going with you and Chad?"
A hint of discomfort spread upon her face. I was wondering whether she would tell me the truth about them or not.
"Chad and I didn't get back together"
I failed to act surprised.
"I went to him, like you said. We ended up having a long talk and we decided that it was best to take a break…or see other people"
She focused her eyes on me when she said this.
"There's still a chance for us to get back together but…I doubt that it would happen. Especially after all the complications…"
"I'm sorry to hear that"
"Don't be. It's for the best"
"So, how are you doing? This break up must be really hard on you"
"It is. But I'm getting a lot better. I'm okay now"
We smiled at each other gently. We were glad that things finally worked out.
"So um…you wanna go out some time…?" She asked me out of the blue.
"What do you mean?"
"You know, as in go out"
I stared at her blankly, inwardly shocked by her sudden invitation. Here was my chance to be with her yet I couldn't work it out. For several months I've wanted nothing more than to have this opportunity. But it wasn't the right time. My decision was stupid, but it was right.
"Maybe we shouldn't" I told her as gentle as I could.
The smile on her face disappeared and was replaced by confusion and hurt. Right away, I tried to let her know that I wasn't trying to hurt her.
"I'd love to take you out. I really would, but it's not the right time. You just got out of a serious relationship. I really think you should rest. Take some time off from all this"
"But what about you?"
"I can wait" I forced a smile, "When you feel a lot better, I'll take you out if you want"
She smiled at me thankfully and hugged me. "Thank you…" She whispered. When she pulled away, a gentle silence passed between us. There we were sitting face to face, perfectly available to each other. Yet, neither of us took the first step. Neither of us knew how to take the first step.
"So…where do we go from here?" She asked me quietly.
I gave her a gentle sigh for a response. I didn't know what to do and I can tell that she didn't either.
Give me a sign… I prayed. Give me any sign. I have to if we'll ever be together…
I looked at her and saw her looking away as she sank deep into her own thoughts. Meanwhile, I continued to pray for a sign. In no time, I gave up. No sign appeared before me. I closed my eyes and leaned my head back, giving out a hopeless sigh. But then a sudden turn of events occurred when I opened my eyes. An overjoyed smile spread upon my face and I immediately turned to Kuki. She was startled by my sudden change of mood. Before she could ask me anything, I bid her goodbye with a gentle, passionate kiss on the lips. And I left.
I walked down the slippery, snowy sidewalk on my way home. Thoughts of what might happen to Kuki and me roamed my mind. Whatever the future holds, I can only hope. A part of me was scared, thinking that we may never be together. But mostly I felt confident and happy. Somehow I knew that things will work out. Because earlier when I was with Kuki, after I had just given up on praying for a sign, I saw something. That something was the sign that told me that Kuki and I will be together. The sign was the one that told me to kiss her. It wasn't a kiss for goodbye, it was more of a message that I wanted to give her. We were going to be together sooner or later, for when I lifted my head after the prayer and before the kiss, I saw a mistletoe hanging above us. That was my sign.