Tong's shoes grinded against the concrete as he shimmied from left to right, trying to get at the soccer ball being peddled forward some feet away from him. A player on the opposing team was doing a good job at maneuvering past Tong's team, inching closer and closer towards the goal. Tong signaled one of his teammates with a jerk of the head as they caught each others' eyes. He had a masterpiece of a plan in mind to steal the ball away from his opponent that, unfortunately, wasn't able to come to fruition as his opponent managed to score a goal with a risky shot from afar.
Tong groaned and put his hands up to his head in frustration. He'd been playing for about half an hour now and his team was losing miserably.
"Staying for another round, Tong?" one of the players asked.
The boy shook his head, "No, I have to go."
He didn't want to get too sweaty and he was admittedly a little irritated considering his team was losing with no chance at turning it around. It was also a Sunday morning and he had only stopped to play when he spotted some classmates in a park on the way to Kao's house. His friends had wanted to hang out and make plans for New Year's Eve tomorrow but plans had changed and they loitered around the park while Tong played. He looked around to spot his friends on a nearby bench talking.
Jeng was on his cellphone as usual while Whae spoke to a withdrawn Kao. Kao seemed to be chewing gum, no doubt in an attempt to starve off his cigarette crave. Whae perked up as he noticed Tong heading towards them.
"Hey, hey." he nudged Jeng who shot him an irritated look which quickly became a sinister grin as he noticed Tong. Kao's expression didn't change at all as he spotted the approaching boy.
"Here he comes." whispered Whae.
Tong could read the looks on Whae's face from where he was and felt like walking away right then and there. Though the four of them were good friends, they would constantly harass each other and it wasn't rare for him to not be in the mood for it.
"What is it this time?" he asked as approached them.
Whae laughed, "Nothing." he said.
Jeng finished up his phone call and joined in with the other boys. "We just want to ask you a question." he asked, "Is it true that you broke up with Donut?"
Tong froze for a while. He thought about where this was heading, already getting on the defensive.
Kao spit the gum out of his mouth, "So, is it?" he asked.
Tong sighed, giving up. "Yes."
Jeng's eyebrows shot up at his friend's answer. "We've said it before, Tong. Donut's a real find, just what is it that you don't like about her?"
"Maybe he found someone better." Whae asked.
Jeng chuckled, "Like that boy from... what school was it again, Whae?"
"St. Nicholas?" he answered.
Tong shook his head. "Not this again." he groaned.
"Come on, Tong." Kao said, "It's just a joke."
Tong scowled at his friends. "Whatever." he turned his back to them and walked away.
Tong didn't find it funny at all. Mew was a very sensitive topic right now. He still hadn't heard from him and he was confused as to whether or not they were still friends. Had he hurt Mew? Tong knew it wasn't exactly the same situation with Mew, but Jeng would always say to let the girl make the first move after breaking up with her. Apparently if she doesn't speak to you after you break up with her then that meant that she didn't want to talk to you again. Mew wasn't a girl and they weren't ever really together but he wondered if the same logic applied. He told Mew that he couldn't be his boyfriend, he supposed that in some twisted way that was him breaking up with Mew. He shook his head, he felt like an idiot for listening to Jeng. Despite his thoughts, he hoped that Jeng wasn't right. Would Mew really cut him off like this? His heart sank at the thought. Boyfriends or not, he loved spending time with Mew.
Tong had decided to take a stroll through Siam Square on his way back home. He was angry at his friends and couldn't stop himself from almost obsessively thinking about Mew, he needed some time to cool off. He didn't know who to talk to about his feelings, other than Ying, who was as quiet as Mew aside from her text on Christmas.
He thought back to that night while he walked through the busy square. He thought back to the singer's smile, soon finding himself smiling at the memory of it. He replayed his own words in his mind. If Tong was on the other end, he knew that wouldn't have been satisfied with his own words that night.
He groaned, feeling a headache coming on. "This is stupid." he whispered to himself. Ignoring his circular thoughts about Mew as much as possible, Tong mindlessly continued his walk through the square before heading home.
He took in the scent as he walked into his house. His father was cooking. Going home was something that Tong was starting to love again, his house felt inviting and actually felt like a real home again. His mother would even try to come home early from work for his father's attempt at a meal on some days. Tong didn't always find his father's cooking tasty but he felt like the joy he got from eating a home-cooked meal by his father was enough to ignore it. Things were different now, and they were good. The only worry his family had was wondering who would take care of dinner once his father had found a job again. Tong made a note to find some way to learn how to cook as he sat down with at the dinner table. His mother and father came before long and they held hands as they said grace.
A few minutes into their meal, his father spoke up, "So, Tong." he said, "What are you doing tomorrow?"
Tong found it strange how his father was basically pushing him out of house to have plans till he saw a a wry smile on his mother's face and put things together; His father wanted some alone time with his mother.
"Um." Tong wasn't sure what to say now that he knew the circumstances. Did he have plans? He figured that any plans he might have had with his friends tomorrow were canceled since he walked off on them earlier. He didn't want to possibly hinder his parents in repairing their marriage, though. He ran through some apologies that he could say to his friends till he realized something, this was the perfect opportunity to see Mew again. He had to get out of the house because his parents wanted some alone time. He didn't have anywhere to go so he just decided to pass by Mew's house. Tong decided that that would be his reasoning if he had to explain himself.
"I might go over to Mew's." Tong finally said.
His mother looked at him, "Is he having a party?" she asked. He figured that she might still be a little antsy about him and Mew spending time together, or being together.
"Yes. Our friend Ying might be there too." Though he was making this up on the go, he really was hoping that she would be there. Ying and Mew. Two people that he might as well consider best friends at this point.
"I see." his mother replied.
He wondered if she thought him and Mew really were in a relationship. He knew he should clear the air but it was a fairly difficult thing to bring up, especially with his father there. It didn't matter anyway, because right now, Tong was overjoyed. He was finally going to see Mew again.