“You’ve been kinda different nowadays.”

“Pfft, what? Different how?”

“I don’t know. It just that I think you used to be… more party-going? I mean, I still see you in parties, but you’re more moderate now. Is your new work taking its toll on you or something?”

“Well… maybe? It’s kind of tiring, sure, but I don’t think it’s that bad.”

“Oh, is that why I haven’t seen you with girls either? Are you seeing anyone these days?”

“Seeing… yeah, I guess you can say so. Though she’s currently out of town for few weeks. We don’t actually dating, though… or maybe we just don’t call it dating.”

“Oooh, how long you’ve been seeing her?”

“She was a girl from my old school. We started talking after that reunion party… so I guess it’s almost a year now.”

“Damn. Are you graduating from being a player? I’m proud of you, dude.”

“Pfft. Thanks, I guess.”

“Hey, I mean it. I hope you’ll stay with her and things going well for you two.”

“… Thank you.”

She had said there was no need for him to come—but he insisted and she could not stop him. He went to the station that day, to pick her up and take her for lunch. These last few weeks they were only communicating through texts and sometimes phone call. She was having vacation with her family, outside of the town. Today, she finally returned.

He had known which train she took. Thus he drove to the station near by the time of arrival, and waited by the arrival gate—a message was sent to inform her that he was already waiting. He smirked in amusement when imagining her surprised face as she find him standing there.

That mirth gone, however, when it was him faced by a little surprise. His sight found her as soon as she was walking out of the arrival gate—with a guy carrying her bag beside her. It shouldn’t have bothered him too much, but it did.

That guy appeared to be around her and his age. He saw how they conversed, seeing her giggling to something he said. At one point, they stopped, she told the guy something and took her baggage from the guy. Around then, her sight wandered around the station, and found him. Her face beamed, with slight fluster—and he would have beamed too, if only he didn’t see how the guy also spotting him and made a big grin. As last farewell, the guy hugged her and—seemed like he whispered something in her ear. Because then she pulled back with red cheeks and a pout, smacking the guy’s arm playfully. That guy just laughed, and he sent her off with a wave of hand.

“Uhm. That was my cousin.”

“Is that so? You two seem close.”

“Mhm. We’re the same age, so we played a lot when we were kids. We still do when we meet nowadays.”

His eyes flickered to the rear view mirror, he found her face in the passenger seat, smiling fondly at a memory he couldn’t possibly know of.

“Is that so.”

After putting away her bag at the back seat, he slid into the driver seat, putting on seat belt. Then there was silence as he turned up the engine and pulled out of the parking lot.

“So… where are we going for lunch?” Her timid voice finally broke the silence after few minutes.

He actually had had a place in mind. Somewhere in the city, where there were few places to eat. They could choose something that catch their fancy. But what caught his fancy now had changed.

Feeling his smile sly, he answered, “My place.”

The lunch was delicious. She had known that he could cook, but the last two times she was in his place, he had been only cooking simple dishes for breakfast. After lunch, she thought he was going to escort her to her place—but no, he said he wanted to watch a movie with her.

She thought at first, perhaps he just missed having her in the town. But the movie played, he seated himself beside her and—wrapped an arm around her shoulder, pulling her closer. She had to admit that ever since the last time she came over, it felt like they grew even closer somehow. She started to think that perhaps it was how it feel to be dating someone. But still the gesture surprised her a bit. Glancing up from the side, she searched his face… and found that he hadn’t been watching the movie; he had been watching her.

“Is… anything wrong?”


“Is something… did something happen while I was away?”

“Nothing much, really—other than what I’ve told you. Like the job I got.”


‘I just been missing you,’ was what she expected to hear from him. But she waited, and he didn’t say such thing. Instead, he leaned closer… his arm dropped, in replace, a hand placed beside her face.

“Can I kiss you?”

She blinked. She remembered, the promise he made several months back. He had been keeping that promise all this time, but it was the first time he asked. Had he been holding himself all this time?

“Can I?” He repeated when her reply didn’t come. “Yes or no?”

Her cheeks warmed up. After the time they spent, the talk they shared—surely she could grant him one kiss now? Since they were… now… “something.”

When she finally replied, her own mutter made her heart shake. “Just… once.”

Thus he dipped down.

Unlike before, it was calmer. She didn’t sense that desperation she thought was there before. But he pressed his lips firmly on hers, and they must have stayed like that few seconds.

Pulling back, there was daze in his eyes. “Can I have once more?”

It seemed like she didn’t think; word just mumbled out of her lips, sloppy. “Okay.”

He didn’t seem to think either as he kissed her down again, still with the same firmness if not more. The next thing she knew, she was pushed down. A yelp escaped her lips.

She opened her eyes to him hovering a little above her, basically pinning her down on his couch.

“Tell me to stop, or I’ll keep going.”

Was it a threat? “Pause… uhm, is that an option?”

He blinked—and finally brought to laughter.

“Seriously, is anything wrong?”

He had pulled her to sit up again, but he didn’t let her go yet. When he switched to hugging her tight, she asked again.

Pulling back a little, he asked back, “Does anything has to be wrong? You know I’ve always wanted this.”

She knew. They didn’t always talk about it, but the occasional hints in their talk gave her an idea. Still, she said, “I mean… you looked so serious…”

At last, he sighed. “Fine. I admit, maybe I was a bit jealous.”

She blinked. Then her mind went back to the time he picked her up in the station. “You mean… about my cousin…?”

“Yeah. I know I don’t have to worry much. But it’s still… kind of annoying me. Especially…” He leaned down again—and she felt his lips brushed her ear. “… when he did this.”

As he pulled back, she was bright red. He chuckled, somehow feeling proud.

Yet, his smirk was bitter when he went on, “Maybe it’s karma. I can’t even say I have the right to be… like this, just because I’m jealous.”

“Is it…”

He looked up, and found her hand landed by his face. That small, warm hand of hers—while she locked his eyes with hers. She said, “Is it painful to you… that we’re… ‘untitled’?”

Was it painful? He made a slow blink as he thought about it briefly. “Not really. It’s only… inconvenient when I can’t say… you’re mine.”

She looked away bashfully—but the red in her cheeks stayed.

“Are you afraid?” Now was his turn to ask. “To be called mine—does the thought scare you? You said once you are afraid of things… about relationship.”

She nodded once, before adding quickly, “I mean… Yes. The thought of… dating… sometimes scares me. But… I don’t know if…” Here, she trailed off and bit her lips. Her sight darted this and that way, but never at him.

In the end, he sighed. “Can I cuddle with you tonight, at least?”

At this, though, her sight finally back at him. “Just cuddle?”


“Well… it sounds nice, actually.”

He grinned, satisfied. “Very nice.”

“By the way—the earlier were just paused, right? When will you let me continue?”

“Eep—stop!” He laughed.

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