“I’m glad to finally find your text. I thought you still haven’t forgiven me.”

“I have. I just needed time to calm myself. We… will need to talk, don’t we?”

“Mhm. If you’d like to.”


Forgiving him was easy. The hard part was to forget what happened. She couldn’t possibly forget that. This was why they needed to talk.

The hard part was the waiting. Those days—was it a week, or more? Those days he spent without hearing from her—he thought it was going to drive him crazy. But he managed to endure it. One day, she sent him text, and they started to exchange words and news again. But he still needed to see her. He still needed to know, that night wasn’t going to be the last time he saw her. So he suggested a place for them to meet up—this time in public, just to make her feel a little more at ease.

She showed up. They talked.


“Do you… like me?”

“Yes.”

“Since when?”

“… have been since long, perhaps—except I didn’t realize it. I only realize it when we met again at that reunion. But I didn’t get the chance to talk with you back then.”

“You’re right. I saw you too, but I thought there would be no way you remember me.”

“And why not?”

“Because… I was quiet, back in the school?”

“But I remember you anyway.”

“Why?”

“Why… well, I don’t know. You were cute. You’re still cute. Even cuter.”

She didn’t have anything to say to this. Only her cheeks reddening.

And he smirked.

“… so…”

“Yeah. I’m sorry about a week ago.”

“Mhm.”

“Will you forgive me?”

“I have—I told you.”

“That sounds too easy.”

She just smiled at this. “It’s not hard for me to forgive. But…”

“… I got it. I won’t do such thing like back then again. Not without asking.”

“Thanks.”

“… Does that mean we can still hang out sometimes?”

She nods. Pause, and then, “You’re not going to ask…”

“Hm?”

“About me?”

“Do you like me too?”

“Yes—I mean, no—I mean that’s the question I meant, but…”

He chuckled. “If you like me too, I thought you’d have said it. It’s alright.”

“… You’re alright with… us staying as friends?”

“Of course. It’s better than never seeing you again.”

Here, she stopped. Head tilted a little, her gaze seemed to be searching into his eyes.

Something in him beat, hard.

Eventually she spoke, “Thank you.”

“… for?”

“Understanding.”

Had he really understood something of her? He wasn’t sure. But he was just glad they could still meet from time to time. That way, he ensured he still had chance.

“… Isn’t it a bit late?”

“Just have a little work left to do. What about you?”

“I’m out with friends at the moment. Please don’t overwork yourself. Rest well, okay?”

Reading up articles, relating with colleagues, entertaining acquaintances. And after hours, at last she let her eyes rest from staring at the computer screen. Plopping down in bed, she let out a long sigh. Few minutes passed, and she realized she had been staring blankly at the ceiling.

“Rest well, okay?” His last message from an hour ago echoed in her mind. But she wasn’t feeling sleepy yet. It was one of those days she couldn’t sleep in the nights again, and sleeping in in the day instead. Plus, there was this feeling…

Her sight slowly drifted to her wardrobe—her mind wandered to certain attire, certain places. She started feeling “that” tiredness again.

He rarely chose to go to a club—preferring bars for an outing—but he had a network and relations to keep. They had some drink, and a little dance; everything in moderation, just enough to let his friends knew he was with them. He just finished another song with yet another girl. They were on their way back to their table—when he caught a brief glance of a new arrival in the club.

He did a double take; a girl, entering the establishment alone. She dressed differently, but he could be sure he recognized that stature and face—even with that thinly applied make up on her face, it didn’t make her face foreign enough for him.

His eyes followed the girl as she headed toward the seats by the counter, and he quickly spoke to his companion:

“I think I see someone I know over there. I’ll just go and greet her for a bit, okay?”

The first time was the most nerve-wracking. But nothing much happened. Then she went again for the second time, still a little nervous. Still nothing much happened. She even thought she had a rather good time. And now she was back for the third time. She started to wonder whether this means there would be the fourth and fifth and more. Or…

“Hey there. Can I buy you a drink?”

It was not yet a minute after she seated herself by the counter, when she heard a guy’s voice among the thumping music. She turned to the direction of the voice, getting a smile ready on her face—but then blood drained from her face.

She recognized him.

“So it is you,” he spoke, his tone stiff. He then took the seat beside her.

“You are… what are you doing here—how…?”

“I told you I’m with friends.” He nodded to the direction of the table where his group was. Then turning back to her, “I should be the one asking you; what are you doing here?”

She couldn’t meet his sight—looking away as she was looking for words to explain herself. But before she managed to form a sentence in her head, he spoke again,

“Are you here with friend too?”

“Well… no…”

“You come here alone? And I thought you had work.”

“Yeah. I finished them. Thought I wanted to… get some fresh air after that. I couldn’t sleep, anyway.”

He didn’t say anything for a moment. If only she was looking at his face, she would catch how his eyes twitched once breaking his otherwise impassive expression.

“You come here often, then?” He asked again.

“Just been a few times.”

“And you always go alone?”

For a long while, she kept quiet. At last she dared herself to find his gaze, and her words came out low. “Are you mad?”

“Yes.”

She winced at the prompt, firm reply. But he wasn’t done,

“It’s already late; what are you thinking going out alone? It’s also far from your place.”

At this, she had no answer. Lips pursed, she merely diverted her sight again.

“I’ll drive you home.”

“What?” She finally looked up.

“Except you’d like to join me with my friends?”

Her eyes drifted to the direction of the tables. Which one was it again? Those tables seemed to be occupied by mostly large, lively groups, anyway. Not anyone she hoped to join, somehow. She came here to enjoy a little moment with herself—maybe pick up one or two conversation, but nothing more…

Seeing her troubled look, he spoke again, “If not, I’ll drive you home. I’m about to leave too, anyway.”

She looked up to him, lips bitten. “Why?”

He raised a brow at this—even more when he saw a frown formed on her face. “Why what?”

“Why I shouldn’t be here?”

“I’m just worried—especially because you come alone.”

“… then accompany me for a bit, will you?”

His eyes widened at this.

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