"Ari, I'm sorry, it's just that I don't love you anymore." His voice sounded so cold and melancholic at the same time.
"Did you ever love me, or did you just use me out of your boredom? Tell me."
He looked away.
"Why? Why Kurt, why? Am I just a toy to you? What did I do to let you do this to me?" My voice is shivering and almost out of breath.
He didn't utter a word, he just walked away with his cold eyes.
I ran as fast as I could, but I couldn't keep up with him. Suddenly, I heard someone calling my name.
"Ari, hey! C'mon Aria Leialoha!"
Wait, why's it sounded like Rosie?
That's when I felt someone tapping my face and then …
I saw my best friend Rosie's face right in front of me.
"Finally, you're awake! I'm so freaking worried that you're crying like crazy and calling Kurt's name. I was like, what the heck is wrong with you?"
Oh geez! Rosie's not kidding I was really crying. My pillow was so wet with my tears and my eyes were super puffy that I looked like a crying panda.
" I have a weird dream that Kurt's breaking up with me, it's so weird that we aren't officially together yet, I mean he's still courting me but in my dream, he's already breaking up with me." I told Rosie as I heaved a sigh.
"That explains why you're crying the hell out of you," she said.
"I'm just so worried about what happens to him, it's been a month since I haven't heard from him. I don't know what to do."
"Have you tried to call him or contact him on all his social media?" Rosie asked concerningly.
"I did, but all of them were deactivated."
Kurt was my high school friend who courted me for almost 2 months now. He worked as a seafarer the reason why I was so worried about him. As much as I wanted to contact his family about his whereabouts, I don't have the right to ask as I wasn't his girlfriend yet.
To be honest, I already have feelings for Kurt, but of course, as part of my Filipino culture, he needs to undergo courtship to see if he's really serious about asking me to be his girlfriend. I was really happy that he asked me as we have known each other for so long. He knew almost everything about me and I knew everything about him. We were very transparent with each other so it's just easy for us to adjust to our personalities.
He was my go-to buddy that whenever I had a problem he was always there to help and support me.
If you're wondering why we weren't together, it was because he had a girlfriend when we were in high school. He did try to court me back in Freshmen high school, but I wasn't allowed to have one because I was still young and I need to focus on my studies. I wasn't hurt back then when he had a girlfriend because he was still there for me, though I have to admit there was a limitation to every action.
We were good friends with his girlfriend, until one day she confronted me all of a sudden and telling me hurtful things. She told me I was a backstabber and a snake for stealing his boyfriend which I didn't do.
I was hurt as I was very innocent as hell about what's going on. That night, I texted Kurt about what happened but he didn't answer. I did try to call him, but he didn't pick up the phone.
I discovered from his friends the cause of all those chaos. They told me that she found my photo in Kurt's wallet instead of hers. She confronted him and Kurt admitted that he still has feelings for me, and right in front of his girlfriend he told her that I was his first love.
I don't have any idea about all those things as I really thought that we're cool as friends. I have to be honest, it felt good knowing that I was his first love, but it pains to think that he still has feelings for me when he already had a girlfriend.
After that incident, they were still together and everything went back to normal except for me and his girlfriend. She never talked to me ever again. Whenever we crossed paths with each other, she just stares at me with her cold eyes and treating me like a complete stranger. I tried to talk to her but she didn't let me, so I distant myself from both of them.
Fast forward to my college days, I was still the same as before, the nerdy girl who doesn't have a boyfriend. Well, there were some guys who courted me and showing motives that they like me, but, just only a few days after they have admitted their feelings, I always discovered a lot of "RED FLAGS" that made me stay away from them. Another thing was, some guys told me that they liked me but I only see them as a friend nothing more than that. A lot of people told me that I have to give them a chance, maybe later on I'll just develop feelings for them. But, that's not me. I'm not the kind of person who gives false hopes. As much as possible I want to be honest with how I feel. My conscience won't let me sleep if I let other people waiting for nothing.
So yeah, back to Kurt, I was in my Literature subject when someone texted me.
"I miss you."
It was from an unknown number. Right after our high school graduation, I changed my number, and only my family and best friends Rosie and Emmie knew my number. I wanted to have a fresh start and forgot every bad memory I had in high school. I wanted to forget Kurt as well, the reason why I didn't give my number to him.
I discretely replied while our professor was still busy writing something.
"Hello, who's this please?"
It was only 5 seconds when he replied, and I knew it was him.
"Where did you get my number?"
"I have a lot of sources," he replied with a smirking emoticon.
"Is it Emmie or Rosie?" I asked, still trying to cover my phone with a book to make sure my professor won't catch me.
"It's Emmie. We have an agreement, that's why."
Seriously Emma Florence!
And what's the agreement he talked about? I didn't reply as we started having an exam.
When I got home, I immediately had a video call with Rosie and Emmie. Emmie needs a better explanation of this.
"So, Emma Florence, I need your explanation." That was my introduction while doing my skincare.
"What is this all about Aria? And, why are you calling me with my full name?"
Emmie knows that whenever I called her full name, what I wanted to talk about was something serious. The same goes with Rosie, whenever I called her Romia Sienna, it only means that something serious is going on.
"I wanna know about the agreement between you two," I replied.
I saw Emmie's reaction, and she was really shocked. Then she answered defensively.
"Let me explain this, Ari. Oh good, Lord!" She exclaimed.
Rosie on the other hand interrupted as she looked so confused and out of place.
"What the hell is going on with you two? Can someone please explain to me?"
"Emma Florence should explain everything, Rosie," I answered nonchalantly.
Honestly, I wasn't mad with Emmie giving my number to him. I was actually glad and happy, cause, to be honest, I missed him. I just want to continue showing Emmie that I wasn't happy and I was pissed cause her reaction really made my day.
"Stop calling me with my full name Ari, please!" Emmie sounded so desperate. I was only trying my best to act tough and cold but deep inside I really want to laugh so hard. Her expression was priceless.
"So here's what happened," Emmie started.
Rosie took her earpads to make sure that she can hear Emmie clearly. I, on the other hand, still acting pissed and annoyed.
"I have this guy which I like and I didn't know he was Kurt's friend. They go to the same school. Then, one time when he invited me to hang out along with his friends, I was really surprised to see Kurt. He told me that he will tell me everything about him in exchange that I will give him your number. At first, I was really hesitant but I don't have any other connections aside from Kurt, and I really like him." Emmie was teary-eyed after her confession.
"Who's this guy, Emmie? Why you didn't tell us?" Rosie queried.
"That's the reason why I want to know everything about him first before I want to introduce him to you." Emmie was totally embarrassed.
"I don't want you guys to think that I'm just an easy girl. I want to have the right guy this time. I don't want you to worry about me." She added.
"Oh c'mon Emmie! Aren't we friends? We won't judge you for that. You know we love you, you really know that." Rosie postulate.
I was still silent as I listen to both of them.
"Ari?" Rosie called concerningly.
"Okay, point taken. You're now forgiven." I said while smiling mischievously.
"Wait, you're not really pissed, aren't you?" Emmie muttered.
"HAHAHAHA!" I couldn't control myself so I burst into a laugh.
"You! Argh! I hate you Aria! I really thought I was going to die in a second." Emmie said while holding her chest.
I was laughing so hard when Rosie spoke.
"So, it's your turn Aria. What did he say?"
"He just told me he missed me. That's it."
"OH MY GOSH!!!" Both of them shouted that I almost break my eardrums.
"You guys, stop it! There's nothing to be excited about."
"Oh, by the way, they already broke up. Right after the graduation." Emmie added.
"Oh really? That's totally a good thing, Ari! Remember when he told the girl that you were his first love. This is it! Finally!" Rosie seconded.
"It's nothing, serious guys. Don't let your hopes high." I chuckled.
I ended the call as they were starting to tease me. I reasoned out that I have a lot of things to do, but actually, I just want to have alone time, with my thoughts, with my heart.
That was the start of everything. He asked me if he can court me, and I said yes. We went out sometimes, eat in a restaurant, went to karaoke, watch movies together, and sometimes just being crazy with each other. I was really really happy. I never felt that kind of level of happiness before, which made me anxious. I don't know, I was happy but anxious at the same time.
Then, on that April summer night, he called me to meet me. He told me he missed me and he really wanted to see me.
We met in the park, he was sitting in a swing, with his hoodie up. I knew something wasn't right.
He smiled when he saw me. I knew his smile wasn't that smile of happiness, it was a sullen smile.
He hugged me tightly like there's no tomorrow, so I asked him.
"Let's just stay like this for a bit." He said as he buried his face against my neck.
"Kurt, I know something was off. Tell me."
He took a deep breath before he talked.
"I'll be starting my apprenticeship next week."
I was surprised. The last time I've heard he will start by next year.
"Why so early?" I wondered.
"I don't know, one of the biggest companies contacted me, and I can't say no to that. I've been dreaming of this, Ari. Hope you understand."
I hugged him tightly and said.
"I am so proud of you, and I'll always be here to support you. Don't worry, I'll wait for you, I won't go anywhere."
That was our last conversation in person. The day after our conversation he was really busy processing requirements and preparing for his aboard.
I was really happy for him. Though it was really sudden, I didn't care at all as long as it's for his dream.
In his first two weeks since he went aboard, we can still talk, like every morning and evening. Three weeks after it became seldom as he told me that they have assigned so many things and they're not allowed to use the phone. One month later, it was very hard for us to communicate. I did call him one evening but his phone was off. Then the next day he was able to answer my call, but we only spoke for a minute as he was very busy, that's what he said.
He rarely sends messages, and he rarely reads my messages and emails. I was lonely. I didn't know what to feel. My friends told me that I have to understand as his work wasn't that easy, and he's trying his best for our future (Rosie and Emmie are so good with comforting words).
Honestly, I have a lot of things running in my head. I understood that his work wasn't easy, but why do I feel this apprehension? Why do I feel uneasy? I trusted him, but why do I have this kind of thinking and why do I feel this way?
It wasn't easy on my part. Long-distance was very difficult for me, but I endured it for him. I have asked myself many times if I was to blame for not saying yes to be his girlfriend before he went aboard. I didn't know that I'll be feeling this way, I'll be reacting this way. I thought I'll be fine without him, but I was wrong.
Rosie and Emmie did their best to make me feel better. I always thanked them every day for being there for me, without them I don't know what to do.
Three months later and still no sign of him. He never answered my calls, never read my emails and messages and he never returned my calls. I have left so many voice mails but still nothing. All his social media weren't updated. I was in the urge to contact his sister and brother, but every time I thought about it, my hand froze and I could hear my conscience telling me that who am I to ask? I was just a nobody; a mere friend. Even his friends didn't have news from him which made me worried even more.
Then one morning came, I woke up early around 6 AM. I took my phone and searched his Facebook account, to my surprised it was updated and he just posted a photo 12 hours ago with another girl.
I was frozen. I feel like my whole world just went dark and I was having a hard time catching my breath. I went to his messenger, but what's even worse, I was blocked. I can no longer send him a message. I tried to call his number but the number was no longer in use. He blocked me from all of his social media accounts including Instagram.
It was a feeling of numbness and nothingness. I couldn't cry. I was lost for a moment that I don't know what should I do.
I was in deep thinking when his friend sent me a message.
"Hey Ari, it's Mark. I'm with Kurt right now."
Then he sent another message which made my whole world crushed into pieces.
"He's with his new girlfriend, or I think she's his wife now. She's pregnant."