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Chapter 2: Awkward Introductions

"March 5th"

A male voice was quick to answer.

"It's the 6th"

A female one corrected sternly.

My eyes flipped side to side. The short-tempered boy and the girl in the middle answered in two different dates. Without saying anything, the look on my face told them, so which one is it? I watched the two whisper an argument between each other before I noticed the weird kid on the right raising his hand.

"They met last February 15. They met me on the 1st of March... I'm good with dates, I mean...not dates, just calendars… and numbers" he explained awkwardly in decreasing volume when he realized he's not making any sense.

Prompting myself to ask another question, I pulled out this brown tissue box from under the table and placed it neatly right in front of them.

"So when did you three become... official?" I asked carefully choosing the right words to use.

"I don't know, a few weeks after we met him?" the short-tempered boy was once again quick to reply.

"No, it's a few days after," the girl shook her head in annoyance.

"Actually, it's on the 3rd of March... which means it was two days after they met me." The weird kid seems to know more about the truth, I presume.

That was fast. Two days? Well yeah, I'm not at all that surprised since I've heard of a lot of people becoming a couple on the very first day that they met, or in just a small span of time but that part where three different people coming into an agreement that they would call what they have a relationship in such a short time? This bit is brand new information. No, everything about this is new. Why can't I seem to get a hold of that? Disbelief? Not even sure of what's going on with these kids. Kids, why do I always regard them as that. Why do I keep giving them judgment when I haven't even heard of their story yet. We're merely past the awkward introductions. As early as now, I'm already hoping for Ashton to just come out of those curtains along with his camera crew and announce that I was Punk'd, if they ever try and bring that show back on the air but we all know that I'm no celebrity.

I'm just here to give an advice. An advice, I don't even know these people would actually take into heart and apply it in their lives. You see, it's not my job to go watch out for them, they come to me. That's the thing. It has to change this time. I want to get to know these young people right in front of me. There's this excitement that I have within that makes me come up with all these sorts of questions. But it won't be possible if I have this problem...

"So that makes it your 6th month of being all together tomorrow, September 3?" I clarified.

"Whoops, I almost forgot about that"

"No, you always forget about a lot of stuff"

"I...I always have it in my Alarms." the one on the right raised his phone but immediately brought it back to his pocket.

This problem. They're obviously three different people. Too different, actually. I really wonder how they got along. But right now, I can see an obvious pattern. The display of power and the role of each person in the relationship. However, how can I be able to put the pieces together if they're always gonna have different and contradicting answers to everything. It's not that I'm calling one of them a liar but this difference in them makes it appear like these people are just messing with me.

"That's too bad, six months to me is already a long way. When did you guys start to feel like there's a falling out?"

"There is NO falling out." guy on the left was on defense.

"...we're having A LOT of problems lately and I don't know, it's like... they're just piling up."

"We're...we.. we're not as happy as we used to be"

See what I mean. It's as if they're doing it on purpose but I can't give up just yet. No, I'm not even planning on giving up.

"Are you guys active?" I dropped the bomb.

"Excuse me?"

"Excuse.. US?" the girl in the middle gave the short-tempered guy a look of correction.

"Sexually?" whispered the weird kid.

"Well yeah, you see, most of the couples that have come here carry with them the same pattern of problem that led them to seek counseling. Lack of intimacy most of the time is the reason why couples tend to grow apart cause you're taking away that ultimate expression from the system. I'm not trying to get ahead of myself in here but in your case, you told me that you all agreed to not do the deed without all of you three present. Now my question is, in that span of 6 months, do you think you guys had enough..."

"No" the short-tempered guy said in the loudest he can.

"Yes" an annoyed answer by the girl in the middle, trying to compete with the loud tone of the first.

"...uh" the weird kid softly pinched his lips.

Gotcha. Finally, I got solid emotions from them. When they walked in earlier, I thought there weren't even any problems with them for they were all calm and lacking any sign of conflict except the part that the three of them obviously had that amount of space between them while they sat together at that sofa. It's pretty obvious now who fights more in the group. Left and Middle must always be fighting verbally while Right's forced not to speak to avoid siding with any of them.

"What are you saying 'Yes' for? You weren't always around." the short-tempered guy obviously had something in his mind.

"Really? Really? Is it my absence the reason or your lack of empathy?" the girl in the middle crossed her legs in annoyance.

"Lack of empathy? You're the one who just left us both at home!" retorted the short-tempered guy.

"I believe you're well aware of the troubles I have with my family?"

"Well bitch we've got our issues too and what do we do? We don't just leave?! And..and.. and come back prancing around as if nothing happened? Fuck you!"

"Why are you being like this?" there was a hint of a sob in her throat.

"You still have the nerve to ask that?"

"...guys..." the weird kid whispered his way in.

They all looked at me in shame of arguing in front of me. Okay, okay, I know what to do.

"This is it. It seems to me something big happened a few weeks ago? We'll get to that..." I smiled, trying to keep the atmosphere in control. "...but we won't be able to do that if you're gonna keep arguing while we're trying to breakdown the series of events that led you to this place. So I must ask two of you to leave the room and wait to be called back in. Who's up first?"

Without any word, the short-tempered guy bolted out of the room. Eyes of the weird kid followed him on his way out, then back with one glance at me. I gave him a nod and he stood running for the door. Right before me was the girl who pulled out a single sheet of tissue from the box on the table separating me from her. There was a moment of silence as I watched her wiped the tears forming under her eyes. When she's finally composed, I asked,

"How are you feeling?"

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