The Gentiles

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My ears were numb from the cold, hands shivering inside the pockets of my thick coat.

In my haste to flee the house, I didn’t have time to grab my beanie and gloves. I barely pulled my boots on my feet as I heard Harry call out my name from the hallway that led to his bedroom.

I couldn’t even begin to imagine how he’d look like if he ever caught up to me.

Most likely indecent.

Probably covered in another girl’s scent.

I sighed heavily, willing my eyes to keep the tears at bay. I must be really crazy. I have no business, none at all, to be feeling this way. It isn’t the first time Harry had dated someone but it is the first time I’d walked in on them together.

My heart fell lower and lower to the ground as the images appeared in my mind, unwelcomed.
The tears finally fell. I hate myself for this.

Choir practice wasn’t supposed to end until two more hours but because of the heavy snowfall, it was dismissed early. My parents are both still at work and I knew that Harry had a free afternoon today, the season just ended so he has a little bit of rest from football training.

I was so excited to come home and have some alone time with him. He told me he’d be home with sushi for dinner waiting for me after I’m done with my co-curriculars.

I thought maybe we could order them together, I know he hated raw fish but because I love it, he tolerated it. He’d have to order something else, though.

Oftentimes I had to force him to because if there wasn’t any other food, he would’ve just taken two or three makis, ones that tasted the least disgusting to him, and skip the meal altogether.
Only to whine out about it thirty minutes later, bothering everyone until he’s fed.

Despite myself, I laughed at the image of him unknowingly pouting so adorably every time he was taken by an onslaught of hunger pangs.

How pathetic must I be to be pining for someone so much when there is no way in heaven or hell there’d be a chance for me to be with him.

Still, there is no denying how I feel. It makes everything difficult, painful at most, but it is what it is. I accepted it long before I even realized what the hell I was being pulled into, before I even acknowledged every single reason why I shouldn’t be in love with him.

The moderator announced the next stop and I grabbed the closest grip, preparing to get off.
I always position myself at the nearest exit. You’ll never know in case of emergency. Better have a clear path towards safety than be trapped inside, helpless.

Especially when you’re alone.

Already, I can feel eyes on me. It was a really stupid thing for me to travel by myself when I feel this vulnerable and disoriented.

Suddenly, it wasn’t just my throat that was closed up but a coiling in my stomach began to form, too.
I became aware of the few people in the same cabin as me and I eye them as unsuspiciously as I could, not wanting to offend the wrong person.

There weren’t many people out even though it was still early. The skies say otherwise with its gloomy hues and the heavy atmosphere it exudes.

Two seats to my right was an old lady sitting beside a young man, perhaps her grandson, whose arm seemed to be cradling her.

Across my seat, just a little bit to the left, there were two men who sat a width apart from each other.
I couldn’t very well tell if they were with each other or not. Their proximity tells me it is so, since all the other seats were empty, no thanks to the brewing flurry outside, and they could sit wherever they wanted.

Shifting my eyes to look further down the aisle, I was halted by the movement on my right.
The young man who was sitting with the old lady stood up, making his way towards me.

I could only make out the lower part of his face since he covered his head with a dark brown hat almost the same color as his coat and trousers, hands hidden behind his back giving him a sinister look of intention.

The only colors that were set apart from his monotone outfit was the dull gray of his worn out scarf and black boots.

My gaze was fixated on him as he walked closer to where I sat, grabbing at the railings for support as the train continued to lurch.

I shouldn’t have been such a drama queen but hey, I’m just sixteen and couple my multiplying hormones with the frustrations of having a first love, it’s not a very good combination.

I just didn’t think I’d be on a much deeper end of danger because I overreacted.

Sure, there were moans and grunts permeating through the door of Harry’s room when I stood behind the closed doors, listening more intently to the disturbance that I heard upon my arrival home.

Sure, there were slapping sounds and heavy breathing as if someone was exercising or running a marathon.
But he and his girlfriend could just be watching porn.

My eyes honed in on the bed the money I opened the door so I wasn’t certain if his laptop or TV are on.
For all I know, they could just be wrestling underneath those sheets, limbs tangled together and chest pressed so tightly against each other with hints of skin flashing here and there...

Oh, who am I kidding?

I’m not stupid.

I might still be a virgin but I’m not ignorant. I know when two people are having sex and I’ve always wondered if Harry was doing it, became convinced that of course he’s sexually active, but denied the fact and kept it burried and ignored at the back of my mind until reality hit me hard on the face.

Curse my feelings for him and my idiot heart for choosing the flight instinct and running out of there without even thinking.

This could be the end of me.

In hindsight, they could have at least locked the door. Or maybe it was my fault, barging in without warning like that.

It just happened.

I didn’t know what I was going to find, didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary.

I just want to see Harry.

A heavy thud woke me from my short internal admonishment.

My head snapped to my right and I saw the limp body of the old woman slumped on the seat sideways.
My heart got caught in my throat.

There was once a story so popular among the middle schoolers it sparked the interest of the local police.
I was twelve when it first circulated. Our school is a university which offers primary and secondary education as well, though the slots were limited.

From elementary to high school, there are only ever two sections each level with a maximum of thirty students each class.

Everybody knows everybody, especially families of families who have been alumni of the school, all living in the same city.

Only a handful were considered outsiders but that was just what the locals call people who are not born and raised in our city.
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