"So... My suggestion about going out for a coffee remains, you know?" Darren stated once you stopped hugging each other. "And... if we don't move from here soon we're gonna freeze and we're gonna go from being the mysterious letter-boy and mysterious letter-girl to become statues of ice. Not that I think that the ice sculptures are ugly, but I'd rather to live a little longer, I mean if you're an ice sculpture you cannot move and I don't want that because my biggest fear is to turn into an inanimate object and..." Darren started rambling and you couldn't hold your laughter. You could safely say that Darren wrote all his letters while things were arising in his mind.
"Darren, Darren… you're rambling just like in your letters!" You said, this time laughing eloquently. "Of course I'd like to go for a coffee. After all, coffee is my addiction." You said, smiling slightly.
"Perfect! I hope you don't mind going to Starbucks, but there's the place where they have the most fucking delicious Peanut Butter Mini Cupcake. And I definitely need to eat a cupcake and this time not to throw it at walls or at some random people." Darren laughed and stopped resting his back against the tree to stand upright.
"I don't mind at all. I love Starbucks."
"Alright, let's go? Or will we stay here until a horse-drawn carriage that used to be a pumpkin comes to pick us up?" Darren asked mockingly and you nodded, laughing softly.
You started to walk towards the nearest Starbucks store, walking next to each other. Now that was weird. You felt so observed, even if people weren't looking at you but they were looking at the man next to you. Damn, you were walking alongside Darren Criss. How very insane was this? Of course you knew the boy who was walking by your side. You shared so much together and were true friends; even he stated that in his letters. But this guy was Darren Criss. Darren Criss? Really? He mentioned that your relationship might change once you could get to know who he was. Well, he was right. Your relationship wasn't ever going to be the same, yet you couldn't tell if that change would be good or bad. You loved that mysterious guy who sent you letters, but you admired Darren Criss. You couldn't help fangirling every time you looked at him. You couldn't make the idea that Darren and the mysterious boy was the same person. How were you going to be able to be friends with someone who was your idol? How were you supposed to act naturally with someone who was famous, even though you loved him and knew intimate things about him? You were scared, because you didn't know how to react, what to do with him. He said he was ready to meet you in person, but maybe you weren't. Perhaps you rushed this thing of meeting each other in person; perhaps first you should have known each other from pictures, just as you did with April. You weren't expecting for anything in the world that the mysterious guy could be a famous person, not to mention that he was a person you admired. The situation wasn't normal, and suddenly you started feeling nervous and uncomfortable. You weren't supposed to feel that way with that guy who was your friend. Suddenly, you regretted of having known that mysterious guy. You felt weird, uncomfortable and nervous next to Darren Criss and it wasn't supposed to be like that. You looked at him furtively, he was smiling widely. Why was he happy, relaxed and comfortable with you while you were feeling the opposite? You kept walking by his side, looking down. God, you had no idea what you were doing. Maybe you should go, saying you weren't ready to do this. But your mind stopped thinking about all these things when you felt how Darren intertwined his arm with yours. You shuddered at his touch. You weren't sure if you wanted to walk next to him that way, but you did nothing about it because it just felt good.
"It's really freezing!" Darren exclaimed, walking closer to you to gain a little more heat. You just smiled shyly.
You walked for a while, in a really uncomfortable silence. Crap, you wanted to go far away from there. You were confused and you needed time to think about what has happened. When you first saw him and gave him that hug, you thought you've made a good decision, that nothing could go wrong because you've finally met the guy you loved. But as you were walking, you started to realize in whose presence you were, you were in the presence of someone famous and you weren't used to be observed by everyone in the direction where you were. All your life you've been ignored, and suddenly drawing attention like that made you feel uncomfortable. It was all very odd. You wanted to go back time and be two strangers exchanging letters again. You wanted to go back in time where Darren Criss was your idol, and not a person with whom you've shared many intimate secrets. For god sake, Darren Criss knew all the bad decisions that you've made, and you'd never imagined to know Darren Criss that way. You always wanted to meet him and become his friend was a dream, but not this way. He knew many things of you and you felt ashamed. And why the hell was Darren Criss smiling brightly? This wasn't going well. Suddenly, a group of people came up to where you were. You didn't know where to hide. You quickly let out his arm and put your hands in your pockets. Darren couldn't look at you with a confused expression, because the fans were already asking for autographs and pictures. You took a step back to let Darren sign those autographs. You started to think that this wasn't what you wanted; you weren't able to talk to him quietly because you'd always be interrupted by fans. Damn, you quickly thought you were being very selfish. How could you think such things? You frowned and looked at the floor, cursing yourself for being so stupid. When Darren finished signing autographs and people around him walked away, he turned to look at you with a grin.
"I'm sorry about that. Let's go?" Darren asked, intertwining his arm again with yours. You let out his arm and looked down, nervous. "Is there something wrong?" Darren asked gently, but a little confused.
"Y-yes…I mean, no. There's nothing wrong. It's just...just..." You stammered and took a long breath before speaking. "It's just that I remembered I have an event. And if I don't go now, I'm gonna be late. Maybe we could give up coffee for another day. Sorry, but really I have to go to this event."
"Um…yeah, sure, I understand." Darren answered, his voice sounding disappointed and confused. "Sure, we can get that coffee another day. I'm gonna stay in NYC for a couple of days, so yeah. Do you want me to walk you to your apartment?"
"Oh no, it's alright. It was...nice to meet you, Darren. Now I'm sorry I have to go! I'm in a hurry!" You told him almost slurred and you quickly kissed his cheek, hurriedly turning away from him.
"Hey, wait!" You heard Darren yelling behind you, but you didn't stop.
You walked away from him as fast as possible, and within minutes you were in your apartment, lying in bed. You buried your head on your pillow in frustration. You couldn't understand why you felt this way, if you always imagined how it'd be like your meeting with the mysterious boy. But none of what you imagined has happened. Because, obviously, you've never imagined that the mysterious boy was Darren Criss. You were acting in a stupid way and you knew it, but you didn't like this odd situation.
You finally fell asleep, thinking that definitely you both had rushed in meeting. And perhaps you'd made a wrong decision.
You woke up with swollen eyes from crying. Still in your pajamas and without combing your hair, you went to the kitchen to make coffee. You sat down to drink it on the breakfast bar, still thinking about your encounter with Darren Criss. You felt bad for leaving him like that, because before you went away you could see a look of sadness on Darren's face. Would he have realized that you were going away because of him? You felt extremely bad for lying to that guy who helped you so much all this time.
"You're the most fucking stupid and dumbest girl in the whole universe! Dammit." You exclaimed out loud, upset with yourself.
Darren didn't deserve being treated that way. You've been very selfish in thinking only about how you felt and not about how Darren could have felt. You preferred to flee than facing the shame and fear you felt, you haven't learned anything. You thought you'd changed, but it wasn't like that. You were still that scared girl who couldn't deal with her own feelings. And Darren... he's always been so nice to you, and was this the way you were thanking him? –You're so stupid. – It took a long time for Darren to make this decision, he was afraid that once the two of you get to know each other, everything would change between you. Yet he dared to make the decision, he had the hope that everything would go well. But none of that mattered to you, it didn't even cross your mind. You never thought that probably Darren would be feeling bad and guilty for ruining everything. And he wasn't guilty; you were to blame for screwing all this for fear. – You're pathetic – The worst of all was that you weren't going to be able to ask forgiveness because you weren't going to see him again, because in your haste to flee from him, you didn't ask where he was staying or what his phone number was. You were going to have to send a letter and you had no idea when he'd be able to read it. Suddenly, you started feeling a desperate fear. What if after all of this Darren wouldn't want to talk to you for your childish and stupid behavior? What if after all of this you had lost Darren forever? Oh, wow. You were panicking. Despite you weren't ready to spend time with him in person, you didn't want to lose that guy who definitely has changed your life.
Your thoughts were interrupted by the ringing sound of your apartment bell. Lazily, you rose from the chair to go open the door. It was surely the postman with a letter from April. Before opening the door, you looked yourself in the mirror. Shit, you looked like crap. Your eyes were swollen, the tip of your nose was a little red and you were completely disheveled and in pajamas. You undoubtedly looked pathetic. You tried to fix your hair a little and you didn't change clothes, because you weren't going to let the postman see your outfit. You opened the door slowly and your face automatically reflected surprise and horror as soon as you saw the person standing in the hallway. You quickly hid your body behind the door and you started to blush, you felt your face burning.
"What the hell are you doing here?" You asked in horror, your voice trembling.
"Sorry, I know I shouldn't have come here without notifying. But anyway, I had no way to let you know I was coming since yesterday it seemed you turned into a rocketship considering how fast you ran away. And... well, I had your address from the letters you sent me and... and I really wish I could talk to you. Can I come in?" Darren asked, looking at you with puppy dog eyes. God, he was so adorable. But you could notice a hint of sadness in his voice, unlike yesterday.
"Uh… Err... uh…" You babbled nervously. "Yeah…yeah, sure."
You opened the door wider to let Darren enter your apartment. Why the hell were you doing that? Why were you letting Darren come in? Fuck. You looked like shit. And you were still in your teddy bears pajamas. Shit. This was very embarrassing. Darren came in shyly and he glanced at you from head to toe, smiling a little amused.
"Someone is looking good today." Darren commented, laughing softly and winking at you.
"Oh holy crap." You answered, blushing and feeling absolutely ashamed. "Please, have a seat. I'll be back in a few seconds... I need... I have to change my clothes. Be right back."
"Okay, try not to lose your way. And don't let the bears be sad once you leave them." Darren joked.
"Oh, shut up. Be right back." You said and you went to your bedroom while you saw how Darren sat on the couch, looking everything around.
You quickly locked in your room and searched something presentable to wear. Your hands were shaking with nervousness and fear. Damn, you couldn't believe he saw you so disastrous. You finally dressed up and you looked in the mirror to fix your face. You grabbed the make-up to try to dissimulate your red and swollen eyes and you put on perfume. Then you kept looking in the mirror for a while. On one hand, you felt relieved that Darren was there because you were going to be able to ask forgiveness. But on the other hand, you were feeling terrified. He told you he wanted to talk to you, and you had no idea what he wanted to talk about. Well, actually you knew what he wanted to talk about; of course it'd be about what happened yesterday. But you didn't know if he was going to say something good or something bad. Just as he could tell you that he understood, he could also tell he was disappointed by the immature way you acted and that you weren't what he thought you were, that maybe the best would be to end any kind of contact. God, you didn't want that. You didn't want to stop talking to him, even if now all you wanted was to take things slowly, trying to assimilate that the mysterious boy was Darren Criss.–Damn, I need to stop shaking like a fool – You wanted to stop shaking, but your body wouldn't stop.– Alright, Darren is waiting for you. Take a deep breath and go talk to him, relax, relax. You can do this. Everything is cool, take this easy. – You felt like an idiot talking quietly in the mirror. –Fine, here I go… -
You took a deep breath before leaving your room and find Darren standing, seeing the table where you used to paint. There were some unfinished paintings and Darren was holding in his hands one of them, staring at it in amazement. Slowly, you walked toward him, trying not to make noise.
"It's not finished yet. I need to keep working on it." You said behind Darren. Darren jumped and then turned around to look at you.
"Oh fuck, you scared the hell out of me. I didn't hear you coming." Darren said, still strained while he was relaxing again. You couldn't help laughing softly and Darren started to laugh along with you. "Well, it's kind of awesome anyway. I don't get how you do this. And your apartment… Holy shit, did you do all of those things? It's totally awesome. I love this place." Darren said, looking around as he left the painting where it originally was.
"Yeah, I decorated the entire apartment by myself." You answered grinning. "Uh...Do you want something to drink or eat...maybe coffee?" You asked a little uncomfortable while you headed to the kitchen. Darren followed you and sat at the bar.
"I'd love a coffee. It's never late to get more caffeine in my body." Darren responded, giggling and you nodded with a smile, beginning to brew coffee. There was a moment of awkward silence that was interrupted by Darren. "So…How was the event you had yesterday?"
"Uh… well, actually…" You started to feel nervous, your voice trembling. Darren was looking deeply into your eyes and you tried to concentrate on making coffee but your nerves betrayed your hands. You didn't want to lie him again, but you couldn't say him why you've done that. You felt embarrassed and stupid, not to mention like a terrible person.
"There was no event, right?" Darren asked quietly.
Now, that was an awkward moment. You looked up and looked straight into his eye. He was staring at you with a disappointed facial expression and you noticed a hint of sadness for a while. Holy shit, you hurt Darren. You felt extremely guilty for having hurt him. How could you hurt that guy who did so much for you? Darren finally looked down and bit his lower lip. You also took your eyes off him and tried to hold back your tears that wanted to escape from your eyes as a result of the guilt you felt for hurting Darren's feelings. Darren looked sad, very different from that Darren you've always seen in interviews, very different from that Darren who was always happy and goofy. And you knew it was your fault. You felt a lump in your throat that didn't let you talk and you started to feel pressure in your chest. Oh God, you hated this. You hated to make people feel bad, and more a special person as he was. You had no idea what to answer. You didn't know what to tell him, because you couldn't even understand why you acted that way with him.
"Darren… I'm really sorry." You finally articulated with choked voice, looking straight in his eyes, still trying to hold back your tears.
"It's alright…" Darren replied, still looking down at his hands.
"No, it's not. Darren, please…" You said still with choked voice and almost in a supplicant way, which made Darren look up to you, to stare into your eyes.
"Listen… I knew something like this could happen. I knew that maybe you could know me, I knew it from the moment you mentioned you knew my song, Not Alone. So I never dared to tell you who I was, or send you a picture of me. Because I knew things could change, I knew that maybe you wouldn't want to talk to me again. Not because I'd disappoint you nor because you'd like me less, but because you'd feel scared and because you'd get nervous talking to me; because both of us have shared many deep things. I know a lot of things about you as you know a lot of things about me. And I didn't want you to feel that way around me; I wanted to talk as if we were two normal people having a special relationship of... friends. It was very important to me, with you I felt different, and I felt so damn good unlike my last years. You know? I hate this. I hate that people treat me differently, as though I were important or shit like that. I hate that people can't see me or treat me like a normal person trying to live and enjoy life. I hate not to have a fluid and enjoyable conversation; I hate the fact that everyone has to mention me that they admire me. I hate being treated as if I weren't one of them. I hate not being able to walk down the street with someone I want without the media making up stories. I miss walking quietly with someone next to me in a normal way, like other people do. And with you I felt different because the two could talk about anything, and I felt good because you treated me as equal... and you told me you considered me a special person even not knowing who I was and all I've done in my professional life. You liked me for what I truly was and not for what I did in my professional life. Then I asked myself what if I dared letting you know me in person. After all we shared and how... we both felt. I thought it'd be much stronger than the fact that you get to know me in person and then that way, you weren't going to treat me differently. I thought that getting to know each other in person could make our relationship much better. So I decided to take the risk. I was very scared, but you were you... and I wanted to meet that girl who made me feel so great. And... and that hug at the park and the fact of walking beside you and feeling that nothing else mattered... just felt good. I felt like everything... everything was going well. And I was very happy that I made that decision because I really felt in a way I haven't felt in years. I was next to a person I wanted, walking like two normal people. And it was... perfect." Darren looked down, frowned and bit his lip to try to hold back his tears, yet few tears fell down his face and he quickly wiped them away. "But... but then you looked at me that way. Dammit, I knew that kind of look but I didn't want to think you were feeling that way. I didn't want you to feel as uncomfortable as you were feeling at that moment for being with me. I tried to convince myself that I was making things up that weren't, that you were just as happy as I was for having known each other in person. And... and then you told me you had to go to an event with that damn look I knew so well. I tried to stop you so I could make you feel comfortable with me. Because by your eyes I realized you didn't have to attend any event, you just wanted to go because you didn't feel good with me. But you went away too fast. I tried to follow you, but at one point I lost you from my sight and I couldn't find you. So I went back to the hotel room where I'm staying, thinking about everything that has happened. Crap, I screwed everything…" Darren was no longer trying to hold back his tears and you felt how your heart was breaking into a million pieces.
"Darren…" You whispered in a tearful voice and took his hand gently, but he let out his hand. Oh god, Darren was feeling miserable and it was all because of your stupid behavior.
"No, let me finish." Darren interrupted, shaking his head and sitting upright. "I fully understand why you acted that way and I was ready for you to react that way. It wasn't supposed to hurt me, it wasn't supposed to hurt the way you've reacted, it wasn't supposed that your reaction would affect me this way. But when I saw you in the park... you were you. And I didn't want to do anything else but to be with you, to talk in person about all the things we talked in letters. You were... beautiful in every way, as I always imagined. And I didn't want to get away from you, I didn't want to let you go. Because... with you everything's different. I don't know what happened to me the moment I saw you, but I put aside everything that I thought I'd do if something come out wrong. And... and knowing that I ruined everything between us, made me feel very bad. And I cannot blame anyone else but myself, because I knew this would happen and you acted in a way that anyone else would've acted. But I let myself be blinded by what I felt. And I ruined everything. I shouldn't have rushed this. And I'm sorry. It took me awhile to decide to come here, but I had to. You're... you're an important person to me and I didn't want to go without being able to apologize before, even if my apology won't change what we're experiencing now, even if my apology cannot reverse what I've ruined. I wish I could go back in time and keep... having that entire special thing we had. I'm sorry I made you feel uncomfortable. Please, forgive me."
You didn't know what to say. You were feeling many things, and you couldn't utter a word. You hated the fact that he was feeling guilty because it wasn't like that. And Darren thought you were acting like the rest of people who admired him. And it was true that you admired him, but you weren't like the rest; because you've known each other in a very different way. Because he wasn't only Darren Criss, that famous and talented person; Darren was that guy who made you feel special. And you disappointed Darren, you made him feel bad, you hurt him deeply. And worst of all was that he was still feeling guilty. Darren felt different with you because you always treated him like a normal person, because you liked him for what he truly was, but all that changed when you met in person, because you treated him the same way people treated him in recent years. And you hated yourself for making him feel this way. He felt comfortable with you, but you ignored that; because you only thought about yourself. You wanted to tell him he wasn't guilty; you wanted to tell him you were sorry. Also you wanted to tell him that you've been thinking and you were sorry for acting that way around him. You wanted to say he was very important to you, not because you were his fan but because you loved how he really was. You wanted to say you didn't want to let him go either, you wanted to talk naturally as two good friends would do. But you couldn't tell any of this, because you couldn't talk. You approached him and hugged him tightly, letting him know by your embrace everything you felt at that time. At first Darren let you hug him, but he didn't hug you back. After few seconds, he wrapped his arms around your waist and rested his head on your shoulder, shedding some tears. You started to stroke his hair gently as he hugged you tighter. The hug lasted several minutes and said everything that words couldn't express. Then you moved to look into each other's eyes, but you kept your hands on Darren's shoulders and he kept his hands on your waist. Both of you looked intensely into each other's eyes. You thought that nothing more perfect than what happened that time could ever happen.
"I'm not gonna let you go away from me, Darren. So, get used at me." You told him still looking into his eyes, smiling warmly.
"Really? What if I don't want?" Darren asked a little more lively, but still with tearful eyes.
"Oh, I'm going to have to kidnap you until you give up and accept the fact that I'll be by your side from now on." You replied in jest and Darren shook his head while chuckling.
"Hmm, it sounds fair. But if you're going to kidnap me, please let me at least use the bathroom when I need." Darren said, laughing and you laughed along with him.
"If I'm going to kidnap you, I don't want you to feel guilty again for something stupid I did. We've talked about this. And you're way too important to me to let you go. And I love you for who you are and not by what you've accomplished in your professional life, even if I think it's fantastic. Do we have a deal?" You asked smiling kindly.
"We have a deal." Darren answered smiling back at you and he hugged you again. This time it was a hug of happiness, not regret.
You woke up feeling warm on a cold day in NYC, but your body was hurting a little. You remained with your eyes closed, enjoying the warmth, until you felt a noise behind you that made you startle. Still a bit asleep, you opened your eyes and looked behind you to see what that noise was. Darren was lying next to you on the couch of your apartment, and the sound seemed to be some kind of snore. You remembered that yesterday you lay down on the couch to watch a movie after spending hours talking and laughing like old friends, evidently you fell asleep. Darren had his arms wrapped around your waist and his head was lightly touching yours. He was fast asleep and you stared at him. His face was beautiful when sleeping, he had a peaceful expression and a slight smile loomed on his face. You laughed inside when you noticed that he's been drooling. You didn't want to wake him, he looked very calm and it felt very good to be in his arms that were holding your waist firmly. Geez, he was very beautiful and adorable. You looked very intently each part of his face, his long lashes, his nose, his mouth slightly open, his scruffy face because of a beard that was growing up on his face, you looked at his curls falling in all directions. Gently, you pulled away one of his curls that was falling on his eye, looking amazed at the person who was sleeping next to you. You snuggled up to him and closed your eyes again to enjoy the moment, smiling widely. You wanted this moment to last forever. It felt good to be curled up to a person you adored, you felt safe in his arms. You felt as though nothing bad could happen just as long as you were in his arms. Darren moved gently to curl up even closer, rubbing his nose with yours and making a funny sound, but you didn't open your eyes. You could feel his breath on your face and it felt very odd, but nice. Again, Darren moved his face closer to yours and your mouths were just inches away. Damn, you really wanted to kiss him, to know how it would be kissing him. His lips seemed soft and warm. Maybe you could move a little closer and press your lips to his sneakily. – What the hell? – You thought when you realized what you were thinking. How could you be thinking about kissing him? For god sake, you were just friends and you didn't want to ruin it for something stupid that came up to your mind and just for feeling comfortable in that way with him. You dispelled all these crazy thoughts in your mind. You felt ashamed for thinking that way about your best friend. You decided to get up and take a shower to get out from your mind all these ideas. Without much ado or any sudden movement not to wake Darren up, you got up and headed to the bathroom.
"I really, really, like really need to use the bathroom. Like seriously!" You startled when you heard Darren's voice behind the door while you were showering.
"Cannot you wait a little longer? I'm still not finished, Darren. Just a while." You answered from the shower.
"If I could wait a little longer I swear I wouldn't interrupt your beautiful and relaxing shower. Oh my god, oh my god! Really, I can't hold any more and I don't want to ruin your beautiful carpet! Oh shit, I need to come in, please!" Darren shouted desperately behind the door.
"Darren, I cannot get out of the shower now! It's just a little while." You answered, also a bit desperate.
"Please let me in, damn! I promise I won't spy or look at you! Please!" His voice was pleading.
"Fine, fine, come in!" You answered after pondering for a moment. After all, the shower had a curtain so you couldn't see anything.
"Oh my god, thank you very much! I could not stand any longer!" Darren stated as soon as he came into the bathroom. Shit, that felt uncomfortable. You tried not to hear any sound and tried to concentrate on the shower. "God, it's hot in here. It's pretty obvious you like taking hot showers!" Darren commented while laughing.
"Oh, shut up. You're just jealous because I'm the one who's taking a shower." You joked.
"Oh, really? Maybe I can change that right now and take a shower with you." Darren said sensually and you remained silent. "I'm just kidding, but I could take a shower later if you don't mind. I smell like crap." Darren said, laughing and you laughed along with him; however it was a little nervous giggle.
"Yeah, sure. I don't wanna smell crap while I'm having breakfast. I'd feel nauseous." You said jokingly.
"Oh, nasty! Okay, I'm done. It's very nice to talk to you but it's fucking hot here, so I'm gonna leave you and your totally awesome shower alone. Should I flush the toilet? Or would it screw the water temperature?" Darren asked, between joking and really serious.
"Just go away, I'm gonna flush it when I come out the shower."
"Alright, ma'am. See you in the cold kitchen." Darren announced and left the bathroom, closing the door behind him.
Wow. You've never had a morning conversation as unique as this one. Conversation in the bathroom? Like, really? You were about to finish your shower when suddenly you felt how the temperature of water was super hot.
"Oh holy shit! Fuuuuuck. Darren, fuck you, close the fucking tap! Damn, it's burning!" You yelled from the bathroom, trying to get out of the shower.
"Oh, dammit! I'm so so so sorry! I totally forgot you were taking a shower! Oh damn, I'm such a douchebag!" Darren yelled from the kitchen, quickly closing the tap.
You quickly finished showering and went to your bedroom to dress up. You left your bedroom to go to the kitchen in a bad mood; your skin was red for having burned with the water. But your bad mood quickly dissipated when you saw that Darren had prepared breakfast for two. He was making toast when he turned to look at you, with a concerned face.
"I'm so sorry, I really forgot you were taking a shower and…"
"Hey, Darren, it's alright. I see you made breakfast." You said with a smile on your face and Darren walked towards you to enfold his arms around your waist with a sweet grin.
"Yeah, I did. Or at least I tried. Good morning, my mysterious girl." Darren said and he kissed your cheek. Then, Darren looked at your skin still red. "Oh fuck. That doesn't look so good. Let me…let me get some ice to put there."
"No, no. Darren, it's alright. I'm fucking starving and I really need to drink a coffee right now. Then I'm gonna be cool." You replied with a friendly grin and sat at the breakfast bar.
"Alright…this is my first attempt to make breakfast. I must warn you something. I totally suck at cooking, so probably you're gonna eat shit." Darren said, giving you a mug of coffee and putting the toasts on the table.
You looked at the toasts on the table and tried not to laugh. The toasts were completely burned. You thought the best would be not to eat them, but it caused you tenderness the fact that Darren took the time to make breakfast for two. He sat next to you and prepared a toast smeared with butter for you, giving it to you with a smile. Even if that toast seemed totally disgusting, how could you refuse that? You grabbed the toast and started eating it. Yes, Darren definitely couldn't cook, but he looked so happy that you couldn't even joke about that.
"This is pure shit and it seems I'm eating a rock. Dammit, why didn't you tell me this toast is so freaking disgusting?" Darren asked once he tasted his own toast and you burst out laughing. "Next time, you're the one making breakfast if you don't want to die intoxicated."
"Oh, deal." You answered giggling.
After breakfast, Darren went to take a shower while you sat at the table where you used to paint to finish the painting Darren liked. It wasn't long before Darren finished taking shower and he came up to where you were and sat down next to you.
"Hmm, I can tell you're very entertained." Darren commented, looking very intently at how you were painting. You looked up. Darren was there, his hair still wet, which brought out more his curls. God, he looked flawless. His curls were just so cute.
"Oh, yeah. Do you wanna try to paint?" You asked him, offering him a brush.
"No fucking way, I'm gonna screw up your masterpiece."
"Oh, c'mon Darren, give it a try."
"I hate you so much. Fine, I'm gonna do it. I don't know why I have the feeling you're gonna make me do whatever you want. That's no fair at all!" Darren said, pouting and he grabbed the brush that you were handing him.
You painted for a while, laughing at Darren attempts to paint. At first, he started painting in all seriousness until he realized that he didn't have the ability to do it, and then he started to laugh at himself until you did some kind of painting war, which ended with the two of your faces painted in different colors. After having fun with the acrylic paints and brushes, you washed your faces and sat on the couch to talk about anything, as if you knew each other form a lifetime. You spent two whole days with Darren and you didn't get tired of it at any time. It was nice talking to him, since you could talk about funny and silly things and serious and deep things. You thought you could never get tired of that guy. It felt good being in his presence. In a moment both were silent, but it wasn't an awkward silence. Darren looked at you with a smile on his face, but remained silent.
"I brought something." Darren said, standing up and going in the direction where his backpack was.
You remained seated on the couch in silence, looking at him intrigued. Once Darren took out from the backpack that thing he was looking, he hid it behind his body and walked to where you were with a playful smirk. Then he sat next to you, even closer than before.
"Okay. Why are you looking at me that way? Should I be scared right now, Darren?" You questioned, looking suspiciously at him while he kept looking at you in the eye, in that mischievous way. "Are you hiding a gun or something? Because I really don't wanna be shot." Darren laughed out loud.
"Oh dammit, you're impossible. Try to do something nice and let it to you to screw the moment to talk about guns." Darren said, still laughing while you were looking at him amused. "I only thought this was an amazing chance to…" Darren said, like a host who is introducing a person, what made you laugh. "Keep doing this together!"
At that time, Darren pulled out the thing he was hiding. He brought that old book of pictures and phrases. A bright smile appeared on your face. You'd finally be able to complete the book together and not by letters, just as once you mentioned and as you longed to do someday. It seemed stupid, but it meant something important to both of you. It was something very intimate that only you two shared, and it felt very good to be able to do it together. It was like fulfilling some kind of dream. God, by chance was a tear falling down your face? Really? You tried to say something funny, but you couldn't.
"This is… wow, is very nice, Darren. It's very nice to know we finally can do this together." You stated as you took the book and opened it to see what you both have done so far.
"Yeah, and now you have me to tell you all the stories involving the first pictures in this book. Then, we can make our own story." Darren said with a grin, moving closer to you to grab the book with you.
The rest of the afternoon was spent talking about all the stories of the first images of the book, knowing more about Darren's life since he was 12 years old till now. Some of his stories were really funny and crazy, some were exciting and some were a little sad. He told you everything, his most private memories. And he was sharing all of that with you. You didn't know how you two came to get that strong friendship bond, but you couldn't be happier to know it was that way. You also told the stories of the pictures you added in the book. The two of you were just there, sharing many intimate things, comfortable and happy. You were next to each other, while Darren had his arm around your back and you were resting your head on his shoulder, looking at that important book for both. You finally got to the last page and you got surprised. There was a picture you haven't seen before; it was certainly a picture that was added when you returned him the book.
"I'm assuming you haven't seen that one before." Darren voiced, looking into your eyes, smiling slightly, yet a bit nervous.
"You're assuming correctly." You answered, still looking the picture surprised.
It was a picture of a room that looked like Darren's bedroom, where your painting was hanging on the wall and there was a desk, on the desk was a small box with all the letters you sent him. But the picture wasn't really what surprised you, what surprised you was the text that was written next to the picture.
"I never thought I could get to feel this way about someone I don't know in person, but I know I've never felt better before. I keep asking over and over again how I'd feel if I get to meet in person the girl I always imagine each time I sit at this desk and I see that painting. If this is a good feeling, then nothing can go wrong. And I want nothing else in the world than to get to know this mysterious girl in whom I think every day. It's time to take a step in life and face the future I want, but I don't know what will happen. Today more than ever, I want to know you to give you that hug pending between us. Today more than ever, I'm ready. Today more than ever, I can say I adore you."
It was definitely a very intense phrase. Darren was on your side a little uncomfortable because of your silence, but you couldn't even say anything because you kept thinking about those words. It was a really beautiful text and you really couldn't believe someone would feel that way about you. The girl who has been ignored and excluded all her life was sitting next to an extremely fascinating person, the girl felt loved by the person she loved, feeling something she couldn't remember having had since the death of her father. You couldn't express him all the appreciation you felt for him. Darren, still uncomfortable, tried to change the topic of conversation, but you stopped him.
"Darren, you're my best friend, you know? And I cannot explain you what all that means to me." You stated softly, looking deeply into his eyes. Darren blushed a little to hear your words; gee he couldn't be more adorable.
"Yeah… you're my… best friend too. I really meant every single word of that text. And I'm so happy that we're doing alright now. I couldn't stand the fact of not being able to talk to you anymore." Darren replied with a sweet grin on his face and then he looked deep into your eyes, clutching your hands. "This could sound creepy to you, but… it's really not. Maybe we don't know each other for so long, but considering what we've been through, I can honestly say that… I dig you…no, I love you, my mysterious girl. And I really enjoy being with you like this...like two...good friends." Darren said sweetly and you could see a twinkle in his eyes, you could see sincerity in his eyes.
"I love you too, Darren." You answered with a smile and then you hugged him.
You rested your head on Darren's chest while he enfolded tightly his arms around you, resting his chin on your head while gently stroking your hair. Darren told you that he loved you and you loved him too. Maybe you loved him a little more than the way he loved you, in regard to what you felt that morning wanting to kiss him. You dispelled those thoughts from your mind again. He was your best friend, nothing more. You just got confused because you felt in a way you haven't felt in a while. In fact, you never had a best friend, so surely that was the reason why you were feeling that way. You decided to relax and think of nothing but enjoy the time you were spending with him. You remained like that for a while until Darren kissed your head slightly before moving to look at you with a wide smile.
"Remember I said we can write our own story now?" Darren asked, smirking playfully again.
"Yeah…" You answered suspiciously.
"Well, I know exactly how to start…hold on." Darren said and got up from the couch to look for something else in his backpack. Then he returned with something small in his hands. "Today…while you were taking that shower, that took you like hours, I left your apartment for few minutes and…I did something. Gimme the book." You didn't give him the book because you were looking at him intently, trying to see what he had in his hands. "C'mon, boo. Gimme the book. You won't regret."
Alright. Has Darren called you boo? That was really odd, but cute at the same time. Apparently Darren realized the way he called you because instead of insisting you to give him the book, he was looking away, clenching his jaw, biting his lower lip, and blushing. He was doing some weird gestures; he was surely having an internal fight with his mind for having realized the way he called you.
"Fuck. I…I'm sorry. I… I don't even know why I called you like that…I…damn." Darren muttered, embarrassed, looking down. You couldn't hold your laughter any longer. You've never seen Darren ashamed before. In his interviews he always seemed very confident, and seeing him so innocent and embarrassed, made you feel tenderness.
"Oh my God, Darren. Boo. Really?" You asked while laughing hard.
"Oh please, shut up. Damn, this is so fucking embarrassing, you know?" Darren answered, still blushing. "Dammit Darren, what the hell is wrong with you?" You heard how Darren said to himself in a whisper.
"Hey Darren…" You said trying to control your laughter while taking Darren's hands in yours. "I think boo is cute. I just… I wasn't expecting that. I like boo. You can call me that way, I don't mind."
"Oh hell, you're just making fun of me." Darren said, still ashamed. "Damn, I'm so pathetic. C'mon Darren, be such a jerk and call the lady boo. It's totally awesome; it sounds so badass and cool."
"Oh, Darren!" You exclaimed, laughing louder. "Okay, I propose you some kind of deal. You can call me boo as long as I can call you Dar. Do you think this is fair enough?"
"I told you, I think it's cute."
"Fine, we have a deal. But really…don't you think…"
"Alright, fine. You're boo and I'm Dar. That's it."
"I'm glad we're getting each other finally." You said and kissed him gently on the cheek and he flinched a little, but he smiled. "So… you were about to tell me how's the perfect way to start writing our own story."
"Oh yeah, right. I need you to give me the book first."
"Okay…" You gave him the book and he quickly grabbed it, putting on the book what he had in hands.
"Uh, do you have glue?" Darren asked, still with his eyes fixed on the book.
"Yeah, hold on."
You stood up to look for the glue and when you came back to the couch where Darren was sitting, he was writing something on the book. You wondered what it was that he was writing. You sat by his side and, quickly, Darren hid what he was writing and grabbed the glue.
"I thought we were going to do it together." You questioned, looking at him intently and a little amused.
"Well yeah…but, it's a surprise." Darren answered, still focused on what he was writing while he stuck in the book that thing he had in his hand. You rolled your eyes and laughed softly. "Done!"
Darren gave you the book and you looked gracefully before grabbing the book. Wow. That was all you thought when you saw the new photo that Darren added on the book. It was a picture of you two, lying on the couch, probably from last night. You were fast asleep and Darren was hugging you with a sweet smile on his face, looking into your eyes, which were closed. It was a very beautiful picture even if you were sleeping and you didn't like at all when someone took you pictures while you were sleeping. But the picture was very nice, almost perfect. Next to the photo Darren wrote something.
"Throughout your life you meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet people you can't forget, and that's you. I've never been this happy before. I'll never understand why this is like that, but then I came to understand that you don't have to try to find a reason to everything. You just have to enjoy what you have next to you, and enjoy it as if it were the last thing you'd do in your life. That's what I want for us. Enjoy what we have and never get over it, because as long as we have each other nothing will be bad. Because seeing us like this is what makes everything make sense. I don't want to waste my time trying to understand things if I can have you next to me. I want to spend my time with you, because I love you deep in my heart."
Oh holy shit. This was the most beautiful thing you've read in your life, and Darren wrote it for you, for both of you. You didn't want to mourn in front of him, but you were so touched and you couldn't hold back your tears any longer. Darren moved closer to you and wiped your tears away, and then he kissed your cheek and hugged you warmly. You rested your head on his chest and hugged him tightly, trying to control your tears. Once you were calm, you grabbed the book to write something. Darren just remained silent, intrigued by what you were going to do.
"Looking back on everything that we had, I see happy times as well as bad. If I could go through it over again, I would and I wouldn't change one thing. Because everything that happened made me who I am today and I wouldn't want to trade that for anything in the world. I love you."
Once you finished writing the book you gave it to Darren so that he could read it. He grinned as he read what you wrote. Neither of you spoke, just stared at each other in the eyes, lying on the couch, just enjoying the moment as though it was the last time you would be together.
"Boo, wake up!" Darren whispered in your ear while gently shaking your body.
"I'm sleeping. Let me sleep." You answered, groaning a little still with closed eyes, turning around to give him your back.
"C'mon boo, we fell asleep and it's kinda late. And I really need to go." Darren whispered again in your ear, this time fondling your cheek.
"Why would you leave? Stay here with me." You babbled, still sleeping and turned around again to snuggle up to Darren. You felt how Darren sighed and wrapped his arms around your waist.
"I need to come back to the hotel room. I don't have any clothes here and I just don't have anything here. But you can always come with me." Darren whispered in front of your face and gently kissed your forehead. You didn't answer. "Boo, are you listening to me at all?" Once again you didn't answer. "Oh damn. Hey, wake up!" Darren demanded, louder this time.
"Oh my god, you're such a pain in the ass, Darren." You complained, opening your eyes slowly, a little annoyed. Next to you, Darren laughed out loud.
"Note to myself: Do not try to wake up boo. She's definitely not a morning person." Darren commented while chuckling, looking at you.
"I thought you said it's late at night." You said, rubbing your eyes, yawning and trying to sit, while Darren got up to look for his backpack.
"Alright, I think someone is very frisky. Yeah, it is and although I'd love to stay, I have to go."
"So just stay. What's the big deal not to have clothes? I could lend you one of my dresses. You'd look as a cute little girl in a dress." You joked, laughing softly, standing up to look for a glass of water.
"Oh, someone's being mocking." Darren commented behind you, with his backpack already on his shoulder. "Do you wanna come with me? You know, it's my last day in NYC and I'd like to spend it with you."
"What? Really? Do you really have to leave NYC?" You asked pouting and then you laughed when you saw Darren's facial expression, he was looking at you with his puppy eyes. "You're too cute for your own good, Dar."
"Should I take it as a yes?"
"Fine, yes. I'd love to go with you. Just let me get some clothes and all that shit."
Once you packed everything you'd need, both of you left your apartment to go to the hotel where Darren was staying. It was really late at night and the streets of NYC were almost empty.
"You know what?" Darren asked next to you while you were walking. "The hotel isn't near here and I was thinking about taking a cab, but look at this amazing night!"
"Darren, it's freaking freezing out here. You know that, right?" You questioned, looking at Darren as if he were crazy. Darren just laughed and linked his arm with yours, to warm you.
"No, I mean… yeah, of course it's freezing but we can always walk like this, then it doesn't suck that much. But look around you. Almost no one is walking and we can walk without worrying if someone looks at us or not, no one is stopping us. And it just feels extraordinary. So, definitely, we're going to the hotel on foot. Besides, we don't have any rush." Darren smiled sympathetically at you. He looked like a child who just got a candy. He looked so adorable that you couldn't tell him that you didn't want to walk with him on that cold night in NYC.
"Alright. But if suddenly I stop moving, it's because I froze. And you're gonna be the one to blame." You teased him.
Darren laughed and suddenly he let out your arm to stand behind you, enfolding his arms around your waist and resting his chin on your shoulder.
"Oh, fear not my lady. I won't let that happen." Darren responded smiling and kissed your check slightly.
Thereby, you walked that way to the hotel. No doubt, it was a good idea to go to the hotel on foot. Neither of you had to worry about being interrupted by a group of people. You were only two friends walking ordinarily down the street.
"Holy crap! This place is awesome!" You exclaimed surprised when you entered the hotel room where Darren was staying. Darren just chuckled.
"Yeah, it's nice. But I prefer your apartment." Darren replied, taking your coat.
"You're totally insane." You whispered in all seriousness, looking amazed at the luxurious hotel room.
"Oh please, we all are insane at some point. Do you want something to drink or eat?" Darren offered, heading to the kitchen.
"Uh, yeah, sure. Whatever you have." You answered, sitting on the big black couch.
"Beer and cheese sandwiches is gonna be."
You nodded in approval. While Darren was looking for beer and sandwiches, you saw something that caught your attention. Leaning against the couch was the famous Darren's guitar. You approached the guitar for a better view.
"I see you found my baby." Darren commented behind you with a tray with cheese sandwiches and two bottles of beer.
"Oh, I guess so." You responded, laughing and accepting the bottle of beer that Darren was offering you.
"I could play it later if you want." Darren said, sitting next to you.
"Really? Would you play it? Oh my god, I'd love it Dar!" You bounced on the couch, happy and excited, with a big and cheesy grin.
"Oh my wizard god, you're adorable." Darren said giggling and you gave him his guitar, still with the same grin. "Wait... Do you want me to play it now?"
"Oh Mr. Criss, I'm very impressed how fast you found it out!" You answered, raising an eyebrow and smirking playfully.
"I do have super powers, you know? Alright..." Darren grabbed his guitar and started to play some chords. "What song do you want me to play?"
"Mr. Criss, you're the one who has super powers. Surprise me." You answered grinning, looking at him very intently.
"You're impossible. Fine, but I must warn you that if I forget the lyrics..."
"Don't worry about that. It'd be even more amazing."
"How the hell would it be more amazing?" Darren asked confused, looking at you frowning but smiling.
"Oh, I don't know. It's just like that. It's part of your charming." You answered with dreamy eyes, blinking exaggeratedly and giggling. "C'mon, now play it! Or do you want me to beg you?"
"I'd like to see that, actually." He responded with an amused smirk.
"Darren, stop talking and just play your guitar." You demanded firmly, biting your tongue not to laugh.
"Whoa! If you ask me so that way… Alright, ma'am. I'm at your service." Darren said giggling.
"Oh, you goober..." You replied, rolling your eyes.
"Hey, rude! Alright...here I go." Darren said before starting to play a song you knew very well.
Darren was singing Human, one of your favorite songs. You could notice he didn't lie when he said that playing his guitar was what he liked to do the most, that it was what disconnected him from everything to focus only on music. You stared every expression on his face throughout the song. He was lost in music and he couldn't be more adorable. And gee, you were listening to Darren singing and playing his guitar in front of you. You've always wanted to go to one of his concerts to listen to him but you never had the chance; nonetheless, this was even better. You were astonished with the passion that Darren sang, his voice was beautiful. You didn't want him to stop singing; you wanted to keep listening to his voice. In a moment you started singing softly along with him, but as soon as Darren realized what you were doing, you remained silent and you blushed. It was very embarrassing, you were a terrible singer, and Darren looked up to look at you surprised when he heard your voice, with an amused smile. What a stupid person you were! At that time you wanted to be eaten by earth and disappear. But that didn't happen, so you just looked down to avoid Darren's eyes which were staring at you, and to listen to the sound of his voice and guitar. When Darren finally finished singing, you looked up to look at Darren and applaud enthusiastically as though you were at a concert, laughing with Darren, while Darren did some kind of grateful bow.
"That was fantastic, Dar. I think I'm never gonna get tired of listening to you." You said smiling.
"Oh, you betta. I'm gonna be honored to sing for you, my lady." Darren replied, placing his right hand on his heart, bowing as he laughed slightly. "Why did you stop?"
"What?" You asked a bit confused, even if you knew what Darren was trying to ask, but gosh, you didn't want to think about that very embarrassing moment. Darren raised his eyebrow, looking deeply into your eyes.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about. When I was singing, you suddenly started singing along with me. Then I looked up to you and you just stopped singing. Why?"
"What? No, Darren. No, I wasn't singing. I was just humming along the song." You started to say a little nervous, starting to blush again.
"Boo…" Darren said seriously, looking at you intently, but also a bit amused.
"Alright, yes. Fine, I was singing, happy now?" You responded, somewhat embarrassed and upset. God, those were tough questions for you. Why did Darren have to ask that? You just wanted to forget that embarrassing moment.
"I call that progress. But I don't get why you stopped." Darren wondered, still staring at you. You just wanted Darren to stop looking at you that way, you were feeling very uncomfortable.
"Because." You answered, looking away and playing dumb.
"Oh, dammit, Darren, because I'm a terrible singer for god sake. And I just wanted to hear you singing and I didn't want to screw the song that was being so incredible good. I just started singing because...yeah, because I know the lyrics and I always sing it when I'm alone but geez, I didn't want you to hear me, that was so embarrassing and damn, it was like some kind of impulse I couldn't control. I didn't realize that I was singing until you looked up at me and gosh that was so fucking embarrassing." You responded, slurring your words and avoiding eye contact.
"And you're officially rambling." Darren looked at you amused and started laughing while you started to blush colossally.
"Oh, and you're officially an asshole." You said, still embarrassed and upset.
You stood up to get away from Darren because of shame and because you were really upset, but Darren took you by your arm and forced you to sit again. But this time Darren forced you to sit between his legs, bringing your back against his chest as he held you tightly to prevent you from any attempt to flee.
"Let me go, Darren." You demanded annoyed, trying to escape from his arms.
"That's not gonna happen." Darren whispered in your ear and you shuddered.
Damn, that felt so nice and warm. What the hell was this guy doing to you? Then Darren kissed your cheek softly and you, once again, shuddered at his touch. He really needed to stop doing that, but somehow you didn't want him to stop either. You tried to control yourself. – Please, he's only your friend, he's your best friend, don't screw this. Oh God, what the hell is Darren doing now? Oh shit, oh shit. You have to stop thinking about this, gosh. Darren is your friend; he's just trying to make you feel better because you got upset with him. Oh damn, Darren. – Darren was gently kissing your jaw line and then he gently kissed your neck, but then he stopped abruptly. You glanced shyly at Darren; he was looking away until his eyes met yours. Both stared into each other's eyes for a long time. Darren's heart was pounding and so was yours. Darren was so beautiful. Darren was just your friend.
"I like your voice, really. You shouldn't have stopped singing." Darren finally stated, breaking the silence, but without breaking eye contact.
"Oh please, Darren." You huffed as you tried to get away from him again, but he held you tighter, resting his chin on your shoulder and looking into your eyes with a sweet smile.
"I really meant it. Next time you should sing along with me. I'd love that."
"No fucking way, Darren. I'm sorry, but no."
"Please?" He asked, looking at you with his damn puppy dog eyes. He really knew when to use that tactic.
"Darren, you just wanna make fun of me. I really, really suck at singing. And I swear I'm not being humble."
"What the hell? I'm not gonna make fun of you, I swear. I just enjoy listening to you. Would you sing along with me next time? Please, boo?" Darren asked again looking at you with his puppy dog eyes. You just sighed.
"Alright, fine. Damn, now stop looking at me that way. You... I hate you, you know?" You said frowning and Darren burst of laughter.
"Hmm, yeah, sure you hate me." Darren said still laughing and kissed your forehead. "Can we just cuddle now? I'm very tired and I don't wanna spend my last day with you sleeping."
"Yeah... sure." You answered a little nervous.
You didn't know why you were nervous if you have been doing that with Darren in recent days. But the fact to have thought about Darren in a very different way than only as your friend minutes earlier, made you feel somewhat uncomfortable. You felt guilty for thinking that way about Darren. You thought if you couldn't control yourself, you'd screw the excellent friendship you had with him and you really didn't want to lose him. Huddling with him was going to be hard this time. Unexpectedly, Darren helped you up and then he lifted you up and started to walk with you in his arms.
"What are you doing, Darren?" You asked bewildered.
"What do you think I'm doing? Leading us to the bed, duh. I don't wanna wake up with a crick in the neck and I bet you don't want it either." Darren answered as if that were the most obvious thing in the world.
"You know I still can walk by myself, right?"
"I swear I didn't know. Next time, I'm gonna keep it in mind." Darren responded giggling, still walking to his bedroom. When you entered the bedroom, Darren lay you down in his bed and looked at you with a kind grin.
"Be right back, I'm gonna change my clothes. It's kinda uncomfortable sleeping with these clothes." Darren said while he grabbed sweatpants and a loose shirt and went to the bathroom.
While Darren was changing his clothes in the bathroom, you took advantage to go get your bag and return quickly to Darren's bedroom. You opened your backpack and began to look for your pajamas. Damn, you forgot to pack your pajamas. Oh no, you would have to sleep with that uncomfortable clothing unless you ask Darren if you could borrow something to wear to sleep, but you knew you weren't going to ask him so. You cursed at yourself and lay down in bed again, annoyed and frustrated. After few minutes, Darren returned from the bathroom and looked at you amused. God, those sweatpants looked very good on Darren, and it was supposed that sweatpants don't look good on anyone. You quickly looked away from Darren's sweatpants. The last thing you needed was Darren to notice that you were looking at him. Darren walked towards you and sat on the edge of the bed.
"Are you planning to sleep with those clothes?" Darren asked, chuckling softly.
"Yes." You answered a little upset, crossing your arms.
"Let me guess... you forgot to bring your pajamas." Darren said, this time laughing louder.
"Not funny, Darren." You stated, sighing in frustration.
"I don't get what's the big deal." Darren said giggling and he got up from bed to walk towards his closet and then he grabbed a big t-shirt and threw it to you. "You can wear that. I'd give you some sweatpants but it's gonna be in vain because they're too big for you. I could always lend you underwear, but probably you won't want it. So, I guess the best idea is if you wear that t-shirt, it's like a nightgown for you."
"Oh my god, this is so embarrassing." You said blushing hard; nevertheless, you grabbed the t-shirt.
"Oh please, not a big deal. It's not as though I've never seen a woman almost naked or completely naked." He chuckled.
"Oh damn, Darren. Stop it, okay? Be right back." You got up and went to the bathroom as fast as possible.
Holy crap. That was certainly awkward. Darren probably thought you didn't bring your pajamas on purpose. No, he couldn't think so. But the fact of having to wear clothes that weren't yours to sleep made you feel uncomfortable. And why the hell has Darren mentioned that he's seen naked women? Oh God, you had no idea what his point of having said that was, but it made you feel uncomfortable. And what if Darren thought you wanted him to see you naked or almost naked? No, no, no. No, you were overthinking. It was for sure a random comment to make you feel comfortable. You were taking too long in the bathroom, and Darren would possibly be suspecting something. Therefore, you put on Darren's shirt. Wow, it was really very large; however, it didn't even reach up to your knees. You looked in the mirror. You didn't feel comfortable like that, you've never felt comfortable wearing short dresses which showed your legs and you were ashamed that Darren was going to see you like that. Before returning to the bedroom, you took a deep breath. When you entered the bedroom, Darren was already in bed and he was hugging the pillow, deep in his own thoughts. However, when he noticed you came in, he looked up to see you. He looked at you from head to foot with an expression on his face you couldn't define; it was a bit amused but serious look at once. That was weird and you felt even more uncomfortable. Darren cleared his throat before looking at you with a grin.
"I was starting to think that you stumbled in the bathroom and you fell unconscious." Darren said giggling and he moved to make room for you in bed next to him.
"Hey, the time women need to get ready is long." You kidded, still standing in front the bed.
"I have no doubts about it. C'mere now." Darren requested gently, opening his arms as a sign for you to lie down in bed next to him.
With a timid smile, you lay down beside him. As soon as you rested your head on the pillow, Darren nestled up to you. He placed an arm under your neck and enfolded his other arm around your waist, resting his head on your shoulder, lightly touching your neck with his nose, with his eyes already closed but not asleep yet. You were in a little uncomfortable position, so you rolled to be face to face with him. Now his nose was lightly touching yours and, instead closing your eyes like him, you kept your eyes open to look at that beautiful man. His face was very peaceful and he was grinning nicely.
"Won't you snuggle up to me as well?" Darren asked unexpectedly making you startle, still with his eyes closed. You just smiled, wrapped an arm around his waist and placed a hand on his chest. "Yeah, that feels better." Darren smiled and sighed. "Goodnight, boo." He said and kissed the corner of your mouth.
Your body got strained at his kiss and Darren most likely realized it because he opened his eyes and looked at you a little edgy, biting softly his lower lip and loosening his arm around your waist, moving slightly away from you.
"Oh fuck, I'm so sorry. I had my eyes closed and I couldn't see...I just... I only wanted...that wasn't my intention. I couldn't see anything and I just wanted to give you a goodnight kiss on your cheek. Oh damn, I'm sorry." Darren said nervously while you were still looking at him stunned. Then the awkward and abysmal silence took over the room.
"Don't worry, Darren. I know you had your eyes closed. It was nothing, forget it." You finally replied with a faint grin, but still a little stunned.
"Okay then. Goodnight."
Both of you stayed in an awkward silence. You remained staring at the ceiling, just like Darren. You weren't cuddling anymore and that was really an awkward moment for the two of you. You stayed like that for a couple of minutes, both of you unable to sleep. It was an odd feeling and you wanted to snuggle up to him again, but you did nothing about it. Even though the kiss wasn't on purpose, for some reason you liked it. You could feel the warmth of his lips, its smoothness. And it felt good. - Oh my god. Why are you thinking about this? Slap. Stop thinking this creepy way. You and Darren are not gonna be more than friends. Being friends with him is the best that happened to you, so stop screwing things, for god sake. Damn, the last thing I needed, have a fight with my very own mind. Great, you're so great - You were so focused on having a dispute with your mind that you didn't realize that Darren stopped looking at the ceiling and he was now staring at you.
"Boo, are you asleep?" Darren asked in a whisper as you startled again.
"Oh Darren, you fucking scared me. I thought you were already asleep. As you can notice, I'm not asleep yet." You whispered.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. Boo...can I...can I snuggle up to you again?" Darren asked a bit shyly.
"Yes, sure you can." You answered after few seconds, trying to dissimulate your joy.
Darren quickly snuggled up to you again, wrapping his arms around your waist while you did the same. This time he had his eyes open and he was looking deeply into your eyes with a cute smile.
"Now, this feels better. You...you aren't...you aren't feeling uncomfortable about what happened, are you? I mean...it wasn't on purpose. I don't want you to feel uncomfortable. This...this is not... this is not gonna change anything, right?" Darren asked awkwardly, still looking into your eyes.
"Chill out, Dar. Everything is okay, I know it wasn't on purpose, I'm not feeling uncomfortable, and nothing's gonna change between us. Just calm down and let's sleep, remember you didn't want to spend your last day here sleeping." You responded gently and smiled at him as he smiled back at you.
"That's right. Tomorrow we're gonna have a long day. Goodnight, boo." Darren said and this time he kissed your forehead.
You fell asleep few minutes later, still thinking about that kiss. For some reason, you fell asleep feeling happy.
Darren was still asleep next to you while you were looking at him fixedly, in silence. You didn't even want to think this would be your last day together. When you first met Darren in person, you didn't want to see him. Now that you both spent all these full days together, you didn't want him to leave. You already got used to being in his presence, and knowing you were going to be alone again, made you feel distressed. You already got used to sleeping with someone like this, but now Darren was going to go away. You will no longer be with that guy with whom you could spend the rest of your life. You wanted to hold onto every moment you lived with him; times you were currently living and were going to live. Tonight, Darren was going to return to LA, leaving you alone in NYC and thinking about it broke your heart. But instead of thinking about sad things, you decided to enjoy the time you had left with him. This was going to be the last time you'd sleep and cuddle with him. After a while, you decided to get up to make breakfast for two, and surprise Darren bringing him breakfast in bed. When you returned to Darren's bedroom with a tray with two coffee mugs and toast not burnt, Darren was still sleeping and he extended across the bed. It was very funny to see him sleep that way, very relaxed. Quietly, you sat on the edge of the bed next to him and left the tray on the nightstand. You approached him to look at him with a smile as you stroked his soft hair. Darren let out a soft moan while he rolled up in bed to give you his back. You chuckled softly and you moved even closer to him to whisper in his ear.
"And I thought I was the one who wasn't a morning person."
"Hmm." Darren mumbled with a pleasant grin when he heard your voice, and then he turned around to rest his head on your lap, enfolding his arms around your hip, still with eyes closed. "That makes two of us."
"C'mon, get up. I have a surprise for you." You stated, chuckling slightly while you were twiddling one of his curls.
"Can't we just stay like this for the rest of the day?" Darren asked, burying his head on your stomach, what made you tickle. "Keep doing that."
"Do what?" You asked, slightly frowning but amused.
"Keep stroking my hair. It feels so nice." Darren mumbled happily against your stomach.
"Okay, no. Sir, we have to get up. I thought you didn't want to spend the rest of the day sleeping." You said firmly but still patting Darren's hair. Darren held you even tighter.
"I'm not sleeping. I'm wide awake; I'm just lying in bed super happy." This time Darren opened his eyes to look at you, still resting his head on your lap and wrapping his arms around your hip.
"Oh, someone is in a funny mood today." You said laughing and kissed his forehead while he closed his eyes and opened them again with a sweet smile. "Too bad that probably my surprise is screwed now."
"What? Alright. What was that surprise?" Darren asked intrigued. You moved a little to let Darren see the tray that was on the nightstand. Darren raised his eyebrows in surprise and then looked at you. "Breakfast in bed? Really?"
"Oh yeah, really. But as I said... too bad that the coffee must be cold now." You replied, raising an eyebrow and faking a pout.
"I can't believe you did it! And c'mon, I bet coffee isn't cold yet! Let me grab that coffee mug!" Darren said trying to sit in bed to grab the coffee mug, but you took him by his shoulders to prevent him from moving.
"Too late, too late! You should've woken up few minutes ago. Now, no coffee for you!" You exclaimed, teasing him.
"Oh, you sneaky devil! I want my coffee!" Darren said, trying to reach the mug.
"You're not gonna get it, Darren." You responded amused, looking at him playfully.
"Wanna bet?" Darren challenged you, looking intensely into your eyes.
You couldn't think about anything to answer because Darren already took you by the arms and he lay you down in bed. Thus Darren was on top of you, tickling your stomach while you couldn't stop laughing uncontrollably, trying to take Darren away from you and begging him to stop. But Darren, instead stop tickling you, started tickling every sensitive part of your body while he was laughing too. Unwittingly, you hit Darren's arm that was holding his own weight. Consequently, the whole weight of his body fell on yours and his forehead slammed against your nose. Now your faces were only 3 inches away. You stared very deeply into each other's eyes. Darren had a twinkle in his eyes that you've never seen before, a twinkle that definitely made his hazel eyes look even more striking. You were so close that you could feel his breath and how he was panting slightly. Suddenly Darren's eyes fixed in your mouth and he kept staring your mouth for a long time with his lips parted. You could no longer endure this situation, you couldn't think of anything. Your mind went round and round and a warm feeling began to run throughout your body. Suddenly everything felt very hot and you couldn't resist any longer. Darren placed his hands on your cheeks. You looked at his mouth, but then you looked up to look into Darren's eyes. You were nervous and you were sure that Darren was also nervous because his heart was beating fast against yours. None of this was supposed to be happening. You couldn't let your friendship be ruined for a moment of weakness. But you couldn't stop. Yes, you wanted to kiss him. But suddenly, Darren's eyes reflected horror. - Oh Jesus, why is he looking at me that way? Dammit, maybe he realized we got carried away way too much. Oh shit. –
"Oh holy crap, boo! You're bleeding!" Darren exclaimed, moving away from you still aghast. "Oh my god, oh my wizard god, I'm so sorry. I'm really sorry!" Darren said panicking, not knowing what to do.
"What? Darren, what? What are you talking about?" You asked, also starting to panic while you sat in bed.
"Oh damn, your nose, I think I broke your nose! Oh no, shit. Let me...I need to...ice, we need ice. Oh God!" Darren was already standing, walking from side to side of the room.
"Darren, what?" You asked scared and stood up to look at yourself in the mirror. "Oh fuck! My nose, my nose is bleeding! Oh damn!"
You ran to the bathroom placing a hand on your nostrils to avoid staining the floor with blood. Once you got into the bathroom, you grabbed the rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball to put it into the nostril. Gee, it was painful and you were trembling. You tried to calm down. Suddenly Darren came into the bathroom nervous. He obviously didn't know what to do.
"I'm really sorry." Darren apologized behind you, terrified.
"Hey Darren, it's not your fault, okay? Don't blame yourself." You said, still putting rubbing alcohol in your nose while you were wincing.
"Maybe we... we should go to the hospital. They need to check your nose." Darren said still nervous coming closer to you.
"No, no. It's alright, my nose isn't broken. Don't worry, really."
"But...just in case, we should go to the hospital. What if it's really broken? Really, we must go to the hospital. They...they'll know what to do and..." Darren started to say panicking.
"Dar..." You finally said gently, placing your hand on Darren's shoulder to calm him down. "My dad was a doctor, so I'm pretty sure that my nose isn't broken. Seriously, it's nothing. And don't look at me that way; it's not your fault."
"But yes...yes, it's my fault. I was the stupid and idiot who started that tickle war. If I hadn't started this, none of this would have happened. I'm so stupid and..." Darren started to say really worried but you interrupted him, taking his hands in yours.
"Hey, Darren. We both played that tickle war and it was really funny. I don't regret it, okay? I'm gonna be fine and I had fun and that's what matters, so stop feeling guilty. We should be enjoying this day instead of regretting what happened. Neither of us want this day to be a real shit. So, let's just have our breakfast and have fun the rest of the day. Can we do that? I'd really like it." You said sweetly, looking into his eyes and grinning at him.
"Yes, you're right. I'm sorry and we should enjoy this day. Let me spoil you now, okay?" Darren said fondly and hugged you.
"It sounds good for me." You replied giggling.
When Darren said that he was going to spoil you, he definitely wasn't joking. He ordered delicious food for lunch; he bought dessert, and bought a lot of candies. During the day he was constantly asking how you were feeling and if you needed something. He played his guitar and sang for you a lot of songs, you watched a movie while cuddling in the couch; you talked and laughed a lot. At some point the fact he was spoiling you so much annoyed you a bit. It wasn't that you weren't enjoying that, of course you were enjoying that. But he was doing all that because he was feeling guilty, and you hated that, because nothing of that had been his fault. Anyway, there was a particular moment that you could say it was your favorite moment. The time Darren had to leave was coming closer, and there was a sad atmosphere. Both of you were realizing that, but neither of you said something about that. You were only sitting on the couch, holding hands and just talking. You had your head rested on his shoulder and he had his head rested on yours. You were quiet until Darren looked at you all of a sudden.
"Turn your back." Darren requested gently, smiling kindly.
"What?" You asked, frowning in confusion. That was random.
"Do you trust me?" Darren questioned, looking into your eyes.
"So, turn your back. You'll like this, I promise."
"Alright..." You answered, still in suspicion. Nonetheless, you turned your back.
As soon as you turned your back, Darren placed his hands on your shoulders and squeezed them slightly. Then he asked you to lie on your stomach and you did so. He kneeled on the floor and started to rub your back slowly and gently. Oh god, that felt so good. You closed your eyes and relaxed your body with a smile on your face. He worked his way down from the back of your neck to your shoulders, working his thumbs in small, deep circles, starting in the interior part of the shoulder blades. Then he worked at the base of your head, deeply pressing the tips of his forefinger and middle finger into the furrows. He stretched out your arms and massaged your biceps lightly with his fingertips and then he worked the back on either side of the spinal cord using upward strokes laterally along the spine until he reached your tailbone, teasing the area around the base of the spine. He continued massaging your back for several minutes and you thought you could fall asleep in any moment. It was feeling so good and relaxing. You wondered when Darren learned to give massages; he was so good at that. While he was still massaging your back, he approached your ear to whisper something that made you shudder.
"I'll have to leave NYC soon, but I want you to always remember something. You have to promise me you're always gonna remember this. Sometimes you have to be apart from the people you love, but that doesn't make you love them any less. Just because we're gonna be separated by miles doesn't mean you're not the one that makes me smile. It doesn't mean we can't be together because you'll be in my heart forever and I'll hold you in my heart, till I can hold you in my arms again. Though miles may lie between us, we're never gonna be far apart, for friendship doesn't count the miles, it's measured by the heart. And remember that you may be out of my sight, but never out of my mind and when you miss me just look up to the night sky and remember, I'm like a star; sometimes you can't see me, but I'm always there; that's what I'm gonna do every time I miss you. And I believe that we only part to meet again."
You opened your eyes to look at Darren straight in his eyes. He was looking deeply into your eyes, stroking your hair. He leaned to kiss your cheek softly but it lasted several seconds. Both of you were shedding some tears, but somehow they weren't sad tears. Although you were going to miss him, he made it clear that even though you're gonna be apart, you're gonna be always for each other. You weren't sad, because having met each other was the best thing that ever happened to you. You weren't saying 'goodbye', you were just saying 'see you later'. When Darren left NYC to return to LA, you cried. But you weren't sad. You were going to miss him, but you were going to be with him forever. He was going to be in your heart forever. You were extremely happy for having met that mysterious guy and now, more than ever, you were sure that you loved him.
FIVE MONTHS LATER...
That was a special day. It was the day you started your vacation. Your boss was generous and, as a reward for your hard work, he gave you one entire month of vacation and that was amazing. Since Darren left NYC, you and he have been sending letters to each other as before. But it wasn't like before, now everything was different. Now you were closer, you knew so much about each other that now the letters were full of confidence. It was funny and weird watching Darren on TV now that you met him, you couldn't see him in the same way than before. But it wasn't a bad feeling, it was the opposite. Darren was pretty busy the last months, but he always found the time to answer the letters. This time, Darren replied your letters faster than before. You had no idea why you didn't exchange your phone numbers or your emails, but it seemed that letters were your thing, so you just decided to keep it that way. A week ago, you received a letter from Darren. It was an amazing letter that lit up your day, more like your entire week. Darren already knew that your boss gave you an entire month of vacation so he sent you with his letter a plane ticket to LA. He invited you to go there and stay with him the entire month in his apartment. Of course, you couldn't refuse that invitation. You were very excited to meet him again and that was what you wanted the most. That special day when your vacation started you were going to travel to LA. You already packed your suitcase and you were ready to go to LA to spend a whole month with Darren, your best friend that you loved and missed so much. When you arrived to LA, Darren was waiting for you at the airport. Before you could see him, Darren ran to you to give you a tight hug. At first you got scared due to the fact that you had no idea who was hugging you because you didn't see Darren coming to you. But as soon as you recognized him, you left your suitcase to hug him back.
"I'm the happiest man in the whole planet! I'm so extremely happy to see you again!" Darren exclaimed, placing both of his hands on your cheeks with a bright and wide smile before kissing your forehead.
"I can tell that! And it's only fair if you let me say that I'm the happiest girl in the whole planet for seeing you again." You replied, also with a bright and wide smile as you hugged him again, throwing your arms around his neck and resting your head on his chest.
"Let me help you with your suitcase." Darren offered and grabbed your suitcase as he linked his arm with yours to lead the way to his car and leave the airport.
"Such a gentleman, Mr. Criss! What an interesting point of view." You laughed when Darren opened the car door for you.
"Hey, I'm always a gentleman, my lady." Darren responded, making a bow.
While Darren left the suitcase in the trunk of the car, you slid in the passenger seat. Then Darren slid in the driver's seat and started to drive, turning on the music. In the way to Darren's apartment you talked about a lot of things, mainly about all you did all those days you were apart and what you could do now. It seemed as if you never had been separated. It was amazing to be with him again, you thought that this couldn't get better. Once you arrived at Darren's apartment, your face reflected the same expression that you had when you entered the hotel room where Darren was staying in NYC.
"Hey, your jaw is going to cramp if you keep looking that way." Darren laughed behind you, entering the apartment with your suitcase.
"What the fuck is this place? Am I even awake?" You asked, ignoring Darren's comment and just standing by the door.
"I think it's a place that I usually call home." Darren replied, leaving the suitcase in a big black couch. "Are you gonna remain standing there?" Darren asked, raising an eyebrow and looking at you amused.
You ignored what Darren said and you remained standing there. Darren walked slowly to where you were while you were still astonished looking around. Darren took you by the hand, giggling softly.
"Are you up for a tour around the apartment? I'm gonna pretend I'm a cool guide."
"Yeah, sure. I don't wanna get lost in this big place and I wanna have someone next to me if something weird comes to happen. I don't wanna be all by myself if suddenly I meet your dinosaur called Ted, what if he doesn't like me? I don't wanna be eaten by Ted." You said widening your eyes but you let out a soft giggle.
"Oh, I see you remember Ted. That's cool, he's cool. You're gonna like him and he's gonna like you." Darren replied, still amazed for the fact you mentioned Ted.
Darren showed you his entire apartment, making some jokes and funny comments along. His apartment was astonishing. It wasn't only big and luxurious, but he also had some cool things which were the evidence that apartment was his apartment and not someone else's. There were a lot of rooms besides the living room, the dining room and the kitchen. He had three bedrooms and a spare room he used as a music studio where he could write songs and play his instruments. In fact, there were a lot of instruments and musical scores everywhere. But the place you liked the most was the balcony. The balcony was huge and you could see all LA from there, it was precious and amazing. Wow, his apartment was awesome and he didn't praise everything he had, he was very humble about all that. Actually he was a little uncomfortable, as if he wasn't used at all that and he wasn't used to see someone looking at his apartment the way you were looking at it. But you couldn't help it; it was the most incredible apartment you've ever seen. He took you to a room with a purple door and you laughed at it.
"Let me guess what I'm gonna find here. Is this your bedroom, Darren?" You laughed and he looked at you amused.
"You'll have to figure it out. Damn, wait, you already did." Darren responded giggling and he opened the door.
"Oh. My. God." You voiced once you saw his bedroom with eyes wide open.
"What's that look? Did you find Ted?" Darren laughed and took your hand to make you come in. "I usually don't let anyone come here, you might understand the reason. It's a complete mess."
You didn't answer and, instead, you looked around. Yeah, it was really a complete mess. His clothes were lying on the floor everywhere, the drawers of his wardrobe were open, his bed was unmade and there were papers strewn on the floor. There was even some food on a tray on his nightstand. But despite all that, that bedroom was amazing. He had a lot of pictures of his friends and family on the wall, and he even had a Zefron poster that made you laugh. Lying on the bed was his guitar. And then you looked at one corner of the room. You recognized it. It was the place of that picture Darren added on the book. There was the desk with a box with all your letters and there was also the book, and hung on the wall was the painting you gave him. Your eyes lit up upon seeing that. Darren walked to the desk and took the book to put it somewhere else. And then he turned away to look at you a little nervous.
"Well, yeah. Welcome to the mess!" Darren exclaimed laughing and you laughed along with him.
"Oh well, but it's a nice mess. I like your bedroom, it's so...you. And I guess I'm intruding here, considering you said you don't let anyone come here." You said, stepping outside the bedroom.
"Oh, c'mon. You have free pass as long as you don't mind the mess." Darren took your hand again.
"Free pass? Watch your words, Mr. Criss. If you're saying I have free pass it means I can do whatever I want in this bedroom whenever I want. And maybe you won't be so pleased if I touch any of this mess to do my own mess here." You said laughing, raising your eyebrows.
"More mess in the bedroom is always welcome. You know it, the more the merrier. C'mon, let me show you your bedroom." Darren said and led you to a bedroom next to his and opened the door. "Well then, this is where you're gonna stay the entire month." He stated, enfolding his arms around you by your back, resting his chin on your shoulder.
"It's nice, very nice. Can I stay here forever? This room is bigger than my entire apartment, for god sake." You commented while looking around.
"I wouldn't mind if you stay here forever." Darren replied laughing slightly as he kissed your cheek. "You even have your own bathroom. It's a guest room but we can turn it into your bedroom, feel free to change it the way you want."
"Really? Well then, I'm gonna do it if I have your permission." You said smiling, turning your head to look at his face.
"Let's see what your magical hands can do! Don't make it so cool as your apartment is or I'm gonna want to sleep in this bedroom instead mine." Darren said hugging you tighter. "I hope you can feel as if you were at home. I'm so happy you're here, you know?"
"I'm happy too, so happy." You said turning around and hugging him, resting your head on his chest. "But as much as I'd love to talk to you, the plane ride was exhausting due to the fact that next to me there was an old man complaining about everything and he didn't let me sleep."
"Yeah, gotcha. Just let me go for your suitcase." Darren stated and he left the bedroom.
You looked around; there was a picture on the wall. You approached the picture to see it better. It was Darren and his brother, laughing, both of them sitting cross-legged on the floor and Darren was with his guitar. The picture didn't seem so old, because Darren had the same face than now. It was a lovely picture and it made you smile.
"That was about half year ago. My bro and I were singing improvised songs; it was a pretty funny moment. It's my favorite picture." Darren said behind you, leaving your suitcase on the edge of the bed.
"Well, yeah. It's a lovely picture. I can see you were having fun." You said turning around to walk to where the suitcase was to look for your pajamas while Darren sat on the edge of the bed.
"Yeah. He's coming tomorrow and he's gonna stay with us for two weeks, I hope you don't mind. You know, I still have to work for this week, and then I have a break for three weeks. So maybe Chuck could make you company while I'm not here." Darren said, helping you to find your pajamas.
"Oh, of course I don't mind. I'd love to meet your brother. You know? I know him from Freelance Whales." You said smiling until you found your pajamas. "Alright, be right back. I'm gonna change myself."
"Okay, let me know if you need some help." Darren winked at you and laughed. "Just kidding, don't look at me that way!"
You went to the bathroom and you changed your clothes. When you returned to the bedroom, Darren was lying in bed with his arms folded behind his head. When he heard you coming in, he looked at you with a smile. You smiled shyly and walked to the bed, sitting on the edge of the bed. Was Darren going to stay there? Not like you haven't done it before, but it was weird since he had his own bedroom. You couldn't ask him anything, because Darren quickly took you by your arm and made you lay in bed next to him. He snuggled up to you, still smiling, and rested his head on your shoulder. You smiled at him and placed a hand on his chest.
"Oh yeah, I missed this. I just wanna cuddle with you before going to sleep. I promise I'm gonna go to my own bedroom later so you can sleep well. But for now...Can we stay like this for few minutes?" Darren asked, looking into your eyes with a goofy grin.
"Yeah, of course we can. But if I fall asleep, don't blame me. Blame the old man." You answered laughing and Darren nodded, snuggling closer to you. You closed your eyes but you could feel Darren's eyes staring at you. You began to feel very tired and sleepy.
"You're the perfect person to snuggle up to. Damn, you're so beautiful. I could stay like this forever and never get tired." You heard Darren's voice after several minutes.
Nevertheless, you couldn't tell if he said it in real life or in your dreams, because you've fallen asleep minutes ago. There was one thing you could notice: a warm feeling near your mouth and then cold in all your body since that moment that lasted all night long.
You woke up in a cozy bed in a bedroom that weren't yours. You took a moment to realize that you were in Darren's apartment and you fell asleep in his arms. Yeah, that felt so good. You were smiling like a fool and rolled in the bed to grab and hug the pillow where Darren rested his head last night. It still smelled like him, what made you smile even wider. You were happy to be with him again and you couldn't stop thinking that you were going to have an amazing moment together the entire month. You finally decided to get up, still in your pajamas. When you went to the kitchen to get some coffee, Darren wasn't there. On the table there was a note. You grabbed it to read it.
"My mysterious girl, I had to go to work. I'm gonna be back at noon. Chuck is coming today in the afternoon, so you'll have to be alone for a few hours. Please, feel yourself as if you were at home. I hope you had a good sleep. Love you, Darren aka the mysterious guy."
You smiled and started to make coffee for yourself and some toast bread. You grabbed a magazine that was on the coffee table and you sat on the couch to drink the coffee while reading the magazine. You finished your coffee and left the mug on the coffee table while you lay on the couch, still reading that magazine. You were feeling very relaxed till you heard a sound of keys from the front door. You suddenly freaked out. It was only 10 am and Darren told you that he was coming at noon, and Chuck wasn't coming till afternoon. Who the hell was the person who was trying to come in? It was probably Darren who decided to come sooner. Damn, you were still in your pajamas. Why he always had to catch you when you were in your pajamas? You quickly sat on the couch and pretended to be relaxed. You didn't even look when the person came in; you were pretending you were reading the magazine.
"So I guess you're the mysterious girl. It's very nice to finally meet you, Darren has told me a lot about you." A man's voice said behind you.
Oh crap. That guy wasn't Darren and you were looking pathetic with your pajamas. Slowly, you turned around to see who the man that has arrived was. Chuck Criss was looking at you with a smile, leaving his suitcase on the floor and stretching you a hand. You smiled shyly and started to blush, shaking his hand.
"You...you must be...no, you are..." You stammered in embarrassment.
"I'm Chuck, Darren's big bro." Chuck responded, still grinning.
"Yeah. It's...it's so...so nice to...meet you." You answered still stammering and blushing even harder. "I'm so sorry for the way I look right now...I wasn't...Darren told me..."
"Yeah, Darren told you I was coming in the afternoon. That was the plan, but I decided to take the first flight and surprise my little bro. I guess I surprised you too. And don't worry about how you look, you look fine and I'm used to see people in their pajamas. We used to wear our pajamas every Sunday when we lived at my parent's house, it's like a tradition." Chuck said, sitting on the couch next to you, still smiling.
"Yes, I wasn't expecting you and, well. Anyway, do you want something to drink?" You offered as a way to change the topic of conversation, still feeling nervous and ashamed.
"Well, since you asked, I'd like a coffee." Chuck answered gently.
"Alright. Just wait, I'm gonna change myself and then I'm gonna make you some coffee." You said embarrassed and went to your bedroom.
You changed your clothes quickly and went to the kitchen again. Chuck was there. He seemed to be cooking. You walked towards where he was, intrigued. Chuck looked up to you, smiling.
"Change of plans. It's near noon and we should make lunch. I'm sick of Darren ordering food all the time." Chuck said shaking his head and you laughed because he was right. "Has Darren mentioned you that I'm a good cook?"
"Not at all. I guess I'll have to judge your culinary skills." You responded, raising an eyebrow playfully.
"That sounded as a challenge. Am I in presence of a good cook?" Chuck looked at you amused while he was grabbing the salt.
"Oh yeah. I'm actually a really good cook. I'm sure I could beat you." You said playfully.
"That's it. I call this a competition. I'm gonna cook the meat and you're gonna cook a salad. Then Darren is gonna judge what's the best food." Chuck said, challenging you but amused.
"Let's start the competition, then! You should give up, you're not winning this!" You laughed and grabbed a bowl to start cooking next to Chuck.
"Don't be so confident, lady!" Chuck giggled as he continued cooking the meat.
That was a weird way to meet each other, but it was really funny. You felt comfortable with Chuck, as if you were lifelong friends. Both of you were cooking trying to do the best to win the competition but you were laughing at the same time. You were having fun till you heard how someone was opening the door and walked towards where you and Chuck were.
"What the hell are both of you doing in my kitchen? Why are you here, Chuck? Do I smell meat? Why are you both so dirty? Man, what did I miss here?" Darren's voice sounded confused behind you.
"Oh little bro, too many questions. Just get your ass here and hug your big bro! It's the less I'm expecting after two months without seeing each other. I thought you were going to be happy to see me again, bro." Chuck said smiling brightly.
"I'd hug you, but apparently two people were having a food fight in my kitchen. I don't wanna get messy, bro." Darren said frowning looking at you both.
"Bullshit! Girl, you know what we have to do…" Chuck said to you, looking at you mischievously.
"Oh yeah, Chuck. I know exactly what to do…" You answered with a mischievous smirk. Now you and Chuck were coming closer to Darren.
"Why are you looking at me that way? I don't like the way you're looking at me. Go away! Go away! No, go away!" Darren exclaimed, stepping back and covering his body with his arms. "Noooooo! Oh, fuck!" Darren gave up and started laughing when you and Chuck hugged him.
"Now you're one of us, little bro." Chuck said laughing. "Now I'm waiting for you to say it's so good to see me again and shit like that."
"Shit like that, bro!" Darren responded laughing and he hugged his brother, tapping his back.
"You never change, Darren." Chuck said shaking his head and laughing.
You went to the kitchen to grab some glasses, dishes and cutlery to set the table, smiling and letting the brothers enjoy their reunion.
"So, what's that thing that smells so good?" Darren asked intrigued.
"Darren, it's something called lunch. Do you know the meaning of lunch, not fast food?" Chuck asked, raising his eyebrow jokingly.
"Man, I didn't even know that there's something else than fast food!" Darren answered with eyes wide open, raising his eyebrows, pretending to be bewildered.
"So yeah... that's why your mysterious girl and I are this messy. You should be grateful to us. Aaaaaand... she and I started some kind of competition." Chuck said mysteriously.
"What the hell, man? Alright, let me digest this. You just met and you already started a competition. Either you're getting along so well or you hate each other already. I'd rather the first option. Does my vote count anyway?" Darren questioned expectantly.
"Oh yeah, your vote counts, but not for that you're thinking, little bro. So don't count your chickens before they hatch. You have to vote which of us is a better cook." Chuck replied, pointing you and him.
"Oh man..." Darren started to say amused. "Man, please tell me that all of this is a fucking joke."
"Nope. Not at all. So get your ass on the table already!" Chuck responded grinning.
"What did I do to deserve two totally insane people living in my house?" Darren wondered in disbelief. "Seriously? Competing for who's the better cook? That's so boring, man. When you told me you already started a competition, I don't know, I imagined something funnier. Even playing the blinking game is funnier. What are you people?" Darren said shaking his head, sitting on the table.
"Chuck...No food for Darren today. I think he doesn't deserve it." You said jokingly.
"I agree with you, girl. Let's go get chubby only the two of us." Chuck said, continuing the joke.
"What? No! What did I say? I wanna eat, I'm fucking starving!" Darren said pouting.
"Oh bro... that face doesn't work on me. Sorry, man." Chuck said, shaking his head.
"Boo?" Darren asked looking at you, still pouting. You could notice that Chuck giggled at the moment Darren called you like that, so that you blushed slightly. Although you never could resist that face, you remained firm.
"Sorry, Darren. You can order some food for yourself." You answered, raising an eyebrow.
"Not fucking fair! You've recently met Chuck and you're already teaming up with him? Fine, I'm gonna be crying in my bedroom if you need me." Darren said faking a heartbroken face.
"Save that shit for another moment, Darren. Now you're the judge. My meat versus your mysterious girl's salad." Chuck said, bringing the food to the table.
"Alright. Bring it on!" Darren said enthusiastically. After Darren tasted the meat and the salad, he frowned. "Dammit, this is so hard. Man, I can't decide! Just let me eat and don't look at me in that expectant way!"
"Darren. Choose. My meat or her salad. It's not that hard, you know? Just say meat or salad!" Chuck pressured, still looking at Darren expectantly.
"Fine, fine. I pick her salad. It's fucking delicious and so organic!" Darren answered with his mouth full of food.
"What? Oh please, you're just being subjective. Only because you are in lo..." Chuck started to say but Darren shot him a withering look. "Only because she's your special guest you're choosing her food. Not fair, bro."
"Deal with it, big Criss. I'm a better cook. Now be a good loser. And I want my reward." You said sticking out your tongue and laughing.
"We didn't talk about a reward…" Chuck said frowning and a little upset due to the fact that Darren chose your food.
"There should be a reward. It was a competition. Every competition has a reward for the winner."
"Fine. I give up. What do you want as reward, better cook?" Chuck said, smiling faintly.
"I choose this night movie. And both of you have to watch it, without complaining." You answered, eating some food.
"What do I have to do with all of this? Hey, it's your thing, not mine. I'm not watching a movie I don't want…and by the way, that's the most boring reward in the history of the humanity. You know that, right?" Darren said, shaking his head in disbelief.
"Deal." Chuck answered quickly before you could change your mind.
"C'mon Chuck, don't be such an asshole. Let her pick a better reward. Can I say what's gonna be the reward?" Darren asked.
"Okay." You answered, shrugging.
"No fucking way, Darren. I know you so well. Don't you dare to pick another reward! The lady has decided already." Chuck said a little scared.
"Why are you so scared of me, big bro?" Darren asked, smirking mischievously. "I'm just a simple innocent guy."
"Yeah, sure you are, Darren. Now shut up your mouth. She's picking tonight's movie and that's all." Chuck said staring at Darren. You were just in silence, looking at them both a little amused.
"The reward is that Chuck has to buy us some ice-cream now, and then he has to take us to the movies. After that, Chuck is gonna make dinner for all of us, and he has to buy some beers for us. Then Chuck is gonna be our servant all day long. See? I wasn't so mean; I could have said something worse. What do you think, boo?" Darren said amused.
"Well… I don't know." You answered a little uncomfortable. Darren was asking too much.
"She said yes. Now Chuck, accept your defeat." Darren said mockingly and started to eat again.
"Not fair, man. I know why you've chosen her salad." Chuck complained, huffing.
"Only because it tastes better than your meat. Your meet is good, but sorry, man. Her salad is better." Darren said shrugging.
"Yeah, right. Fine. I'm gonna be your servant all day long." Chuck said giving up.
"So cool, man! Now pour my glass with more wine, servant. I'm choking with all the food." Darren laughed.
Chuck, as a good loser, did everything that Darren said. It was an amazing day and you had a lot of fun with the Criss brothers. They, together, were so funny. - Nothing bad for the first day here. - You though inside with a big smile on your face when you went to sleep, trying to picture all the amazing days you were going to spend together.
TWO WEEKS LATER…
In the last two weeks you had a blast with Chuck and Darren. You and Chuck were getting along so well and you knew him more in those days when Darren couldn't stay with you because of work. Chuck told you some funny events in his life as he also told you about his girlfriend and their adventures; he even told you some stories when Darren was a little boy. You both became very confident to each other. He was a very nice and funny person, but more mature than Darren in some aspects. When Darren started his break from work a week ago, you did a lot of things the three of you together. As you thought, you spent an amazing time with the Criss brothers. The next day, Chuck had to return to San Francisco, so you decided to throw a party that night. Darren planned everything. He found a place and he invited a lot of people. So there you were, trying to find a good dress to wear at the party. You knew that Darren probably invited a lot of his friends, and most of his friends were famous people and that freaked you a little bit. You knew you were going to be fangirling over those people instead of enjoying the party and you didn't like so much the idea. But you were going to attend the party only because of Chuck, so that helped you to calm down a bit. It was time for the party and Darren and Chuck were waiting for you in the living room to go there.
"Man, women and their sense of time is unbelievable." You heard how Darren was saying to Chuck.
"Yeah, but we can't complain. They take their extremely long time to get ready, but when you look at them once they're ready; you realize that the waiting was worth it." Chuck responded laughing.
"C'mon, they always look flawless. I don't know how much better they can get."
"You'll find it out soon, bro. Patience."
At that time you entered the living room laughing, something that made Darren and Chuck turn around to look at you. Darren looked at you from head to toe, his eyes widening and his mouth a bit opened. You were wearing a black and red dress-fitting and you curled your hair in soft loops. The make-up helped you to highlight the features of your face. Chuck laughed loud out when he saw his brother's facial expression.
"Can you at least stop drooling, Darren? You really don't want to freak out the lady." Chuck mocked, nudging playfully his brother.
"Shut up, Chuck." Darren replied, blushing a little but giggling.
"So...are you still thinking that women waste a lot of time to get ready?" You asked teasingly, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, hell no. The waiting was absolutely worth it. I hate it when you're always right, Chuck." Darren laughed and approached you to link your arm with his. "Ready, my lady?"
"Oh damn, Darren. Stop acting like a corny gentleman and just let's go have a blast at that party!" Chuck exclaimed and all of you laughed and left the apartment to go to the party.
As you thought, the party was full of famous people. Oh shit, you were going to faint. As soon as you arrived, Darren let out your arm to go greet some people. You stayed there, standing without knowing what to do. You were very nervous; no one at that party knew you and you weren't brave enough to talk to anyone. Because, let's face it. You were nobody around them, you weren't at their level. Who would want to talk to a complete stranger as you were? Oh damn. You wanted to leave that party; but instead, you walked to a table near where you were to sit and just look around. All people were having fun and you were just looking at them. Some people were dancing, other people were singing and others were already drunk because they were doing body shots. You were laughing at them when suddenly you heard a man's voice behind you.
"A girl like you shouldn't be alone at this party. You should be the one gaining attention. Want a drink?"
You turned around to find Joey Richter smiling, with two glasses of some drink. You smiled at him and received the drink he was offering, trying not to fangirl over him.
"Yeah, sure. Why not?" You answered and took a sip of the drink. Damn, it was a strong drink. It seemed tequila or something. Anyway, you kept drinking it.
You began to talk to him, like a lot, and also to drink a lot. You were already bit tipsy and you were laughing like a fool about everything, making stupid jokes. You could notice that Joey was also tipsy because he couldn't focus his sight and that made you laugh. Then Joey dragged you to the dance floor and you both started dancing like two insane people, having a blast. Wow, an hour ago you were really bored and now you were having a blast. That was amazing. Everything around you was a little blurred and it seemed that everything was spinning, but you didn't care because you were having fun with Joey. Then a song started to play and it seemed that it was Joey's favorite because he squealed and started dancing with you like a madman. Few people around you started to look at you both and joined at your dancing, laughing. Oh geez, that was so fun. Then Joey caught you looking at the people who were doing the body shots.
"That's so funny, isn't it?" Joey screamed in your ear, because of the loud music.
"I couldn't tell. Never did it before."
"What the hell? Haven't you done that before? Oh girl, come with me right now. We're doing this! You're about to find what's really fun in this life!" Joey exclaimed excited and took you where those people were. "Ladies and gentlemen, this girl has never ever done this before." Joey announced and people there looked at you puzzled and they grabbed salt, lemon and a little glass filled with tequila.
"Well then, what are you waiting for to give it a try?" A man questioned. You recognized him. It was Joe Walker. "C'mon, Joey, you're doing it first to show the girl how to do this! Girl, free your neck!"
You tucked your hair behind your ear to let Joe put salt on your neck as you placed the slice of lemon on your mouth, as Joe indicated. Joey smiled and licked the salt of your neck, drank the glass of tequila and then, quickly, sucked the slice of lemon. Oh holy shit that was really funny. Then Joe put salt on Joey's neck and a slice of lemon on his mouth as he gave you a glass of tequila.
"Your turn, girl! Make it good!" Joe exclaimed winking and then laughed.
You did exactly the same than Joey did, licking Joey's neck slowly before licking the salt. You drank the tequila; it felt as if the tequila was burning your throat, so you quickly reached Joey's mouth to suck the slice of lemon. After you sucked the lemon, Joey spat the lemon slice to kiss you deeply. Oh wow, you weren't expecting that. Everything was spinning and you couldn't understand a damn shit of all that was happening. The kiss was feeling so good, but damn you couldn't do it. Before you could pull Joey softly, someone pushed Joey away in a very harsh way. A feeling of chill ran through your body when you saw Darren punching Joey's face.
"What the hell is your problem, Darren?" Joey yelled confused.
"Stop fucking messing around her, Joey!" Darren yelled angry. You just froze, not quite sure of what you should do. A lot of people were staring at you in silence.
"I'm not messing around her, Darren. I just kissed her, what the fuck is the damn problem with that?" Joey asked thunderstruck, touching his cheek, right where Darren punched him.
"What's the fucking problem, Joey? Do you have any idea of who she is? I bet you don't even know what her name is!" Darren responded furious. You never saw Darren like that before. Joey remained silent, looking down. "That's what I thought. Fuck off Joey before I punch your face again."
"Since when are you such a party pooper, Darren?" Joey was really confused at Darren's reaction.
"Since she's the girl I met in NYC five months ago." Darren replied, still in a rage.
"Oh shit. Man, I'm sorry. I...I didn't know...I..." Joey's face was reflecting horror at that time. You frowned, unable to get what was happening.
"Get out of here, Joey." Darren simply said, still upset but trying to control himself.
Joey looked at Darren in horror and he tried to say something, but Darren looked away biting his lips and clenching his jaw, so Joey just went away from there. You were shocked for all that happened. Slowly, you approached Darren who was still looking away trying to control his rage. You placed your hand on his arm but he pulled your hand away, in a rough way. He looked at you angry. Oh shit, you've never seen Darren like that and it was very scary.
"Get out of here you too." Darren demanded gruffly.
"W-what? Dar-Darren..." You stuttered, freaking out because of Darren's reaction. Suddenly you were more sober than ever. "Darren...listen..."
"I said get out of here. I don't wanna talk to you." It seemed that Darren was going to explode with rage.
"Darren, we were just...just doing body shots, because I never did it before. And...I just wanted to know how it feels."
"Oh right, I forgot that now people call body shots at the action of penetrating with the tongue the throat of another. How very interesting!" Darren exclaimed sarcastically and full of wrath, throwing his hands up.
"What the hell Darren?" You asked, narrowing your eyes, this time angry too. You couldn't believe he was saying that. "It wasn't like that. Darren...Darren! Look at me!" You almost yelled.
"Sorry, but I don't wanna look a whore such as you are." Darren responded, exploding with anger.
You froze and dropped you jaw when you heard his words. You looked at him deeply into his eyes, very hurt, frowning and open-mouthed. How could he have said something like that?
"Yeah...right." You said heartbrokenly and quickly turned away to leave the party as fast as possible.
It seemed that Darren realized what he said to you because he started to yell your name behind you. But you didn't stop. You started to run, trying to not to stumble with something in your way, because your eyes were filled with tears and you couldn't see anything. You knew that people were staring at you; you knew that some people were trying to stop you. But you ran the fastest you could. You only ran and ran to nowhere, but you were going at Darren's apartment. You needed to go away from there. When you arrived at Darren's apartment, no one was there. You went to the guest room that was your bedroom and slammed the door behind you, locking it. You grabbed your suitcase and started to pack all your things, still crying wildly. Your entire body was trembling and you had to stop doing what you were doing because you were dropping everything. You lay down in bed to grab and hug the pillow and started crying even more inconsolably. You didn't even have the chance to explain Darren what has happened between you and Joey. You were tipsy; you didn't want to kiss each other. It just happened somehow and you knew that was wrong, that you shouldn't have done that. But you weren't looking for that kiss. You barely knew what you were doing at that moment. But yes, you were guilty. But Darren had no need to call you a whore, because you weren't. You thought that by this time Darren knew you well, but no. He obviously had no idea who you were. That broke your heart, because you really loved him. But he didn't love you; he couldn't love you if he didn't even know who you really were. You were living in a fantasy. - Of course, stupid girl. How could you think that Darren Criss loved you? - All that seemed to make you happy suddenly vanished. You were feeling lonelier than ever. You were feeling weak again, very weak. You thought you have already overcome it, but no. You just wanted to finish with all the pain inside that was destroying you, which was destroying every part of you. But you needed to be strong. You were going to find the way to move on and that way wasn't cutting your wrist as before, you had to keep it mind; but it was hard, it was being so hard, you almost felt the need of doing it, you felt it was necessary. No, you weren't going to do it; but you didn't know what to do. You wanted to leave, to run away, to never come back. You needed to do it, so you sat and started to pack your things again. Suddenly you heard how the front door opened and someone ran to your bedroom, trying to open your door and then that person started to knock it repeatedly.
"Boo, please open the door. We need to talk, open the door." Darren said behind your door.
You stayed quiet, trying not to make any noise. Darren's voice denoted repentance, but you didn't move. Then you heard how Darren's body slipped through the door, sinking into the floor.
"I know you're there. Please, I need to talk to you. Please, I beg you to open the door." He requested pleadingly. You stayed quiet, shedding tears. "I'm really sorry. I didn't mean anything of that. I overreacted, I know. I never... I never wanted to hurt you. You...you..." Darren remained silent for a while. Apparently he was crying; nonetheless, you didn't open the door or talked. "Please, I don't wanna lose you. You're very important to me. Open the door; I know you're there and you're listening to me! I beg you." You did nothing; you weren't ready to talk to him. Not this way. "I...I just want you to know that I'm really sorry."
After Darren said that, he stood up and walked away from your bedroom. You started to cry your heart out and in that way you fell asleep.
That morning you woke up with a terrible headache and eyes swollen and puffy from crying. You decided that the best would be to leave. You weren't feeling good enough to talk to Darren. You were more confused than ever, you needed time to think about everything and you couldn't do it there. When you were about to unlock you bedroom door, you heard two people talking. You put your ear to the door to hear the conversation. Darren and Chuck were talking.
"Darren, you need to chill out." Chuck said quietly.
"How am I supposed to chill out, Chuck? How?"
"In first place, you should know that she and Joey were tipsy. They didn't know what they were doing."
"No! You're kidding me. I swear I had no idea that both of them were drunk!" Darren said sarcastically. "You know...people say that when you're drunk you do things you really want to do but you don't dare when you're sober."
"People sometimes talk bullshit, Darren. I thought you knew it. You know very well that when you're drunk you do stupid things. And don't you dare to say that you didn't know it, because I've seen you drunk several times, Darren. You know that when you're drunk sometimes you can't control your body, and it doesn't mean that you really want to do it. I'm sure she didn't know what she was doing. Neither did Joey. So, for fuck's sake, chill out."
"I called her a whore, Chuck."
"I know. You shouldn't have called her that way. You know she isn't a whore. She's the nicest girl I've ever met."
"I fucking know, Chuck. Thanks for reminding me so! I don't know why I called her that way. I guess...I guess...Damn, Chuck. I was fucking jealous to see them together. I couldn't be just standing there, pretending that I didn't feel anything at all. Because I...I wanted to be...Shit, Chuck. I was so upset, so jealous."
"I didn't want to lose her, then I called her a whore and...Oh holy shit. Fuck, Chuck. I screwed everything. Everything we had, I threw it all to hell. I fucking screwed it all; I'm the biggest asshole in the entire earth."
"Darren, listen to me. You're not perfect, bro. And let me save you the suspense. This girl you met, she's not perfect either. But the question is, whether or not you're perfect for each other." Chuck said vividly.
"Darren, we all make mistakes, we just need to learn how to overcome those mistakes. If you both can make it, then what you have is gonna get stronger. You know that, bro. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Don't let this kill what you both have. Don't give up on her, Darren. I've never seen you happier than when you are around her. If you really love her, go for her, Darren. Don't act as a scared child; you won't get anything at all with that."
"What the hell would I do without my big bro to kick my ass and make me find the straightway whenever I'm blind, deaf or lost?"
"That's why I'll always be here to be a pain in your ass."
"Thank you, Chuck."
"C'mere, stupid little bro."
At that moment it seemed that both of them hugged each other. What the hell was all of that? Your head couldn't stop thinking at full speed. Then you heard something else.
"I have to go now, Darren. But remember… Don't give up on your relationship with her. If you can't talk to her, talk to her in the same way you met. By letters. Bye, little bro. I hope to hear some good news from you."
"I hope so. Thanks, big bro. And tell your ass to come here more often!" Darren giggled and opened the door.
It seemed that Chuck already left the apartment, because Darren closed the door. Then you heard how Darren's steps were coming closer to where your bedroom was and your heart started to beat faster. But apparently Darren entered his bedroom and slammed the door behind him. Then the abysmal silence appeared again. That was your chance to leave Darren's apartment, but you couldn't do it for some reason. Instead leaving, you lay down in bed thinking about that conversation that Darren and Chuck had minutes before. After several minutes you heard how Darren left his bedroom and stood in front your door. After some seconds, you saw how a note slipped under the door. You waited till Darren went away from behind your door to get up from bed and grab the note. It was short.
"I know in the past I've caused you pain and I'm sorry. And I'll always be sorry until the day I die. And I hate this pen I'm holding because I should be holding you. I hate this paper under my hand because it isn't you. I even hate this letter because it's not the whole truth. Because the whole truth is so much more than a letter can even say. If you want to hate me, go ahead. If you want to burn this letter, do it. You could burn the whole world down; you could tell me to go to hell. I'd go, if you wanted me to. And I'd send you a letter from there. I hope you can forgive me and we can start over again, this time to do the right thing, being honest with ourselves."
You couldn't help shedding some tears. The note was very short, but it said a lot of things. A whole lot. And you knew he was being honest with every word he wrote. It was beautiful but sad at the same time. It was time to talk to Darren. You finally unlocked the door and opened it slowly. You went to Darren's bedroom, but he wasn't there. You looked for him in the kitchen, in the dining room, in the balcony, in the bathroom. Darren wasn't anywhere. Maybe he went for a walk. But then you went to his music room. You opened the door as slowly as possible, trying to make no noise. Darren was there, focused on playing a song on the piano. He was playing the song he taught you. Darren didn't notice your presence, so you just stayed standing there, watching Darren playing the piano till he finished and started to sob. You approached him slowly.
"Can I sit next to you?" You asked softly, he looked up to you surprised, and then he looked away, trying to wipe his tears away before nodding. You sat next him. "We need to talk."
Darren nodded and then there was an awkward silence. This wasn't going to be easy and that freaked you out, because you didn't even know what to do, what to say or where to start. You didn't know what you were doing, but you weren't unsure about something. You really needed to talk to him.
"Right...so...umm..." You started to babble nervously.
"I'm really sorry for everything I've done and said to you." Darren said, interrupting you and looking into your eyes with a tearful look.
"I'm really sorry for everything too, Darren. Yes, you hurt me deeply. But I'm aware I hurt you too. So, I'm sorry." You apologized, looking into his eyes, also with a tearful look.
"I didn't mean to screw everything. You...you're important to me, more important than you think. I love the way you make me feel, I love the person I am when I'm with you, I love all that. And...I didn't want to lose you. I...I need you, boo." Darren said, almost sobbing. He was making a big effort not to cry.
"Why do you need me, Darren? After all I've done and said to you and after all I haven't done for you...Why do you need me?"
"I need you because I love you." Darren answered, looking deeply into your eyes. You kept staring at him, without saying anything. "And I don't love you in the way I was supposed to love you. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You're my love and my best friend. Every day that goes by it seems like I discover something new about you to love. It's incredible to me how one person can make such a big difference in my life. You touch me in a way no one else ever has, and you have given me so many reasons to smile. I've never been so happy... and I've never been so in love."
You stared at Darren very deeply and amazed. You felt like your heart would break off of your body because it was beating at full speed. Your body could not stop shaking. You could barely think, everything was being a mess. You were feeling extremely weird. Was Darren telling you that he was in love with you? That he was feeling something more than only friendship? You were shocked. You loved Darren. But you weren't expecting this. Suddenly, Darren stood up and left the room. You didn't follow him, you couldn't move. You were trying to assimilate all that recently happened, trying to think clearly. But after few seconds, Darren came back with the famous book. Silently, he gave you the book. You looked at him and grabbed the book to open it. Darren sat next to you again, this time looking at his lap in silence. You went to the last pages. Darren added new things to the book. There were a lot of pictures of you. You looked up at him, but he was still looking at his lap in silence, so you kept looking at the book and reading what he wrote.
"I read once that love is friendship on fire. That's how I feel about you."
"Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you I had no control over."
"I'm not supposed to love you, I'm not supposed to care, and I'm not supposed to live my life wishing you were there. I'm not supposed to wonder where you are or what you do...I'm sorry I can't help myself, I'm in love with you."
Oh damn hell. Darren was in love with you all this time and you didn't even realize it. Everything started to make sense. The way he always wanted to snuggle up to you, the way he looked at Chuck when he was about to say something he shouldn't, the way he lost his temper when he saw you with Joey, the way he was talking to Chuck this morning about you, the twinkle in his eyes every time he looked at you straight in your eye. Everything had been so obvious, but you were so oblivious. Your heart was beating in a senseless speed, you thought you were about to die in a matter of seconds. But you didn't die, you didn't faint, you only shed some tears, but those weren't sad tears. You didn't even know what those tears were. You looked up to Darren, who was still looking at his lap; he was nervous, ashamed, and uncomfortable but relaxed at the same time.
"Darren..." You started to say gently, your voice trembling.
"Have you ever felt like you were just really meant to be with somebody? Like your whole life was just kind of this big mess that just kinda kept happening up until the day when this unbelievable person came into your life, and then suddenly, you know, you didn't feel so lost anymore. You felt like everything you thought you'd been doing wrong in your life, you're actually doing it right, because that whole time she was coming closer to you. You just weren't smart enough to know it, or brave enough to just tell her." Darren said and finally looked intensely into your eyes. His eyes were tearful, but there was the twinkle again. He moved closer to you, he was very close. He clutched your hands and placed them in his heart. His heart was beating as fast as yours. "I try to keep you away from my mind. I try to stop feeling this way every time I see you. I try to keep what we have, not to screw this. I try to keep being your friend; I try to convince myself that I'm not in love with you. And then I look over at you, and I'm blinded. You are six inches from my face and you are so fucking beautiful, I can't even focus my eyes."
You thought in that moment you were going to just melt, you entire body was trembling so hard and you couldn't help it. You couldn't think about anything because as soon as Darren stopped talking, he placed his hands on your cheeks and leaned to kiss your lips very softly. At first you didn't kiss him back because it took you by surprise. You didn't know if you were doing the right thing. But you wanted that, you were feeling the same way than Darren. You placed a hand on his chest and the other one on his hair to kiss him back. Darren moved even closer and placed a hand on your waist and the other one on your jaw, to deepen the kiss. He was breathing fast and so were you. You didn't know how long that kiss lasted, but you knew it was your very first kiss in a long time. You knew that kiss was real; it was what both of you wanted since a long time ago. You knew that kiss was the evidence of how much you loved each other. And nothing could be more perfect. After a while you broke the kiss gently.
"I'm so in love with you too, Darren. And it took me a lot to realize it, to accept it. I was scared, so scared. But then, then I figured out that we can make this, we can make this work. I don't need anything but you. And as you said, I need you because I love you." You whispered in front of his lips. Darren smiled sweetly and fondly before kissing your lips again.
"This is gonna work. Because our love is all we need to make it through."
That night, both of you realized that anything could go wrong. You loved each other and anything else mattered but the two of you. That night, everything between you changed. It changed forever, because you finally found love and that was the only thing you needed to be happy. No regrets, just love.