The One with the Confession
It all started with a simple phone call in the morning.
Soul knew something was weird when she had that puzzled expression on her face as she stared at her cellphone, hesitant on whether to pick up or not. He didn't pay much attention to her when she subtly dissolved into the background with the ringing cellphone still in her hand, but when she came back, he immediately picked up a vibe that something was wrong.
She looked absolutely shocked, for one thing. Her green eyes that had turned misty and blank nervously darted from one place to another, unable to focus on one thing.
"What's wrong?" He asked her, raising an eyebrow at her strange behavior. "Who was on the phone?"
She didn't reply, but instead bit her index finger as she tried to comprehend what was going on.
"Uh...Maka?" Soul tried again, the worry in his voice ill concealed. "Maka?...Maka! Dude, Maka!"
"W-What?" She finally snapped awake from her daze, although the haze in her eyes remained. "What's wrong? What happened?"
"That's what I should be asking you," Soul impatiently replied, intensely staring at her. He was blunt and straightforward with his words. "What's wrong? After you took that phone call, you've been acting weird. Who was it?"
"No one important," Maka tried her best to smile, which was hard since that was the last expression she wanted to have on. "I'm just tired, I'm going to go rest, okay?" She briefly said, before she retreated off to her bedroom.
"Maka." He called out to her, momentarily halting her from going into her room. She turned around and looked at him curiously.
"Yeah...?" She asked nervously, tucking in a loose strand of hair that fell down the middle of her face.
"If you want to tell me something, anything, I'm here for you. I'll do anything I can to help you," he offered, in hopes of getting her to speak.
"I know." She laughed softly. "You proved it to me a month ago, when you 'sacrificed' yourself in the auction. I...I just really need some time for myself, okay? Don't worry about me, I'm totally fine!" She gave him a brief smile and before he could reply back, she excused herself by tightly shutting the door to her room.
Soul shrugged, figuring that she would tell him eventually, whenever she was ready. What he failed to realize was that she would never be ready to tell him the news, or anyone else for that matter.
She stopped eating.
She tried to hide her starvation the best that she possibly could, but Soul instantly noticed she wasn't eating. She lifted her fork up and moved around her food, pushed it all to one side at some certain point, drank some water, but no food actually went in her mouth. When it got to the point that she missed three meals, he decided enough was enough.
"What's wrong?" He asked, dropping his fork as he stared at her playing with her food.
"W-What are you talking about?" She faintly smiled at him, mindlessly moving around her fork.
"Maka, I'm not stupid. You didn't eat this whole day. You started acting really weird after that phone call. Who was it?" He asked, determined to get an answer.
"N-No one, it was no one important." She lied, taking a sip of her water. "I'm really tired, I'm going to go to my room and rest." She stood up to leave, but he stopped her by firmly holding onto her wrist.
"Maka, tell me what's wrong. I wasn't born yesterday, I can and will stay here all night until you tell me what's up." He showed her that he was serious by tightening the grip on her wrist.
Maka looked at him for a few minutes, determined to stay quiet, but she quickly lost control of her emotions and she broke down. Tears started to stream down her eyes and when Soul saw the tears, he immediately loosened his grip on her and widened his eyes at her action.
"M-Maka?" He asked uncertainly, not sure how to handle her crying. "W-What's wrong? A-Am I scaring you?"
"H-He," she choked out, tears continuously running down her face. "H-He's getting married, i-it's officially over." She was in denial the whole time, and having to deal with reality face to face by saying it herself was like stabbing holes into her tattered heart.
"Who's getting married?" Soul asked in confusion, wondering whose marriage could have such a strong impact on her. "Who's getting married, Maka?"
"M-M-My...m-my d-dad." She struggled to get the words out. Her hands started to shake, and she bit hardly on her lips.
"Y-Your dad?" Soul asked, not sure if he heard her right. She nodded in response, as more tears fell down her face.
"I-I know it was unrealistic, but I thought...I really, really t-thought that m-maybe my parents would get b-back together someday, and we could be a f-family, that I would formally meet my mother someday, but now it's over. I-It's officially over. I-I'll be meeting my stepmother sooner than my real mother...I don't want that. I-I really, really don't want that," Maka admitted, wiping away her tears the minute they fell down. "B-But most of all, I don't want to share my dad with another lady other than my mother. I-I don't want him to remarry...I don't want this. I don't want any of it!"
"It's going to be okay," he tried to soothe her, wrapping an arm around her neck. "Maka, you crying won't change anything. Just calm down for now. Let me assure you, it's going to be okay."
"It's not," she whined, hiding her face by placing it facedown on top of her knees. "You don't understand, Soul. You never will."
"You're right," he agreed. "I don't understand, and I probably never will. But Maka, just know that I'm here for you. I'm here for you, and so is Tsubaki, and Kid, and Crona, and even Black Star. We're all here for you. And I am positive, absolutely positive, that your father will always love you and put you first, above anything else."
"If he loved me, he wouldn't do this to me," Maka shook her head in agony. "I- I just can't Soul. I can't."
Soul hated the way she looked so...so small, vulnerable, and...pathetic. "Maka, shit happens. And as much as it sucks, it doesn't give you an excuse to just sit here wallowing in your own pity. Don't say shit like you can't. Sure, it seems like it sucks now and you want to just give up, but that's the difference between strong and weak people. The strongest people are the ones who are able to overcome their problems with a smile. Maka, you are one of the strongest people I know, and this is a huge- huge change in your life, but I have absolutely no doubt that you will be able to overcome it. You're a strong person, aren't you?" He softly asked.
She nodded her head, tightly squeezing her kneecaps. "B-But-"
"Maka, don't forget." He interrupted her before she could doubt herself once again. "Whatever happens, I'm here for you. I always will be. Right now, I really think you should clear your head by washing up and going to sleep. In the morning, believe me, you'll feel a lot better."
Maka wiped her remaining tears away, before cracking a slight smile at the silver haired teenager in front of her.
"It's only six, Soul." She pointed out, taking his outstretched arm as she boosted herself up.
"Bed. Now." He ordered her, pointing to her bedroom.
She gave him half a smile, as she walked to the bathroom to wash her face. Before she went in however, she turned around and told him, "Thank you, Soul. I feel much better."
He grinned cockily, saluting her in a teasing way. "Anytime, pigtails. Anytime."
"Hey Tsubaki," a cheerful voice greeted her from behind. She immediately turned around, and in the process accidentally whipped her own face with her long ponytail.
"Oh hi Black Star." She smiled at him, holding down her ponytail to decrease the chances of getting hit with her own hair again. "What did you want to talk about?"
"I...Well...Okay, this is going to sound incredibly stupid," he warned, scratching the back of his head in anxiety.
"Um...okay?" Tsubaki was actually quite used to stupid things coming out of Black Star's mouth- almost all of them unwarned- but she was too sweet to ever make a point of it. "What is it?"
"I...Well..." Black Star dragged on. He was embarrassed, and it showed when he started to turn red. Tsubaki was starting to get her hopes up, thinking he might say something about their relationship until he continued with, "Do you think Soul and Maka are actually serious about each other?"
Tsubaki couldn't help but feel disappointed, but she hid it as she responded, "What do you mean?"
"I...to be honest, I know Maka's your friend and all, but I honestly thought Soul was joking when he said he liked her. Not to be offensive or anything! Just, you know...I thought it was weird." He admitted, loosening the scarf around his neck. "They're so different, don't you think?"
"Well, people say that opposites attract." Tsubaki replied back, hurt by his words. After all, they were totally different from each other as well...
"Yeah, but if Maka was a electron, Soul would be a neutron." Black Star uncharacteristically made the analogy. "He just doesn't care about anything. That's why I couldn't take him seriously when he was chasing after Maka. I mean they knew each other for three years prior to this year, what happened that made this year so different?"
"They had that flour baby project, remember?" Tsubaki reminded him. "I think after that project, they really paid more attention to each other...I think. It's just a thought."
"I guess," Black Star shrugged, turning his eyes away from Tsubaki. "I would never understand what Soul sees in her, but I guess I approve. That's...that's not the point here though."
Tsubaki noticed Black Star's usual laid-back expression transformed into a grim look. "What's...wrong?" She asked, not sure if she really wanted to know.
"Soul's definitely in love with Maka, I can vouch for him." Black Star confidentially said, lowering his head so he was looking down at his baggy pants. "Soul loves Maka, but does Maka feel the same way?"
"W-What?" Tsubaki was completely thrown off by the question.
"Does Maka love Soul?" Black Star reworded. He slowly looked up at Tsubaki with the sternest face she had ever seen him have. "I need to know, Tsubaki. It's important. There's...there's something Maka should know, or she'll- no, they'll both get seriously hurt."
Soul could feel the oxygen drain out of his system, but he continued to run towards the park where he was positive Maka was. It was close to midnight and the only source of light he had was the moon and the dimly lit streetlight. He couldn't see well in the dark, and the streets were incredibly dangerous during the night, but he continued to race down the streets as if his life depended on it.
Maka somehow ended up sleeping on top of the sofa with him, using his arms as a pillow. She seemed perfectly fine as she fell asleep, but when he woke up five hours later, she was gone. He looked everywhere for her in the apartment, but she was nowhere to be found.
He found her cellphone on top her desk, with a note attached with the following memo:
I guess I'm not so strong after all. I'm sorry Soul, but I can't. I'm going to end it where it started.
After a frantic call to Tsubaki, he found out that her parents met at a park near their school, which was incidentally the same one Maka and him attended.
From the context of the message, Soul was positive she was going to do something that would possibly hurt herself and to say that he was terrified was an understatement. When he got to the park, he was completely out of breath and his legs felt like they were going to fall off, but he continued to look for her.
He found her ten minutes later, sitting down on a bench, staring blankly at the ocean in front of her.
"Maka!" He ran over to her side, eliciting a shocked reaction from the flaxen haired girl.
"S-Soul?" She asked in uncertainty. "W-What are you doing here?"
"What the fuck, Maka!" He dodged her question, still trying to catch his breath from the excessive running. "You had me so worried, what the hell were you thinking?"
"Leave me alone, it's not any of your business. Who cares?" She coldly responded, wrapping her sweater closer to her body.
"I care!" He answered angrily, glaring at her with glassy scarlet eyes. "Do you know how worried I was? I thought something happened to you!"
"Why do you care so much?" She shouted defensively. Tears started to swell up her eyes once more, as she thought about how much her own parents didn't care this much about her. "This is totally, one-hundred percent my business, so why are you getting so emotional? What gives you the right to care so much? Why do you care so much?"
He looked at her; he looked into her swollen emerald eyes, her disheveled hair, her bruised lips from biting down on it too hard, and something inside him just snapped.
"Because I love you!" He confessed, half intentionally and half on whim.
"W-What?" It was an instant, no more than a few seconds, but her face was in complete horror, before she composed herself and kept it at shocked. Her eyes were filled with various emotions, but the biggest one was fear.
"I said that I love you," he repeated, staring directly into her eyes as he said it.
She couldn't tear her eyes away from his, it was almost hypnotizing. "D-Don't say that," she harshly replied.
"I love you," he challenged.
"I said not to say that!" Her voice grew steadily louder, as she clutched the sleeves of her sweater. "Don't...say that."
"I love you." He ignored her request, determined to get it through her head about what he truly felt towards her.
"STOP!" She screamed, putting her hands on her ears, trying to block out his voice. She directed her eyes to the ground, and refused to look up.
"What's wrong with you?" He asked, holding her by her shoulders tightly. He slowly lowered her hands away from her ears.
"I told you I don't believe in love! I'm scared of love, Soul and you, you of all people know that. Why would you mock me like this? Especially at a time like this?"
"You asked me why I cared, and I simply gave you an answer. That's all." He casually responded back. "I never mocked you because I meant every single word I said. I care because I am in love with you."
"I hate that word, I can't stand it." She stomped her foot, pulling her hair at the sound of the four lettered word. "I told you, there is no such thing as love!"
"There is," he flatly replied back, jamming his hands into his pockets. "Or else how can you explain all these overwhelming emotions I have for you? Whenever I see you with another guy, or even think about it, jealousy rips through my veins- it's a stronger envy than what I feel about Wes's talents. When I see that you're sad, I get a pained feeling at the top of my chest, and when I see you smile, all my worries fade away. Maybe I'm being the cheesiest and most uncool person someone could ever hope not to be, but it's fucking true."
Maka held on so tightly to the bottom of her sweater, it started to stretch out two sizes bigger than it should have been. "When I thought that you might have hurt yourself, that if I was even a second late, I might not be able to see you again, my world crashed down. I was so numb with fear that I couldn't breathe properly, my heart just stopped. Time just stopped."
He slowed down a bit, before talking even more rapidly. "Whenever I see you, my heart thumps so hard I feel like it's going to burst out of my chest and it's the most painful but amazing feeling I have ever felt in my life. As much as I want to, I can't even hate you properly for giving me all these confusing and weird feelings because I love you so much."
He tightened his hands into fists, and coldly stared down at her. "Yet you have the fucking guts to call these feelings fake? How can you say these feelings don't exist when I feel it every single fucking day?" He pounded his chest for dramatic effect. "You have issues and I wish you would have said this to me before I fell in love with you. But I don't regret falling in love with you, because you gave me so much happiness, something that I was positive was unobtainable for me. I was a cold person, but every time I was near you, I found this goofy, foolish side to myself that I never knew it had. I was someone filled with emotion; I teased you for God's sake! Who the fuck teases the girl they like nowadays?"
Tears were gushing down her cheeks, and for a split second, she felt...she felt bliss. Absolute and complete bliss. But then the image of her parents flashed through her mind, and her phobia of love struck once more. It reminded her that she shouldn't be swayed by Soul's sugary words and feelings like love were just myths that didn't and couldn't exist. That the silver haired person in front of her was yet another obstacle she had to overcome that tried to change her well constructed, concrete beliefs of love.
"What you're feeling is not love, it's just a temporary attraction," she finally replied, wiping the tears off her eyes. "Eventually you'll find someone else, just like my father did. Our story is way too similar to my parents'. My mother was a nerdy nobody and my father was that popular person who everyone wanted to be with, just like you and me. Scenarios like ours just don't work out in the end. Maybe in fairy-tails or storybooks, but not in real life Soul. You'll eventually leave me...they all do," she choked out the hurtful words, swallowing hardly. "A-And I wouldn't be able to take that. I'm not as strong as my mother, I wouldn't be able to just abandon all the memories, or live knowing that I've been ditched for someone else. In the end I'll just wilt away, die in the worst way possible- with a shattered heart with no one by my side. You shouldn't have fallen in love with me...you should've stopped yourself!" She yelled, shaking from all the intense emotions coursing through her body.
"If there is a way to stop yourself from loving someone, please tell me because I would love to fucking know." Soul sarcastically replied. "Do you honestly think I haven't tried to repress these feelings?" He asked her with ice to his words. "You really fucking think I haven't tried? I knew it would be a burden to you, but I couldn't stop myself. I fucking couldn't, okay? How can I stop myself from feeling what my body chooses to feel? I have already suppressed my feelings so much as it is now, I would have crumbled if I repressed it anymore!" His voice filled with anger and hurt- hurt that she was rejecting his feelings with such passion.
Behind her frosty eyes, he saw sorrow and regret. He could tell she tried her best to camouflage how she felt, but it was there. He could see it.
"I won't leave you," he promised, breaking the silence that blanketed over them. "I won't ever, ever leave you. Ever. You can try to push me away, but I'll always be here. I can and will wait for you forever."
"You will leave me," she sadly whispered back, shaking her head and ignoring the genuine, raw look in his eyes. She almost believed him. Almost.
"I won't," he told her, before he brought her closer and hugged her tightly. He could smell the familiar scent of sweet citrus in her hair, and it somehow calmed him down. He could feel her hands lightly trying to push him away, but his grasp just got stronger.
"I won't ever leave you Maka," he whispered. She looked up at him, her majestic emerald orbs staring into his ruby red ones. The moon shone down at the two of them, the dead silence of the night creating an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility. Darkness enveloped their two bodies together, and their silhouette drowned in the light that trembled between dusk and twilight.
"Because I love you. I love you, Maka Albarn."