Tin is familiar with that. He became all too familiar with rejection that all he can trust is himself. No one can reject you if you isolate yourself from people.
He was rejected by his family. By his brother who he thought was the only person who will never betray him and will always be there for him. Turns out Tul was the first one who stabbed Tin on his back.
If his family turns their backs to him, how can other people even accept him?
There was Pete. His only friend. He was so scared of being alone even if he won’t admit it. That’s why when he found out Pete is dating a poor Thai program guy, he did everything to separate them. But Pete told him, he will always see Tin as his friend.
Pete’s rejection was different. It was a rejection that made him see that Pete is a friend who is someone irreplacable and protecting Pete outshines his fear of being alone.
And then came Can.
Can was made of sea waves, sunsets, night lights --- everything he loved but with a beating heart.
Can made him see colors and helped him breathe like there is no one ready to ridicule him with a single mistake.
For Tin, Can’s simplicity is refreshing. Everytime he sees the hyperactive teen smile, it was like everything around him is bright and warm.
He does not have a home in the house he goes back to so he wants to build a home for himself.
His home was Can.
But then Can rejected him for choosing not to understand the feelings he felt and opted to become friends instead of facing the complications being in a relationship brings.
Can’s rejection was the one that hurt the most. The amount of pain is not measured by how they hurt you, but by who.
And the greatest pain will always be caused by the one you love most.
Why is it always me?
The moment the professor dismissed them, Tin got up shoving his notebooks inside.
He wanted to get out of the classroom as soon as possible and isolate his self in his room again.
“Tin,” Pete called.
He stopped for a moment to look at Pete.
“Do you want to go to the football field with me?”
The moments he passed by the football field just to get a glimpse of Can flashed in his mind.
Him avoiding Can does not mean that he does not want to see him every single day or hear his voice.
He truly misses Can from the bottom of his heart that it aches so much.
But the rejection hurt him more than he wanted to admit.
And he does not know how he’ll face Can after turning down that offer of frienship.
“No,” he told Pete.
He slung his bag to his shoulder in hopes to escape but Pete wasn’t done yet.
“Why are you running away, Tin?”
That made him stop and stay rooted from where he was standing.
“I am the one running away?” He asked Pete as he slowly faced him. “I am not the one too afraid of my feelings. I am not the one afraid of being in a romantic relationship. I am not the one running away.”
Pete was silent and he looked like he was about to cry which made Tin immediately feel bad.
“I’m sorry,” he muttered.
Pete smiled because Tin does not apologize before. Can’s influence in Tin was subtle but immense.
“The happiest I’ve seen you is when you were with Can,” Pete said. “If you truly do love him, you should not stop pursuing him.”
Pete smiled gently. “If Can is afraid of facing his feelings, you should be there to help him face them. Do not give up on him, Tin.”
Tin was thankful for having a friend like Pete who watches out for him. They may be the opposite of each other but he thinks that that is why they are compatible as friends.
He decided on not being afraid of facing Can. He will face the rejection no matter how many times because Can is that important to him.
He is Tin Medthanan. He will pursue Can in any way he knows. But this time, he will bare everything for the person he loves the most.
He was currently at the football field after his classes. Pete was with him on the bleachers.
There were some people on the bleachers watching the players practice while some are just gathered there to chatter.
Can was in a headlock with his senior named P’No if he remembered correctly. His bestfriend, Good, was there too who just watched the scene.
They started practicing when Can looked at Tin and Pete’s way. He stopped running with slightly wide eyes as if he isn’t sure if Tin is really there.
Can blinked several times not believing Tin is beside Pete watching their practice. He tried to contact Tin a lot of times and even went to the IC building but Tin avoided him and refused to talk to him.
Tin looked at Can staring at them. His heart skipped a beat because how long has it been since he was near Can? Yes, he passes by the football field before in his car just to watch Can play for awhile. But Can looking at him made him uncomfortable in a good kind of way.
And then Can smiled at him.
He’s really in deep. How can that tiny human being just effortlessly take his breath away?
He never kept his eyes away from Can the whole time they practiced. He was sure Can was eager to talk to him because he bolted to the locker rooms as soon as their practice finished.
Pete bade him goodbye saying he will wait for Ae outside the locker room.
“I’ll tell Can that you will just wait here.”
And as he was left alone, there he became nervous.
He had a plan. But if this plan does not succeed, it will only end with more pain and heartbreak for him.
Can ran towards him in the bleachers. His smile is warm and bright as always.
“You weren’t answering my LINE messages. You avoid me when I was in the IC building too! You were--”
And before Can starts blabbering as usual, Tin cut him off.
That made Can stop.
“I am not here to be your friend,” Tin started.
That statement made Can’s smile fall. If Tin wasn’t here to be his friend, then what? Can was afraid to admit he misses Tin. Alot.
“I am here to make a deal with you.”
Tin nodded and took a deep breath as if he was gathering courage.
“Be my boyfriend for 30 days, Can.”
Can frowned. He knew it that it will be about dating again. Can’t they just be friends and avoid complications?
“I don’t want to be your friend. You calling me a friend does not seem right to me,” Tin said. “I want to be more than your friend Can.”
“I told you that I don’t know if I love you. I don’t know what love is.”
“That’s why we have 30 days to figure that out.”
“Why are you doing this, Tin?”
Tin looked at Can’s eyes and whispered, “Because I like you.”
Can was speechless at Tin’s vulnerability. He saw that if he himself was hurting, how much more if it was Tin?
“And if you still feel that you want to be only friends with me after 30 days, I will completely give up on you. I won’t force you with dating and love and all the feelings you wanted to avoid again.”
Can was afraid. He is afraid of feelings. He does not know what the difference between like and love is. Then suddenly he was placed at the center of a love story he was not ready to be part of.
Tin nodded. “30 days.”
Can did not understand many things but what goes through his mind right now is how he misses Tin.
That feeling of wanting to see and talk to Tin again is what made him say, “Deal.”