Chapter 3 - Pablo's past
“Everything began in the tenth grade. I’ve liked this cute and pretty girl; however, I always found her covered in a pile of her friends. I couldn’t talk with her in privacy, feeling shy to confess my feelings. And why should she accept an unpopular boy? It would ruin her reputation as a popular girl.
A few months passed, I didn’t have enough courage to tell her. Until the school year was almost over. I finally understood I must not miss my chance. The years before, I got forced to join a wrong group by someone—the guy left by the start of this year. I found myself sad and also relieved. He did not deserve my sympathy. He always made the hell out of my life, so why should I feel sympathy towards him?”
[Pablo’s POV/ THE PAST:]
Taking a deep breath, I knew what I must do. Gulping, I walked over to the girl. My heart pounded faster immediately, I felt my face getting red, and I wasn’t proud of it.
She stood by the window in the hall, staring into her phone. She raised her head, noticing me. “Can I... talk to you in private... for a second?”
“Sure.” the female said unexcitedly. We entered a storage room. I closed the door behind us.
“So, what do you want to tell me?” she asked.
“I uh... well... it’s complicated.”
“Go on. We don’t have the whole day.”
“Well, okay, fine, so... I've been... liking you for a while... maybe we can go somewhere?”
“Oh? I’m very sorry; I can’t. I have a boyfriend. Thanks for telling me, though. Perhaps we can be friends.”
She left the area, leaving me behind. Friendzoned, of course. Why did I think she’d be interested in an unpopular boy? And it took me such a long time to just confess; I should just have given up. I suck, I do. Why can’t I make a simple decision quickly for once?! Oh no, I shouldn’t have done this. Will she brief her friends? She will, right? They’ll make fun of me! No, no, don’t say I’ve just embarrassed myself, the judgment... Just take a deep breath, everything’s okay, yeah, yeah.
The next day I strolled to my school, realizing something changed. People avoided eye contact. Don’t tell me she told her friends, or the whole building, please just no! What have I done?! I just wanted to... I hoped... we could be together... No, Yua isn’t like that, right?
I saw her whispering something to her friends, and the moment I walked past them, they all shut their mouths. Did they speak about me? I wanted to sink into the floor. I hope other people won’t laugh at me.
She strolled up to me. “Hi, friend! Do you want to hang out after classes?”
“I...” words got stuck in my throat. It hurts a bit when she calls me “friend,” as if she wanted to remind me. Nevertheless, she looks the prettiest I’ve ever seen her today.
Yua slightly grinned at her friends, who giggled.
“Yes!” I said a little too loudly, some people gazing at me.
“Great. Meet me in front of the school, after our lessons.” she smiled.
Nodding, I sauntered away, knowing once I disappeared far enough, the girls continued speaking. It filled my stomach with knots.
I couldn’t wait up to the end of our lessons. Once they were over, I exited the building. I waited for thirty minutes until it turned to an hour. No one came. I texted her on social media, and she responded that she forgot.
How would she forget this? Is she excusing herself? Does she dislike me? She does, right? Have I screwed up? Maybe I’ve made a mistake. I shouldn’t have stuttered while confessing! Why did I think she’d be here?! Why did I hope she could... that...
I sighed, lowering my head. “I am so damn stupid.”
I felt tears in my eyes, wiping them away with my hand. Don’t cry; boys don’t do that. What would people think? That I’m weak and stupid? I probably am.
The tears fell down my cheeks anyway. Why am I even crying? I’ll stop.
I got up and exited the school. Life just sucks, either living or I.
I spun a pen with my fingers, gazing into space. A teenager appeared in front of my desk. “Hey, can we talk?”
“No, we can’t.” I refused.
“It is essential, though!”
“If you say so.” I shrugged, following her to the storage room. It did not bring back good memories.
“Yua said you invited her somewhere and let her waiting! You refused to come. She got sad, and her boyfriend consoled her. Don’t treat my friend this way! If you plan on not coming, don’t invite any girl anywhere, you idiot.”
I twitched in surprise; she made me speechless. “I... No! You’re wrong! She left me waiting! She –”
“Oh, shut up! Yua would never let anyone waiting. She doesn’t lie. Don’t ever invite my friend anywhere again!”
The female glared at me once again until exiting and leaving me completely shocked.
I felt sick, my stomach hurt, and I needed to vomit. I quickly ran to the men’s restroom, where I vomited painfully.
The teacher saw I am pale, and I confessed to feeling bad. I spent an hour in the nurse’s office up to the teacher called my parents to pick me up.
“You should’ve told us you don’t feel well.” mom noted during the car ride home, moving the steering wheel.
“I just didn’t feel bad before. Mom, can I have a plastic bag?” I murmured.
At home, I lay on the couch, staring at the ceiling. Right now, we lived in a small flat with no privacy. I shared a room with my sister, Mizuki.
My parents don’t know what’s wrong. They don’t know it hurts, about the girl, they’d just advise me to forget. My parents never notice anything. I hate being the middle child; it often feels like they simply don’t care.
It’s as if a rainy cloud followed you everywhere, with no sunlight whatsoever. I get this feeling a lot, not troubling anyone with my emotions. It’s just a phrase, yeah. What do I do wrong that I always end up alone all by myself? Ignored, rejected, kicked out of conversations... I don’t know anymore.
A month later...
A female showed in front of my desk, asking me if we can talk in private. Not having a good feeling, I followed her to a class full of boxes. She confessed her feelings for me. I realized I am speechless, not knowing what to answer at all. Does someone like me? Or is this just a dare? I don’t think anyone would be interested in some ugly creature like me.
“I... don’t see.. think... well, we could try going somewhere.” I stuttered, knowing I’m not very impressive.
“It’s fine if you don’t love me... I...”
“I didn’t say that!” I objected too quickly, “I said we could try –”
“No, I don’t want to.” The female refused with tears in her eyes and walked out, confusing me. What does this have to mean? Why? What? How? What’s going on?
“I declined to hurt you; I’m sorry if I made a mistake!”
The teenager was already gone, and I felt terrible. Did I make her cry? How? Are my communication skills this terrible?
I left the area very confused. Someone blocked my way, a boy taller than me. “I’ve seen a girl cry. She mentioned your name. What did you do to her?!”
“What? I haven’t done anything.”
“Don’t lie to me. Don’t you know who I am, scumbag?”
“I’m not lying! I’ve shown interest in her, and she still... I refused to hurt her; I don’t even know what did I do to upset her!”
“Liar! I bet you upset her because nobody talks to you, and you needed to beat the rage on someone.”
“That’s not true!” I shivered a little. This guy now looked pissed, and he was one of these tall ones, which is better not to mess with. He grabbed me by the collar of my uniform, pulling me closer. Other students disappeared away as fastest as possible.
“You’ll regret this for sure.” The male growled, as I found myself confused, not knowing what to do next. This boy finally dropped me onto the floor after a while. I almost lost my balance, falling on my feet in the end. Nobody helped me; people only stared.
“I’m fine,” I said, put on a smile, and paced away quickly.
This is the weirdest experience I’ve ever seen. Why does nobody believe me? Yua’s friend, this guy... what do I keep doing wrong? This boy did not mean it anyway, I bet. He wanted to scare me is everything. I shouldn’t take him seriously.
At the lunch break, I continued thinking regarding this strange experience. I decided to walk outside, and at the time, the boy who threatened me appeared. I gazed at him, regretting I went out. And something made me more shocked. This time “He” was with him. The one who forced me to join the wrong group, and made my life hell, appeared here.
My face became pale. What is he doing here?! He exited at the start of the year! I thought he’s gone!