She hated the color pink. She hated every shade, every tint, anything, that was pink.
This guy, however, didn't seem to get it.
"I like you, please accept these!" he shouted, offering her a box (mind you, it's a very light pink) of chocolates. She frowned and stared at it, debating whether or not she should take it.
She sighed and rubbed her arm. "Listen, I don't really think my teeth can handle any more of these..."
Yup, this guy didn't get it at all.
Reluctantly, she took the gift from his hands and pushed it inside her bag, squeezing it somewhere in between notebooks and ripped papers. The boy smiled widely, and for a moment she was speechless. But then she realized that the bell was ringing and that she was late.
"Bye then," she told him, waving her hand as she slowly walked away.
The boy didn't move from his spot but he waved back and shouted her name.
"I'll see you this afternoon, Emily!"
She rolled her eyes and shrugged. "We'll see."
The next day, he was there again. Like always. He wasn't holding anything pink this time though.
He was holding a blue rose.
Not that she didn't mind it being blue, it was actually in her favor. She liked blue but not the shade he was holding. She liked the skies and the ocean. Not the fake-looking-blue.
"I hope you find this better," he said as he handed her the rose. She picked it from his fingers and stared at the petals.
"...Thank you," she muttered, closing her eyes and inhaling the mild scent of the flower.
He smiled again, his stare holding this look that hid secrets. "You're welcome."
She turned on her heel and fingered the stem. She definitely liked this gift. She thought he would give her sweets again, with pink ribbons and a pink wrapping, but he didn't. She wasn't complaining but... one thing was bothering her.
How did he know that she liked roses?
The next thing she knew, the vase in her room was full of blue roses. All of different shades, but never meeting her actual standards. Nevertheless, she loved each and every one of them. Each rose signified a new change inside her, a percent that was in charge for the boy's future.
But still, she was wondering, how did he know?
Other than roses, Emily loved dusk and dawn. She loved waking up and feeling the fresh air. She loved going out before the sun set and before everything else went dark. She loved those kind of things.
No one else knew this and it was a secret of hers. So when he walked up to her and told her he wanted to take her somewhere, she knew she wouldn't enjoy every second of it.
"What..." she murmured, staring at the city across them and at the sinking sun in the far-off distance. The sky was lit up with flames and the light shone on her skin as she kept her hair in place with a hand. She looked at the boy, whose face was plastered with a smile, and asked, "How did you know?"
His smile widened knowingly. "I just do."
She was terrified of him. Not in a way that made him look bad or evil, just in fear of what was going to happen next.
She didn't want to love him.
But she knew, that as each day passed, as each dawn and dusk was spent with him, as each flower died and was replaced with another, she was falling.
Deeper and deeper. She could no longer see the bottom.
And she didn't want to love. She didn't want to be left behind if somehow it didn't all work out. She didn't want to start wearing pink just for him. She didn't want to keep replacing roses. She didn't want to get tired of every sunset and sunrise just because it was too much.
She didn't want to lose him.
"Emily, I'm taking you somewhere else," he told her, encasing her wrist in his hand and dragging her over to the bus.
The next thing she knew, they were in front of a large body of water, with the waves crashing against the rocks and kissing the sand. The sky above them was exactly the kind of blue that she wanted. The sea was exactly what she loved.
She smiled at him and fisted her hands.
"Thank you, it's beautiful."
She didn't want this.
"Anything for you."
She didn't want any of this.
"I love you."
She leaned against his shoulder, murmuring something that sounded something like:
"And I you."
He laughed humorlessly, shaking his head. "Do you really?"
"Good," he murmured, kissing the top of her head and wishing her a goodnight.
This was why she didn't want to fall in love.
Every second was like an eternity, every minute like a journey. Every touch was like a spark of electricity, bursting through her veins and making her lightheaded. It was like you ate butterflies and they never died, swarming in your tummy and trying to get out.
Love felt exactly just like that.
She knew it.
She saw it coming.
She saw through everything, and yet she ignored all the signs, all the warnings, all the red flags.
And now she couldn't feel anything but pain. Pain for being left alone. Pain for falling in and out of love. Pain for loving too much. Pain for loving him.
She hated this.
She wanted to curse the world for making love. She wanted to curse him for making her fall in love. She wanted to destroy every pink box, every pink ribbon and wrapping. She wanted to crush every rose and step on them until they were dirtied with the soil. She wanted to tear apart the seas and the skies until they were black and no longer blue.
She wanted day to never come. She wanted to forget.
She laughed bitterly, fingering the stem of the last blue rose that he gave her. She stared at the petals and scoffed, throwing it into the fire in front of her. She watched it wither and fade into ashes, because that was how love felt like.
Fire. She felt like the trees and the forest that were being rapidly burned down.
She could have stopped him though. She could have kept him at bay. She could have told him to back away. She could have done something to change this turn of events. But she didn't.
And if she could only turn back time, she would.
She would take back every I love you. She would take back every dusk and dawn that were wasted. She would take back every rose, ruin every box of chocolates.
She would take back everything, until she was back to being herself. Void of love and definitely not this mess that was only waiting to be thrown away.
And she swore, that from now on, she would love no more.