“Here’s my theory you’ve heard a million times: he wants to fuck you.”
“Shut up Morgan, people are looking at us,” I whispered, making her roll her eyes before resting her folded hands on the table and placing her head on top of it.
“Really now? This isn’t weirder?” she whispered, making me look away from her gaze. We were in the cafeteria of the indoor water park. Advik, Grey, George, and Ollie were all seeing a dolphin show of some sort while I sat here with Morgan and hoped Advik didn’t break down from seeing his crush cling to someone else.
“I’m bored,” Morgan whispered, flicking a stray piece of carrot that had gotten on the table. I let out a deep breath when it hit me square in the face, listening as Morgan chuckled. She was my best friend, but she was also a pain in the ass.
“But don’t you think he wants to fuck you, though?” Morgan asked me when I didn’t say anything when she admitted to being bored. “I mean, who else is calling their ‘good friend’ to do shit like this. He might even be trying to get you jealous because he’s stubborn like you and doesn’t want to admit he likes you,” she said referring to both of us waiting for Advik to be done with the dolphin show. “It’s either he likes you and doesn’t know it yet, or you’re really deep in the friend zone.” I narrowed my eyes at her. This was the most farfetched fanfiction premises she’d ever come up with. I groaned before lifting my head enough to shake it.
“Of course not,” I said, watching as my friend licked her lips and hummed a little. Her pastel pink her was done up in a bun and she overdid he eyeliner in a way that made her look eyes look one hundred times sharper. “You just keep making these scenarios up in your head. Write a book about it or something,” I went on to say when Morgan didn’t say anything. That was odd. She was the talkative one and found any excuse to say something.
“A fanfiction about my best friend and the boy he’s been pinning on for a year? No thanks,” she mumbled, resting her head on the table cold surface again. And just like that, we both stopped talking. The sound of people walking around and talking in the cafeteria filled up the void that would have been occupied by awkward silence. I took out my phone and scrolled through my social media while Morgan kept picking on her nails. The show wasn’t supposed to take this long. It was supposed to be an hour, max.
“I’m serious though,” she said making me look up from my phone to stare at her. Her face was blank as she ran her tongue over her teeth. “I think he wants to fuck you.”
This again. I groaned. Morgan has been using this one phrase to taunt me since forever. Maybe it was because it caught me unawares most times and she got a good laugh from it. I doubt she believed that. It looked like Advik wouldn’t even consider holding my hand and her odd brain was already takin five hundred steps to declare that he wanted to get in my pants. Morgan didn’t laugh this time. She had a blank stare instead.
“Think about it. With all this time you spend together, do you think he’s honestly not thought about it?” she asked, and I blinked, looking down at the table. She was going somewhere with her thought process, but I didn’t want to entertain it. Yes, Advik was not straight, but that didn’t mean he was going to think about fuckin g everyone within two meters of him.
“Look, just because he’s Bi doesn’t mean he wants to fuck everyone,” I said, airing my thoughts. “Maybe I’m just not his type,” I muttered, biting my bottom lip afterward. It hurt to say it out loud, but that was probably the case. We’ve been friends for a while, and I don’t think I could safely point out any scenario where Advik said something that made me feel he felt I was attractive.
“Or maybe he’s just as good as hiding his crush on you like you are about hiding your crush on him,” Morgan theorized as her eyes lit up.
“Dude, I think everyone within a mile’s radius from me and Advik when we’re interacting knows I like him. He’s just dense,” I said, and Morgan shook her head.
“I don’t see it like that,” she said with a stubborn look on her face.
I sighed, rolling my eyes. “Why are you trying to get my hopes up?” I asked, making her chuckle.
“You’re my friend,” she muttered, shrugging. I mirrored her smile, sighing before reaching out my hand to pat her cheek. I pulled away when I heard my phone buzz. Morgan looked at the phone too, and she watched me pick it up. I unlocked the screen before pressing the message notification I got from Advik.
Message from: Addy.
The show’s over.
SUN, 3:40 PM.
Message to: Addy.
Awesome! I’ll leave, see you back in the apartment.
SUN, 3:42 PM.
Message from: Addy.
Would it be a bother if we go home together? I don’t think I want to be here.
SUN, 3:42 PM.
I frowned at that, wondering what had happened. Knowing Advik he would milk the time he had with Oliver by the seconds. Why did he want to go home with us instead?
Message to: Addy.
Did something happen?
SUN, 3:43 PM.
Message from: Addy.
Nothing really, I’m just exhausted.
SUN, 3:44 PM.
Something happened. I thought to myself, sighing. Morgan looked concerned too. She kept trying to snap her midriff in half by stretching far enough to stare at my phone screen.
Message to: Addy.
Alright, Morgan and I will meet you at the main entrance.
SUN, 3:45 PM.
Message from: Addy.
SUN, 3:45 PM.
“Advik’s meeting us at the main entrance,” I said, tucking my phone back in my pocket. Morgan let out a groan of relief, exaggerating about how long we spent hanging around the mall and waiting for him.
“Do you want me to like pretend I have somewhere to be when we meet him?” Morgan asked, pulling down her knee-length skirt a bit before pushing some strands of her hair behind her ears.
I frowned, raising a brow at her. “Why would I want you to do that?” I asked, and she rolled her eyes, groaning.
“So you can spend quality time with him, silly. Sometimes, I wonder if you’re ever going to properly make a move. Hanging around him and just hoping he’ll realize you’re there won’t work,” she said, nudging my shoulder before letting go.
When we got to the entrance it took a while to find Advik. For one thing, he seemed to be trying to blend in with the wall. He had his head hanging low and his hands wrapped over his chest. He looked up when I called his name, and even tried to put up a forced smile on his face but I had already caught the dreadful look on his face. He looked like he would fall over at any minute.
“For fuck’s sake, what happened,” Morgan muttered under her breath, but high enough for me to her. I nudged her, and she frowned at me, rubbing her hand as I walked forward to Advik who hadn’t made a move to walk forward. What in the world could have happened while they were watching a show? Did just seeing Oliver with George put Advik in such a bad mood?
“Hey, are you okay?” I asked. For a second it looked like Advik was going to put up a pretense and tell me he was fine, but it looked like he had decided he didn’t have the energy to because the forced smile he had on his face fell before he shook his head.
“I have somewhere to be. See you guys later,” Morgan said, doing what she had talked about without my permission. I sharply turned to look at her, but she had already hurried away and was lost in the crowd. I shook my head, looking back at Advik who was now giving me a worried look.
“Did I make her leave?” he asked with a confused gaze.
“Nah you didn’t, it’s not your fault,” I tried to assure him before walking to stand beside him. I rested my back against the wall, looking out into the crowd before turning to face him. He had his eyes cast down on his shoes.
“What happened?” I asked, leaning a bit so that my face was close to his. Advik stayed quiet for a bit, but he sighed after a while and adjusted how he rested his back against the wall.
“He tried to hook me up with Greg.”
Oh, I didn’t see that coming.
“Oh.” Was the only thing I could say to the situation. Oliver had actively tried to get Advik to go out with someone else despite knowing how Advik felt about him. Now I understood why Advik looked like shit when someone you liked does something like that to you it was more a less a silent ‘it’s never going to happen.’
“Anyway, aside from that the show was okay, smart dolphins,” he mumbled, trying to change the subject, but I didn’t entertain it and I just stayed silent. I wondered if Oliver saw how hurt he was before he left. I wondered if his friend, Greg, noticed how bad had it for Advik. I was just mad that Oliver pulled something like that. I knew I shouldn’t be angry about it. He must have rationalized introducing Advik to someone somehow, and I was probably blowing things out of proportion, but seeing Advik upset made my chest ache.
“We should head back,” Advik said, removing his weight from the wall. I watched him bury his hands in his pocket before looking over at me. “Come on.” I removed my weight form the wall too, and together we left the mall before walking to the nearest bus station. Advik stayed quest for most of the walk, but I couldn’t help feeling that he needed to say something, or he’d break down at some point. He looked sad, extremely so that it made me sad. Nexus and Reid were going to pick up on it. Hey, strangers were doing a pause and turn anytime they walked past us.
“Addy,” I said, shivering a bit when I realized I had said the nickname I called him in my head out loud. Advik didn’t seem to mind, or maybe he was just too stone cold from what happened with Oliver to react to me calling him a nickname. He just turned his head to me, raiding one of his thick brows as his dark eyes gave me a curious look. I crossed my legs, staring down at the concrete pavement. We were waiting by the bus stop. The day was a bit busy since it was a Sunday and people had time to come to the mall. We weren’t the only ones waiting around, but it looked like Advik’s moodiness was causing strangers to stand a good arm’s length away from us.
“What?” he asked after a while. I blinked, almost forgetting that I wanted to say something. Advik staring at me had me lost in my mind. I raised my hand, checking the time on my watch.
“Hmm,” I hummed, sucking the inside of my cheeks as I tried to decide if what I was about to suggest was a bad idea.
“Let’s grab a drink, then we can head back home,” I muttered, watching as Advik looked from me to the floor. Was Advik rejecting alcohol? He never rejected alcohol or a reason to hang in a bar.
“Like, we’ll just talk in a corner,” I added, trying to show him that I wanted him to talk to me.
He let out a small sigh. “I know I annoy you when I come to you with my ‘Oliver problems’ so you don’t have to do this,” he said, making me blink. My face warmed up from embarrassment at his statement.
“I don’t have a problem with it. I understand it’s annoying, I just never know who to talk to, you know,” he added, looking up at the shy now. It looked like he was trying his hardest to make his tears retreat into the ducts of his eyes. “So yeah, you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to. I’m probably making you uncomfortable already from how depressed I look,” he added, and I just stood there.
We were quiet for a bit, but after a while, I decided I had to do something. What kind of person just watched the person they liked be gloomy and be sad? I wanted to help. Yes, sometimes his rambling about Oliver got me irritated, but damn, me being irritated and petty was a hundred times better than him being upset. It was past four in the evening now, and a couple of street-side bars were bound to be open now.
Without a second thought, I reached out, grabbing Advik’s larger hand, making him turn to me with a confused look. I didn’t give him much time to complain and just pulled him along until we were a good distance away from the bus stop.
“We’re going to get drinks,” I said in a firm voice, making the decision final. Advik didn’t say anything in protest, he just looked down at our joined hands. My eyes went wide, and I let go off his hand before pocketing mine. My hand was had tingles run through it, and I felt my low stomach squeeze with nerves.
“There should be some bars open now,” I said, trying to shut out the words at the back of my mind that were telling me I had overreacted to us holding hands and Advik was definitely suspicious about something now, but Advik didn’t look phases, he just walked beside me with his hands in his pockets and his eyes fixed on the floor.
Gosh, what are you doing? I asked myself, feeling my heart beat pick. I had called him ‘Addy’, I had reached out and grabbed his hand, and I had insisted on helping him cheer up even after Addy had made it clear to me that he knew it pissed me off at times when he talked about Oliver. Also, I had come all the way to the mall and sat there for a few hours just because Advik wanted me to be there with him. How did he still not know that I liked him? Why was I still afraid of coming up front with my feelings when I always already terrible at keeping them hidden?
As we got closer to the street that held a couple of bars, I noticed some of them were opened as I had guessed. We went into the closest one and immediately got some drinks. And just like I had surrendered the rest of my Sunday evening to Addy so that he could rant to me, but I didn’t mind. If he needed to talk about things and get things off his chest to feel better, I could sit down and listen to him for a few hours.