So On

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I Gotta Try This 'Being Friendly' Thing


Brandon was the dominant one during our kiss. I let him be, because I had no idea how to do it right. I still can’t believe I was his first kiss. He seemed so natural at this. I’m just copying what he’s doing.

He tasted like the potato chips we were eating just a while ago and no doubt I did too. And no, it’s not as yucky as I described it to be.

It’s potato flavored, c’mon.

I felt tingling sensations all over my body - ticklish yet satisfying. His hand went down to my neck, pulling me closer as if the tiny distance between us was still too much. His other hand began tucking my hair behind my ear. His touch was just...

I don’t know how to describe it.

Cold? Since I shiver every time he does?

Hot? Since it kinda burns?

Ticklish? Because I get goosebumps?

I have no idea. All I know is I didn’t want him to stop. As he pressed his lips harder on mine, I could feel how he was being careful. He wasn’t forceful, he was doing it slowly and gently, and gave me just enough time to learn how to respond properly.

Brandon was an expert. Or something. I have no basis or comparison to say he was so good at kissing, but the feeling just made me feel drunk, dizzy, winded.

I felt him smile in between kisses. I smiled too, and I had no idea why. My eyes were closed and I didn’t want to open them while this moment lasts.

We pulled away for a few seconds to catch our breaths and then dived back in as if our lives depended on it. His lips were warm and comfortable, his touch was tingling and reassuring.

I just realized I was trusting him more and more each day. I’m not sure why. I just feel safe with him. And comfortable. Should this be a good thing or a bad thing?

A consecutive number of beeps began from my phone. We ignored it for a few seconds, but after remembering what that was for, I held Brandon’s face and reluctantly pulled away.

“Time,” I showed him the timer on my phone. He laughed incredulously before scratching the back of his head in a boyish manner.

“You really timed it? Aw man.”

I chuckled at his reaction before shoving my phone back in my pocket. I gave him a wry smile. “Why? Couldn’t get enough?”

I was bluffing. It was me who couldn’t get enough. But there’s no way I’m telling him that.

He returned my smile. “Potato babe, it’s the other way around. I warned you about my kissable lips. You know you can’t resist.”

“Dork,” I snorted at the mention of his ‘kissable lips.’

I stood up and dusted my pants. Before I got to his chair near his desk, he released a dramatic sigh. Dramatic enough for me to turn around and look at him weirdly.

He was pouting and folding his arms like an eight year-old. “I’m starting to dislike this ten-limit rule.”

I hid a blush. No, no. I shouldn’t be affected. He’s just saying that because he enjoys kissing, not because it’s with me. Or maybe he’s just saying that to woo me.

I never run out of excuses. See? Even I know they’re excuses.

Brandon and I watched reruns the rest of the day before I went back to my apartment. I went home as soon as Leo texted me saying he and Nichole were done talking and that he was going home and I should leave because he didn’t want to walk in on Brandon and me doing something that’ll burn his eyes again.

Such a drama queen.




“He’s actually really nice,” Nichole said as she brushed her hair in front of her mirror. I was standing right behind her, doing the same thing, only not as careful and I did it blindly since I didn’t bother with a mirror. I was gonna sleep anyway, why was I even brushing my hair?

Oh yeah. It was an unconscious move since Nichole was brushing her hair like she did every night, and I coincidentally found a spare brush in her dresser drawer. You know the rest.

“He apologized and explained what really happened. I don’t think he’s lying. He looked really sincere. Now I feel bad that you beat him up because of that small misunderstanding.”

I frowned. She was holding back the details. “What’s his side of the story then?”

There was a small pause before she finally replied. Why was there a pause? “Well, he kinda did it for you.”

My eyes widened. “For me? How so?”

She shrugged her shoulders, feigning innocence but I knew better. She was hiding something from me. That Samuel. Was I more involved than I thought?

I wasn’t one to let go of something once my curiosity was triggered, so I pushed Nichole for some more details, but she just wouldn’t budge.

“Why don’t you ask him yourself?” She said, a bit frustrated at my persistence. I pouted.

“I did. He won’t tell me.” I said a bit bitterly when the memory of him trying to shrug me off fleeted in my mind. “I don’t understand why you won’t tell me. If you’re hiding it then it must be something big. What is it?”

She put the brush down and checked her reflection one last tine before she stood up and looked at me. “I’m going to bed.”

“Nichole!” I whined as she treaded towards her bedroom. I groaned and went to my own room. What were they hiding?

I’m a very curious person. I hate not knowing things, and if people like my best friends keep secrets from me, I’d feel really left out.

It sucks.

I lied down on my bed and released a frustrated sigh. I know this isn’t a big deal, but I just feel like I was betrayed or something. I’m being ignored, disregarded, getting treated as a third wheel. The weight in my chest just got heavier.

Ugh.

Now I’m starting to sound like Leo with all this drama. Forget I said that.

Stop thinking about all this negative stuff. There must be a reason why Nichole won’t tell me. I trust her. Yeah. Think of good things. Think of potatoes.

Potato.

Brandon’s image suddenly appeared in my mind. It’s not just an image though, it’s a whole video clip. In my mind, he’s talking about something quite enthusiastically and he’s laughing, but I can’t hear what it is. Why does his face look so bright? And what is that? Are those flowers popping out of his head?

What the fuck.

I abruptly sat up and ruffled my hair, trying to shake off whatever that was I just imagined. It was so creepy. I just daydreamed about Brandon.

No no no! That wasn’t a daydream. It’s night. So it was a nightmare. Yeah. That makes perfect sense. Very good Mira.

My phone began ringing while I was still convincing myself and I jumped from the shock. I think my heart almost escaped from my ribcage. Damn the person who was calling right now.

I grabbed my phone and before I answered it, his name flashed on my screen - Brandon.

Was I breathing? I was. Where was my breath? In my butt? Yeah I think I just farted it out.

What the hell just answer the call!

“What,” I said flatly as soon as I accepted the call. I wasn’t mad. That was just me trying to sound all chill despite being oxygen deprived.

Why am I panicking?! This isn’t the first time he’s called me.

His voice began on the other line and I had to conceal my heavy breathing. I should raise the volume, I can’t hear his voice with all the noise my heart is producing. “I’m stalking you right now. Just wanted you to know.”

I raised both my brows and then knitted them in confusion while still in the process of calming my poor heart. Was he outside of the apartment or something? “What?”

“On facebook.”

Oh.

Why do I feel a bit disappointed all of a sudden? This week has been full of inner questions lately.

I heard him laugh softly. “Nice profile picture. My potato’s really pretty.”

I calmed down after a few seconds and I was back to my sane self. Phew.

“You got nothing better to do?” I asked, half-smiling. I didn’t usually believe it when people complimented me, but hearing him say that even if it was meant as a joke or a sly tactic for me to like him, I was happy.

“You’re the best thing I’d do.” He quickly replied as if to defend himself. And then he cleared his throat and laughed again. “I mean, you know.”

Yeah, I know. He was just bored and I was the best source of entertainment. Jerk.

Despite that, I played along. “Be careful not to look into my old photo albums. You might fall for me.”

That was a bluff. DO NOT look into my old photo albums. I looked like a pubescent monkey, shit.

He laughed again. “Not gonna happen.”

Ow.

Ow?

I shrugged a tugging feeling off again, knowing I’d just get more confused. I grabbed my laptop and quickly logged into my account. My jaw dropped in horror when I saw how many notifications I had.

Over a hundred, and still counting.

“Brandon!” I yelled at him. He was snickering on the other line. “Stop flooding me with likes and comments! My old photos will appear on all my friends’ news feeds!”

Damn this guy! My embarrassing photos! My ugly pubescent monkey photos! Why couldn’t he just like the current ones, where I evolved into something not monkey-like?!

“I shared my favorites - oh look. Forty likes already.”

“What photo?!” I frantically went to his account. I screamed when it was the one where I was wearing a two-piece in the beach three summers ago. My fatty stomach!

I quickly deleted that photo before it’d get unnecessary popularity. I didn’t realize I was already gritting my teeth as I pressed my ear harder on my phone against my shoulder, my hands deleting ugly photos in the speed of light. This is so embarrassing! He’s seen my old photos! Why didn’t I delete all those photos sooner?

Damn Brandon for making me so conscious all of a sudden!

“Cute potato curves. Naaww,” he cooed over the phone. My temper just rose.

“BRANDON!”

The rest of the night went like that. Him liking and commenting on every photo he could find, and me deleting the horrible ones before I get the unnecessary fame I know I’ll dread tomorrow. More than half the people I know at school are online too - they’re bound to see my photos.

This guy certainly has a death wish. I’ll make sure to remodel his face tomorrow, this brat.

While I was still deleting old photos and spouting nonstop profanities at Brandon, I noticed I had a new friend request.

I usually ignored it since it was from people I didn’t know, but it was just one request this time, so I decided to check it.

When I clicked on it, I felt my whole body tense up.

Samuel Ink just sent you a friend request.




“C’mon it was just a joke!” Brandon whined as he followed me to my class. I ignored him. “Potato!”

Is he seriously going to do that right now? Because I might punch him before he says another word.

A friend of mine - meaning a face I know but a name I can’t recall - called my attention and slapped my back in a bro kind of way.

“Adorable throwbacks Mira! I liked your pictures last night.” He grinned before entering our class.

I shot his retreating back a glare as Brandon snickered beside me.

That was not funny.

“Why are you so pissed about it anyway? You were pretty cute in those photos.” He said as a matter-of-fact.

I continued to erase his presence in my vision. Dimwit. Brat. Asshole.

I was about to enter my room but he blocked the door the door, preventing me from entering. I didn’t even give him the pleasure of an eye-to-eye contact. I looked like I had grown a great interest on the floor since I was staring at it so curiously.

I saw one of his feet take a step closer to me and I unconsciously took a step back. I need to keep my guard up. “What do you want me to say, hm?”

Students from my class were forming a small group behind me, probably wondering what was going on, why an idiot was blocking the door and why I wasn’t doing anything about it (read: beating him up for it.)

Brandon was persistent. “You were beautiful in those photos. And right now in the flesh, you’re so beautiful it hurts!”

He pretended to wince and he covered his eyes with both hands, as if I was a sight so bright I’d blind him.

I can blind him just as good without any brightness if that’s what he really wants.

The random people who heard that corny phrase applauded and howled, encouraging him to continue. Embarrassment just rose in my veins.

Move,” I spat.

“You’re pretty when you’re mad too.” He smiled.

Another wave of applause for him.

I can’t believe people don’t find it weird how this nice boy got involved with someone like me. I’m afraid of what they’ll think of me.

“Brandon. Get out of the way.”

“Stop looking at me like that. It’ll make me want to hug you.” He tilted his head a bit and a lop-sided grin formed on his gorgeous face.

The small group behind me somehow evolved into a crowd.

I suppressed a large sigh. It was usually me gathering the crowds through my fist-fights, and I didn’t care at all back then. But this case was different. Brandon was making fun of me. And I don’t know how to fight back without hitting him just once.

“Move it, shitty potato,” I tried to control myself. Maybe I can finish this without getting physical.

And if making a complete fool out of himself wasn’t enough, he started singing with the most off-key tone a human being could possibly do.

“YOU LOOK SO PERFECT STANDING THERE - ”

I didn’t allow him damage my ears. He couldn’t finish that single verse because I punched him right on the gut. He half-choked, half-coughed and then laughed.

My hand slipped. Swear.

When he barely recovered, he shot me another grin before chuckling in amusement. He’s such a happy kid. Somehow seeing him in that pitiful state made me want to hug him.

What the hell NO. Scratch that. Hell, burn that. Forget I said that. Oh ew.

“Your love hurts, potato.”

Our schoolmates were getting entertained at our little skit and not long after, Nichole and Leo pushed through the crowd and scolded us both. Yes, in front of everybody.

Disapproval was forming on her girlish features and I suppressed another sigh. It’s still early in the morning. I don’t have the energy for this yet.

“Oh my God Mira. You don’t punch people who say sweet things to you!” Nichole shrieked, shaking my shoulders back and forth in an exaggerated manner.

At the same time, Leo sympathetically put a hand on Brandon’s shoulder, “Dude, you don’t say sweet things to people who’ll punch you.”

Ahh. My best friends are as supportive as usual I see.

I said nothing but rolled my eyes at them, showing how much of a good sport I am.

Brandon finally moved out of the way and let my classmates in. Each of them gave him a pat on the back or a thumbs-up as they entered. Seriously.

“Don’t you guys have class too?” I asked. Translation: Get out of my sight, faggots.

Nichole was probably about to retort when something caught her eye and made her shut up. She quickly tugged Leo’s shirt and gave Brandon and I a brief nod.

“See ya.”

I turned my head to the direction for the cause of her retreat and found Samuel coming our way.

Huh. His sole appearance always causes interesting reactions.

He locked his eyes on mine as he treaded towards the door of our classroom, at the spot where Brandon and I were standing. I honestly didn’t know what to do.

If I ask about what he, Leo and Nichole talked about a few days ago, would that seem too out of the blue? I really want to ask what Nichole meant when she said ‘he did it for me.’

To do that, I have to start being friendly around him.

I hope this won’t be awkward.

“Hey Sam!” I started, my voice cracking mid-sentence. Brandon noticed and snorted, making me punch him behind his shoulder.

My hand slipped again. Honest.

“Hey Mira, Brandon,” he sent us a small smile. He sounded nice. Was this the beginning of a new friendship?

I mean, we’re already friends in facebook, so that’s a start. I think.

“What’s up?” I casually asked, ignoring the dolt trying to conceal his laughter beside me. Was it that funny that I was being friendly to the guy I once beat up?

Sam adjusted the strap of his bag on his shoulder. “I’m going to class. Didn’t the bell ring already?”

“It did?” I said. “Oh. I didn’t hear. Well, you better get to your class then.”

He laughed softly, as if I was joking. I laughed too, to go with the flow, but I had no idea why he even laughed.

I can’t handle this ‘being friendly’ thing. It’s too much for me, really.

“Mira, we’re classmates in most of our subjects. Including this one. You really didn’t know?”

My mouth opened and then closed, so I looked like an idiot. Why am I such an idiot? Brandon continued to snicker beside me.

“I’m so sorry!” I blurted out. “I don’t pay attention in class, much less the people in it. Sorry!”

He slowly shook his head as if it wasn’t a big deal, and his expression showed that he wasn’t surprised. It just made me feel worse about myself. How horrible a person am I?

“It’s okay. I sit behind you, by the way.”

I felt like I was slapped with a chair. “I’m so sorry!”

I think my apology wasn’t enough, that’s why I unconsciously bowed and said sorry again. We were all surprised with my actions. I watch way too many Asian films.

Brandon laughed and bowed with me, enjoying every second of my humiliation. “Yes, yes. I must also express my deepest apologies for this woman’s ignorance.”

I glared at him. “Why would you apologize too?”

He grinned. “Because I’m your potato, and you’re my potato. One potato’s mistake is the other potato’s mistake.”

I wanted to retort but I had nothing to say against that. No, I’m too tired to say anything about that. I can never win an argument with an idiot.

“Anyway,” I turned my head back to Sam. I don’t know why I feel so sorry all of a sudden. And I really want to be friends with him, with reasons other than satisfying my curiosity. “Sorry again.”

“I told you, it’s fine,” he smiled. “Ah. The teacher’s coming. Let’s go inside now?”

He’s so nice. He’s so gentle. Totally different when I first bumped fists with him. Is this what Nichole meant by a misunderstanding? Or maybe he’s just tricking us?

I have so many questions and he has the answers. I need to talk to him about this matter soon. And I don’t care if I’m taking this way too seriously. I hate it when nobody tells me anything, that’s why I’m gonna find out myseld.

“Yeah let’s go inside,” I nodded when I saw our stout professor enter the faculty room to get more stuff to bore us with. I glanced at Brandon with a sharp glint in my eye. “Get lost.”

He clutched his chest. “My heart’s broken enough. But since it’s you, I don’t mind getting hurt forever.”

Samuel chuckled at my annoyed expression.

“Leave,” I commanded, swinging my arm to hit him again but he caught my wrist and pulled me closer to him.

I saw him peer over my shoulder, probably glanced if Sam was still watching, and then hugged me. I complained inaudibly since my mouth was buried on his chest. My heart was beating so fast.

When he finally let go, he pecked my cheek and ruffled my hair. “See you at lunch.”

He looked at Sam again and gave him a nod of acknowledgement. After that, he left.

I just stared at his retreating back with confusion. He is so weird. Why was he so cheesy today?

“Are you two going out?” Sam snapped me out of my thoughts. Were we? Does pretending to go out count? It took me a few seconds to reply. I’m starting to think I caught a nasty case of Brandon’s idiocy. I’m so screwed.

“I don’t know.”


A/N: Can you believe I wrote this half-asleep? Of course not. I wrote this half-awake. And yes, there’s a difference.

Sorry for the delay. It’s finals week. You know. HELL WEEK. But after exams it’ll be summer! Yeah! But I have summer classes. Boo!

Anyways. Gotta study now. Bye!

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