Chapter-18: Feelings and Emotions !!!
More than 2 years is what I have waited to pursue Hele. Needless to say I felt elated when she said she wanted to know what more than friends means. It felt as if I had conquered the whole world. But I could see wheels turning in her head. I never want her to hide her feelings, I want her to express and subsequently know what she thinks , how she thinks.
I was right , she had something to say. Truth to be told I was scared. What if she was just pulling my leg. My heart was pounding against my chest. But she surprised me by kissing me.
Her lips tasted as sweet as chocolate donuts, my absolute favourite. At first I froze but when I realised she was pulling herself away I couldn’t let her go. I waited for this moment. Waited like crazy would also be an understatement. Once we pulled back, I wanted to tell her that “it was amazing and I want to repeat it again and again and again”. But she cut me off and spoke words which hit me hard.
I wanted to be mad, but what she said was reality. She has a damn job awaiting in NY, I on the other hand am planning to set up my own business and also help mom and Krystle to take care of De Riveria – which implies there is no way I can go along with her to NY. I can never ask her to stay back for me here in Amsterdam or Ghent, that would be the most selfish thing to do and I know Hele would never agree and even if she agrees I would die out of guilt for taking away her career from her. What was I thinking when I was saying that I wanted to be with her, to take care of her and blah blah blah. Our relation would never work, Hele is right, we can never be together.
Repeating this sentence was forming knots in my stomach and thinking about leaving her was choking me. I was not in a sane state of mind to think rational. Why has things to be so difficult. Why should the moments be ruined. I couldn’t sit as calm as her, so I got up and decided not to disturb her. There is nothing we could do, there is no way this relation would proceed. I had to kill every feeling I developed for her within me as soon as possible. But is it possible? I don’t think so, not after tasting her lips , not after knowing that she wants to see where this goes.
I walked aimlessly for a while but decided that losing my composure is not going to do anything good for either of us. So we leave things as they are at the moment. Be the roommates and move in our own directions. Gulping the chaos running within me, I reached the camping site and found Pearl and Bert smiling and talking to each other.
I felt jealous. I can never have those moments with Hele. I can never experience these sweet nothings with her. So much for asking her to let go off every thoughts and live in the moment.
When Pearl hit Bert a smile formed on my lips and the feeling of jealousy soon wiped away, they are my best friends and I would never ever wish them to go through the pain I and Hele are going through. Smiling I continued taking strides towards them and cleared my throat to get their attention.
“Finally! look who’s back?” Bert winked at Pearl
“Where is Hele?” Pearl asked
“Umm…she ..I think want to have some time alone…so I came back” I half lied.
“You both okay?” Bert asked looking at me. I knew he would instantly find something wrong with me with a single look.
I nodded not really feeling like sharing what happened between Hele and I.
“I will go change and come, we can cook something to fill ourselves then?’’ they both nodded and I entered our tent.
Looking around , I sat on the sleeping bag reminiscing all the things I planned to talk to her, places I wanted take her. But now nothing matters, it ended even before it began. I closed my eyes and laid on the sleeping bag and slipped myself into sleep. “
I came back to the tent to see Drake sleeping. He looked so peaceful but I knew how he might be feeling. I walked towards him and placed a kiss on his forehead, mouthing a sorry. Turned around and changed my clothes and walked towards Pearl and Bert who were preparing Pasta and soup.
“Where is that traitor friend of mine, who promised to help me with cooking and left me deserted?” Bert spoke
“Sssshhhh….he is sleeping, must be tired. I am willing to help you on his behalf Bert, if you would allow me to” I said
“Ohh look, who is becoming Princess in shining armour “ Pearl teased to which I rolled my eyes thinking only if I could.
“No.. that’s not possible. But I would make him grill all the meat and veggies tonight and he has to do it all alone while we would enjoy eating. It would be the best punishment for that idiot” Bert declared
“Yeah yeah, whatever” I said sitting next to Pearl.
Soon we both slipped into our own conversations while Bert went to wake up Drake. We all were concerned because it is not so Drake type to sleep for such a long time specially when he is with all of us.
With a messy hair and sleepy eyes when Drake came out, I just stared at him thinking how can he still look so hot, but soon the feeling of sadness and guilt crept in me making me look away from him.
“You really slept after assuring you would help me?’’ Bert mocked
“I had to, I was tired and ..” I could feel his gaze
“I am hungry” Pearl yelled diffusing the about to be serious situation
After having the yummy Pasta and soup, we all sat in a circle and had random conversations. During the whole conversation, Drake and I were stealing glances. I wanted to go to him, sit in his lap and hold him tight. I don’t know what he thought about us, but I couldn’t stop secretly praying about him not giving up on me. I know it is being selfish and ridiculous at the same time, but I had no control on my emotions when it comes to him and these feelings and emotions have pretty quickly escalated.
Pearl and Bert wanted to rest for a while before dinner and they left leaving both of us alone again. I sat there not knowing what to say and I could understand Drake was also contemplating on starting a conversation. First time the situation was uncomfortable and awkward.
“I guess, I should also go back and talk to mom and Krystle. Do you mind if I leave?’’ Drake said breaking the silence
I wanted him to be with me, to diffuse the tension between us, but may be he wouldn’t want to be with me anymore and that hurt me.
I just nodded not looking at him and he got up and left into the tent. Tears escaped my eyes and I couldn’t believe I was a crying mess all of a sudden. Never have I ever cried so much, that too in a single day.
Why does it hurt so much. Why does he avoiding me makes me feel as if I am lost forever and I have lost him forever? I knew I had fallen from him , but does having feelings hurt so much always. I was happy when I didn’t care about anything and went on with my planned life. When I am away from the path of planned life and living it as it comes, I am out of place.
I didn’t realise I was sobbing until I felt a touch on my shoulder. I turned to face the person and I could see it was Drake who was looking at me with so much of worry and concern.
My name in his voice was all it took me to break completely. I didn’t stop my tears, sobs and hiccups. He pulled me into his embrace and I tightened my hands around him. He slowly rubbed my back trying to calm me.
“I am sorry Drake” I broke again.
He picked me up and took me into the tent, placed me on the mattress and went to zip the tent close. I buried my face between my knees as I couldn’t look at him. He was hurt, sad and lost, all because I had to spoil with my words something wonderful that could happen between us. He came back and sat next to me, placing his hands on my back and rubbing it ever so gently.
“Hele. You need to stop crying”
I shook my head.
“Please Hele. I cannot see you like this.”
“Don’t be so caring Drake. I don’t deserve your care and warmth. I have hurt you, don’t be good to me” I spoke amid hiccups.
“No..” He gently brought my chin up and made me turn towards him. Handling the bottle of water he signed me to drink. I did as he asked and looked at him.
“Hele. Don’t blame yourself for anything. You were honest and practical. Whatever you said was true and something I have never thought about.” He bent his head and skimmed his hair
“I …I…” I couldn’t form words seeing him
“Its okay Hele. I understand where you are coming from. I would keep myself distant from you, if it is what you want. No, not because I am angry with you, but it is best for both of us.”
“That means…you…you are giving up on me…” I stuttered
He looked at me
“I don’t know. I don’t want to but do we have any other option Hele?” he shook his head
“So, everything ends before it even starts”
Don’t Drake, please don’t give up on me. Let me make memories with you that would last for my lifetime. Please don’t leave me, as everyone else left. The last few weeks I had spent in Ghent and Amsterdam with you were so beautiful. I have become used to your craziness, you care, your teasing’s, your innuendos, your pranks- basically everything about you. I want them and somewhere I already know I want you in my life.
“I understand…I would …I would also try to keep myself away from you..Its probably the best for you”
“best for me” he frowned and I nodded
“Isn’t it best for you too Hele?”
“I am used to Pa…I mean all this Drake. I know very well, no one stays in my life forever. Sometimes because of my awesome fate, sometimes because of I, me, myself” I gave a sad smile.
He kept quiet for few minutes while I just stared at nowhere until he suddenly spoke
“Answer me something honestly Hele” I looked at him
“I know and understand all the reasons, but do you really want me to keep away from you ?’’ he looked at me intensely
I want to scream no. No you duffer no never. I want you to be around me every second, every minute every day till my last breath.
I went nervous and kept still
“You need to tell me Hele. I don’t want to read anything wrong nor assume. So answer”
I shook my head and meekly whispered “NO”.
“No. I don’t want you to keep away from me. No I don’t want you to stop pursuing me. No I don’t want you to stop thinking or caring about me. No I don’t want you to leave me as everyone else does. No, I don’t want you to care and think about what will happen after 5 months. No, I can’t stay away from you even if I want to” I cried amid tears, my emotions high but every word I spoke being the truth.
“and this…this is what I honestly think, want and feel. But…. but I know you don’t want to and I understand if….” Before I could continue he pulled me into his lap and placed his lips on me.
I wanted this and I am not stepping back, for my selfish reasons and thinking about future I don’t want to let go off my present. I know I have to deal with pain later, but I don’t want to think of it now.
I immersed myself in the kiss and melted in his embrace. As our tongues fought for dominance, I didn’t care if I could breathe. After sometime when we pulled back, he traced my face gently with his fingers, trying to wipe my tear stains and freshly forming tears, he looked at me as if his lie depends on me
“Hele, if whatever you said you mean then it is what will happen”
“You need not Drake, I would never want to hurt you and …”
“Either way it would hurt Hele. But if I don’t think of what would happen and future and enjoy my present, which is with you” he held my hands and continued “then atleast I can live with the memories of being with you”, he took a deep sigh and continued “by the way who knows what will happen in the future. So why worry” he wiggles his eyebrows smiling showing his dimple looking absolutely adorable.
Seeing him smile lifted my mood and I smiled placing my head between his neck and shoulder.
“You look beautiful when you smile”
“Thank you Drake. I don’t know what I would have done, if you had walked away from me”
“I can never do that to you, unless you ask me to” he patted my hair and kissed gently.
I whispered “For once without Plan-B again” smiling to myself.