FLAME

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Follow your heart.

I couldn’t concentrate on anything else after that. My mind was a mess thinking about the events of last night and that morning. I was confused with my action and ashamed of myself.

So I sneaked out of my school during the third period unable to withstand Ryan’s good mood and his questions about my low spirits. I just needed some space, from everything. Suddenly my life felt so stuffy.

I wandered around the streets aimlessly trying to run away from my problems. I know they will catch up to me eventually, but I just needed this feeling to be free… however short it might be.

I came back to school after-hours once I know there will be no one at school. I sat under my favorite tree and started writing my journal to unfurl the complexity of my mind. I always felt like I could think clearly after I wrote everything in my journal.

“I thought I would find you here.” I heard Ryan’s voice behind startling me.

“I was worried when you suddenly disappeared.” He sounded troubled.

“May I?” he asked my permission if he can sit pointing to the ground beside me and I nodded yes.

We didn’t talk for few minutes. I closed my journal waited for him to talk. I could guess how he felt all day but how would I tell him that it was the opposite of what he is thinking.

“Do you regret it?” he asked me out of a sudden. I understood what he was talking about. Although I guessed it, it shocked me that he would think that and I felt guilty for making him think like that. After all, I am the one responsible.

“No… Of course, no.” I urgently said looking at him.

“Then why did you run away?” he asked me looking at me with so much sadness in his eyes. I couldn’t keep looking at him, so I turned away.

“It’s complicated,” I said simply. How would I explain what I feel and think when I don’t even know myself?

“But it’s not what you think, though. It’s just that… I don’t regret it.” I continued thinking that I owe him some kind of explanation for my behavior.

“I was confused because it felt good kissing you.” I blurted it out before I could stop myself. Although I couldn’t tell him the entire story that I also kissed Vian. I don’t want to break his heart even before anything started between us.

“Why does that confuse you?” he asked me but also he couldn’t hide his smile forming on the corner of his lips after hearing what I said.

“Because… I think I like you, and I didn’t realize it until today.” I said to him with a doubtful look and an awkward smile.

Hearing that his smile widened made me smile. I must admit I didn’t think about anything else at that moment. I was in the moment enjoying the happiness spreading over me because I made Ryan happy. I see him in a new light now that I admitted that I liked him.

He slowly leaned towards me lowering his head without breaking eye contact like he was drawn to me. Once he was near enough his movement slowed a bit like he is waiting for my approval. There isn’t any hesitation on my mind this time. I was ready to receive all the love that he can give me from that moment.

His lips moved on mine slowly lighting up my senses. His hand positioned my head suitable for him, and he took the opportunity to roam inside my mouth when I gasped for air. His lips were slow, and ravishing every bit of mine and the kiss was sensual.

“Hey who is there?” we heard the security guard, flashing the light on us.

“We should leave now,” I said in between our giggles.

“Yeah, we should.” He agreed but didn’t try to move an inch.

We couldn’t stay anymore, it was already late. Ryan dropped me at home, and we kissed again at his car before we both parted ways.

When I entered the house, I saw my grandma, Vian, and Jay sitting around the dining table in front of a cake with candles.

‘Shit… I forgot grandma’s birthday.’ I was the one who planned to cut her a cake in the evening after school and I totally forgot about it.

“I am so sorry gra… before I could continue Vian stood up kicking the chair harshly and walked away passing me without even throwing a glance.

“I am sorry Grandma. I am sorry Jay. I don’t know how I forgot it. I was talking with Ryan and then…” I tried to explain why I was late.

But Jay cut me. “I don’t know what you are up to these days Ava but remember that we are your friends. When was the last time you spent time with us? I understand that now you are dating but you should make some time for your friends too. You promised that we would spend the night together with Grandma yet what did you say? You were with Ryan? If you want to spend all the time with him then why do you need us?” he said in exasperation and left the place with a disappointed look despite my and my Grandma’s efforts to stop him.

“It’s ok dear. I am not at the age to celebrate. After all, I am 60.” My grandma tried to lighten my mood up.

“No grandma. It’s not ok.” I sighed deeply looking down on the floor. I don’t know how I am going to fix this.

“Have something to eat before you go.” My grandma offered.

“No grandma. I am not hungry. I will just go to sleep.” I just kept walking towards my room.

I collapsed on my bed spreading my hands and legs wider as soon as I entered my room. I don’t know if life is this hard or it’s just that I am making it complicated. Why can’t I keep all the people I love happy? Why am I hurting one or the other including myself?

I heard a knock on my door, and I saw my Grandma walking in. She sat beside me and slowly stroked my hair smiling angelically.

Her smile and her touch made me relax and tears secreted in my eyes. I moved to lie down my head on her lap, and she welcomed me.

“I am sorry grandma. I don’t how I forgot it. I never forgot your birthday before.” I said wiping my eyes and sniffing.

“It’s ok dear. You must have something else on your mind. It’s quite normal you know. Your Grandfather never once remembered my birthday except for that one time. It was my first birthday after we had started dating.” She consoled me by joking about it, and it made me snicker in between tears.

“You wanna talk about it?” she asked me after a few silent moments.

“No,” I said in a croaked voice. I was about to cry at this point.

“I won’t judge. You can trust me.” she encouraged me slowly brushing my hair. I looked at her surprised raising my head. I wonder how she read my mind.

“I have been waiting for you to come to talk to me like you did always but you didn’t. I observed that you looked troubled and always tired these days.” She continued. I can’t say I wasn’t emotionally drained these days.

I stayed silent for a moment, but I believed that she might give me some answers to my problem. “Do you think loving two persons at the same time is possible?” I asked away, but I felt so embarrassed for even asking this to her. “I mean… I’ve seen it in movies, but I never believed in it.” I continued.

“Yes, you could.” She answered to my surprise. I sat up on the bed to take a good look at her to see if she was playing with me or something.

“I don’t get it. how?” I inquired.

“A mother can love both of her children, right?”

“Yeah… but that’s different.” I denied.

“No Ava, it’s not. Love may come in different forms but love is just love.” She said smiling.

“But a mother is not obliged to choose.” I was getting more and more curious at my grandma’s words.

“Yeah, and you don’t have to too.” She assured me.

“How?”

“I told you. Love comes in different forms. You just have to find out how and why you love someone. No one has to stop loving anyone.”

“I don’t get it, grandma,” I said more confused.

“You are just thinking about just one form of love, Ava. The love between a girl and a boy. There is more to love than just that. The love between a father and a daughter, mother and son love. The love between two good friends. It’s all the same. Not one love is superior to the other. It just takes different forms.” She explained.

“I understand now, but it doesn’t help my case.” I sighed lowering my head. Honestly, I can’t correlate my problems with my grandma’s words.

I have feelings for Vian first, who is my best friend. I realized that I like Ryan too. I kissed both of them. Although they both made me feel differently I cannot say I disliked any of them. What is wrong with me?

“Your mother had had feelings for someone before she met your dad. They stayed as friends even after that, but she never revealed her feelings to that said person. His name is Willie. I still remember her crying like a baby when your father proposed to her knowing her feelings for the other guy asking her to choose. Now that she has to choose between the two people who she loves, she was devastated. I don’t know why, but she chose your dad, although it ended tragically I know she was happy all those years. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t love the other guy anymore. It’s just that her love for him took a different form. Whatever form it may be, I guess only your mother knows.” She talked patting on my back. I lied down again, leaning my head on her lap in the middle of our conversation.

“I am gonna say what I said to your mother. Follow your heart. It might not sound logically right to you but your heart knows whom you love.”

“So tell me about those boys. I promise I won’t tell your mother.” She teased making me laugh.

And I told her. “One of them is like the Sun. He is warm, caring and his smile brightens up my day. His touch spreads warmth all over my body making me relax and leave me in peace. He makes me happy and when I am with him I forget all my problems. He makes me feel good about myself. If this is going to be a long-term relationship, I know it in my heart that I will be happy.”

“And then there is this other guy. He is like the ice under the moon. Just a look from him can make my knees go jelly and create an illusion of a world that only he and I present. Just a mere brush of his skin sends tingles all over my body, painful like touching the ice yet so delightful making my body tremble in anticipation for more. Even if he is near, I crave more of him. In his absence, I can’t keep him out of my mind and I feel like I could breathe only when my eyes find him. My life feels so unpredictable and adventurous not knowing what he would do or say next minute that makes me fall for him yet again.”

“Being with him makes my heart pound, like having twenty-four-hour adrenaline rushes. I know it looks like I like this guy more but I also know that he is the forbidden fruit. I can never touch him, and I will never get my chance.”

“I also feel that right now I want something predictable… something that makes me happy. I don’t want any complications, and I don’t know if it’s the right thing but I am sure it’s a good thing for me.” I finished telling her everything that I was supposed to write in my diary and talking with her made my thoughts clear like still water. I now know what I should do.

“I guess you had your answer all along, sweetheart. I think you were just afraid that you might give in to the temptations.”

Oh boy, can she be not right for once?

………………………………………………………………..

You were the forbidden fruit.

Yet I want you.

You lure me with your deep gaze.

To thirst for you.

You tempt me with those sinful lips.

To crave for you more.

Oh, what would I do to escape?

How a fly does escape from the spider web?

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