Five Fifteen

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XI

I dreamt about him before I woke up. I was more lucid there than I am here now.

“Why the long face?” he asked.

“Am I pouting that much?”

He nodded as he slurped through the red straw that his drink has. “You sure are. What’s the matter?”

“I dreamt about Tyler. That he found someone better than I am.”

He then gave me an amused, doubting glance from across the table. “What? You’re in a bad mood because of some stupid dream that you had?”

I’m young enough to be disappointed by such dreams and of all the things I could dream about, why does it have to be that? I wanted to tell him those words but I was reluctant about it, he might make fun of me again. So instead, I looked at him then I asked, “How about you? Why are you in such a jovial mood, Leone? You’re even blushing.”

“I’m not!” he denied yet he blushed even more then he gave in, “Perhaps, I am. You remind me of someone special to me especially because she’s as childish as you are. Young at heart if I were to describe both of you in a good way.”

This was an hour before our afternoon classes started. I’ve been here for almost two months now and the weather for the past days has been more chilly than the first time that I arrived. The air is so calming but my mind never calmed down for it always ponders the question what if Tyler really met someone who he now loves more than me? What I’m trying to verbalize is that I don’t know how to describe the stress and frustration I’m feeling right now. School’s requirements and some things make me so distressed then the dream I talked about with Leone concocted pretty much everything that makes me enervated. But as the famous French Poet Victor Hugo said, Aimons toujours. Aimons encore! So I will.

Sitting at my chair for several hours gave my thoughts the chance to drift away from the lessons that are being discussed in front of me. It wandered far to the point it got the chance to finally see Tyler again, up close and so real. I could feel my body rotting as I sat longer but at least my mind is somewhere along the pages, free from any damage.

“Now look who’s blushing.” Leone whispered as he scanned the pages of his book to look like he’s well participating in the discussion so he won’t get caught chit-chatting with me.

“Leave me alone. Not because you’re done with your own moment awhile ago you have the right to tease me now.”

“Okay, you’re the boss for now Jack. Prepare yourself after we get out of this hell loop.” He chuckled softly then at the end of it, he let a beautiful smile pass through my eyes as he faced towards the board.

Before the boredom got the chance to kill us all, the bell rang then Mr. Zachery dismissed us all. Before I left the classroom I asked the twins if they wanted to come with me to Cambridge Centre. I just wanted to give them some of my time since they’ve been so good to me. I wanted to treat and bond with them.

“We’d like that. Let’s go!”

“I’ll head to my apartment first, just to put my things down then I’ll meet you guys there in thirty. Sounds good?”

“Yeah. We’ll be there.”

After I put my things down I called Tyler but he didn’t pick up so I assumed that he’s busy with his school work or maybe he’s somewhere with his new friends, bonding like we, Addi and Leone, will be doing later. I headed to the mall and just as we planned, when I finally spotted them, we instantly headed to different stores and I bought some new clothes for myself. Afterwards, I treated them to some snacks as we went to the cinema to see a movie. It was also my treat by the way. We sat in the middle area of the movie theatre, that way we won’t be too close and also we won’t be too far from the screen. We sat here for hours, muted as we enjoyed the movie and all I could say is that I’m certain that all three of us were susceptible to the fact that we shared similar emotions that spoke in behalf of our repressed feelings that we never shared with each other. I still don’t know them the same way I know Tyler but at that very moment, it felt like I somehow knew them for a very long time, that I already knew everything about them, including the confidential stuff we’ve never mentioned to each other. We’re all happy as we enjoy our leisure time doing something simple, not much of an adventure, but at least we’re having fun. I never expected that I’d feel this way again.

Evening came and we all started to feel tired but Leone still had the right amount of energy inside him. He grabbed my hand together with his sister then he took us to some store that was selling different stuff including Karaoke machines. He knew one of the staff there and he asked permission to use one of the samples that is displayed outside the shop. He then pressed some numbers then in just a few seconds music started to play. He sang marvelously and I won’t deny that he took me by surprise. He has this soft voice but the more you listen, you’ll find it more powerful as you immerse yourself to his soul as he does his thing. After rendering a few songs, I asked them if they wanted to have dinner at Trinity, but to my surprise Addison asked me, “How about you have dinner at our place? I believe that mom prepared a feast for us. We’ve told her a lot about you so she insisted that we take you home tonight so she could meet the only friend that we made so far.”

“Cool. Let’s get going then! I’m starving.”

At once, we travelled down the road to go to their home. The way we hastened to carry on with our plan made me yearn more for Tyler because there’s not a day that would pass me by that I won’t think about how much I want him to meet them. We always travelled together and now he’s not the person I’m now with but I know that fate will somehow bind us together and someday, when time is right again for the two of us, I’ll be by his side and I’ll never leave him again.

By the time I set foot in their household I felt its warmth, it’s like I’m being welcomed by some force that I can’t explain. You could smell the lavender scent by standing at the door, it brings a delicate purple hue to the walls and I somehow felt I was at home, back in Ontario, together with my dad. The windows frames are made out of mahogany and the house itself is full of different ornaments. When I came in, I could hear an old song playing from a gramophone, such soothing sounds made me relaxed and free from any worries, at least just for that moment. We sat at the sofa, our place of comfort and rest, as we waited for their mom to go down the stairs. Meanwhile, as we were talking about the movie that we just watched a while ago, a woman in her forties or maybe fifties suddenly came down and looked at me.

“You must be Jack.”

“Yes I am, Mrs. Williams.” Then I couldn’t think of more words to add so I just simply smiled at her.

“Your smile is lovely as a newborn’s first smile, my child. Promise me that you’ll take care of that precious bright beam of yours and don’t let anyone take it away from you.”

To get such compliment and comforting words from someone I barely know made my heart flutter in joy and she somehow reminds me of my mom. Then I replied, “I’ll make sure to keep that in my mind.”

“I know all of you are starving, let’s go eat. The food is already served at the dining area.”

As we feasted we talked a lot about my life before I get here in Cambridge, Mrs. Williams didn’t also let me off the hook as she asked a lot of questions about my boyfriend. She was amused by how I describe him and she quoted “I’d like to meet him someday. I’m sure he’s just as lovely as you are.”

“He’s sure not. I’m certain that he’s much more ravishing than I am.”

We had a lot of fun. We even indulged ourselves with a dance as we sway our body along with the rhythm of the music playing from their gramophone. Afterwards, their mom went upstairs to finally get some sleep and the three of us were the only ones left in the living room. We didn’t talk much but from time to time I ask them about some things that I see around there house, the picture frame that’s hanging at the for instance. We all laid there so blue, so tired, that I even forgot that I have to go back to my apartment. I spent hours staying there and right before I say my goodbye to them I received a phone call from Tyler’s cell. When I picked up, I asked him immediately, “How’s your day? I called you earlier but you didn’t pick up. Were you busy? With school or some friends?”

“Jack, this is his mom. Tyler couldn’t answer his phone a while ago because we rushed him to the hospital. He collapsed for the third time and we couldn’t just sit here and do nothing. You deserve to know the truth.”

I couldn’t breathe as she spoke, I feel like her words are slowly choking me to death. I’m scared, trembling even. Chilling sweats dripped down my face and I no longer hear anything aside from her voice. I couldn’t even swallow the saliva that is sitting down to my frozen tongue. Every natural body movement was on hold and for a moment my mind went black but then a voice reached out to me, kept on calling my name. “Are you still there Jack? Jack can you hear me?”

“Yes, I’m still here. What do you have to tell me about Tyler, Mrs. Cohen?”

“He was diagnosed with Colorectal cancer a few weeks back and he refrained us from telling you. He didn’t want you to worry but he’s suffering, a lot.”

Tears started to fill my eyes and my heart is being tormented by the fact that Tyler suffered yet he still chose to think of what’s good for me. Experiencing such agony frightened out my wits and I started to feel the heat burning my body as it grips me.

“I’ll be there as soon as I can.” I hung up then Addison asked who it was.

“Tyler’s mom. I have to go back to him, Addi.”

“Why? Did something happen?”

“Tyler has cancer. I don’t need to go back to him, but I want to. My life here, with the both of you, has been fun and all, but it’ll never compare to the life I spent with Tyler, back in Ontario. Before I met him, my life was just a mere prologue, but then he came and my story progressed a lot since then. And when I left him, it all went back to the start. My life could only be lived where Tyler is at and it’s not here.”

“When will you go?” she asked in a low tone.

“Tomorrow? The next day? As soon as I can.”

Then Leone asked, “How about school? How about your studies? Our dreams?”

“I have a lot of time for that Leone. But Tyler needs me now. And who knows what could happen in the coming days that I won’t still be able to spend with him? I don’t want to live my life with full of regrets so—”

Addison interrupted me as I was speaking, “You’re right. It’s heart-breaking to tell you this, but we’ll support you. Nothing could ever stop us from doing anything for the ones we love, right?”

I hugged both of them very tight as we let our tears wash us, “Thank you for the little time the both of you gave me. I’ll never forget this.”

“So we will... we’ll all see each other again, right Jack?”

“I’ll make that happen. I promise.”

The next day I sent a mail to the head of Massachusetts Institute of Technology stating that I’ll be dropping out from their academy due to personal reasons then the day after that, I flew back to Ontario. The night that I spent time with Leone and Addison in their home was the best night I ever had there in Cambridge. But it also became the worst one. We had our fun, but as we did so, I didn’t realize that we were making memories too, remembrance that I’ll look back on. I wish I got the chance to know more about the twins but Tyler is my utmost priority for now. I’m literally going to cross ocean for him, that’s how important he is to me. I’m never going to treat him like an after thought, not now, not ever.
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