Don't Stay Close to Me

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“What?!” They chorused so loud and I cringe.

“You met his ex?” Shane asked dramatically.

“Yes. Do I have to repeat myself?” I said sarcastically.

“How does she look? I bet she’s ugly.” Rich asked.

“Nope. She’s beautiful…she’s a model.” Jane said and I nodded.

“It’s true, she’s beautiful.” I said and they gaped.

“But she’s a bitch for ditching Cousman.” Jane said slumping on the bed next to me.

“Enlighten us.” Rich said.

“But I just know a little about what happened.” She said but the two, Shane and Rich made pleading puppy eyes.

“C’mon, say it…you opened the topic.” I said and she sighed.

“Sometimes, I need to control my mouth!” She grumbled while Shane and Rich cheered.

“Go, and tell us!” They demanded.

“Okay! So, what I heard is that… they were in England that time when Phoebe got a big break while Cousman was assigned here. He wanted to keep their relationship but that Phoebe broke up with Cousman and after few days got in a relationship with her boss slash suitor.” Jane said bitterly or should I say angrily.

“Calm down, tiger.” I teased as I pat her shoulder and she glared at me.

“Nuts!” She shouted and hit me with a pillow.

“Ah, you’re challenging me!” I said and I hit her.

“Pillow fight!!!!” We screamed and we started hitting each other.

We pillow fought until we all slump on the bed, laughing and panting.

“Hey, Jadyn… I’m happy that Cousman and you are together.” Jane said and I tinged.

“Jeez, thanks.” I said and they giggled.

“Hey, girls…dinner’s ready.” Axel said, getting without notice and Jane threw a pillow.

“What’s your prob?” Axel said exasperatedly.

“Knock before you come in a girl’s room!” She scolded and he just closed the door.

“Come down if you want to eat.” He yelled.

“Stupid!” She yelled back.

“You two always quarrel.” Rich said and she turned to her.

“What do you mean?” Jane asked.

“I mean if you two are not cousins you can be…”

“YUUUUUUUUUCK!” Jane exclaimed and hit Rich with a pillow that she caught.

“Defensive!” Shane taunted and ran out of the room before Jane can get her.

“Shane!” Jane shouted and ran to chase her while Rich and I sauntered out of the room peacefully.

“Hey, stop running!” I heard Axel grumble.

“Whatever Jerk!” Jane said just as we came in the dining room.

“You’re such a brat!” Axel said and locked her head in his elbow.

“Let go, bastard!” Jane said, wiggling.

“Axel, let go of Jane we still need her.” I said jokily and he turned to me.

“Yes, sister-in-law.” Axel said and let go of Jane while she held her head, grimacing and I raised an eyebrow on him.

“Jerk!” Jane yelled and smacked his head.

“Why you!” He growled and they started running around the house.

“The usual.” Professor Hanely said as he comes in the dining room carrying a tray with a roasted chicken.

“Let me get that.” I said and he let me settle it on the table.

“I’ll go get the plates and others…” Rich said and sauntered in the kitchen.

“I’ll go get the two.” Shane said and went out of the dining room.

Rich and I set the table while Professor Hanely bring in the food. We were done setting the table when Jane came in fast paced.

“Hey, are you okay?” I asked, curious of her mood and she turned to me.

“Huh? Yeah, I’m fine.” She said and sat on her seat. Then, Axel went in, quiet with Shane behind him. I looked at Shane with a ‘what-happened?’ look but she just shrugged.

Axel sat opposite to Professor Hanely whish sat on the other end of the table while Rich sat opposite to me that is next to Professor Hanely while Shane is opposite to Jane, next to Axel.

“Hey, guys, are you alright?” Rich asked, looking at Axel and Jane.

“Yeah, we’re fine…let’s just eat.” Axel said and reached out for the vegetable salad and we just exchanged looks and shrugged.

Sometimes, they can be so weird. We started to eat since Axel already started eating. Jane was just quiet which is so strange to us. You know she’s always blabbing and anything, just not noisy until now and I just know something happened. But what? I’ll know that later. Ha!

“I’m done.” Jane said standing up and picked her plates and went to the kitchen.

“Axel, what did you do with Jane?” I asked accusatively.

“What? I didn’t do anything!” He said defensively and stood up.

“I’m done, too.” He said and went in the kitchen but immediately went out of it then went out of the dining room.

“The two of them are so weird.” Rich said and I nodded.

“Shane? Do you know something?” I asked Shane and her head jolt up to look at me.

“Hmm? No. I don’t know anything.” Shane said and went back to eating.

“You’ll never get something from her.” Rich said.

“Yeah.” I agreed.

“Maybe those two are just chilling… they ignore each other when one invades something private, things or topics.” Professor Hanely said and we turned to him.

“They are always like that?” Rich asked.

“Yup…always, and it’s always Axel’s fault.” He said, laughingly.

“Aha. I thought so.” I said and he smiled.

When we finished eating, Rich and Shane cleared the table while I go cleaned the dishes and Professor Hanely kept the leftovers. After we finished cleaning up, we all strode out of the room then met Jane on the stairs.

“Hey.” I said and she smiled—a wicked playful smile.

‘What’s in her mind?’

I saw her winked and before I could react, Shane took my hand and pulled me up while Rich took Professor Hanely.

“Hey, what are you doing?!” I grumbled as they drag me through the hallway.

“Just walk!” They chorused.

Then, we reached to a room door almost at the end of the hallway. Jane hurriedly opened the door and then pushed me in, followed by Professor Hanely then closed the door and I can hear them giggle.

“Hey! Open the door!” I yelled twisting the knob and banging the door.

“They locked it from outside.” Professor Hanely said and I turned to him, he’s sitting on the edge of the bed. I just noticed he’s wearing a black low-cut V-neck tee and cloth pants—Handsome…and sexy, I must say.

“Don’t you have any spare key?” I asked and he shook his head.

“I don’t keep spare keys of my room.” He said and my brow creased.

And it dawned to me. This is his room.

His room is big with cream and brown theme color and has a double king-sized bed and there’s a corridor on the left and bookshelves on the right and couches and a center table.

“C’mon. Sit here.” He said but I didn’t move.

“You can’t do anything.” He said and I sighed so I reluctantly walked towards the bed and sat beside him. Then when I looked around again, I saw pictures—pictures of him in different places, US, France, Tokyo and—England.

‘They were in England that time when he was dumped…. but now she’s here… why?’

“I wonder what you are thinking.” He said and I turned to him.

“Huh?” I asked, collecting my thoughts from the trance I had.

“What are you thinking?” He asked poking my forehead.

“Nothing.” I said.

‘Will I ask him?’

“Ask it.” He said and I snapped—did he just read my mind?

“Why…why did you break up?” I asked tentatively.

“Oh, that’s it…. well…” He trailed off, like thinking of what to say.

“You don’t need…”

“No, it’s okay… I don’t want to keep anything from you.” He said and I felt a sudden churn in my stomach. Here it is…I’ll know the story.

“Okay.” I said and he sighed.

“I was assigned to teach in one of the schools in England and there we met. We have so many things in common…I thought so. We were in our fourth year then, I’m ready to ask her to marry me but…” He trailed off and I can sense the hurt in his voice.

“It’s okay…you don’t have to tell it.” I said but he shook his head.

“I asked her in a dinner date, well, to propose. I was aiming for the perfect timing when she said she had this big break; she’s modeling in France biggest modeling agency. I almost backed down but I thought marrying her will assure me that we’ll be bonded though the day of my transfer will come. But when I asked her, she asked for time to think of it…. And then one day she texted me. She broke up with me through text. No reasons at all. Then, after two weeks I found out she’s already in relationship with Nicolas, her boss.” He said and I can see the pain in his eyes. The most painful question took in to me.

‘Does he still love her? Will I ask that? —but can I handle the pain? But he said he loves me…and I trust him…’

“Kent.” I mumbled and he turned to me.

“Yeah?” He said and I took in a deep inhale and exhaled slowly then turned to him.

“Do you still love her?” I asked and he just smiled.

‘What is he smiling about? This is not funny.’

“No. I don’t love her anymore…” He trailed off and pulled me closer to him, put his hands on both of my cheeks and rested his forehead to mine.

“I love you.” He said, his breath fanning my face then I felt a sudden burden went off my heart and I smiled.

He gently pushed me on the bed, eyes not tearing from each other. His body pressed on to mine.

“Do you want me to prove it to you?” He asked and I felt my body scorched—a twist in my groin and I gulped.

“Just kidding.” He said and went off me, laughing and I snapped then grabbed a pillow.

“You’re mean!” I grumbled, throwing him the pillow but he kept on laughing clutching his stomach.

“I’m –I’m not mean ---just kidding.” He breathed out after every laugh.

“Ha-ha. You’re funny!” I said sarcastically as I sit up.

“But seriously….” He trailed off as he climbs up the bed again.

“She’s the past and you’re my present…and my future.” He said and I melt inside.

Then he leaned forward, cupping my face then brushed his lips on mine.

“Always remember that.” He said and I nodded.

And he kissed me again—deep this time and I took it willingly.

‘I’ve got every reason to trust him—he assured it. She’s his past, I’m his present…and future.’

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