"Jeez! Alright." He raised his arms in defense, letting out a low chuckle and chose to sleep on the right while I lay down next to him, making sure that I was almost near the edge of the bed and not even my t-shirt was touching any part of his body. I turned off the lamps and complete silence filled the room except for our heavy breathing.
"You know, you might actually fall off the bed if you move any further." He laughed, making me scowl and I realised that he was actually enjoying this.
"Just shut up and sleep before I kick you off my bed."
"Feisty. I like it." He purred and I felt him shifting beside me. I turned to my side to find him already looking at me. Though the lights were off, the faint moonlight, shone through my window, enough for me to make out his facial features in the darkness.
"Why are you this way?" I asked without thinking twice and he had a surprised look on his face.
"Annoying. Arrogant. Rude. Mean. Inappropriate. Provoking--"
"Woah, hold on. I don't hear anything positive in that list of yours. Is that how you see me?" He asked, an unfamiliar expression adorning his face and I shrugged, licking my lips, waiting for him to say something.
"I am this way because this is who I am, Ridhi." He replied after a long pause and lay flat against the bed with his arms tucked under his head. There was no hint of playfulness or humour in his voice.
"Well, it's not all negative you know. You do care and I've seen it but you just don't show it often." I whispered, thinking about all the moments when he had texted me, asking where I was if I was not home past 8 pm, when he orders food for me, when he helped me with finding a part time job.
"You are being delusional. If I cared, why would I kiss you knowing that I can never give you what you want even though every part of me craves you?!" he asked, looking at the ceiling and my heart stopped for a moment.
Every part of me craves you.
Did he just say that?
I just kept staring at him through the darkness, trying to make out his expression and wondered if he was playing some kind of sick joke with me.
"What are you talking about?"
"If I cared, why would I do something that I know for sure would hurt you, Ridhi?" he finally turned his face to look at me now and I was literally speechless. I could sense the pain in his voice and I wanted nothing more than to hug him and ask him what was bothering him so much.
He wanted me but why can't he be with me?
What was he afraid of?
"You were right. I'm all that you mentioned before and selfish also. Add that to the list." He finished with a sad chuckle and I could feel a lump in my throat.
He was hurt.
I didn't need to look at him to know it.
"I didn't...I didn't mean to..." I started but he cut me off.
"You know, I made up my mind to be done with you when you said that we wouldn't work out, the next morning after our kiss." He started to speak and I wasn't sure if I would be able to handle this.
I had triggered him unknowingly and he was making me feel vulnerable in a totally different way than how I'd imagined.
"It was like you saw right through me and called me out on my bull shit but I was never going to treat you like that, Ridhi. I was angry at you for leaving me that morning, angry at myself for understanding the pain behind your words. Your words cut right through me and I made up my mind that I wasn't going to hurt you anymore because relationship aren't my thing. Not because I love to sleep around or I'm afraid of commitment but because of my own issues." He continued, licking his lips and rubbed his face.
"You aren't like other girls to me, Ridhi. I respect you so much and you are the only friend I have apart from Adam. I decided to go along with your plan and tried to stay away from you because being around and not being able to kiss you or touch you was just so fucking hard." He closed his eyes as if he was having an internal struggle with himself and I couldn't help but reach out and touch his arms.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I was baffled by his confession, still wondering if he was joking with me.
It can't be true.
He can't possibly want a girl like me.
"And then seeing you with that douche bag today, all I could see was red. I was so jealous and scared that he might convince you to go on a another date with him. More scared that you might actually agree. And that's why I kissed you and I don't regret it for a second because I'm selfish like that. I know you can never be mine but I didn't want you to be with him either." He uttered, looking staring into my eyes as tears flowed down my cheeks. I didn't try to hide it anymore and let him see me.
"Yeah, I know I'm a sick bastard and I played dirty but I was so fucking jealous, Ridhi. I've never felt that way before."
I scooted closer towards him, leaving no gap between us. The deal between us long forgotten now. I've never seen him so hurt, vulnerable and in pain. It killed me to know that he was struggling and dealing with everything in his own way.
"Ray, please tell me that you are joking. You can't...it's impossible." I stuttered, trying to find my words. I felt like my heart would explode any moment now and I needed to know that he was being serious.
"I'm not fucking kidding, Ridhi." He breathed out, swallowed hard and I could notice his Adams apple bobbing up and down his throat.
"Why---why can't you just be with me?" I sobbed, not caring if I looked like a crying mess and he reached out to wipe my tears with a small frown.
"You won't understand. It's for the best. Consider me doing you a favor and God, please don't cry. It makes me feel like shit." He had a serious look on his face and I noticed his jaw clenching in pain. I could feel the warmth of fingers as he wiped away my tears and I leaned into him. I took his hand and tried to pull him closer but he pulled away from me.
"Please, Ridhi. You would be glad that I stopped you now if you knew about the darkness looming inside me. I don't want to drag you along with me."
"That is for me to fucking decision. Why are you pushing me away? All this time I thought you didn't like me. I thought you were just a spoilt brat, sleeping around with girls and I just didn't want to be one of them." I spoke through my tears, trying to get out my words, clear enough for him to understand.
"Didn't like you? Heck, I liked you since the second I set my eyes on you." He let out a small chuckle, caressing my cheeks softly and my poor heart couldn't take it anymore. I cried more thinking about how wrong I had been the whole time.
He sure had a weird way of showing that he liked me.
Nobody has made me feel so much emotions and I hated that he was trying to shut me away.
What could possible be hurting him?
"I know you think that you can fix me and everything but trust me, Ridhi. I'm far from being fixed. I'm broken beyond repair." He added with no emotion in his voice.
I didn't want to push him any further now and remained silent until my sobs faded away.
I felt like I just went on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and even though a part of me was frustrated that he was not letting me decide for myself, the other part of me just wanted to hold him tightly, hoping that I could ease his pain, whatever demons he was fighting. I wanted to fight it along with him.
And that's what I did.
"Atleast let me hold you for sometime," I pleaded with my eyes and threw my arms around his body, laying my head on his chest. He didn't push me away but I felt him go still and he let out his breath slowly, almost as if he was afraid to take a another breath. Neither of us spoke a word and I continued to hug him tighter until I felt his arms around my body.
I could hear his heart beating so fast and I slowly placed my palm above his bare chest and inhaled his deep musky cologne which had a hint of his sweat, driving me crazy. I wanted to stay in his arms forever and this felt so damn right. It felt so different compared to the other two times when we had fallen asleep together.
This felt emotional and intimate.
"Who is Adam?" I asked after a long silence between us, hoping that he wasn't asleep.
"My high school friend. The one who you thought was selling drugs to me the other day." He replied with a small chuckle and I blushed, recalling that day. He had me pinned against the wall and we had our almost first kiss and I felt my body tingling just at the thought of it.
"You are blushing, aren't you?"
"You wish." I smiled against his chest and let out a soft sigh, "I'm glad that they weren't drugs.What were those pills for anyway?" I asked, something that I've been meaning to ask him for a long time. He went stiff underneath me and I panicked that I had pushed him far. I was scared that he might pull away from me but he tightened his grip around my body and I relaxed a bit.
"It's just something that helps me with my nightmares." He said it out loud and I remained silent, not asking him anything further.
I could live with this for now.
"You know, I didn't have any nightmares when we fell asleep on the couch and even the other day when we cuddled together in my bed." He started to speak and I lifted my head to look at him.
"Do you have it often?" I asked, afraid of his response but all he did was give me a slight nod.
"The pills do help sometimes but not that effective. Not as effective as you." He smirked and I scrunched my eyebrows in confusion.
"Told you I had my reasons for wanting you to stay." He winked as the realisation hit me with full force.
"You blackmailed me because--"
"Because I was scared that you might leave me and I would have to deal with my nightmares. All alone." He finished, stroking my hair and I almost melted under his touch, "Selfish again." He whispered, looking at me like nothing else mattered in this world and I blinked back my own tears.
"I don't see it that way." I whispered back, tracing his jawline and he sucked in a deep breath.
"There is no other way to see it, sweetheart. You should know that..." He paused, taking a deep breath, "I wouldn't stop you if you ever decide to leave. I was just kidding with the blackmail and stuff."
"I wasn't planning on leaving in the first palce. Why can't you say that you will miss me if I leave like a normal person instead of blackmailing me?" I rolled my eyes and lay my head back on his chest while his chest rumbled up with laughter.
A sound that I was now addicted to.
"Like I said, sometimes you just see right through me and it scares the hell out of me." He sighed, kissing my forehead.
"I hate to break the moment but I was right before." He whispered, running his fingers along my arms.
"You simply can't keep your hands off me," he laughed and I couldn't help but break into a huge smile.
"Shut up, asshole. Maybe this was all a part of your plan," I mumbled against his chest and he just hummed in response.
"Maybe. Damn, this could have been a sick prank." He tsked while I pinched his arm, making him hiss in pain.
"Now this is too feisty for my liking." He chuckled, rubbing the spot that I had pinched.
How did this evening end up like this? I was almost on the verge of killing him but now I was hugging him like my whole life depended on him.
And that's when I realised that I was in love with this asshole.
I was undeniably and head over heels in love with Ray Anderson.