”Can you give me a hand?” I ask, putting stacks of books into the empty box in front of me; not wanting to leave the apartment without having them near my side—reading is one of the things that I can never stop doing, no matter how convincing someone might be to stop me.
Aidan walks towards my direction before stopping near me, leaving me to look up at him and see that he’s currently giving me a mannequin’s hand which causes me to flinch. He leans his head back into laughters, enjoying my reaction as I tuck a strand of hair behind my ear, not expecting him to literally give me a hand.
”Where the hell did you get that?” I immediately ask as he continues to laugh, making me try my best not to join him.
”Kenna, years of knowing you … never thought you were a creep. I found it in the store room and I don’t even know why you have it,” He replies, taking a closer look at the plastic hand before poking my back with it—making me lean my body forward and away from him.
”Give me that,” I say as I try to take it away from him but he starts to lift it up, away from my reach due to our heights. ”Very funny. Ha ha ha, now give it to me.”
It’s no doubt that Aidan is enjoying this far more than I do as I start to jump up and down to reach the mannequin’s hand but fail miserably, seeing that he’s actually putting it up high. No matter how much effort I put into grabbing the plastic hand, he’ll just continue to lift it higher and higher until I give up.
”If you want it, come take it.” He winks, making a run towards the kitchen.
Within seconds, I am already running after him without caring if we end up making a mess in the process because both of us seem to be finding this as an amusement, laughing and running after one another even though the main reason coming to my apartment, in the first place was to pack my clothes and necessities.
”Aidan, I’m not psychically fit!” I exclaim.
He continues to chuckle as we both circle around the kitchen island, trying my best to grab onto his arm but he manages to slide away. Both of his eyes are gazing directly at me, his lips curving up into a wide grin while his right hand is holding onto the mannequin’s hand up high in the sky—definitely out of my reach.
”Blame yourself for that,” He replies. ”You should’ve agreed to me when I invited you to jog around the block, at least once a week but no … you insisted on going to work. God knows how much calories you could’ve burned if you had accept,” He adds, finding this as an amusement.
Just as I’m about to say something, I suddenly remember that he does have a weakness. His weakness is something I’ve learned years ago when we were teasing each other and by far, I’m the only one who knows about it; not even Dimitri knows about it. The only reason why he insisted on not letting anyone know and never letting his guard down is because he’s embarrassed of anyone ever finding out.
It’s simple. He’s ticklish.
”Fine … you can have the plastic hand. I don’t want it anymore,” I cross my arms before locking my gaze with his—letting him furrow his eyebrows, not expecting me to give up easily.
My reflexes react quickly as I run towards him, tickling the side of his waist which causes him to lose his balance and fall down onto the ground but pulling me with him. My grip on his waist tightens, preparing myself for the fall as he let go of the mannequin’s hand in order to wrap his arms around my waist—not letting my body receive the impact.
With a loud thud, we both fall onto the ground. He groans as he was the one who had received the impact while I landed on top of him—making myself stare down onto his face. Our faces are only inches apart … somehow very close and could lead into something more but all we do is just stare at one another, deeply into each other’s eyes.
Both of my hands are placed onto his chest but I make no further movement to lift myself up from his body and he makes no sign on trying to push me away.
To my surprise, his right hand goes away from my waist and up to my face, slowly tucking a strand of hair behind my ear before glancing down at my lips. We are both frozen at our spot, just waiting for something to happen and we both know, it’s something we doubt.
I don’t know what the hell is going on in my mind nor his. It’s as if we can’t even move away and just stay still which is pretty crazy. Never would I be frozen at my spot when my best friend is trying to kiss me or lean forward and do things I’ve never imagined but for some reason, I can’t move away. I can’t stop him, either.
The truth is, he’s my best friend. I can just push him away or slap his face and pretend it was a sudden gesture but here I am, staring into his eyes and glancing his lips, only waiting and provoking him to continue whatever he has in his mind.
All of a sudden, the doorbell starts to ring which causes us to blink away from the trance. I immediately lift my body up and away from his as he clears his throat, trying to make the surrounding less awkward.
”I’ll get the door,” We both say at the same time, quickly breaking the eye contact afterwards.
”Uh, I’ll just … place the hand where it came from,” He says, standing up and walking towards the back without paying a second glance—leaving me letting out a deep sigh, not really expecting ourselves to ever feel this way. The discomfort.
Without further ado, I gaze at myself in the mirror to fix my hair before heading towards the door. My eyes roll towards the back at the sight of my other best friend, Dimitri. He has a wide smile on his face before patting onto my head and entering my apartment, leaving me closing the door behind me.
”What are you doing here?” I ask, raising an eyebrow.
”Am I not allowed to be here?” He turns to look at me, pretending to be hurt as he places a hand on his chest. ”Kenna, I’m hurt. Just because you married Aidan and not me, that doesn’t mean you can just neglect me as your friend. I need your love more than he does,” He pouts.
”Oh, newsflash … I know him longer than you.” I reply, heading straight towards the boxes on the ground—making sure I have labeled them. It’d be easier for me to unpack later without needing to check one box at a time.
He follows behind me, ”Yeah but I’m more passionate. I understand women better. I understand you better. Aidan can never compare to me because look at me, I have the whole package. Looks, personalities, money … you name it, sister. I’m the perfect guy,” He says, proudly as he presses both of his hands on the kitchen island.
A soft chuckles escapes my lips, ”Why would I need a passionate best friend?” Then, I am already putting the boxes near the front door.
Dimitri frowns, ”To care for you, duh. Why are you even asking me that?” He lets out a deep sigh as he takes a seat on one of my sofas, ”Speaking of passionate … what happened between you and Aidan, last night? How can you still walk?” He asks, glancing down at my legs.
”Come on, Dimitri. Don’t pretend as if he didn’t tell you about the contract. The whole point of our marriage is based on a contract we both made—you would know that,” I reply.
He chuckles, ”I know that, Kenna. I’m just teasing you because who knows? You two might have had some fun, last night. Anything can happen,” He leans in to whisper near my ear, ”Like they say … opposites attract and you both have different sex organs that would fit.” He adds.
”You’re disgusting,” I smack his arm and he groans, not liking the fact that he has gotten more smacks from me than anything else.
Aidan appears from the store room, looking up at Dimitri and I as we both turn to look back at him. He raises an eyebrow at his presence, ”Did someone invite you? Why are you even here? I thought you were on your flight to Chicago,” He continues to make his way towards us.
Dimitri’s lips curve up into a grin, ”Something happened last night and made me miss my flight. She didn’t want me to leave, either … so, don’t blame me.” He chuckles before turning to look at me, ”They never want me to leave. How insane is that?” He sticks his tongue out at me.
Name one person that would actually want Dimitri in their lives. Not as a best friend or a colleague but as a partner. I mean, sure … he has it all. He’s not wrong when he said that he’s the perfect package because a guy like him is hard to find—he just needs to change his ways and his attitude around people.
He’s full of himself. He’s a sweet talker.
I fake the loudest laugh which causes both of them to turn and look at me. Dimitri’s grin fades away immediately as Aidan smirks, enjoying the fact that whenever Dimitri and I meet each other, we’d pick a fight. ”Your ex-wife left you … no offence,” I shrug, walking away.
”Dude … ” He breathes out, ”That was fucking hurtful. I really don’t like you, right now. We need to go on our separate ways for a couple of hours because I need to heal,” He says.
Then again, he’s a great best friend. He’s not the one who would easily get hurt just because I tease him or offend him … he knows it’s all a joke and I’d never really hurt him without any intention of fooling around. Yes, he would pretend to get hurt by placing a hand on his chest but he’s actually just very good in acting. He took drama class in high school, though.
”Well, I’m sorry but my mouth is a savage. I can’t stop it from saying hurtful things,” I reply and heading straight towards the kitchen, clearing the kitchen counter from plates by keeping them in the cabinet.
Aidan, on the other hand, continues to laugh. ”That’s the Kenna we both know and that’s one of the reasons why we still love her, dearly. She’s the only woman that can say that to you, Dimitri because believe me, other women would really take care of that fragile heart of yours in order to buy their expensive Prada handbags,” He says.
”I hate how true that is,” Dimitri takes a bite from an apple in the basket on the kitchen counter.
”Maybe … just maybe, I should find someone to have a serious relationship with. Someone who I’d want to get married and have cute little babies. A perfect mother for Brody and a perfect wife for me,” He continues to talk which causes both Aidan and I to stare at one another in confusion, not expecting him to say anything that has to do with marriage.
He didn’t exactly swear to not get married but after the pain he went through, it would be hard for him to go through it again. Even though he knows that women are not all the same but he must surely think of the possibilities of getting himself hurt is very much still there.
”That’s a surprise, especially coming from you.” I mutter.
”Yeah but that’s just bullshit. I’m not going to find someone to have a serious relationship with or get married and have kids. That’s not going to happen,” He starts to chuckle. ”I’m happy with my current life and Brody, I don’t need anyone else coming in and ruin the fun.” He adds.
Like I said, it’s too good to be true.
The doorbell starts to ring again, catching our attention. Just as I’m about to head towards the door, Dimitri has cut me to it. ”Let me go get the door,” He says and starts to walk towards the living room and straight to the door, leaving me staring at him until he’s out of sight.
My eyes wander to Aidan who is currently going through the pages of my favourite books. He has his eyebrows furrowed as he reads the words but there’s just something more than just seeing him holding onto the book or reading it. It’s the way his head buries down into the book and how focused he is on wanting to find out about the storyline.
”Is Kenna home?” I hear a familiar voice which causes me to turn and make my way towards the front door, seeing Dimitri standing and talking to my ex-boyfriend, Noah.
”Who?” Dimitri asks, quickly leaving me chuckle at his respond. Both of my arms are crossed, waiting for him to step aside and just call for me but he continues with the poker face and the confusion which cheers me up. It’s always fun to see him fool around.
”Uh, Kenna … you know, Kenna Anne Roosevelt? Right, she just got married and she goes with Kenna Anne Ashton, now. Is she home?” Noah asks, looking straight at a ’confused’ Dimitri.
”That name doesn’t really ring any bells,” Dimitri replies, shaking his head and leaning the side of his body onto the wall, ”Are you sure that you’re at the right place? Maybe, you got the wrong address. There’s no Kenna here. Kenna Roosevelt or Kenna Ashton … never heard of those names,” He continues to talk.
It’s not just about how he responded but by the way his face plays a huge role. Anyone and I mean anyone, would believe him because you can’t really seek for a single lie on his face. He seems to be telling the truth and even I would believe him if I were Noah.
”Yeah, this is her apartment. I’m sure I’m at the right place,” Noah replies as he tries to peek inside but Dimitri’s body avoids him from seeing anything, ”Are you sure? I used to be really close with her and … I’m sure she still lives here.” He adds.
Dimitri pretends to think, ”No. I’m sorry,”
”That’s unbelievable. That’s her car,” Noah says before pointing at my car near Aidan’s car. Dimitri looks up at my car but he continues to furrow his eyebrows in confusion, not really understanding a word Noah just said—which causes me to control my laughters.
”Who’s car?” Dimitri asks.
”Kenna’s! That’s her car,” Noah lets out a deep, frustrated sigh. ”You know what? I’m just going to call her—” He stops for awhile to look up at Dimitri, ”—but she changed her number.”
”Mmm, are you one of those guys that can’t move on or a crazy stalker? You said so yourself that she’s married but you’re here looking for whoever she is. What was her name, again? I didn’t quite catch it. Was it Kenya or Kanye?” Dimitri asks, frowning.
”It’s Kenna. Her name is Kenna,” Noah sighs, again.
As Dimitri is about to say something more, I cut him to it as I appear beside him. Noah’s eyes widen at the sight of me before glancing at Dimitri who starts to chuckle before slowly disappearing towards the back, leaving me taking a few steps down towards my ex-boyfriend who is somehow … here in front of my apartment.
”Sorry, that was my friend.” I say, looking at Noah who has both of his eyes gazing into mine before taking a few steps back, letting me stand in front of him.
”Best friend. I’m her best friend,” Dimitri appears at the door again before disappearing, he wasn’t completely satisfied by only labelling him as my ’friend’ instead of my best friend.
”Yeah … that was Dimitri. He’s always like that,” I continue to say before clearing my throat, ”So, why are you here? I didn’t really expect to see you, again.” I ask. It’s true, ever since what happened at the hospital, I’d thought that would be our last encounter but here he is … which leaves me slightly wondering of the reason why.
”Dimitri? The one you’ve been telling me about but I didn’t get the chance to meet him. That … Dimitri?” He asks, raising an eyebrow.
While I was in a relationship with Noah, I told him basically everything but he has only met Aidan. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve told him about Dimitri but he has never got the right chance to see him until now.
”The one and only,” I mutter.
His light eyes are still staring into mine as his lips curve up into a small smile before looking around at our surroundings. The amount of people passing through here is just insane, it really doesn’t matter if it’s during the day or night … people are just always passing around. I guess there are a lot of people who lives in this block.
”I came because I wanted to talk to you,” He starts to speak. ”I’m sorry about how I left off at the hospital—I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was treating you. I mean, I have no right to be upset or mad at you for finding the one,” He adds, slowly.
”I watched the news and I saw that you had gotten married to Aidan. I didn’t really say I had expected that but I’m not fully surprised. You and Aidan were always close and of course, feelings would come forward. I just hope that he wasn’t the reason of our breakup?” He asks.
I tuck a strand of hair behind my ear, ”No. You know exactly why we broke up and he was not the reason. Aidan and I … we realised about our feelings a little bit too late,” I reply.
The look on his face shows a slight amount of relief as he smiles, showing off his dimples. It would be a lie if I said that I’ve never missed him because I had, months after our breakup but I was the one who made the decision and my decision was very clear. There would never be anything between Noah and I, anymore. We both understood that.
”Congratulations,” He breathes out. ”I’m happy for you, Kenna. I’m glad that you’ve found someone to take good care of you and would understand you more than I ever did. You deserve him, the right man for you who would always be there for you, no matter what or how. All I ever wanted is for you to be happy and this proves a lot,” He continues to talk.
”I want you to be happy, too. You know that, right?” I assure him.
Even though we’re no longer a couple, it’s never wrong to want each other to receive a happy life. A happy ending. It may seem as if I’ve found my source of happiness which is my best friend, Aidan but little does he know that this is all just a lie—a year long lie.
”Yes, more than anything. So, thank you for all of the memories and the good things that we’ve been through because it means a lot to me. I hope that you will cherish them, too.” He stays still at his spot as he shoves both of his hands in his jeans’ pockets.
Within seconds, I’ve already pulled him in for a hug. He wraps his arms around my waist to pull me close and for some reason, this feels like the right way to part our ways. We might see each other in the future because New York is never too big but for now, we’re going on our separate ways with different people—this is how we should’ve ended our relationship.
”Goodbye, Noah.” I say with a smile after pulling away.
He turns to look at the door in which I follow his gaze, seeing Aidan standing there with a small smile on his face as he eyes us both.
”Goodbye, Kenna.” Noah says before waving his hand at Aidan who replies back the gesture before turning to look at me, who has turned to look back at him.
We both stare at each other for a few seconds, only to see him going back inside.