It has been almost half a year since I last stepped in my own home. It was really good to see familiar faces. It did not feel like I have been gone for quite a long time. As I scanned the crowd, there was one face that I was not able to see—his.
After dumping my things in my room, I went straight to my favorite place in town—the waiting shed near the lake. I was not sure why there was a waiting shed there. It was like there were cars passing that part of the town, which there was not. Nobody seemed to know that part anymore. It was like that place did no exist to most people.
My heart seemed to beat a bit louder than usual upon seeing the name of the caller. I breathed heavily before answering, “Hello?” The beat got louder every second that passed that the caller did not speak. It made me more curious on why he called.
“I heard you came back,” he said. He sounded somehow happy, like he was smiling at the other end. He added, “Where are you?”, before I could even tell him that I was back but him asking me where I was—it was just what I was hoping for. His voice seemed deeper than usual or maybe I just was not able to hear it that much for the past six months.
I cleared my throat. “The usual.” I knew that he knew what I meant. I could just say, “You know” and he would be able to find out where I was. My life was an open book for him, and only him, to read. When he hung up the phone, I knew I only had to wait for ten minutes before I had company.
I felt that a lot has changed since the last time I have been home. A part of me was hoping that a part of that change would be the way his family saw me—the girl who brought nothing but trouble. I was not that girl anymore. I also changed—maybe not in super big ways but I did.
I could remember the times I visited him in his house and did not know some of his friends were there. I got a lot of glares as if they were trying to kill me with their eyes. I got looks of disgust as if I was a trash from the dumpster or something worse. I got used to it but that did not mean I did not feel bad about it. Especially when we he and I started dating, it would have been nice if they actually showed a little bit of support, even for him and ignoring me like the usual, but no. I just had to disappear from everyone’s life, his life, for a while. I had to breathe a new air, to walk on a different ground, and to see different people.
I felt frozen in place when a hand covered my eyes. “Guess who?” the person asked. It was one of the games no one actually was playing anymore, but it was one of the things I was glad that did not change. I could never have mistaken that voice to be somebody else’s. There were not much guys who had the same deep voice. In town, I was pretty sure he was the only one who had a voice that deep.
I laughed softly. “Jonathan.” It almost came off as a whisper. I knew I had a smile on my face, probably wider than how I intended it to be. I heard a low laugh before he removed his hand and sat next to me. I did not even give him enough time to seat properly. I just threw my body towards him and hugged him.
“I missed you too.” He laughed. He did not push me away or anything, instead, he wrapped his arms around me, the way he used to. That made me feel like I was really home.
When I pulled away from him, I was able to see those eyes that I missed looking at. It was those eyes that reassured me, without him speaking, that everything will be okay, when the situation seemed like it was not going to get any better. “How have you been?”
“Truth or lie?” he asked.
It was another thing that we used to do. There are times when we would rather hear the lie than the truth. So, before spilling something, even the tiniest detail, we ask each other what the other would want to hear.
“Truth.” I saw how his expression turned gloomy. I breathed heavily, getting myself ready for whatever bad news or story he was going to break to me.
Jonathan pressed his lips together. “I was a mess since you left. The others might have been happy, but not me. I was mad at you for leaving because it made me feel like what they say matter more than us.” He was right. He had the right to be mad at me.
“I did not want to leave in the first place, but when I looked at myself in the mirror, it made me think that maybe they were right. Maybe you deserve so much better than just me.” My voice cracked at the end. I never thought I would be saying those words to him. I was not going to cry, but it was a relief to tell him what got into my mind before I decided to leave.
He shook his head. “There are times when what others say do not matter at all. You just have to cherish what you have before you lose it completely.”
I furrowed my brows and looked at him. The excitement in my system went down the drain. What he said made me wonder if I have lost him. I would not blame him if I had because I was the one who made mistakes, and I was the one who left. “I know. I screwed up, big time. I might have lost everything. I could not blame anyone but me.”
The silence that followed was deafening. It made me want to stand up and to leave, but I have done it once and I just got back. I would not be doing that again, unless I really had to. I started to pinch my hand, the way I always do when I am nervous. I did not say anything that could have implied that I was hurt, but Jonathan just held my hand, knowing that it would make me stop.
He held my hand almost the same way he did way back then, just a little bit tighter, like I would disappear if he loosened his grip. “Not everything,” he looked straight to my eyes, “not me.” He gave me a faint smile, letting me know that everything was okay.
Jonathan had his arm wrapped around my waist as I rested my head on his chest. There were moments wherein we talked, but most of the time, we just looked at the trees and the lake while we enjoyed being together again. I slowly looked up at him, only to find him sleeping. I pulled my phone from my pocket, careful not to make too much movement that might wake him up. I took a photo of him before I went back to admiring the nature.
“Can I see that?” I almost jumped away from him when he spoke. “See what?” I asked. I knew what he was talking about but I just felt like denying it. “That picture you took of me.” He laughed, probably recognizing my denial tone.
“There’s nothing to see.” I laughed. When I heard the shutter sound of his phone’s camera, my head snapped to his direction. “What was that about?”
He just smiled at me for a while before he answered, “It would be nice to tweet this,” he faced his phone’s screen to my face and that was when I saw that he took a picture of us although I was not looking.
“Why would you even tweet that? I sort of look horrible there.” I only got a laugh, which made one of my brows shot up.
He sighed before focusing back on his phone. It was not that long before my phone beeped. I checked what it was and it was my Twitter notification.
Currently with @aLILYschaede :) I have been waiting for this girl for a long time.
Then there was our picture.
I looked at Jonathan then hugged him tight. “Thank you for waiting. I would not leave,” I felt his arms wrapped around me, “ever again.”