Warning: Bad Language
We were out having coffee with Shani, when I noticed a man across the street, looking suspiciously like Frank, and a woman wrapped around him so tightly that made me wonder how his eyes hadn’t popped out yet.
“Give me a minute.” I excused myself to Shani and headed closer to the window, only to discover that it was him indeed. My heart started pounding erratically and I felt nauseous… I made my way back to the table unsure of what to do or how to react. Shani was giving me an inquiring look, but before she could start with her merciless interrogations, Frank burst into the cafѐ.
I panicked and got up to leave but he caught up with me.
“Aly… wait.” He grabbed my arm but I violently backed away and turned to leave. “Aly! Please just listen to me damn it!” I kept walking away from him, but this didn’t seem to discourage him. “I need to explain, please. I’m begging you.”
“Damn…” I sighed.
“Oh… Aly, baby” he pleaded and he extended his arm to stroke my hair and my face.
“ Wow, hey. No touching or closeness. Just say what you have to say and leave me alone.”
“Why are you doing this to me?” he asked.
“Excuse me?” I retorted, utterly disturbed by the fact that he was suddenly acting like he was the victim.
“Shit. Listen… Do you know for how long I’ve been dreaming to just be with you? And to ruin everything before it even starts…fuck. I swear to God Aly. What you saw was simply a mistake. I was trying to tell her to forget about me and she thought that if she grabbed me and kissed me I would change my mind. I was going to end it Alyssa.” He stated staring at me full of conviction.
“ Oh, please.” I muttered and let go of his grab.
Shani approached Frank and threw him a disgusted glance. “You bastard” she snarled as she walked past him.
Once we were out of the cafѐ, Shani questioned me about the incident.
Bowing my head in defeat I admitted my stupidity. “Yeah, we kinda slept together. And I thought… I thought… ahh… I don’t know what, exactly. He said he loved me Shani. I can’t believe he is so fake!”
“Aaaw… come here darling.” she hugged me tight. “There’s no trusting a man like him, silly. Ever. Regardless of what he may say. And you should totally have told me about your… ‘sleepover’ Lou! What kind of friends are we if we don’t share the spicy things like this one?”
“I know. But I knew that what I did was stupid and I needed time to figure out where this was going and how to tell you without you giving me a lecture.”
Shani wore a melancholic smile. “I might be harsh at times… but if I gave you a lecture, I’d only do it ‘cause I love you and I don’t want to see you hurt like that.” She paused and eyed me steadily for a few seconds. “C’mon, I’ll buy you some ice-cream. Family-sized!” she finally said, back to her casual cheerfulness.
When I returned home, I locked myself up in my room and cried while beating myself up for being so naive and falling so easily for a guy like him, resulting in losing him not just as a lover but, more importantly, as the very good friend that he had been throughout the 5 years we knew each other. Well, Egypt excluded. What kind of a friend would ignore a friend in need, because of ‘business’?
My mobile rang, effectively putting an end to my flying thoughts.
“Hello Alyssa. I’m not disturbing you, am I?” It was Chris Wilson.
“Not at all, detective. What can I do for you?” I replied, hoping my voice wasn’t too rough from all the crying.
“Alyssa, remember when I asked you to do something for me?” he asked.
“Sure… I’m all ears.”
“Can we meet sometime tomorrow?” he asked.
“Well, I’ll finish school at 2pm and afterwards I’ll be free to meet you.” I said.
“Could I pick you up from school then?” he asked.
“Sure! See you tomorrow. Goodbye.” I hang up the phone and went to the window. As I was looking down the streets, I saw two figures resembling Johan and Vasily but I couldn’t really tell from this high.
Two hours later I looked again and the figures were still there which sent chills down my spine. Even if they weren’t Johan and Vasily, it was very suspicious that they had been just standing there for two hours, but since I wasn’t going to go down there and find out who these people really were or what they were doing, I decided I should probably ignore them and try to get some sleep.
Next morning, Frank was nowhere to be found, which was actually a consolation, as I wouldn’t have to face him. However, I knew that living in the same house meant that sooner or later we would have to come to terms with what happened between the two of us instead of playing hide-n-seek, or one of us should start looking for somewhere else to live. And the one would probably have to be Frank, since Shani would never choose Frank over me. But the idea of losing Frank from my life caused a knot to form in my stomach.
‘But why isn’t he here so early in the morning?’ this thought kept bugging me for some reason. ‘Oh God, what if he’s already gone?!’ was my subsequent thought and as soon as this possibility occurred to me, I ran to his room and I knocked. I had no idea what I would say to him if he was inside, but I had to find out whether he had packed any clothes or other belongings.
When I heard no response, I slowly opened the door and I went into the room. I took a look around to see if anything was missing and finally, I opened his closet. Good, loads of clothes here.
Suddenly I heard footsteps and since I had no time to leave, I decided to hide into his closet.
“Frank? Are you in there?” I heard Shani say. Oh, good, at least it’s not Frank. Once she leaves I’ll get out of here and I won’t ever sneak into anywhere ever, ever again!!
Footsteps again. Coming closer and closer… aaand… the closet door opens.
“WHAT THE HELL LOU?!” Shani yelled in surprise.
I stepped out of the closet and slowly straightened my clothes, to buy myself some time to think of my defense.
“Well…… it’s not what it seems.” I finally explained. Smooth, Alyssa.
“What does it seem to you, Lou? Because to me it makes no sense! Are you suddenly so vigorous about Frank’s laundry that you decided to smell all of his clothing and see what needs to be washed?”
“I wasn’t smelling anything!!” I snapped, offended by her implications. “I … ugh, I just feared that he might have left.”
“Yeah, he left alright. For work!” Shani replied angrily.
“No, I didn’t mean… I… I feared he might have left permanently… so I came to check whether he had packed any clothes. Then I heard your footsteps, I panicked and I ended up where you found me.” I admitted, while making sure that my eyes were glued to the floor.
“I had no idea you could become so pathetic! Pull yourself together and fucking move on! No need to stalk him like that!!” Shani was exasperated. “Come on, we better not be caught in here.” she finally decided.
I immediately grabbed my things and left for work, trying not to think about how ashamed I should be of myself for acting like a teenage lovestruck girl.