Chapter 16: Closer

I'm the type of person who doesn't want to be in a circle of several people, but I guess 1-3 people are fine. 

For years, Dhaile is the one person and friend of mine whom I hang out with. Our hangouts are like, making lesson plans together, creating questions for recitations, and other things connected to school. Sometimes, we stayed in my apartment to watch movies together, but that is very seldom.

But today is different. I'm not just with Dhaile, but also with Kate and Unah. Though this is not the first time we went out together, it still feels new. I think I haven't adjusted fully yet, but I'm sure that sooner or later, I'll be.

"Let's forget our problems for awhile," Dhaile exclaimed while she excitedly jumps on Unah's car. It looks like she really prepared for this moment. We're just going to mall to have a little fun, yet she's dressed to kill. 

"Yeah, we must enjoy the following days for after that, the quarter finals will come and we'll be busy checking the students' papers," Kate explained as she fixes her seatbelt. 

There are five of us inside the car. The driver and Unah are in front while Dhaile, Kate, and I are here at the back. I am in the middle of these two other girls. 

When the car starts moving, Dhaile suddenly nudges me using her elbow and looks at me with a confused face. 

"What?" I asked her and nudge her back. 

"That's strange. Before, we're fighting on each other because no one wants to give up the window seat. But now, look. You let Kate have the window seat without any difficulties. Hmm? Tell me, what's happening?" she asked while she repeatedly raised her eyebrows, trying to tease me. 

I rolled my eyes on her. "Don't make such issue, Dhaile," I told her and get my phone from my bag for I felt that it vibrated.

"What? I'm not making an issue here. Maybe it's you," she said before making a soft giggle.

"Hey, I just gave her the window seat. What's wrong and strange with that?" I asked her. She continues on giggling while I opened my phone and saw a message from Zac. I was about to delete it when Dhaile suddenly snatch my phone from my hand.

"Hey! Dhaile! What are you doing?" I shouted at her while trying to get my phone back.

She turned her back at me and then curled like a porcupine. She's using her feet to kick me so that I can't move closer to her. 

"Dhaile!" I shouted again. I tried pinching her back and slap her hand so that she will give my phone back, but she's too hard-headed and she just laughed at me while she's typing something on my phone.

"Dhaile, I swear. I'm gonna cut your fingers if you sent something to Zac," I threatened her. 

After that, she finally gave my phone back. I immediately look at the messages and checked if she sent something. 

She really did. Fortunately, she didn't tried to send something like "I still love you". What she sent is something that I appreciate a lot.

"I know that Zac is still bothering you. That's stressful. That is the only thing that I can do to stop him from bothering you," she smiled and hugged me. 

"Thanks, Dhaile," I said to her. 

When she has my phone, she sent a message saying "This is Dhaile. Please stop bothering my friend. If you really love her, you'll let her decide for what's good for herself." After that, she blocked Zac's number from my phone. I know that Zac can still message me using a new and different number, but I still appreciate it.

"Omg, I got sidetracked!" she exclaimed. "Now, tell me. Why do you give Kate a special treatment?"she whispered.

"Hey. What special treatment are you saying?" I asked her. "Okay, let me explain. I'm not giving her a special treatment. I'm just being nice."

"Hmmm. Okay, I'll pretend that I bite that," she replied with a playful voice. 

"Think what you want to think, but that's not it," I explained.

Because of the events that happened in the car, we didn't notice that we already reached the mall. I removed my seatbelt and about to leave when I saw Kate sleeping. 

"Hey, sleepyhead. Wake up," I said as I slightly tap her shoulder. She opened her eyes slowly and rubbed it. After that, she looked around and her eyes widened.

"Oh, we're already here?" she asked while yawning.

"Yes, and you have to move out now so that Dhaile and I can also go out," I replied. 

-

While walking inside the mall, I noticed that Dhaile and Unah are walking infront of me. And suddenly, someone grabbed my right arm and pulled me closer.

"What are you doing?" I asked Kate.

"Why? You let Dhaile to do this to you, but when it's me your getting angry?" she replied with another question.

I looked away. Yeah. She got a point. Dhaile always do this to me, but Kate is a different person.

"Maybe I'm just uncomfortable since we are not that close," I answered.

From my peripheral vision, I saw her face frowned.

"Not close? I though we are," she said while making a sad face like a child. She removed her hands from clinging on my arm.

"Stop making that face," I said to her. 

"No. I just feel sad and disappointed. All this time, I thought we are close friends. We already have talked about personal things and other, but you still didn't consider me as one."

I let out a sigh as I face her. I grab her hand and clings it to my right arm. "Sorry. What I mean is, the percentage of our closeness is not as high as the percentage of Dhaile and I's closeness."

"Don't cry," I said to her when I noticed that she's drying something from her eyes.

"I'm not crying. Some dirt just entered my eyes," she excused.

We stopped walking. I faced her and held her cheeks using both of my hands. I dried her small tears by wiping it. 

"Stop crying. You look awful," I said. 

She slightly slapped my hands while chuckling. I was about to hug her the I heard Dhaile's voice.

"Hey! You two are too sweet. I'm jealous!" Dhaile exclaimed while furrowing her eyes.

"I'm just making her happy," I replied.

Dhaile suddenly pulled me towards her. After that Unah talked.

"Please be careful, okay? Someone might misunderstood your treatment to each other. They might report it," she reminded us.

We nodded at her. "We'll be more careful," I answered while my heart is pounding repeatedly because of... I don't know. Nervousness?

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