Why Him?

From the rooftop of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Joan and Cole sat in front of a round table, drinking and passing time. Joan practically objected to Cole's conclusion, throwing questions left and right.

“What kind of excuse is that? Too good?” Joan challenged, raising her voice at Cole. She turned to look for the waiter, asking for more alcohol.

Cole shook his head and answered, “It means he did not want to take that risk with you, Joan. You are friends - we are friends -"

“Excuse, me. We aren’t friends. We just… know each other,” Joan corrected, squinting her eyes.

When the waiter came with some chicken pops and another round of drinks for Joan, she started eating while asking for more details.

“Tell me. What is wrong with being a good girl?” Asked Joan as she carelessly chewed on her food and wiped the bread crumbs from her mouth.

“How will he know if I am the one or not if he won’t even try!” She said out loud before taking her alcohol and gulping it down. 

Joan noticed how Cole was seriously paying attention to her. His eyes were drawn together as if he was in deep thought. He asked, "Can I ask you one thing. Why him? Why of all the many men in the world? Why it had to be Christopher?"

"Why not me?" He said it in a bantering manner and he abruptly cleared his throat right after.

"You?!" She objected before laughing altogether. "You are just a playboy!"

Joan's eyes may have been playing tricks on her. She swore she saw Cole hurt by her words. She thought, 'Am I already drunk?'

It was possible. Joan was very bad when dealing with liquor. She could get easily drunk with just two glasses of the cocktail.

"Why do I like him? Because he is so handsome and so kind." She nearly sobbed before she told the real score. "It's because he saved me that day when I got bullied at school!"

Cole's eyes narrowed at her words. He could only recall one instance when Joan got bullied at school.

When they were in high school, a group of boys casually played pranks on new students, and back then, Joan was relatively new. The bullies did not know her background and assumed she was one that could easily be coerced.

Three male students purposely put slime on her walk path that she slid down on the floor. Her skirt ended up going up to her waist, and she was utterly covered in white goo.

Other students laughed at her, especially the socialites.

Cole remembered every single detail of that day, for it was he who threw punches at the three students. When he saw Joan lying helplessly on the floor, crying and pulling down her skirt, his blood boiled and he chased after the bullies.

It was the first time he thrust his fists into another person, but he thought it was all worth it. He did it for Joan.

While he took care of those that tormented her, Christopher was the one who put a jacket on Joan, helping her up and bringing her home.

The bullies were expelled, but he also got suspended for several weeks. Even if the Hales were behind his back, the school determined Cold still had to be punished for taking matters into his own hands.

Returning his attention to Joan and with a tinge of nostalgia, he thought in silence, 'So that's the reason? Does she even remember what I went through for her?' He looked down at his hands and said, 'Maybe not. She was too frightened back then.'

"Cole? Are you listening to me? Why do you always ignore me?" Joan asked, her face was already read after drinking another alcohol.

He scoffed and said, "Me? Always ignore you? Are you sure you aren't referring to yourself?"

"You are talking gibberish, Cole!" She declared.

Joan ordered another drink, and it was then that she cried again. She said, "I love him. I really do, Cole. I have always been in love with him. What do I do? Why can't he look my way?"

The sadness in Joan's eyes thrust a knife into Cole's chest. He never liked it when she was sad.

'What am I thinking? I know this already,' he told himself in silence.

“Joan, either way, with the way you carry yourself and how you practically show him how much you are attracted to him, he will always think that you are just there… waiting for him,” said Cole. He finally spoke after some time of contemplating.

“You have to act differently around him. Show him that other men are after you too,” Cole suggested while getting started with the chicken himself. 

Wiping the wetness on her face, she said, "But I'm not interested in another man - "

"Well, that's the problem. He knows that," revealed Cole.

"Listen, Joan." He studied her desperate face and said, "If you really love Chris and if you really want to be with him, then I'll help you."

"Help me? How?" She asked, sniffing her sadness away.

"I can teach you the ways to attract a man properly and how to act around him, but all that!" He pointed to her dress and said, "That will have to go away. You need to stop being conservative and if you agree, then you also need to abide by my rules."

"Pfft! I don't need your help!" She said, "He should love me for who I am?"

"You are totally conflicting with yourself. You want help but will not accept any. You are asking what's wrong with you, but you are not accepting my suggestion." With a heavy sigh, he said, "Let's go. I'll take you home."

Cole knew Joan was not being herself that evening. Thus, he meant for her to think it over, sleeping on it. He guided her down to the hotel's parking lot and drove away from the hotel. He no longer returned to the party, for it was also Joan's preference.

Meanwhile, at his grand birthday party, Christopher Hale was not himself.

His eyes were fixed on the table meant to accommodate the Belles. Joan wasn't there, and so was his best friend. He tried calling her repeatedly, but there was no answer.

The rest of the celebration went by to him like a blur. It was as if it did not matter to him.

Looking one last glance at his phone, he asked silently, 'Where are you, Joan?'

Comments (6)
goodnovel comment avatar
So he likes her but he won’t tell her and expects her to just wait and watch while he’s with someone else??? Cole obviously likes her as well, but he’s willing to help her to get Chris to like her more!!! Doesn’t make sense, hopefully it will be resolved between them.
goodnovel comment avatar
Sonia Aka Debs
So she is praising the wrong guy
goodnovel comment avatar
Beth Rivera
Nice start

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