It has been three days since my encounter with Tan and honestly I was pretty much nervous every time I stepped in class. He never once met my gaze or batted an eyelid towards me. It should not have bothered me but the fact that even Joon had stop paying attention to me was nagging a bit. Should I just have talked to him when he showed up at my room?
"Derek has been staring at you the entire class and he is kind of cute," she added wiggling her eyebrows rather mischievously.
"Who is Derek again?" I probed pushing my books into my back along with my laptop. The lecturer had just walked out and right now all I could think of was some spicy steak.
"The blonde sitting just in front of Tan," She whispered.
Tan. I hated how that very name could easily make me freeze in place. It affected me in ways that nothing else could. I risked a glance at the said boy but almost regretted it when my gaze connected with Tan's instead. His eyes pierced right through me, sending a series of tingles down my spine. It was like he could see right through me and for a moment we just held gazes until he broke it off. I had thought if I looked closer-perhaps searched deeper in his eyes, I would have caught a hint of regret or guilt perhaps. Instead, his cold eyes had been blank, almost as though I had no effect on him. It equaled to feeling like he didn’t care about what happened.
"He is cute, right?" Alex bubbled when I turned back around, my heart still beating very fast from Tan’s intense stare contest.
"Yeah, but he is not my type," I shrugged hoisting my backpack on my shoulder.
"Really? I just thought you guys would be perfect together. He is a good boy, gets good grades just like you and he is every straight girl’s hot nerd fantasy," she said in a sing song voice.
"I don't want to date him Alex," I realized an exasperated sigh as we joined the mass of students on the hall way.
"Why not? You are single, hot and literally have your entire life figured out," She went on.
Well, I thought I had finally had it all figured but now I was not sure anymore, not when my heart quickened at Tan’s presence.
"Because I don't want to. Right now, I just want to think about my studies," Lame excuse but it was all I had.
"No buts Alex!" It came out so sharp that I internally flinched. Why was I so upset with her? This was not her fault and she didn’t even have an idea of what happened. Still I found myself adding as increased my pace, leaving her behind, “Just drop it Alex, "
Once I reached my room, I cussed at Tan. Why was he still getting to me? I asked him to stay away and he did. So then why was he still invading my every thought? Why did I thinker he was hotter now?
"Listen, I'm sorry for pushing you towards Derek," Alex apologized as she walked in the room barely three minutes after me.
"No I should be sorry for snapping at you like that. It's just that the thought of dating brings back...certain memories," Memories I thought I had gotten over.
"I didn't know," her voice dropped as she sat down on the bed,” Is it too early to ask what happened?
"I was in love once back in high school. When I confessed to him, things got weird for a few days but then he asked me for winter formal and I thought maybe it was fine. He promised he would give me an answer on Winter Formal. I was so happy but then Winter Formal came and he was gone. He never called. Never texted. He didn't even go old school and leave a letter," I tried to choke back the tears but it was too late. They formed a small stream down my rather ruddy cheeks.
Alex moved towards me, letting me burry my head on her chest. I hated it when people felt pity for me but just this once I would let it happen.
"He was not just some guy who I had feelings for, he was my best friend and then he just left at a I needed him the most. For a whole year I blamed myself for it but eventually I moved on or at least I thought I had moved on until I ran into him here, a few nights back,"
"Wait he is here? In RCU?" She asked as I pulled my head back, the tears gone.
"Yes," I affirmed.
"Do I know him?" I nodded in affirmation.
"It's Joon, isn’t it?" She muttered as though in realization, “I knew beneath that good boy façade was some really bad guy demeanor,”
"I wish it was, “I drew a deep breathe," Its Tan,"
Her face went blank then pale. When she spoke, her voice was small and shaky.
"Tan Harvey? The same guy I was warning you to stay away from?" I nodded yet again.
"So let me get this straight, you were friends with Tan Harvey back in high school,"
"Yeah. He was much different back then. He was sweet and funny but looking at him now, I can hardly recognize him. Meeting him however just brought all those memories I thought no longer mattered to me,"
"But why exactly did he leave?"
"I don't want to know the answer to that because maybe it all had to do with me,"
"I can't believe I'm saying this but maybe you should go talk to him and clear your mind off this. Because unless you are completely done with him, you'll never really move on. Just saying," She shrugged once.
Sometimes she was just too blatant that it made me a little closed off around her. But maybe she was exactly the kind of friend I needed so I wouldn’t make a mistake this time round. An entire afternoon passed by lazily with her suggestion running relay in my brain and soon enough the darkness was looming over the sky. My finger hovered over Joon's number trying to get myself to call him. He was the only one I knew who was close to Tan. I crossed my heart hoping this was not another bad decision I would live to regret.
CHAPTER FIVEThe wind pushed my hair back as I struggled not to grind my jaw. I was not sure if it was from the chills of the unforgivingly cold night or the chills from knowing Tan was sitting by the bar, the space between us filled by a few drunk couples grinding to the loud hip-hop music."It's okay if you don't want to do this today," I felt Alex's hand grab my arm.She was absolutely right but I had already postponed this once. I could have confronted him yesterday after calling Joon but I had cowered away like a little scared rat. The thought of seeing had been outrightly overwhelming then, freezing my insides with no mercy whatsoever. Today it had taken me every ounce of willpower to show up here and I was not about to let myself chicken out again."I'm fine. Besides we are just going to talk and hopefully I'll never have to speak to him or feel on edge when he is around," I smiled just to keep her off the fact that I was beyond being nervous. Every fiber in my body was screami