THE RED TULiP

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnggg!!!
Finally, the bell had rung. My classmates stood immediately after they put their things inside their bags, and then headed to the door. They seemed excited to leave this classroom; or maybe not the classroom but the boring History class of Ms. Benn who spent the time talking about her dying friend. I mean, what’s the connection between History and her dying friend? Duh!
My stomach had been groaning in the middle of the class. I’m really looking forward for lunch. Not just to feed my angry stomach but also to see my boyfriend, Ian. He’s been absent for three days, and I missed him so much. I missed his velvety voice; the way his blue eyes stares at me; the way he caress me; and the taste of his lips. I missed seeing his devastatingly and incredibly handsome figure.
“Miss Parker, this afternoon at four. Publication office. We’ll have a meeting”, Ms. Benn called in her squeaky voice before stepping out of the door. I sighed and put my books inside my bag. She’s been repeating it for the fifth time this day. Maybe because I always skip our meetings lately.
I went out of the room and headed downstairs to the cafeteria. When I got there, I sighed in relief when the queue of students ordering for lunch was not heavy. I put one burger and fries on my tray and slid it along the cafeteria counter. I walked towards our usual lunch table at the farthest corner of the cafeteria. There already sat Ian who’s seemed amaze to see me, and Nikki, my best friend.
I put my tray on the table and sat beside Ian. “Can you tell me what’s that look on your face means?” I said and did not wait for an answer. I leaned to kiss him. I bit his lower lip and he traced my lips with his soft tongue. He sent warmth to my whole body and made me forgot the present. My heart seems like it wanted to jump out of my chest. I pulled away from him and muttered, “I missed you, Babe.”

I turned to Nikki who was looking at the wall. Her gaze seemed passing through it. There was a distant look in her eyes, I could tell. I reached for her hand rested on the table and squeezed it. She turned to face me. Her eyes were rimmed with red. I could tell she’d been crying, so I asked, “What’s happened?” in a such-a-concern-friend tone.
“This is nothing, Kate. Just… just don’t mind me”, she answered and forced herself to carve a smile on her face but failed. I know there was something. Of course. Unconvinced, I turned to Ian who was leaning on the chair and crossing his arms on his chest.
Before I could open my mouth to speak, he already said, “I don’t know what’s happened. She won’t tell.”
“Nikki, come on. Tell me. We’re supposed to be best friends, aren’t we?” I said and squeezed her hand which is resting on the table. She looked at me and pulled her hand away from mine.
“I really am okay, Kate. Thanks for your concern anyway”, she said, and I knew I lost the battle. When Nikki doesn’t want to tell her problem to you, she will never really tell it. Even if you torture her, I doubt she’d tell. I knew I have to stop interrogating her, so I just said, “Alright Nikks. As you want it. Shall we eat then?” I smiled.
We eat and talk until I found Nikki already laughing. She looked like she’d forgotten what’s bothering her, so I reckon that was just a small problem. Through the whole lunch break it was just I and Nikki talking. Ian joined our conversation occasionally, but he is silent most of the time. It is not his personality to just shut up and sit in the corner. Maybe he just can’t relate himself. Girl talks, you know.
We left the cafeteria as soon as the bell had rung. While walking in the corridor, we’ve met Stacy, flunked with her friends. She’s the captain of the cheerleading team of our school, Crustville High. Not just that. She’s also the most popular blonde goddess who was so obsessed with my Ian.
“Hi Ian!” she said and winked at Ian. Her voice was wrapped with seduction. God, she’s a nightmare, really! She lifted her chin at me and raised her right eyebrow. Her friends laughed and they walked away.
“Stupid gits”, Nikki muttered to herself and then rolled her eyes.
“Yes, they are”, I agreed. I looked at Ian. He seemed out into another world because he didn’t respond when I called him.
I squeezed his hand which brought him to the present. “Do you have a problem, Babe?” I asked. He looked at me. His eyes were full of emotions I couldn’t understand. I could tell there was something bothering him, but he just answered, “Nothing”.
He turned right, heading to his English class without even saying a farewell. I stood still, watching him walking fast, his gaze on the floor.
“You alright, Kate?” Nikki asked.
“Yep… Let’s go” I answered and grabbed her hand. We headed to Art.
§ § §
After my classes, I headed to the publication office. There already gathered on a long table the staffs of The Echo. Our editor-in-chief talked about the Monday issue of our magazine. I was assigned to write a news about the football tournament tomorrow of our school versus Rhoskallies High. Great! Ian is playing the school’s football team’s captain. He would be happy with this news.
I left immediately after the meeting and went to the field. I am excited to tell Ian the news. When I got there, nobody is practicing. Maybe they stopped practicing really early, so I decided to go to the boy’s locker room and check.
Ian was standing at the door, facing inside and talking to someone on his phone. I tiptoed towards him. When I am a few feet away from him, I stopped. My heart was like struck with an arrow. Pain hits me like a bolt of lightning.
“Yeah, I love you, too. See you tonight at eight… Yeah, I knew that restaurant. KramerCircle… ‘Kay! Bye. I love you.” Ian hung up the phone. The three words that made my heart somersault before, had now tore my heart into pieces, knowing that it was not for me.
“Kate! Hi!” Ethan waved over Ian’s shoulder, the team’s goal keeper. Ian turned to look at me. Surprised.
“Kate! Hi”, he said, there is uneasiness in his tone. “How long have you been standin’ there?” he asked.
“Awhile”, I answered. I struggled to put a fake smile on my face. “I…ah…I…uhm…Am covering your game tomorrow for the… ah… Monday issue of the mag.” I stammered.
“Ow! That’s great news!” he said and smiled. “Hey! Kate will cover our game tomorrow for the mag”, he called over his shoulder to his teammates.
“That’s great!” they responded in chorus.
“I gotta go. Bye!” I said. I started walking away.
“Bye. Love you!” he called and I turned to smile.
When Ian finally entered the room, I half-ran, heading to the parking lot. I opened the door of my Miata and closed it heavily. I leaned my head on the steering wheel and cried. How could he do this to me?
I turned my engine into life and drove away. Tears were streaming down to my cheeks. I wanted to hold it back because I don’t want to cry. But how could I, when the words I heard from him kept playing on my mind? Like someone was whispering it to my ears. Damn!
I decided to stop at Nikki’s so I could tell her what’d happened. I know she could help me. She’s always been my comforter. Of course, she’s my best friend.
§ § §
“What! How could he?” Nikki said after I told him what I heard. She hugged me. “I’m so sorry for you, Kate”.
“Thanks Nikks. What should I do? I can’t lose him. Not now, Nikks. After all, we’re almost a year. I love him”, I said while crying. Nikki wiped my tears every time they fall. My voice trembles because of the pain and anger I felt. Whoever that girl is, she’ll gonna pay. I’m gonna cut her head off and feed it to the dogs. I thought.
“We would spy him. Tonight at eight, they’ll be meeting at KramerCircle. We’ll have to find that girl and let her pay.” I said.
“Kate… just let him…”
“No! I have to do this, with or without your help, BESTFRIEND!”
Nikki sighed and then rolled her eyes at me. “‘Kay! Okay! I’m coming”.
“Thanks Nikks. I know you’d always help me”. I said and kissed her cheeks.
§ § §
It was already 8:30 and my back and knees were aching. I and Nikki have been hiding behind these ornamental plants where we got a very good view of Ian who was sitting alone. His date hasn’t arrived yet. Good for her.
Ian reached to his pocket and retrieved his cell phone. He called his date.
I jumped when Nikki’s phone rang.
“Omigod, Nikks! You scared the heck out of me. Who’s that?”
“Sorry. T’was Jason. Jason Moore.” She said. The moment she said the name, I burst laughing. Jason Moore was the weirdest of all the weirdoes at school who wore big, round glasses and a jumper. “Shut up, Kate!”
“Hello? I’m busy making homework with Kate. So will you just shut your ass there?” she said and hung up the phone.
“Gosh! You’re so cruel Nikks”, I said while grinning. “How long have been you two were officially dating? Why didn’t you even tell me?” I said teasingly.
“Shut up, Kate! I will never, ever do that. Even if he’s the last guy on Earth, I’d rather choose to die virgin”, she said and we both burst laughing.
Then I remembered Ian, so I turned to look at his place again. He’s gone. We struggled to get on our feet and headed to the parking lot. Ian’s car roared into life and went away home. He’s date didn’t show up. Such a lucky girl.
We decide to go home also. Mission is still unaccomplished.
§ § §
The next day was the football tournament. I and Nikki sat together on the bleachers, pen and paper on my lap. On the field, I could see Stacy in her red cheerleading suit while holding pompoms. As Ian and his teammates took a break, she approached him and gave him bottled water. She toweled Ian’s sweaty face. The stupid git’s flirting.
“Hey Nikks! Look!” I pointed Stacy who was still flirting with Ian. “It was Stacy!”
“Of course it was her. Who else would act like that?
“No. What I mean is, it was her who is tryin’ to steal my Ian.”
“Maybe. But we can’t be so sure so don’t you think to make a scene here, okay? She’s always like that. Flirt!” she said and I know she’s right. But if it was really her, I sure would let her eat those pompoms she’s holding.
After the game, somehow happy because our school won, I and Nikki went to the locker room. I put inside the locker my scribbled notes about the game, for my news article. My attention was caught by a red paper lying above my books. I read the writings on it, “’My red tulip for you is dying. What should I do?’” It was Ian’s handwriting, I recognized it. But what does this mean? I folded the red paper and put it inside my pocket.
§ § §
I was so exhausted. I was lying on my four-poster bed with the red paper of Ian on my hand. My red tulip for you is dying. What should I do?
I hopped out of the bed and opened my PC. I went to Google and put in the search bar the meaning of red tulip. The meaning appears right before my eyes. Undying love. The red tulip symbolizes undying love. So it says: My undying love for you is dying. What should I do?
The words kept on playing in my mind. These words were like blades, cutting my heart. It probably kills. I don’t know. We’ll see. He doesn’t love me anymore. I shuddered at the thought. But he said “dying” not “dead”. Maybe I could still save it. I love him. I must not lose him. We must talk about this.
I looked at the clock and it said it was already seven in the evening. I immediately changed my clothes. I went to the garage and get inside my Miata. The moment I closed the door I put the key into the ignition and turned my engine to life. I drove away, heading to Ian’s house.
When I got in Ian’s place, I left my Miata on the pavement to avoid disturbing. As I got closer, I could see a silhouette of two people kissing. Nice. How sweet of them.
I know it’s bad to stare but I just can’t help myself not to do so. The scene was perfect; it was like I’m inside the cinema, watching a movie. His hands are on his waist and hers on his neck. The kiss was passionate, genuine and real. The way he stares at her was very warm, full of love. I could feel the passion and love between them. I could tell that their love for each other was eternal, like a red tulip, undying love. I almost admired them, but…
I felt my heart was tearing apart as I continued watching them. It seemed like a knife was slicing it. Tears began to fall from my eyes so fast, like a rain that doesn’t have a plan to stop. I pinched myself to make sure I’m not just dreaming. It was real. The pain was so real. So I just closed my eyes, because seeing them, Ian and my best friend Nikki, is slowly killing me.
I stood frozen on my place, unable to move my legs. Maybe it was the pain making me immobile, because it enveloped me. I struggled really hard to move.
They didn’t notice me so I just turned my back away from them, desperate to break the chain of pain that embraced and anchored me to the ground. I walked away with my tears still flowing. Again, I wanted to hold it back but I can’t. I kept remembering what I saw that made my heart bleed.
Then I remembered the dying red tulip. Could I still save it? From what I saw, I could tell that I was late. It was too late. The red tulip is already dead.
The End!!!

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