The cold night’s air caused Elena to shiver once again. He looked at her with a smirk on his face and said, “Are you already cold?”
“No. I’m not. I’m perfectly fine.” She replied defiantly.
With a casual shrug, he stopped walking, causing her to stop and stare while he slipped off his hoodie and dumped it on her shoulders.
“Wear it if you’re cold. I brought it out because I knew you’d catch another cold with your carelessness. It’s like you just enjoy being sick. Sha wear it.” She took the red hoodie and held it in her hands. It felt warm. Her heart began to pound again, causing sweat to appear on her forehead. The weather was suddenly hot. With the back of her palm, she wiped at the sweat which was beginning to trickle down her forehead, causing him to chuckle.
“Wow. Elena. I really don’t understand how your body system works. How are you suddenly sweating? Just hold the hoodie in case you feel cold again.” He casually wrapped his hands in hers and they continued their customary evening stroll.
“You know, if you weren’t a sweet bomb, just dropping sweetness here and there without giving me a prior notice, maybe my body temperature wouldn’t be fluctuating like this.”
“Oh. So, it’s my fault your body temperature is indecisive?”
“Exactly!” He laughed again.
“You’re just a goat. You know abi?”
“Hmm.” she gulped. How would she tell him that even those random insults hit closer to her heart than the sweet gestures. How would she explain that the more he called her “ode” or other such terms, the more her heart felt drawn towards him? How could she explain that? They were friends and yet, she could see herself stubbornly crossing that thin line between friendship and whatever was at the other side. She watched helplessly as her heart beat for him and all she could do was hope he felt the same way.
“So, you said you wanted to tell me something?” she muttered nervously. Her hands were shaking now and her heart was pounding even louder. She wouldn’t be needing that hoodie anytime soon.
“Yes, I did.” He said nothing till they got to their favorite spot and motioned for her to sit.
“I think it’s better you sit first.” he said, suddenly fascinated by the invisible creature on his hands. She sat down on the pavement, still shivering with nervousness.
“Calm down. I’m not killing you. Stop shaking so much.” he took her hands in his and gave them a slight kiss.
He continued, “It’s been so long since we’ve been friends and I can’t keep this a secret from you anymore. I really like you. I don’t mean like as a person. I actually have feelings for you and I don’t know what to do about them. I know naturally, I should ask you to be my girlfriend, but asking you that would be asking you to make a promise and I really don’t take broken promises easily. They hurt me badly. This is why I haven’t asked you yet. I just don’t know what to do. I love you but I’m scared I’ll lose you.”
She didn’t realize she had been holding her breath all the time he was speaking until he finished and she let out a long sigh.
“Tobi, I don’t know what we’re to do either. I love you so much but I’m also scared I’ll lose you if we decide to make these promises. We’re humans, afterall and we really don’t know what tomorrow holds. I want to be with you too, but what if the universe has something else planned for us?” She sighed again, and fixed her eyes on where their hands intertwined.
“Look at us. It’s a typical Jude the Obscure scenario. Shall we just see how it goes then?”
“Sure. Let’s see how it goes.” She was relieved that they shared those feelings and she couldn’t help but fantasize about them finally being together. What she didn’t realise was in two years from that time, he’d finally summon the courage to give her his heart and she’d shatter it to pieces because she was only human. She’d give him the world only to snatch it away from him. She’d make eternal promises only to leave them broken. She’d leave him broken.