Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I shrug, not trusting myself to speak. Suddenly the entire scenario feels like something out of a cheesy movie: tiny, blinking lights peppering the ink-black sky, the night breeze sending a fresh wave of goose bumps on my skin, and Jerome’s presence making my senses go haywire. 

“Sorry, I don’t have a jacket with me, so I hope this would do.” 

I don’t realize I’ve been rubbing my arms and Jerome must have taken that to mean that I’m getting  cold. He pulls me close to his side and I can feel the warmth emanating from his solid body. 

What the hell is happening?

I can barely move a muscle, much less breathe, at the closeness we’re sharing. I know we’ve done this several times before, but they were all for show when Richard’s around to mess with. But this time, there’s no Richard, no acting, no nothing. Just me and him, inhaling cigarette smoke while killing time. 

I struggle to get some small talk going, but I find myself at a total loss for words. Jerome doesn’t seem to mind the lack of conversation and is just content with us burning our lungs away and…cuddling. 

I try to shift my weight to my other side, but he pulls me a bit closer. “We don’t really need to do this. No one’s watching.” I don’t realize I say those words until they’re out of my mouth. I look furtively at Jerome’s expression. 

“So you’ll know that I’m not doing this for show either.”

I frown slightly. “Do what?”

And the next thing I know, he’s kissing me. But that’s not what’s shocking at all.

It’s that I kiss him back.

Elaine banters with Richard and I’m left alone with my thoughts. I can’t help but think about what they both said, feeling like I’m caught in the middle of two raging storms. I have to settle this mess once and for all, and I know for a fact that will involve blowing the cover for this entire charade. It may all be for the best; I’m already getting worn out with the pretense. Heck, I don’t even know what’s real and what’s for show. 

God, the stupid things I sign up for.

Just then, Jerome’s phone vibrates, the backlights flashing to reveal an incoming call. I freeze on the spot when I see what’s displayed on the screen:

Babe calling…

Who the heck is this “babe”? I look around furtively for Jerome, wondering what the hell is taking him so long. And why did he just leave his phone out here? I look at the phone again, feeling the cold sweat form over my brow. My hands are shaking and my heart is beating so fast, I struggle to breathe. 

I don’t know why I’m even affected seeing this mystery caller on Jerome’s phone. We’re not in a relationship and I definitely don’t have any feelings for him, right? I take a deep breath and try to calm my frazzled nerves.

To my horror, I catch Richard looking at the blinking cellphone with a bewildered expression on his face. He looks at me, his brow in a tight knot. Our eyes meet and I know for certain that the game is up.

Oh no.


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