That same week of Open Mic, there was a conversation I had with Gabe where he was imagining storylines of him dying in front of Christelle. Since I’ve had those kinds of imaginations before, I was just playing along with him as he pleased. But anyway, that lead to me saying he was like some of my characters in AMNESIA. So I ended up explaining to him the plot of AMNESIA. There was a part when I said there was someone who had a crush on the main character, my beloved 15 year old Eunji, and he was named Key. I said I was recently basing some of Key’s lines on what he used to say before.

        “._. Wootttt? Woooootttt??? Why on my lines XDDD” Gabe laughed.

        “Because you’re a guy and he’s a guy and I can’t just base my lines on what I think guys say XD”

        “Homagah what’s he like? Usually my lines are for the serious types. I use them playfully but like they’re meant to be serious.”

        “He’s very friendly and he’s kinda like Edwin but also kinda like you. Idk a mix,” I said. Key was kind of the sassy, gossip loving type as Edwin was, but he also had this really energetic or really low and negative characteristic like Gabe. And to make it even similar to those two, Key had a crush on the energetic and confident 15 year old who can sing really well.”

        “I see. Kind and chivalrous while fun and carefree. Intriguing. As long as the 15yr old (Eunji) isn’t based off of Christelle, it’s not gonna be weird.”

        “Haha, no it’s not much based on christelle XD.”

        “Wdym not much? Like partially based or not based at all?”

        “The girl I wrote about is very confident and she’s never awkward.”

        “Christelle isn’t awkward with friends ._.”

        “Yeah but like there are many other times when she is awkward… And clumsy XD.”

        “I must be with her more often… But she’s kinda cute when she’s clumsy. It’s adorable.”

        “I know XD”

        “If the eyes really are the windows to the soul, her eyes sparkle with kawaii 1000000000% *sends anime gif*”

        “Tbh she doesn’t find it cute that she’s dorky but even Alicia agrees with me that it’s what makes her really cute XD”

        “Not many find what they do attractive or good. Heck people that know when they’re good are lucky.”

Then I sent him this bit from a chapter I was recently editing in A M N E S I A:

            “What do you like about her?” Sulli asked.

            “Well—I… Do you really need a reason? I mean just everything about her makes me… makes me happy,” Key stammered. “She has an awesome voice, she’s pretty, her smile is like the brightest thing ever, she plays and jokes well with me, she’s a little rough on the outside but she’s very compassionate and understanding, and I don’t know… I could go on, really. And she doesn’t, like, bring me down for things that I find enjoyable even though it’s a bit… I don’t know… She’s just so cool.”

            “Oh wow,” Minho nodded. “Not many guys have a crush on her—I’m surprised you of all people see her that way.”

            “Yeah, it’s my first time hearing such admiration for her,” Taemin said. “What started it?”

            “I’m not really so sure myself,” Key wondered. “But I think… I think it’s just recently that I feel like I’ve fallen deep for her—like I genuinely feel like I want to care for her. I’ve had a crush on her for a long while but… it’s just these days that I actually want to make her happy and you know, make her laugh or something. Like I want to be there for her often, you know? But I’m just worried if it shows… she’ll find me creepy and you know, shun me.”

        “._. Are you kidding me? Where did you get those lines?” Gabe said.

        “XDDDDDD They’re realistic, man.”

        “Those are ideas and concepts and words I save for special people like legit like like like that means I’m not original ._. rip world”

        “No, I’m the one not original cuz I got that from you XDDD”

        “Oh wat. That explains everything. FIRST OF ALL. That guy is lucky. SECOND OF ALL. That guy is lucky. Plz lemme go into that world and step into his shoes.”

Then I sent him another bit:

            “You’re worried she won’t feel the same way, huh?” Sulli said.

            “Yeah. She just knows me as the loud and crazy kid running around school and occasionally visiting her lunch table. I mean we are neighbors and we have been hanging out more than we ever did in our time of knowing each other, but… I’m just scared.”

            “Hmm, I was thinking about that too, but to be honest, I think her feelings for you are not far off,” Taemin suddenly said. “I feel like she likes you more than you think.”

            “What makes you think that?” Key asked.

            “You’re a fun guy, Key, and she has told me before that she does likes having you around. I don’t think she would let you in her house so often if she didn’t like hanging out with you. So it’s probably possible for her to share the same feelings. I mean you never know until you actually make a move, right?”

            “But the thing is, I don’t want to start anything too soon, you know? If it turns out she doesn’t have feelings for me, what am I gonna do? I would make it weird for the both of us. We haven’t even been friends that long, Taemin.”

         “You know for a moment I actually thought I was Key. Then I remembered Christelle said she doesn’t feel the same way about me,” Gabe said. “’Crazy kid running around, loud, occasionally visiting her lunch table.’ ‘Hanging out more than we ever did.’ This kid is so lucky. He doesn’t know how lucky he is. He shouldn’t tell her. It’s gonna mess everything up. He’s gonna lose his chance.”

        “Spoiler, he does but in the slickest way XD”

      “NUUUUUUUUUUUUUU TT.TT How does he do it? I’ll be the judge if he did it right. Don’t tell me he sings Taylor Swift.”

        “Lol no but something better.”

        “Whew ok.”

Then I sent him another bit saying “This happens somewhere in the story tho XDDDDD”:

         “I feel the same way,” Key said. “So let’s officially start something more than friends together.”

            Eunji’s eyes fluttered from hearing what he said. Did she hear that right? Was he finally making up his mind to turn this friendship into a serious relationship? She was too stunned that she didn’t even realize his face getting closer to hers. When his breath reached her skin, her frozen eyes melted to a close. Key softly kissed her and she found herself kissing him back.

            Neither could deny that they wanted more than just this sweet kiss, but they gently withdrew after 10 seconds of the heat. Those mere 10 seconds felt like a minute and that was enough for Key at this moment.

            When Eunji got her senses back, she awkwardly brushed her hair back and gulped. Even though this kiss made her feel bubbly and in-love, it was quickly conflicted with thoughts rejecting him. Flustered by the things she felt, she took two steps back and couldn’t look back at him. Key got confused by this and asked, “What’s wrong?”

            “I… I can’t.”

            “What? Why not?” Key’s lips quickly dried up at her words.

            “You know it yourself. I’m way too busy. I can’t. Not these days, at least.”


        “I’m just spoiling you so you can read it XDDDD”

        “Okaaaay. DIS GIRL IS STUUUUUPIIIIIIIIID UGHAHSJSODD LIKE U DON’T JUST TURN A GUY DOWN LIKE THAT. SURE SAY ‘lemme think abt it’ or ‘maybe’ or something mysterious”

        “Actually she is the wisest girl ever in the story XDDD But idk u can judge XDDD”

        “NUUUUUU UGH THAT’S SNWKDIEFIEFIEIFODOFDOFO Like ignore what I say. Don’t change the story bc this’ll make the crowd hype.

        “I won’t change it XD”

        “Her eyes fluttered tho *ok hand emojis*”

        “That’s when she already had feelings for him.”

        “She’s busy tho….. Sounds like someone ik,” he said. I’m assuming he meant Christelle cuz that girl is always busy lol.

Anyway, I proceeded to intrigue and hype him more so that he would read it. He read it the next day. Till now he hasn’t finished it or continued it since it’s probably out of his short-term memory lol. But anyway it was fun showing those to him. It’s the first time I actually get to base my character’s lines on what a real person has said, word for word XD.

A few days later, I sent him recordings of me and Christelle singing Like I’m Gonna Lose You. He was talking about mashing that song up with another song just a few days ago so I sent him our cover. And what’s funny is that there was one recording where he was singing along as if him and Christelle were having a duet. He freaked out that I even have that lol. I also sent him a clear recording of just me and Christelle singing and he loved it so much that he had it play on repeat He says it’s like we’re singing it to each other. I’m not gonna lie, that was the point of why I suggested that song to Christelle. I wanted to sing that with her because of the lyrics. But lol, so much for me trying to restrain his love for Christelle… Sometimes I don’t know if I should feed him more Christelle content or not because I find joy in talking to him about her. I’m in such a weird middle ground.

Wednesday came and instead of the usual band practice routine, I walked to Christelle’s house to practice for the Open Mic. I was the first one to arrive because I thought it would take 30 mins to walk there, but it only actually took 15 mins. Anyway, I came in and she was eating lunch at 5 PM because apparently she has procrastinated on eating. As we were waiting for Alicia to come, we were just chilling and I let her listen to some Kelly Clarkson and Tori Kelly. As expected, she was very impressed by their vocals. As soon as Alicia arrived, we started practicing and finalizing everything.

It didn’t take long before Jessica arrived there as well so that she could show us her dance for Open Mic. Since Gabe and her other friend backed out from their performance for personal reasons, Jessica was left alone to do her thing. She wanted some feedback from us. And so we all went to the living room to see her dance. I’ve usually had a judgmental view of her dancing back then (especially after being too into well-defined kpop choreos) but at that moment, I found myself smiling so much. While she was dancing in front of us with the music she herself mixed, I was so happy and was so proud of her. The song Body Gold by Oh Wonder (a song I had liked in soundcloud ages ago) was probably one of the reasons I was even so happy to see her dance because it is in her dance mix. But anyway, even if her friends backed out, she still wanted to do it because she loved doing it. And I guess I admired that a lot about her.

After that, we also showed Jessica what we have prepared and she loved our performance. However, we couldn’t really discuss much about her opinion on us right away because Christelle’s dad showed us a photo of a guy that died, and he asked if we knew him. A day before, John Surya told us about how his friend had died and that he cannot lead the band this week partly because of it. It was a guy named Adam. At first it didn’t really hit me when John Surya said that his name was Adam, but when I did remember that I did know a guy named Adam, I searched around on facebook and confirmed who he was. There were no posts on his wall about his death so I was unsure if it was him. But there was no other guy named Adam that John Surya would probably know a few years ago from Wildfire.

Now, I never really knew the guy much, but I did use to see him around at Fuel and Wildfire occasionally back then. I still remember a testimony of his, how he was out in the nature and that he came to God because of thinking how much there should be a God who created all that He was seeing. I also remember that he was very vocal about his views in Fuel. I had a fairly nice view of him because of that. So to know that he was dead felt… strange.

When I discussed that about Christelle when Alicia and Jessica were not there yet, I said that I did know the guy and that it was so sad to know someone you knew or at least used to see was gone. Christelle couldn’t recall if she knew who Adam was and asked me if Ethan may have known him. Since I don’t know much about Adam, and my memory is hazy about who was there when he was around, I said I didn’t know. But when Christelle’s dad showed us four his picture, Christelle was able to recognize him. She didn’t know him personally, but she did see him around before as well.

Jessica, out of all of us, was saddened by this news. But that was because she knew how he died before the three of us. Adam committed suicide.

I just froze when she said that. As I said, I had a fairly nice view of him because he seemed to have a lot of insights back in Fuel. To know that he ended his life just like that was… sad. Jessica said that it was because of his dad that he committed suicide. He had family problems that he maybe couldn’t handle and just chose to end his life. But to be honest, what made everything sadder was that his best friend was David, a person we all knew more than Adam, was the first to find him dead. They were roommates in college and David found him out cold on his bed. It’s messed up to think that you had a best friend that you didn’t know was suffering so much that they would end their life. It’s the same for Adam’s parents and any of his friends as well. Everything was just so heartbreaking.

And while Jessica was talking about how David would feel about this situation, I just couldn’t help but think of the times I thought of suicide as well. Though my feelings are less heavy than what Adam probably had gone through, I can’t deny that I did feel suicidal a bit often at some point. At that moment I just couldn’t help but look at Christelle and then to Jess and Aly. If, and I say if, I did commit suicide then, I wouldn’t have lived to see all the glory God has set before me. And I thank God so much for Christelle. I wouldn’t have felt sincerely loved and cherished by anyone if she did not come along. I wouldn’t have cared to live among everyone without her.

After that, we just talked about some random things to lift the mood back up, and it somehow ended up with Christelle ranting about Gabe again. Before it exploded to a full girl talk, we came back to Christelle’s room and talked about it there in a somewhat hushed tone. She told the full story of Gabe’s confession and all of what she felt then. Then she was saying about how frustrated she was about how Gabe doesn’t seem to take the hint to back off a little bit even after she told him that she didn’t feel the same way. She said he has been texting her and while she was saying those, I was trying to butt in to say what was going on my chat with Gabe this days, but she kept silencing me so that she could finish her story. It was funny because I had so much to say, but she had a lot to cover as well and we’d all just stop each other every minute.

There was a point where Jessica confessed that she liked Caesius for some time and even confessed to him. She said that they were “thinging” for a while back then. She pointed to me asking if I knew, but I said no. I never really confirmed that they were actually something back then, but I did have a hunch that something was going on with them. Heck, I even shipped them and thought that it was Jess who didn’t have feelings for him but Caesius did. Turns out it was the other way around. Jessica was the one who liked and confessed to him first. That’s why they became a thing, but apparently Caesius wasn’t very clear about his own feelings towards her, resulting to them being on and off. Jessica said that he was very confusing about showing where he stood and she eventually got tired of it. But there was one time after a year and a half of the on and off… Caesius kissed her forehead before leaving the cab. That left her very excited yet confused—actually, very confused. She said that Caesius wasn’t normally like that and it was clear now that he liked her, but it just tired her out.

Then Jessica said that I could tell what was going on that year between them. Although it wasn’t accurately what I thought, I was still right in some part of my hunch. Then Alicia laughed saying that she and Christelle were like babies when this happened. Yeah, they were pretty young then—Alicia wasn’t even in Wildfire, and Christelle just joined the band that year.

        Jess pointed to me and said, “Like she knows, like she was the—you were–”

        “Yeah, I wasn’t even asking. I was just watching.”

        Jess turned to the youngest two while still referring to me and said, “No, but like, she observed—She like knew so many people…”

        “She’s like the narrator,” Alicia laughed and I just remember trying to contain my smirk thinking, “You’re right about that.”

        “Mia’s the observer,” Christelle said.

        “I’m a writer, okay,” I answered and it definitely made a lot of sense to them. They started making jokes about what if I write about all of them (which I do).

Then we came back again to the conversation. Jessica said that on the same day when he kissed her, they both flirted a lot. They held hands and everything, but he would never really tell her what he wanted and what his feelings were. He left her hanging. She only found out later on that his reason for not saying anything to confess his feelings was because he had no time. But he could’ve at least told her that instead of leaving her hanging. He could have said that earlier so that she could move on with her life, but he was just confusing about his actions and it annoyed her knowing how dumb this relationship has been.

After that, she was so done with all these games and just wanted nothing to do with any of this. She said if God brings her someone, then okay, but if not then that’s fine. All she knew was that she didn’t want to go on and off with him or with anyone else because it just annoyed and tired her out. So she got over Caesius.

 Funnily enough, just a month later after all that, she and Nithin started liking each other. Eventually Nithin asked her out. Jessica prayed about it and all, if this was going to be right. It seemed God approved of it because they had the approval of their parents. And so they both set up some sensible boundaries between their relationship. But before they had their first date, Jessica told Caesius in a taxi that Nithin asked him out and everything. He seemed chill about it but we all know he isn’t. The most absurd thing about it is because after Jessica had just told him, Caesius leans his head on Jessica’s shoulder while he texted someone, and Jessica just flipped out. She didn’t actually scold him, but in her head she just fumed in anger. She turned to him and said, “Head off.”

All our jaws drop and amazement at her response.

        Jessica continued, “And he’s like, ‘Why?’”

        “What do you mean ‘why’?!” Alicia scoffs.

        “I’m like, ‘dude, just please head off.’” Jessica said. “I didn’t say anything mean about it, but I was very, very serious about it. I was just like ‘head off.’ No, sorry, even if I’m not committed to a person, I’m not going to flirt with you and go through everything again. I’m sorry if you’re not over it!

And then, after I got with Nithin, in April or May, I don’t know if you noticed,” she pointed to me, “but you know how Caesius was a bit off? I don’t know it you noticed that.”

        “Well,” I wondered. “I was angry at him because of the band. So I don’t know maybe that’s part of it.”

        Christelle then says, “And he like, indirectly insulted me so I still don’t like him.”

        “Yeah, I still remember that,” I said. I can’t remember if I wrote about it anywhere before but, yeah, this was part of one of the many rants Christelle has said to me in the early days of our friendship that I fully remember.

        “Really? What did he say?” Jessica asked.

        “Okay, see, if one of you guys said it, people who are my friends and closest to me, then I’ll be like, yeah that’s funny.”

        “He said something racist,” I said.

        “So like we were in the old Wildfire room (boiler room), yah? During Wildfire we were practicing. And you usually know how the blinds are there, and I always like to pull them blinds? Cuz with the sun it looked so much brighter. And I was like, ‘Hey dude, why is it so dark?’ and he was like ‘because you’re here.’” Christelle made her usually freaked out expression where everything in her face enlarges. “AND DUDE, DUDE, honestly, see. If it was John Adithya, if it was you (Jess), Mia, Alicia, John Surya MAXIMUM… who else am I good friends with? Yeah! Actually, those people. If it was those guys said that I’d be like, dude, I would laugh. That was funny. But like Caesius and I? We were like acquaintances. And I was like, ‘…what?’ and he was like ‘oh, I’m just kidding. It’s okay.’ And like I just walked away from the conversation,”

        “Sometimes he says really stupid things,” Jessica rolled her eyes.

        “Christelle ran to me,” I laughed.

        “I walked or ran and was like ‘MIA!! MIA, I’M LIKE ON FIRE RIGHT NOW, CALM ME DOWN!’ I was sooo mad! I was like, dude, you—DAHH!!!—Like- see, I-I’m comfortable making jokes like that with my best friends. Like, we know each other’s humor, so I would say that. But like… someone who I just say hi to and bye to and how was your week? oh good. How was your week? Good. Bye. That’s all! And he made that kinda joke and I was like, no, that is NOT okay.”

        “He’s stupid sometimes,” Jessica shakes her head. “Like I’m not gonna lie. Even when I liked him he insulted me sometimes and I’m just like hmm okay.”

        “Even in band terms he pisses me off,” I said.

        “What does he play?” Alicia asked.


        “Barely,” Christelle adds and we both snickered.

        “He’s always off rhythm and he doesn’t listen to me ‘cuz we’ve known each other since I was like 10.”

        “Yeah. And you know the other day when Mia and I were leading, okay? And during practice, yah, he was like, ‘Guyss the songs are so good. Can I join?’ and I was like, *baffled expression*”

        “I was like ‘NO. YOU CAN’T,” I said.

        Christelle then describes Alicia the whole scene, even where we were at that time and she repeats what she said, “I was practicing like a few notes with her, and he was like, ‘Hey guys, can I join?’ and I was like, ‘…Caesius? Uh… Um… Hm? What?”

        “’I’m just gonna forget you said that’” Alicia chuckled.

        “I was gonna say it nicely, like, ‘Hey, dude. But like when we ask people who are free, you didn’t say anything. And like if you came to practice, then yes. And then Mia was like, ‘No.’ And I was like *hallelujah praise the lord* Okay, Mia’.”

        They all laughed and I said, “I am so done with him being in the band. I’m so thankful because I prayed so hard for the band and part of it is him having basketball practice on Wednesday. So he can’t come.”

        “I mean you converted him into a prayer so it’s not insulting. But like dude, if it was someone who I knew was good then I’d be like, yeah join. Like Jonathan on the drums? Yeah join. Like Mia on the bass? YEAH JOIN!!! But like, Caesius—I mean I played with him before and even if I’m- like I’m an amateur singer. But when I sing with him I’m like ‘Caesius, you’re off beat.’ And like, he does NOT like to accept his mistakes. And when you’re in a team, dude, you have to be willing first of all to accept your mistakes, to learn from others…”

        “He’s so shameless,” I said.

        “The problem with him…” Jessica said. “He has great qualities, like I’m not gonna lie. Like he, as a friend, is very concerning, and the reason why I really, really had thing for him was because he kind of like heard me out in situations and he was willing to listen to me ‘cuz you don’t find guys like that. But in other circumstances like that, he was unprepared, and he wouldn’t really take constructive criticism in the right way.”


        “No, it’s fine. But like, yeah, I agree.”

        And so Christelle continues, “AND LIKE, LIKE, IN THE OLD WILFIRE ROOM, HE WOULD SING AND THEN PLAY GUITAR OFF BEAT and I’m like, hooow are you leading when you are like that? Dude, either you sing or play guitar. If you can’t do both then don’t do both. And like hmmngg….”

        “He was a big reason of why I wanted to quit the band. ‘Cuz like I couldn’t take him.”

        “Especially, like Mia, the musically sound person—if you had to get that frustrated at a person—yeah.”

        “Honestly…” Alicia agrees.

        “Like every time he plays, I wanna play guitar so that I can drown him out.” I said and they snickered. “It’s like there’s no hope for him. He never listens.”

        “He has hope but like he needs to work hard,” Christelle says.

        “Yeah,” everyone agrees.

Then Jessica proceeds to tell more about the situation with Caesuis. We came to get our dinner and then we came back to Christelle’s room. This time they let me speak what I had to say about Gabe. I told them that Gabe said rather than getting over her after he confessed and knew that she didn’t like him back, he developed more feelings for her. Christelle couldn’t understand the mentality behind that and ranted about that. Jessica understood that there were guys like that. Alicia says that maybe guys just don’t accept rejection and thinks they will be liked back with more effort put in. Then Christelle starts ranting about how dumb Gabe was for asking if he could talk to her every day. She says she doesn’t even talk to us, her closest church friends, that often because she really is so busy. The other two girls started getting fired up saying how much they want to knock some sense into him. I proceed to say that Gabe was concerned about making mistakes because this has happened before, and the girls got fired up even more saying he really doesn’t take the hint.

But anyway, as they ranted more about Gabe and guys in general, while I understood their stance and understanding of the situation, I also understood Gabe. The mediator in me cannot fully agree with everything the girls said because not all of the things they assume guys were true with Gabriel. I know Gabe really well at this point because he is very open about himself and his feelings to me. And though he is really clueless and naïve most of the time and he really needs a lot of advice and a leash, he was not as dumb as they pin him to be.

When Jessica started saying how if he doesn’t listen to me enough, I need to send him over to Jessica to have a serious conversation about these types of things… It kind of pissed me off for her to assume that I may not be doing enough because the truth is, Gabe listens to me. I allow him to do certain things when I know it won’t affect Christelle and I tell him to stop or control himself when it makes her uncomfortable. And he does. He listens and knows. Besides, why would I send Gabe to Jessica? First of all, that’s just not like me to send him away to some person he might not even trust with this information as much as he trusts me with it. Second, Gabriel was already in such a mess of feelings that for him to be restricted or scolded even more and to be given even more rules will just drive him mad. He needs someone who would understand him, not someone who would confront him and say that he needs to seriously back off on the girl he loves. I’m giving him a bit of freedom to do what he wants but with a certain limitation and approach. Even though Christelle doesn’t reciprocate his feelings, she still wants to be friends anyway, and she doesn’t want to be harsh on him either. Besides, even though some of Christelle’s rants about him are understandable, some are just her overthinking it because when I ask Gabriel about it, he explains that it was really nothing or unintentional or that he didn’t even realize or know it was something.

But anyway, here’s a conversation we had:

Christelle was talking about the weird things Gabe did on the band practice for St. Andrews youth service. “That time, I didn’t know Gabe liked me. Mia hadn’t told me yet. But did you know he liked me that time?” she asked me.

        “Yeah, I knew for like the whole summer.” Everyone’s jaw dropped and they erupted into laughter. “Like, he told me when I was in the Philippines on 12 PM.”

        “Oh my goodness”

        “Oh my god…”

        “That’s insane!”

        “And that was like a week after I confessed to Christelle about Edwin’s crush on her.”

        Jessica gasped so deeply and Alicia laughed her head off.

        “Mia told me that Edwin liked me and I was like ‘I dunno how to feel about this…’ and I could be myself because it was Mia. But then I didn’t know obviously that Gabe told her.” Then Christelle goes on to rant about Gabe staring at her again. She says that she didn’t know that he liked her that time but she felt really weird that something was going on. Then here comes the part with Edwin again.

        “You know when Edwin came as a surprise, and then we all went to Al Wahda mall?”

        “Oh my gosh, that time! The pain I had to go through that!” I laughed.

        Before she could relay the story, Alicia’s phone starts ringing. Her parents were gonna come pick her and Jess up in a few minutes so we had to finish all this and practice one last time for Open Mic.

        Christelle continues, “So Edwin’s sitting in the passenger seat in the front. Mia and I are at the back, okay?”

        “You guys were in a taxi?” Jessica asked.

        “Yeah, we were on a taxi on the way to Al Wahda mall. And so he brings up something about…”

        “DUUDE LIKE EDWIN,” I groaned remembering that time.

        “Okay, dude, boys are stupid in general, but Edwin is a little bit extra stupid, okay?” Christelle said.

        “That was the time when Gabe was saying to me that he was not gonna confess, like he doesn’t want Christelle to know,” I said.

        Jessica gasps, “Noo wayyyyy.”

        “And then, AND THEN, EDWIN comes along and brings it up on the taxi and was like ‘GABE HAS A SECRET!’” I said while freaking out.

        “Gabe- he said- dude- what- ughmfgh-,” Christelle stuttered as she was getting so worked up. “You have to be some type of stupid to not know what a guy is talking about when he said, ‘oh Gabe has a secret’ and taunting YOU.”

        “And I was like struggling ‘cuz I wanted to keep that secret from Christelle. But like I didn’t wanna lie to her, right in front of her,” I said.

        “Yeah,” Christelle said.

        “But it’s for like the good,” Alicia said.

        “Did you find out that day?” Jessica asked.

        “No, no, no, so listen. So like, Edwin was like, ‘oh yeah Gabe has a secret’ and I was like ‘dude what’s happening?’ okay? And I was like, ‘Mia what’s going on?’ and then she just keeps laughing and was like, ‘Edwin, you’re so stupid, why’d you bring it up?’ okay? And I was like, okay- I had- it was the last thing on the list that I thought it was—Gabe’s secret—and I was like dude, no one likes me, c’mon, stupid Christelle. Don’t think about it, okay? And then we enter Al Wahda mall. We go upstairs, yah? I’m ordering McDonalds, okay?”

        “Of course. As you do,” Alicia said and Christelle laughed.

        “And then, John Adithya’s right next to me because he wanted to order something. And we’re good friends. I’m pretty close to him. And- and- I was like ‘dude, I have something to tell you and I can’t keep it in. And it’s so awkward.’ And he was like ‘what happened?’ and then I tell him what happened in the taxi. And I’m like, ‘the last thing on my list is I think Gabe likes me.’ But I didn’t say it out loud, I was like ‘I think Gabe…’ and I didn’t say the sentence and then he knew what I was talking about. And then he was like ‘dude, I don’t think so.’ And was like, ‘Good, I want it to be like that. He’s a good friend of mine. I don’t wanna ruin it,’ okay? That was the end of our conversation. And then we ordered McDonalds and went to eat, okay? And then fast forward to like one or two weeks, where I confront Mia. And Mia told me, and she can’t lie to me in my face. We’re like–” she giggles.

        “I have a hard time lying to her,” I said.

        “She can’t lie to me. So when I ask directly to Mia, like she’ll have to tell me the truth. And it’s the most like- one of the perks about being her friend.” She laughed. “So I was like, ‘dude, Mia, what’s going on?’—oh! I forgot to tell you. So, in Al Wahda, I was like, ‘hey Gabe, Edwin told me that you had some secret, yeah?’”

        Jessica started laughing with such a high pitch and Alicia’s eyes grew wide, “Good Job XD!”

        “I KNOW!- I was like, ‘dude, is everything okay?’ cuz I thought it was serious.”

        “Oh yeah, honestly,” Alicia laughed.

        “Yeah, you’d think it was serious, yeah,” Jessica said.

        “Yeah, I thought it was a serious problem! I was like, ‘dude, Gabe, are you okay? Is everything, your family, okay? Like um- I’m your friend and I would like to know if anything was serious.’ And he makes this STUPID excuse about his grandfather not being well, okay?”

        “He told me that was true,” I said.

        “Okay, wait, it was actually true?” Jessica said.

        “He said it was like kinda true, yeah.”

        Christelle paused for a while and looked at as if I had sinned for not telling her. “It was true?” The two laughed again.

        Then Jess said, “But I swear if someone said that just to have it as an excuse, I would actually kill someone. Not kill but I would really be upset. I would start shouting at him.”

        “But it’s true,” Christelle said as if trying to let that sink in with her for a while.

        “He has problems with his (family)…”

        “He just used another excuse, for something else.”

        “Cuz like Edwin talked to him before she asked.”

        “Yeah, so he told me ‘my grandfather’s not doing well, just please pray for him’ okay? And I was like ‘okay, yeah, I’ll pray for him,’ okay? End of conversation. And then fast forward to like one or two weeks- when did you tell me?” Christelle asked me.

        “One week after.”

        “In the taxi?”

        “Yeah. She was like, ‘Gabe likes you.’ and I was like ‘…no. No. Stop Mia.’ And then yeah…”

        “I would’ve never seen that coming,” Alicia said. “Like anyone else.”

        “The thing is Gabe—he brushes it off so well,” Jess said.

        “Yeah, like…”

While Jessica and Alicia were talking I had an idea to look for my blog about the part of Gabe’s confession that we were just talking about. It was in the post “Leader.” I let Christelle read it. Christelle, in her usual fashion, freaks out the moment she saw it and I started chuckling. The two paused their conversation and Christelle starts stuttering,

        “She like- she’s like-!!!”

        “Mia…” Alicia calls my name in concern.

        “She’s like blogging about it!” Christelle exclaimed.

        “No one reads it, though. Like, it’s a private blog.”

        “So you know when you can write stories and keep it to yourself?”

        “Yeah…?” Alicia’s becomes even more curious.

        “So- MIA!?” Christelle’s voice shakes and then she started reading enthusiastically the portion I showed her:

Fast forward to the next week, which happened just this past Friday, on the way home, Christelle starts asking me about Gabriel’s secret. Since I didn’t want to be the one telling her, I asked her if she asked Gabriel about it. And so she says that she did and that Gabe had this weird look on his face.

                “MIAAA” Alicia freaks out. “She’s narrating our lives! I told you!”

                “She’s narrating our lives!” Christelle repeats.

                “I told you! I told you!” I laughed.

I hate to break the confidentiality of Gabe’s secret, but I hate lying to her more.

                “Aww,” Christelle said.

                “I would read this book,” Alicia laughed. “And I know what happens.”

 So I sighed so much before actually telling her.

          Arrghhhhh, not this again,” I shook my head. I took a deep a breath and stared at her. “Gabe. likes. you.”

                Alicia and Jessica laughed hysterically at that line. “That build up!”

          And there it was again, the same face that I saw four months ago if not worse—the face that showed a crash of confusion and shock.

                “You should be a writer!” Alicia and Jessica said at the same time.

She kept screaming no and cringed so hard. It was so shocking that she even missed the taxi stop she was supposed to get off at.

                “Really?” Christelle said.

                “Yeah,” I laughed.

                “You should please write a book,” Alicia laughed.

                “Dude- I- if this was an actual book, I swear–” Christelle shook her head.

                “Yeah like, I swear you should be an FBI agent,” Jessica said.

                “Can you like- you would like- who–” Alicia was at loss for words.

                Christelle continued reading:

Since we were near her house, there was no time to discuss it fully. But she did manage to ask, “And what about Edwin???”

          “Edwin got over you.”

          “OH MY GOD, THANK YOU MIA!” Obviously, she was so relieved to hear that. At least two people don’t have a crush on her at the same time.

                “HAHA!!,” Christelle laughed.

                “This is like freaking good- like this is actually pretty good,” Jessica said.

          “It was probably because of the distance and stuff, isn’t it?”

          “Yeah, exactly that.”

          After that we bid goodbye. I went home but I finally found the right time to ask her the thing that I’ve wanted to know. On whatsapp, I sent to her,

          “Btw, since ppl like you, I’m curious. Do you have an ideal type?”

          “What do you mean?
Oh like my type of guys?

          Okay first of all
I don’t date
Well at least at this age and you know that. I believe if we date it is to marry.”

After that, I took my phone to stop her from reading the rest because the next paragraph was about us discussing what we thought of Jessica and Nithin’s relationship. Of course, I didn’t want Jessica to hear that, no no no… Anyway, Christelle said after I took the phone a way,

                “You narrate my life, Mia!”

Anyway, as the night grew while we talked, we realized we didn’t even practice that much. When we finally decided to practice, Alicia’s parents comes along, so we hurried to perfect our harmonies one last time. Then I packed Alicia’s guitar immediately and so, she and Jessica took off.

I stayed for about 20 minutes in Christelle’s room before finally deciding to leave. During that time, I let her listen to my favorite Tori Kelly videos again. Then I made her read portions of my blog here and there. I even showed her that one post was titled “With Stella.” She was very surprised that I had that as a title for one blog and wanted to read the whole thing, but I didn’t allow her because seriously, I’m so vulnerable with my thoughts in my blogs, especially when it’s about her, and I’d rather die than show her everything.

While we were in that silence sitting right beside each other, she brings up something ridiculous. She said that at one point when she mentioned John Adithya, Jessica made eye contact with me and she asked if there was a meaning behind it. She assumes that Jessica assumes she likes Adithya. She didn’t really say it, but that’s what her bothered expressions and cringing voice told me. Oh paranoid, overthinking Christelle… I didn’t even notice anything of the sort from Jessica when she mentioned Adithya. Even if Jessica did think of something about her saying how close they were, I don’t remember telepathically smirking and assuming things with Jessica about it. Christelle reads into too many things sometimes. I guess her being ENFP is really spot on.

“Campaigners don’t take things at face value – they look for underlying motives in even the simplest things. It’s not uncommon for Campaigners to lose a bit of sleep asking themselves why someone did what they did, what it might mean, and what to do about it.”