This story is written by Zinnita. No copycats allowed.
PART 1 – FIRST KISS MEMORIES
IT was just another day. A day where I had to wake up after falling asleep listening to Taylor Swift on my playlist the night before, a day where I had to prepare myself to face a new challenge, or maybe just same old shit, another day to put on a fake smile.
A day where I had to remind myself that, he was gone.
I put on my usual outfit, a T-shirt with a pink sweater, considering how the weather was, my favourite black jeans and my Vans sneakers. My hair was braided loosely and I made my way to the coffee shop; Where Coffee Brews, which I owned it myself. Though it was mine, I never acted like I owned it. I mean, I went to the shop every day and all, but I did not just sit in the main office and acted like I was the bossy boss ever. Instead, I worked my ass off just like my other employees.
“Are you okay?”
One of my favourite employees, or whom I loved to call as my own older sister, Ashley, asked.
I smiled at her as I walked over to counter table. “As you can see.”
“What I see is that your face looks pale. Did you get enough sleep? Or, rest, at least?” She asked again.
“Yeah, I did. It’s probably because of the nightmare.” I rolled my eyes, earning a chuckle from her. I grabbed a dishcloth and started to wipe the table. My other employees had arrived and started their work in silence. The shop would be ready to be open within 20 minutes, thus everything needed to be ready.
30 minutes later, our first customer came in. As usual, Ashley took the order at the counter while I sat at the edge with my laptop. When thirst took place in my throat, I got up to get a cup of iced latte. The front door was pushed from outside, a guy with a familiar look stepped in. For a second, I frowned.
The guy was wearing a brown coat, with a pair of jeans, black shoes, looking straight at me with a smile on his face. I replied the smile awkwardly before walking towards the counter.
“Is that... Kendall?” I heard Ashley whispered to me.
“Yep,” I said.
“I didn’t know he was back.”
“Neither did I.”
Kendall made his way to the counter and I quickly walked over the edge of the counter, not wanting to face him. At least, not now. I glared with the corner of my eyes. He took his drink and decided to sit at the left side of the shop. Ashley nudged me at the waist. I turned to her. “What?”
“Go talk to him,” she said.
“No!” I refused.
“He came to see you.”
“How did you know that?”
“I can read people.” She winked teasingly.
I sighed. “Fine, I’ll go.” I made my way to him. Awkwardly, I gave him a warm smile. “Hi.”
“Hi,” he said it back.
“Can I sit?”
“This is your shop, obviously. Not mine.” He smiled.
I pulled a chair and sat down in front of him. “I didn’t know you were back.” Honestly, I didn’t know what to say so I just rephrased what Ashley said to me earlier.
“That’s why I came here.” He looked straight at me. His dimples seemed so adorable, hadn’t changed after all this time. That was one of the things I liked about him.
“So... How was Perth?” I asked. He was back from Australia so I thought that would be an appropriate question to be asked.
“It was great. You?”
He startled for a second. “I mean, how are you doing?”
“Good, I guess.” I let out a little chuckle.
“I went to Dylan’s yesterday and...”
I frowned by the mention of that name. The name I’d been trying so hard to forget but till this moment, I still couldn’t. Kendall stopped talking, which told me that he noticed my response.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
I took a deep breath. “It’s okay. Hmm...What were you doing there?”
“I went to see his mum and she actually asked me for a favour.”
“What kind of favour?” I didn’t know if I was ready for this, but I figured maybe this time I needed to start to be ready. Or at least, learn to be ready.
“There are still lots of things in his bedroom so she asked me if I could help her remove all those things...”
“What do you mean ‘remove’? She wants to throw everything out?”
“I think she wants to keep everything in boxes and just place them where they should be. Maybe with that, she could finally move on.”
I didn’t say anything back. Dylan was gone for about a year now and it still felt like he was with me yesterday. We fell in love back when we were in high school. Our stories started when he asked me to the homecoming dance. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it at all. But he did, anyway. And that night, I felt so happy. I knew I was in love. We promised to go into the same college after we graduated high school. Our relationship became stronger and stronger each day. Until that day, when fate decided that we didn’t belong together.
“I was hoping that you could come with me.”
Kendall’s voice brought me back to the reality. I let out a breath. I didn’t know what to say. Should I?
“But if you don’t want to, it’s okay. I get it.” He smiled.
I stared at him for a second. Maybe by going to his house and help Kendall to pack his things, I could rewind our love stories. Even for just a couple of hours, it would be enough for me. I needed those memories back because I missed him so much.
“When do you want to go?”
“Okay, count me in.” I smiled.
“Are you sure?”
He nodded. I smiled again.
“I look ridiculously, don’t I?” I asked him as I looked down at my dress. My light blue dress that showed off my legs, right below my knees.
“No, Katelyn. You look perfect, trust me.” Dylan gave his breath-taking smile that melt my heart away.
“Just out of curiosity, why did you ask me to be your date? I mean, there are still lots of beautiful girls at this school.” I asked again.
“Yes, but they don’t have what you do.”
“What do I have?”
“I’ll answer that on our second date. Now, let’s go.” He took my hand and we walked into the hall together. I was so nervous that I didn’t realize I held his hand really tight. This was my first time going to dance with a date, especially with a popular boy like Dylan.
“Would you like some sodas?” Dylan asked as he put his hand on my waist.
I could feel my body shivered a slightest. Was it normal? “Why doesn’t it have coffee here? I mean, like latte or something.”
He laughed. I looked at him as I furrowed my eyebrows. Did I make joke?
“So you like coffee, huh?” he asked with a smile on his face.
“What else do you like?”
“Hmm...” I took time to do some thinking.
“You can tell me over dance.”
He gave me his right hand. “Would you like to dance with me?”
I lost in my thoughts for a second. Seeing him smile like that, I finally took his hand and we walked to the dance floor. He put his hands over my waist as I put mine over his neck. Our faces were inches away. I could hear my heart beating so fast.
“So, what else do you like?” He asked while staring straight into my eyes.
“Hmm...” I didn’t know what happened but suddenly my mind just went blank. Was this normal to other people?
“Chocolate or flowers?” he asked again.
“Chocolate,” I said.
“Cats or dogs?”
“Parties or movies?”
“Movies.” I smiled.
“Black or white?”
“Beach or park?” He asked as his face came closer to me.
I hid my smile. “I don’t know. Both, maybe?”
“Sneakers or heels?”
“Sneakers.” And closer...
“Kiss on the cheeks, or lips?” He whispered very slowly, just for me to hear it.
I didn’t answer. I didn’t know whether it’s because I didn’t have the answer or maybe I didn’t know how to answer. My lips couldn’t move as if they were paralyzed. Before I knew it, his lips were on mine. We kissed.
My first kiss. It was sweet and passionate. I didn’t even know that I could feel this way. That was the moment when I realized that I was in love with him.
My alarm went off. I opened my eyes and stared at the ceiling. I could feel tears coming down my cheeks. The dream came again. But for me, it wasn’t just a dream. It was a memory. A very beautiful memory I had with him, that I will never forget. Ever.
I wiped my tears and got out of the bed. I promised Kendall to help him pack Dylan’s things so I had to take a shower, get ready and get through another day with a smile on my face.
PART 2 – MORE THAN YOU
WE went to Dylan’s house with Kendall’s car. When we were just a few miles away, my heart tried to convince myself to turn back but I ignored it. I realized that life didn’t get any easier by avoiding things, and that was why I had to do this.
Dylan’s mum, Mary greeted us with a smile. She hugged me, saying that she missed me so much. I admit that I missed her too, but the fact that I missed her son more and the doubt that I had whether I should be there or not made me afraid to come and see her.
We made our way to Dylan’s bedroom. Everything was still at the same spot, just like the last time I was here. I stared at the wall, where he patched a lot of our pictures together. They were still there. My heart ached the moment I saw the picture that was taken on our high school graduation. He looked so happy, standing right next to me, holding me in his arms.
“Katelyn, I get it if you don’t...”
“No, it’s OK. I can do this.” I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself down. “So, where do we start?”
Kendall walked to Dylan’s desk. He started to pick up books and put them in the boxes that we carried minutes before. I walked to him and started to help him. I picked up a book titled That November, the Rain Falls. For a moment, another memory hit me.
“This used to be our favourite,” I said.
“I know,” Kendall said.
I turned to look at him.
“Every time he called me, he never forgot to talk about you. He used to say that he was the luckiest man ever, because he had you in his life.” Kendall looked straight into my watering eyes.
I tried so hard to hold back my tears.
“Do you want to keep this?” He asked.
“Can I?” I furrowed my eye brows at him.
“I’m sure Mrs. Rivers won’t mind.” He smiled at me as he put the other books into the boxes. Then he moved to the wardrobe to take out Dylan’s clothes.
I put the book in my bag. “How did you do it?” I asked Kendall as I threw other things into the boxes.
Kendall stared at me for a moment before letting out a heavy sigh. “When Mrs. Rivers called me and she told me that he was gone, I thought I was dreaming. No, I wished I was dreaming. He wasn’t just a friend to me, but he was more like a brother. Even though we didn’t go to the same school, we were still bestfriends. That is why Mrs. Rivers asked me to write the eulogy. At first, I didn’t know what to write because I didn’t think I could ever describe how amazing he was in a piece of paper. It took a lot more than that. But then I realized, it wasn’t about how he was, it was about what the people he left needed to hear so that they could all move on. And I did.”
I nodded with an ache burst inside my heart. That was so beautiful to hear.
“I think we should continue this,” he said awkwardly after a moment.
I chuckled. “OK.” We continued packing things but every once in a while I stopped because I caught Kendall glancing at me. But every time I turned around, he wasn’t even looking at me. Was it just me or...
“Umm... Katelyn,” he called.
I turned to him once again. He looked nervous. Or did I read it wrong?
“Can I ask you something?” he asked.
“You just did,” I joked.
He laughed. But I could hear the awkwardness in his laugh. Or maybe, doubt.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Umm, actually...” He put his right hand on his head. I knew that move. A move that clearly said he was nervous. “A friend of mine invited me to her birthday party and she told me I could bring a plus one... and...”
I didn’t say anything back immediately. Did he just ask me to be his date?
“You know what? It’s nothing. Just forget what I said.” He took one of the boxes and quickly walked out of the room.
I stood there with my eyes kept blinking. What just happened?
A few minutes later, he came back but before he could leave again with another box, I stopped him. “Did you mean that?”
“What?” He looked at me with a weird look on his face.
“About that birthday party thing...” I said.
“Oh, about that. No, I mean, yes. Umm... I don’t know.”
I smiled at his stutter. He looked cute when he was nervous.
“Actually, I hate birthday parties but I don’t have excuses not to go and she kind of begged me to be there so I figured maybe I should bring a friend to accompany me but I don’t really have anyone to ask so...”
“You asked me,” I said, completing his words.
“Yep.” He nodded. “But I understand if you don’t want to go. I mean, it’s just a stupid birthday party and..”
“Kendall, relax.” I put my hands up, asking him to calm down. He was just asking me to accompany him to a birthday party, not to rob a bank.
He took a deep breath as he gulped. “Sorry.”
He quickly added, “But really though, I’m OK if you’re not up for it.”
“Are you afraid that I might mistakenly think that you’re asking me out on a date?” I teased.
He didn’t answer but I could still see how nervous he was. I almost laughed so I said, “OK, I’ll go with you.”
“Really?” He looked surprised as if I just agreed to go on a suicide mission with him.
I nodded. “Not a date, just a company. I’m good with a company.”
Only then I could see him smile. “Thanks, Katelyn. I really owe you one.”
“I’ll think of how you can repay me but now, let’s just get this done.” I said as I picked up a box and brought it downstairs.
IT was a fine evening when Dylan came to my house to pick me up so that we could go to the theatre to watch movies. But before that we went to grab dinner. I chose to eat burger and he just agreed with me.
“Give me one good reason why I should watch this movie,” he said while staring at the poster with narrowed eyes, as if looking for a reason at the poster.
“Because Johny Depp plays the lead role,” I said.
“So you like Johny Depp?”
“Are you kidding me? I love him!”
He laughed. “Fine. Let’s go buy tickets.”
We walked into the cinema about minutes later. I didn’t know he chose to sit at a couple seat until we got in there. I hid my smile and put my drink at the left side of the chair.
“So, do you know what people do in here?” Dylan asked me. His voice was very slow, almost like a whisper.
I turned to him and realized that our faces just a few inches away. “They watch movies?” I said while trying so hard to hide my stutter. If only he could hear my heartbeat...
“No. They do this.” He took my right hand and held it so tightly, but in a very pleasant way.
“Um...” I didn’t know what to say.
“Are you always this nervous?” He teased.
“What? No. What do you mean? I’m not.” I shook my head. I turned my eyes at the screen. The hall turned dark as they switched off the lighting. Good, because this way he wouldn’t be able to see me blush.
He chuckled. “Do you remember what I said at the dance?”
“You asked me if I liked coffee.” I answered bluntly.
He chuckled again. He must know that I was just saying that because I was nervous. Or maybe because I was too afraid to say what he really meant. “You asked me why I took you to the dance, and not other girls.”
I nodded. Yes, I remember. And I also remember that he said he would tell me on our second date. This was our second date and maybe he would tell me now?
“I like you,” he said.
I turned to him slowly. Did he really just say that? This was the first time someone ever said those words to me. Did he really mean that? Did he really like me?
“And I think now is not the right time to say that because right now you’re in the mood to watch Johny Depp in that movie.” He pointed to the screen.
I chuckled. “Yep. He’s really handsome.”
He looked at me again. “More than me?”
“More than you.” I smiled.
“HOW do I look? Am I overdressed?” I asked as I looked at Ashley who now was staring at me like I just returned from heaven and appeared in front of her as an angel. “Ash? Hello?”
Ashley blinked a few times before rubbing her eyes and then she laughed.
“Are you laughing because of how I look? Do I look funny?” I couldn’t think straight anymore.
“No, honey. You look great.” She pulled me in front of a big mirror. I stared at my own figure, not wanting to believe that that was me. “See? You look beautiful.”
I sighed. “I guess so. And I hope I’m not over dressed. I mean, it’s just a birthday party, not a prom or something.”
She laughed. “And you are going as his company, not his date. So why worry so much? Unless...”
I narrowed my eyes at her. I knew what she was going to say. “No! He’s Dylan’s friend, and my friend too. That’s it.”
Ashley put her hands up. “Sorry, I was just kidding.”
Car honking gave me a message that he had arrived. I was the one who asked him to pick me up at the shop because that way I wouldn’t have to go back to my apartment to change.
“Have fun!” Ashley winked at me as I walked out of the shop. Kendall was waiting for me while standing next to his car. The moment he saw me, he gave me a very sweet smile. I smiled back.
I nodded and he opened his car door for me.
A few minutes later, we arrived at his friend’s house. It was big and I was guessing that the party would be big too. “Now I understand why you didn’t want to come in the first place. It looks terrifying.”
“If it’s not for you, I’d still be at home right now,” he said.
I laughed and followed him into the house. We were greeted with smiles from other guests. I didn’t know any of them but at least I knew they accepted me as a guest as well.
“Kendall!” A very pretty lady suddenly called out and walked towards us with a big smile on her face. She hugged Kendall so tight as if they were long lost relatives who hadn’t met for like 20 years. I stood there not knowing what to do.
“I’m so glad you could make it,” the lady said after she broke the hug.
Kendall smiled. “Yeah... I guess I just had free time...” he said that but I knew he didn’t really mean it.
“I see you brought a date.” She looked at me with a very teasing smile.
“What? Oh...” I quickly shook my head. “No, I’m...”
“She’s my friend,” Kendall interrupted.
“A friend could be a date too.” But his friend clearly didn’t want to drop the subject.
I looked at her with a very awkward smile. What was happening right now?
Kendall laughed nervously as he rubbed his forehead. “Um... this is Katelyn. Katelyn, this is Hannah.”
“Hi,” I said because honestly, that was the only word I could think of.
Hannah smiled. “Nice to meet you, Kate. I’m gonna go over there. You two have fun.” She winked at Kendall and walked pass us.
“Well that was awkward,” Kendall sighed.
I didn’t know why but I laughed. “It really was.”
He smiled. “Are you hungry?? Or, thirsty maybe?”
“Before you answer that, there’s no coffee here.”
I laughed again. “OK. So what can I have?”
“What do you want?”
“Something as good as coffee.”
I nodded as he went to get me some drink. For a moment there, I could feel something inside of me. A joy that had not been in my life for a very long time.
“HEY, do you want to get out of here and go somewhere else?”
“Anywhere but not here.”
I thought about it for a while. Yes, I did want to get out but was it OK?
“You mean, leave here in the middle of this party?”
“What about your friend? What would she say if we leave?”
“I’ll go talk to her.”
Kendall made his way to Hannah before I could even stop him. I saw them talking, with Hannah’s eyes kept glancing over at me with a teasing smile on her lips. I sighed. Well, there wasn’t anything I could do. So I decided to just let her with her ‘wild’ imagination.
After what seemed like a forever, Kendall came back to me. “Let’s go.”
“What did you say to her?” I asked him as I followed him out of the house.
“I told her we’ve got something.”
“Which is what exactly?”
He stopped walking and turned to me. I could see him gulped before opened his mouth to say something but then nothing came up and he shut it again. That made me realize something. Did he mean something like...
“You know what? Don’t answer that.” I walked quickly to his car. But I could still catch his little chuckle over my back.
“WHAT is this place?” I asked as I looked over the place. At first I thought he was bringing me to his apartment, not that I was hoping for it, but when I stepped in, all I see was canvases here and there. Some were hanging on the walls and some were just placed on the floor.
“My save heaven,” Kendall said as he took a painting that was placed on the floor and brought it to a closet. I couldn’t see what painting was that because he was too fast, as if he didn’t want me to see it.
“Your what?” I furrowed my eye brows.
He turned to me and smiled. “This is where I paint.”
“You paint?” I was surprised.
“Yep.” He walked towards a small fridge and took out two drinks. He gave one to me. I took it as I stared at all of his paintings. It was breathtaking. Or maybe art-taking, if that was even a word.
“I didn’t know you paint. Did Dylan know?”
“He did. This is where we used to hang out and talk a lot.”
I sat on the couch beside him. Before I even realized it myself, saying and hearing Dylan’s name were no longer a taboo to me.
“Do you want to watch movies?” He asked after a moment.
“What movies you have?”
He stood up and moved to the player on the TV shelf. Seeing him having a hard time to decide which movies we should watch, I made my way to him. “Here, let me choose.”
He sat there while watching me choosing the movies. Then I picked one and showed him.
“If I Stay?”
“Yup. Play it,” I asked as I handed over the DVD.
“Have you watched this?”
“About three times.”
“And you still want to watch for the fourth time? Aren’t you bored?”
“Nope.” I winked as I sat on the couch again.
He sat beside me. “I don’t like this kind of movie.”
“Then why do you have it here? Is it your girlfriend’s?” As I asked, there was a part of me that was hoping that he would deny it. I mean, I didn’t even know if he had a girlfriend. But if he did, I knew I wouldn’t be here. He would have taken his girlfriend to the party, right? He said it himself that he didn’t really have anyone to ask.
“No, it’s my sister’s.”
“Oh...” I nodded my head.
“Are there a lot of kisses in this movie?”
I laughed. “Why? Do you have problems with kisses?”
He wrinkled his nose. “No, but I might have if I saw Chloe Grace Moretz kiss.”
I laughed again.
“What? I love her,” he said as he was trying to hide his smile.
“You are unbelievable.” I shook my head.
“You’re not the first person to say that.”
“Don’t worry, Chloe would be kissing Jamie Blackley, who is really handsome.”
“More than me?”
“More than you.” I smiled as I sipped my drink. The movie started playing. We sat in silence watching the movie. When the scene where Adam was singing on the stage as Mia watched him, I sang along. I knew Kendall was looking at me but I didn’t care.
Once the scene where Mia’s grandpa was talking to her while she was still in coma, I couldn’t help but sobbed. I wiped my eyes and tried so hard not to burst out loud.
“Are you crying?” Kendall asked suddenly.
I quickly rubbed my eyes as I turned to him. “Nope.”
He grinned. “I know you are.”
“Shut up,” I hissed as I continued watching the movie. He simply laughed.
When it was over, I took a deep breath to calm myself down. I finished my drink because that might be the only way to hide my tears from Kendall. This was my fourth time watching the same movie and I still felt the same way.
“OK, so tell me what is so good about the movie?” he asked.
“It’s about life choices. Whether you want to stay knowing you have no family left, or you want to leave and let every single dream you’ve ever wished for go away.”
“So, if it were you, what would you choose?”
I shrugged. “We never know what we’re gonna do next until we’re left in that situation on our own.” As he went silent, I turned to him again. He was staring so deep at me. So deep that I almost felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. So before it really jumped, I’d better leave.
“It’s getting late. I should go home.” I stood up as I grabbed my bag.
“OK.” He took his car key and walked to the door. I followed him after putting on my coat. It was really cold outside. We headed to his car and entered it.
“Thanks for accompanying me,” he said as he pulled off.
“So, if you have something and you would like to ask me anything, you can always do that. I mean, I owe you one don’t I?”
I nodded. “Right. So I can call you anytime if I need something?”
I smiled. “That sounds cool.”
~to be continued