I coughed hard as I tried my best to maintain my composure but desperately failed to do so. His eyes were like earth, interwoven with varying shades of brown, making me want to explore them, convinced that I would find glorious treasures of gold.
Remembering my predicament, the last thing I would want right now is lose my dignity in front of this man.
"Snotty Selena," he teased a bit more, his lips twisted from trying to suppress his laugh.
'This bewitching demon!'
I breathed deeply and braced myself. There's no way I'll just let him defeat me today.
Beneath my right foot, I felt something a bit solid in contrast to the loose sand of the white beach. I picked up the dead starfish as I plan to run towards him and throw the thing at his face. I would've claimed my oh-so-sweet victory.
I badly wanted to see that arrogant smirk of his disappear. Or at least I tried to. Afterall, I was born the very embodiment of 'embarrassment'.
My face was so red that I felt the surge of blood in my cheeks. I tripped over my own foot, my butt cheeks hurting as a result of the fall. Luckily, there was almost no one in the area, except Gavril and I.
He laughed hysterically until he ended up sitting down, exhausted from making fun of me.
Gavril is my best friend. He is and has always been the biggest bully of my life, and I was always determined to erase his smirk one day. Every morning, he waits by the door just to piss the hell off of me. He is a great guy though. I know that deep inside, he cares for me.
He'd always been there, even in the ninth grade, where he entertained everybody, not caring about losing his trademark aristocratic and majestic image when my terror professor cut me off before I even began my report because my laptop was a little malfunctioning.
Seeing him propping himself comfortably in the sand, I knew I had to take the chance. I will definitely piss him off today! I gathered a handful of sand in my hands and hid them behind my back.
I had to put the purest smile I could ever conjure off my naturally resting b*tch face. Flashing my teeth and hopping unusually gleefully towards Gavril, who had his eyes on me, unreadable. There was a hint of sadness in his face as he stared at my smile, but I can't put my finger on it.
My stomach suddenly churned from sorrow like I was supposed to do something, or like there was something missing … but I cannot figure what that was. As I continued hopping my way towards him, still smiling despite the strong tug of sadness in me, I finally hurled all of the sand at his face, completely catching him off guard.
He was coughing madly, earning me the most imperious glare from him. I ran away. 'Huh! You can't catch me if I run towards the water!'
My feet splashed the water beneath me. The beach today was surprisingly calm and quiet. It lacked its usual jaws that seemed to devour anyone invading the waters. When I reached deep enough, I swam and made faces at him. Unexpectedly, he dove the seas as well. 'What just happened?'
I looked angrily at him, feeling betrayed. "I thought you didn't know how to swim." He was a bit baffled, but recovered his composure quickly. Instead of answering my question, he just smiled at me.
'What is this? He's lying now?'
Frustrated that I can't be completely angry at this man, I splashed the water on his face. We ended up laughing at the mess we've made of ourselves, not noticing that people were starting to gather around the area.
"Mom, look at them! They're acting like kids!" A blonde-haired kid just by the shore shouted, pointing his tiny finger at us.
"Shh baby. Grandpa and Grandma neighbors deserve to enjoy and have fun too! Let's just play sandcastle over there," an older woman, who seemed like his mother, said to the little boy.
'Grandpa and Grandma? She's not talking about us, is she? I mean, I'm just 19.'
Ignoring their seemingly nonsensical comments, I continued pissing Gavril off until I was satisfied.
The wind blew my wavy brown hair off my face as my arms aimed for support from the cold metal at the edge of the ship. The night had fallen, and the moon had claimed its place from the sun.
"Do you like it?" Gavril asked as he angled his face slightly to see me. His usual disheveled black hair was now thrown into a greater mess. A stunning disaster.
I cannot see the water from up here at the deck of the ship, however, the small waves made pleasing sounds that were perceptible, calming my heart and mind.
"Yeah. It has always been my dream to be in a place like this." I smiled, refusing to act the way like we usually do, and took him seriously instead. The cold was starting to penetrate in my skin, so I inched closer to Gavril for some warmth. He had already given me his black overcoat, but it couldn't quite suffice.
"You know, I always like the moon," I blurted out, out of the blue. The moon has the kind of beauty that's distant, cold, yet lovely. I faced Gavril only to see him staring at me deeply.
'What is going on inside this idiot's mind again?'
"Selena …" His voice sounded slightly hoarse, yet I sensed the feeling of yearning … like he desperately wanted something but couldn't get it no matter how hard he tried. It sounded sad.
"Drinks, anyone?" A man came up, cutting off my thought process.
"Sparkling wine for the both of us, please," I stated and gave him a polite smile. Gavril is wearing his white tux, a stark contrast to the shadows of the night. This fashion style wouldn't usually look good on others, but every time he wears something, everything just becomes incoherently majestic.
Again, the emotional tug I felt earlier crept in. 'What is happening to me?'
I noticed something peeking out of his pocket and asked him about it. It was a picture of a little girl, about five years old. Her eyes were hazel, and hair black. "Who's she?" I asked, curious.
"Aww. Cute name. Where is she now?" I questioned, my voice in a higher pitch.
"She's … she's happy now. She's with the Lord in heaven."
'What? Oh my God! What have I just done?'
In contrast to my worries, however, Gavril remained calm and collected.
"She's so beautiful." 'Why can't I shut up?' The kid is indeed extremely beautiful though. Just by looking at the picture, I can see her sweet aura and cute, big dazzling eyes. It's just sad that she's gone now, but at least she's happy in heaven.
"She takes from you," Gavril said, smiling.
"Sparkling wine, the Lady and the Sir?" The man from earlier came back with drinks, which he then gave to us.
'Ugh, but why does he always cut us off?'
I'm wearing a long white dress that covers my toes. It seemed to complement Gavril's tuxedo so well.
"I wanted to give you something," Gavril said as he took a tiny box coated with red velvet material from his pocket. He opened it swiftly and immediately put it on my finger.
I gasped as I realized that it was a platinum gold ring. "What's this for, Gav?"
He smiled. "Just a gift. Don't worry about it."
Lying on the bed, Gavril and I were slowly falling asleep. There was a large open window by the headboard, the white curtains slightly ajar and gracefully flowing as the wind made its way across. The moonlight creeping in had casted a glimmering shades of pale blue light on our bodies.
Since we were kids, Gavril always spent the night at my place, and he always slept on my bed with me.
It was never an issue between the two of us. He had always respected me, earning not only my trust but my parents' as well.
This day had a lot of strange things going on. I couldn't quite understand most of them, but I just know that I'm happy. I enjoyed every moment I spend with this guy.
I decided to sleep, but I couldn't. Despite being awake, my eyes still remained close. Sounds of waves splashing can still be heard from outside, laughters of the waters as they dance, with the comfort that no one's watching them.
I still have a lot of questions. My brain also seemed to be working hard tonight. 'You should've done that during my midterms, stupid brain!'
The lavender silk bedsheets have been tugged, slightly stretched as I felt Gavril's body moving, propping himself up. My back was facing him, and I was near the edge of the bed. Gavril slithered towards my body that I am already able to feel his warmth.
I can hear his deep breaths, each faintly brushing my ear, sending sensations I couldn't explain. His emanating warmth reached my heart, calling me back home. I can't see him though, as my eyes had been shut closed. All I know is that he was sitting and that our bodies were really close … and I want him even closer.
I felt his hand cupping my face. I stifled my gasp at the sudden electric shock from the contact. 'What on earth are you doing, Gavril?'
I chose not to respond. I don't think he's expecting a response from me as well. Instead, I continued pretending to be asleep.
"I … I'm sorry I couldn't make you remember everything."
'What do you mean?'
My heart pounding as confusion kicks in.
"But I always tell myself that it doesn't matter."
Tears unreasonably fell down my still closed eyes, but I didn't dare let him know I was awake. I'm too scared. I don't understand why I'm crying, and why it's suddenly so painful, like there is a ton, weighing my heart down. I am in a state of immense confusion.
"Shania and I love you, my Wife."
Time seemed to stop. Everything started making sense, parallel lines meant not to meet have suddenly changed angles and converged.
"I don't mind reliving our happiest moments everyday with you."
'Then … I'll rest assured, my Husband.'
I woke up, my head killing me. With my eyes closed, I reached out for the glass of water and Ibuprofen on the table.
The fire was already consuming the whole house. Blazing and monstrous, it was such a nightmare.
What's happening? I couldn't breathe!
AAAHH! The ceiling had already started to crumble; debris blazing with fire had fallen on my body. The silk bedsheets have turned to ashes. Pain bursts like electrical shocks, but I didn't succumb ... I shouldn't succumb. I still have to do something.
I frantically scrambled up and and went on my knees for air. I need to find my daughter.
"Shania?" I shouted with my remaining voice, which unfortunately sounded like whimpers in the chaos.
"Baby?" Her door was solid shut, and I had to use my foot to open it.
My Shania ... she's ...
STOP. STOP! LET ME FORGET.
I COULDN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE.
I DON'T WANT ANY OF THIS. I DON'T WANT TO REMEMBER THIS AT ALL!
"H-hey calm down. What's going on?" a shirtless man who seemed to be someone who slept beside me last night, frantically asked.
I was terrified of his sudden presence that I immediately reached out for the blanket and checked for my clothes. All seemed to be intact.
"Good morning," the man smiled brightly. "Did you have a bad dream?"
"Who on earth are you?"
'Ah. He's Gavril, my Best Friend.'
Hello everyone! Thank you for reading. I would gladly hear your criticisms.