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Friendship Mystery Romance

It shouldn’t have been a difficult decision. A no-brainer really. You kind of recognized the book itself. It was obviously a diary. One of the classic ones you could get just about anywhere. A simple baby blue, almost periwinkle color, hardcover notebook. It had two small metal plates sitting on the edge of the covers, with two small triangular pieces of metal, and one singular lock keeping the secrets the book knows away from anyone's eyes but the ones who are trusted enough to have a key. Those simple facts, that it’s locked, that you don’t have a key, that you don’t even know who the secrets belong to. They should be enough to prevent you from trying to pick the lock. They must be important. The stories hidden behind the lock. Personal and private. Yes, you’ve seen the book before, but you can’t put a face to who it belongs to. How are you supposed to find the person when you know absolutely nothing about them? The simplest answer? You don’t. You never find them. But the spine of the book is proof that it is used and depended on by the person to who it belongs. It’s cracked and looks as though it’s barely keeping the book together. Worn down by time and usage. It looks so delicate as if it should be opened slowly and gently or else it would break. Its secrets cause the book to overflow, eventually showing itself to the world. Maybe that’s a way to open it? But that would cause too much damage. What about missing-person flyers? No, that is definitely too extreme. Or is it? Okay, let’s start with where I found it then. On a bench, in one of the most used parks on campus… Nope, that isn’t gonna help. Then what? 

“Why is it that whenever I see you, you look like you are pondering Earth's greatest mysteries?” A familiar voice says from literally right next to me. When did she get there? I glance at her. She’s got her raven hair tied up in a ponytail. Medium-sized braids starting from her hairline going to the hair tie and disappearing into the mass of wavy black, almost blue hair captured. She has her usual black wire-rimmed glasses framing her eyes. Her skin is as pale as a ghost. Not totally out of the ordinary but still weird. 

“You look paler than normal. Have you eaten yet?” I think that’s pretty logical. It’s barely even 9 in the morning. She had an early class. It started at 7 I think. She scoffs at me. 

“Of course not. Don’t be ridiculous. I don’t eat breakfast this early.” Right… She prefers brunch. How careless of me. I roll my eyes subtly. “You avoided my question. What’s got you thinking so hard this early in the morning?” I sigh. Maybe she could help me identify the being this book belongs to. No. She’d encourage me to open it and skim through it. The easiest way to learn about a person, to identify them. Read their most treasured and hidden thoughts. I don’t think I’ll tell her about the book currently hidden in my shoulder bag. Right in between my laptop and chemistry textbook. 

“Wondering who on earth thought it would be a good idea to have a chem class at 8 in the morning. It is far too early to have a headache.” I say instead. Not a total lie. I did just get here from my class but I don’t have a headache because of it. It was canceled. The professor didn’t show up within the first ten minutes, so all of the students left the class. My headache comes from the stress that dumb blue book, that diary, is causing me. 

“Hah. Chem’s bad. I had a philosophy class. Imagine pondering the many mysteries of the universe before breakfast.” She suddenly pauses and I smirk lightly. “Oh wait. That was my opening question to you, wasn’t it? You are doing that. You are pondering the universe's greatest mysteries.” She groans lightly. “Man, how do you have the energy? And after chem class too?” I huff a laugh out. 

“You have a lot of energy for someone who I bet spent the entire night cramming for their philosophy exam this morning.” I get up from the bench without looking at her. It doesn’t matter anyway. I know exactly what expression she’s making. She is without a doubt scowling at me. “Come on. Unlike you, I am a breakfast person and know you want a coffee.” I start walking off in the general direction of the common area. Our favorite cafe is nestled in a nook between a Subway and a Planet Smoothie. 

“Are you offering to buy that coffee?” I scoff in response to her question. 

“When have you ever bought your own food in my presence?” It’s meant to be both a genuine question and a snarky response. She giggles at me. 

 “You’re right. What a great best friend you are, babe.” She pats my hoodie-clad shoulder.  I roll my eyes in response.

The wind starts to pick up. My recently dyed pink hair begins to tussle. Some of my bangs get caught in my eyes, making me blink rapidly. Clearly, she notices my struggle and shoves her wrist in front of my face. 

“Need a hair tie?” I resist the urge to roll my eyes once more at her. “OH! Right, you just cut your hair. It isn’t long enough for a hair tie anymore.” I can’t stop myself from rolling my eyes this time. “We should look into headbands for you then.” I think she is musing to herself now. I’m sure that was more towards herself so I don’t bother responding. 

Finally, we reached the cafe. Subway isn’t open yet but it will be by the time we leave. So, I imagine she’ll say we should stop in there before we go our separate ways back to our next hour of hell. Or, I suppose, her next but my first. Suddenly, a hand is reaching into my hoodie pocket and pulls out my wallet. 

“Do you want your usual? That awful raspberry vanilla swirl muffin thing?” I smile at her despite the fact she pit-pocketed me. 

“Yeah. That sounds nice. Thank you. Also, it is not gross. It just has flavor, it’s sweet. Much unlike your usual black, triple-shot espresso coffee.” I poke fun at her and lightly shove her toward the morning line. “Now hurry and go get it.” She sends me a sarcastic salute and ventures off. 

Now that she’s gone, I grab the book that has been practically burning a hole through my bag and my consciousness. I wonder if I should just take it to the campus lost and found. It’ll probably be returned to the owner faster than it would be if I tried to solve this mystery myself. I reason with myself. I can get rid of my headache too. And the guilt that I feel for some reason. It’s probably because I’m holding on to an obviously loved book. I set it on the table in front of me. The dark swirling on the brown wood is a nice contrast to the soft blue color of the cover. 

I’m distracted by the sudden sound of shuffling across from me. I look up. My muffin and a coffee from hell are sitting across from me and my best friend is looking through her crossbody bag rather frantically. 

“Umm…” I trail off because she holds a finger out to me offhandedly. 

“It isn’t here.” She stops what she’s doing and looks at me. Then down towards the notebook in front of me. Now, she reaches up to her neck and pulls on her necklace. A tinkling sound fills the air around us. Keys…

My eyes widened. “Here.” I slide the book towards her. “I haven’t read it, in case you were worried. I’d never do that to you. Not that I knew it was yours or anything.” I am rambling, I realize, and quickly shut my mouth. I honestly expect her to be mad at me for some reason. She’s very private. This whole time I haven’t looked at her face. Rather, I focus on the tiny red flowers that decorate her white flowy dress.

She’s really pretty. 

That is very off-topic. She might try to kill me. I should be on guard. 

Laughter breaks through the air. “You look like I’m about to kill you. I know you didn’t read it. You aren’t that type of person.” I look up to meet her muddy emerald eyes and she smiles at me. “Here is your muffin.” She hands me the pastry. “Thanks for finding it and keeping it safe babe.” 

I feel my ears heat up. “No problem.” I stand up. “Let’s get to our classes now.” I leave her behind in the cafe. 

“I’ll return your wallet at lunch!” And I keep walking. This time a big, dopey smile is definitely playing on my lips.

May 21, 2023 01:11

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8 comments

08:20 Jun 01, 2023

Lovely story Kat! This is unpredictable in the sense that there was no way to know for sure what the MC would do. He could easily have opened the book somehow towards the end just before getting caught with it and...whole different story! A real sliding doors moment! Well done!

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Kat Alexander
16:21 Jun 02, 2023

Thank you for your kind words. I'm happy that you enjoyed my story! I appreciate your feedback.

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Matthew Guerrero
21:10 May 28, 2023

This was a subtle cute love story that, had its mysterious workings, gripping at your seams till you were undone. I enjoyed it overall.

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Kat Alexander
05:02 May 29, 2023

Thank you for your feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed my story!!

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Connor H
16:34 May 27, 2023

I love the twist that the diary belonged to the girl the main character has been talking to this entire time! The protagonist was very sweet to be so concerned and yet not open the diary. And the friend's reaction when she sees they have the diary is prefect! I can easily see this as a start of a romance between them. Thank you for sharing, it was a delight to read!

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Kat Alexander
05:03 May 29, 2023

Thank you! I was really hoping it wasn't obvious. I'm relieved I didn't spoil the ending somehow... I'm happy you enjoyed the story!!

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Jack Kimball
14:56 May 27, 2023

Not sure I wouldn't have opened it! And what happened to today? For me the best section was, "My eyes widened. “Here.” I slide the book towards her. “I haven’t read it, in case you were worried. I’d never do that to you. Not that I knew it was yours or anything.” I am rambling, I realize, and quickly shut my mouth. I honestly expect her to be mad at me for some reason. She’s very private. This whole time I haven’t looked at her face. Rather, I focus on the tiny red flowers that decorate her white flowy dress." Great subtext on the MC an...

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Kat Alexander
05:05 May 29, 2023

Thank you for the feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed the read!!

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