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“Hurry! We’re going to be late!” Jeremy shouted at Noah as both struggled to fight against the human current that refused to let them through. Giving up, they had to wait for the crowd to disperse at the side, panting for air. As Noah was trying to calm down, he felt a chill run down his spine, causing him to shiver uncontrollably. Rubbing his hands up and down his arms in an attempt to warm himself up, he slowly turned towards Jeremy who was the cause of his unease.

“Noah, care to remind me why I’m hanging out with you?” Jeremy asked, sighing. Noah just sheepishly smiled and said nothing. After a while, they were able to make it to the cinema just in time for the movie they promised to watch. It was an action movie where superpowers existed. Although they were both complete opposites of each other, their common interests brought them together. 

When the movie finished, Noah exclaimed that his favorite character was the best. Feeling the urge to defend his favorite character, Jeremy responded that his character was the best. Not wanting to back down, they ended up debating which character was the best all the way to the cafe that they wanted to visit. 

“There’s no end to this argument, we’ll just agree that both of our characters are the best,” Jeremy sighed for what felt like the thousandth time that day. Noah nodded in agreement, then went to order their drinks. Seeing Noah engrossed with the menu, Jeremy gulped the lump that was in his throat. This time, he would say it. Every time he wanted to express his thoughts, there was a thought that was in the back of his mind. What if he hates me?

Just as he was starting to get depressed over his thoughts, Noah appeared with two cups. One cup contains hot chocolate while the other contains freshly brewed coffee. Accepting the hot chocolate, Jeremy inhaled deeply, the scent of hot chocolate tickled his nose and a smile formed subconsciously. Noah looked at Jeremy, trying to contain the laughter which threatened to burst out of him. He found it quite funny that he was having such a blissed expression just by the scent of hot chocolate. Jeremy snapped out of it, finally aware of Noah secretly laughing at him. Jeremy defended himself by saying that hot chocolate would be able to instantly make anyone calm while Noah would turn away denying that he was not laughing at him. 

It was the usual teasing but it was not enough. It was nowhere near enough for him. 

“Hey, Noah, please hear me out,” Jeremy began talking, praying he would at least hear him out fully," I love you.”

Jeremy squeezed his eyes shut, feeling a tinge of regret for not thinking this through. It was either nothing or everything. It was a huge gamble.

Noah was clearly taken off guard, looking so surprised that he froze up. Anyone walking past them would have thought Noah was a mannequin. For quite some time, silence hung in the air. Just when Noah opened his mouth slightly to reply, a call interrupted him. Frowning, he picked it up, quickly ending the conversation with the caller on the other side of the phone. 

Standing up from his seat, he briefly explained that his roommate was calling for him over for the project that needed to be handed in the next day. Before leaving, he bent down until he was near Jeremy’s ear and whispered,” I’ll think about it seriously, so I’ll give you my answer the next time we meet.”

He took out a small thin box that was wrapped with wrapping paper and a ribbon that secured it together. Since the next time they met was this weekend, which so happened to be Jeremy’s birthday, Noah did not allow him to open his present until the day itself. Glancing at the clock, he realized he had to rush back and took off with his cup of coffee, leaving Jeremy with his cup of hot chocolate. 

As Noah ran back to the dorm, he chuckled. Who would have thought the feelings were mutual?

Jeremy just sat there, his mind finally able to comprehend what just happened. Noah did not reject his confession! It was a good thing, but what was in the present? His birthday was next weekend when they would meet the next time and since Noah did not allow him to open it until the day itself, he could only imagine.

Finishing the hot chocolate which had turned cold, he tucked his hands in his warm pockets, snuggling deep into the scarf around his neck, ears turning red as he walked out of the cafe. The snow or embarrassment turned his ears crimson red, but anyone who saw it would be left wondering which of the two caused it.

Getting home before the sunset, Jeremy changed his clothes and jumped to his bed where his blanket wrapped around him. He faced the wall and he started to ponder over how he should react the next time they met. Should he be his usual self getting angry over Noah being late again? If not, how should he act?

Getting up, he decided to act it out. Imagining the usual spot they met in front of the station which was near his house, he paced around a small area. Since he lived alone, he acted out both roles so that he could make sense of what the situation would turn out as. 

“Hi, Noah!”

“Hi, Jeremy!”

“No, it sounds too unnatural for the both of us,” he mumbled as he thought of another scenario.

“Noah! Over here!”

“Jeremy, I don’t think we can meet up again. Since today’s your birthday, this will be the last time we’ll be meeting.”

When he realized what he had said in place of Noah, the reality hit him. It could actually happen. At the thought of that, his eyeballs teared up, wailing out like a loud baby. Apparently, he was being too loud as the moment he knew, there was a rushed knocking on his door. Getting up, he got to the door only to be met with the harsh words of his neighbor about keeping quiet in the building. Apologizing, he closed the door silently, plopping down to his bed. All he could do was stare at the present that Noah had given him. As much as he wanted to open it, he kept his promise. Turning onto his back, sleep enveloped him and he fell into a deep slumber. 

The days passed by painfully slow, but soon enough, the weekends came. Getting out of bed, Jeremy picked his outfit and walked to the station where he would patiently wait for Noah. It did not matter that Noah was always fashionably late for every meetup, Jeremy would always arrive 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled time. Today was not an exception.

Glancing at the clock every now and then, he browsed through the daily news app he installed on his phone. A few minutes passed, then an hour. Noah should be around here by now. Looking around, he spotted Noah running towards the zebra crossing section. Since it was still green light for the cars, he stopped, catching his breath. As he lifted his head, their eyes met. Waving frantically with the same sheepish smile, Jeremy heaved a sigh of relief, waving back. 

The moment the green light for the pedestrians flashed, Noah dashed across the zebra crossing, excited to finally meet Jeremy after an excruciatingly long week, he failed to notice the lorry driving at top speed for him. Jeremy looked away a moment as something caught his attention. There was a woman not too far away from him who was pointing somewhere in the road, screaming hysterically. The next moment he looked back, Noah was nowhere to be seen. 

“Ah! Call the ambulance!” a passer-by screamed for help as a crowd started to form at the scene. Jeremy slipped in between the crowd through the small opening and it pained his heart so much that he clutched his chest, falling to his knees. Noah who was now lying on the floor spewing blood took a good look at Jeremy.  

“I guess I could say you’ve fallen for me,” Noah tried to make a joke, which somehow worked, and attempted to laugh. What was supposed to come out as laughter came out as coughs of blood. Jeremy choked out a laugh, and once the laughter came out, the sobs came as well. 

Jeremy shook his head, unable to do anything but stay by Noah’s side. The concerned crowd could do nothing as well. Some uncomfortable ones left to give them privacy while the others stayed, curious to see what would happen next. 

“You know the present I gave you last week? Open it on your birthday. Until then, you’ll have to wait for me,” as Noah choked out his last few sentences, the hand Jeremy was clutching went limp. Staring wide-eyed at the strangely still body which now lied in front of him, he whispered one last message to Noah. At that moment, the ambulance came and the paramedics sprung into action. They brought him to the hospital by the ambulance, but it was too late already. 

I guess I could say you were late this time as well. This was what he thought. His last joke with Noah.

“Mommy, did you hear what he said?” 


“What was it?”

“I will always be waiting for you, Noah.”

The pair of mother and child finally walked home, leaving Jeremy with his thoughts. Since his birthday was tomorrow, he wanted to bring Noah for a sleepover and celebrate it once it was midnight. Knowing it was now impossible, he could only bear with his torn heart and walk back home. All he did was lie on his bed on his belly. He did nothing else. The last present he received from Noah was forgotten. It had not moved from its position.

“Jeremy, it had been a few years already, why don’t you open the present? It’s your birthday today also,” his mother encouraged him, not wanting to see his son in this state any longer than she had. Jeremy said nothing but turned towards the present. He hesitantly reached out for it, unwrapping it. When he finished, there was a piece of paper in it, along with a pair of rings. Crushing the paper, the emotions that he had locked up in a jar now exploded. Grabbing the pair of rings and paper, he sprinted out of his house all the way to the special grave he personally dug for Noah. 

Once he reached the grave, he screamed at it, continuously with a word. “Yes!”

The air that was still, was now swirling around him. He could feel it. He could hear it.

“Took you long enough silly,”

“I love you, Noah,”

“I love you too, Jeremy,”

“It’s such a shame that I can’t put it on you now,”

“Yeah, but at least, we have something tying us together for eternity,”

“What is it?”

“The relationship … I’m … running late … you … kept waiting,”

“I’ll always be waiting for you,”



As the wind died down, Jeremy looked up, and somewhere up there, Noah was looking at him.

July 04, 2020 13:52

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1 comment

Annora Chen
07:56 Jul 20, 2020

Hii, so I hope whoever that read my story can give some feedback, like is some parts weirdly phrased? or is some parts unnecessary? thank uu so much for the likessssss


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