Best Friends

[An old work I did for CREWRIT]

They were two people both oblivious to the idea of love. They were both too young to be aware. It all started when they were on their fourth year high school. Jill was smart, determined and sensitive while Vince was rough, hard-headed but sweet.

v

            It was my first day as a senior in high school. I was seating side by side with Vince on the first day of class, we became seatmates for the school year. I was very uncomfortable; I never expected that it will be our permanent seats. I didn’t like the idea of sitting beside him for the rest of the year. I knew, since elementary, that Vince means trouble. Vince is someone very talkative and messy with his things. I was planning to be on the top of our class, I wanted to impress my parents by doing so. As determined as I was, I promised myself that I will never let Vince distract me from my plans.

As the class proceeded, there didn’t come a time where I won’t hear Vince say, “Jill, do you get it? Can you explain it to me?” As patient as I was, I would always try to explain the topics briefly to Vince but to no avail, after I explain it to Vince, it is I who would get lost on the lecture. For most of the time, I would get distracted when I hear Vince talking with my other classmates. These things went on and on as days passed. I knew right then that it was not working. I knew that I’ll never be on the top of our class because of Vince. I felt that I was struggling to pull up my grades.

As frustrated as I was, one event changed everything. Then it started. While I was on my way home, I felt my cell phone vibrate on the pocket of my school uniform. I opened the message and it said, “Hi Jill! This is Vince. Are you mad? I noticed that you’ve been cold to me lately.” I was surprised. I couldn’t move for a second. There was a lot going through my mind. First, I wasn’t expecting Vince to be this sensitive. Second, “how the hell did Vince get my number?!”.

So I replied back, “How were you able to get my number?”

“That’s a secret! Anyway, are you mad?”

“More like irritated. Why do you even care?”

“We’ll be seatmates for the rest of the year. We should at least get along.”

“You’re being really too friendly Vince. This is not like you! I bet you need something from me.”

“You really think of me that way?”

“YES.”

Five minutes had gone by but there was no reply from Vince. I hated him but what I hated the most was that I was counting the minutes waiting, anticipating Vince’s reply. I even held my cell phone in my hand while walking back home, just in case I miss it when it vibrates. I could not believe what I was doing. My long walk back home didn’t help because all that I was thinking about was Vince. I started to question myself, “Why am I waiting for his reply? Of course he’s not going to reply because he’s just too arrogant!”.

I was already home. I was done with my assignments and done with dinner. It was 9 o’clock in the evening on my wall clock. I was in a hurry to take a bath and to brush my teeth. I was tired but not sleepy. I kept rolling back and forth on my bed. I just couldn’t sleep. While I was staring on the clock, I felt my cell phone vibrate. I deniably felt excited. I rushed to get my phone, hoping that it was Vince. Indeed it was.

“This is Vince, I’m sorry. Good night.”

I was in denial. I knew that I was happy to receive the message from him but my pride just can’t admit it. Then I replied,

“I know it’s you Vince. It’s okay. Good night.”

I was not expecting any response from Vince. I thought that Vince was already asleep. But then he did.

“I thought you didn’t save my number, sorry again?”

“You keep on saying that. That word is starting to lose its meaning! Haha”

“Alright! Good night Jill.”

“Good night.”

I was happy, really happy and I could not believe myself. I realized that Vince was actually a good person, far from what I thought he is. I then knew that we can actually be good friends. Odd as it may seem, I was able to sleep soundly through the night.

Morning came. I was excited to go to school and excited to see my new friend. I composed myself thinking that Vince should be the one to approach me first. When I walked across the room, I heard Vince call my name.

“Jill!” Vince said.

“Hi Vince!”

“You look extra happy today! Haha Quick! Come here. Sit beside me, like always!”

“I do? Well maybe because I’m too happy to see you today.” I sarcastically answered.

“Whoah! Your enthusiasm’s hitting me hard!”

Vince and I went on teasing each other. Sarcastic jokes were thrown back and forth. We both enjoyed the whole day and we knew that there was no way we can deny it. These became our routine during school days. During weekends, we would exchange messages each day from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep. There was nothing to talk about but random things. We were closer than most friends should be. We were best friends.

Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. The rough and hard-headed Vince that I knew before was gone. Vince became a gentleman. He became understanding, patient and compassionate. He drastically changed but these changes were the things which made me more attracted to him.

I was growing too dependent on Vince. I was losing my focus on my studies. My grades were slowly going down. I lost my rank on the top students of our class. I was devastated. I was pressured to study harder to be able to go back on the top of our class. I really wanted to make my parents proud. Through all these, Vince supported me. He helped me go through the lectures and the lessons.  While studying after our class, Vince suddenly stopped and said,

“Jill, we’re best friends right?”

“That’s a silly question Vince.”

“No, seriously. We are, right?”

“Yes of course! Why do you ask?”

“I have a hypothetical question for you. I repeat, hypothetical. Ok? This has nothing to do with me. Ok Jill?”

“Yes! Yes! The anticipation’s killing me. Do you know that? So start! Haha”

“What if a friend–”

“A friend named Vince? Hahaha”

“Hypothetical! Stop kidding around! I’m serious!”

“Alright! If you’re so serious about it then go start again.”

“What if a friend of yours confesses his love for you? Will you get mad?”

I was caught off track. My heart started beating faster and faster. I was trying to answer back but I was stuttering. I relaxed myself and was still trying to get my composure when Vince said, “Is there something wrong? You don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to.”

“Uhh–”

“Oh hey! I should go now. It’s late. Bye!”

While arranging my things, I still couldn’t believe what just happened. I knew there was something. I felt that Vince may also feel the same way for me. I felt butterflies on my stomach. It was something I had never felt before but I needed to make sure that our feelings were mutual before I lay everything on the line. On my way home, I sent a text message to Vince saying, “Vince, sorry I wasn’t able to answer back quickly. What was that about? Was it just a random question?” I waited for hours but there was no reply. I sent Vince another message, “Vince, why are you not replying?”

Then he replied, “It was just random.”

I was taken aback. I felt my whole body froze. I couldn’t move my eyes away from the screen of my cell phone. My eyes kept on reading the message again and again. I was heartbroken. I shouldn’t have expected too much. I knew then that Vince will always be my friend, just a best friend.

v

            It was their first day as seniors in high school. Without any eagerness, Vince dragged his feet towards the classroom. It was the first day of classes and for him, the end of freedom just started. Vince was about to approach the door when he saw someone inside the class. It was Jill. She was sitting in front of the class with a vacant chair beside her. Vince got excited when he realized that they were classmates for the school year. In a blink of an eye, Vince’s frown turned upside down. It has been two years since he started liking Jill. She was not his type but there was something in Jill that made him smile. When he stepped inside their classroom, he was ecstatic to walk towards the vacant chair beside Jill. It was the closest that he ever got, too close that it made him a little nervous.

At last, the class started. Introductions and instructions were made clear for the class but the one reminder that Vince will never forget was when their adviser announced that the seats they were sitting on will be their permanent seats. It will be the permanent seating arrangement for the school year. Those words echoed inside Vince’s head like music.

As they proceeded with their classes, Vince thought of something. An idea that would hopefully make Jill notice him. It was not the smartest idea but Vince took the risk.  He pretended to be stupid and not understand a thing about the lectures. He pretended that he did not understand a thing when in fact he really did. With the right timing, he would ask Jill about the lectures during class. It was simple. His plan only composed of these words, “Jill, do you get it? Can you explain it to me?” Vince thought he was successful. He thought that his plan is working, that finally, Jill knows he exist but the truth was that his plan was not even close to being successful. Jill started to avoid him. He noticed that after a few days of executing his plan, Jill started to act busy.

It disturbed him for days. As desperate as Vince was, he formulated another plan in his head. His plan was to ask their class adviser, Mrs. Abrigo, for Jill’s number.

“Good afternoon Mrs. Abrigo!”

“Good afternoon! Can I help you with something?”

“Can I ask for Jill’s number?”

“Why do you need her number?”

“Well, I’m having a little difficulty with one of our lessons. I was hoping I can send her a message so that she can teach me.”

“Why don’t you ask personally ask her for her number? You’re seatmates right?”

“I forgot. She already went home.”

“Alright then, here’s her number.”

Their class adviser handed him the class directory. For the first time, his plan was successful. He finally had Jill’s number. Vince immediately grabbed his cell phone secretly from his pocket and sent Jill a message. “Hi Jill! This is Vince. Are you mad? I noticed that you’ve been cold to me lately.” Vince was not really expecting a reply from Jill. He just wanted to let her know that he cares but after a few minutes, his cell phone vibrated. It was Jill.

“How were you able to get my number?”

“That’s a secret! Anyway, are you mad?”

“More like irritated. Why do you even care?”

“We’ll be seatmates for the rest of the year. We should at least get along.”

“You’re being really too friendly Vince. This is not like you! I bet you need something from me.”

“You really think of me that way?”

“YES.”

Vince was surprised. He could not believe that Jill sees him that way just like how the rest of his classmates see him. He got depressed. It hit him hard. Reading Jill’s reply in all caps, he was speechless. There was nothing to reply. Vince went home frustrated.

He was finally home but still bothered with thoughts. Vince was never like this. He was never bothered or even frustrated of what people may think of him. It was then clear to him that Jill was really different. He realized that Jill was his kryptonite.

It has been hours since Jill’s last message. It was already late but Vince was simply restless. Staring at the wall clock while hearing the loud clicks of every second that passed, Vince finally thought of sending Jill a message.

“This is Vince, I’m sorry. Good night.”

Vince was not really expecting a reply from Jill but the unexpected happened. Jill replied and it was a fast one saying,

“I know it’s you Vince. It’s okay. Good night.”

“I thought you didn’t save my number. Sorry again?”

“You keep on saying that. That word is starting to lose its meaning! Haha”

“Alright! Good night Jill.”

“Good night.”

Vince was happy to know that he made Jill laugh even if it was just typed on a message. He treasured it. It was enough for him to know that Jill was not mad at him anymore. It was just a simple thing, but for Vince it was the reason he needed to sleep soundly through the night.

Morning came. Vince was excited to go to school. He went an hour too early. It was the first time that he ever went to school early and even excited. Vince went straight to the restroom. He fixed his hair for several times that it almost seemed forever. He even sprayed perfume on his body in every spot possible. “This is the start!” Vince whispered while looking at his reflection on the mirror.

Vince waited patiently for Jill to come. The anticipation almost killed him. Finally, Jill arrived. With his nerves running wild, he shouted, “Jill!”

“Hi Vince!” Jill answered back.

“You look extra happy today! Haha Quick! Come here. Sit beside me, like always!”

“I do? Well maybe because I’m too happy to see you today.” Jill sarcastically answered.

“Whoah! Your enthusiasm’s hitting me hard!”

Jill and Vince spent the day teasing each other. Gradually, it became a routine for them. They just can’t survive a day without each other’s sarcasm. Odd as it may seem, their sarcasm entertained them which paved the way for their friendship. In an instant, they became best friends.

Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Vince was falling harder for Jill. He thought that being friends with Jill was all that he wanted. He thought that it was enough to make him happy but it wasn’t. Vince wanted more than a friendship. He wants to be with Jill, officially. Vince changed himself for Jill. He became understanding, patient and compassionate. He wanted to be Jill’s ideal type, so he turned himself into a gentleman.

One school day, Vince noticed that Jill was spaced out. She was staring blankly at a paper posted on the board. It was a list of the top students in their class. Jill’s name was not in the list. Vince felt guilty. It was hard for him to see Jill so disappointed. He knew it was only him to blame. He then decided to help Jill pull up her grades. Vince supported Jill with her studies. He helped her study after class hours at the library.

Vince knew it was not the right timing but he didn’t have any choice. He was hoping to ask Jill for her permission to court her but instead, he asked a hypothetical question.

“Jill, we’re best friends right?”

“That’s a silly question Vince.”

“No, seriously. We are, right?”

“Yes of course! Why do you ask?”

“I have a hypothetical question for you. I repeat, hypothetical. Ok? This has nothing to do with me. Ok Jill?”

“Yes! Yes! The anticipation’s killing me. Do you know that? So start! Haha”

“What if a friend–”

“A friend named Vince? Hahaha”

“Hypothetical! Stop kidding around! I’m serious!”

“Alright! If you’re so serious about it then go start again.”

“What if a friend of yours confesses his love for you? Will you get mad?”

Vince saw Jill’s surprise face. He didn’t know how to react. His nerves were running wild. He was starting to feel nervous. With every ticking second, Vince’s confidence started fading. It was another plan destined to fail. With the little confidence remaining, he then asked Jill, “Is there something wrong? You don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to.”

“Uhh–”

“Oh hey! I should go now. It’s late. Bye!”

Vince stood up and walked fast outside the library. He was pretending to be in a hurry. “I shouldn’t have asked her that! Stupid!” he whispered. Jill’s surprise face came flashing back on his mind. “Maybe all she wants is for us to be just friends. To be friends with her is better than to be nothing at all.” he frantically whispered. He was heartbroken. Jill was his ideal girl but a best friend was all that she can be to him.

He was on his way home when he received a message from Jill saying, “Vince, sorry I wasn’t able to answer back quickly. What was that about? Was it just a random question?” With so many thoughts running through his mind, he could not think of what to answer back. So he thought it would be better to leave it unanswered. After a few hours, Vince received another message from Jill.

“Vince, why are you not replying?”

Vince could not think of anything to say but he knew that Jill was waiting for an answer. This was something he cannot avoid. He knew that this will make everything awkward between them so to make it a little less awkward, he replied, “It was just random.”


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