LERL \ˈlər(-ə)l\ The more sophisticated version of lol
Looking at Lerl's TF2 career would make anyone laugh out loud; in the short span of a year, Lerl has managed to clock in one of the most successful resumes in Asiafortress and has had arguably the most meteoric rise to the top.
Despite being part of the new influx of latent talent that started in AFC 10, one that represents a new generation of Asian TF2, Lerl distinguishes himself through his rapid improvement, having become a top demoman within 3 seasons.
Lerl's rise to the top symbolises the never-ending quest to win, personified in his journey from 3rd in Div 3 to one of the best teams in Asia, yet not quite the best. Every time he reached one level of success, he was forced to take on another challenge that no one else could finish. So far he has passed every test presented before him, but how does he proceed from here?
The original impetus that propelled Lerl into Asian TF2 was with BRG. Already in Week 1, he was granted a taste of the high of competitive TF2 when Rednexxala casted his match against rivals TMG. Steadily, BRG established themselves as a top Div 3 team. Alas, despite being granted a free FFW by TechE, they were unable to win a single match in playoffs, being eliminated by eventual champions TMG in the lower bracket.
Here, Lerl's Achilles heel has already started to rear it's head: His indecisiveness and weak mental game. In the first map vs TMG in playoffs, Lerl was playing pocket for his team. Yet upon losing that map, the team decided to switch Lerl back onto medic. While it's impossible to know how much of the decision was on Lerl, this is the first example where he displayed a distinct lack of confidence in himself and his abilities.
And yet, this seemed not to matter by the advent of AFC 11. Together with longtime teammate Ifun, Lerl created the new super team for Div 2, with him showing rapid improvement in terms of deathmatching and decision making. He wasn’t a prodigy in the mold Aishou, or possessed huge amounts of natural talent but whatever innate skill he possessed when he began playing TF2, it was soon eclipsed by his work ethic.
Especially during AFC 11, every night one would find Lerl scrimming with his team or playing with some sort of mix without fail; the pinoy simply loved playing TF2.
As a result, TCF quickly found themselves as the undefeated champions of Division 2, only dropping 2 maps over the entire season. One to TMG in Week 2 before they had their final roster, and another to their closest rivals TechE on their best map in the UBF. The very fact that it was considered amazing that TechE managed to win a map at all, speaks volumes to the dominance that TCF displayed over its run.
By this point, while Lerl was not hard carrying his team ( players like vetia, Ifun and Itache were all playing very well ), he had shown complete mastery over the rest of his peers, and his all around play was strong enough to cover his weaknesses; he was ready to face the upper echelon.
Thus, the core of TCF was brought into Div 1 and forming Supa Strikas, picking up superstar scout Fwishy along the way. With their strong base play of Lerl and Fwishy, coupled with Ifun's maincalling, the team cruised to playoffs. Despite finding some trouble with AMC, the team quickly found themselves in the grand final, where xiao was waiting. Sadly, it was a swift 3-0 win to xiao , who barely broke a sweat while doing so.
Behind the scenes, things were far from pleasant. Ifun's lack of motivation, coupled with an ever changing roster and almost never playing scrims, simply resulted in them being unable to properly challenge xiao despite the amount of talent on paper.
Lerl's biggest strength has always been his raw deathmatching ability and gamesense. He tends to play passive roles in his teams, yet he is able to playing it to nigh perfection; knowing how to survive without heals while being a high impact player. When he has been feeling confident, he can outright carry the game for you.
Furthermore, playing within Ifun's system of maincalling has definitely contributed towards his success, showing his ability to play well under clear and firm direction.
Finally, it cannot be understated Lerl's drive to win and improve himself Although his motivation had a tendency to dip, he was one of the few players on Supa Strikas who was constantly playing and improving his game.
By this point, it is a game of diminishing returns. His mechanical skill and ingame play is rated very highly , and rightfully so, but the one hurdle he has yet to overcome is his weak mental game.
Lerl has never shown the resilience to meet every challenge boldly, instead oftimes opting to give up and accept defeat. He has never been the one who shows initiative by leading by example and persistently trying new ways to solve the proble. He simply prefers to let others make a decision without him or resort to passive aggressiveness. Without a commanding presence, Lerl's game quickly detoriates, as he enters a cycle of self deprecation.
Despite all this, Lerl is still the one you should pin your hopes on dethroning the firmly established top scene. The problem is that Lerl has never been in this situation before; he's always been in a comfortable state where he's clearly the best, and if not he's always had Ifun and his confident maincalling with him. Now, the duo have finally separated , with Ifun electing to play other classes, and Lerl has to learn to stand on his own two feet.
If his goal is to become a good TF2 player, he has already long since accomplished this. His goal is to become the best TF2 player he can be, and so far he hasn't fully displayed the dedication and grit to overcome the perpetual roadblocks that confront those who aim to become the best.
With xiao potentially becoming even more dominant with the addition of Fwishy into their roster, Lerl has to change. If he ever hopes to beat them, he has to grow as a player and as a person, and become a superstar.
When I say superstar, I'm not just thinking of good players, I'm thinking of one man armies who could legitimately win any game through their incredible talent and indomitable will; they are practically able to push, drag and force their teams through elite opponents, especially when things aren't going right.
The nuance of superstars is that you know they will perform in every match and against any level of opponent. This is the difference between superstars, and good players like Lerl; he's great in terms of his stable performances and ability to rack up damage and kills, but at times not having as much impact in the kind of games from which superstars are expected to elevate their teams to greater heights.
In essence, when his team won Lerl looked dominant, when they lost he seemed to go missing. While never letting his team down and continuing to be a stable source of damage, when their backs were against the wall in the he never looked like the player to kick-start the comeback for his team.
Mechanically Lerl is a beast, with consistent performances across every map. He never seems to struggle but on the flip side, he never seems to be the difference maker. In other words, he always seems to be a background character when his skills warrant him to be leading the charge.
In fact, Lerl at times has a tendency to underperforming or tilt under pressure; He lacks
the inner strength to say "I don’t think I’m the best, but I don’t think there is anyone better" (olofm). He's great when things are going well, but when shit hits the fan, as it inevitably will against teams like xiao, what can he bring to the table?
Lerl's conundrum is one that should be studied as it deals with the most fundamental problem of competition. I don't know if he will ever reach his ultimate goals, but if Lerl is to once again elevate his play to another level, and become the superstar he is destined to be, he has to first conquer himself.
PS I have a blog https://k1lledblog.wordpress.com
written by K1lled and ev for fun
More Asiafortress Cup Division 2 action is coming your way with teams ERA and Sapnu Puas locked in a do-or-die match for a spot in the grand finals, where team Konma the Real MK await them! Unlike the previous season, where TCF only dropped 2 maps across the whole season, there is no major favourite with each team dropping maps to another; any team can clinch the gold. Will Sapnu Puas win their match with harvey... on scout? Will ERA replicate their earlier BO3 victory? Will the honkies ever get out of Div 2? We’ll let you draw your own conclusions after we lay the teams out:
Konma the Real MK
Konma the Real MK is probably the team that brings the most winning DNA, emerging as the winner of the regular season and coming off a 2-0 win against team ERA. The honkies have a long and illustrious history, with their rosters always attaining top placings in Division 2. This season, their roster looks to be a sort of mixed breed of last season's runner-up TechE with some veterans to produce a unique dynamic playstyle that is always entertaining to watch.
Having been together for so long, these players have displayed a great amount of chemistry which enables them to cooperate and coordinate plays at a high level when coupled together with their consistent deathmatching ability. There is no singular carry, with every player being able to win the game on a good day. Central to the dynasty are Konma and Banana, who have been playing together as a duo for years now. Konma is a passive yet intelligent player, playing a bdonski-esque role of knowing how to survive without heals, yet always having a huge impact in fights. On the other hand, Banana is a highly potent roaming soldier in his own right, with strong deathmatching and good sacrificial plays. However, he is most potent when the opportunity arises for him to snipe, being widely acclaimed for nigh-godly sniper aim. While these 2 are the progenitors of the dynasty, the new blood of dreamerung and K1lled have helped to power this team into the upper echelons of Division 2. K1lled’s consistently high damage output in addition to his gung-ho approach to maincalling gives this team that aggressive edge and style teams find hard to counter. Meanwhile, dreamerung improved leaps and bounds over the previous season and he doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. His aim and potency are unquestionable, as can be seen by him consistently top fragging in every game. That is not to say that mop isn’t a good player. In fact, he is one of the more experienced players, having played multiple classes at a high level and continues to pound despite playing on 200 ping. The final player is iMauriceiNoob (he has never changed his steam alias, look at his profile), having achieved third place in Division 1 last season, is still going strong with good surfs and arrows (despite his tendency to drop).
There’s enough talent, heritage and experience here to beat any team. They are not invincible though, and their signature aggressive, balls to the wall style may be their downfall. The higher the risk, the higher the reward and when a push goes awry, they can fall flat on their faces.
Don’t let that 2-0 loss to Konma the Real MK fool you, ERA is still a very dangerous team with the potential to win it all. ERA was founded by Striker in the off season of AFC 11 and looked very different back then, with their starting lineup having Ghosty on medic and Striker on scout. However, what was then an uncertain project has turned into a championship contender with a stacked roster filled with experienced players.
The aforementioned leader, Striker, is the cornerstone of the team has played at a high level on many different classes. This season alone he has played roamer, pocket and currently medic. No matter what class he’s on, he can be counted on to perform. The talent of Slayer, Surf and momotan (ie tharnos) is widely acclaimed and for good reason, they have a wealth of experience as compared to the other players and have been considered top players season after season. Although their chemistry as a unit could do some work, individually all of these players do and are expected to perform in order for their team to win. (and like have you seen them godlike dm omg) Slayer and Surf have won Division 2 before in AFC 10 with Fruit Salad and are back to win it all once again. Momotan has always been known for his legendary mge and deathmatching ability on soldier and has translated them seamlessly to scout. Having been benched during playoffs by TechE, former Overflow leader pozi is back to show that he can stand with the greats. It cannot be denied that he has improved greatly over this season and plays his role as pocket scout to a high level, consistently getting many kills. Finally, rounding up their roster is yet another first place finish, this time in Division 1. Floaty is not only a Division 1 Champion, he is also an amazing jumper. His jumping and playmaking ability is unrivaled in Division 2 and it is this fact that allows this team to excel. His unique and fast approach to bombs ofttimes throws enemy gamers into confusion, never quite knowing when that big bomb will come in until it’s too late.
Unlike the other teams who lean heavily to either side of the spectrum, ERA lies mostly in the middle, not particularly favouring an aggressive nor passive style while still capable of both. Their style is designed specifically to allow their playmakers to shine, with the role players being disciplined for their sake. While their tactics can be predictable at times, they are executed to such a high degree that it doesn’t even matter. Tactics such as double soldier bombs at mid or bombing Floaty in during stalemates can be expected. Overall, their experience allows them to automatically attain a high level, but it remains to be seen if they can improve their chemistry.
So team harvey on dem.. I mean sapnu puas prides themselves on playing a structured style which ensures them to consistently build rounds. As previously alluded to, the original project was to have harvey play his first season on Demoman but recent circumstances regarding one of their Australians, sage, has meant that harvey and repulse have reprised their “main” classes of Scout and Demoman respectively.
The obvious name that sticks out has to be the team’s pocket: Itache. Having had a dominant season with TCF, winning first place, has been somehow dragged out of retirement to prove that he is no one trick pony. His recent victory means that he is one of the main sources of excitement surrounding this team for playoffs and rightfully so, his godlike deathmatching ability and being the heal tank translated into his team being a few rounds away from beating ERA. Together with repulse, they make up the main damage output of the team. Speaking of repulse, despite mainly playing Soldier in recent times, he is no slouch on Demoman and has had numerous top placings previous seasons. Playing with such a heal-heavy pocket, repulse has the experience and gamesense necessary to know which fights to take and how to survive. He can be relied upon as the backbone of this team. apples and harvey have both dabbled in OZF and played IM so their exposure to different styles of play will come in handy. apples is a well-known player, having won Division 2 with Fruit Salad and has played Division 1 with AMC before. He plays his flank scout role intelligently and coordinates with his roamer to great effect. harvey is back on scout for playoffs and plays his pocket scout role dutifully. He doesn’t have the biggest numbers, nor does he have insane dm, but he has the discipline to use his brain to win games by choosing to take intelligent fights where he has an advantage of some sort. Don’t forget his ability to utilize classes like spy to surprise opponents. Coming in to fill the roamer spot is Corto, an who most recently attained third place in Division 3 with The Mighty Smurfers last season. It remains to be seen how much he can adjust to the roamer role in a short span of time. Last but not least is the medic with tons of OZF experience smeso. Having been playing since OWL 10 in 2013, he brings a fresh set which has shaped the team’s unique identity. Always staying alive, relying not on movement but on smart positioning.
While nudity is not appreciated in Asiafortress, their team certainly is! In comparison to the previous 2 teams, Sapnu puas is a lot more regimented and strict and this can be seen in their play during stalemates. Unlike the typical Asian style of blowing things up with a soldiers sac or an Uber trade, this team prefers to use other forms to slowly build up advantages. Tactics such as running an offclass like sniper, spy or even heavy have been utilised to a great degree in the past. Teams will find it hard to catch their players off guard as each player knows exactly what role they are supposed to play. While it may appear more boring to the casual observer, it cannot be denied that they play it well and this is why they’ve made it this far into the season. However, the chemistry built up over the season has been compromised slightly with the recent roster changes. If Sapnu puas manage to snag the title right from under everyone’s noses, we might be obliged to then send a pic or two..
It is undeniable that these 3 teams are the best in the division. With the lower bracket finals taking place tommorow, make sure you tune in to the match and see which team will emerge victorious for a final chance for the gold!
And of course, let's hope that we get close and exciting games. After all, where’s the fun in a 5-0 tmg-esque stomping ground?
The whole 'facing a pack of lions' thing still stands.
My stomach wont stay still and my heart is going at 5000 km/h. I spot his house as I turn a corner. I could easily turn back now, let him go and let him move on…whilst regretting not saying anything for the rest of my days.
Walking up to his front door, I pause before I let my fist hit the door. Looking through the window, I see him sitting on the stool. He's flicking through an old photo album that I remember giving to him because he wouldn't shut up about having no where to put his photographs. I smile at the thought and then it hits me : I was going to do was simply stupid. He's going to the EU and its not like I can stop him. Sighing in defeat, I let my fist drop to my side and turn away. Its all for the best...
Turing, I see him standing in the door way. Stupid mental thoughts. Too preoccupied to hear him.
"Hey. I just wanted to say bye." Turing back, I close my eyes and mentally hit myself. I could have thought of something better to say, couldn't I?
"Don't go." Stopping, and making sure I heard him right, I turn back to face him.
"Just come in. You're freezing and wet." I follow him into the house as he closes the door. "Give me your coat. I'll go get a towel for your hair." He walks into the kitchen, leaving me standing there. I walk into the sitting room and glance at the photo album. It was full of pictures from when we were at the beach last summer. I smile as I look at the one of me and K1lled. I have that one too. The better days. "I got you a coffee too."
"Thanks," I mumble, taking a sip then cursing as it burnt my tongue.
"Really?" I mentally shout at myself as I see the look on his face
"Why did you call me in? Its not like we're the best of friends now."
"You're always going to be my best friend."
"Yeah, you made that so clear these past few days."
"Why not? Give me one good reason why I shouldn't react like this?"
"Because I need to explain myself."
"You don't have to explain. I get it. You don't love me like I love you. I can accept that. I got it crystal clear in the café."
I could already feel my throat tightening as the words came tumbling out.
"I didn't mean to be like that."
"Of course you didn't mean to give me the cold shoulder."
"I was confused."
"I don't care if you were confused. How do you think I've been feeling?" He steps back away from me in shock.
"Don't make this any worse for me than it already is."
"Enlighten me K1lled. How can this be bad for you?"
"Because I'm not sure what I feel for you." What a way to shut me up. He was always good at that. I sit on the couch as he sits opposite me. "I was shocked and confused, so I shut everyone out until I could sort myself out first. I didn't expect it. I didn't expect for my best friend to turn around to me and say she loved me. And for 2 years too. And my girlfriend of 2 years had just told me she loved my brother. Can you see where I'd get slightly confused?"
"Ev.... I could deal with. There had always been this nagging thought in the back of my mind that she felt something for Itache. But I never wanted to develop that thought because things seemed to be going so well. 2 years and we were going to grow old together..... But then…then you said you loved me…and everything started spinning."
You want to know something that's spinning right now? My mind.
"What if those 2 years had been a waste? Why didn't I play on my first thoughts? Why didn't I see the signs? Why did I keep ignoring them?"
"K1lled, what are you talking about?" Ignoring my question, he carries on.
"I didn't love her at the start. I began to love her. Or maybe it wasn't her that I fell in love with. Maybe it was the idea of someone being there. It wasn't her to begin with, but I ignored it, hoping it would go away, but it didn't. It just stayed there in the back of my brain…in the back of my heart…dormant."
"You know when we became friends?"
"There was one thing that I always kept from you."
"What?" I ask quietly, hesitant of hearing his reply.
"That I loved someone, and it wasn't ev." What a way to cheer me up K1lled, tell me that there was someone else too. What a way to repair my broken heart.
"I don't want to know K1lled." I feel the tears prick my eyes as I stand up. "If you think this is helping me, then you're wrong, so wrong. How can it help me to tell me that there was someone else you loved too?"
"You might want to know," K1lled replied, standing up to meet me.
"I don't think so."
"Its someone you know."
"That makes me feel a million times better."
"Someone you know extremely well."
"Why, this is the best news I've had all year," I reply, half sarcastically, and half about to break down.
"Smiley." The softness of his voice shuts me up. "Remember that mousepad I got you for your birthday?" I nod. "Don't you think it was a bit too much for someone who was only meant to be a friend?"
"I thought you were being nice."
"Too nice," he laughs. "That cost me a fortune. To get it I didn't spend nearly as much on ev as I wanted."
"Nice move…the whole guilt trip thing."
"I'm not trying to do that, I'm trying to make you realise. I've always spent more time with you than I have ev. I always put you before her when it should be the other way around. If you ask, I come running. If you cry, I want to be the shoulder you do it on. If you laugh, I have to be there to hear it because my day isn't right if I don't hear it."
"K1lled…what are you-"
"Don't you get it Smiley? I didn't until after the café. It was you all along. I loved ev because she was someone who could be there. I loved ev because I couldn't come to terms with the fact I loved my best friend, my girlfriends sister." I drop the coffee mug I'm holding. "Isn't that a laugh? I love my best friend who is my ex-girlfriends sister and my brother loves her too."
For some reason, I have a weird deja vu vibe.
"I want to say sorry for not saying anything. I didn't know you felt like that. I'll understand if you cant stand the sight of me after what I put you through, but after 2 years, I felt like I had to tell you. Because in my opinion, its 2 years too late and I couldn't wait any longer."
I could pinch myself right now just to check that this isn't a dream.
"Please, just say something Smiley."
Oh god, help me say something that makes sense. Anything, just something he can understand.
"Four words. Just say them to me and I wont leave. I wont go to the EU."
"But that's what you want. For the past 2 years that's where you've wanted to go."
"But I want you more." I smile as a tear slides down my cheek.
"Say it to me. Those words."
"I love you K1lled."
I smile as more tears roll down my face. "So god damn much." I laugh and throw my arms around him, hanging on for dear life, crying into his shoulders
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.
To shed tears for the one I love is only natural.
"I love you too." I feel him smile against my neck. "So god damn much." He laughs as he pulls away to face me. His smile…Leaning forward, he places those lips on mine. This is what I've been waiting for. And so I swear to god, I will not waste this moment
He kissed me and the world fell away. It was slow and soft, comforting in ways that words would never be. His hand rested below my ear, his thumb caressing my cheek as our breaths mingled. I ran my fingers down K1lled's spine, pulling him closer until there was no space left between us. I could feel the beating of his heart against my chest.
We are one
Oh my dear god. I feel like the AFC 11 Div 2 GF is replaying in my mind.
"Smiley. Are you okay?" Opening my eyes, the first thing I see is Itache. That's enough to sober anyone up. Shooting up I look around the room, only to clutch my head in pain.
"No wonder. You hit your head pretty hard." I look at him and raise an eyebrow.
"Well done Sherlock."
"Listen, you need to speak to K1lled."
"I cant deal with this right now. In case you haven't noticed, I feel like the earth is exploding in my head! I cant deal with K1lled too."
"He's leaving tomorrow. Its now or never."
"I thought you hated K1lled."
"I…Its hard to explain."
"We have another hour." Itache looked at me and sighed.
"You'll hate me."
"You don't think that I already do?"
"I …I hated him because of how close he was to you. He got as close to you as I wanted to be. And I hated him for it. And I hated him because you loved him and not me."
"Don't. You wanted him and not me, so I hated him because I couldn't hate you. When I came back, and I saw how you were still madly in love with him, that you were willing to repress your own feelings for his sake...... it hit me how much I still loved you. "
"I might have said that I was over you, but I was far from it. I knew ev cared for me before I left, so I…I decided to take you back. K1lled didn't deserve you, even as just a friend. So I told ev I loved her and told her to break up with K1lled.
"She didn't agree. So I told her that you loved him. Then she hated you. You always got everything and she had the one thing that you couldn't have. Yet you still wanted it. Revenge is sweet isn't it. So she told K1lled. Maybe not how I planned but she still told him. And then he hated you. Ev got hurt but it was something I'd deal with later. But now…I want you to talk with K1lled because you're hurting. I cant stand to see you like this and if being with K1lled makes you happy, I've just got to accept it."
This must be the first time I've been rendered speechless.
"I…I don't know what to say. I…why?"
"People do stupid things when they're in love." As much as I hate to admit it, he was right.
"What time is he leaving tomorrow?"
"Okay, that gives me enough time to get my act together and see him."
"Five am Smiles."
"What?!" Leaping up from the chair, trying to ignore my headache, I reach for my bag and my coat, stuffing my letter in its pocket.
"What time is it?"
"Eleven! Where the hell is my mum? And ev?"
"Your mums car broke down, she called about half an hour ago, and ev is at k1tty's."
"I cant do this."
"You can. You love him."
"But does he love me?" Itache was silent. "I cant do it again. I cant go through it."
"Then do it so you can make sure."
"How the hell am I going to get through this?"
"You're Smiley. You'll think of a way." I smile at him.
"Don't be. Without you, he might not know, and I might not be doing this for another two years. Maybe never."
I look at him once last time before I leave the house. This is the last time I might ever speak to him. This is the last chance I'll get to tell him how I feel.
I would so much rather be facing a pack of lions.
If this is what depression feels like, then just kill me now. I haven't K1lled in two days. His anniversary with ev is tomorrow and he hasn't been seen since ev told him about Itache. Hell, we don't even know if this anniversary is still going ahead. They haven't said to each other they're splitting up, but from the looks of it, it seems to be a silent, mutual ending.
But that's not what's depressing me. He won't return my calls. When I go to his house, he is never in. I've taken to eating at least 4 tubs of ice cream a day and numerous packets of crisps. I haven't seen Itache either. But I am not complaining about that.
I wish this had gone differently. Or not at all. I'm not bothered which.
My best friend hates me. He doesn't love me. God I hate those 4 words in the same sentence. I didn't want to hurt him. Far from that. I thought I was protecting him. And yeah, me at the same time, I admit it. But its not like I thought about me and only me. If I had done that I would have told him a long time ago.
Ev is…well…strange. Its like she's in limbo. She hasn't heard from Itache or K1lled. And even if I do feel slightly sorry for her, I blame her for all of this. She deserves to be broken like this. She cant have both of them. She cant love both of them. Life cant be perfect like that. And its her fault me and K1lled are like this. She just had to tell him didn't she? She just had to. She couldn't help but bring me down with her. If she couldn't have Itache or K1lled, then neither could I.
That brings me to this moment. I'm sitting in the café, drinking free coffee from ifon because he feels sorry for me. I'm not complaining. I get doughnuts too.
"It'll work out in the end," ifon says as he puts another doughnut in front of me and sits down. "K1lled just needs time to get his head around things."
"But its like he's just fallen off the face of the earth. I can't talk to him, he's never at home and he hasn't contacted me. I just…I feel so bad. Doesn't he realise what he's doing to me too?"
"Hey, his girlfriend has just broken his heart and walked all over it and his best friend has just turned around and told him she has loved him for the past 2 years. It's a lot to get your head around."
"I love the way you're so blunt," I say sarcastically. Ifon just shrugs his shoulders and goes off to serve someone else. With my head on my arms, I try to not cry. The bell on the door jingles, signalling someone else coming in, but I don't care. I reach for my coffee but I stop. My heart beat increases ten-fold and I sit up.
He's there. Standing in the door way, looking at me. I stand up and he doesn't move. He looks so rough. He comes towards me and stands on the other side of the table.
"K1lled. I want to sa-"
"Don't, Smiley. I've just came to say I'm leaving for the EU early. I wont be here for graduation…or your birthday. I just felt like I had to say goodbye."
"Its for the best."
"You just cant go and expect everything to right itself." As much as I love him and feel sympathetic towards him, I want him to feel at least some part of my pain. "You ignore me for 2 days after I open my heart out and then show up and say 'goodbye, I'm off, I'm not sorry for crushing your heart'. You cant do that K1lled. It isn't fair. Please."
"It isn't fair? What about me?"
"What about me?!" Terrific, I'm making a scene in the café. "Do you know what you're doing to me?"
I never learned to cry with style, silently, the pearl-shaped tears rolling down my cheeks from wide luminous eyes, leaving no smears or streaks. I wished I had; then I could have done it in front of people, at this very instant. Instead I can feel my nostrils filling with snot as tears start to tumble down.
"Sorry." The tone of his voice kills me. I cant take it anymore. I lift my coat and push past him. I leave, not looking back. The hot tears fall down my face. Its raining again. My coat doesn't leave my hand as I don't bother putting it on.
The sensible, 'I-accept-reality' part of my brain tells me to get over it. He's moving to the EU and he doesn't love me. But the part of my brain that dreams, and my heart, is telling me not to let go. Its been too long to forget.
God damn it. Why did things end up like this?
"Smiley, are you okay honey?"
"Yeah mum," I lie. She gives me a worried look as she takes another glance at my damp clothing.
"I'm worried about you Smiley. And ev. And K1lled too. Is something going on between you three?"
I don't deign to respond
"Right. Ev is shopping so she should be back soon. I'm going to get the shopping for the week. I'll be back in about two hours."
Moments after she left, the doorbell starts to ring. I open the door and anger floods through me.
"We need to talk."
"No we don't." I try to close the door but he sticks his foot in the way. He's known for putting his foot in it now.
"We do. K1lled is leaving and you need to stop him." I loosen my grip on the door in shock and he steps in. "I take it he's told you from the look on your face."
"Yeah. He found me at the café."
"You cant let him leave like this."
"Excuse me? None of this is my fault. Its all yours and ev's."
"He's more upset over you." Now I'm really confused.
"Why would he care? Its not like he feels the same way."
"Your still his best friend." I stayed silent. "Listen, I know we don't get along that well, but you need to talk to him."
"I cant, every time I do, its ends up one of us walking away. He doesn't feel the same way. I cant keep trying anymore. I don't have the energy to do it anymore. I cant have my heart stood on anymore."
"Has he said he doesn't love you?"
"He said he couldn't do it."
"He couldn't do it then. He couldn't let you talk to him about how much you love him. He doesn't want to go to the EU as much as he did. Wonder why?" I was silent again. "He can leave this town. He can leave his family, he can even leave his love ev, but there's one thing that he doesn't want to leave." My heart becomes lighter, but I don't want to get my hopes up.
"He doesn't want to leave you."
The last thing I see is the ground
I should have left. I still have a chance. I can get away and wait until this blows over. But no. I haven't moved.
Ev phoned K1lled and he said he was coming over. Then I sat on the couch and haven't moved since. Most definitely an idiot.
So here I am, ev sitting opposite me, and we're waiting for K1lled. I have no idea how I'm going to handle this situation. I wish this is a nightmare and I'm going to wake up before K1lled gets here.
"What do I do after this? " ev says. I look up at ev, her head is in her hands.
"What do you mean? What am I going to do after this? My best friend is about to find out that I've loved him for 2 years."
"My boyfriend is about to find out I love his brother but I still love him."
Yeah, she wins.
"Just tell him straight out. It's the easiest way."
"How did I get myself into this situation?"
"You cant help who you fall in love with." My heart beats increasing. Its either nerves or anticipation. K1lled is going to know.
Oh dear god. I'm going to need a miracle. Ev stands up and smooths down her dress. She walks to the door and rests her hand on the snip. She breaths in and opens the door. K1lled takes off his umbrella and steps in. The way he looks. That warmth in his eyes makes me fall in love with him all over again. But I know that in a matter of minutes, that warmth is going to be shattered. How?
I just do.
"What's wrong ev? Smiley?"
"Sit down K1lled," ev says. I move over and make room for him on the couch.
"There's something wrong, isn't there?"
"I need to tell you something K1lled." That pang of sympathy I felt for ev before in the café has come back even greater. She's torn between two loves and she's got to tell her boyfriend.
"You're worrying me ev."
"Its about Smiley." I see anger flicker across K1lled's face.
"What's he done now?"
"Its not just him…its…its me too." Roxas moves back slightly, confused. "You see…I…I…" I sense she's about to cry. I feel like I shouldn't be here. "I…I love him."
In my head, I hear a great 'crack' sound. I'm sure I heard K1lled heart break. He doesn't move, he doesn't blink, its like he's frozen.
"Please, K1lled. I love you, so much, please believe me. I just…I love him too. Its hard to explain-"
"It isn't," K1lled whispers. "Just tell me, how long?"
"Since he left."
"So you led me on, all this time?" I could hear the anger rise in his voice.
"No, never. I love you."
"You cant love us both."
"I can. But I'm not the only one."
"I'm not the only one that loves you." Crap. Now its my turn. "Ask Smiley." I cant look at him. I feel his eyes on me but I cant face him.
"Smiley?" he whispers. "What does she mean?" The finale. Judgement day. Armageddon.
"I…I love you." I feel the weight on the couch lessen. He's standing up.
"I…" You're killing me K1lled. Why aren't you saying anything? Why are you standing up?
I look at him as he walks out the door into the rain, not bothering to pull his hood up or pick up his umbrella.
"Smiley." I ignore my sister. I'm in a tank top and sweatpants and slippers but I don't care. I run out into the rain after him.
"K1lled!" He ignores me and keeps going. "Please K1lled!" No answer. "Why are you ignoring me?" He stops and I run straight into him. He doesn't make a move. Broken. "K1lled," I whisper.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"We're best friends."
"That's just it. Best friends. I couldn't risk that. I couldn't tell you and risk losing you."
"But still, I would've understood." I let out a shot laugh.
"Your best friend would've just told you she had been in love with you for the past 2 years."
"But you love ev. My sister for Christ's sake." I didn't think it would be this hard. Love seems so simple. It can be the greatest thing in the world or it can cause the greatest amount of pain. "I couldn't do that to her, to you, to me. I couldn't tell you and then risk losing you. It would've been too hard."
"And it isn't now? Didn't you think about how I would feel?"
"Of course I did, I-"
"No. You just thought about what it would be like for you. It takes two to tango Smiley. There's always someone else, you just didn't bother thinking about me."
"You don't understand, K1lled."
"Of course I don't!" I knew he'd hate me. It's all over. "My best friend, someone I trust , doesn't bother to tell me she's in love with me."
"K1lled! I'm in love with my best friend who loves my sister! That's why I couldn't tell you!" This is too complicated. I feel the tears in my eyes. The more this conversation goes on, the more I realise he doesn't love me back. "I love you! I love you! I love you! Please K1lled. Please believe me."
"I cant." A tear rolls down his cheek. "I cant do any of this right now."
"I'm sorry, I cant."
He turns away.
The tears burst forth like water from a dam, spilling down my face. I feel the muscles of my chin tremble like a small child and I look toward the sky, as if the raindrops could soothe me. There is static in my head once more, the side effect of my broken self that I live with. I hear my own sounds, like a distressed child, raw from the inside. It takes something out of me I didn't know I had left to give. That's the way it is with this kind of love. It's like a theft of the spirit, an injury no other person can see.
He doesn't love me.
As he walks away, I feel like he's taken my heart with him, only for him to throw it away.
He doesn't love me.
The rain. I cant feel it anymore. So numb as the tears wont stop coming.
He doesn't love me.
He doesn't love me.
He's gone and my heart is broken.
He doesn't love me.
I feel like I'm waiting for a bus. And on this oncoming bus is an executioner coming to hack my head off with a blunt axe.
In other words, I'm sitting on the couch, staring at a blank television screen and I'm waiting for ev to get back and murder me. Isn't life fun?
I hear a car pull up outside. I look out the window and see a taxi and ev getting out. I sit back down on the couch and she walks in. She dumps her umbrella down. Her eyes then meet with mine.
"What are you doing here?" I notice a venomous tinge to her voice.
"I live here too."
"Wish you didn't," I hear her mutter. Cow.
"Where have you been?"
"None of your business."
"Ah, I should've guessed. Been with Itache have you?" She straightens up and looks straight at me. "No retort?"
"Know what?" Feigning innocence. You idiot ev.
"About you and K1lled."
"There isn't anything between K1lled and I."
"You know what I mean. You love K1lled, even though he's with me."
"What does it matter? You don't love K1lled anymore. You cant. You love Itache." Namine's mouth thinned, but only for a moment.
"Don't be stupid Kairi."
"So you didn't mean it when you said to Itache that you loved him at the end of school today?" She didn't reply. "Your 2 year anniversary with K1lled is in 3 days in case you hadn't noticed, yet you're saying 'I love you' to the wrong person. Do you love K1lled?"
"There are no buts Namine. You cant love them both. You have to chose."
"What if I don't want to? If I let K1lled go, then you'll get him."
"But you'll have Itache."
"No, Smiley. I may love Itache and he may say that he loves me but he never will. It will always be you! If I let K1lled go, it'll be you and him in the end. And yeah, maybe I will be with Itache, but he'll never get over you."
"He doesn't need to tell me anything Smiley! I may not be the brightest person but I'm not dumb. The way he looks at you, the way he acts around you. Every time I tell him I love him or bring the subject up, he changes it or ignores what I said. And I know what happened on your 14. I saw you two in the Garden. Yeah, I had said to K1lled I loved him, but I knew I could never have Itache. And I was right, wasn't I? In the Garden, he told you he loved you, didn't he? I could tell. It was so obvious. But you turned him down, and I never bothered to think about why. I just thought you didn't love him and that was it. But now I know. I cant let K1lled go. I cant lose both of them to you."
"You wont lose K1lled to me. He loves you."
"I can fucking tell Smiley. He doesn't. Well, not as much anymore. When he found out he was moving to the EU, he realised he didn't want to leave this place. He had something to stay behind for. And it isn't me."
"We're just friends. Haven't you wondered why I haven't said anything? Nothing could happen between us." I can feel my voice breaking.
"No. I love him still. As much as I did when I first said it, even more. But I love Itache just as much too."
"Then decide ev."
"No! Because either way I still lose to you and I wont let that happen!"
"But you'll end up breaking both of their hearts instead of just one! Which is better ev? To love and be loved in return, or love but be hated by those you care so much about?"
"Don't you lecture me on this!"
"Ev. You have to decide. K1lled or Smiley?" Ev is silent. She looks as though she's on the brink of tears. Well, my theory was spot on, k1tty will be proud.
"Why didn't you tell me you loved K1lled?"
"Because you were with him."
"You should've told me."
"Maybe. But I couldn't. Things were…comfortable. It seemed daft to ruin it all."
"But you love him."
"My image of true love being perfect when down the toilet 2 years ago. When I fell in love with K1lled, I realised there was no going back. Maybe it isn't the perfect, ideal true love, but its buried so deep inside me now, I don't want to let go." Ev walks over to the phone, picking it up. "What are you doing?"
"I need to talk to K1lled." I scramble past the couch and try to reason with her. "I cant keep this up anymore, loving two people. Two brothers. And you…he deserves to know."
"Ev, please. Things are fine the way they are. Just give yourself time to figure stuff out and then I'll be there to give my shoulder to whoever needs to cry on it."
"No, Smiley." She dials the number and I wait. He's not meant to find out, especially over a phone. "Hi, K1lled. Its ev. Yeah, everything's fine. Listen, I need you to come round. We have to talk."
Crap and double crap. Oh dear god help me. I think my brain is about to burst. Is there a doctor in the house? Because I, Smiley the Roamer, am going to need one by the time tonight is over.
I'm walking home and its starting to rain. I'm drenched from head to toe. But do I care?
I cant believe that twerp told ev. I could kill him. Kill him and then raise him from the dead just so I could do it all over again. I hate him.
Well, ev is going to hate me now. But she loves Itache. That's all the proof I need. But is K1lled going to believe me or the love of his life?
Somewhere, very deep, deep, deep, deep down inside of me, I feel a tiny pang of sympathy for ev. She's torn between two people that she loves. But how long has she loved Itache for? Did she just fall for K1lled because he was a replacement? That tiny pang of sympathy goes when I think about ev using K1lled. All this is getting so complicated.
I stop outside the café that K1lled and I love. Its still raining and I'm drenched. I decided to go inside and grab a coffee. I need time to sit and think.
Sitting at the usual table, I order a coffee and a doughnut. With my head in my hands, I try to think of a battle plan. The most obvious plan is to tell K1lled. But then he might not believe me and hate me for it. Then again, he might listen and split up with ev, and at the same time, give his brother a very bad beating.
The other option is that I don't say anything to him. The relationship could carry on and he remains oblivious to ev's other feelings and she gets over K1lled. Or she might tell him herself and he will dump her but hate me because I knew but didn't say anything.
"Here's your order ev." I look up and see Ifon standing there with my food and a sympathetic look on his face. "What's wrong?"
"It must be something because you look like a depressed rat that's tried to drown itself."
"Thanks for that analogy."
"Where's K1lled? It seems strange seeing one without the other."
"I don't know. I think he went home."
"Tell me what it is Smiley." I look at him as he sits down opposite me. I have to tell someone. I need help. I need exp mentorship.
"You cant tell a soul what I'm about to tell you. Promise me."
"I promise." I take a deep breath.
"I'm in love with K1lled." Ifon just stares at me. Okay, not the reaction I was expecting.
"What do you mean 'and?'?"
"Its so obvious. I mean, you two are like joined at the hip. It was inevitable that this would happen between you two. Shame that he's with ev." I bang my head on the table. "Mind the woodwork."
"I don't know what to do."
"It isn't that simple."
"You know K1lled's brother, Itache?" Ifon nodded. "He's back in town and ev has fallen in love with Itache. Its most likely she was in love with him before he left but he wasn't interested then. He had his heart set on someone else. So she fell in love with K1lled, but secretly not forgetting about Itache. So when he turns up again, all the old feelings come back. Now, with K1lled and ev's 2 year anniversary coming up, ev has told Itache she loves him but she still loves K1lled too. Now ev knows I love K1lled and she's probably going to hate me forever. Well, that's my 'theory' anyway."
"Holy surfs. No wonder you look depressed. But this is just a 'theory'."
"Yeah, but from everything I know, this is probably what's happening." Ifon raised his hand.
"LERL, get me a coffee and an espresso for Smiley. Actually, make that last one a double." Ifon turned back to me. "So, what is it your worried about?" I let out a short laugh.
"Haven't you been listening Julianne? I'm worried about what Itache might do next, what ev is going to think and how K1lled might react if he finds out about all this." I bang my head on the table one again. "I'm having a life crisis and I'm not even 16."
"Listen Smiley ," Ifon said to me as lerl put down the cups. "I think you need to tell K1lled before it spirals out of control."
"Why does everyone say that? I cant tell my best friend I love him when he's in love with my sister!"
"Can you see any other options?"
"Yeah. Let it carry on and watch what happens." I gulp down the espresso, I burns my throat but I don't care. "I have to go. I should speak to ev."
"Fine. But I still think-"
"That I should tell K1lled, I know. Wish me luck ifon."
"I think you're going to need more than luck."
"I know. I just didn't want to voice that fact out loud. It kind of removes what hope I had of coming out of this unscathed."
Wednesday. 4 days to go until I turn 16 and 3 days until their anniversary. 3 days is all I have to see whether ev is cheating with Itache. I think I'm going a bit to far with this, but I don't want to see K1lled heart broken.
K1tty has been a great help. In just a day, she found them walking along the beach together. Okay, maybe that doesn't signal that they're doing the 'naught monkey dance' together (her analogy, not mine), but it still stirs up some questions. Like why the hell is ev walking along the beach with Itache when she's only ever done that with K1lled? Except when she and I were kids, but it stopped when ev fell into the hole I was digging. It's a long and embarrassing story and I'm missing the point here.
So, here I am, Wednesday morning, standing at the bottom of the stairs waiting for ev, meanwhile K1lled and Itache are sitting on the couch. And the tension in the room is oh so high. K1lled and Itache aren't taking, ev is making us late (no change there then) and I'm drifting off into random day dreams where K1lled and I are married with lots of children.
"So…" Itache says. He's trying to break the silence but it clearly isn't working. All he gets is a glare from K1lles. "What's your problem?" Oh joy to the world, here we go again.
"Nothing. What's your problem?" As much as I love him, that retort was as good as ifon's maincalling. (Not at all good in case you didn't get my point.) Itache starts laughing.
"Nice come back. Can't you do any better?" And now Itache is asking for trouble. This proves he deserves the Sir I'm-a-gimp-a-lot nickname I gave him. I came up with it whilst watching King Arthur. The one with Kiera Knightley, and I'm going off the point again.
"I'm not in the mood Itache," was K1lled simple reply.
"Because you know you cant beat me." I saw K1lled's' fists clench. He looked as if he might destroy another keyboard again. "Hit a nerve?" Hell yeah he has. K1lled and Itache had this thing about competing against each other. Itache's recent championship only proved his point.
"What if I don't want to? MGE me bro " Great. Its not even 9 o'clock and they're starting a fight. Itache stands up and I stop leaning against the handrail. Last time they got into a fight, a vase was broken and my mum flipped. I do not want that happening again. Its was over 2 years ago but my mum still hasn't got over it. K1lled followed suit and stood eye-to-eye with Itache.
"Erm, guys, lets just forget about this," I say as I walk up to them. "Now is not the time for a fight of the egos."
"Aww, is your best friend saving you from another airshot K1lled? How cute."
"Don't you dare, Itache," K1lled spat.
"Come on you two. That's enough. We have to get to school." I hear ev coming down the stairs. Oh fab.
"Here comes your girlfriend. Don't want her to see you losing another mge match. I've only won like all of them"." Itache bent down and picked up his bag. K1lled steps towards him but I force him back.
"Get lost now, Itache," I tell him. "There will be no fighting in this house."
"Whatever." He grabs his bag and walks out.
"Jerk," I mutter.
"Totally." I turn and look at K1lled, he has a slight smile on his face. "Such a tosser. I cant believe I'm related to him." I laugh slightly.
"Where's Itache gone?" We turn and see ev at the bottom of the stairs.
I was having a moment with K1lled there, didn't she notice!!!??? And she doesn't even say hello. The nerve.
"He's went to school. And good morning to you too ev." I look back at Roxas. What a week for firsts. He's never spoken to ev like that. Usually he's all lovey dovey. Maybe they're on the rocks. I mean a baity pocket and trash talking medic together for 2 years, it can get pretty dull after the honeymoon period is over.
"Hey K1lled." She walks over to him and pecks him on the cheek. Not the usual kiss on lips. Erm, parallel universe anyone?
"Whatever. Lets just go." Now, this is just wrong. When did I enter a worm hole?
"So, any more news?"
"Smiley, you're obsessed. Its only lunch time. They've been in lessons. I think you need to take a break, you don't wanna get kachowed."
"If K1lled found out that ev was cheating and I knew then he'll hate me."
"But she might not be."
"I know but-"
"Listen Smiley, I'm telling you this because I'm your friend and I think you need to chill on this whole K1lled thing. Either tell him and get it out in the open, or forget about him. Its been two years. Maybe you should just erase him out your life for good. You don't need him to make it to Div 1."
"Think about it Smiley. It might be for the best."
Damn you k1tty. You choose your moments to have a point.
The day is finally over, thank the heavens, and I'm on my way to my locker. Nothing strange happening, at least I hope so.
History book, Maths book, EXP Mentorship books (got no idea why I took that) and English crap. I'll be busy tonight. Closing my locker, I turned around and headed towards the exit. Then I hear voices.
Now if I were a normal sane person I would probably turn around and ignore it. But due to the fact I can be very nosey, I decide to eavesdrop. Good think I do.
"Listen ev, why don't you just leave him?"
"I love him."
"But you say you love me. You cant love both of us."
"I know you don't like your brother, but I don't want to break his heart."
"That's going to happen anyway. Sooner rather than later is best."
"I don't know."
"Listen ev, tell him. If you love me like you say you do then do it for me. I am the superior pocket."
"But do you love me Itache?"
"I have to tell you something. Its about Smiley."
"What about her? She doesn't matter in this."
"She kind of does. The thing is. She loves K1lled. And she has for the past two years."
I turn and leave. Damn my noseyness. Well, at least now I know that there's something going on between ev and Itache. But now she knows I love K1lled. Crap.
This ship has finally sunk.
I didn't have the heart to K1lled what I though was going on. He seemed so besotted with ev at the time, I couldn't bare to see him heart broken. So I kept it to myself. I was a master at that now as I had kept my love hidden for 2 years.
So for the next 2 days, I kept it all inside. But every time I saw Ev and Itache talking or walking together, I felt an anger flood through me. How could she cheat on K1lled? How could she be prepared to break his heart?
Okay Smiley, calm down. You still don't know the facts. It was time for me to go detective!
And I also need to stop hanging around with k1tty so much.
So its decided. I wont K1lled anything until I find out if there is anything going on between ev and Itache. That sounds like a good plan. And I know the perfect person to help me with this.
"Come on, k1tty."
"No! I cant spy on ev and Itache."
"Keep your voice down. And it wouldn't be spying exactly. Its more like…keeping an eye open for them when they are alone together and seeing if they do anything that friends shouldn't do."
"Still spying Smiley. You're really not good at this."
"Thanks k1tty. But I really need your help."
"Why is this seeming more and more like Big Brother?"
"Fine, fine. The things I do for you Smiley. When you and K1lled get married I demand to be Maid of Honour."
"Fine, you can-What?!"
"Never mind Smiley. So all I have to do is keep an eye open for them?"
"Cool. Operation 'look out for blondie and Sir I'm-a-gimp-a-lot' commences." I groan and smack a hand to my forehead. Oh to be that sea urchin.
The beach. My favourite place on the entire Island. I come here to think, try and sort my mind out. Unfortunately, of late it has been failing miserably. I share this place with him. So its not surprising that when I turned the corner I found him sitting on the dock, staring out to sea.
I feel so guilty. I don't even know if I have anything to do with his bad mood, but for some reason, I felt like it was my fault. In my heart, his pain was my pain.
I gradually walk over to him and seat myself next to him.
"So what Smiley?"
"Aren't you going to tell me what's made you so mad all of a sudden?"
"I'm not mad."
"I know you better than that. Do you expect me to believe that? You're the most important person to me. I know when something's wrong."
"Yeah, my best friend."
For some reason, hearing those 3 words, in the way he said them had a profound effect on me. It was as if it was final. There could never be a me and him. It would always be a strictly 'best friends' relationship between us. And with that, I felt my heart gradually starting to break whilst I was sitting on that dock.
"I can tell you anything, cant I?"
"Of course," I say quietly, desperately.
"Its about ev."
And I just so desperately want to hear about her right now don't I?
"What about ev?"
"Have you noticed anything about her lately? I mean, has she been acting strange?"
"Well…I don't know. I mean, yeah, she's been quieter than usual, but I haven't thought about it that much to be honest."
"Well, since I mentioned to her in passing that there might have been a possibility that Itache was coming back-"
"Why didn't you give me warning?"
"Like I said, it was said in passing. It just came up. Anyway, since I mentioned it to her, she's been acting weird. Well, distant is more suitable. And when she saw him this morning, she went really quiet all of a sudden and wouldn't look at me."
"Don't worry about it. It might just be…erm…how can I put this?"
"Yeah, that time of the month." I can't believe I'm talking about THAT with K1lled of all people.
Then again maybe not.
"But I don't think it is. She's gone weird ever since I've started mentioning him again."
Now, with the hectic 'I love K1lled' situation taking over most of my brain and this brand spanking new information pushing its way in, I would've expected a brain overload. But for some reason, things kind of slipped into place.
Its like filling in a wordsearch, when you have the extra information, you just fill in the gaps. So picture my brain as a giant wordsearch if you will. I had information already floating around, but none of it went together, but now I had that extra bit of information, everything slotted in, like words in a wordsearch. Why can't I just simplify things?
But the one thing that stood out was ev and Itache. Why did ev act so weird as soon as she heard Itache was coming back? Then I thought about Itache words.
"You were right when you said that you can't help who you fall in love with? Yeah, but I wasn't referring to you when I agreed with you."
My hands gripped the pier. Was ev cheating on K1lled with Itache? Did Itache love ev?
One thing was sure, Itache had a hefty butt kicking coming his way.
So now I'm walking/jogging towards K1lled and Itache. You may be thinking now 'God this guy is paranoid', and I'm going to say that I have to agree with you. Why I just don't quit and move away to Atlantica and live as a sea urchin I'll never know.
"K1lled!" I can't believe I'm doing this. "K1lled wait up." They both look at me, K1lled has a slight frown on his face and Itache has his trademark cheesy grin.
"What is it Smiley?" K1lled snaps. Whoa, who got out of bed on the wrong side this morning?
"I was just wondering if you wanted to walk back home together," I said shyly as I caught up to them.
"Now's not a good time Smiley," and with that he walked off and left me with Sir I'm-a-gimp-a-lot.
"What did you say to him?" I said to Itache, anger flaring up inside me as cold fear started to build up. "If you said anything to him-"
"Don't panic your pretty little head off. I only asked him why he wasn't with ev. Take a chill pill Smiley. You're getting paranoid." Well done Sherlock, go ahead and state the obvious why don't ya?
"Then why is he in such a bad mood if that's all you asked?"
"How am I supposed to know?"
"Well, erm, let me think, YOU'RE HIS BROTHER!" A few passers by looked at us. An old lady actually stopped to glare at us. I bet 'god damn the youth of today' was running through her head.
"Once again I recommend a chill pill Smiley." I roll my eyes and storm after K1lled. "Hey, where are you going?"
"To find out what's wrong with my best friend."
I didn't hear what he said next. I just needed to find K1lled.
So here I am sitting in Biology whilst the teacher goes on the brain and brain diseases. I know I should be paying attention but my mind wanders. Whose wouldn't when Mrs Vetia is droning on about synapses? And I bet you can guess where it's wondering off to.
How did I get my self into this situation?
'You fell in love with your sisters boyfriend.'
Great. Another mental battle. I was still thinking about what k1tty said too. Maybe it would be better if I did just tell K1lled before Itache did. It might be best. But then everything will be ruined. Ev will hate me, me and K1lled might not be friends afterwards and he might tell me he doesn't feel the same, something I never want to hear.
Seriously, why cant love be easy?
I vaguely hear Mrs Vetia dismiss us while sneering at us, and I stand up and grab my stuff. I walk out, not bothering to watch where I'm going. Then, in a typical high school cliché moment, I smack right into something and I'm sent to the floor. Stars appear in front of my eyes as I feel a weight on top of me.
"Oh god, I'm so sorry," said a voice. I feel a brush creep up my cheeks as I realise it's a male.
"Its ok. It's my fault anyway. I wasn't watching where I was going."
"Smiley?" I finally open my eyes and groan.
"Damn you Itache. Get off me."
"Hey, you said it. This is your fault."
"Then why did you apologise first? Now I said get off me. People are staring." He stood up and held out a hand to me. I roll my eyes and take it. "Next time watch where you're going Itache."
"Hey, you said it was your fault."
"I changed my mind."
"Too late. But don't worry, I forgive you."
"Get lost." I turn and walk away but sadly he catches up with me. Doesn't he get the hint? "I said get lost."
I stop and turn to him.
"Why are you following me? Get over it Itache!" I shout, ignoring the looks from my fellow students. "I don't feel that way. After 2 years you should have got over it."
"But after two years you haven't got over him."
"He has nothing to do with this, Itache." I silence my voice slightly. "I don't love you. So get over it. You shouldn't still love me." He started laughing. This wasn't meant to go like this. I'm meant to have the upper hand. Damn you Itache.
"You think I still love you? Where did you get that from?"
"At lunch you said that-"
"You were right when you said that you can't help who you fall in love with? Yeah, but I wasn't referring to you when I agreed with you."
"You're in love with someone else?"
"Don't sound so shocked Smiley. People can get over things. In my case, I got over you."
"Then who is it?"
"Yeah, like I'm going to tell you." He walked around me and headed towards the exit. "Oh, and by the way , you might want to be nice to me from now on. I know your little secret." He winked at me and walked through the doors.
I was gobsmacked. No, I wasn't gobsmacked, I felt like I had been hit in the face with a wet fish then knocked down by a herd of buffalo. I wasn't shocked at the fact he was over me. I mean, who stays hung up on a person for 2 years? Except me of course. I'm the only one stupid enough to do it. I was shocked over the fact there was someone else and I couldn't figure out who it was. And also the fact that Itache came up with the idea to use my love for K1lled against me. He's not exactly the brightest crayon in the box.
"So, let me get this straight…Itache doesn't love you anymore, he's falling for someone else but we don't know who it is. He still wants to use the K1lled thing against you though."
"Well done k1tty."
"So what are you going to do?"
"Doesn't that question ever get old?"
"Don't answer a question with a question. You're avoiding the point."
"How did you get so serious? Have we switched places or something?"
"Not as far as I know. I don't think we have." Yep, k1tty is still k1tty. I'm so glad I'm not totally loosing it.
"Anyway, I don't know. I mean, it makes more sense to tell him before Itache does. But problems it could cause…I don't really want to think about them. But if I don't tell K1lled and Itache does, then that leaves me in a sticky(bomb) situation. But if I don't tell and Itache doesn't tell then things stay the way they are."
"But then it carries on eating you up inside."
"I've survived two years so it's all okay."
"But how much longer can you last?" I didn't reply. I walked out and didn't look back. The sooner I got home the better. I really needed some chocolate.
But, it wasn't meant to be.
I walked along the sidewalk, my mind trying to figure stuff out, and then I met the most unwanted site. K1lled…and Itache…alone together talking. Oh dear god.
Do you remember when I told you that I was going to be Rose who jumped back on the Titanic to be with Jack? I forgot the fact that the ship sank at the end. And Jack died too.
And this problem is like a boat, and it's sinking faster than you can say bombing medic.
"There wont be anything to worry about Smiley. Itache's been gone or nearly 2 years so I'm sure he'll have forgotten or got over you."
"I appreciate the fact you're trying to help me k1tty, but I'm not in the mood."
"I'm just not." I moved the meat loaf around the plate with my fork. Who in their right mind would eat meatloaf? The only reason I got it was because I was too late for pizza.
"Well, your mood is most certainly going to get worse."
"Now why would that be Itache? Because as far as I can figure, nothing can get be more worse than loving your sisters boyfriend and him not loving you back." I was on the brink of breaking fown
"Well, I'd disagree. Here comes your worst nightmare." I turned and groaned. Itache strutted over, a grin on the face, as if he just won Div 2, and he sat next to me. This wasn't how I imagined my Monday going.
"What do you want Itache?"
"Well, that's not how you should greet a friend after 2 years of no contact."
"There was a reason for that," I muttered.
"Nothing." Itache raised an eyebrow.
"Anyway, how have you been?" It was my turn to raise an eyebrow. Had he just asked me, the girl who trod all over his heart, how SHE was doing?
"Erm…I'm okay thanks. You?"
"So," he said in a whisper, leaning closer to me, "Do you still love our baity pocket?"
I knew it was too good to last.
"Why? It isn't any of your business."
"I think you'll find it is. One, he's my brother who is seeing your sister in case you have forgotten. Two, you refused to love me because you loved him. And three, I'm a nosey person." I rolled my eyes.
"Well one, I know he is dating ev and he's your brother. Two, for the millionth time, I'm sorry I didn't feel the same way but you cant help who you fall in love with. And three, your last reason is stupid. If you're nosy you must be a gossiper, so that's less of a reason to tell you."
"So you're still in love with him then?" I stayed silent. "Fine." He stood up and looked at me. "And you're right. You can't help who you fall in love with." Then he walked off, leaving me to ponder. K1tty looked at me and took her headphones out.
"I…I think he still loves me." K1tty's eyes widened and it went silent between us.
"Bugger me." I raised an eyebrow at k1tty.
"You need to stop watching 'Titanic'."
"What are you going to do?"
"I don't know. I have to pray that Itache doesn't tell K1lled."
"Well, you could always beat K1lled to it." I look at K1tty who is putting her headphones back in.
I hate it when the cat's right. It always means trouble for me.
Crap. Double Crap.
"I...Itache sempai?" I say quietly.
Okay, now is it possible to have a heart attack, brain shutdown and suffer a breakdown at the same time? Well, if not, I'm a medical marvel.
"Oh my god." I drop my bag onto the floor and stare at my locker.
By this point, you're probably wondering who Itache is. Well, lets just say its tricky. He's K1lled's brother. Twin to be more exact and only 6 minutes older than K1lled.
And you're also probably wondering why I am reacting so badly to this news. It can't be that bad right? Well, WRONG! (besides we need some drama right)
That birthday, 2 years ago, when I knew I had fallen in love with K1lled, Itache said something to me. I had only known him 4 months but heck, I'd only know K1llee that long. When I was with K1lled, hanging out, Itache would be there too, being the annoying guy. We weren't friends to the extent K1lled and I were, but we got quite close and got along fairly well. Then on my birthday, Itache cornered me in my garden and confessed something to me.
He loved me. He said we would be the best soldier duo in the world.
Well, you can imagine my reaction. I was in love with K1lled who loved ev who loved K1lled back whose twin brother was now proclaiming his love for me. And I had only just turned 14.
So it was a sticky situation that I didn't know how to get out of, not having a lot of past romantic experience (or any) and all that. So I just told Itache I didn't love him, I loved K1lled. BIG MISTAKE! So learn a lesson from this: Never tell a guy's brother that you don't love him, you love his brother. Make sense?
So, Itache feeling down and crushed by me, threatens to tell K1lled. That was something I didn't want to happen for obvious reasons. He was besotted with ev as she was with him and I couldn't ruin that. So I asked him to keep quiet. He refused obviously, due to the fact I had kinda ripped out his heart and virtually ran over it with a steamroller.
But he didn't get the chance to tell K1lled anything. Their parents split a week later and Itache abandoned TechE to go pinoyland. Now he was back. And he had unfinished business he would probably want to finish.
I'm not even 16 yet!
"Smiley? You okay?" I was brought back to earth by k1tty who had just placed a hand on my shoulder.
"Oh god. What if he tells him? What the hell am I going to do?"
"Well, firstly, clam down because K1lled is coming this way. Second-"
"What?" I picked up my bag and threw my books in, slamming my locker shut.
"Smiley?" I spun around and come face to face with a concerned K1lled. "You okay?"
"Why didn't you tell me Itache was back?"
"I didn't think it really mattered."
"Well, it just would have been nice to know. I thought we were best friends."
"We are you idiot," K1lled laughed. God that cute laugh. Okay, stop there Smiley. You'll go off on one again. "Well, Itache's back and he's mentioned you a couple of times."
"Oh." I could feel nervousness creeping through my veins. "Anything else?"
"No, not really. He just asked how you were and if you were seeing anyone. To be honest, the way he kept asking questions, I kind of got the impression that he has a crush on you." And my stomach drops again. I look up at him but he refuses to meet my eye.
"K1lled?" He finally looks at me but doesn't smile. His face is serious and it worries me. "What is it?"
"Nothing." Then he turn's and heads off to Maths without me.
I eventually caught up with him and he acted as if nothing had happened. Which annoyed me greatly. I wanted to know what made him react the way he did when he said Smiley might have a crush on me. Then it struck me. Well, hit me in the middle of a very bad headache. And I realised at the same time that I can be very slow.
Did K1lled fancy me?
Part of me said yes but part of me dismissed it. He didn't like his brother much so he could have just had a bad taste in his mouth. But maybe he didn't like the idea of Itache crushing on me because he was. But he always seemed so in love with ev, so why would he crush on me?
God, men can be so complicated sometimes. So can life for that matter. There should really be a book about all this.
And what's the cause of this current headache? Itache! Why did he come back? He was hell bent on telling K1lled last time so what if he hasn't changed?
What if he still loves me?
My other best friend I mentioned before: k1tty. She's like a packet of living jellybeans but that's why we love her. Gossip Queen and resident romantic nutter, she's the only person I feel like I can talk to. Now you're probably wondering why I would confess my secrets to a gossip queen. Well, she can keep some secrets, especially when it comes to me.
"Smiley!" Speak of the devil. Turning around, I see the beaming brunette bounce right up to me and link my arm with hers.
"What?" I ask as she leads us to my locker.
"You said anything to him?"
"No. And I told you I'm not going to because I don't want anything to get ruined. Or anyone to get hurt."
"But you can't go on being his best friend and not telling him. Its cruel."
"Maybe so, but I just cant okay."
"Fine." She looked away and lent against the lockers. "So, want to hear some news?"
"Not really but I know you're going to tell me anyway."
"Right," k1tty said, acting as if she was going to give some great speech. "Newbie."
"Tall. Handsome. Spitting image of K1lled." I stop putting my books in my locker and look at her, her face serious (which I will have you know is rare for k1tty).
"And?" I ask hesitantly.
I drop my history book.
This problem just got a million times worse.
The day after K1lled told me he was leaving, I woke up at half 6, an hour earlier than I am meant to. Can you tell how in love I am with this guy? He causes me to lose sleep. And when that happens, its something serious. I guess I couldn't get used to the fact he was leaving. After two years we had become really close and the prospect of him not being there was an incredibly depressing one.
It was one i couldn't just accept
I got up and did the usual routine (do I have to explain?) and sat alone in the living room. It was only 7:15. Ev wasn't due up for another 15 minutes. I used the time to think. Maybe I should tell K1lled how I feel? But then there were so many complications.
There's ev to think of, she'd hate me. She really loves K1lled. Then there is the fact that he may not feel the same way. He does not love me. This thought made me even more depressed.
I sat there with my coffee in hand, letting it go cold. Time passed and ev's footsteps could be heard coming down the stairs. I sat up and looked busy. I took a sip of my coffee and pulled a face. It had gone stone cold. 'Only you Smiley.' I put the cup on the table and ev walked in.
"Morning," came her voice. "How come you're up so early? School isn't going on for another hour and a half."
"I couldn't sleep," I replied.
'I was busy thinking of how I could tell your boyfriend that I love him.'
"Okay." Ev then disappeared off upstairs. I put my head in my hands and sat there staring at my feet. I hadn't spoken to K1lled since yesterday evening and I didn't really want to see him this morning.
'Just faze him out of your life completely. He's taken. By your sister.'
I shook my head. God I hated those arguments that occur in the brain.
'Or you could just tell him. Then ruin everything.'
Yeah, now it was time to get the panadol out.
Its five minutes before we're due to leave and ev is still doing her make-up. Honestly. I want to leave before K1lled shows up. Aren't I just the world's best friend?
"Ev! Get a move on!"
"Okay! Okay!" Then came the knock at the door. "Smiley! Grab the door!" I rolled my eyes and braced myself. I knew it was him.
Now came the really hard part: opening it. I could just leave it and pretend we had already left. But he knocks again. I could imagine the expectant look on his face. Damn him and his cute face. Sighing, I pulled open the door and came face to face with him, his blue eyes boring into my lavender ones.
"Smiley!" I stood stock still, not knowing what to do. God, I hate myself.
"Hi K1lled," I say quietly, moving aside to let him in. He walks past me and stands by the couch as I close over the door. I feel his eyes on my back and I don't want to turn around.
"Why didn't you call last night?"
"Did I have to?"
"You said you would."
"I thought you would be chatting away to ev and I didn't want to disturb you." I could hear a slight catty tone in my voice. I didn't mean for that to happen.
'I love you and its killing me.'
"Nothing." I walk past him and grab my bag. The sooner I'm out of here the better.
"Smiley?" I don't look at him.
"There's something wrong isn't there? Tell me."
Now, if this were some Hollywood movie, this would be the time where the heroine decides whether to carry on acting as if the world was fine and dandy but continued to secretly love him, while allowing it to kill her on the inside…or…she would end it here and now, severing all contact and basically tell him to get lost. And the moment has come. I have to decide.
It's kind of like the moment in Titanic when Rose is on the lifeboat and Jack is standing on the deck. The lifeboat got lowered and Rose has to either stay stuck in this boat and never see Jack again or jump back onto the ship and live happily with the man she loves.
I guess I'm about to jump back on the Titanic. Or something like that.
"Nothing's wrong K1lled," I said, putting on a fake smile and praying he cant see through it.
"Then why didn't you call?"
"I was busy. Besides, I heard ev talking to you until all hours so its not like I could." I look at him and see him staring at me, his head tipped to the side slightly. God, he has no idea how cute he is when he does that.
"Hmm," was his reply. He gave me a lob sided grin and opened his arms, expecting a hug. But how could I, knowing what it would do to me. But I did it anyway. Like I said, if being friends with him is the only way I can get close to him then fine. These hugs are one of the greatest perks.
"You had me worried there for a moment."
"Why?" I say as i snuggle into his shirt.
"I thought you hated me."
"I could never hate you."
"Yeah. I couldn't get through these next few months without my best friend."
Now ladies and gentlemen, I would like to discuss those two words: best friend. This is what makes this situation 10 times worse. I love my best friend. But not only that, but this is all we'll ever be because I'm too much of a coward to tell him how I feel and face the consequences.
"Yeah," I simply say.
If only he knew what he did to me when he called me that.
That leads us to the present day. He's still with ev and it's their 2-year anniversary in 6 days. And I dread that day.
Actually, I'm surprised they've lasted that long. With ev's track record with pockets, I wouldn't have placed my bet on 2 months let alone years. Its not that she's a tart or anything, its just that she's had difficulties staying with one person for longer than 3 weeks without whining that they overextend. But here we are, in 6 days it will be their 2-year anniversary and on the day after that, my birthday, but it also marks 2 years since the day I fell in love with him. And in those 2 years, I haven't plucked up the courage to tell him how I feel.
At the moment I'm sitting on the couch watching stvs, K1lled's choice of course. Yet, my attention isn't on the television. My eyes keep wandering over to him, his attention solely on the twitch stream showing the AFC 11 Div 2 Grand Finals. He always got like this when he watched this. His dazzling blue eyes are glued to the set, a single tear streaming down his face as the light illuminates his light chocolate brown hair.
God, I sound like a fan girl.
But something is different today. This time last year, he wouldn't shut up about how it was going to be his and ev's 1-year anniversary in a couple of days. But now, when their 2-year anniversary is around the corner (which I think is more important), he seems strangely quiet. This worries me.
"K1lled? Are you alright?"
"Hmm." I was taken back. Even though his "favourite" programme was on, he always gave me a proper answer. What's happened to him?
"Are you sure?"
"Hmm." I sit up straight. Now I'm officially worried. Maybe I should send him round to k1tty's for a bit? Or maybe not. I'd never inflict that upon any male. Except maybe konma. But I suspect he's got a crush on her anyway.
I reached over and put the television on mute. K1lled turned to look at me, his forehead wrinkled.
"What was that for?"
"Tell me what's wrong and I'll turn the mute off."
"Nothing's wrong. Stop being paranoid." Well, that's a first. He's never spoken to me like that before. I fell back into the chair and didn't look at him. For some reason, I felt incredibly guilty for the way he was acting. I should have stopped pestering him. I should have left him alone. I looked at my feet. Anything but him. Then his hand went under my chin and made me look at him. I never heard him cross over from the chair. I couldn't help but gasp.
A frown was placed on his face.
"You have nothing to apologise for. It's my fault. I shouldn't have asked. I'm so sorry."
"You're my best friend." My stomach churned as he said that. "I'm glad you're worried about me, if that makes sense. It means you care. And I shouldn't have bitten your head off. I've…just got a few things on my plate at the moment."
I listened intently as i counted my rapid heartbeats
"I'm moving to the Netherlands to play in ETF2L"
Have you ever had a moment when you felt like the whole world was crumbling around you? Well, I had one of those about an hour ago. When he told me, I felt like the ground had given way. I knew he wanted to go there so badly, but I hadn't really thought about it. About what it would be like when he was gone. But in that moment, it felt like he had already left.
And now here I am, sitting alone on a swing in the central park. K1lled had left soon after he told me. I told him that I had to go to my grandmother's house.
I hate lying to him.
And I hate myself for the fact I love him so much.
I hate the way he's in love with my sister.
I hate the fact he's going to leave here.
And I hate the world for making my life so confusing.
Do you want to know who I am? What my life is like at the moment?
My name is Smiley. I'm a 16 year old male roamer and live with my 16-year-old sister, ev. I play in AFC Div 2. I have a brilliant group of teammates and an excellent best friend.
It may look simple, but it's far from it. This excellent best friend I told you about, well he dates my sister. The problem…I'm in love with him, and he doesn't have a clue. And it's tearing me to pieces.
When I, Smiley, first met him on that dull night, everything changed for me. You could say he became my first crush. But it wasn't to be, he fell for my sister.
Now I've become accustomed to seeing him with her, holding hands and making out. And to make things worse, we've become what are called 'best friends'. Now any hope I ever had of there being a 'him and me' has vanished. But if being best friends with him is the only way I can ever get close to him, then I can live like that and die a fairly happy woman. But I can't get rid of the feeling of longing inside me: I long for him. When I see him with my sister, I always wish it was me in her place, me holding his hand, me running my fingers through his hair, me making him smile. But it never was. It was always her. It was always him and ev.
They became the 'cute couple that lived next door to each other'. AFC resident lovebirds. And she never shut up about him. It was always 'K1lled this' and K1lled that'. Then I'd hear it off others. 'ev and K1lled did this' or 'aren't ev and K1lled so cute together'. And yeah, I was jealous. But he never knew all this. He never knew that I felt a slight hatred towards my sister because she was the one he chose, not me. He never knew that his best friend was in love with him.
Since K1lled started dating my sister, we grew close. I saw him everyday. You could say we 'bonded'. That's when we became best friends. We hung out together when he wasn't with my sister. We became known as a dynamic soldier duo. When he wasn't seen with ev, he was hanging out with me at the park or doing mge with me
I guess I knew I was first in love with him when he gave me that mousepad for my 14th birthday. That was two years ago next week. I've had a crush on him since we had met 4 months earlier for that try out. But him getting that chain did it for me. I fell in love with him right there and then.
That fateful day, we had been hanging out at the mall. It was a week before my birthday and we had gone shopping because there was nothing else to do. Ev had been placed under house arrest until she finished her English assignment so he came with me. We had just left the bookstore as we walked past the gaming store. That's when I saw it. In my opinion it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. A beautifully crafted artisan mousepad. My breath was taken away.
"Wow," was all I could say.
"What?" K1lled asked as he looked over my shoulder. I pointed to the pad and he let out a whistle. "That's beautiful."
"But it is beautiful." I then looked at the price and it was my turn to whistle. "150 dollars! That's a whole months wages!" I sighed and turned away. "Well, some things aren't meant to be."
"Cheer up," he said as he wrapped his arm around my shoulder. I turned away so he couldn't see me blush. "Come on, I need you to help me buy a present for ev birthday." My blush faded as quickly as it had came. Jealousy stirred within me.
He dragged me around different shops, always asking my opinion on presents. As much as I love to spend this time with him, to hold his hand as he dragged me off around the stores, I couldn't help but feel a pit growing in the bottom of my stomach. He was doing this for her. How I wished I were the one he was buying that present for.
He went back to the mall the next day and bought me that mousepad, he told me. He said that I had looked at it with a sense of longing and he just had to buy it for me, regardless of the cost. I've only used it during AFC matches. I didn't want to ruin it. It was too special for that. It was because it was from him.
By now you probably think I'm some stalker dude who can't get enough of this one guy and does everything in her power to get close to him but it never works? Well, you'd be right and wrong at the same time. I'm not a crazy stalker dude, no matter what k1tty says, but I can't get enough of him and no matter what I do, I'm always seen as the best friend.