Dinner was quiet. We were served fried fish and rice. All I could hear was the clatter of utensils and the evening news playing on the television. It feels awkward but it's better than the earlier. We retreated to his bedroom afterwards. I didn't see Rick's dad or his dad's girlfriend at dinner but I didn't inquire. I was afraid to.
"Your dad said something about you dating Jess?" I weighed my words, careful not to sound offensive.
He nodded. He was lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling.
I sat beside him, my knees tucked under my chin. I watched Rick as his eyes drifted far away.
"Dad and Jessie's mom are best friends." Rick started. "dad always liked her but she doesn't want to go beyond what they already have. She said she wanted to keep their friendship. At first I didn't understand that. The idea of being with my best friend and getting married was appealing. Although I never looked at Jess in a romantic way, when dad suggested I date her I agreed.
"I was surprised when she said yes, but at the same time I was nervous. We dated, held hands, kissed, like a real couple would do. Only after a week, when I looked back, that I finally understood what her mother meant about wanting to keep their friendship.
"I thought back then, if we broke up in a bitter situation, what would happen? I tried to weigh it, but I just can't imagine my life without my best friend. So I broke up with her. And I think we were in agreement." Rick reached out a hand to me, he rubbed my arms as I buried my face in my knees. "Then I dated random girls, but nothing. I thought I wasn't capable of falling in love until I saw you."
I looked up and found him smiling at me "then I realized I just can't fall in love with girls."
It caught me by surprise and that definitely made me turn red as a beet.
Rick chuckled and pulled me closer to him. I snuggled close, feeling his breath in my cheeks. "How about you?" He asked. "When did you know?"
I tried to look back. When did I start noticing him? He has always been around, we have had many encounters before so why just now? I shrugged. Then I remembered that one day I saw Rick like I was looking from a different set of eyes.
"Remember when you asked me to have lunch with you at school and I said no?" He nodded, a smile tugged on his lips. "Since then you have been bugging me. Until I couldn't get you out of my head."
"Ahh..so my plan worked?"
"To make you see me, of course. I have been looking at you for a while and you just see through me like a ghost."
Do I? "I guess I do, I don't like people that much."
"I know." He kissed me lightly on the lips. "What are we gonna do after graduation? It's a week away and I'm kinda nervous."
"After graduation, the publication will have a party,"
"Oh, the basketball team too," Rick interrupted. "Oh. Sorry.
The light knock on the window interrupted us further. Rick got up and spread the curtains out. Jessie was next door to her room waving.
"Come over?" She asked. Rick looked at me for an answer.