33. Ugly please

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                     I ran down the stairs. My heart was in my throat. It was pounding like a beast, deafening the world around me. I heard music. I heard voices. Dozens of eyes staring at me. People whispering. People yelling. 

    ''Dude, did you just kiss Gaia Monforte?"

    "I thought you had a girlfriend."

    I pushed them. I pushed them away. Suffocating, striving for air. The smell of champagne. The laughter. The big chandelier. Just shut up. All of you. Please, just shut up. I need to find her. I need to find her because I might have lost her forever and if I did lose her that's the end of me. So get out of my way. Stop dancing. Stop twirling and swinging and laughing and yelling. Please. Your blurry faces and my blurry mind. I need to get out.

    The fountain. Yes, the fountain. She must have been there. I ran outside, I ran to her. Breathing heavily, not feeling my legs. And then I saw her. Yet somehow I wasn't relieved. She was sitting on the edge of the fountain, looking at her crown of flowers floating on water. She looked tired.


    My cracking voice was hardly audible, but I knew she could hear me. We were far away from the party, there was no music in this lonely place. She knew I was there. Standing a few meters away from her, with my heart in her hands. She knew I was there, yet she didn't do anything. She didn't say a word, she didn't move. She watched as the petals of her flower crown slowly disintegrated. She watched as they fell apart.


    I took a step closer. I wanted to put more rage in my words, but all I did was utter desperate whispers. She looked at me. She looked at me and there was nothing in her eyes. I expected to find her on the edge of explosion. I expected tears. I expected yelling and crying and jealousy and anger. I knew it would have broken my heart, but it would have been better than this. Better than this cold silence and stoned hearts. Better than empty eyes and breathless whispers. 

    Say something, Noemi. Please, just say something. Tell me that when you saw me kissing her your chest exploded. Tell me that you hate me and you hate my lips. That I disgust you, that I'm repelling. Just don't be silent. Don't be like this. 

    "My mum just called me," she said. "I did it. I actually did it, Pit."

    Her eyes shone with glory and I just stood there all confused. "What? What are you talking about?"

    She sighed and lowered her head. The enthusiasm and astonishment in her voice quickly disappeared. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you," she whispered. "I didn't think I would actually win, I didn't expect anything. I just... I didn't want you to be stressed or start having doubts, I – "

    "What did you win?"

    She looked at me like she had never done before and in her eyes I read a thousand things. Love. Fear. Compassion. Guilt. I knew those eyes were like a ticking bomb. 

    "A full scholarship," she said. Then she paused, she bit her lip and gulped down the fear of saying the next words. "Two years in Sweden."

    Two years. In Sweden.

    Boom. Whatever she said next, I didn't hear it. I didn't hear it because my mind was boiling and my heart was breaking apart. And she kept talking and talking and her voice was shaking too and maybe she knew that she was talking too fast and saying too much but maybe she thought that if there is no silence, there are no tears. But I didn't care about her physics project and her dream of becoming an astronaut. I didn't care about this stupid Swedish engineering school and I didn't care that it was one of the most important ones. I wished she could just stop and kiss me and tell me that we'll never be apart. 

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