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We both sat in silence and opposite of each other. I quietly seeped on my drink, letting the warm rejuvenating contents wash through the walls of my throat.

Aly invited me to come inside while giving me back the bracelet that Dani had stolen. She didn't say anything since then, only instructing me to sit down in the dining room while she brewed some tea in the kitchen.

Regardless of everything, I wasn't bold enough to strike a conversation with my best friend. It had been more than a decade since I befriended her, but right now, we were awkwardly enjoying our respective drinks, treating each other like we were strangers.

Even with my head low, I repeatedly stole glances at her, desperately hoping that she initiated the conversation. After all, she was the one bringing me in, so she most likely had a plan in mind.

"So... first of all," Aly began, as if she just read my thoughts. She then placed her porcelain mug on the table, "I'm sorry about Dani. I just told her to try to find you, but well... I guess she went too far."

"N-No, it's fine. Besides, I was walking for some fresh air when I saw her," I dismissed her apology, "but why don't you just text me instead of letting Dani out on her own? She could get lost, you know."

"Don't worry, Dani's a pretty smart cat. Unlike me, she knows how to get around the area and go back home," Aly replied, glancing at the black cat as it wandered around the living room.

Running out of what to say, the tense vibes started haunting us once more. She then stared at her lap, as she clutched hard on the mug's handle. She withdrew her lips as if she was refraining herself from speaking out, and blinked unusually fast.

"... so, w-why do you call me to your house?" I forced myself to continue regardless of the pressure that surrounded both of us.

"I..." She paused, forcing herself to look straight at me, although her eyes tried to oppose. Her throat bulged as she swallowed her hesitation, "after I lost my shit over you, I felt really crushed. We both rarely fought... so the thought of it really hurt me inside. Since that time, I decided to lock myself in my room. I didn't want to go anywhere else. It was the only place where I felt safer."

I couldn't help but to immensely relate to her. When Edward left me contemplating in shame, guilt almost immediately rushed through me like lightning. It painfully ate my skin and my insides away, causing them to groan in agony.

"I actually didn't want to see you, Rena. Every time I thought about you, the pain came back... but even so, I forced myself to listen to your voicemails and read all your texts. I kept on hearing them and reading them repeatedly. I was torturing myself... ironic wasn't it?" She forced herself to laugh.

"When you came physically to apologize, the pain just grew worse. It devoured me inside out. Honestly, I didn't know what to do next. I thought of isolating myself until I got better, but it didn't seem to work in the slightest," she mumbled, going on.

"Then I realized... I was actually the one who was supposed to take the blame, not you. I was the one who snapped at you without no reason. Instead of me saying sorry, it was you, who didn't do anything wrong," Aly finished her last sentence with a forced breath, followed by a whimper.

"After you suddenly stopped sending messages and voicemails, I've finally decided to meet up with you, but I didn't want to text you... so I relied on Dani's assistance for that," her voice trailed off, as she tried her best to keep her feelings in check. Her twisting face told me she was on the edge of a meltdown, as her eyes were growing glassy.

Honestly, seeing Aly like this really broke me and made me feel like I was the most heartless person in the world. However, unlike the old me who could only stand and stare, I quickly shot up from my seat and ran towards her. I have to change for my sake... I'm not going to be the old dependent Rena anymore...

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