Chapter 4: Meet me half-way

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'This is stupid. Why am I running away from him? I already buried my feelings for him but my chest hurts like crazy.' Jake kept on running, his breath becoming short pants, face burning from the adrenaline and cold sweat breaking down on his temples. There was a tingling sensation from the pit of his stomach. He knew very well that the blonde was still following him. The memories of 2 years ago were still fresh on his mind. Senior night. Gowns. Pretty lights. The booming music. Red lipstick smeared all over pale skin. Losing his mind in thought, Jake didn't notice the dent on the ground that he stumbled forward, his chin scraping on the rough ground.

"Ah- shit!" A sharp pain runs through his face. He sat up from the ground, grabbing hard on his chin to prevent the pain from swelling.

"Are you alright Jake?" came his sound. Jake forced his legs to move but only to fall once again. "Jake!"

"Stay away from me Strider!" Jake screamed, his chest feeling heavier than before. Setting foot in this town was really a bad idea. Dirk didn't listen. He slipped his arm around Jake but was pushed away almost instantly. "Didn't you hear me?!" Tears were now prickling Jake's eyes. The sight was enough for Dirk to be crest fallen. The same look Jake gave him that night the incident happened.

"I'm sorry..." he mumbled, taking a step away from Jake, his heart feeling constricted as if thorns have enveloped themselves around it.

"Just... L-leave me alone..." More tears ran down Jake's eyes. He wiped them off as soon as possible, hating himself more than ever to be crying in front of the man who broke his heart. 'And I told myself I moved on... Tch...'

"At least let me help you—" But Dirk was cut off short again.

"I don't need your help! Ever." With one last sob, Jake stood up. He took a handkerchief from his pocket and pressed it hard on his chin. He stole a glance from Dirk, resentment written all over his face. "You're still the same... still dense." Then marched away from him.

Dirk just stood there, dumbfounded. This was their first meeting together and Jake was already crying. He felt a huge wave of pain eat him. For the past year, he wished that he would be given the chance to right his wrongs. He wanted to erase the image of Jake's crying face in his mind especially that time when Jake opened the door to see him and Damara in one bed. He punched the nearest wall. Jake had stopped looking at him after that day. He always averted his eyes when he walked pass him or approach him. Since that day, Jake always had that puffy tired look on his face. He also lost the color and spark in his eyes. Before the year even ended, he was gone without a word. Without Jake's presence, Dirk's world began to go silent. He did things in short periods of time. He'd gone to parties, got drunk, Picked fights here and there and almost got arrested all because of his untold feelings for Jake. Now that Jake was here in the flesh, the courage he mustered suddenly went down the drain. He couldn't bring himself to tell Jake everything, the truth, his feelings.

-Flashback-

Laser lights beamed in the gym ground. Loud music thumped everywhere. Bodies grinded everywhere. It was the last year for the seniors and they were raving like it was their last day on earth. A certain blonde sat at a corner, drinking spiked punch. He grinned at the colliding bodies in front of him. His mind was getting clouded from the drink. Next thing he knew, a girl in red was making her way to him. She had deadly red lips, curly locks that reached back and a slender waist. She grabbed him by the collar and walked through the crowd with him with such ease. Soon, they were in his car making out. The next thing he knew, they were in her house doing god knows what. The excitement and adrenaline made Dirk forget. Forget that Jake was waiting at the rooftop that night. Forget that it was their anniversary 4 days after the dance. Forget that Jake loved him to bits. The heat and moans must have made him forget. But the awful truth of tomorrow slapped him hard on the face. He heard a loud slam that made him sit up. Half-asleep, Dirk was ready to cuss at whoever the intruder was. Opening his eyes to see who it was, Dirk's eyes widened in surprised and guilt. It was Jake, still wearing his suit from the dance before. There was a bitter look on his face then he threw a small box on the floor and ran off. The fleeting silhouette of Jake burned in his mind. What did he do? He glanced at the girl sleeping next to him, at the kiss marks on his neck and chest. Something he shouldn't have. A grave mistake that has no solution. He broke Jake.

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