After that romantic conquest and a confession under the rain (Awwww), Elise and I, have been pretty distant after that. The routine everyday that I used to fetch her at her home starts to crumble, like she goes to school earlier than usual which is kinda odd.
I remembered her words that ringed through me "Told you, I don't care", but where did that brought us? Farther and farther away from each other and that sucks really. It feels like a cannonball just hit me in the gut and the cannonball was on fire and the cannonball was going to explode kind of feeling. I feel incomplete without her.
I know, I know I just met her for like 5 months and I was acting this strange but of course we got so close, yet so far now. She is my best friend, like a family to me that I vowed to protect at all times no matter what happens but now, I made that mistake. If I should have been more undercover, if I didn't act too showy and stuffs, she should have been my friend until now.
So let's continue our story.
I woke up once again from my slumber and then I suddenly realized, it's the first day of December. I should feel giddy and happy and excited and everything knowing I can go back to Manila and celebrate Christmas with my parents and also with the Anakdatu, but still, I feel really bad from what happened to me and Elise.
I sighed and closed my eyes "Oh well, it is a new day." My mother used to symbolize a man's everyday life is similar to the sun. We wake up, as the sun rises, ride the tide till the day ends and we die, and then we get resurrected and die again and again and which she told me that tomorrow's problems or tides should be new and everyday is a new day and all I got to do is ride with it.
I stood up and went to my very routine in my whole daily life. And while I was at the breakfast table eating my breakfast, Macabulos called through eve.
"Good Morning agent, how's it going? I received your recording when the target was kidnapped, and I am very sorry for I responded quite long that usual. But yes, we, even Lakan Dula is quite threatened by that video knowing that we are starting to go public to our enemies. But we will figure that one out, I'll send Lapu-lapu for an operation to sweep up those groups who tried to attack you. Just protect the target okay? And I received a very strong powerful signal in a 50 kilometer radius from the school, it's far but it seems to be approaching so be careful okay? Ramil?" He seemed to notice my silence, "Is everything okay?"
"I- yeah, school stuffs I guess." I sighed.
"That doesn't sound like school stuffs, wait a minute, is it about you and Ms. Vertucio? What happened?"
I sighed once more and told him everything.
"Ramil, now you have confessed about our organization, that makes our privacy more at risk, so starting now, you two should be bound and you are about to make sure that she closes her mouth. I told you not to get distracted! But oh well, your father did the same. Just keep in mind your responsibilities okay?" Macabulos told me in a very soothing manner "Good luck out there agent and you did great too."
And the connection finished and once again, back to my routine.
I went to school after, took the first classes and then there was lunchtime. I am not in the mood to eat my lunch so I just walked around the campus but sadly, I didn't saw Elise anywhere around but I saw John playing in the basketball court.
The moment John saw me, he called me then "Ramil! Hey you! Come play with me here."
I waved back and I guessed I have no choice so then I went to the court and changed my clothes into a basketball jersey and basketball shorts of course, from the courtesy of the school.
While I was putting on my shoes in the bleachers, John approached me.
"Hey Ramil, you look kinda smug today, also I never saw your physique before, like I kinda thought you were scrawny, because of your uniform but you are buffer than me, like something bothered you. I know like ever since the ice cream truck incident, you and Elise kinda drifted off. You want to talk about it?" He asked.
I saw that John, from that nerdy scrawny guy I met months ago, he indeed grew up and matured, he seemed more confident than before, and also buff. He does not have the air of insecurity and introvertness in him but yeah, he indeed grew up.
I smirked and looked at him in the eye "I might tell you if you will defeat me in basketball."
"Okay, let's go." With a fire in his eyes, we started our game.
I never played basketball for a very long time and it is indeed fun. And again, I never played basketball like a devil before. I shot threes again and again and I never missed. Lay-ups and slam dunks that I seem to do without any effort. Maybe the effects of my training. I broke John's ankle every crossover I made, maybe from my high instinct that was embedded on me, I blocked every shot attempt he made and I destroyed him quite a lot. I never missed any shot and never failed any cross over I made. Our game ended 89-2 with me in favor.
John gasping for air, "You sir, seemed to have faked your failures in the last try outs, you are so good! You didn't even break a sweat."
I checked myself out, oh my, yes I didn't break a sweat and I wasn't even out of breath out of those shots. "Yeah, I used to play basketball."
"You used to?" John laughed and put a hand on my shoulder and pointed near the hallway and I saw Elise walking "Go MVP, do your best, tell me later, or if you will."
"Thanks man." I gave him a high-five, grabbed my things and I ran for Elise.
"Elise!" I shouted as I called her, and I running as fast as I could.
She turned at my direction with a blank face which is not the face she used to wear but when she saw me, she kind of like got some life in her eyes but she did stop in her steps.
And finally I got to her. "Elise, can we talk? Like if you want only and I am not forcing you to-"
She blushed wherein I noticed that she glanced at my arms and body and looked away as quickly "I didn't know your body was like that too, I thought you are like uh… un-hot." She said as she stared somewhere in the right.
I shifted uncomfortably " I heard that twice today, what's wrong with my body? We have been like with each other for like 5 months and you didn't notice?"
She hit me in the arm like she usually does and blushed again when he hit my bicep "Uh- you always wear long sleeves and you just wore those kinds of outfit today doofus."
I smiled "So we are cool and okay?"
"I guess so," as she played coy.
"Let's take a seat by the bleachers, come on." As I grabbed her hand and we ran for the bleachers.
We took a seat by the bleachers and settled down. I don't know but it feels awkward to talk to a person whom you confessed to that you were friends because of a mission. But really, Elise is my friend, ugh, I've got to man up.
I inhaled "Elise, I know, for what I have said, it turned out like I just befriended you because I am on a mission to protect you and I am sorry," She seemed mad but in a very calm way.
"But know that I never thought I will become friends with you like for real, I thought I'll just be someone lurking in the shadows safeguarding your sanity but no, I don't want to be that kind of guy, and on my whole life, I never had any friends, until you came, and John too. You guys were real friends of mine, not because of a mission or whatnot, because it really is and I am sorry. I hope you forgive me." I concluded.
I glanced up to Elise who seems to stare far away, who seems thinking deeply.
I figured I should go for awhile and hide away in shame for what I have said. So then I stood up.
Elise grabbed my hand "Don't, I was just counting how many chairs are there in the opposite bleachers, we're fine now okay? Stop thinking about that." She stood up "But you know, with your job and all, you know you should be my slave or more likely my personal assistant."
Oh God, I was horrified by that thought and so then Elise laughed "You look ugly, I was just kidding, you missed me didn't you?" And she poked my rib.
"Nah. Who misses girls who counts bleachers?"
"Yes you did."
I just shrugged but in my insides, yes I did missed her a lot, and I am happy we are back. I just don't want my friends turned away from me and atleast, we are okay now.
"Come on Beauty Queen, we'll be late for class."
"Coming.But hey, your secret is safe with me." She winked and said with her face full of happiness once again.
We took the classes once again, did our best until class was dismissed and once again, I offered assistance in bringing her things. Of course, with John by our side.
We sat in our magical bench once again, just us three.
"And we're finally back to normal." John finally said.
"And let's not buy ice cream anymore." Elise said.
"Merry Christmas after 24 days guys." I told them.
"Stupid people." As another guy said in a very raspy voice, who is buying street foods from Steve.
I took a look in the guy, he is huge, more likely twice my size, I guess he is a football player, a quarterback I guess. He's got this very damaged face that I will see him as a threat without his uniform on but yeah, I know this guy. Ethan McLevin, a transferee who is acting like he owns the school, our classmate, and the school's top bully.
John hid behind me, yes he did.
"You are the stupid one." Elise backfired but I hushed her.
"Who said that?" The half-troll, I mean Ethan said.
"Nobody did." I said.
"You people messing with me," He pointed his fish balls in his stick which I think is very less intimidating. "You'll see." As he trudged away from the stall.
"Oh well, atleast the half troll is gone. Come let's go home."
We stood up and I walked my two friends knowing I just made an enemy by fish balls. Oops.
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