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Chapter 8: Chapter 8: Kinley’s secrets

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Before I could answer, he looked away. "Isn't that your friend over there?" he asked. Kinley was wearing a dark blue t-shirt and she waved furiously at me. "Yes, she is... about today... about the memory..." "It was a nice day, I will text you later", he cut in and he reached in for a hug. I had already extended my hand to shake his. There was an awkward pause before I reached out to hug him. This time he had extended his hand. He grinned as he pulled me in and hugged me. His warmth enveloped me and it felt like the world had stopped spinning for a minute.

When he let go, I felt at a loss. I knew I was blushing cause I felt the heat surge up my neck to the tips of my ears. "I will call you later, Pelgyi", he said softly. "I will be waiting", I answered. He stared at me for a second before turning to leave.

Kinley pounced on me as soon as I was within her reach. "Tell me everything, you vixen! I thought you were going to meet Kinga so why am I seeing Namdrul drop you back?" I shook her hand off my arm. "I had to meet Namdrul for our group project", I said placing my bag on the bed. "But he dropped you back..." I stared at my bag. He did drop me but I wasn't sure what it meant. Or maybe it had no meaning - just me wanting a meaning out of it.

When I didn't complete her sentence, Kinley tugged my arm. "You are going to go out with him eventually?" I didn't even know who she was referring to at this point. "You move on fast", she said and there was a trace of disgust in her tone. Surprised, I looked at her. She was smiling. "It's a good thing. Don't look at me like that."

Her phone beeped. She looked at it and frowned. "What happened?" I asked. She shook her head. It is nothing.

Her face told me it wasn't just "nothing". However, I did not want to force it out of her. She would tell me at the end, I knew it.

The next day, when I saw Namdrul, I smiled at him. He didn't even smile back, choosing to turn away. Kinley was quick to comment about it. "It's nothing, he doesn't matter to me", I lied. When I looked at him again, he was busy writing in his book.

I looked at him a few more times but he didn't even glance at me. I had been wrong about us - there was no us. He wasn't interested in me. I couldn't explain away the upset feeling. I gripped my pen tightly and tried to focus on the differential equations swimming in front of my eyes.

For the rest of the class, I focused on the derivatives. I didn't even look his way. Having skipped breakfast, I was starving so I decided to catch a bite and preferably a large cup of hot coffee. I rushed out when I found Namdrul at the door too. He tilted his head indicating me to go first. I didn't even thank of him and walked out. I admit that I was being childish but I was too upset to be graceful.

As Kinley hadn't finished her lab report, I was alone when I ordered a large cup of black coffee and a plate of steamed dumplings. I was salivating as I carried my plate to one of the wooden tables outside. The warmth from the coffee spread through my body and I breathed in the scent. It was good that I had the next hour off since that gave me enough time to relish the food.

I was on my third dumpling when someone sat across me. People usually asked if the seat was free but this was new. However, I concentrated on the burst of flavours on my tongue rather than the person across me. "Are you really that hungry?" I looked up to find an amused Kinga. He grinned as he pushed a sandwich towards me.

I ignored it as I continued to eat but I did slow down and tried to eat as gracefully as I could. By the way, there is no such thing as eating dumplings gracefully. I realized it when half of the dumpling I had bitten into fell back in to the plate. The stuffing was strewn all over the remaining dumplings as I blinked in embarrassment. There was a moment of awkward silence which was then punctured by his laughter. He laughed loudly and seeing my expression, he laughed even harder. I put my fork back on the plate and frowned. He wiped a tear and tried to muffle his laughter. Offended, I stood up to leave. He stood up. "Don't leave...I won't laugh..." he said. I looked at him. He made a mocking puppy face. I didn't answer but I sat back down.

"Have this sandwich, it is definitely better", he said tilting his head towards it. "Thanks but I have my own food", I said haughtily. He grinned. "Yeah, I noticed. But have this - let me get another cup of coffee for you." I was about to refuse when I saw Namdrul watching us. He was standing at the foot of stair case holding a cup of coffee. I smiled widely at Kinga. "I would love it! You're the sweetest", I said in the most syrupy tone ever. Kinga raised his eyebrows but he did not question me as he went to fetch coffee.

Namdrul turned away and walked up the stairs. I watched him disappear and did not notice that Kinga was already at my table. "You are not trying to play the field, are you?" he said lightly but I could not miss the anger simmering underneath. "Of course not. I was waiting for you." He did not question me further, slipping back in to his cheerful, flirty self. I wished he had been as talkative the last time as it wouldn't have been awkward then. But the moment had passed and I already felt a barrier between us.

"Have you heard this song?" he asked sliding me his phone. It was a new song - a typical music video - girl dates a guy who she "is not allowed to date" but she does anyway. You know it. "It's so... typical", I answered. He grinned. "I know but I like it. Regarding the mv, to be honest, that's the boy I always wanted to be while in a relationship... the fun guy. But I always fail to be one", he said. I looked at him as he pushed his hair out of his eyes. "Maybe you're the guy in the mv but you just don't know it? After all, isn't the way we see ourselves different from how others see us?"

He looked at me and his expression softened. "I hope you see me that way." Why did it sound like he was asking me out?

"It's time for the next class. Do you have class?" he asked me. I snapped back to reality. I had class and I was going to be late.

He laughed as I rushed off. I knew I was being petty but when I saw that Kinley hadn't saved a seat for me in class, I felt awfully disappointed in her. She smiled at me like nothing was wrong.

I smiled back weakly and regretted it. I wished I had just frowned and walked off. It wasn't too late to do the latter. I turned away and a chest blocked my sight. He was standing so close that I could smell the citrus based perfume on him. Namdrul didn't even smile at me as he walked past me. My heart started to sink but he looked back, his body angled towards me. "Aren't you sitting?" he asked. I nodded. He stood there as if he was waiting for me. When I started walking towards him, he continued to walk. He sat down at the front and put his bag on the floor leaving the seat next to him free.

I sat down. I could feel the entire class' eyes on us. I self-consciously looked around and saw Kinley with Choni. She seemed to sneer at me. Choni smirked when Kinley whispered something in her ears. She smiled at me when our eyes met. I turned back to my book. My hand trembled as I picked up my pen.

"Are you okay?"

He wasn't even looking at me when he asked. His voice was cool as if he was asking if I had lunch. It still comforted me. "I am fine," I said. He didn't ask further. I was rather grateful for it. He even helped me with some of the lecture notes when the lecturer clicked through the slides too fast.

"Let me thank you with a cup of coffee", I said when the class got over. He gave a rare smile. "I won't say no", he answered as he put his books in his backpack. He reached his hand out. I looked at his hand and then back at him. He sighed and then took the books out of my hands. "You don't really need to..." I started but he was already walking up the stairs towards the hall exit. There were many people squeezing out of the exit. Someone pushed me and my hands flailed as I tried to steady myself. Namdrul caught my hand. "You're such a klutz", he said but there was a teasing undertone to his words.

"I guess I am", I said quietly as he led me through the crowd. His warm hand covered mine completely and I stared at his broad shoulders as the crowd slowly dissipated.

He let go only when we arrived at his car. His car had to be cleaner than any car I had ever seen. I hesitated to even sit down on the clean ash-grey seats. He raised a brow so I quickly got into the car. The sun was setting and he started up the car.

The sun formed a golden halo and painted his hair orange. He hummed as he put on a song. His jawline was highlighted by the black gho he was wearing. The song started...

You know how an amazing song plays and you relate to every word of it and you can't help but move to the beat of it? He was playing such a song. I had always found him attractive but this was the day I understood no one could be Namdrul Dawa. He looked perfect and it almost hurt to look at him like he was the sun.


CREATORS' THOUGHTS
memoriesoftomorrow memoriesoftomorrow

To anyone who is still reading this story, I am sorry for the super late update but I was demotivated and had a hard time continuing this story.

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