Mike: Hey Mort!
The gang gathered around me. I look at them sort of dazed by my thoughts.
Mike: How's it going?
I look at their faces one by one.
Mort: Lance's right.
I turn to Lance.
Mort: I am stupid and...
I turn to the others.
Mort: ...she did fall for me.
They probably thought that Lance's theory was just a big joke to tease me with before, because now they’re not teasing or laughing. I assume they realize now the weight of Lance's theory because...
Jake: Huddle time.
We only huddle if something really serious happened to any of us.
Mort: Does this face look like its joking?
Seeing my face proves to them that I'm telling the truth. I didn't really look at my face in the mirror, but I must look really pitiful to make them go silent.
Lance: How'd you know?
Mort: I overheard them yesterday. Karen and her.
I look at Daniel. He smiles apologetically.
Daniel: I have to, you know. She's bugging me about seeing Chrixa so affected by it.
I recall Chrixa's tone yesterday. I also witnessed how affected she is so I understand Karen and Daniel. I didn't say a word.
Jake: So, what's the plan now?
Lance: Isn't it obvious? Mort should fall for her too!
Mike and Daniel gave him a slap on the head for that.
Lance: I was just joking!
Lance said, rubbing his head. Good thing, Chrixa and Karen are not in the room at the moment.
Lance tilts his head down.
Then he smiles.
Daniel: But really, Mort, what are you planning to do?
Among everyone, he might be the most likely person who'd want me to take this thing seriously. I know because that's what he's been doing with his "fallling" life.
Mort: I don't know.
Mike: You should talk to her.
Mort: I'll try but what will I tell her?
Jake: Tell her that you know.
Mort: Tell her that I know?
My mind is running in circles.
Mort: What happens after that?
There was a short silence.
Daniel: Look, Mort, if you don't want to fall with her then tell her that you both should just stay as best friends. If she really loves you she'd understand, right?"
The rest of the Gang say, "Yeah"s and "That's right!"s randomly except me. I tried to consider what Daniel said but then I remember Chrixa's voice yesterday. The way she said it. The pain she surely felt during that time. I still can't erase the pain that hit me when I heard her say that phrase. My best friend. Falling in love. With me! It's too painful to even imagine myself telling her that I know and it's okay but she have to stay as my best friend despite her feelings for me because I don't feel the sa-
My thoughts suddenly stops.
Do I not feel the same?
I shake my head violently which surprised the Gang. The huddle was broken.
Daniel exclaimed while some of them held my shoulder to stop me.
Daniel: Mort, what is the problem?
Mort: All of it!
I didn’t shout, more of a loud whisper. The pain surging in my brain and in my chest is preventing from letting the words out properly.
Mort: All this romance thing is my problem!
I said, trying to stop myself from crying.
Every time I think of falling, I'm reminded about the pain that I felt the last time I did. That cliff was really deep I almost thought it was endless!
Last year, I fell for a girl named Rochelle. She's very beautiful and really smart. Having recently fallen and landed at the bottom real hard, her view of romance was wide and dark. She's been my crush since the start of high school and when I decided to talk to her, I learned she felt the same. I was always there to cheer her up last year because she always prefers to be alone. Cheering her up is something that I’m good at because I managed to make her smile. And after three months I tried to ask her to be my girlfriend. But she said she's not ready and told me to wait 10 years. I was so willing to wait that I got myself ready. I told her I'd wait even if it takes forever. I was so happy when I fell for her. The fall might be long but I pictured that there’s a soft cushion waiting for me at the bottom so it will all be worth it because I love her and she said she loves me too. Everything was going well. I'm happy with her and she with me. But then the cliff changed. It got dark. It started swaying in many directions. She started avoiding me and she won't even tell me why. I tried to reach her but I ended up reaching the bottom. Hitting not just its hard surface but the spikes protruding from it. One night, she texted me that she still loves her ex-boyfriend but she loves me too. She said she was confused. I know by then that it's worthless trying to win her back and since I did love her, I told her that she has the freedom to choose between us and that I will accept it with all of my heart whoever she chooses. And even if I did say I will accept it, I can't help to feel that excruciating pain when she ended up choosing the other guy. I know that she thanked me for being there when she was at her bottom. She thanked me for the happiness I've given her when she was sad. I know that she apologized and I forgave her. But the pain is still there! It hurt so much that even now I can still feel it.
Mort: Last year...
I was crying when the Gang huddled around me to cover me from the rest of the class.
Mort: ...with Rochelle...the pain...I don't want C-Chrixa to feel it...
Is all that came out. They already know what happened to me. They we're there when I was at the bottom and they helped me up. Including Chrixa. The thought of her hitting bottom pains me so.
Daniel clasp his hand on my shoulder.
Daniel: What happened to you in the past won't happen to Chrixa.
He said, as if reading my mind.
Daniel: And you can't deprive her of the lessons she can learn by getting hurt.
All of them assents.
Jake: Just don't forget that even if she do hit the bottom, we'll still be there for her.
He gestured to the others. And I saw them smiling encouragingly.
Jake: Because we're the Gang, remember? We have each other, right?
I was calming down when they all patted my back, telling me that falling is not such a bad thing and that Chrixa will be fine.
But then I remember the dream. I did pray to God what to do last night and He gave me the dream. Surely it means something.
So I told them about it.
The field of flowers. Chrixa and I being happy. Her willingness to fall while I shout at her falling figure.
They all got quiet when I'm done sharing it to them.
Lance: That's... something.
Lance seems disturbed with what I've said.
Mike: C'mon guys...it's just a dream. We don't know what God really plans for Mort and Chrixa.
Jake: Yeah. But we’ll be praying for you, Morty.
Lance: That’s right.
Mike: So first, Mort and Chrixa talks and then...
Daniel: ...we’ll see things go after that. If Chrixa hits bottom, we’ll be there to ease the pain. I will also share this plan with Karen.
Daniel turns to me.
Daniel: Does that sound good, Mort?
I don’t know if I’m ready to talk to Chrixa about all this but I nod.
Mort: Yeah. I guess.
Jake and Mike slaps my back. The force seem to snap the negative feeling out of me.
They apologize and we all laugh.
The bell rang as the huddle time dismisses. And I am relieved that our other classmates was unaware of our conversation in the huddle because they were too busy having their own conversations. Chrixa was not in the room that whole time, too, as I see her just enter the room with Karen. Which gave me extra relief. Karen seems to have talked with her too because she looks okay. She gives me a smile as she sits on her chair.
Daniel and Karen both stare at each other then glance at me. It's as if they're telepathically communicating with each other.
I take a deep breath, releasing all the negative thinking I had before, replacing them with a new and happy determination of being a better best friend to Chrixa.
I then prayed a short prayer, asking God for guidance, as our teacher for the next period came in our classroom.
The afternoon classes helped me forget about the whole drama during lunch time. The surprise quiz during our Math period made sure of that.
Chrixa and I were walking together on the hallway heading to the gates, plunged in the conversation about the Math quiz. She then talks too much about her summer, how she got the new look, etc. We didn't really hang out last summer since Auntie Jane and her went out of town.
She looks so happy, sharing her stories, while I look at her. Everything seems normal again. And I can't help myself feeling that I did miss her absence during summer. I was so happy being with her right now that the happiness was probably shown through my face.
Chrixa: You're creeping me out! Stop smiling like that while looking at me!
Mort: Nah, I was just amused by your enthusiasm of sharing your adventures during the summer...
Then I slowly acted sad as I say,
Mort: ...while I'm all by myself at home feeling so lonely.
I give her a forceful frown.
Chrixa: Ah! So you did miss me, huh?
Mort: I never said, I didn't.
Then I gave her a threatening look.
Mort: So you have to compensate for your absence.
Chrixa: Fine! What do you have me do then?
Mort: Are you free tomorrow?
We're just gonna hangout. She's my best friend after all and we've been hanging out hundreds of times before during weekends anyway.
Chrixa: Well...I think so...yeah.
She said a bit uncertain.
Mort: Okay. Let's watch a movie tomorrow. I think X-men Origins: Wolverine is showing. Let's watch it.
Chrixa: Are you kidding me?
She said, one eyebrow raised in suspicion. Or probably remembering the Hugh Jackman incident. But I just brushed off the assumption.
Mort: Nope. C'mon I'm not making fun of you.
Trying to evade the possible talk about the incident on the actor's name. That will come tomorrow. Probably.
She suddenly turns her head down but then she smiles.
Mort: Good! Better prepare some money coz you're paying for everything.
She exclaimed crossing her arm but slowly smiles.
There was a short silence then we broke into laughter.
We then talk about movies the rest of the way.
Being best friends, we always go out on weekends. So I’m not really doing anything that could hurt her. I can't let these recent events destroy what we already have. I will still have to talk to her about it though. An opportunity for it might come tomorrow. I do hope things go well.