Cerise drummed her fingers on her knee, her eyes wide open and lips bound tight. Glancing out the window, she tried not to show how uncomfortable she was.
Beside her, Drake sat in the driver's seat, gripping the wheel tightly. Instead of concealing how he felt, his face was flushed, while he kept fidgeting. His lips, usually in a warm smile, were pulled down on either side into a terrible frown.
"I'm sorry, Drake."
"Are you?" He let out a low, troubled laugh. "What does that even mean, huh? You're sorry, so what? As if that little word suddenly makes everything better." He ran his hand through his hair.
I just broke up with Desmond, she thought with a grimace, doing her best to keep her lips shut.
Just hours before now, he'd driven her from Superstore to the St. Vital shopping centre, where the two had spent a good hour in the food court. After insisting that she pay for both of them, since she'd missed their date on Saturday, he stated it was really no big deal. With an easy-going laugh and sparkle in his eyes, he said he would cover the entire meal.
That should've been her first warning sign.
Cerise had reluctantly agreed, feeling even worse about what she had done to Drake. To make up for forgetting their appointment, she laughed at all his jokes, smiled at him, and did everything she could to make him feel good. Enthusiastically she engaged him in conversation, giving him plenty of time to speak, while giving input here and there.
As the conversation went on, his feet slowly began to stretch out towards her, tapping her flip-flops. He'd draw back quickly, an embarrassed smile on his face. Still, it would happen repeatedly over their conversation, until she finally had enough.
Scooting her feet underneath her hard, plastic chair, she felt his feet no more.
Cerise thought back on what happened next, feeling more and more uncomfortable. Remaining silent, she glanced over at Drake, who was pursing his lips.
"You know what, I'm sorry, Cerise." He burst out. "I'm the one who's sorry, I shouldn't have told you all of that." He ran his hand through his hair again, this time his arms shaking. "But I can't help how I feel about you."
"No, you can't." She finally said, crossing her arms over her legs. "Doesn't mean you have to say it."
"But why not? C'mon, Cerise, you're the only person that gives a damn about me! The only one! I know I pretend being disliked doesn't bother me, and most times it doesn't, but after hearing what you said-I don't know what to do."
"You'll meet the one." Cerise forced a smile, which soon faltered as she thought back again on their evening.
After eating a delicious, salty fry, she was horrified to see it was the last one in the carton. She'd eaten them all. With an embarrassed smile, she hoped Drake hadn't noticed and suggested they go see a movie.
She wanted to see the new musical called Les Ennuyeux a Mourir which she'd been wanting to see for weeks. Knowing that Drake wouldn't enjoy the movie, she kept that opinion to herself, but was shocked when he proposed they watch it.
That should've been her second warning.
Together, they bought their tickets, found seats and amused themselves with a magazine supplied by the theatre. Laughing, they didn't bother reading the magazine, but commented on the photos of celebrities and other tidbits that they could joke about.
"Ben Affleck." Was all Drake needed to say before they were both in fits of laughter.
Slowly, people began to trickle into the theatre as time ran out before the movie began. When it did, the lights dimming and the screen glowing brilliantly, Cerise saw the last person she wanted to see. Sitting two rows in front of them and to the side, was Desmond, his arms wrapped around the shoulders of a stunning girl beside him.
The two of them laughed, he leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.
Drake noticed this as well, staring at her with concern in his far-apart eyes. He stroked her arm, his touch sending chills of revulsion down her spine. With a forced smile, she turned back to him and whispered that it was alright.
His hands fled back to his lap.
Cerise excused herself, walked briskly to the washroom and ran to the sink. Sprinkling her face with warm water, she glanced at her mirror reflection. The sweat that had gathered on her face stubbornly stayed there until she'd dried it off with paper towel. Even then, she was still feeling quite sick at the thought of being in the same theatre with Desmond.
Her gut swarmed with anxiety, while her heart was pumping with, strangely enough, jealousy. Seeing him so happy with that beautiful girl had caused her cheeks to flush and fists to clench. How dare he, after several days, go after another girl like that?
Or perhaps they'd known one another for longer.
Angrily, she stormed out of the washroom, fighting off the nausea that made her want to puke. He'd already ruined her entire week, crushing her heart ruthlessly-he would inflict no more pain on her.
Of course, when she was heading towards the theatre, she wasn't expecting to run right into him.
"Cerise." The door to the theatre shut behind him as Desmond headed towards her. Only wearing a tight, plaid shirt and dark, blue jeans, he could still blow her away with how handsome he was. The rugged, half-smile he always wore, with bright white teeth and a remarkably tanned complexion.
Except, his eyes were darker today. Perhaps it was the lighting or just the way he reacted to seeing her after the rough breakup, but she felt there was something different in his eyes.
"You dick." Was what she wanted to say, after she'd slapped his smug face. Instead, she stood timidly in front of him, clasping her hands together. "Desmond."
"This is awkward." He chuckled, tapping his left foot on the popcorn covered ground. "Listen, I'm so-"
"Shut up, you stupid jerk! I hate you!" Was what she wanted to say, but instead she kept her lips pursed. With a straight face, she listened to him talk away.
"I'm really sorry about what happened at Olive Garden. I was being a complete jerk, I don't take back what I said, but I wish I'd said it another way."
"Yep." She finally said, her lips trembling.
Inside, all the emotions she'd felt on that day rushed back to her heart, enveloping it with their talons and fangs. "You broke my heart." Dipping her head, she gave him a wide berth as she walked back into the theatre.
Drake said not a word when she returned to her seat, eyes wide and teary.
For the remainder of the film, her eyes could not sit still on the screen. No, they would constantly drift like a leaf in a pond to the boy seated two rows in front of her. She saw everything: the carefree way he held his date's hand, to his laugh during certain scenes and when he started kissing his date.
With fiery eyes, she saw it all, feeling her heart growing colder and colder. Bitter rage filled her heart like frigid, ice water.
Halfway through, she was interrupted by two fingers gently massaging her hand. Startled, she gasped and drew her hand to her chest, before seeing it was Drake.
All she could do was gape at him, then slowly put her hand on her jean-clag legs.
When would this nightmare be over?
Drake slamming on the brake's jolted Cerise back to the present. Muttering a curse-something he hardly did in front of her-he turned to face her. "The one? You said that I'll meet the One? Who the hell is that, Cerise, huh? Who in the hell is the One? That's just sentimental bull-" he cut himself short, letting out a sigh before continuing. "That's stupid. I'll never meet the one, Cerise, because everyone can only see skin deep. The One? You show me this girl and I'll believe you. For now, you don't know anything."
"What? I'm trying to make you feel better, Drake! I'm your friend and I care about you more then any other guy I know. I love you, but as a friend."
"Get out." He unlocked the door, putting the car in park. "Now." Staring straight ahead, he waited for her to unbuckle, which she did after a moment's hesitation.
"You're not serious. Drake, what the hell is wrong with you? I just broke up with my boyfriend! And I've told you before that we'll never be-that's because you're my brother, Drake. I need a friend like you without all the stupid, emotional junk. I need you."
"It's not a far walk." He ignored her words and waited for her to leave, his arms crossed.
"Drake! What do you want from me?"
After a pause, he shook his head. "Forget about it. Just, don't say anything, okay?" He put the locks back in place, switched gears and continued the rest of the drive in awkward silence. Neither of them said anything until he pulled up to her driveway.
Before that, Cerise thought back on the rest of the events leading up to Drake's proclamation.
With a miserable sigh, she stood up from her seat and left with Drake. Together they walked briskly ahead of Desmond, who was still making out with his girlfriend.
He'd asked what she thought of the movie, she had responded that it was alright.
When they were both in his car, he asked about Desmond. Leaving his seatbelt off, he swiveled in his seat. "So Desmond was there, did you guys talk?"
"We did." She smiled weakly. "He's such a… never mind, I'd like to go home."
"Cerise," he gently reached out, holding her hand. This time, she didn't' pull back. "It was good that you two broke up-he was a douche bag. Letting him go was the best thing that's happened to you."
Her lips dipped into a sad frown. "I didn't let him go, he let me go."
"Well maybe it's time to find someone who wont let you go."
"Drake." She tried to pull her hand away, but he held on tightly.
"I love you, Cerise."
Cerise was again yanked away from her memories when Drake pulled up to her home. Without saying anything, he unlocked the door and put the car in park.
"I still want to be friends, Drake. I know that you love me, but I can never return that love. But I would die without you in my life, please promise me that you'll be there for me." She hesitated, realizing how selfish that sounded and opened her mouth to speak.
Drake only stared at her, nodding his head slowly. "I promise."
She stepped out of the car, shutting the door. Waving as he drove back down the driveway, she momentarily thought about running after his car. She'd open his door and fall into his arms, kissing him straight on the mouth.
Drake would not deny her that-he would eagerly accept her.
"Stupid girl," she muttered, knowing that doing that would be wrong. She couldn't fall in love with him out of pity. He would just have to learn that they would only be friends.
Just as she would learn with Desmond.