How do I face him? How do I explain myself? What do I say? What can I say? I have no idea. I don’t know what happened in his room in that moment. I’m not sure what it is that I felt or why I felt that way. All I know is that I wanted to kiss Noh. I wanted to kiss him and I wanted him to kiss me back. I had never wanted anything so much.
Riding behind Noh on the motorcycle isn’t helping me sort out my thoughts. There isn’t much room on the seat so I can’t help but press up against him. (Why do these fucking seats have to be so small?) I can feel the heat radiating off of him, warming my cold skin as I hold on to his sides. It makes me want to snuggle into his back and wrap my arms firmly around him, like we did as we slept last night. I tense up trying to resist that temptation.
Noh jerks his body a little and I realize my grip has tightened on his waist. I loosen my fingers and try to peer over his shoulder to see his face. It’s a face I don’t recognize. There is a downward turn to those pink lips that should be smiling, a closed look to his eyes which are usually bright and expressive. I can feel how stiff and uncomfortable his body is against mine and it feels like another rejection, a reminder of what I did wrong.
Pulling up to the gated entrance of my home, Noh turns off the motorcycle and waits for me to get off. I don’t want to let go but I know I have to. Slowly, I swing my leg over and stand up. Our silence is overwhelming, so different from before. Before there were playful words exchanged. Before there were smiles and friendly waves. That was before I screwed it all up. Now, all there is between us is an awkward and cold silence.
I take a few steps towards the gate and stop, undecided about what to do next. Can I really just walk away? I hear Noh stand up and step towards me but I can’t turn around. I can’t face him. I can’t look into those eyes and see my betrayal looking back at me. I don’t want to see his anger or worse, his hatred. I know how I feel in this moment… broken, shattered into a million pieces and it’s all my fault.
Noh takes another step closer but I can’t take it anymore. I walk away like the coward I am. I walk away without looking back. As I enter the house, I hear Noh’s motorcycle rev to life and I pause to listen as he drives down the street, away from me.
Inside, I look neither left nor right. I simply announce to whoever may be listening that I’m home and head directly up the stairs to my room as quickly as I can, not really caring if anyone heard me. Locking the door, I turn around to lean against its solid length and a sigh escapes my lips.
I don’t know how long I stood there staring into my cold, empty room when I hear a tentative knock from the other side. “P’Phun?” Pang’s sweet voice reaches my ears. “P’Phun, are you okay?”
No. No, I’m not okay. I’m very far from okay… but I can’t say that to Pang. I can’t let her worry more because I am an idiot. “I’m fine, Pang.” I try to answer in a normal voice but I can hear it waver. “I’m going to take a shower. Good night.”
There’s a small pause and then I hear her quiet reply. “Good night.”
Moving away from the door, my body starts trembling. I quickly shed my clothes, leaving them wherever they fall as I make my way to the bathroom and turn the water on. I put my head under the warm spray, my dejected tears mixing with the water as it cascades down my face. No matter how much warm water hits me, I still feel the chill inside.
I am bombarded with images, memories of the past few days. Noh’s smile as we joke around. Noh eyes filled with concern as he takes care of me. Noh’s face as he sleeps in my arms. Noh’s lips as I come so close to kissing him. Noh’s back as he walks away from me. Aim…
I whip my head up and stagger against the wall as her perfectly beautiful face fills my vision. Aim… Aim, my girlfriend… Aim, who loves me and who I love… Aim, who put her trust and faith in me… Aim, who I completely forgot until now.
I really am an asshole. Sliding down, I sit on the hard tile floor and let the water wash over me as both Aim and Noh haunt my thoughts. The tears are gone, dried up by my burning shame and the painful ache in my chest.
After a long while and not feeling any better, I stand up to turn the water off and dry myself with a large towel. In my room, I grab whatever night clothes are closest, quickly dress, and turn off the lights. Throwing myself onto the bed, hoping to lose myself in sleep, I can only stare at the ceiling. Noh was here yesterday, laying in this exact spot, wrapped in my arms. I feel a sharp twinge in my chest. I roll over with a groan and see the picture of Aim staring at me from the nightstand. The burn feels like it will eat me alive. I pull the blanket up from the side and put it over my head. There really is no sleep for the wicked.