Chapter 6: Hell
The hallway is silent, too early for most students to even think about getting out of bed. Most students except for me who really hasn’t slept in the last two days. Sliding down the wall at the end by the window, my eyes never leave the door a couple rooms away. I’m seriously going crazy. Two days without Kongpob, knowing that he’s only steps away but i can’t get to him, and I’m a wreck. The look in his eyes the last time I saw him is the only thing I see when I close my eyes. The few times I fell asleep, I had a nightmare where Kong realizes that he’s better off without a cheater like me and walks away hand-in-hand with a faceless person laughing happily. No matter how much I tried to chase after him, he got further and further away, never hearing me calling desperately after him from the darkness. I’d wake up with his name on my lips and sweat dripping down my face, the blankets balled up in my fists. It wasn’t sleep; it was my own personal trip to Hell.
It was a hell I created through my own actions and weakness. It might have been Namtarn that started the kiss but I’m the one who kissed her back. I’m the asshole that gave in to the curiosity and almost forgotten feelings I had for my first crush. The truth of who owns my heart was made painfully clear with that action but the cost of it may crush me.
I glance down at the watch on my wrist. It’s almost time for Kongpob to leave for his first class. No matter what, I know that he won’t miss another day. He’s too responsible and too good of a student for that, so I know this is my chance to finally see him. Down the hall, his doorknob turns and the door opens slowly. Scrambling to my feet, I take a step forward only to freeze when I hear the voices on the other side. Kong isn’t alone.
“I’m starving. Let’s stop for some breakfast on the way, Kongpob. We have plenty of time.” The tall form of Prem appears first with Kongpob following behind, making sure the door is locked after closing it.
“Sure, p’Prem.” Kong looks up at him with a small smile and both walk away down the hall.
Neither look behind nor notice me standing here watching them. They are caught up in their own world which doesn’t include me. I might as well not even exist.
Half way to the elevator, Kong suddenly stops and my heart catches. Maybe he will look this way. Maybe he will see me waiting for him. Maybe…
Prem slides an arm over Kongpob’s shoulder and whispers something to him that I can’t hear. With a nod, he allows the senior to lead him over to the elevator. They climb in when the doors open with a hollow ding and are out of my sight.
Long after the elevator doors shut and the quiet returns to the hall, I’m still standing in the same spot and staring at where they had been. I can’t process it at all even though it is laid out before me plain as day. Prem spent the night with Kongpob, alone together in Kongpob’s room. Prem, who is one of my best friends, stayed all night in my boyfriend’s room which only has one bed and no couch. The same Prem that argued with me only yesterday about how much I hurt Kong and that i needed to give him some space to calm down. The friend that I listened to even though it killed me inside to walk away.
What I saw can’t be the way it looks. There’s no way. Prem isn’t the type to stab a friend in the back. Kongpob would never do anything to hurt me. It would never happen… would it?
Flashbacks of what both Kongpob and Prem saw the other day hit me and my conviction waivers. The pain I caused my boyfriend and the disappointment that my friend probably felt. I kissed someone else. No matter what I say or how I try to justify it, that fact still remains and I can’t undo it. I regret it, a thousand times I regret it. There is not a single lingering shred of the crush that I once had for Namtarn. Kong has worked his way into every corner of my heart. There isn’t any room left for anyone else. Namtarn can only be my good friend but, after what happened, I’m not sure that is even possible anymore.
The whole way down to the first floor and out the building I silently argue with myself. Over and over I tell myself that Kong would never do anything to hurt me. This is Kongpob, the crazy-ass, stubborn freshie who chased me with a single-minded devotion until I couldn’t ignore my feelings for him anymore. There’s no way that he would give up on us in a short two days. The devil in the shadows of my mind whispers that I never thought I would be capable of cheating on someone, yet here we are. I quickly shove the distasteful thought away and head towards the stalls to grab a drink before heading to class.
Just as I’m about to take the first sip of the cold pink drink, I catch sight of a familiar face sitting several tables away from where I’m standing. He doesn’t see me as his focus is on the person sitting across from him, but I can see him clearly. His usual iced coffee is sitting in front of him on the table, his long slim fingers playing with the brim of the lid. His face is paler than usual and dark circles rim his eyes sending a spurt of guilt spiraling in my gut but he’s still the most handsome person I’ve ever seen. Prem holds up a large bite of food and Kongpob waves him off but Prem is insistent and shoves the spoon closer, saying something that I can’t quite catch. With a short chuckle, Kong places a hand over Prem’s and guides the spoonful of food into his mouth.
It’s too much. I can’t watch anymore. Turning, I practically run all the way to class and take a seat in the back of the empty room, my mind churning in a black swirl. The image of Prem feeding Kongpob is stuck in my head and, with each replay, it seems sweeter. The echo of Kong’s laughter at whatever was said rings in my ears. I can’t hardly breathe as the ache in my chest spreads. It hurts. Oh God, it fucking hurts and I can’t stop it. My personal hell is getting deeper and darker, the nightmare becoming more real.
There’s no way I will make it through class. No way I can sit next to Prem and pretend I didn’t see anything, pretend that I’m okay. I can’t do it.
Standing up shakily, I leave the classroom. There’s still almost an hour before our class begins and the other classes have already started so the hallways are thankfully clear of people as I make my escape. The cup of pink milk sitting abandoned on the desk, the only evidence I was ever there.