I woke up, and looked around my room to see if Zayn was around. He wasn’t. I walked downstairs to see if he was there, but he wasn’t. I could not explain it, but I felt worried. Sure, he didn’t have to leave me a note to tell me where he was going. He wasn’t exactly obligated to tell me everything he did or where he went. He was an adult while I was yet to be one. I went and grabbed a cup of cold water from the fridge, and sat down in the living room. I suddenly started to think about that day I got arrested. Zayn had begged Louis to drop the charges. I never asked Zayn why he did that, when it was clear that he believed I had in fact taken the money.
I tried not to think too much about that. It was only going to make me feel bad, and I was definitely not in the mood to feel bad. I was also scared that I would once again start feeling feelings of resentment toward Zayn again. Then I remembered when I hugged him after being released, and how he didn’t hug me back, and then when I begged him to hear me out, he punched me hard that I collided against the wall, and then landed hard on the floor. I remember thinking, and of course looking into his eyes, that he and I were no longer friends. I tried snapping out of those memories that I wanted nothing more, than to forget.
The front door opened and closed, and Zayn appeared. “Zayn, where did you go?”
He didn’t say anything but continued walking toward me. He sat down next to me, and immediately did something I did not expect. He hugged me tightly and like he didn’t want to let go. I hugged him in return.
“Ok, not that I mind the hug, but what’s going on?”
He hugged me for a bit longer, then he looked at me. “Let’s just say that I still feel bad for how I treated you almost three years ago, and how I punched you.”
Yeah, I could tell he felt really bad. But I’d already forgiven him, despite the fact that that happened. I was more worried about my attitude, because of how unpredictable I knew I could be sometimes. Like Zayn and several others, I had a habit of lashing out when provoked.
“Come on man, you know I’ve already forgiven you. Why are you suddenly feeling this…this guilt?”
“Let’s just say that if I could rewind back to that day…I would give you the benefit of the doubt” he smiled.
I continued looking at him, wondering what was running through his head. “Ok, what’s going on here? You’re talking as if you’ve had some kind of life altering even happening in your life.”
He laughed. “I guess you can say that’s kind of what happened.”
“And are you going to elaborate on that some more?”
“It’s not important” he quickly touched the tip of my nose, kind of the way he used to when I was thirteen, when we met.
“Well whatever it is that’s ‘happened’ for you to believe in me this much, I guess things really are back to normal between us.”
“Of course…and like I already said, I will never doubt you ever again. I promise!”
I frowned. “Are you sure you’re ok?”
“Yes, most definitely” he grinned.
“Ok, I believe you.”
“Great” he chuckled, sounding a little too bubbly than he normally was. “Now, let’s go upstairs. I have a surprise for you.”
I followed him up to his room. He had me sit down on the foot of his bed, went into the closet, and pulled out a black box. He handed it to me, and sat down next to me. I slowly opened it, wondering what I was going to find inside. Opening it, I noticed a necklace in a gold chain, with a precious stone. It had my name inscribed in Arabic. I remembered how a few years ago, I had told him that I had always wanted to have a necklace like this, with my name on it. I never thought I would ever have one ever.
“Wow, when did you get this?” I smiled.
“Well…I’ve had it for nearly three years.”
“Yeah…” he looked down, again looking guilty. “I got it the day you…the day you got arrested.”
Now I understood. “You were planning to give it to me that day, until the money mysteriously appeared in my backpack.”
He responded with a nod.
“So why now?”
He took a quick breath. “I guess it’s my way of making it up to you. I’d gotten it for you because you were always very special and important to me. It was my way of showing how much you really meant to me. But of course after what happened…”
“You began to doubt my innocence.”
“Yes, but now that I know that you were innocent, I decided it was time for me to give it to you.”
I looked at it for a long time. It was beautiful, and it still looked really new. Then again it was high quality, and things of high quality, didn’t wear out as quickly. They lasted a long time.
“Here” he took the necklace out, unlocked it, and slowly put it around my neck. “This is to show you how sorry I am and how important you are in my life” he gave me that intense look.
I went and looked at myself in a mirror. I loved it, and yes it was a very thoughtful, and not to mention expensive, gift.
“Zayn, this is too much to accept” I turned to face him. “I know you care about me, and you too are a special and important person in my life. But I might never be able to give you anything that matches the worth of this gift.”
“Mate, it’s something I’ve had for a long time. I doesn’t matter if you ever are able to give me something of this value or not. That’s not important. What is important is that you know how sorry I am, and that now I know for a fact that you were innocent, and that I should have given this necklace to you back then, not a couple years later.”
“Zayn, is there something you’re not telling me?” He stayed quiet. I got the sneaking suspicion that he knew something I didn’t. “Look, if there’s something I should know, would you tell me?”
He put his hands over my shoulders. “Yes, there is something I will tell you in due time, but for now can you accept that it’s best to keep this to myself?”
I trusted Zayn. I had no reason to doubt him. “Yes, I can live with that.”
“Great, but just know that I will never again, ever, do anything that will hurt you.”
“I know, and thank you for that. Also, thank you for the necklace” I held the stone briefly.
“You’re very welcome” he smiled gracefully. “Now, you just wanna relax and maybe just have some time to ourselves?”
“Sure, it’s been a while since we’ve had alone time just us.”
We both lied down and just talked. He put his arm around me, and it reminded me of when I revealed to him that I had a panic/anxiety disorder. I was afraid to reveal it to him at first, because I was afraid he would think I was weird, or emotionally unstable. We both lied down next to each other, just staring at the boring white ceiling.
“Remember that one time when I started to panic just for no reason?”
“Yes, it was the day you told me you got panic attacks.”
“Yes, I was afraid to reveal it to you, but then you proved to be a better listener than I expected you would” I chuckled.
“Yeah, I guess I understood because I’ve had them myself, and I remember how scary they were to me.”
“Yeah, not the best feelings to have. Especially when you begin feeling those strange sensations on your hands and feet, then you feel that paralyzing sort of sensation where you can’t move your hands.”
“Yes, that once happened to me. It was scary.”
“Then I remember you put your arm around me, held me close, and told me that I had nothing to be afraid of.”
“Did it help?”
“Yes, it most certainly did.”
He put his arm around me again, and pulled me closer. I felt the same I did then. I felt safe, and like nothing could harm me if I was around Zayn. He often times surprised me. He was not afraid to show he cared, or even so much as allow what society in general thought, to get to him at all. Most people if they saw us lying down next to each other, they would assume we were romantically involved or something like that. Of course we weren’t and we both liked women, so obviously it would not ever go beyond this. However, both Zayn and I were comfortable enough with each other that even us sleeping in the same bed didn’t feel weird to us. It was just how we were, and of course we had a bromance thing going on.
“Do you think Louis will ever come to his sense?”
“I hope so” I could feel his heart beating faster. “I guess knowing Lulú and how she always manipulates her way into getting what she wants, I just hope he doesn’t come out getting hurt.”
“Something tells me Lulú is up to something not good.”
“I agree with you mate. She’s definitely up to something not good.”
“Well, I know Louis and I have never gotten along, but I would never want to see him get hurt, especially by none other than her.”
“I hope she doesn’t hurt him. I wouldn’t want to say ‘I told you so’ to him.”
“Knowing how stubborn he is, chances are you might actually tell him that one day.”
He laughed. “You have this funny way of being sarcastic when it comes to things like these.”
“Well, sarcasm has always been in my blood I guess” I chuckled.
“It appears so.”
I’d forgotten how much I loved talking to Zayn, besides Eduardo, you’re the only one who understand me as well…me. But can I ask you a question?”
“Sure” I could hear him smiling.
“What motivated you to befriend me?”
“Well…I noticed you were lonely and like you needed a friend. It kind of reminded me of when I was ten years old. I was lonely, and the next thing I know, Louis befriend me. He kind of in a way understood me and why I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere.”
“Wait a big fat minute, Louis was actually a human being at one point?”
He laughed. “Yes, and I know that you guys really don’t like each other, but I do hope you two will one day be friends.”
“Not that I’m trying to be difficult, because I know I can be at times, but I have a feeling that will never happen between us.”
“Don’t think that. It might happen if you guys agree to at least get to know each other.”
“I agree…and I’m willing to do it, but it kind of is up to him too.”
“True, and wanna know what you two have in common?”
“I doubt we have anything in common.”
He ruffled my hair. “You’re both hardheaded and stubborn.”
Thinking about it, that was true. “I actually agree with you on this.”
“I had a feeling you would” he ruffled my hair again, chuckling.