“That hurts!” I snapped, but Paola get pulling my ear. What was her deal here?
She finally let go of my aching ear. “Now do I have your attention?”
“As long as you haven’t damaged my hearing.”
“OK, so you end up in the hospital, and you don’t tell me? And then I catch a photo of you online walking out of the hospital with the One Direction boys?!”
“What are you getting at?”
“Why didn’t you tell me that you passed out because of an attack, and days later you still don’t tell me?”
“It’s a long story Pao.”
“I thought we were friends?”
“We are friends, we’ll always be. But my life is just too complicated.”
“Then elaborate why don’t you? I know things have been hard for you since what happened to your brother, and to Dasia, but we’ve always managed to communicate.”
She was right. I’d kept her out of my life unintentionally. She’s one of my closest friends, and I’ve treated her as if she didn’t matter. What the hell was wrong with me? Was I this messed up I’d ditched one of the most important people of my life?
“Pao, I’m really sorry for ditching you. It wasn’t my intention to do so. Will you forgive me?”
She flashed that lively and beautiful smile of hers. “Of course I forgive you. I can never stay mad at you for long.”
“Well that’s a relief to hear” I said in a witty tone. “For a moment I thought I’d done something really bad that even you could not forgive me.”
“Oh come on, you’re not capable of doing something ‘unforgivable’!”
“You’re making me sound like I’m some kind of saint.”
“Well you kind of are…then again you would never do anything to hurt anyone, or any of that lame BS.”
“I’m not perfect…I’ve made my mistakes too.”
“Like getting Dasia pregnant maybe?”
“Come on Mehmet, you two were going to bring a child into the world. That’s beautiful.”
“We were also a little too young to be parents.”
“True, but something tells me that if…” she hesitated. “Never mind.”
“It’s ok, you can…say it Pao” I chuckled.
“Just that if things would have turned out differently, you two would have been good parents. That’s all.”
She looked sad. Then again Dasia was her best friend. It felt different without her around. It was like without her, our circle was incomplete and with a spot that needed to be filled. I often times even wondered what my child would have been like. Would it have been a boy or a girl? What would his or her smile been like? What kind of child would he or she have been? What would he or she might have accomplished when they were adults? These were questions that were burning me up. A curiosity that I would always have, and would never be satisfied no matter what.
I felt my eyes wanting to water up, but I held those tears from materializing. I didn’t want to break down here and in front of Paola.
“You know something? If it weren’t for you and Marco, I have no idea what would have happened. I probably would have gone crazy.”
“No, you’re stronger than you think. You would have found a way to get through it.”
“Hmm” I thought. “I don’t know about that Pao.”
“I think you would have gotten through it, somehow.”
“Maybe, I don’t know.”
“Don’t sell yourself short Mehmet, you always put yourself down and make yourself sound like you’re worthless.”
“Maybe I am. Maybe I am a worthless excuse for a human being.”
“How can you say that?”
“I’ve made too many mistakes. Sometimes I feel like maybe I’m doomed to make and repeat the same mistakes in the future.”
“No, you won’t repeat the same mistakes. I know you, and I know you are the kind who learns and doesn’t repeat the same mistakes over again.”
“It’s good to know that some people have not stopped believing I’m better than I feel.”
“You have to believe in yourself.”
“I know” I looked at my feet, under the cold hardwood floor.
She put her hand over mines, running her fingers over the tops of my hands, running them over my popped out veins.
“Can you do me a favor?”
“Sure” I smiled.
“Don’t keep me out of the loop in your life again.”
“I promise” I chuckled, attempting to hide my aching heart from the thought of Dasia and my unborn child.
“Now tell me…” she smirked. “Was that Zayn whom you were cuddled up with?”
I felt my face getting hot. She never knew about my history with Zayn or the rest of the 1D boys. I never revealed it to her because for one thing, I didn’t know if she would believe me, and if she had, it would have been harder for me to tell her why we had stopped being friends.
“Yes, that was…Zayn.”
“And what is he like…doing here?” she had an uncontrolled smile.
I started smiling, a lot. “He’s kind of living here now. And it’s a long story really.”
“Wait, so how did you two meet?” she was curious.
“Well…we met when I lived in London. But that of course was before they were in the X-Factor, and became what they are now. In fact back then they were just like a garage sort of band.”
“So why didn’t you ever tell me? I love One Direction?” she was surprised.
“Again, it’s a long story that I will tell you tomorrow over lunch?”
She sighed, clearly a little frazzled that her curiosity was not going to be satisfied. “Ok fine, but promise me that you won’t fail me?”
“Sure” I laughed. “I will give it to you straight.”
“Good…and by the way…you two looked really cute cuddled up” she chuckled. “It was so bromantic if you ask me.”
“Don’t creep me up sister” I snarked.
“Well the two of you were ‘Adorable’!”
“Aha” I smiled.
“Well I better get going cause it’s my rents’ anniversary, and both Marco and I are going to have dinner with them tonight.”
“Wait, Marco’s in town?”
“Yeah, he just barely got in, and is probably at home getting ready.”
“Tell him I said hi.”
“I will tell him for you. And he also wants to have dinner with you. Kind of wants to catch up with you. He’s been worried about you.”
“Tell him whenever, I will be available for him.”
“I will let him know. Now, I better get going cause I’m gonna be late, and I have to look superb for them.”
“I’m sure you’ll look great no matter what.”
“Aw, thanks” she pecked me on the cheek.
I walked her to the door, and once she was gone, I went to the kitchen to get something to drink. My heart started beating really fast, and thinking about painful memories, was making me feel anxious all over again. I noticed a note from my mom, telling me that she had to go to the office, but that when she got home, that she wanted to take Zayn and me out to dinner. Well, that should be fun.
I took a few deep breaths, and grabbed myself a cold bottled water. I gulped it down in one sitting, not taking any breaths in between. As soon as I put the bottle down, I noticed Zayn in front of me. “Thirsty?”
“So your friend over there looked upset.”
“She was just upset that I didn’t tell her I was the one who was in the hospital because of a panic attack.”
“She clearly cares about you. And I see you also never told her about…us.”
“I didn’t exactly think that she would believe me…then again all I would have been able to say was how we were really good friends at one point, and how it all came tumbling down because of a stupid lie that Lulú told” I said angrily. “It wasn’t exactly something I wanted to reveal.”
“You were innocent, why didn’t you just tell her that?”
“A lot of reasons Zayn. One of them being that I…” I hesitated for a moment.
I looked into his hazel eyes. “Just drop it.”
“Just tell me.”
“Why do you wanna know?”
“Because I want to know what’s running through your mind” he walked closer. “Why are you afraid of others letting you see you for, you?”
“I don’t want to get hurt again. I don’t want to open myself up completely, exposing myself and then getting hurt yet again. That’s what I don’t want happening again.”
“And why would that happen again?”