11 painful things

A story about how much love can hurt you


1. Chapter 1: Bringing back the feeling you’ve learned to forget

The bell rang, and I crept further under the librarian’s desk. I held the book a tad higher and it hid my entire face, so that if anyone should notice the freak under the desk and bother to wonder whom the hell it was, they wouldn’t be able to see it was I. I tried focusing on page 109 of the fault in our stars, but I soon gave up, as I knew I couldn’t remove my focus from the people passing by. Had they noticed me, and just ignored my existence, or had my disappearance plan worked out for once?


Apparently, it hadn’t. After staring at the words for several seconds, trying to force myself to stay focused, I looked up and saw a pair of white Nike sneakers right next to me. I looked up the blue jeans covered legs, and at the top, a brown haired girl stared right back at me. She grinned, and put down her arm, in order for me to take it and stand up. “What are you sitting down there for?” she asked, as I got up on my feet. I felt that I was blushing. “I enjoy the peace you find in here.” I said, while studying the books she had in her left hand. “My name is Katie.” She said, reaching out her right hand. I shook it. “I’m Thomas.” I said.


“So Thomas, what class did you cut?” I sent her a puzzled look. Was it really that obvious that I hadn’t gone to class? I knew I was a horrible liar, but I wasn’t aware that I was so bad that I gave it up even before opening my mouth.


“Well, I’m assuming you didn’t rush down here the second the bell rang.” She smiled, and I took a moment to admire her smile. It was probably the sweetest smile I had seen in a long time. Maybe it even qualified as the sweetest I’d ever seen.


“Philosophy.” I said, remembering her question. “Ah, so you’re one of the super smart kids, huh?” she asked while tucking a strain of hair behind her ear. I shrugged. “I wouldn’t use the term “smart kids”. I’d probably categorize us as the more sensible kids. Besides, philosophy is not my major, it’s just a subject I sometimes feel benefits me.”


Her mouth created a little smile as I said the last words.


“So, today wasn’t one of those days where you had something tough to figure out?”


I chuckled, and shook my head.


“Actually, today was one of those days where I had something to figure out. That’s why I didn’t attend class.”


“Fascinating” she said, while thoughtfully looking around the room. “So, will you walk me to my next class, or do you still have too much to think about?”


I nodded. “Sure. What class are you having?”


She smiled.


“Philosophy” she said, while heading towards the library exit door. I smiled, picked up my bag, and followed.


“So, who’s your professor?” I asked, while heading towards the F block with Katie by my side.


“Mr. Ericson. The Swedish dude.”


I nodded. “Who’s your philosophy professor?” she asked, looking at me.


“Mrs. Hollinger” I said.

Katie started talking about Mr. Ericson’s way of lecturing, and I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful facial structure she had.


Her jawline was high, and I couldn’t imagine anything else than every girl in the entire universe being jealous of her for that alone. After her bone structure, there was of course her long brown hair, her gorgeous blue eyes and perfect smile. It felt unbelievable, but in that moment, I swear I felt like I’d just met the most incredible human being that had ever set foot on this earth.


“So here it is” Katie stopped up in front of room 204, and smiled at me. “Thanks for walking me here. It was really nice talking to you, Thomas!” I smiled. “It was nice talking to you too. Much better than sitting alone tucked up under the librarians desk.” Katie giggled.


“Anytime. Tell me whenever you feel like walking me to class again, or even if you just want to talk, you know, catch up on your bad habit of skipping classes!”


I grinned.


“You know, I don’t skip class that often! I barely ever do it.”


Katie raised her left eyebrow while smiling. “Sorry to say, but it’s not the first time I’ve spotted you in there all by yourself when you were supposed to be learning” She sent me one last smile, and then walked right into the classroom.

I stood back alone, and couldn’t do anything but smile.


I was confused about a lot, but one thing I was sure of, was that this was going to be an incredible acquaintance.





It was 9.43 PM when I got out of the shower. I’d been out for a long run, and it was amazingly relaxing to finally be able to throw myself into my bed and just close my eyes. I took a few deep breaths, and then stood up in order to put on a t-shirt and some shorts.


As I opened my closet, a text ticked in on my phone. I locked it up, and saw an unrecognizable number on the screen. The opened up the text, and it read:


Hey T

It’s me, Katie! Sorry I seem like a stalker getting your number out of the blue, but I was procrastinating studying by reading the school magazine, and since you’re the editor, your number was in it. So, I figured that you might be able to help me with Platons theories?



I couldn’t help but smile as I looked up from my phone and into the mirror. I didn’t know why this text made me so hype, but it sure did.


Forgetting to reply, I took on my clothes and started on reading chapter 23 in “A newbies guide to economics”.





At 0.29 AM, I woke up over my book by a text ticking in on my phone. I locked it up, and too tired to see whom the text was from, I opened it up.


Hey T

Me again. Sorry to bother you, but I really do need help with this, and since you didn’t respond to my text earlier, I figured I’d use the old journalist trick: Keep on asking till you get the answer you want.

So yeah… Please respond…



Suddenly I was much more awake. Throwing every thought about morning classes and sleep out of my head, I called the number. It beeped three times before it was picked up.


“Hello?” Katie said with an exhausted tone of voice.

“Hey, it’s Thomas!” I responded.

“Thomas! Hey!” she said with a sudden amount of enthusiasm.

“Sorry to call you at this time. It was just that I forgot to answer your earlier text, so I thought I’d call you now to make it up to you…”


No response but silence. I panicked.


“You know, it was a stupid idea… I’m just going to hang up. I’ll find you tomorrow! Wait no, I don’t want to bother you, you’ve probably got stuff to do. Just find me if you need any he-“


My preach was interrupted by laughter, and I shut up.


“I’m sorry, I was just finding the page in my book where I started to feel lost, so I put my phone down for a second there. I’m glad you want to help me, really!”


I felt relieved.


“Well, sure I’ll help you. That’s what friends are for, right?” I smiled to myself.

“It sure is!”

“So, should we just meet up tomorrow or something?” I asked, flipping pages in my calendar.

“Sure thing! You can come over to my place, I don’t live that far from campus.”

“Great” I said. “See you then”

I was about to hang up, but her words interrupted my action.

“Wait! Can you come over now? I know it’s late and stuff, but I can’t sleep right now, and I’ve just ordered Chinese, and there’s definitely enough for two.” I smiled by the thought that she’d just invited me over for a midnight studying. One of the things Courtney used to do.

“Sure!” I said. “Text me the address, and I’ll be right there!”

We hung up, and I went over to my open closet. I took out my coat, put on my shoes, swung my bag over my shoulder and headed out the door with my phone and keys in my pocket.

I got outside, and instantly I felt the freezing November wind going straight through my clothes. I looked at my watch. 0.42 AM. I ran across the street to where my little car was parked, and got inside it. The first thing I did after turning it on was to turn on the heating system. I checked my phone, and saw I’d gotten a text with the address from Katie. I buckled my seatbelt, backed out of the parking lot, and then I hit the road.





It was 0.59 AM when I had reached Katie’s place. I parked my car on the sidewalk and went up to the entrance of the apartment building. It was a nice neighborhood, didn’t look like a place with a lot of criminal action.


I ringed the bell that had her name on it. Apartment 23. As I stood there, wondering what her place might look like. In my head, I imagined a small but nice place. A place, where no matter whom you were or where you came from, you’d just feel like home. 


I got buzzed in, so I entered the building and walked up to the twelfth floor where her apartment was. She stood in the door. Her long, brown, curly hair was no longer hanging loose, but now up in a messy bun. It looked pretty nice on her. She wasn’t wearing any make-up, and I couldn’t help but wonder why she ever bothered applying make-up. She looked way more beautiful without.


“Thomas! Thank you so much for coming this late, come on in!” she said, letting me inside. And just as I’d guessed, I immediately felt like home.


“Here, just give me your coat,” she said, reaching out for it.


“No, let me!” I said, hanging it up.


“It’s a really nice place you’ve got!” I said, sitting down on the couch and opening up my bag to take out my philosophy books.


“Thank you! I know it’s small, but I just can’t afford anything bigger. You know, tuition, school supplies, food…” she said. I grinned. “Speaking of food! There should come a guy from that Chinese place on 6th in any minute.” I nodded, and opened up my book.


“So, it was Platon you struggled with, right?” I asked, finding the section about him.


“Yeah” she said, taking place next to me where her books and notes where already spread out all over the coffee table. “I really hate philosophy. It’s certainly not my cup of tea!”


And then we sat there for a few hours. Katie was focused on ancient Athena philosophers, while I was more focused on her beauty. It ended up being 2.39 AM before I left apartment 23, and God knows: I couldn’t wait to go back and get to see her again tomorrow!


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