Rhymes With Orange
I keep hearing those words over and over again in my head, 'I wish I could've fallen in love with you.'
Meaning he isn't in love with me.
Meaning he's fallen in love with someone else.
Meaning I will never be more than a friend and it was stupid of me to think otherwise. Stupid to get my hopes up over a fucking word like 'confess...'
He doesn't love me.
And he never would.
"You know, I was going to wait to give you your souvenir, but I guess I can give it to you now," Will says, pulling me from my dark cloud.
"You can't give me a souvenir before you go on the trip."
"Can too," he argues childishly. "It's from China anyway so it's practically the same thing, just out of order." He pauses and considers for a moment. "Actually, that's only if we assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect. From a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's exactly the same thing. So there."
I roll my eyes. "Dork." He laughs and pulls a small jewellery box from his pocket. If I were any other girl I'd be ecstatic, but I know it won't mean anything. I open it and stare.
"It's beautiful," I tell him. Too beautiful, it doesn't suit me and I can't wear it so close to my heart. The jade pendant is dark green with a pair of ducks overlaid in gold.
"You like it?" He sounds so hopeful, what can I do but smile and nod? "It kind of represents us; the ducks mean long lasting bonds in China and there's this old proverb 'gold has a value, jade is invaluable'." He takes the necklace from the box and puts it on me. "Perfect."
We finally make our way to the sea lions and I watch in silence, the necklace feels like a weight on my heart. The souvenir is just a constant reminder that despite knowing he'll never love me, I still love him.
"You sure you're okay?" he asks after a while.
"Yeah, I'm fine," I lie.
"You've just been so quiet, I didn't do something wrong did I?" I fiddle with Gambit's tail before answering.
"No, it's nothing you did. I guess I'm just going to miss you."
"Not half as much as I'll miss you." His eyes light up suddenly and he grabs my hand. "C'mon, I just thought of something I've been wanting to do for ages. I saw it in a webcomic and have been dying to do it ever since." I let him drag me through the mall, I feel like we've gone through the whole thing at least twice by now and it isn't exactly a small place.
"Sears? Really?" I ask, giving him a skeptical look.
"Just go with it," he said, turning to find someone who worked there. "Excuse me, could you point us to where the rugs are?"
"Sure, it's just over in that back area by bedding," the lady told him, pointing. I glanced at Will, completely confused about what he was doing.
"We're buying a rug?" He grins.
"What am I even looking for?" I ask, exasperated. We'd been going through the rugs for nearly twenty minutes. There wasn't a lot of selection, but there was still a decent number.
"This," he declares, triumphantly pulling out a purple-ish coloured arabian looking rug. We quickly put the rest of the rugs back, more or less, where we got them from.
"Kay, so what now?" He smiles again and lays it on the top of the empty customer service desk.
"Let's hope they don't notice for a bit."
"Do you trust me?" he asks, hoping up to sit on the purple rug.
"I said, do you trust me?"
"Of course I do." He takes my hand and pulls me to sit next to him. He clears his throat and I'm left speechless.
"I can show you the world..." I stare in shock, unable to believe that he's seriously singing 'Whole New World' in the middle of Sears. He elbows me in the side when Jasmine's part comes and pulls me close.
"A whole new world..." My voice wavers, unsteady. I'm not a singer like he is, but I'll try. "A dazzling place I never knew..." It feels so right, sitting next to him with my head on his shoulder.
The sound of someone clearing their throat behind us interrupts Will from carrying on the next verse. We get more than a few odd looks as we are escorted out, along with a couple smiles.
"I've never been kicked out of a store before," I laugh.
"Took a total of twenty four minutes, c'mon," Will pulls my arm, a man on a mission.
"Bed Bath and Beyond, you find a teapot and I'll look for a candlestick and an old fashioned clock." I don't even bother to complain that it's on the complete opposite end of the mall and on the second floor.
Having Will drag me all over the mall on his mission to make our last day the best makes me realize how selfish I am. He's my best friend, he's the one who always knows what to say and I always have fun with.
How can I not be happy with what we have? This is the best he can give me, how dare I ask for more? I'm so greedy, so selfish, to expect the best friend of my life to return my feelings just because I think I need it in order to be happy.
I can let go. It's time for me to give up and move on.
Will smiles at me as we part ways and I can't help but smile back. It's worth it, I decide. Giving up hoping for what I wanted and being happy with what I had. Even if we're never anything more than friends, it's worth it.
No, not 'it.' He. He's worth it.
It just took me a while to realize it.
"Okay, okay," I choke out, trying to contain my laughter. "No more, you forget I have to work here."
"Aw, but I had this great idea to check out the fish and do 'Under the Sea'."
"The mall is closing soon anyway," I remind him, wondering where the day went. "I'm starved, wanna order food at home or grab a bite before we leave?"
"Let's go somewhere to eat," he suggests.
"I know a place. It's a bit on the dressier side, but we should be okay what with you wearing that skirt," he teases. I stick my tongue out at him and we head out.
I leave my hoodie in the car with the pokemon. The sun will still be up for a while yet and it's warm on the patio where we opt to sit.
We're the only ones outside, it's too hot for everyone else I suppose, they're inside where they can enjoy the AC and live band.
"So are we celebrating anything today?" the waitress asks as she takes our order.
"Just our last day together before I leave for nearly two months," Will answers.
"Aw, that's so sweet," she says. Her name tag says her name is Mandy. "You guys enjoy yourselves and I'll be back with your drinks."
"So how'd you know about this place?" I ask Will once Mandy's returned with our drinks and took our order.
"Robbie's band played here once and he took his girlfriend here for dinner a few times." I nod, Robbie's always had good taste in restaurants. He and I are both wanting to become teachers, he's going more for music while I'm doing phys. ed. We like to think about how cool it would be if we got to work at the same school.
Dinner goes well enough, we don't mention Will leaving even and each minute brings us closer to his departure.
Mandy surprises us with dessert on the house.
"For the parting couple," she says with a smile. I feel as though I should protest, correct her and say no, we're just friends. Will doesn't say anything and he's the one with the girlfriend. I thank her and we enjoy our dessert.
Somehow it tastes better when it's free.
"C'mon, Ollie. Let's head home," Will says after we'd dawdled enough. He pays the bill and we get into the car.
As we drive, I can't help but wish I could stop time. Then he could stay here and not leave me alone.