The canteen of the Baiduri High School was so crowded and noisy by the students who were enjoy chatting and joking with each other. There was also a group of naughty guys who shrieked here and there; trying to make the canteen even noisier.
Anita who tried to focus on her Math homework wrinkled her forehead as she glanced around the boisterous canteen annoyingly. “ If I had one wish, it would be to make this place a very quiet place!” She muttered as she rubbed her rimless spectacles.
Aisya and Brian who were sitting in front of her just sighed at their Math homework.
“ Math stinks!” Aisya grumbled while Brian nodded; agreeing her opinion.
Anita just smiled at her two best friends. Then suddenly, her hazel brown eyes accidentally laid on a short handsome Chinese guy who was approaching her with a wide smile on his fair face.
“ Oh…my…God.” That was the three words that she managed to say when she saw him. He was her long-time crush, Harris who was very popular with girls.
“ Hi.” Harris greeted when he was standing in front of Anita. “ Your name is Anita, isn’t it?”
Anita was speechless. She was so surprised because a guy as popular as Harris would still wanted to greet her.He’s so nice and sweet to greet me like this! She thought to herself; feeling excited. She quickly stood up and flashed her greatest smile at him. “ H-How did you know my name? I thought you did not notice me at all.”
“ It’s impossible for not noticing a pretty girl like you! We’re in the same class, right?” Harris whispered as he came closer to her. His dark brown eyes staring sharp into hers that Anita felt her body became like a jelly.
Anita just smiled. She did not know what to say but all she knew was that Harris was flirting with her and it made her feel the happiest than ever!
Aisya who was there just rolled her eyes. She was sick of the act that Harris played on her best buddy, Anita. She knew Harris longer than Anita and she also knew that Anita had a giant crush on Harris and she was really sick of that. Before this, Anita always talked about Harris twenty-four seven that she was getting bored of it. It was not because she was jealous. It was because Harris was a two-timer jerk. He had always been really friendly with girls-pretty and popular girls to be exact. He liked to flirt with pretty and popular girls and sometimes with the girls who he knew had a giant crush on him and Anita was one of them. He would make a good and really, really sweet-talk to girls to make girls even more liked him and then he would play their hearts as if their heart was a toy.
Aisya glanced at Harris. He was nothing but a two-timer jerk! Sure, he was very good-looking but it was for nothing! She said to herself, irritatingly.
Then suddenly, Harris came so closed to Anita that he played with Anita’s curly black hair and smiled sweetly at her.
Aisya wanted to throw up just by watching the drama.
Out of the blue, Brian stood up. He stared at Harris sharply. “ Can you just buzz off from here, Mr. Sweet-Talker?”
Aisya, Harris and Anita was shocked at Brian’s reaction.
Harris turned to Brian. “ What’s your problem, Mr. Busybody?”
“ My problem is you!” Brian almost shouted. “ You use your handsome face and your sweet talk just to get girls by your feet but can’t you use them for something good instead of playing around with girls like a one-year-old kid? Don’t you have something better to do?”
“ What?” Harris frowned.
“ Brian!” Anita stared angrily at Brian while Aisya still was in shocked.
Brian turned to Anita. “ Anita, I advise you to leave this jerk! He’s just nothing but trying to play with you!”
Waves of shock washed over Anita’s face. “ H-how can you say that to him? Does he ever done anything wrong to you?” Her radiant face went red. “ Are you trying to say that I don’t deserve to make him like me? Are you trying to say that I don’t have the right to like a guy whom I like? Are you trying to say that? Tell me!”
Brian just stared at Anita. “ Anita, of course….”
“ I don’t care about what do you think of him ‘cause as far as I know, it’s my business!” Anita yelled. “ I thought you understood me but I realise now that I was wrong! I was completely wrong! I thought you would be my true best friend forever but I guessed I was wrong because the whole thing between us since the primary school was finally over!” Tears started to gather in her eyes.
Brian almost could not believe what she had just said. “ You-you want to break our sixteen years of friendship because of this jerk?”
“ He’s not a jerk!” Anita defended firmly.
“ Anita! How could you…?” Aisya who was silent suddenly spoke.
“ Aisya, please stay out of this! I don’t want you to get involve!” Anita cut off.
Aisya became quiet again. She did not know what to say.Is she out of her mind? Does she know what she is doing now? She thought to herself in dismay. She could not believe that Anita was actually trusted Harris whom she did not know so well and broke her long-time friendship with Brian just like that!
“ Anita, listen to me. I….”
“ I don’t want to hear a word from you!” Anita interrupted, sounding frustrated. “ And-and I-I hate you!”
Brian almost dropped his jaws when he heard that words. He did not expect that Anita would say that to him. He felt his heart was been sliced into pieces. He could not believe it. His long-time crush since they were best friends was actually hated him. “ You-you hate me?” That was the sentence that he managed to say as he tried to hold back his tears.
“ I-I….” Anita stammered. Suddenly she felt regret to say such mean thing to him like that. She became very guilty when she saw the hurt look on Brian’s fair face.
“ It-it’s okay. I’m glad that you’re honest to me.” Brian almost whispered, half-heartedly.
Okay? How can he say it was okay? “ It’s not okay, Brian! Please! I’m tired of you being so nice to me! It’s not okay, isn’t it?” Suddenly, Anita felt her rage aroused again.
But to her surprise, Brian just walked away without even turned his head back to her.
Anita rolled her eyes. “ I’m sick of him acting so nice and sensitive!”
Harris who was there since the beginning of the incident just smiled at Anita. “ Well, whatever. Let’s just forget about him and focus on us.”
“ Us?” Anita’s eyes shone.
“ Yes, us. Let’s go somewhere else so that we can talk in private.” Harris suggested, smilingly.
“ Yeah. Let’s.” Anita agreed. She was so happy that she had forgotten all about the incident between her and Brian.
“ Um-Anita.” Suddenly Aisya interrupted when they were starting to walk away from there.
Anita turned to Aisya.
“ Um-I think Brian is hurt because of what had happened between you and him.”
“ So?” Anita just rolled her eyes.
So? Aisya’s eyebrow shot up. She was really surprised. Has Anita changed? “ So, aren’t you going to talk to him and apologize?”
“ Apologise? Me?” Anita raised her eyebrow. “ I think he is the one who should apologise!”
“ What?” Aisya frowned.
“ C’mon, Harris. Let’s go.” Anita said then she paused for a while and turned to Aisya. “ We’ll talk later.”
They just left Aisya who looked puzzled. Has Anita changed?
* * *
Brian was sitting on a bench at the school garden. It was peaceful there and he always went there if he had problems or if he was having stress. Sometimes he would better off alone sitting there for hours just to free his mind.
…I-I hate you! Those words were like a sharp knife to him especially if they came from the mouth of the girl he really liked and that girl was Anita. He did not know why the words kept repeating itself through his eardrum and it was really hurt.
He had to admit that he had a giant crush on Anita since they first met and became best friends when they were in year one. After having a very long time of friendship, he almost knew all about Anita’s likes and dislikes and he did not understand why Anita could easily break their long-time friendship just like that. It’s because of that jerk! Yeah, it’s all because of Harris’s fault! He thought angrily as Harris’s image came haunting his mind. He must have some kind of super power or psycho or something to make girls go nuts about him! He whispered to himself as he gritted his teeth. He knew that if it was not because of Harris came over to Anita, this whole thing would not happen and he would still be Anita’s best friend. To him, it was hard for him to express his true feeling to Anita because he was so worried if it could break their friendship and he would lose Anita forever and ever and he knew he could not bear to lose her….
Suddenly the gentle morning breeze blew and played with his thick black hair as he accidentally laid his eyes on a couple who was busy chatting with each other under a tree, not very far from where he sat.
He looked carefully. He gasped. The tall guy was Harris and the girl he knew very well. He just knew her thick curly black hair, her small rimless spectacles, her charming reaction, her cute laugh-it was none other than Anita.
They talked so romantically together under the shady tree. It was of course hurt him more and more.
Then all of a sudden, Anita accidentally looked at him. They locked into each other’s eyes.
Unfortunately, Anita frowned at him and they quickly walked away from there.
It made him feel more disappointed than ever. He knew now that he had no hope in Anita. Maybe just maybe he should get over her. For the first time in his entire life, he wanted to forget girls and just focused on his study and exam although he could not guarantee that he would forget Anita ever….
* * *
Days passed and month-by-month, Aisya could see the obvious difference of old Anita she knew for almost sixteen years and the new Anita that she was now. After becoming Harris’s girlfriend, Anita has changed. She started to hang out with the popular crowd with Harris and sometimes she ignored Aisya because she was too busy hanging out with the popular crowd and even her exam result becoming from bad to worse since she became Harris’s girlfriend.
Aisya sighed helplessly as she sank on her chair near to her study table in her room. Things became very complicated lately. She was so astonished and mad of how quick Anita has changed because of Harris and she almost could not believe that Anita was becoming more and more snobbish day by day. To her, now Anita was just the same like the popular bitchy girls that she saw in school in everyday.
She groaned. Why must people change?
She jerked when her midnight blue phone ringing like mad abruptly. She quickly grabbed the receiver that was lying on her study table. “ Hello?”
“ Hello. Is it you, Aisya?” A male soft voice was heard.
“ Yeah. This is Aisya.”
“ Hi, Aisya! This is Brian speaking!”
“ Oh, Brian!” Aisya seemed surprised. “ What’s up?”
“ Nothing. I’m just bored and had nothing to do after studying for our final exam so I decided to call you.”
“ Oh.” Aisya grinned. She knew that the reason Brian was calling her was because he wanted to know how Anita was since they did not talk to each other after what had happened between both of them months ago.
“ So how’s Anita?” He finally asked. Just what I’ve expected, Aisya grinned again.
“ She’s just the same like the popular bitchy girls at school. She has changed so fast that I could hardly believe that she used to be our best friend a long time ago.” Aisya heaved a sigh again.
“ But I thought she still consider you as her best friend. Don’t tell me you guys are having a fight.”
“ No, we’re not. It’s just that I feel like we’re strangers, you know. I mean, she has changed and now I think I’m her sort-of-best friend.”
“ I’m so sorry.”
“ It’s okay. You know what, Bri? I think you should talk to her.” Aisya suggested.
“ No. If I talk to her, things will become worse to worst. I know she still hates me and I did not want to make her angry. Just let it be….” Brian’s voice became softer.
“ Brian, you’re so sweet. I did not understand why Anita did not see this in you and choose that jerk instead!” Aisya said.
Brian just sighed. “ We can’t blame her. She had the right to like someone whom she likes.”
“ Oops-sorry, Aisya! I have to go now. It’s been nice talking to you. We’ll talk later okay?” Brian cut off suddenly.
“ O-okay.” Aisya said and quickly hung up the phone with a sigh. Brian was so sweet, nice and polite. She did not understand why Anita did not see that in Brian and chose Harris instead. What did she sees in Harris anyway? That jerk just knows how to play with girls and acts as if he’s the best-looking guy on earth! Ugh! She thought to herself, frustratingly.
Suddenly, the phone rang again.
It rang twice until Aisya picked it up. “ Hello? Who’s there?”
“ Aisya! This is Anita!” The voice sounded worried.
“ Anita?” Aisya seemed surprised.
“ Yeah, who else?” She replied. “ Hey, I’ve been calling you for so many times but your line was so busy!”
“ Oh-sorry. I was just talking to Brian on the phone.”
Anita became silent suddenly.
“ Anita? Are you still there?” Aisya asked.
“ Yeah. I’m still here. So you have just talked to Brian on the phone. How was he?” Anita asked to Aisya’s surprise.
Aisya almost could not believe it. Anita never talked about Brian or even asked about him since the incident happened between them-until now. What’s up with her?
“ Oh-he…um-he’s fine.”
“ Did he talk about me?” Anita asked.
Aisya’s eyes turned almost popped open. “ Of course. He talked a lot about you. Why do you ask? I thought you hated him?”
“ Well-um, I’m just asking. What’s the problem with that?” Now Anita sounded frustrated. “ Let’s just forget about it! It’s just a waste of time to talk about him!”
“ Oh-okay. So how’s your boyfriend, Harris?”
Anita was silent.
“ Anita? What’s wrong?”
“ Well-I heard a rumour that Harris went out with another girl.” Anita said softly. She sounded upset.
Aisya nodded. “ Okay, now I get it. He is a playboy. Can’t you see? He’s just trying to play with your heart!”
“ But it’s just a rumour, okay?”
“ I know but he’s really a two-timer jerk! What if the rumour was true?”
“ It was not true!” Anita still defended Harris sternly.
“ How did you know it was not true?” Aisya asked.
“ Well-how did you know that it was true then?” Anita asked her back.
“ Because I know him! He’s famous with girls! Almost all girls like him so he can do whatever he likes with girls! Can’t you see?” Aisya said.
“ Why should I listen to you?”
“ Because I’m your best friend-well, that is if you still consider me as your best friend. I know you better than your popular friends. You’ve changed, Anita. Didn’t you realise it? And why are you calling me when you have your cool popular friends?”
“ Well-they-they’re so busy and they have no time to listen to me….” Anita almost whispered. She sounded really sad.
“ They’re not true friends, Anita. True friends will always be there for you no matter what happen. Don’t you realise that you’ve changed and break your long-time friendship with Brian just because of Harris? I just did not understand why you break your sixteen years of friendship over a small matter! What’s wrong, Anita?” Aisya blurted out.
There was a long pause by Anita.
“ You know what? You and I are just wasting our time to talk about all this crap! I don’t want to talk about our long-time friendship, okay? It was a long-time story! Besides, I called you just because I wanted to talk about Harris and that I wanted your advice about me and Harris-not to discuss about this so-called friendship stuff!” She sounded really upset.
“ But why did you ask about Brian then?” Aisya asked.
“ Please don’t say his name. I got totally mixed up now okay? I don’t want to hear his name! See you later! Bye!” Then Anita quickly hung up the phone sarcastically.
Aisya groaned. She never knew Anita could be so hard-headed and now she was tired of Anita-she was tired of the whole situation that happened to Brian and Anita’s friendship. So now I guess it’s all up to her whether she wants to change herself or not, Aisya thought to herself. She really hoped that the real Anita would be back into her life even though she was not sure of it. But-who knows…?
* * *
Anita walked proudly towards the canteen with her group of popular friends as soon as the bell rang which meant it was the time for recess for the whole students of Baiduri High School.
She seemed very astonished with her friends because they did not chat with each other or having fun at all as always when she was with them. She gazed at the faces of her popular friends one by one carefully. They looked so tedious and dull as they walked. Everyone was silent as a mouse.
“ Hey, what’s wrong with you guys?” She asked, curiously.
They just stared at Anita mockingly.
“ Hey, you guys look so boring! Please, I’m sick of it!” Anita said, tiresomely.
Her popular friends just rolled their eyes.
Anita was more astonished than ever. What the heck is going on here? What is their problem anyway?
She was still looked puzzled when they had arrived at the canteen.
But as soon as she entered the noisy canteen, out of the blue, she felt she already knew the answer of her popular friends’ weird behaviour to her when she laid her eyes on a couple who sat adoringly in front of each other at the corner of the canteen.
She fixed her eyes on the couple especially the guy who showed his back on her. She thought she knew the guy.
Then suddenly, one of her friends exclaimed, “ Hey, that’s Harris with the pretty Wendy! Oh my God! The rumour about them was true after all!”
Anita could not believe it. “ Shut up! It’s not Harris! Don’t be silly, Rose!” She snapped angrily to Rose.
“ Oh yeah? Let’s see.” Rose challenged confidently as they walked towards the couple who was busy chatting with each other that they did not notice their existence at all.
“ Hi, Wendy! Hi, Harris!” Rose and her friends greeted when they were standing near them.
Anita felt her heart was thumping faster when the guy lifted his fair face slowly.
Wait a minute-she knew the guy. The guy was-Harris!
Anita could not believe it. Was it a dream? She really hoped it was but she knew it was reality. She closed her mouth with her palm. She had the shock of her life. Harris-the guy she adored the most in this world was actually two-timing her? She almost could not believe it. “ H-Harris?”
“ I’ve told you so.” Rose said proudly. “ Guys, let’s join them! Can we join you?”
“ Yeah, certainly.” Wendy said with a grin as she glanced at Anita who was just standing there like an idiot.
To Anita’s surprise, her popular friends quickly sat near to Wendy and began chatting with her and Harris as they ignored Anita who was still looked shocked.
“ Guys? Harris? What was this all about?” Anita almost shouted and she sounded as if she was about to cry.
“ Sorry, Anita. We’ve had enough of you. It’s time for you to go. You’re not Harris’s girlfriend anymore-I mean, you don’t deserve to be his girlfriend. You’re not as popular and as pretty as Wendy. We think Wendy is more fun than you. Besides, you’re not popular and you’re nothing but a geek before you become Harris’s girlfriend.” Rose explained openly, as she laughed with her friends without a trace of guilty on her face.
“ What? Harris, tell me this is just a joke!” Anita sounded really frustrated.
“ I’m sorry, Anita. The truth is, I don’t really like you. I want you to be my girlfriend because I took pity on you since I knew that you had a giant crush on me. After all, you don’t look that bad to me.” Harris grinned.
“ You-You’re a rotten two-timer jerk! I shouldn’t have believed you!” Anita retorted. She had never been this angry before in her entire life. She realised that a few students were watching her but she couldn’t care less.
She stormed off from the canteen at a maximum speed towards the school garden. She was really upset than she had ever imagined. Then Aisya’s advice towards her last night when she called her came disturbing her eardrum rapidly. She was wrong! She knew she was wrong! She knew she has changed. She realised everything now as she sat on a bench.
Out of nowhere, Brian’s image came lingering into her mind. Guiltiness started to take over her as two or three drops of tears rolling down her wet cheek. She knew she could not forgive herself after what she had done to Aisya and-Brian. After a few seconds, she burst into more and more tears.
“ Anita?” Suddenly, a male voice was heard. She knew the voice very well. It was none other than Brian.
She lifted her face; still sobbing quietly.
“ Anita! You’re crying! Why-what’s wrong?” Brian sat beside her; looking concerned as he wiped off the tears.
“ Brian, I’m sorry! I’m really sorry! I shouldn’t have broken our long-time friendship just because of that jerk! I’m sorry, I was wrong! I’m really sorry! I was a jerk! I should have listen to Aisya and you but-I’m an idiot!” Anita cried.
“ It’s okay, Anita. I’ve already forgiven you since after the incident. It was a long time ago. Please don’t cry. It’s really hurt to see you cry.” Brian coaxed.
Anita stopped from crying with all of a sudden. Her eyes were staring deep into Brian’s for a really long time. “ You-You forgave me? H-How…? Just like that?”
Their eyes were locked. Their hearts were beating faster than ever.
To Anita, suddenly she felt something warm-something she had never experienced before in her entire life. For the first time in her life, she saw something honest and special in Brian’s eyes. She could not figure what was it. Was she in love?
Brian knew that she could not hide his deep feeling towards Anita anymore when Anita looked deep into his eyes like that. He had been crushing on this girl for almost sixteen years and yet he still liked her a lot-a whole lot. Was it true love?
“ Anita, there’s something I want to tell you.” Brian blurted out suddenly. “ I have feelings for you, Anita.”
Anita stared at Brian in disbelief. “ Brian?”
Brian bowed his head. “ I—I’ve been keeping this special feeling towards you for so long, Anita—for so many years since we knew each other. I could not fight it anymore. I really wanted to tell you—I was dying to tell you this earlier but I’m too afraid that it could break our friendship. Besides, you really liked Harris….”
“ I don’t want to talk about him anymore, Brian.” Anita almost whispered. Then her eyes were fully on Brian. “ I don’t know what to say, Brian. I—I thought you hated me after what I’ve done to you.”
Brian smiled dryly. “ It’s impossible for me to hate you, Anita. It’s not your fault. You’re right. You have the right to like someone whom you like.”
“ Yes, I have to agree because we have the right to like each other. Right?”
Brian could not help smiling. “ Anita?”
“ I’m sorry for hurting you for so many times, Brian. I was wrong about you. I’m really sorry. I just can’t help from being so guilty and sorry.” Anita lowered her head.
“ It’s okay, Anita. Just forget it.” Brian holds her hand tenderly as he smiled.
Anita smiled back as she stared intensely into Brian’s dark brown eyes. Then she got the weird feeling once again inside of her each time she stared at him. “ I—I love you, Brian.” She whispered truthfully.
Brian almost could not believe what she had just said. He felt he was in heaven when he heard the words he had been waiting for Anita to say to him all his life. He felt like a bird flying freely and cheerfully in the blue clear sky.
“ I really, really love you too, Anita.” Brian replied, smilingly. The world seemed complete to him now… as he held her in his strong manly arms.
Anita just smiled that he felt like his heart wanted to melt by that beautiful smile….
Me, Myself and I (Farah)