Here’s my flash fiction entry for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge. To join, click ME.
This week’s challenge is inspired by the above image from fellow blogger Ruth at Ruth Scribbles.
Felicity’s friends always tell her that she’s in love with love. She didn’t have a clue how it started but they strongly believed that. Before she met these friends, Felicity had been in love twice, puppy love, of course.
She liked a boy in highschool. She liked him a lot and thought she loved him. He had this Josh Hartnett vibe and considering that it was in highschool, she was swept away. Unfortunately, one of her highschool friends slithered her way to him, she was devastated. Felicity was not exactly the most-sought-after girl in the campus, she’d be one of smartest or kindest, but not the prettiest, she’s a late bloomer. At that time, she thought she’s going to die. She’s 15 and of course, nothing else mattered back then. It’s like the end of the world for her. Naturally, Felicity eventually realized that she was being overly dramatic.
Felicity went to the city for college. There was this guy in freshman year whom she thought she was dating for a semester, imagine that! And realizing later that he had a girlfriend.
What a cheater right? One would think.
Apparently, he and Felicity were just hanging out, she just created this romantic scenario in her head for every meet up, words spoken, movies seen– when in reality, were only romantic in her head. Theirs was just the basic friendship. They were even friends with a couple other people and those moments that she pertained weren’t even shared exclusively between the two of them. It was never romantic in the first place. She just made herself go gaga over the nothingness of their relationship.
Felicity had a bestfriend whom she met in sophomore year. Her name’s Julie and she’s become her pillar of hope, like a pocket life coach. Julie has witnessed her craziness and her hopelessness in love. At that same time, Felicity had been hanging with a couple of new people whom she carefully picked based on personal motives. There’s this very cool girl who wore sarong in school all the time and there’s this cute edgy dude who she thought was hot. His name’s Ben. She inserted herself on that two. Ben immediately liked Felicity and eventually felt drawn to her. Contrary to the boy in highschool, Ben saw Felicity for who she was. He liked her kindness and thoughtfulness, how she cared for people. I guess it helped that she’s grown to become beautiful since three years was long enough to transform. Felicity felt giddy and excited because she felt that it was an accomplished mission especially that she’d been crushing over Ben since she first saw him by the tree, but at the same time, she also felt that she’s grown old enough to just like someone for his looks. She’s way over that phase and realized that she liked him as a friend.
He was handsome, prettier than her one would say. Many girls fancied him and thought of Felicity as exaggeratedly lucky for getting him wrapped around her fingers. But Felicity just couldn’t force herself to like him like that although agreed that since they weren’t dating anyone, they would continue to hang. They did not want to label their relationship that way.
Few months have gone by and Felicity grew more confused about her feelings towards Ben. He was kind, gentle and respectful of her boundaries however Felicity seeing how promiscuous Ben was given that they weren’t really dating made her finally decide that they weren’t a good match. She decided not to entertain the possibility of them officially dating. Ben respected her decision, still holding onto the hope but living his life fully while doing so.
Ben brought a friend. Apparently, since Felicity adopted him and the sarong-wearing girl into her makeshift clique, the guy who Ben hangs with from class got left behind so he decided to shelter him too under their mini circle. About a couple others joined in. It’s become a bigger group.
This guy Noel was simple, totally different from Ben. He wasn’t obnoxious. He’s cute and doesn’t know it. As time went by, Felicity realized she’s drawn to this guy. How can she not? They exclusively eat lunch together, they text til sunrise, they go out, just the two of them. She mustn’t be romanticizing all these. It can’t be.
Julie once again reminded Felicity about being careful not to create an illusion over her head. Felicity had this idea that he’s secretly inlove with her however, lacking the courage to take a chance on her. Julie would laugh as she wondered what kind of courage he needed for that when they hang out all the time and it was pretty obvious that she was all over him. No courage was definitely necessary.
Because of this charade, Felicity didn’t date anyone for two years because she was waiting for Noel to act on his feelings (feelings that only existed in Felicity’s world). Ben on the other hand kept waiting for Felicity to be emotionally available and to finally accept that Noel doesn’t have feelings for her. Ben was patient and allowed for Felicity to naturally discover that. All he did was pursue her without messing with the Noel situation.
Felicity fervently prayed for Noel, more than anything. Desperate for Noel’s attention, Felicity even changed her looks because having checked out his exes, they found out that Noel liked simple girls. Those who don’t dress sexy. She had to ditch her sexy outfits and settled with the likes of J. Crew just to supposedly comply to his standards. Something he didn’t ask for.
Unfortunately, given the tightly knit friendship, all the drunken nights and monologues with Ben in the audience, Felicity seemingly have kept him strung along. Ben thought they had hope. She was frustrated and confused with the fact that nothing ever happens with Noel and Ben’s continuous presence in her life didn’t exactly provide clarity. He’s there for her when she’s hurting over Noel’s insensitivity. However for Julie, that may have kept Noel confused too; she thought that Ben’s omnipresence in Felicity’s life could deter Felicity’s chance of bagging him.
One fateful night, Felicity received a text from Noel asking her to go out with him. She spent money to have her hair set for the so-called dream date. Julie and their other friends were with Felicity cheering her on and giving her the boost. It was crazy.
They met in a restaurant, had dinner and decided to hang by the club right after. It was extra loud so everything had to be said exceptionally louder. Just when she thought he’s going to tell her how he felt the same, he loudly said,
I am sorry if I have led you on. I am not in love with you.
How the universe conspired against Felicity that night.. everyone near their table has heard him. They all gave Felicity the look of pity.
Felicity kept playing it over and over her head. Felicity couldn’t have heard it wrong.
The dream date turned to be her worst nightmare.
What a douche right?
Some of their friends were thinking that Felicity should snap out of it as she was the one who’s blown it out of proportion. They thought she must be imagining all the signs. But Julie has seen how Noel treated Felicity. He cared for her like his girlfriend. Only stupid ones won’t think they were dating. Noel was exceptionally stupid in that regard.
Julie consoled Felicity while bashing Noel’s guts! Suddenly, one was blurting out that perhaps, Noel was just not ready for a relationship. Felicity agreed instantly. Besides, that’s what she wanted to hear. Julie took her in and allowed for her to cry things out and wallow on her sadness for as long as she wants.
The whole gang watched Felicity closely checking on her as they suspected that she’s going to have a major breakdown. Ben was there patiently waiting for the possibility that she may need him this time, after all, he knew about Noel’s stunt. But Felicity didn’t need anyone. She wanted to stay away in order to heal and pick up her pieces back.
She had to cross-enroll in two different universities other than hers, begged registrars to accommodate her just to avoid her mothercampus. She succeeded and had to report to her school twice a month only for practicum requirements. She was almost non-existent to her friends.
Noel called several times inviting her out of her hibernation but she was thinking WTH was that! Was he asking her to go out with him to maim her further? To break her heart even more? Wasn’t the last time more than enough? Felicity told him she was busy, because what’s the point?
Felicity may be cramming to graduate but there was no clear hardship to hinder her from hanging with friends. She just didn’t want to. She was too embarrassed.
After some time, Felicity had to go back to school for some requirements and thought of going early in the morning as her friends always picked afternoon classes. To her dismay, Noel was there early morning hanging with someone who was seemingly a girlfriend. She was cute, wearing baggy jeans and shirt; exactly the type Felicity was thinking Noel would go for. Her exact opposite. They were face-to-face giving Noel no choice but to think fast and introduce them while fearing Felicity’s overreaction.
“He was ready for a relationship after all.“
Noel introduced the two — he addressed her as Vikki, his girlfriend. Felicity smiled and rushed out.
Felicity was dwelling on the thought about him being not ready for a relationship VS. his being in one. Her friends had to iterate that Noel did not say that he wasn’t ready — he was pretty straight when he told Felicity that he was not in love with her. They were so frustrated because they feel like she’s dragging herself back to the same predicament three months ago. She’s gotten over him and have totally become better. And now this.
Little did anyone know that Felicity’s parents bought her one-way ticket to the U.S. and that she’s to stay there indefinitely. They were due to leave after graduation.
Felicity finally decided that it’s time to meet with everyone and tell them about her parents’ plans to take her with them to the U.S. and that they will be leaving immediately after the semester. Everyone was excited for Felicity’s new adventures, except Noel and Ben.
Ben felt the need to ask Felicity to stay. He felt that he couldn’t imagine life without her and would rather that she stayed even seeing her still pining over Noel. Ben hoped that Felicity sees his heart.
Noel on the other hand felt shocked and panicked. He never felt as agitated like the way he’s felt that day. He couldn’t understand how he was feeling. He felt like he’s been sucked back in time, to when he’d decided to reject her. He did not understand how he was feeling. It was all mixed into one bitter concoction. He felt dismayed recalling the glances he’d stolen from her— everything they’ve shared, the moments that he had fiercely denied — for the road not traveled.
Noel spent the short time left trying to woo her over and get her not to leave. Albeit in a relationship, he wasn’t able to focus on Vikki with Felicity leaving. He did not know what to do as he was unaware that these feelings even existed. Noel finally realized that he could not imagine living his life without Felicity and asked if they can be together.
To be continued….