Hugs and Kisses, a romance fiction
She is the type of person who likes hugs and kisses. Cuddles and touches.
But he isn’t.
And sadly, she doesn’t know.
She greets him as she slides in his car. Then, leaning over, she kisses him while wrapping her arms around his neck.
He doesn’t respond at first, but when he does there isn’t much enthusiasm behind it.
She thinks she understands. A make out session in his car, in front of her house where her parents might be spying on then, is probably not a good idea.
He retracts a bit. But her left hand lingers on his face and traces his well-set cheekbone.
He offers her a small smile and then pulls back to start the car.
She looks at him admiringly while he drives.
She likes looking at him and touching him whenever she can. He is just so perfect that she wants to make sure that he really is real and he is all hers.
She reminds him of his coming birthday, squealing her excitement She then asks what his plan is.
She holds his hand that rests on the gearshift.
He doesn’t recoil, but he seems uncomfortable with her hand holding his.
But there is no reason for him to be uncomfortable. She is his girlfriend. They’ve been dating for almost a year now. He needs be used to it.
But unfortunately, he isn’t.
As his girlfriend, she wants to make his birthday as fun and awesome as possible. She ponders for a bit and thinks along the lines of a beach party.
The car suddenly stops, signalling that they are at school. The drive from her house to the school isn’t that long. It only takes about five minutes max. She can even walk if she wants to.
“We’re here,” he announces. He gets out of the car and waits for her outside.
She comes out of the car slower than him because her mind is still occupied with thinking of ideas for his birthday.
He touches her arm to catch her attention and says she doesn’t need to worry because his mom is taking care of it.
He is lying. But she doesn’t know.
She holds his arm as they walk towards the school. Not just his hand but all of his arm, simply because she likes touching him.
He disentangles himself from her hold as they approach their respective lockers.
After getting out her books, she walks towards him. She gives him a hug as they part for their different classes. This is her routine, a hug before the school day starts.
Lunch rolls around. She finds him sitting on their usual table and sits beside him.
He doesn’t notice her at first. So she nudges him. He gives her a tight smile and turns to talk to his friends.
She ignores the way he is ignoring her simply because she does not know he is ignoring her.
So she busies herself by playing with his hand.
He stiffens at first.
She is happy to think that he is affected by her actions.
Really, he stiffens because he does not want her playing with his hands like that.
He surreptitiously moves his hand, pretending to get some food. But in reality he just wants to free himself from her.
She ignores this because she doesn’t know.
Lunch finishes and they both get up to leave. They are both in the same class, their only class together. She holds his hand as they walk down the hallway.
As they enter the classroom, there are two seats saved especially just for them. This is a given.
He groans inwardly as he sees this. But she doesn’t know.
The class starts and from time to time she reaches out to touch.
He doesn’t like this but she doesn’t know.
At the end of the day, he says he cannot give her a ride home because he has soccer practice and that his coach needs to talk to him.
She says it’s okay and that she can always hitch a ride from her best friend. She gives him a hug and a kiss to end the day.
The truth is, he does have soccer practice but it is only going to be for half an hour. Just short enough for her to wait.
He just doesn’t want to spend the rest of the afternoon with her, which would be the result of a ride home with her.
But she doesn’t know.
His birthday party comes around. She thinks it will be a different kind of party since his mom has organized it for him.
But it isn’t.
It is a normal teenager party at his house.
The truth is that his mom is not in charge of the party.
But she doesn’t know.
Her friends pick her up so they can all come together to the party.
As they arrive, music is blazing out loud. She tries to look for him in the mass of people that are loitering around in his massive house.
It’s kind of hard to find him. There’re just too many people and she does not even know more than half of them.
She walks around for a couple of hours saying hi and hello to some people and sometimes stopping by to socialize.
But her main mission is to find him and wish him a happy birthday.
She had tried calling him the night before, at exactly midnight, so that she could be the first one to greet him. He answered the call but all she could hear was a grumble. So she decided then to let him sleep. It’s his birthday, after all.
And now, she wants to find him and finally greet him properly.
But the truth is, he is ignoring her. Trying to stay away from her for a little while.
But she doesn’t know.
She finally finds him, sitting on one of the stools with his best friend.
They’re in the kitchen and it’s just the two of them. She knows for a fact that the kitchen is a restricted area since his mom loves to cook and he doesn’t want people trashing it.
“Where’s your other half? Haven’t seen her around since I’ve gotten here,” his best friend asks him.
She is about to walk in on them when she hears him sigh. A painful sigh.
She stands in the doorway with his back on her. But his best friend can probably see her if he’d just divert his attention to the shadow looming in the doorway.
But his best friend’s forehead creases worriedly so he does not see her.
“I don’t know, dude,” he says. “I’m just trying to stay away from her for a little while. She’s just too clingy. I can’t even walk for five seconds without her hugging me or touching me. It’s getting irritating.”
After hearing this all she can think is, “Oh.”
She does not cry, but she can feel the pain inside.
Her heart is constricting and suddenly she can’t breathe properly.
She can’t see his face but she can see that his best friend is looking at him incredulously.
“What the fuck, dude? What is wrong with you? You’re the luckiest man alive. I mean, she’s perfect. Enough said. What more could you ask for?” His best friend’s gaze then flickers on her.
She shakes her head as if saying, “Please, don’t tell him.”
Luckily, his best friend understands.
Nothing is said between him and his best friend after that.
So she turns and leaves.
She goes home after the incident. She calls her dad saying that she’s not feeling well.
Her dad comes by and picks her up. He sees that something is wrong with his daughter.
But her dad never asks. He’s never been a man of many words.
He knows that her daughter is old enough to handle any situation. And if she needs help, he knows that she is not the type of person who would think twice before asking.
He comes back to the party. He is actually having fun. He doesn’t even notice that she isn’t there anymore.
After a while, he gets bored. When left with nothing to do, he tries looking for her.
He asks her best friend. She says she doesn’t know and that she has not seen her since they got here.
He gets slightly worried.
He asks his best friend if he has seen her. His best friend looks unsure but he says he did and that she might just be around somewhere.
He nods and tries to go look for her again.
But then, the crowd pulls him in. People start chanting, “Happy birthday!”
He looks for her in the mass of people. But he can’t find her.
And then drinks are passed around. Before he knows it, he’s drunk and has forgotten about her.
He does not hear anything from her during the weekend.
He’s sick due to a hangover Saturday so he doesn’t have the energy to call her, let alone go see her.
He doesn’t try to contact her on Sunday because he knows he’ll be seeing her the next day anyway.
For him, it’s nice to have a little break sometimes.
Meanwhile, she stays at home and invites her best friend over on Saturday afternoon. She tells her best friend everything that happened.
Her best friend listens while she talks. But she is rather distracted why she isn’t crying.
Her best friend looks into her eyes and sees that her eyes don’t need to cry because all her tears are being used up by her heart.
She says she does not want to break up with him. And that she’ll just try to be less…clingy.
Her best friend argues that that is not right. He must accept her for who she is and if he doesn’t then he doesn’t deserve her.
But she argues that she does not want to lose him. And that she will do anything just so she can keep him.
It’s selfish, she knows. But this is love.
Monday comes around and he comes by her house to pick her up. After not seeing her for the last two days, he kind of misses her.
Her mom opens the door and tells him that she already left and that her dad has given her a ride. He nods politely and left.
He feels a bit disappointed, but he can’t do anything about it.
He arrives at school and goes to his locker. Only a few meters away, looking perfect, she’s there. He jogs down towards where she is.
She doesn’t notice immediately that he is right beside her. She slams her locker shut .
He is leaning on a locker next to hers with a grin imprinted on his glorious face.
That should have been be the perfect moment for her to jump to his arms and kiss him.
But she doesn’t do any of that. Instead, she opts for the less clingy way. “Hey,” she says with a pathetic wave of her hand.
And that is how both of their days start.
She still sits next to him at lunch and in their one class together.
But she doesn’t touch him. Not even once.
Even if she badly wants to.
He doesn’t even notice anything’s going on. He doesn’t even ask why she wasn’t at his birthday party.
She thinks he must be really sick of her.
When the school finishes, he does not get the chance to see her.
He receives a message saying that her dad is going to pick her up.
Tuesday comes around and the same thing happens again between the two of them.
Her father gives her a ride to school after informing him the night before that he doesn’t need to pick her up.
He sees her at school and comes by to her. “Hey,” he says.
“Hi,” she replies.
He is surprised by her feeble reply. “What? Where’s my hug?” He extends his arms for her.
“Um, sorry I forgot,” she says lamely.
She hugs him.
But he frowns anyway. She never forgets to hug him. Especially in the morning.
At lunch he starts noticing her odd behavior only because her arm is brushing his. He feels a familiar tingling sensation.
He thinks she may just be in a bad mood today.
He realizes how long it’s been since she last kissed him. And he suddenly wants to kiss her right then and there.
But he doesn’t.
She starts feeling depressed. Her arm is brushing his. She is doing this on purpose to gauge a reaction from him. To tease him. But he doesn’t do anything.
She thinks that maybe he really does not want her. He doesn’t want her enough to make the first move to touch her.
At lunch, they are both invited to a party. He asks her if she wants to go.
She declines the offer but tells him that he can still go if he wants.
He nods and turns to his friends to accept the invitation.
At the party, he’s certainly not having fun. He keeps thinking about her.
How she’s not by his side and how he misses her.
He goes home not even bothering to say hi to the host.
The next day, he picks her up in the morning.
When she gets in the car, she greets him.
He frowns because he is expecting a hug. But it never comes.
She’s silent during the rest of the ride. This makes him uncomfortable. But he does not know what to do.
He notices how she does not touch him as much anymore. No—she does not touch him at all.
During their only class, one of their usual saved seats is occupied.
But there are two vacant seats at the back corner of the room and the rest of the vacant seats are only for one.
He sees an unfamiliar face in his usual seat. He thinks he must be a new kid. So he does not know that that seat is theirs.
“I’ll just sit here,” she says, pointing to her usual seat beside the new kid.
He turns to her and frowns again. They are never separate in this class. It’s their only class with each other so she usually makes sure they sit together.
He sits on one of the vacant seats nearest to her as possible.
At one point during the class where the teacher has gone off somewhere, he sees her talking to the new kid.
She smiles her one-of-a-kind smile and offers her hand to introduce herself.
He frowns again. He does not want to admit it but he is jealous. He does not like other guys touching his girl no matter how innocent.
After school, he sees her waiting for him near the entrance of the school.
Her back is to him, so he wraps his arms in front of her.
She tilts her head to meet his eyes. “What’s up?” he asks.
“Nothing much,” she replies, but she can’t help but feel the warmth of his body so close to hers. It’s been too long.
He dips his head lower to meet hers.
She hesitates for a bit and he can feel it. She is trying to hold back because she’s scared that if she starts kissing him like before, it might scare him away again.
She can’t let that happen. She wants him too much. She does not want to lose him.
They kiss for a while but neither of them is satisfied.
“I’m scared,” he says to his best friend.
He feels like she is slipping away and he misses her.
“Scared of what?” his best friend asks.
“I feel like she wants to break up with me and I don’t want her to,” he tells him.
“What do you mean? I thought you guys already talked,” his best friend says.
“Talked about what?” he questions.
“She didn’t tell you, did she?” his best friend asks after sighing.
He can only shake his head as he grows more and more confused what his best friend is talking about.
“God, you’re both idiots. Especially you. This is all mainly your fault.” Then his best friend finally tells him everything.
After hearing the story, he feels like crying.
She’s been hurting. After a week, her arms are aching to hug him, to touch him, to feel him. But she can’t.
She’s been holding back. And she’s not sure she can do it anymore.
It’s not that he isn’t worth it. It’s just that she’s come to a conclusion that maybe, maybe they’re not really for each other.
It hurts her too much. It just hurts.
She is sitting by her bed when he barges in.
He kneels in front of her and buries his head on her lap. “I’m sorry. I want you. I want you back,” he sobs.
She feels tears on her jeans. She is not sure what they mean but she does not like seeing him like this.
She strokes his hair and tries to soothe him.
When he is calm, they talk.
He says he is sorry for everything and that her wants her. All of her. He likes her for who she is; he does not want her to change. He is stupid for thinking that she is too clingy. He regrets all the words he said before.
She can’t help but cry too.
He said that not because he doesn’t like her touching him—he’s a guy and just like any other guy, he likes physical attention. He loves it. He loves her touches, her hugs and her kisses.
It just became too much, too scary for him. But now he realizes that nothing is scarier than losing her in his life. Although he can’t promise that it’ll never be too much or too scary for him again, she knows that he’ll try. And that’s what matters.
“I love you,” they both say at the same time after everything has been said.
And then, she hugs him while he cups her face and kisses her.