When the teacher finally said his last sentence, everybody scattered their own ways. Some were leaving for their part time jobs, others to their clubs, others still were preparing to hang out with friends. The rest were leaving to their homes.
Jacob looked at them scattering about like ants. From the rooftop, he felt like a giant overlooking the miniature world bellow. He had left the room as soon as the lesson had come to an end and, consequently, had ignored Jeremy’s remark and Kath’s saddened expression and had hurried out the door and up the stairs.
He had approached the railing, hoping the heavy wind would appease his heart but to his dismay, it only made his fear grow. The weather had worsen and the sent of freshly fallen rain tainted the air. The ground had just started drying but the clouds hung, low and ominous, in the sky.
To attempt to calm his nerves again, Jacob drew a deep breath. The air felt saturated and wrong. His chest burned as if he had just took in a lung-full of water. The atmosphere around him smelled of slowly decaying leaves and dank concrete. The disgusting aroma made his heart ache and his stomach turn.
Suddenly, the door opened behind him and he found himself out of breath. His whole body tensed and his heart skipped a bit. The anxiety he had felt all day had grew and transformed into this impossible beast, following his every movements, gnawing at his fears. And now that monster had materialized at the door. He grit his teeth and forced himself to turn his body around but his muscle stayed still.
-“Huh? You actually showed up… I thought you wouldn’t take me seriously.”
The voice was of the girl he had talked to that morning. Her words were sharp and he suddenly had the strength to turn and talk back.
-“Shouldn’t I have?” He asked, sounding strangely courageous to his own self.
-“Well… You see…” She looked down at her hand and moved from one foot to another. Her skirt fluttered in the wind and her long brown hair followed.
-“Speak up or leave. I want to go home already.” He made himself say, frowning despite him.
-“Psh! No need to be rude. Just so you know, I’m not here to confess.” She spat at him, her face twisting in disgust.
-“Right…” Jacob sighed, turning around to the railing and peering down once again.
-“Aren’t you full of yourself? Do you think every girl in the world is interested in you?” She screamed at his back.
-“Well, that’s very much the problem…” He trailed off.
-“What? Ah, you piss me off! Look, you stole my Mely. I won’t give up, you know~” Her voice cracked and she fell silent.
-“Who’s Mely?” He inquired.
-“Whuh~ You know her!”
-“I don’t.” He said.
-“You do! Don’t you remember? You helped her out while she was being bullied!!” The girl said, making her way to the railing.
-“Oh, the hyenas…” He said, his eyes narrowing slightly.
-“Who’s the hyena?” She was now looking straight at him, pouting.
-“Never mind.” He said, trying his best to ignore her starring.
-“Anyways, it’s all your fault! Because of you, Mely’s been in the clouds. She won’t even eat properly…” The girl seemed to space off and took a deep breath.
-“In which way is it my fault?” Jacob asked after the silence had dragged for way too long. “I’m not the one deciding who you’re friend likes…”
-“Because you helped her~” She started.
-“Would it have been better not to help her?” He cut her off. “Leave her to her bullies?”
-“Isn’t it what you’re saying?” He cut her again. “I’m not that heartless.”
The girl frowned once again but kept silent. Her hands clenched into fists.
-“I’m grateful that you helped her but…” She slightly danced on her feet. “She’s been like that since then… I think she’d be happy if you could talk to her…”
-“Talk? About what?” Jacob turned to look at her face. He saw tears glitter at the corner of her eyes.
-“I heard that you reject every girl who asks you out so…” She hesitated.
-“Look, she’s way too shy to ask by herself. I’m here to ask for her. Would you go out with her?”
-“Why are you crying?” He asked.
He had forgotten all his fears and anxiety. There, on the rooftop, there was only him, the gray world around him and the crying girl next to him.
-“Sorry, I~” She wiped her tears away. “So what will it be?”
-“Sorry, I can’t.” He said quietly.
-“Why? Can’t you make her happy again?” She shouted. “Can’t you stop rejecting every girl? Cant’s you say yes just for once?!”
Her screams echoed in the distance and when her voice died down again she was crying even more. She tried to hide it as best as she could but, in the end, her tears were too big to hide. Just as on cue, the sky started to weep and soon, the scenery was wet again.
-“I can’t.” Jacob made himself say, a bitter taste in his mouth.
He hated to make them cry, he always had. He wanted to go to her but his feet were locked in place. He watched, helpless, as she crumbled to the floor.
-“Why?” She cried. “Why? Why? Wh~”
-“That friend of yours, I don’t know her.” He said nervously. “How could I love someone I don’t know?”
-“I’m sorry.” He cut her off again.
Suddenly, his feet were moving again and he stormed to the door. He threw it opened and was met by a girl crying. Seeing him, her eyes widened and she ran down the stairs, wiping her tears away as she climbed down.
Jacob sighed. “Somehow, I screwed up again…” He thought. “At least the anxiety is gone.” He told himself as he went down the staircase.