When class was finally over, Jacob covered himself under his long black trench coat. He was wrapping himself in his beige scarf when Kathelyn walked up to him, smiling.
-“Ready?” She asked, a tone of nervousness in her voice.
She was dressed in a man’s coat that was just a little too broad for her petite shoulders and wore a red scarf over it. Her bag was slumped over her shoulder and her hands were in her pockets. This time, the fabric hiding her jaw made for a perfect illusion; She completely looked like a boy.
Jacob nodded at her question, trying not to stare. A smile broke on her face and she was back to being a girl again.
-“Let’s go.” She said quietly.
They both made their way from their class to the entrance of the school in silence. When they were finally onto the street, Kathelyn pointed to the right.
-“It’s this way.” She said.
Jacob followed quietly. At first, people were commenting about how much of a handsome duo they were but the farther from the school the less they heard the comments and soon, it was quiet again.
-“I’m happy that you’re coming, Jay. I’m sure Jeremy will be happy.” Kathelyn said with a chuckle.
She threw a look at Jacob but seeing that he stayed quiet, she kept talking.
-“To be honest, I was a little scared to go alone…” She trailed off and nervously played with the end of her scarf. “Actually, I was rejected.”
-“Huh?” Jacob didn’t really understand. He stared blankly at Kath for a moment before she laughed, embarrassed.
-“I asked Jeremy out for the Day of the Dead but he laughed it off… He thought I was joking…” She glanced at Jacob once again, but seeing his dumbfounded expression, she forced herself to continue. “I love Jeremy. I have, for a long time now…”
-“Then~” Jacob started.
-“It’s a one sided love… Jeremy loves another girl…” She took a deep breath, trying to look joyful again but Jacob had already seen through it.
-“So he does…” He said, staring at the horizon.
-“Yes, Sarah. He’s had his crush on her for so long now. Longer than me, even…” Kathelyn stared at her shoes while she walked, her movements strangely limp. “It can’t be helped, huh? To him, I must really be a guy…”
-“Ah~” Jacob tried to find something to say but couldn’t.
-“You must wander why I’m telling you, huh?” She smiled bitterly.
-“Mh.” Jacob agreed.
-“Well, you’re my friend, huh… and I trust you won’t tell anyone.” She laughed, this time honestly, and winked at him.
Jacob felt a throb in his stomach and looked away. He didn’t know what to say. Of course, Kathelyn claimed he was her friend and she must have trusted him a lot to tell him this but why him? Why not tell a girl friend about it instead?
-“I’m not really good with love matters…” He started. She laughed hard.
-“I’m not looking for tips, dummy!” She walked ahead of him and turned around to face him. “I just need good ears to listen.” She flapped at her ears with her fingers and stuck her tongue out.
-“I see.” Jacob looked away again. Seeing how silly Kath looked, he tried to contain a string of laughter, struggled, failed and burst out laughing.
-“W-whuh~” Kathelyn tried to figure out what was happening but seeing him laugh this hard, she laughed too. “So you can make that kind of expression after all, huh?”
-“You’re a weird one, Kath…” He said, trying to calm himself down.
-“Having you telling me that~” She pouted, trying to choke her laughter.
Kathelyn jokingly pushed Jacob who barely budged. After a while of fooling around, they were calm again and silence fell, ominous. Jacob heard Kath sigh and turned.
-“Do you think it’s going to snow?” She asked, looking at the gray sky.
-“I would hope so…” He answered, glancing at the sky as well.
-“So you like snow, Jay?”
-“I do. Though, I prefer rain…”
-“Huh… So you do…” She said, still staring at the overcast. “I could never bring myself to like it…” She frowned and then smiled, a hint of melancholy on her lips. “It always feels so cold and sad to me…”
-“It does, that’s why I like it.” Jacob said and she turned around to observe him again.
-“Why?” She asked, still staring at him. His green eyes slipped to the side and observed her for a second.
-“Cold and sad is just a part of it… It’s also quiet and lonely… but it’s pretty and delicate.” A slight smile drew itself on Jacob’s mouth as he looked at the sky again, a hint of affection in his eyes.
-“Ah… I wish I’d think the same…” She stayed quiet for a moment. “Jay, do you have a cellphone?”
-“Yes. Though I barely ever use it.”
-“Let’s exchange numbers and call each other when the first snow falls. Maybe, somehow, you’ll be able to convince me to like it?” Kath said, taking her phone from her pocket. Jay did the same in silence. “You could ask for Jeremy’s too, I’m sure it’ll make him happy.”
The silence fell again and the world seemed strangely empty. The cold bit at Jacob’s face and, for a moment only, he craved the warmth of his room. Then, the thought of his parents changed his mind and he embraced the freezing landscape.
After a while, they were at Jeremy’s home. Kathelyn looked nervous at first but she was quick to warm up and soon the both of them were laughing and fooling around. Jacob stood there, mostly in silence, thinking about what Kath had said to him and couldn’t help but stare at Jeremy.