A few days after meeting sick Jeremy at his home, Jacob was having lunch together alone with Kathelyn again.
-“Well, it can’t be helped. He wanted to join the soccer team for a while now. I can’t blame him but somehow, it feels like he’s running away from me…” She said, sorrowfully looking down at her meal.
Jeremy was out, having practice with the soccer club. He had been asked by upperclassmen to join after they had seen him playing in P.E. and he had hurriedly accepted their offer.
-“You think Jeremy would do such a thing?” Jacob asked, trying not to look at Kath’s sad expression as she smiled bitterly.
-“I’m not sure… When we went to meet him, he was smiling as if nothing had happened. Even after you left, none of us brought the subject…” She sighed. “I’m such a coward. I can’t even face my own actions.”
-“I’m a coward too. Isn’t it a form of self-preservation?” Jacob said slowly. Kath raised her head to stare into his green eyes.
-“Still, I should never have told him…”
-“Ah~ I should have told her…” Jeremy sighed in P.E. class that afternoon. “She knows I like another girl. She was being brave… I’m such a coward…”
Jacob, not knowing what to do, patted his friend on the shoulder. Jeremy smiled bitterly.
-“I never thought such a friendship could come to an end…” He sighed.
-“It hasn’t… Yet…” Said Jacob in an attempt to comfort him. He laughed.
-“I know I’ll have to reject her one day. In the meantime, could you take care of her for me?” Jeremy asked, picking up his ball and making it spin around in his hands. “I’m not brave enough right now.”
-“Huh?” Jacob raised his head.
-“You live in the same neighborhood, right?” Jeremy asked with a smile. “You could see her home, right? Oh, maybe you didn’t know she lived so close?”
Jacob walked up to Kathelyn’s desk. His ominous shadow enveloped her and she looked up. She seemed surprised at first, then frowned, then tilted her head and finally got up, seemingly embarrassed.
-“Jeremy asked me to walk you home.” Jacob said flatly.
He looked so emotionless on the outside that he could have been made of marble. In the inside, though, he was a storm. He didn’t know why but he felt so nervous somehow. Kath had never bothered him that much but, now, each of his organs were steering in his body.
-“Oh, okay.” She nodded, grabbing her bag.
Jacob and Kathelyn walked for a while in silence. Frowning like she did, she looked like a boy again. Jacob had tried to calm himself down but he couldn’t. Suddenly, he felt a buzz in his pockets and took his phone out. The cold stung his hands. He stared at his screen for a second, trying to ignore the fact that Kath was looking straight at him.
Unable to stay calm, his eyes snapped at her and he saw her stare at his hands for the fraction of a second. When she realized he was looking at her, she looked away, letting a long string of mist escaped her mouth.
The text read: “I hope she’s doing fine. If she is sad, please make her smile. :3”.
-“Ah~” He exclaimed, trying his best to kill the awkwardness in the air. “It’s Jeremy.”
-“Oh~” Was the only sound that came out of her.
He tried to think of something to say to make her smile but couldn’t and stayed quiet. “Why is the atmosphere so tense? Why is she nervous? She’s never nervous, She’s Kath… Kath can’t be nervous~” He thought. And just as his panic was settling in she turned to him.
-“OH!” She looked up as if she just had a revelation from the skies above. “I remember sending you a text! But you never answered.” She pouted with exaggeration.
-“Ah~ Right. I couldn’t find anything to answer and I fell asleep on my phone…” He said, trying to sound serious but his tone sounded strangely forced and it made him frown stupidly. She laughed, her smiled brighter than usual.
-“So that was why.” She looked down at her feet. “I wish I could see you fall asleep on your phone!” She laughed again. “You must be so cute~”
-“I’m not a pet, you know.” He answered, the trace of a laughter on his lips. She pouted again.
-“Sure, you are! Jay, you’re a cat.” She said brightly.
-“Ah~ So I am…” He trailed off, staring at light blue sky.
The day was ending, now, and the scenery was tainted in oranges and reds. The air was biting cold but the snow hadn’t fell yet. Jacob found himself wishing that it would fall soon.
Kath’s house was fairly close to his own and after seeing her home, he’d only needed walk about 5 minutes. Finally alone, he calmed down and was able to enjoy the little sunlight that was left.
Around 9 pm, he was done with his homework’s and was fresh out of the shower. His body suddenly craved for the freezing air outside and he had to fight an urge to open his window. That’s when his phone buzzed.
The message read: “Thanks for seeing me home. :)”
Jacob hesitated before sending his: “Let’s do it again tomorrow.”