Jacob opened the door to the rooftop and was taken aback by the biting cold kiss of the wind on his face. He hurriedly raised his scarf over his mouth before taking a deep breath. The frigid air came burning in his throat and he repressed a cough. With tiny footsteps, he approached the railing and peered down on the courtyard bellow. That’s when the door opened once more and he heard a voice calling to him.
-“Jay?” It was Kath’s gentle and petite voice. Jacob turned around to face her. “You could at least greet me.” She said, pouting.
Jacob only raised a hand towards her and she scoffed.
-“Alright, fair enough.” She said, a smile drawing on her face. “Uhm…” She hesitated, then took the package from behind her back. “This is for you. I didn’t want Jeremy to see me give it to you…” She looked down, twisting her feet around in the small layer of snow.
-“Jeremy? I don’t think he would mind.” Jacob answered, walking up to Kath.
At every footsteps he took, Kath seemed to become smaller. When he was right in front of her, she seemed to be looking at a giant.
-“Uh… I just don’t want him to joke about it.” She said, placing the small gift in Jacob’s hand. “You know how he is.” She rolled her eyes and Jacob chuckled under his scarf.
-“Okay, yeah, I get it.” He admitted, taking the package to observe it. Kath reached to him and he stopped.
-“No~ Open it when you’re home, okay?” She looked horrified and he frowned.
-“Okay.” He said, lowering his hands.
Silence crept between the two of them and Kath seemed to be more and more embarrassed by it. Finally, Jacob turned around to the railing and peered down again. Kath approached on his right and went to look down as well.
-“Jay?” He heard her small voice ask.
-“Mh?” He growled.
-“Who’s package was that? I mean, the pink one.” She asked. He could not see her expression but he somehow knew she was staring at him.
-“Ah~ A girl I helped gave it to me as thanks.” He trailed off, remembering the girl on the floor, frantically trying to reach her books.
-“Is that so…” Kath said, perplexed.
-“You know I don’t accept gifts for no reason.” He said, his gaze darkening.
-“I’m not sure. I don’t know how you handle things on Valentine’s…” Kath answered.
-“I don’t.” He said, seeing Kath tilt her head from the corner of his eye. “Usually, I skip. Last year, I was just too sick to go.” Kath stayed quiet so he continued. “I guess having friends made me more courageous. I don’t mind sweets, but I don’t want others’ feelings all that much.”
-“What about mine?” Kath’s question made him turn and stare at her.
-“Yours and Jeremy’s are different. You both gave me something and I took it so~”
-“What about that girl’s?” Kath cut. Jacob frowned.
-“It was a thank you gift. I rejected that girl months ago. She was brave enough and nice enough to be willing to thank me anyway.” Jacob’s eyes burned through Kath and she looked down at her feet. “I might lack social skills but I’m not an emotionless monster.” Kath opened her mouth to talk but Jacob cut her off. “Kath, are you jealous?”
Kath’s mouth fell to the ground. She looked away and scoffed. Jacob only stared at her even more intently. He felt more angry than he felt embarrassed. Kath seemed to be mad at him for accepting thanks from a pitiful girl.
-“Yeah, I’m jealous.” She said after a moment. “I don’t like it when they go around saying that they like you. They don’t even know you. I’m not even sure I know you all that well and I~” Kath was stopped by Jacob who placed a hand on her shoulder.
-“I don’t think you have a reason to be jealous.” He said blankly. “You’re still the one who knows me best.”
-“Let’s go back inside, it’s cold.” Jacob lead her back to the rooftop door.
She seemed to still have worry in her eyes but he ignored it. Seeing Kath in that state actually annoyed him a little, even if he couldn’t really pinpoint why. Maybe it was because she was doubting him so much. Deep inside, he knew he could never betray Kath. His heart had already settled in it’s place. From that point on, he couldn’t see any other girl but Kath. He observed in silence, everyday, finding new reason to see her as girly and cute even if she dressed and acted like a boy. He could not really tell when it had all started but, with time, his feelings had only grown stronger.
The fact that Kath felt so unsure about him made him sad and bitter. He wanted her to trust him. At least as much as he trusted her.
Soon enough, they were back in the classroom and once again, everyone’s eyes fell on them. Rumors had circulated for a while about Kath and him having a secret relationship going on but Jacob hated that rumor. “If she’d say yes, I’d show her to everyone, I wouldn’t hide my feelings like a coward.” The thought made him angry at himself. “I’m already hiding my feelings like a coward…” But the thought of loosing Kath like Jeremy had lost her made him shiver and he pushed his feelings aside.