I Love Her, I’m Sorry
She’s the coolest girl I’ve ever met. Her name is Valerie, but she prefers to be called as Val. We have different majors, and the major she chose improved her image for a thousandfold. Apart from her jet black hair, which is often tied into a ponytail, her trademark is the drafting tube — clearly showed her architectural side off — , which hangs beautifully on her shoulders. She is so beautiful in my eyes that I often say it in my head because I wouldn’t dare to say it out loud. Her intimidating gaze was typical of an alpha female. But only when she isn’t smiling. When she smiled, it seemed as if the sun would melt with her smile only.
She’s my senior. Well of course she is not a senior in the same major as me, but she is still two levels above me. How can someone with a linguistics major encounter someone who’s majoring in architecture?
That is, after all, quite common on campus, isn't it? Interfaculty romance is a cliche.
I first met her at an inter-faculty sporting event. She is a member of the committee and she’s the head of this event coordinator. I work in her division as a member of the staff. Her first impression is that she is arrogant. Yes. She walked with her chin up and no smile on her face. She sat next to Ray, a good-looking mechanical engineering student who was also a member of the event’s committee. Ray and Val are in the same year, and I can tell they’re pretty close. Ray and Val lit up their cigarettes as they waited for the other members to arrive. Well, those cigarettes were also offered to us.
“Ugh, I don’t smoke, if I could smoke with Val, I’d be closer to her faster.”
Yes, I’ve been captivated by Val ever since she stepped into that room. Her domineering aura was overwhelming. Her charm had me completely hooked. That time, I was a new student majoring in linguistics with a prude appearance, my clothing choices are always neat and organized, and I was drawn to that adorable delinquent senior. A simple and classic story, isn’t it?
After that incident, Val and I became close. An incident that made me feel ashamed of myself. What incident and why is that so? Okay, so there was a time when I was yelled at and scolded in front of a large crowd. I know I was wrong, but isn’t it natural for a new student to be unsure of what to do? Isn’t that why we had our seniors to guide us? I don’t mind if I’m scolded, but don’t do it in front of such a large crowd. That was a humiliation.
Fortunately, Val showed. She gently placed my hand behind her back, directing me to do the same. Val is unable to cover my entire body, but I have the impression that I am protected by a shield. She is my shield, and she keeps me safe.
“Come on, there’s no need to be rude,” she said.
Val defended me, and Ray gave me a death stare. Ray didn’t seem to like me from the beginning. Perhaps I appear weak to him.
“I’ll take care of it; after this, I’ll speak with the department; leave this to me; I’ll take care of it,” Val said, letting go of my hand. She approached Ray and patted him on the back.
“Ray, I’m sure I can fix it. Believe in me.”
“I’ve always believed in you, but I didn’t believe in that stupid junior,” Ray said, looking at me.
Ray’s stare was so intense that I couldn’t help but lower my head. “You guys can go back to your work now, but please be more careful, and try to not make any mistake, okay?” Val advised the rest of us. They disbanded one by one and resumed their work, which had been put on hold due to the uproar caused by me. Val gave me a look. “And you, wait me on the bench over there; I need to talk with you. After I talk to Ray.”
I nodded and took a step away from them. I noticed Val pulling Ray’s hand towards the far corner of the room. Val held Ray’s hand and wrapped her fingers around his, not just his arm, as she had done to me earlier. I’m a little jealous, even though I know I don’t have any rights for that. I mean, look at me, who I dare to be jealous of.
I turned away from them when I noticed Val tiptoeing to kiss Ray’s cheek while rubbing the back of his neck. Okay, I admit it: I’m extremely jealous this time. I can’t stand looking at them. All I know is that Val is approaching me and Ray has back to duty with a more calm expression than before. How powerful a kiss from Val can be in affecting Ray’s mood. Are they dating or something?
“Are you all right? "How are you doing?” Val inquired, her tone no longer as icy as it had been during our first meeting.
“Senior, I’m afraid. Senior Ray is terrifying when he’s angry,” I said, looking down.
“I’m scarier when I’m angry,” she smirked.
“Sorry, Senior, I really don’t know, and I’m not sure who to ask. They’re all busy, and I’m at a loss for what to do,” I didn’t realize I’d said that while almost shedding tears.
“Come on, let’s go to the department. We have to fix it,” Val said, taking my hand in hers. She didn’t hold my hand, she just grab my arm.
“You can call me Val like the others, no need to be so formal with those seniority things,” she added.
We entered the department. I noticed Val negotiating with the department head and clarified my misunderstanding. I have a lot of respect for her, which adds to my fondness for Val. What happened next will be something I never forget. Yes, I did spend some time with Val. What happened at the time is still fresh in my mind. We ate ice cream because Val believes it will make us feel better. How adorable. I had no idea that there were such cute things hidden behind her tough and fierce demeanor.
“Senior Val? Oh, I mean, Val? Shouldn’t we return to the gym hall?” I asked, skeptically.
“Ray will take care of it, so there’s no need to worry. Now you’ll only be in charge of the administration, okay? It will be simpler for someone who majors in linguistics, such as you,” Val stated as she scooped her ice cream.
“I’m deeply sorry, and it appears that senior Ray actually hates me,” I lowered my gaze once more. I got goosebumps just thinking about Ray.
“It doesn’t matter. Ray is just like that; when he’s upset, he can be rude and overreact. But he isn’t that type of guy,” Val gave me her word.
“You stood up for him. And I saw you kiss Senior Ray earlier. Are you two dating?” I asked, a little hesitantly.
I’m afraid my question is too straightforward, and Val is offended. But I’m more afraid of hearing the response. What if they’re actually dating? I was completely unprepared to be hurt.
“Does it look like that?” Val asked, laughing. Val asked me first, before I could explain what her response meant.
“Are Ray’s words really hurtful to you? If that’s the case, please accept my heartfelt apologies,” Val looked at me, and I saw sincerity in her eyes. Her gaze was no longer intimidating; instead, it was filled with shade and a soft breeze, which was incredibly calming.
I’m not sure why Val has to apologize; Ray should. He was the one who treated me badly. Val isn’t required to. Val defended Ray all the way to the end. It didn’t seem fair that Val had to spend her time with a jerk like Ray. Val deserves to be treated gently, and perhaps a gentle person like me is best for her. Oh my goodness, what was I thinking? This is not how I suppose to think. This is wrong.
“Um, what do you think is the world’s most dangerous weapon?” Val’s question astounded me.
“Hmm, I’m not sure. To me, the most dangerous weapon is one that injures our vital organs,” my response was quite straightforward. To my mind, yes. As simple as that.
“I know the world’s most dangerous weapons,” Val said firmly. She had finished her ice cream and was now staring straight ahead.
“What exactly is that?” I asked, turning to face her.
“ Words are evil, and even words can cause people to die horribly. Die slowly and in agony. I apologize if Ray said anything bad or rude to you; please don’t take it personally. He’s simply irritated. I’ll tell him later to apologize directly to you,” Val explained.
“There’s no need for that, Val. I understand why senior Ray is the way he is,” I was nervous and didn’t know what to do. I feel sorry for Val.
“He’s also wrong; he could just tell you slowly, couldn’t he? He is aware that yelling at you is unnecessary. It’s okay,” she assures me once more.
And I nodded.
The world works in wonders.
Little did I know that I’ve been sleeping in Val’s room floor. I had no idea that cold tiles could be so cozy. Even though my back is a little sore, Val’s scent can soothe it.
I awoke at 3 a.m. to discover that Val had not returned home yet. I grabbed my phone that placed on the nightstand. Oh, Val has left a message.
“Sorry. I’m staying at Ray’s.”
Okay, that’s fine. It’s not something new to me. Val would have rather been with Ray. I mean, of course. Ray is her boyfriend after all. Despite the fact that I had told Val that I wanted to stay at her dorm this weekend because I needed a friend to talk to. Yes, even if it’s only my excuse. I simply wanted to spend more time with Val.
Val and I became close after that incident at the sporting event. Val is a great listener, which adds to my admiration for her. I know without a single doubt that this love of mine towards her is more than just a friendship feeling. But I can’t tell the truth because Val will be so mad at me, because I know it’s impossible for her to like me more than this, and I need to know myself, and my place.
And also, I don’t want us to be apart just because of my thoughts and feelings. It’s more than enough for me, as long as I stay close to her. We began to open up to one another and became good friends. I even stay at the Val’s dorm on a regular basis because it is both convenient and comfortable, and she even gave me the spare key of her room. Well, Ray doesn’t seem to enjoy it when I stay over, which is probably because he can’t be alone with Val.
I took a quick glance around. I’ve memorized Val’s dorm room layout. I noticed a pack of cigarettes and Val’s lighter on the nightstand. She didn’t take it with her; perhaps she would just shared cigarettes with Ray after they did that hell-knows-what. I knew they did it all the time. Suddenly I get jealous with of all the sexy times that they’ve had.
The sun was just rising. I make coffee and smoke Val’s cigarette, but I think I should ask Val first. Despite the fact that I already know the answer, Val will undoubtedly allow it. So I dropped my plan to ask permission. I walked up to the balcony, carrying a cup of coffee and a pack of cigarettes.
I’m not a smoker, but I’d like to give it a shot. I lit one, coughing slightly as the smoke entered my lungs. However, after a few moments, I found myself enjoying it. I’ve been sitting on the balcony for what seems like an eternity. I couldn’t help but think of Val. I can’t stand not knowing what’s going on with her.
“When are you going to come back to the dorm, Val?”
My phone started vibrating after a while. Val called.
“Are you in my dorm right now?”
“Yes, I missed your message. I’m sorry,” I said.
“No no no, I’m the one who needs to apologize; you’re free to do whatever you want there. Be comfy as it’s your own dorm; you’re already like a younger siblings for me, so that’s fine,” Val said, I can hear the excitement from the phone.
I truly hate it; I don’t want to be seen as just another sibling for her.
“Have you had your breakfast yet?” she stated it once more.
“Yeah, I have,” I said, looking at the no longer smoky coffee while my left hand was busy playing with the half-smoked cigarette.
“Okay, I’ll be home late. It’s the weekend, and I’m going on a date,” she exclaimed excitedly.
“Okay, be careful,” I said.
“You should be dating as well, you are a cute and adorable girl, and many guys want to date you. Take your pick! That’s it, I’m going to hang up the phone!”
Val asked me to look for a date. With guy.
Of course, because that is how it should be. But this girl likes her. I like her, and I’m not interested in dating any guys.
I may look adorable in my cute mini skirt, but all I want is to date Val.
Huft, only if she knows.