Welcome to the club. Let's pick a chapter.




"Phun! Can you check my club's budget for me? Please? Please? Please? There's 20,000 missing! I'm about to go insane here!"

This was how Noh popped into my life and became the biggest surprise within years. It's a fact that we somewhat knew each other, but we never had a chance to talk with only just the two of us like that before. Every time we had spoken, we never had such a lengthy conversation like that time either.

I couldn't help but smile whenever I thought about that day. Noh's light and pale face was usually full of so many different expressions. Sometimes he'd get rowdy. Sometimes he'd have a smug look on his face. Sometimes he'd have that devious look as if he was planning to do something evil when he hung out with his friends or when he joked around with them. But that day, he had on a different expression which I had never seen before. He had on such an extreme, fully panicked expression that I had to stop myself from breaking out in laughter. Okay, I'll admit that I often enjoyed secretly looking at Noh since he was such a character. Whenever I saw his face, I felt so relaxed and all my stress disappeared since he could make me laugh.

But I swear that even though I felt that way, I have never once thought of Noh in a romantic way because he was my (not exactly close) friend who was always in such a cheerful mood. I knew that he was 100% straight. I even heard that he had a girlfriend that attended to the same school as my girlfriend, but I didn't know who she was. Sometimes, I used to think about how Noh might have acted when he was with his girlfriend. Was he the type that joked around like how he was at school? (Which would be stressful for his girlfriend) Or maybe he was the unbelievably sweet and romantic type when he was around her? Who knows?

I had no ulterior motives and was being completely sincere when I asked Noh that question that day. Little did I know that one day, Noh and I would've fallen into a pit so deep that neither of us could barely climb out of.

Aim : (Message me when you're on, Yuri) says:

Phun, please don't leave me.

But reality is never as simple as we tend to hope for them to be. I stare at that message from the MSN Messenger window on my computer screen before I let out a long sigh.

My index finger is lightly tapping on the mouse as if I'm someone with wandering thoughts. In reality, my head is pretty empty. It isn't because I'm being heartless and not feeling anything at all. It's just that I've been trying to think about this over and over, but I can't seem to find a solution. At this point, I've turned into someone that is trying to run away from the truth...

There have been so many instances where I kept going over what happened, trying to find out how everything turned out like this. What kind of feelings do I have for Noh? Do I love him? I don't have the guts to admit that I'd be able to give something as great as that to a friend who had fully entered my life just last Wednesday.

I can't bring myself to wholeheartedly use the word 'love' with that guy...but I know that I want him in my life. Having Noh beside me this past week was something I could never put a price on. Every time I woke up and saw his sleeping face next to me, I couldn't help but wish that this would keep happening every morning...until we crossed that line of being just 'friends.'

I realize what I've done is beyond fucked up because I no longer have the right to do that with anybody else.

I wanted to be an honorable man who will love Aim until the very end. I wanted to keep our relationship going strong because she had put her faith in me.

Ultimately, I overestimated my own abilities.

I lied...when I said that I didn't have any ulterior motives and that I was being sincere when I asked Noh to be my fake boyfriend. It was a lie.

Truthfully, I was ecstatic when it was Noh who was there at the time. Noh, the person who was only a distant friend of mine. Noh, the person who competed against me in that messy tug-of-war where we both ended up scraping our knees eight years ago. Noh, the person who acted as an astrologist alongside me while I was the town ruler during the Thai Language Week for our school five years ago. Noh, the person whom Rodkeng dragged to my birthday party while looking very uncomfortable two years ago. He tried so hard to be polite and spoke nicely the entire time he was there that I couldn't help but wonder if he was going to end up doing something awkward at the party...

Noh, the person who I've always had in mind when I thought about how it'd be pretty great if I were to meet a girl with his personality. I often wished that Aim could be as bright and cheerful as Noh. He may be loud, obnoxious and acts like a street thug at times, but there are always friendliness and sincerity shining from those big round eyes of his.

I gave myself a challenge by asking someone that I've always been interested in to pretend to be my boyfriend. I told myself that no matter what, Noh was still a guy. No matter how cute and adorable he was, there would never be a day when I'd start having weird feelings for this guy.

But as the days went by, I realized that I gave myself too much credit. I was not as strong as I originally thought...

The black cell phone is sitting there in silence, the very same silence coming from me. I still haven't given Aim a reply.

I don't know what has happened to me. If this were two weeks ago, I would've been happy to type a reply about how I would never leave her. But today, it feels like my hands are as hard as a rock. I can't come up with a reply that won't make me look terrible.

It's because I know what an awful person I actually am.

My index finger moves from the mouse to hit the number that I last dialed. It's the very same number I tried calling earlier tonight but I ended the call before it actually rang. I wasn't sure what I would talk to him about. (If I ask if he's still hurting, he would've cursed at me.) Does he even still want to talk to me anyway?

However, my finger moves faster than my thoughts and it hits the call button. I put the phone on speaker and listen to the ringing. Soon enough, he answers the phone with his usual thug-ish tone of voice.

"Why are you calling me? I'm right in front of your room..."

I could barely believe my eyes when I opened the door and saw Noh standing there. My world stands still, because I no longer care how this wiseguy will greet me. I can only hear these voices echoing inside my head.

I want Noh.

I want Noh to stay beside me.

He doesn't need to stay by my side for the rest of our lives.

I'll only ask for these moments, the moments that we still have these wonderful feelings for one another.

I want to remember these moments and keep them deep inside me.

In case that one day, I must be with somebody else, then I will never ever forget these moments with him.

These moments when Noh was still in my life.

These moments which I'll forever cherish more than any priceless treasures in the world.

"How about Bang Saen? It's close enough."

"I'll make sure you get there in time to take your test tomorrow. Come on!" Heh heh. I find the disbelief expression on his face funny. He starts making a big fuss just as I thought. There's an old saying, "the shameless gets what they want, the timid goes without." I don't care how big of a fuss Noh wants to make, because I don't know whether we'll ever get another chance to be together like this again after tonight.

I can tell the real reason he is here by the looks of his dull and melancholy eyes...

So if things are about to change, then I'll only ask for this one last opportunity to be with him as long as I possibly can.

While we were on the road, If only Noh had looked my way, then he would've noticed how hard I was trying to put on a brave face and suppressed the feelings of knowing that this is our last night together.

At the restaurant, if only Noh had some faith in me, then he would've realized that even though I cannot just forget about Aim, the thought of me abandoning him has never even crossed my mind.

In the room that night, if only Noh had chosen to be selfish with someone like me...

If only Noh had faith in me and allowed me to decide everything...

I would've been ready to throw these so-called truths away. I was ready to throw the things that were supposedly considered appropriate away. I wanted to throw whatever the these things we were taught to be the right things away.

I am always ready to hold Noh as long as he needs me to.

However, the world of reality and the world of dreams coexist in parallel lines.

I am left with only tonight where Noh and I are not friends.

I can no longer hold Noh as long as I want to.

Not anymore.