Bared on your tomb, I'm a a prayer of your loneliness
The flame from the lighter ignited and burned the tip of the cigarette. Adrian inhaled and closed his eyes. Feeling the warmness lingered inside his throat. Smoking sensation. Leaned his back against the chair and rested his legs on the table. Again, he inhaled, feeling more smoking sensation. “holy shit!” The smoking sensation was cut out when Add accidentally kicked his textbooks. With the cigarette still on his lips, he got up of the chair to pick up his textbooks. Lazily, he picked up and rearranged his textbooks but he stopped halfway through. The cigarette was released from his lips.
His eyes fixed on the object lay on the floor. Slowly, he picked it up and ran his fingers through it. It was a relic of a once upon a time unconditional and everlasting love. It was a picture of Ashley and him. Ashley smiling and looking deep into Add’s eyes and Add’s arms held Ashley around her waist. The picture was taken 6 months ago while Add was staying in campus. The relic bought back sweet memories that played in Add’s mind like a movie scene. Each touch was felt, each word was heard, and each kiss was cherished. The thought of Ashley used to be pleasant, like sunshine after a heavy rain. But now, each thought of her stabbed Add’s chest with the knife of agony. His chest was stabbed deep and hard. He closed his eyes and inhaled the cigarette. This time deeper than before. He exhaled the smoke, and hoped that he exhaled the agony as well. But the agony remained where it was. Add grabbed his Marlboro for another cigarette but he just finished his last piece. “Fuck!” he screamed. The knife stabbed him harder, deeper, and faster. The pain was unbearable. His jaws clenched and his fist tightened. He was angry. He was in agony. Then, he fell on his knees with the picture in his hands. Warm tears rolled down his cheeks and his chest was moving rapidly. “I couldn’t take this anymore. It’s too much.” he said. “I need something to take the pain away. Anything. Anything at all. ”
“Love is meant to be spread. If you just keep it to yourself, that makes you a very selfish person.” Those words keep playing in Pogue’s mind over and over again. It was from his mother. She told him that when he called her before the crack of dawn. He sighed. There were so many things going through his mind now. He thought of his mother’s words, he thought of Helena, he thought of how nice last night was, and he thought of Jimmy. He sighed again. Louder.
Pogue pressed the pedal harder, the needle of the meter moved higher, the car moved faster. His stern eyes were fixed on the road but his mind was elsewhere. If only Vic and Add knew, they wouldn’t be yelling with excitement. They thought Pogue was being the devil on the road like always. If only they knew that Pogue didn’t realized that there was a car across them while he was overtaking until HOOOONNNNKKKKKKK!!!!! Pogue snapped out and he was dead lucky that Vic, who was in the passenger’s seat, grabbed the steering wheel and took the car to the other lane.
“Stop the car Pogue!!” screamed Add from the back seat.
“Yeah dude, stop the car!!” Vic joined in and still holding the wheel.
Pogue was panic. His head swiveled. It seemed as if he was stupefied.
“Release the pedal!!” screamed Add.
Slowly, Pogue released the pedal and the speed decreased. Vic then turns the wheel so the car can be on the side of the road.
“Now press the brake” he ordered. Pogue obeyed.
The car stopped. All three of them breathed so hard. Vic turned to the back to check on Add. “You ok dude?”
Add caught his breath “Been better.”
The both of them turned to Pogue.
“What the fuck is wrong with you dude?” Vic yelled.
“You set us up with a date with the grim reaper dickhead. Don’t drive it you’ve just smoke pot. Geez.” Add added.
Pogue remained silent. This was bizarre. Too bizarre. Both of them were expecting Pogue to yelled back at them. Set his stands and defend his motion that he was not to blame. Pogue Markus, who was the master of straightening a tangled thread, now seemed to get tangled himself.
Vic sensed there was something wrong. “Dude, what’s up?”
Still, he remained silent but shook his head. Suddenly, he got out of the car and opened the passenger’s door. Vic and Add was so puzzled. Vic crooked his eyebrows and stared at his best friend. He examined Pogue, there was something about him. As much as he tried to cover up, Vic knew that his friend was doleful.
“Drive” Pogue said. Add didn’t hesitated to obey and shifted to the driver’s seat.
So Vic took over the wheel. Add looked at Pogue from the back seat. He seemed unusually quiet. “Pogue, what’s up?” he asked. No answer.
“Dude?” he repeated. Pogue sat still.
Add then shook his shoulder. “What..huh..? What happened?” Pogue seem like he was awaken from a deep sleep.
Add snorted. “Dude, what’s up with you?” Add asked.
“Yeah dude, you had a hang over last night?” Vic added. Both Add and Vic were ready to get cursed and their head spanked. But they get a simple answer instead. “No, nothing.”
Add stared in disbelief. Vic wasn’t sure if he heard right. It seemed clear to both of them that there was something going on Pogue’s mind.
“You ok dude?” Add asked.
He was being concern. But then Vic signaled him to leave Pogue alone. Vic knew Pogue very well. He knew that Pogue will tell when he wants to tell. It was just a matter of time.
The drive after that was silent. No one said a word. Even the stereo was turned off. It was silent until they drove pass the cemetery.
“Jimbo” Pogue muttered.
“What??” Add asked. Pogue pointed towards the cemetery.
“Jimbo’s bike. There.” Vic and Add looked at the pointed direction.
“Yeah, I saw his bike parked there before” Vic squint his eyes at the same direction “and could that be Helena’s car?”
“What the hell are they doing at a cemetery at night?” Add asked.
“Let’s go check” Pogue suggested. A smile appeared across Vic’s face. In some way, he was glad that Pogue suggested them to check the cemetery, because only a dickhead like Pogue would do something like that.
Add chuckled “Now the dickhead is back on track”. The car was parked near Jimmy’s bike and walked into the cemetery.
“He just left. Just like that Jimmy!” Helena expressed her unhappiness.
Jimmy looked at her, who was pulling the grass and was leaning against a tombstone with the name GREGORY SANDERS carved on it. For the past half an hour she had been nagging about Pogue. Even before they came to the cemetery. But as much as she was nagging, she also fit in a few sentences that were then translated to “I really adore Pogue”. Jimmy was in vain trying to understand that fact. An invincible hand punched his stomach that he chocked a couple of times. “Did he say why?” asked Jimmy, who was laying down in the grass beside his dad’s tombstone. Helena shook and sighed.
“There sure is a reason. A good one”. Jimmy said.
Helena pouted. “Heh, cute” he thought.
“I hate being left in the dark Jimmy” she said, her voice almost crackling. Jimmy moved closer to her, placed his palm on her cheeks.
“Although you are in the dark, you wouldn’t be alone” he said. His green eyes met Helena’s big brown eyes. “I’ll be with you”.
She curled a smile and held his hand. “Thank you Jimmy”.
“What the hell??!!!” came a shrieking voice that made Jimmy and Helena retorted.“Don’t you guys have a better place to date??” asked Vic with a wide grin.
Jimmy and Helena looked at each other and to the other guys.
“Fuck Vic! You almost give me a panic attack!” Jimmy said and punched Vic’s shoulder. The guys laughed.
“What the fuck are you doing here anyway?” Jimmy asked.
“Well, well, what the fuck are YOU doing here?” Add demanded to know.
Jimmy looked down and smiled wryly. “I just want to hang out with my dad.” He replied softly.
Hearing that, a rush of guilt and sympathy ran through their bodies.
“Yeap, sometimes we hang out with my parents. They are over there” Helena said and pointed south-east, where her parents lied.
“Hey, it’s cool dude. Come join us if you want”.
They looked at each other and shrugged. “Well, since we’re already here, might as well just hang out” Add said.
Jimmy handed him the six-pack beer. “Saw your bike there.” Vic explains
“Explains you presence” Helena said and smiled. She then turned to Add. “Looking good Add” she complimented.
Add nodded. “Yeah, feeling good as well. Thanks.” He then display a wide grin. Fake wide grin. “Well played Adrian. Congratulations” he told himself.
Pogue looked at Helena. She wore nothing extraordinary but a pair of torn jeans, white t-shirt and her favorite purple hoodies. But Pogue thought she looked really nice. Her hair shone under the moonlight. Her big eyes twinkled like the stars. Their eyes meet.
“Hey little girl” he greeted her and smiled.
But it occurred that he received no reply. She looked at Pogue and looked away at though he was indecent. Pogue sipped his beer and he sighed without even realizing it. Victor was somehow instinctive. He knew there was something going on between the two of them, they seem awkward,which caused him to scrutinized Pogue’s and Helena’s behavior.
Helena then checked her watch and got up. “Hey, I got to leave. My brother wants to take me out.” The guys nodded and waved at her. “Bye. Later guys.”
She bid farewell. Jimmy got on his feet and followed her.
She turned back and smiled “It not that far Jimmy”.
“It’s the cemetery Helena” he insisted.
Jimmy accompanied her to the gate. On the way, he asked “You’re not leaving because of Pogue, are you?”
Helena snorted. “No Jimmy, I told you Matt wants to take me out.”
He nodded. “I believe you”.
She looked at him, sternly. “Fair enough. I wasn’t buying your trust. But I was telling the truth.”
“Yeah,ok, I said I believe you.” He said with a little laugh.
She pouted.‘Fine. I’m going home. Bye”.
The three of them watched as Jimmy and Helena walked. “Go Pogue” said a little voice inside him.
“Don’t let her leave. Go after her. You know you want to.” Said that voice again. “You love her don’t you dickhead? So go chase her. Don’t let her leave” that voice insisted. Pogue was just about to get on his feet to chase the girl he loves until
“Jimmy sure loves her” Vic said.
Add agreed “Hell yeah he does. Couldn’t go anywhere without her.”
The intestine of Pogue was squeezed when he heard that. The enthusiasm of wanting to chase Helena faded. His feet all of a sudden got heavy and disabled him to run and chase Helena.
“He loves her. So stay out of the way dickhead” he warned himself.
A few minutes later Jimmy returned. He sat and sipped his beer. “So how do you like the cemetery?” he asked.
The others chuckled. “Not that bad.” Vic answered. Then Jimmy’s attention shifted to Pogue.
“Yo dickhead! You seem rather quiet tonight”.
“Just enjoying the beer” he replied blandly. Jimmy smiled cynically.
“Fuck off dickhead. I’m not falling for that.” Jimmy said. “I know what happened.”
“Know what?” Pogue asked.
“You kissed Helena and left her last night” Jimmy shoots out.
Add almost chocked on his beer when he heard that.
“Just about time dickhead” Vic said and grinned. “No wonder you have been biting your lips”. Vic added.
Jimmy,Pogue,and Add turned their head to Vic at once. “What the fuck is that suppose to mean?” asked Pogue.
“We’ve been friends since forever dude. I know your every habit. You bite your lips every time you’re around someone you like” Vic explained.
They broke into laughter. “I do? Geez, never knew that”.
“So, why did you left dickhead?” Jimmy asked. Pogue looked up to him but remained silent. “Because you love her Jimbo” he said. But didn’t say it out loud. Pogue reached inside his pocket for his packet of Dunhill. Lit them up enjoy the fog of nicotine for a few minutes. “I’m afraid I might hurt her” Pogue said. He took another puff and offered the Dunhill to his friends and each of them took one. “She loves you dickhead” Jimmy said.
Pogue looked at him. Trying to figured out whether or not he was pissed with the fact that Helena loves him. “But you love her” Pogue said. This time he said it out loud.
“Don’t deny it Jimmy” Add said. “You love her so much”.
Jimmy leaned against his dad’s tombstone. “So they know dad” he said.
“Of course we do Jimmy. We’re you’re friends” Vic said.
“And Helena is my best friend” Jimmy took a puff from the Dunhill Pogue offered. “You know, when you expect too much from something, you might end up with nothing at all.”
Add smiled. “Can’t help but to agree”.
“Yes, I do love her. But I don’t want to lose what we have now. It’s just too precious. So, rather than asking for more, I am thankful with whatever I am having with her now.” He paused for another puff and had that distant look in his eyes. “Besides, she needs a friend. Someone who she can tell everything to. Someone who she can show her true emotions.”
“Why? She can’t do that if you’re his boyfriend?” Add asked.
Jimmy shook his head. “No. She will hold back her emotions just so she won’t hurt the guy who she loves, and that sucks She wont even cry in front of her boyfriend. Just to let him think that she is fine while she really wasn’t.” Jimmy sighed and finished his beer. “I just want to be there for her.” He then took the last puff of the cigarette.