Authors: Wanitta Praks
Tags: #sliceoflife, #contemporaryromance, #teenromance, #teenfiction, #contemporaryfiction, #dramaromance, #romeojulietstoryline, #schoolromance, #starcrossedlovers, #teenfictioncontemporary, #tragedyromance
I walk towards it and feel the fabric
between my fingers. It’s soft to touch, just like the first time I
touched it. I look at the scarf a bit longer, then walk to the
door. On second thought, my feet take me back to the scarf hanging
on that hook.
I tell myself I don’t need to wear that
scarf. The weather is beautiful tonight, but my hand takes it
without knowing and I find myself wearing the scarf as I approach
I stand next to the door, watching my family
interact with Mandy and Sam. Moon is sitting on Mandy’s lap,
whereas Sam is busy chatting with Clare and Gigi. When they see me,
Sam comes up and says I look beautiful.
Moon runs up to me and hugs me.
“Vivi, you look beautiful.”
I hug her back. “Thanks, Moon.” I kiss her
on the cheek.
“Where is Zacky?” Moon asks me, looking
around the room, her question tearing at my heartstrings. When she
doesn’t see Zac, she asks me, “Is he not here to pick you up? He
promised to pick you up on prom night.”
“When did he tell you this?” I ask Moon.
“He told me himself when he came to visit
us. On the day we played the airplane game. You were busy talking
I look to Clare, my eyes watering a little
Sam comes and crouches down right in front
“I’m going to be the gentleman who will look
after your aunty tonight,” Sam says. “Do you give me permission to
look after her?”
“Oh,” Moon exclaims, then looks up at me,
standing beside Sam. “I thought Zacky was going to pick you up. I
want to see Zacky pick you up.”
I crouch down next to Sam and take my
niece’s hand. “Moon, Zacky is busy. He has to prepare for his
performance. You know he’s in a band, right? He’s too busy to pick
“Oh,” Moon exclaims again, looking sad.
“It’s okay, Moon. I promise you I will take
your aunty to see Zacky. Are you happy with that?”
Moon finally relents, nodding. I turn to
stare at Sam. Is he really going to take me to see Zac? Or is he
just lying to Moon? I plan to ask him, but Mandy exclaims we should
all head out now.
I reluctantly say good-bye to Moon, Clare,
and Gigi and start walking to the car. Sam asks me to sit in the
front seat with him, but I shake my head, wanting to sit in the
I have to compose myself. I’m about to see
Zac again after I hurt his hand. Just this thought alone frightens
me and makes me want to crawl back inside the house, but it’s
already too late now. Sam is already lighting the ignition, and
we’re already on our way to the town hall where the prom will be
The ride to the town hall in Sam’s car is a
smooth one. Mandy is her usual self, talking to Sam in the front
seat, while I’m sitting in the backseat thinking about my past
relationship with Zac. When we arrive, I get out and walk with Sam
and Mandy to the front entrance. There will many students milling
The wind picks up a bit. I huddle myself and
pull the scarf around my neck, glad I brought it with me. We wait
in line with our tickets, when out of the corner of my eyes I see
Zac and his entourage walking in our direction. Ashley and Carina
are holding on to either of his arms. Kai, Trey, and Loki are
walking behind him, Stacy next to Kai.
As they walk towards us, I pray to myself
that Zac and his team will walk past. I pray that Zac will not see
me, will not see the scarf and dress he bought for me now being
used on my person. That wasn’t my intention when I brought the
scarf with me tonight, nor the dress Mandy picked for me. I didn’t
want him to notice I wore those items because of him.
Or did I? I’m not sure anymore.
I avert my gaze so it doesn’t land on Zac.
I’m not ready to see him just yet. Even my heart isn’t prepared to
face him. When I hear his footsteps approaching us, my heart won’t
stop its thumping. Every footstep Zac takes, my heart synchronizes
to his steps. Closer and closer, faster and faster, until they stop
right in front of me.
I look up and see Zac staring down at me. My
heart almost stops altogether. My breath comes out in heavy fits
while my eyes gloss over his image. I stare at him, taking in his
He looks so handsome. He’s wearing a formal
suit with black pants and matching jacket, like the Phantom of the
Opera. The blue shirt I bought him, he wears that too. The same
blue that matches the color of my dress.
He looks so striking that it takes my breath
away. Yet, despite his honed appearance, there’s an air of
melancholy around him.
Zac in turn stares at me, surveying my form,
taking in the blue dress and the blue scarf he bought for me. A
small smile plays at the corners of his lips, which lightens the
dull ache in my heart a bit.
We both continue to stare at each other,
like we’re both having our usual staring contest. And then I hear a
scream from Ashley.
“Zac, your hand is bleeding again. Anyone!
Has anyone got a tissue?” Ashley screeches and flutters her arms
Zac turns to Ashley and a look of annoyance
crosses his face. Then he turns to me and says, “Ivy, I’m bleeding.
“What do you want me to do?” I ask quietly,
willing my voice to come out strong and not be affected by his
presence, yet it sounds so weak, even to my own ears.
Zac gazes at me for a minute more, scanning
my body, taking in my awkward posture, my nervous breath and
shallow, hollow eyes because of my lack of sleep. Without my
permission, he suddenly unwinds the blue scarf that I wear around
“Wrap it around my hand. Stop the bleeding.
Please.” He holds the scarf out to me and gives me a weak
I look up at him. His face looks so sad, so
painful, as if he’s suffering from some unknown condition. I’ve
never seen him looking so awful before. When he urges me again, I
mutely nod and take the scarf from his hand and do his bidding.
This is the least I can do for him. This is
the least I can do for a friend, for the boy I love, who I will
never, ever see again after I graduate this year.
I can hear Ashley complaining, talking to
herself about why she isn’t the one picked to do the job, while I’m
busy wrapping my scarf around Zac’s bleeding finger.
Did I really hurt him that badly? Why did I
cut him like this? Although I know it was an accident, inside I
can’t help feeling guilty, seeing him with that look on his
When I complete my task, Zac gives me
another one of his intensely painful stares and then whispers to
me, close to my ear, “You look like an angel in that dress, Ivy.
I’ll see you inside. I want to give you something.”
Without explaining to me further what he
means by that statement, Zac walks straight past me and goes into
the town hall, along with his entourage. My breath shudders. What
did Zac mean by wanting to give me something?
There are lots of noises inside the hall
when we walk in. A few upbeat songs play, and Sam asks me to dance,
but I prefer to sit in this quiet corner, watching people. Sam asks
Mandy instead. She’s only too willing to comply. They dance and
laugh while I watch them.
After some time, I feel I’m being watched.
My eyes scan around the room, locating anyone that might looks
suspicious. And then my heart leaps as a sudden thought comes to my
Maybe Zac is looking at me from somewhere.
My eyes immediately scan the room, trying to locate that familiar
figure in the black
Phantom of the Opera
outfit. But he’s
nowhere to be found.
My smile falters and drops. I think I’m
going crazy. I think I’m getting paranoid. And when I realize this,
I laugh at myself. How ridiculous and stupid I am to be thinking it
would be Zac just because I felt a penetrating gaze on my
Maybe he’s behind the stage, getting ready
for their band performance.
Tonight, it’s promised to be a grand night
full of fun and entertainment. Apollo will be playing the many
songs they composed, the many songs that were never released for us
to hear. This would be the first time, and the anticipation among
the crowd is high. I can hear whispers and excitement all around
Mandy and Sam are already back from their
dance, sitting next to me, talking nonstop at how much fun it is to
dance instead of sitting brooding at one corner of the room like
this. Then without warning, everything blacks out. We are in
complete darkness. A little alarm shrills through me. I can hear
people around me whispering to each other.
“What’s going on?”
“Are we having a blackout?”
I can feel Mandy shaking my arm. “Ivy, are
I’m about to respond to her when suddenly a
single ray of light shines onstage, like a ray of light from
heaven, shining onto that person who’s perched on a stool with a
guitar in hand, highlighting him from the dim darkness around
It’s Zac. He’s sitting on the stool, holding
on to Elsa. A microphone is positioned in front of him. As if he
knows where I’m sitting, he fixes his gaze on me and says, his
mouth close to the microphone, “This song is dedicated to the girl
I love. I want to give this song to her.”
The lights turn back on and a soft glow
illuminates the whole stage. With the finger that is bleeding, the
finger that I used the scarf he gave me to wrap around that finger,
he starts plucking on the strings of Elsa.
It’s sweet torture on my soul. That single
pluck created by Zac and Elsa turns into beautiful music. It
carries a soulful and haunting beat, like the singer is lonely and
crying for the one he loves.
Who is Zac in love with? Is this song for
her? My heart burns with this unanswered question. And then he
Since the day I first saw you,
Since the day I kissed you,
I know that I know that I’ve found you.
I know that you’ll be my true love.
My eyes cannot focus on anyone else but Zac.
Who is he singing to? Since the day they’ve met? Since the day
I find tears wetting my cheeks. I realize
I’m crying. How did I not notice this? I wipe the tears off my
cheeks and gaze at him again. My heart breaks as I listen to him
Zac is in love. He’s in love with a girl.
And he’s singing this song to her. I’m jealous. I want to be that
girl. I want to be that girl he’s singing that song to. When I
realize this, I cry even more, silent tears trickling down my
God help me. I know I’m in love with Zac,
but I didn’t know I would love him this much. I want to go back
home and cry. I want to cry and drown myself in my tears. But I
know I shouldn’t. Because Zac is in love.
Even though our relationship is now dire, I
know I still love him, will always continue to see him as the
person I love. And isn’t that what one would do for the person
they’re in love with? They wish for their loved one to find
happiness. Wait and watch in joy to see their beloved one basked in
the glory of love.
But I don’t want to watch. I don’t want to
see the person who Zac is in love with. I don’t want to see that
girl climb up onstage when he finishes singing. I don’t want to see
him kiss that girl and tell everyone in the whole school that she’s
the one for him. Because I know my heart would break. It’s already
breaking as I’m watching him now, while he’s singing that song, his
eyes looking at me.
I know in this lifetime, I can’t love him
because of how our relationship and fate are structured, but I
could always wish for him to be mine in the next lifetime. So I
cry. I cry as he sings the next line, my tears flowing softly,
crying out for Zac to hear my confession, that I want him to love
me in the next lifetime. Let that girl be me in the next lifetime.
Please, let us not have this relationship in the next lifetime.
“My Romeo, can you hear me? Please let me be
your Juliet in the next lifetime,” I whisper to myself as more
tears stream down my cheeks.
I know our future is bleak.
I know there will be obstacles in our
But I, but I still want to be with you.
It’s because I love only you.
The lyrics, they are tearing my heart apart,
making me bleed to death slowly. My heart quakes and my lips
tremble. My tears won’t stop flowing. They continue to run from my
eyes as I watch Zac staring back at me with tears also in his eyes
as he continues to sing this song for the girl he loves.
Before long, I stand up. Tears continue
trickling down my cheeks, and the sight of Zac sitting on that
stool grows fuzzy in my eyes. I wipe those tears away so I can see
Zac clearer. Suddenly, I see something dripping from his
Oh God, Zac, his finger is bleeding again.
There’s blood dripping from his finger, staining the blue scarf
purple. I gasp and want to run to him, to get a proper Band-Aid and
wrap it for him. But I stop myself. I shouldn’t be doing this. This
right is only reserved for the girl he loves.
Where is the girl he loves?
look around the room, through my tear-stricken eyes.
she running up onstage now and caring for him? Where is
I look at Zac, telling him with my eyes to
stop playing, please, to stop playing; otherwise, he will hurt his
hand. But Zac doesn’t listen to me. He continues to gaze at me as
if trying to tell me something.
I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.
I’m so sorry I can’t control my fate.
I can’t decide who my family is.
But know this, that I will not let them, not
let them affect us.
Oh God, no, no, that lyric. That part of the
lyrics. It’s like he’s referring to our relationship.
Zac, is he singing that song to me? Could he
be singing that song to me?