You didn’t see Arthur at all on Tuesday, and a part of you was thankful for it. Even though you felt yourself missing him more and more, you were still upset over what he had said to you and still didn’t feel confident enough to go up to him and try to talk to him.
Just as you had feared a few months before, you felt your life once again start spiraling downward after you had broken away from Arthur. You stopped paying attention in class, your mind too filled with depression and what you were going to do now that he was gone to even make an attempt at focusing. You were once again procrastinating on your homework, finding it hard to concentrate due to the now-familiar ache in your heart and the misery taking over you. You fell asleep late again, the thoughts of Arthur leaving you keeping you awake until well past 12 in the morning. But instead of the constant anger you used to feel, it was replaced by sadness and longing.
You wanted Arthur. You wanted him here next to you, making you happy, making you know that he always would've been there for you and always would've been by your side no matter what. You wanted to meet with him before, during, and after school as well as on weekends like you used to. You didn’t want him to leave you to deal with your deteriorating life just like your parents had. He was the only one who was able to make you feel truly happy and make all of your loneliness disappear, and you didn’t want those wonderful feelings that he was always able to bring you leaving.
Yet you could not bring yourself to tell these things to him because you figured that he probably didn’t feel the same.
But did that mean that everything he told you about how much you’ve influenced him, how great of a friend you’ve been, all the wonderful moments you'd spent together, had all been a lie?
Had he been lying to you from the very first moment the two of you met?
That thought made your heart ache even more than it already did. Arthur was such an important person to you, and the thought of your feelings toward him caused by a lie made you want to kill yourself.
When you approached the cafeteria door later on that day, you finally decided to go ahead and open it, risking the chance of facing Arthur sitting by himself. Your stomach growled impatiently, but you knew it was still long before you could've gained enough courage to ask him for some of his lunch, let alone sit next to him.
When you opened the door and stepped inside the large room, the familiar sound of kids talking to one another filled your ears. You slowly walked down the middle of the room, past the crowded tables that were filled with kids, keeping your gaze fixed on the floor. You only lifted it once to stare in front of you, doing a quick scan of the room and instantly finding Arthur sitting by himself at the furthest table in the back, keeping his desolate gaze fixed on the closed plastic bag that sat in front of him.
Maybe I should go up and talk to him...you thought as you continued to slowly walk forward. Arthur seemed pretty lonely sitting there by himself, and you wanted nothing more than to go up and sit next to him. But he probably would've pushed you away after what you'd said to him, and so you decided against it.
With a tiny sigh, you quickly dropped your gaze down to the ground before he had the chance to look at you and instead decided to sit in the empty table across from him. When it seemed like you were only a few feet away from him, you took a turn in the other direction and walked over to the other empty table, sitting down and burying your head in your arms, which by now were rested on the table. Even though you weren’t able to see, you were still able to feel Arthur’s intense gaze fixed on you, and it made your skin prickle with discomfort.
At the sound of footsteps getting louder and louder, Arthur lifted his gaze from the plastic bag containing his lunch just in time to see you walking in his direction with a wretched expression on your face as you looked down at the floor. A bit of hope began to grow inside him, thinking that you finally decided to enter the cafeteria and were possibly even going to sit next to him, but all his hopes vanished as soon as he saw you turn in the opposite direction of where he was sitting and instead took your seat at the empty lunch table across from him, burying your head in your arms.
Arthur felt his heart slowly start to split into pieces as he continued to watch you sitting there by yourself, your beautiful face hidden in your arms. He was aware of the upset expression you carried when you walked into the room, and he could've only blamed himself. He knew you were still upset and probably angry over what he had told you last Friday, and knowing that you didn’t want to even look at him anymore made guilt and regret fill his body. He was beginning to miss you more and more with each passing day, and he was able to feel his life spiral downward into a depression.
Arthur wished that he was able to find the courage to stand up and walk over to your lonely figure sitting over there at the table, to apologize for what he'd said to you, to let you know that the both of you were still friends, that he missed you.
But you probably didn’t want to talk to him after finding out that he possessed these feelings towards you. Not now, and maybe not ever.
You entered your house the next afternoon feeling more depressed and alone than you'd ever felt before. That day was one of the most heart-wrenching in your life, and you couldn't wait to just crawl under your covers and attempt to sleep for a decade.
You walked into the school that morning an hour earlier than usual, almost at the same time as when you used to meet Arthur in the mornings over a week ago. The forecast had called for rain, but you didn’t bother bringing an umbrella. As soon as you entered the building you instantly started to make your way toward the library, curious to know whether or not Arthur was going to be there.
When you arrived at the door to the library, you noticed that it was open, a sign that somebody had already walked through it. However, you paid no attention to it and instead decided to walk right into the room with your gaze drifting instantly over to the table where the two of you always sat.
But what you saw next made your heart instantly jump into your throat.
You were able to see Arthur sitting there with his elbow rested on the table and his chin in his hand, staring at the library entrance with a longing expression on his face. As soon as you entered, he lifted his gaze so that it was able to meet yours, and you instantly froze, your eyes slightly widening, your mouth dropping slightly open, and your heart pounding fiercely in your chest. You were able to tell by the look on his face that he was surprised by your arrival as well, and so you continued to stand there, your gaze burning into his for the next few seconds, unsure of what you were supposed to do.
Finally, you lost the ability to think and instead did the first thing that came to your mind. You quickly turned on your heel and dashed out of the room and down the hallway from where you came from, not even bothering to look behind you to see if Arthur might've been coming after you. You continued to run until you darted out of the building and down a few blocks until you finally slowed to a stop.
That was a stupid thing to do! you thought angrily in your head. Now he probably hates me even more than he already did!
That was only the start of your misery that day.
You ran into Arthur on several occasions. First, when you entered the building again that morning and saw him walking down the hall, making his way to his locker, again when you were walking to your morning class, again when your math teacher rearranged the class seats so that now you were sitting only two desks away from him, and once more after you had walked out of your history class and made your way down the hall.
And all those times you had seen Arthur, you had made eye contact with him for at least two seconds, but you were always the one to break it, either looking the other direction or dropping your gaze down in front of you and pretending as if nothing unusual had ever happened. But every time you looked into his eyes, you were instantly reminded of all the wonderful moments you'd shared with him and that absolutely adorable smile he always carried on his face whenever you were around. But instead of smiling, he carried an expression filled with sadness and longing whenever you were around, and it was the same for you.
You had once again decided to enter the cafeteria later that day with the hopes of making some sort of attempt to speak to Arthur, but were once again caught off guard when you were approaching his table. He lifted his head so that his gaze was able to meet yours, and an awkward moment of silence passed between the both of you. Right when it looked like he was about to stand up and do something, all your thoughts of talking to him disappeared and you turned around and briskly walked out of the room.
Every action you were doing that broke any chance of you interacting with Arthur only hurt you more and more.
By the time the school day ended, you were a depressed mess. It didn’t help that it was pouring outside and you had no umbrella. If you were still friends with Arthur, you would've asked him if he would've let you stay at his house until the weather lightened up a bit, but that was impossible.
By the time you came home, you were soaking wet, freezing, and pained with sadness and depression.
Instantly after you arrived, you walked up the stairs to your room and fiercely opened the door, putting your stuff down on the floor and changing into a set of clean clothes. As soon as you were finished, you sat down in your chair in front of your desk, listening to the sound of rain as it fell outside and tapped rhythmically against your window. You let your gaze drift off to different parts of your desk, trying to come up with something to entertain yourself for the time being, until you spotted something that made you instantly freeze and your eyes widen.
It was the golden necklace with the emerald heart that Arthur had given you all those weeks ago, resting comfortably in its case. You had worn it on several occasions as a reminder of how great of a friend he was to you, but now it was a reminder of how he had left you.
Feeling your throat slowly start to tighten, you reached out your hand so that you were able to grasp the lid of the case and lift it, taking out the necklace and bringing it over so that you were able to stare down longingly at it, your reflection in the heart making your own ache with misery.
You never thought how much you would've missed Arthur. You missed him so much that it was practically killing you. All you wanted at that moment was to have him sitting next to you, listening to his sweet, soft voice in your ear, telling you that he was always going to be right here next to you and that he would never leave you. You missed how you were always excited to go to school because that meant you were going to see him. You missed the warmth that came from him every time the both of you hugged. You missed all the private conversations you had with him. Why did he have to leave you? Why did he have to say what he said to you after all the things the both of you had been through?
You were interrupted from your thoughts as soon as you spotted a folded up piece of paper sitting on your desk out of the corner of your eye. You reached out to grasp it before you brought it over to you and unfolded it, finding numbers scribbled onto it. You were confused for a moment, but instantly felt your gaze brighten and an idea come to your head as soon as you realized that it was Arthur’s number you had secretly written down a couple of weeks ago.
Before you could've had any other thoughts, you reached out to grasp your cell phone and quickly dialed his number through slightly trembling fingers, pressing the earpiece to your ear.
Please pick up, please pick up...you prayed over and over in your head as you heard the continuous steady beeps, holding your breath and keeping your fingers mentally crossed. If you had no hope of talking to Arthur in person, the least you could've done was attempt to have a conversation with him through the phone. It seemed like you sat there forever, listening to the beeping of the phone, waiting to hear Arthur’s voice until finally, after a few more rings, you did.
“Hello, this is Arthur Kirkland. Unfortunately, I'm unable to answer the phone at the moment, but please feel free to leave a message and I’ll make sure to reply to you as soon as—”
Anger and desolation pulsing through your body, you let out a growl and hung up, frustratingly throwing the phone down onto the floor before the answering machine was able to finish. Feeling a lump start to form in your throat, you let out a shaky sigh before you walked over to your bed and flopped down on it, burying your face in your pillow, thinking that that was probably going to be the last time you were ever going to hear Arthur’s voice.
Because now it became clear to you that he really left you for good.
Arthur let out a depressed sigh as he stared desolately up at the ceiling from his place on his bed, feeling his heart ache with misery from everything that happened that day. He had seen you so many times and had so many chances to try and say something to you, but every time he was about to do something even remotely close, you either walked or ran away from him, just as you had done after he told you he loved you.
That just proved to him that you really left him for good and wanted absolutely nothing to do with him anymore.
After everything he had done for you, helping you with your problems, spending time with you, and how close of friends the both of you had gotten, you decided to abandon him just because of something he said. This day just proved that he was most likely never going to get your friendship back, and the bond that had grown so closely between the both of you throughout these past five months was permanently shattered.
Arthur let out a low moan before he closed his eyes and covered his face with his arm. He missed you so much. In just one short week his life had gone from being absolutely happy to absolutely depressing and lonely, and he was the one to blame. After seeing your reaction to his confession, he deeply regretted telling you that he loved you. He rather would've kept his true feelings hidden and still remain close friends with you than let you know of those feelings and lose your friendship forever.
God, _____, don’t you know how much I miss you...Arthur thought as he felt his throat slowly start to tighten. He never thought he would've missed someone as much as he missed you. He never felt so lonely and depressed than he ever did in his life, not just because of the fact that you left him, but because he loved you with all the love in the world and you didn’t love him back.
Arthur felt his throat continue to tighten up until the point where it was barely possible for him to breathe. You were such an important person to him and had such a big influence on his life...You were the only person who he was able to act nice around and the only person who meant more to him than anything else, and then you left. You ran away from him as if he was nothing more to you than just a stranger. As if these past few months had meant nothing to you at all. As if you were treating him like you had when you first met him.
There probably never would've been another moment in Arthur's life where he would've gotten to see you smile. He never would've been able to hear your sweet, gentle voice. He never would've been able to meet you in the park on weekends, talk about things that were kept private between the both of you. He never would've been able to tell you about any problems he had, or help you with any problems you were having. He never would've gotten the chance to spend time with you like close friends did ever again.
Arthur was unaware of the moment when tears began to leak out of his eyes, but by the time he was, they had already made a significant stain on the arm that he was using to cover his face. He let out a groan before he removed his arm and rolled over onto his side, burying his face in his pillow.
It was pathetic for him to cry because of a situation like this, since he had endured things that were probably much worse. But whenever your smiling face came to mind, he felt his heart ache even more and tears fall more frequently from his eyes until he was finally forced to release the lump in his throat. His trembling body now racked with sobs, Arthur tightly clutched the pillow with both hands, pressing his face deeper into it as he continued crying.
He wished you were here. He wished you were sitting on the bed next to him, massaging his back, reassuring him that there was nothing to cry over, to gently soothe him, to promise that you would never leave him, that the both of you were still friends. But these were the kinds of empty thoughts that only made him cry even harder.
At that moment Arthur was able to hear seven loud knocks at the closed door to his room, and he felt irritation surge through him when he realized who it was. “Go away!” he yelled after he lifted his head from the pillow and shifted it to look at the door.
The order was not obeyed, and instead the door opened a bit slowly to reveal Alfred. “Hey, Arthur, are you—” He was cut off from his sentence as soon as he saw how red his brother’s face was and the tears that were falling freely down his cheeks, and his expression changed to one of concern. “Hey, are you crying?”
“No, I'm not,” Arthur replied grumpily before he turned his head around and rested his chin on his pillow. “I told you to go away, you idiot.”
Alfred let out a sigh and walked into the room, closing the door behind him and approaching Arthur’s bed. “You're crying, I can tell. What's wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong,” Arthur muttered, turning his back towards Alfred to prevent him from seeing the tears that were still falling down his face.
“Come on, stop lying,” Alfred said with a frown, poking Arthur’s back. “Why are you sad?”
“You wouldn’t understand,” Arthur said after a few moments of silence, burying his face in the pillow once again.
His brother remained quiet for the next few seconds before he finally asked, “Is it about _____?”
A few more moments of silence passed until the faint, muffled reply came from Arthur. “Yes.”
“Did she break up with you or something?”
“No!” Arthur yelled, still keeping his face hidden in the pillow. “It’s none of your business. Just go away and leave me alone!”
Alfred decided to think better of it, and instead let out a tiny sigh before he walked out of the room and closed the door behind him, leaving Arthur to cry alone once again.
Oh, _____, why can't you see how much I miss you?
When you walked down the hallway after history class the next morning, you didn’t even bother keeping your gaze lowered to try and avoid Arthur, because you were just going to be encountering him anyway whether you wanted it or not. You still felt terribly lonely, but seeing him couldn't possibly make you feel any worse.
After a few moments of walking, you were finally able to spot Arthur walking in your direction, and as soon as you had gotten close enough to him, you were able to notice something different about him. His hair was a lot messier than usual, his cheeks and nose were a significant shade of red, his eyes were puffy as if he had been crying, and he carried the saddest expression on his face you had ever seen.
Although he seemed not to notice you walking, you stopped in your tracks after he had walked past you, turning around to watch him walk away from you.
Had he been crying? you thought, frowning in concern. It wasn't like you should've been concerned anyway, after what he had said to you. But seeing the upset expression on his face made a swarm of new thoughts enter your head. You had seen him gaze at you with an upset look ever since you ran away from him last Friday, and as the week progressed, you were able to notice that his appearance seemed to deteriorate.
Could it be that it was because you left him? Did this mean that he didn’t want to leave you after all?
But if that was true, what did he really mean when he told you he loved you?
The sound of rain hitting gently against the windows was able to be heard later on that evening as you sat in front of your desk, your lamp being the only thing providing light to the dim room. It had been exactly one week since you ran away from Arthur, and now as you were sitting there, you found you were unable to concentrate on anything but the new thoughts that had made their way inside your head.
The image of Arthur’s upset expression was still stuck in your brain, and it made you wonder if his misery was because of the fact that you had left him after what he said to you last week. That seemed pretty likely, since you had rarely seen him upset for as long as you had known him, and even when you did, it wasn't as bad as this. But if Arthur was upset because you left him, why did he tell you he loved you? By saying that, didn’t he mean he wanted to leave you? After all, that was the definition you had gotten based on how your parents had acted toward you, constantly leaving you to deal with your hard life on your own, so shouldn’t it have been the same with Arthur?
You paused, slowly drifting your gaze off to the side to look at the dictionary that was placed on the edge of your desk. Quickly dismissing the idea, you shook your head.
No, that would be pointless.
But after a few more moments of empty thinking, your gaze drifted over to the dictionary once again. There was no other possible explanation you were able to come up with as to why Arthur was upset, and the only reason you were able to come up with was that you were the wrong one this whole time.
Reaching out a trembling hand, you grasped the dictionary and dragged it over in front of you, opening it and actively scanning through it under the rather poor light.
H, I, J, K...
You didn’t know what the point was in doing this, but you figured that it probably would've made you less confused. It was worth a try and couldn't hurt to know the truth, right?
“Ah, here we are,” you said once you finally found the “L” section. After a few more turns of the page, you finally came across the definition you were looking for, and your finger moved across the words as you read them aloud.
“Love: To feel tender affection for somebody such as a close relative or friend; to feel romantic desire and longing for somebody.”
So was that the real definition of love? Love wasn't somebody abandoning you, leaving you to deal with your depression on your own? It seemed like it was the exact opposite in this case. Your definition of love was way off. Love was caring and cherishing someone very close to you, not leaving them.
This is so confusing! You slammed your head down against the open dictionary, your body filling with befuddlement. You never knew what it was like to love according to the dictionary. You never knew what it was like to possess romantic feelings towards someone or care for someone deep enough to admit that you thought of them in this sort of way.
All of a sudden, you remembered the note you had received from your parents on Christmas. Remember that we still love you just as much as always. If love really was caring for and cherishing somebody, it didn’t really seem like your parents loved you all that much.
Had they been the ones lying to you this whole time? Was the reason you didn’t know what love was because of the fact that your parents never really loved you and only pretended to? That didn’t seem like much of a surprise, since your parents pretty much seemed like the lying type, and maybe they only said they loved you just so you wouldn’t have felt neglected.
“Oh my god!” you yelled out of nowhere, springing up out of your seat and causing your chair to topple backwards and hit the floor with a loud bang.
Last week he had told you he loved you! He had told you he truly cared about and cherished you and thought of you as someone more than just a friend, someone who he wanted to be in a romantic relationship with! But you had so cruelly turned him down because you didn’t know what love was and thought he wanted to leave you. But in reality, you ended up leaving him. In reality, your parents were the ones that were lying to you this whole time, not him. He was so upset because he missed you, and he missed you because he loved you.
What have I done? You brought your hands up to your face, your eyes wide in shock as you continued to stare down at the open dictionary. You had hurt Arthur. He told you just how much he cherished you and you turned him down. Even though you still were confused on what it was like to love and you still had a lot of unanswered questions, you quickly grabbed the nearest available jacket you had and ran out of the room.
Hastily putting the jacket on, not even bothering to think about bringing an umbrella, you grabbed the house key and stepped out into the pouring rain, slamming the door behind you and dashing across your front yard and down the sidewalk toward the bus stop.