[Name] was never one to complain. She had a boyfriend she loved, Kiyotaka Ishimaru. They’d been together since High School, when she was in Japan. Even though they’d been dating 4 years, he still hadn’t kissed her. But she didn’t care at the time. If he was happy, she was, too.
But, there was a reason for not caring. He’d never kissed anyone, and neither had she. He had a plan, but all he’d tell her is that they’d be each other’s first kiss.
She didn’t know, though. She always felt ugly, and never felt quite adequate enough to be with him. Sometimes she thought it was pity. He felt the need to date her because he felt bad for her. Another reason that he could be is because her parents owned the University they were attending, and she was rich. A lot of boys had come and gone because they were trying to use her to get to the money.
But, she tried to push that aside… Until the feelings got stronger recently. This freshman girl, Leah, had come in, and consumed his time, hanging out, tutoring, not to mention he was her RA.
She’d flirt, and he would back, being too naive to even know he was flirting back. Plus, she’d been around when Leah would make him laugh. It was a true laugh, and she wasn’t able to produce that anymore.
He’d break dates to tutor her, and lose track of time hanging out with her, often leaving her waiting for two hours with false hope, and would send a simple text, ‘Sorry I couldn’t make it, I was tutoring’ or ‘I lost track of time! I’m so sorry!’ And that was really all she got from him, anymore. He’d been avoiding her.
She’d cry herself to sleep many nights after this would happen, he roommate would console her, and she constantly asked, ‘Why is he staying with me, when he obviously got bored of me?!’
She’d been given a promise ring in high school, so she’d ‘Remember that he’ll always love her’. She looked at it many times and thought of giving it back, and today was finally the day she would. She couldn’t be that selfish anymore. If he was in love with another girl, it should belong to her, not [Name].
She approached his door and heard that laugh, the one she couldn’t get from him, and opened the door, to see her all over him.
Kiyotaka looked up at her, “Oh! [Name]! Come on in!” he exclaimed, smiling.
[Name] shook her head, “No… I… Can you come out into the hall for a minute, Ishimaru?”
He then started shaking, and panicking, she hadn’t called him by his last name since they started going out… “Y-yes?” His voice even shook. He was numb, he didn’t know what was happening. She was happy, right?
“Ishimaru, I’m sorry I’ve taken up so much of your time,” she held his hand out, and set the ring in it, “Please, give this to a girl that can make you happy.”
“[Name]… Please, wait…” He grabbed her wrist, “W-why are you do-doing this…?” he held it tighter, “You’re happy, right? Right?! You love me, right?!” he was losing it, “Why aren’t you saying ‘Right’?! I love you! You have to say it back!!!!!”
“I do love you, and that’s why I had to do this. Your happiness… it’s all I ever wanted to see, and I’m seeing it. With Leah. She’s who makes you happy.” [Name] took a deep breath, “That’s why… you have to give this to her.” She tried to smile, “Because anymore, I never hear anything from you. You don’t look at me like you used to. You look at me now, with… I can’t even guess the emotion, something like pity, and self-hatred. If you feel that strongly, you should’ve broken it off sooner.”
“What makes you think that?!?!” he started getting loud. He could feel the engagement ring he had just gotten for her in his pocket, “I love you! Now say it back, and put this ring back on!!!”
“Stop pitying me, Ishimaru! You don’t have to pretend, anymore. Go be happy!!” She started crying. Something he promised he would never cause, and she continued saying, “If all this was, was pity, you should have never gotten me that ring! All it does to me now is remind me how unhappy you are!”
She yanked out of his grip, “Goodbye.” Was the last thing she said when she started walking down the hallway, Ishimaru desperately wanted to run after her, but he was rooted to where he was standing, he couldn’t form the words to call for her. He shook even harder, and then the shock over took him, and he ran to his bathroom, and vomited from it. He sat next to the toilet, heaving air, and sobbing. His eyes were wide, and they looked at both the rings, since he’d set one out, and put out the engagement ring, on the inside of it was engraved, ‘I’ll love you until the end, [Name]’.
He walked back out of the bathroom, sobbing, “Leah, leave.” He was starting to get angry.
“Why, I mean, we can be together now, right?”
“I SAID LEAVE. NOW. NEVER SHOW YOUR FACE TO ME AGAIN.” He yelled, and forced her out. He picked up his phone, and called Mondo, who should be awake right now, back in Japan.
“Help, Aniki.” Ishimaru said in a weak voice, “I need help… I can’t be alone.”
“What do you mean? Where’s [Name]?” Mondo asked. It was silent, and Ishimaru started sobbing, “Don’t tell me… she broke it off?! But you have the engagement ring!” he yelled.
“I… I’m lost… I need her…” He was going into hysterics, “We’re in love, right? Right?!”
“Look, I’m going to call her, try and be the mediator, and I’ll call you back.” Mondo said, and hung up.
Ishimaru looked over at the picture frame, that held the picture of their first date, he realized… “I left her alone so many times… I… I failed her.”
Back with [Name], she had just picked up the phone, “What? It’s about Ishimaru isn’t it?”
“Ouch. You shouldn’t have broken it off. He’s broken now. He called me in hysterics.” Mondo sighed, “Look, he’s never been in love before, you’re his first and what he wanted to be, only love…” he sighed again, “I sound so stupid saying that…”
[Name] smiled a small, weak, smile, “He’s in love with another girl, Mondo. Her name’s Leah. I gave him the ring to give to her.”
“DID YOU TELL HIM TO GIVE IT TO HER?! PLEASE SAY NO.” Mondo yelled, not out of anger, but out of shock. It got quiet on the other end, “DAMMIT, [NAME], HE HAD AN ENGAGEMENT RING FOR YOU.”
“I wouldn’t believe that. Do you know how many times he left me sitting alone at a restaurant? I’d sit there for at least two hours, saying ‘He’ll be here… just give him 10 minutes.’ Back when I trusted that he’d show up. Sometimes it would be ‘I’m tutoring Leah’, and sometimes, ‘I lost track of time, I was hanging with Leah’. It got to the point, I didn’t bother showing up. I’d stay in my dorm. I waited for him to come around, and he never did. Yes, I’m upset over it, but he has someone who-.”
“Don’t you dare fucking say she makes him happy. Do you know how many times he called me, asking me shit I don’t even know to try and impress you? He tried his hardest. You of all people should know that he’s never had any friends. He found one that was it. He doesn’t know how to balance friendship and a romantic relationship.” Mondo said, “All he ever cared about was you. He’s written you a thousand notes, probably. He’d never give them to you, but he’s definitely got them.”
“But when I gave it back to him, she was hanging all over him. She flirts with him, and he flirts back. He didn’t love me anymore.” Mondo took a breath, and [Name] talked over him, “Look, don’t try to tell me to get back together with him. Unless he somehow can make it up, which I don’t even know is possible, I’ll never speak to him again.”
“[Name], don’t go there… He can’t handle that…” Mondo warned, then her door opened, and Mondo heard, ‘Ishimaru what are you doing here?! Get out!’ he sighed and hung up. He knew his best friend too much to expect him to give her up that easily.
“Come back!” Ishimaru demanded, “I’ll do anything! Just come back!”
“Why?! I gave you the ring? Didn’t you give it to Leah? She’s the one you’ve been kissing on, haven’t you?” [Name] was in tears.
“No, she wasn’t!”
“Then why did you wait so long to kiss me…?” [Name] was tearing up, “Why did you ignore me? Why didn’t you care enough to show up at our dates…?”
Ishimaru yanked her into his embrace, and sobbed into her hair, “I didn’t know… I had never had a friend before. All my life was, was school, student council, homework, and studying… Until you came, and showed me that I’m loveable. I didn’t ever expect to find a girl who would think that way of me. I studied on the things you liked to do… I wanted you to love me the way I had fallen for you… You’re so beautiful and kind, and the way you talk makes my heart flutter, even after all this time.”
She was silent, and still unconvinced, so Ishimaru did what he’d promised, and took the back of her head in one hand, and the other cupped her face. He kissed her, and it was a little sloppy, and awkward, but it was complete and utter love that was in it, adoration, even lust that also filled the kiss. He wanted her to know that he wasn’t going to give up that easily, and how much he loved her. There were tears running down both of their faces.
He pulled out the engagement ring, and got on one knee, “[Name], please, do the honor of being my wife…” he held his breath, after everything they’d been through, he prayed this made it right.
“Yes…” [Name] replied, kissing him again.