‘Okay. I heard you the first time’. There is a notch of irritation in Mia’s voice when she says that. Sure now, something is definitely wrong, I try to probe further into the problem. Of course, I have to be cautious. For Mia is clearly giving me non verbal cues to back off, like rattling of rattle snake when one crosses it on a bad mood day.
‘What is it?’. Three words to start with, i pitch them softly and gently, testing the ground first. No reply. ‘What happened?’ i ask again, making sure this is an open ended question as well. In case, she decides to walk off, irritated, on being cornered into answering. Still no reply. This leaves me no choice. ‘Is it James then?’ i ask, trying a close ended question approach this time. God she is a tough nut to crack! Not even buzzing. ‘Is it me or is it Brandon?’ i throw both of us into a pile now, losing my patience. Playing catch-catch was never my favourite.
But, finally she gives in. A look and that is all i need to know. I gulp my throat.
‘What did i do??’ i ask baffled.
‘Honestly…. I’m just worried about Brandon. That’s all.’ She replies.
‘Okkkkkkk….’ I try to recapitulate what i just heard in my head, while i drag the word un-necessarily too long to think. ‘Mia is worried about Brandon’. That was all i could summarise at the end.
‘Why are you worried?’ i ask her.
‘Don’t give me that look Cam. It’s nothing like that.’ Mia guards herself from my supposedly judgemental stare.
‘You didn’t answer me why?’ i ask again. This time, trying my best to appear more casual about it. ‘Nothing wrong with my best friend caring about my boy friend. I care about James too’ i tell myself.
‘Cam..’ she answers with hesitation. ‘I love you. I do. But knowing what you are doing to Brandon..sometimes, it really gets me.. It pisses me off.’
I’m blown. I’m appalled. What the heck is Mia saying? Does she even know, what she is talking about?
‘I know you like Brandon. Who doesn’t like him? And i’m glad you guys are getting good together. But you are not being honest with him. You still have Will on your backpack. I thought if you got together with Brandon, you’ll forget him. I thought you’d try. But you are not even trying.. After what i heard last night..you confessing to him that you still love him..I don’t know anymore what you are doing with Brandon..How could you do that to him?’ She asks.
I’m still shocked.
‘Mia, did you eavesdrop on me?‘. I feel the veins on my temple throbbing as i enquire her after a long silence.
‘Yes i did. I didn’t mean to. But you were drunk. I was coming to check on you and i heard it’.
I speak no more. I don’t think there was any need. She was eavesdropping on me. She might as well have known everything without me even telling her..
I get up from the sofa to walk away. If i heard any further i knew i would explode. But, Mia stops me.
‘I know you Cam. You pull people and then you push away. Not that you intend to, but this is how you are. And Brandon knows that too. He’s been patient with you. Heck, he has been more patient than i ever was and i ever can be.. All that because he really likes you. But, you are blindfolding him..I just don’t want to see him hurt, in case, you ever changed your mind. I know. I’m sorry but i know, you’d hurt him.. It’s so plainly written on your face.’
‘Mia, do you like Brandon?’ Words break free from my lips without intending to as soon as she stops.
She looks at me astonished.‘What are you talking about?’
‘Answer me.’ I ask. I had to ask.
Mia stares at me vacantly for a long while then replies. ‘Yes. But that was long back’.
I sigh. Never had i guessed Mia liked Brandon, not just like him in a casual way, in a friend way or my boyfriend’s way.. but ‘like-like’ him to keep him for herself some day.
‘Why didn’t you tell me then?’
‘There was nothing to tell about.’
‘Was this the reason why you brought me and Brandon together?‘
Suddenly, things start to look like puzzle pieces to me. And they were falling into their own spaces, without me ever realising, i was to solve them.. How dumb of me.
‘Does James know?’
‘No. And i don’t see any reason to tell him. It was long time ago Cam. Really. I’m just worried.. because he is a good guy and your my best friend. I just want the best for you both’.
I look at Mia for a while when she says that. Sometimes, it feels like i am looking at a different person when i look at her. James, he could have been a easy guy to pursue for Mia. Because Mia, as charming and beautiful she was.. She was also intelligent, funny, sharp and bold. I was only half near as her. It wouldn’t have taken her long if she wanted to pursue Brandon. Add to that, his present girlfriend was annoying and frustrating to handle. And with my tantrum issues, i was a nightmare. This was Mia’s chance, if she wanted to take it. Dump James, tell my truth about Will to Brandon and get what she always wanted. She’d do that. Because she was that type of person. She always got what she wanted.
Then i freeze. This was me..i was talking about. I would have done that.. not Mia. Mia would never do that to me. She was my best friend. So what she had something for Brandon. And so what if she had brought us together for a reason, her actions would have been justifiable no matter what. She wanted to keep him.. She did, with me, through me. And if any day she changed her mind, the reasons for me would still be validated. Can you blame her?? Love makes you a crazy bitch.
‘Its okay Mia. I understand. But i just want to let you know, i won’t hurt Brandon.’ I hold her hand and give it a light squeeze.
‘I know you’ll try your best not to.. But, he is demon Cam. You don’t know. He has hooked you in. You can’t even think for Yourself. You are not You.’
I crack into laughter now. Imagine my friend saying Will is actually a demon. She is clearly over-exaggerating.
‘The man might be a jerk. But clearly not a demon with horns Mia.’ I reply, still laughing hard.
‘You fell for him, didn’t you?’ Mia makes an odd statement to my surprise, lost in her thoughts to my response. Her eyes looking at me, but not at me, as if she was looking at someone else in me. ‘You’d do anything for him. You just don’t know it yet Cam. ‘She trails off..her words haunting my spirit to it’s core..