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"I Knew It Was Love"
Dedicated to SeeLing Thai and *Man* =)
Submitted by Sylvia
Crying over a broken heart... Like, how dumb is that? Sarah Lee thought as she looked out of her airplane window down at the world below. She looked down - and saw nothing but a bunch of endless clouds as they stretched across the sky and horizon. The sun rose above the airplane, hanging against the sky as its radiant orange and yellow rays touched the clouds with its rosy fingertips. The scene was majestic and beautiful.
But the way she was feeling right now wasn't.
Back in New York, Sarah had thought that her relationship with her ex-boyfriend - no, her ex, fiancé - would be forever. That nothing or no girl could ever change their love, no matter how gorgeous the girls were to him.
Man, was she wrong. Not only had her ex-boyfriend engaged to her a few months ago, but also to make matters worse, he had been cheating on her all these months behind her back with another beautiful Vietnamese girl. The pain had been tremendous that Sarah wasn't sure if she was capable of holding back her tears any further. She had held them back long enough. Maybe once she got off Hawaii she would release them.
And to think that he had engaged to her because he loved her! That was so stupid. What a joke. The only reason why he had proposed to Sarah back then was because he had been "young, stupid, and naíve" to think properly. Now he was going to propose to "Cindy." The only thing that Sarah thought of him as right now was just a total cheating sneak.
So she had bought a plane ticket for the next departure flight to Hawaii. She had packed a few clothes, took her parents' bank account books with her - she'll need the money - and had boarded the next plane. No one knew where she was. Not even her parents or her best god sister, Sally. She didn't want anyone to go around in her face saying, "See? I told you so. I told you that Aaron wasn't worth loving or marrying." She didn't want that. She wouldn't be able to stand that.
Not only had she left for Hawaii without her parents knowing, but also she had no plans about what to do once she got there. Aaron had planned on coming to Hawaii for their honeymoon. It didn't matter anymore though. Sarah was going to Hawaii but she was going solo. No one would be there to accompany her.
Somehow the mere thought of that made her even sadder.
Oh, well. At least when she was in Hawaii, she won't be in New York City anymore where she would possibly be bound to bump into her ex-fiancé and his "girl."
Why had she been so stupid and not listen to her parents when they had warned her not to marry Aaron or she would regret it? Oh, she sure regretted it now. What, had she actually been looking forward to having another heartbreak? She already had her heart broken in the past before - maybe even one too many times.
And Aaron had broken it again.
Then she made a pact to herself. I will never love again, she vowed to herself silently. I will love no one because my heart had been broken. And the same thing's going to happen again if I continue to love. So no more loving. Just no more. I mean it.
She sealed the pact.
Mike Wong looked around at the restaurant he was working in, bored out of his mind. The customers who came into his restaurant were already here. Girls. A bunch of giggling girls were crowded at a table in the corner, laughing like idiots and pointing at him and staring and then bursting into fits of laughter again. If Mike didn't know any better, he would've thought that the girls had a thing for him.
Such a shame he didn't have a thing for them.
No, he wasn't gay; he had a lot of girlfriends in his past life. And he always ended up dumping them by the end of the week. He wasn't a player; it was just that all the girls he went out with were just snobs who only cared about their pretty faces and hair. He could do with dating somebody a little bit more... different for a change.
A girl entered the restaurant, carrying a red Nike bag on her shoulders and a paperback in her hands. Mike looked up at the girl and studied her features. She was pretty, with big brown eyes, black-layered hair with a tint of brown streaks, and dressed in New York clothes. Mike was pretty sure that the girl wasn't from around here. Probably a tourist.
"Can I have a soda?" the girl asked tiredly, her dull eyes meeting him. "Pepsi."
Mike turned away from the girl in order to get a soda. He handed the soda to her over the counter and she took it. He noted that her eyes looked tired and that there were black circles underneath her eyes. He was about to ask for her name when the girl dumped a dollar bill, took a soda, and walked out of the store.
The soda cost only eighty cents. Oh, well. Guess she didn't read the price.
"Wait - " Mike called after her but the front door had already closed behind her.
The girl was gone.
The next day the mysterious and nameless girl came back to Double Happy, the family restaurant that Mike worked in. The girl walked into the restaurant at about nine o' clock in the morning on a Saturday.
"Can I have five can of Pepsi?" the girl asked emotionlessly. She looked up at him; Mike looked back into her eyes. Their eyes met and Mike felt an electrical charge shoot up his spine. He jerked back, surprised at the charge. The girl must have felt the spark too, because she fell back a few steps and almost stumbled but Mike reached his hand out and grabbed her hand - well, that meant the girl wasn't as further away as Mike had thought she was.
The girl finally caught her balance and shrugged off his hand. "Look, can I have my five cans of soda yet?" she demanded, starting to get irritated. "I mean, my friends are waiting for me outside and they're so thirsty. Can't you like, hurry up?"
Snapping back to reality, Mike's face flushed and he quickly gathered up her condiments. Well, maybe he shouldn't think of her all that much anymore. She wasn't all that... different from the other girls. If anything, she was almost like one of the Hawaiian girls' twin. "Four dollars," he said, turning back into polite and cashier boy. He handed the girl her sodas in a plastic bag. She gave him four dollars and took her bag.
"I swear, I am never coming back here again," he heard the girl mutter under her breath. "All the people in Hawaii are complete slowpokes."
As the girl walked out of the store, Mike had a feeling that she wasn't going to be sharing her sodas with anyone.
He also had a feeling that despite her swearing, the girl would come back to Double Happy.
...And he was right.
Sipping on her straw in her Pepsi, Sarah walked around like a total loner in the hoods of Hawaii. The scent of coconut filled the air and everywhere she looked, stands selling coconut and tropical fruits were packed on almost every single street.
Sarah thought about Aaron.
...Nope, on the other hand, forget it. Too painful. The jerk was probably making out with the Viet girl. Don't have time for her anymore, huh?
Amazingly, no tears came to her eyes at the sad thought.
Actually, the guy who worked at Double Happy entered her mind. And Sarah thought about the chill she had felt when she had met his eyes for the first time ever. Yesterday, her eyes had been... dazed. So caught up in Aaron and the pain he had caused her. She was fine. Hmm... she might be over Aaron.
Mike saw the girl again.
This time he asked for her name. Sarah. Pretty name. It suited her. He gave her his name and she smiled her real smile for the first time ever since he had seen her. They talked a little about each other for a while but when customers came filing in - mostly all girls dressed in bikinis and bathing suits with towels wrapped around their slim bodies - Sarah offered to help. She helped around with taking down orders and answering takeout calls. As Mike worked with her, he realized that he was actually content and that somehow, love for her just grew stronger with every passing second that he spent with her.
But somehow, everything got ruined.
His ex-girlfriend came into Double Happy.
She was a pretty Vietnamese girl with hair that waved at the ends, round olive eyes, and the perfect body.
Oh, god, Mike thought. The girl's here for destruction. He glanced at his ex, who had her eyes trained on Sarah, who was working.
She came up to the counter.
Sarah asked, "Hey. What do you want?" in restaurant mode.
Mike just stood aside and watched the horror movie unroll before his very own eyes.
Diana, his ex, gave Sarah a sultry smile. She looked over at Mike and batted her eyelashes at him flirtatiously. Mike looked away, avoiding his ex's and Sarah's eyes. What else could he do? Wink back at Diana? What was he, crazy? The only girl he was into right now was Sarah.
"What do you want?" Sarah asked again, but this time her voice was trembling and wavering, unsure of what Diana really wanted from her. She also gave Diana a glance with curiosity. It was almost as if she was trying to say: Who's she?
And that was just the one question that Mike couldn't bring himself to answer.
So Diana answered for him. "What do I want?" She glanced around, pretending to look at something. "Hmm... I want..." Her gaze landed on Sarah and her face hardened. "I want you to disappear from Mike's life. He's my boyfriend. And as long as I'm around, you don't have a chance with him."
"No, Sarah - " Mike began.
But the damage had already been done. Sarah's face fell. "Oh," she answered in a low voice.
Aw, man. Now I've messed up for real. "No, Sarah, wait. She's my ex - " Mike tried to explain but Sarah had already been lost. She slowly walked out of Double Happy, as is she had just lost her best friend in the whole wide world.
"Why'd you do that for?" Mike snapped at Diana.
"If I can't have you, then no one can," Diana answered sweetly.
"We went out before!" Mike cried out in exasperation.
"Yeah, and then you dumped me!"
"Yeah, but only because I didn't love you anymore!" Mike blurted out.
The world turned quiet.
Then Diana said quietly, "And you love her?" She gestured to the front door.
Mike thought for a moment. "Yes. I do," he finally said.
Diana ran out of the store, crying.
Mike ran out of Double Happy too. He glanced from left to right in search for Sarah. He called out her name but she didn't answer back. Finally, he gave up. He went back into Double Happy, sad and defeated.
Sarah had looked like she had lost her best friend.
And Mike had lost Sarah.
Somehow he had a feeling of dread that there was no way he was going to get her back now.
So he had a girlfriend, Sarah thought sadly. And his girl's prettier than me. She's even Viet too!
Oh, god, I've should've kept my promise when I said I wouldn't love another boy. I almost fell in love again and look where that got me. I'm tired. I don't want to love anymore. Too much tears. Tears that are going to dry up of I have a few more heartbreaks. Something that I do not need right now. Another heartbreak.
But she could already feel her heart breaking.
She was alone at the beach. It was five o' clock. The place was almost deserted. The waves crashed against the rocks and Sarah sat down on the wet sand with her knees pointed, both of them forming mountain peaks.
It was Mike.
The tears came and Sarah buried her face in both of her hands. She didn't want him to see her crying. There was no way he was going to let him. "Go away," she said weakly.
She felt the presence of Mike as he knelt down beside her. "Look, let me explain, okay?" he said gently, touching her arm. The touch of his hand against her skin was warm but Sarah shrugged it off. "Diana's - she's my ex. We went out before and she was always... obsessed. With her face, her hair... everything. Like most girls. But I got tired of her so I dumped her. She was never... satisfied with the way things turned out between us. At least now she should understand how I feel..." he trailed off.
Sarah got up from the sand, crossed her arms, and walked off. Mike looked after her. And he ran after her too. "Sarah! You know how I feel about you!" he called out.
Sarah paused. "Oh. Do I?" she challenged.
Mike took a deep breath. "Yes," he replied firmly.
Sarah closed her eyes. She thought of the engagement ring that Aaron had worn on her finger the day she had said yes when he had proposed to her. She still had it...
Sarah turned around and faced him. "Are you just messing with my heart? Because my ex-fiancé did that to me before and believe me, it's not any fun."
"I'm not lying," Mike insisted. "I'm for real. Seriously."
She glanced at his face. His expression looked so open, so earnest. Sarah didn't really think he would lie to her.
Her face softened. "I know you are," Sarah replied quietly. She walked over to him and he took her into his arms. She melted right away once she was in his arms. The feeling was just right. She knew it was just right.
She knew the moment was just perfect.
And she knew that whatever she was feeling right now -
She knew it was love.