SONGS TO GET OVER YOU (Playlist #2)
by Jay E. Tria
Genre: Contemporary Romance
They say rock stars get all the girls. But Miki knows that's not always true. He, for one, though the guitarist of popular indie band Trainman, just can't seem to get the girl. It's kind of his fault, really. No one told him to fall in love with Jill. No one told him to stand still and watch as she moved on from a terrible breakup into the arms of another guy—a Japanese celebrity with the face of an angel and the body of a god.
So when someone else comes along, someone who finds him cute, smart, and funny (sometimes in the haha sort of way), will Miki finally move on? Or will he continue to pine for Jill?
May 29, Friday, night
Their first “date” constituted of him meeting up with her at Commute Bar. It was bad enough that Miki didn’t even offer to pick her up, that he only gave her directions, and those directions led her to an old, cramped watering hole tucked in the hidden recesses of Makati’s residential area. A place drowning in noise and feedback and filled to the brim with yuppies drunk on cheap beer. Miki offered Ana no semblance of privacy, making her share a table with his bandmates, only to leave her there to chase after Jill.
But Jill needed me. He said the words in his brain as if he were still defending himself to Nino. That was the night Kim had brought a date to the bar, and Jill had sat there looking like she was trying very hard not to cry, or vomit. She soon ran off and did both. What kind of friend would Miki be if he hadn’t gone after her?
Besides, Miki didn’t even know that night counted as his first date with Ana.
Anyway, he tried to make up for that. Their second date was a bit better. She had insisted it was still his choice, and so he took her to The Mind Museum at Fort Bonifacio. He figured she might as well find out the extent of his dorkiness while she could still run away.
Ana was thrilled though. Her favorite part was lying down in that small, cramped, dome-shaped tent in the dark, surrounded by noisy children, watching the short clip of stars imploding to be the universe as the world knew it. Miki liked that show too, but the sight of stars reminded him of someone else.
“One day, very, very soon, I am going to punch some sense into you,” Nino had said when Miki made the mistake of sharing. Nino did look like he meant it.
Miki grunted, shifting his weight on his lumpy seat. The shoulder of his shirt felt hot and wet, and he realized Ana was crying. Oh dear Lord, what is happening? He had been staring at the same scene, but apparently Ana was seeing something worth sobbing over.
This third date was Ana’s idea, obviously, and Miki was happy to go along. He had been to enough romantic comedies with Jill; those outings had built his endurance to chick flicks. Still, he never knew what to do when girls cried over fictional beings.
“There, there,” he muttered, patting Ana’s arm.
Ana’s throaty laugh mixed with a quick sniff as the screen faded to black. She sat up, her cheek parting from his shoulder, her gaze intent on the rolling credits. When the lights flicked back on, she turned a sober gaze to Miki. “What a crappy movie.”
Ana was pulling out wads of tissue from her bag. “How could they go through all of that and not end up together?” she huffed, dabbing at her face and throwing the soiled tissue back into her bag. “I want a refund.”
Miki was at the dangling end of confused. “I thought you liked it,” he stammered. “Don’t girls cry when they like the movie?”
“Oh, look at you, knowing some things about life.” Ana grinned, but she was not done ranting. “I was crying because the ending was horrible,” she said, wringing her hands. “There the guy was, coming back to the girl as a changed man, and really trying his damnest for her. And she couldn’t let it go and take him back. What kind of message are they sending out to the world? That love is just as real as Santa? Yup, crappy movie.”
Miki shot her a panicked look. Their theater seat neighbors were starting to stare at them. “Let’s get out of here before you start throwing rocks.”
Ana laughed. “Yeah, we should.”
She took his hand just as easily as she gripped the strap of her bag, leading the way out the theater, past other disgruntled moviegoers. Miki stared at the simple knot of their fingers. He really thought he needed rocket science to get there.
“At least you managed to stay awake,” Ana said as they inched their way through the thick crowd.
Miki had suggested they catch the movie at this mall as it was usually spared from the after-office mob, even on Friday nights. But tonight seemed to be the exception. It looked like a lot of people were also there to see the crappy movie.
He shot Ana a sheepish look. “I’m normally good company in these kinds of movies, trust me.”
“What’s not normal about tonight then?”
How to say he was thinking about another girl while on a date without sounding like an ass? Mumbling was usually good recourse. “Jillisflyingback.”
Ana’s eyebrows flew up her forehead, but her eyes seemed to be laughing at him again. “Ah. She’s been in Japan right? How long has she been gone?”
“A week.” Seven days and about two hours. And counting.
“I looked up her boyfriend’s name on the Internet,” Ana went on. “I’m not that familiar with Japanese cinema. But Shinta Mori is … I mean, just. Wow. You go, girl.”
“Yeah, that would be him.” Miki worked his jaw to release the next words, deciding to plow on. “Anyway, Jill is being difficult as usual. Won’t tell me something as simple as her time of arrival.”
“Well a Tokyo flight is about four hours. If you know what time her plane left, your huge brain can figure out the rest.” Ana’s fingers squeezed his. She slid in front of him, walking backwards so she could hold his gaze.
“Um. What are you doing?”
“My huge brain, on the other hand,” Ana cut him off with a small smile, continuing her backward stroll, “is telling me you’d like to take me home now.”
The crowd was pressing around them, shoulder upon shoulder bumping into Miki on either side. He wondered if Ana felt the clamminess spreading down his fingers, but there was nowhere to look now but into her frank brown eyes.
“Yes.” Miki sighed. “But not because the movie is crappy.”
“No, of course not. It’s not the movie, it’s you.”
“It’s not even past my curfew yet.” Ana punched his shoulder with a light fist. “I thought we’d be lawless tonight!”
Miki wished she had hit him harder. Nino would have been glad. “I’m really sorry.”
Ana continued her backward walk, leading him out of a corridor and down a wider hall. The crowd had thinned. Now they just looked like two weird kids walking like drunks. Or two kids in love who couldn’t take their eyes off each other so they were walking around like drunks. Miki wished for either situation to be his reality, right about now.
“Anything else you’d like to say?” Ana prodded.
“You have a very smart brain.”
“Why, thank you.” She bowed. “But flattery won’t get you to the airport on time.”
Miki’s free fingers moved to grip the phone in his pocket like a convulsion. His walk slowed to a crawl, the fingers on his other hand slackening around Ana’s. He could hardly meet her gaze. It was their third date and he was already past the apology quota.
He racked his brain for something to say. Something that wasn’t, ‘I’ll call you’, or ‘I will make it up to you next time’, because he wasn’t sure he would do either. Three dates with Ana with Jill on his mind. Plus, he was long past the jerk quota.
So he chose honesty, or some semblance of it. “I don’t think I can make it to the horror movie after all.”
Ana pulled his hand, bringing them to a halt. A disgruntled “watch it!” came from the guy walking behind them, but Miki ignored him. The least he could do was look at Ana now.
She had let go of his hand, but her gaze demanded that he not look away. Her fingers were gentle, though her touch cold when she cupped his face in her hand.
“That’s too bad,” Ana murmured as her lips burned a soft mark on his cheek. “And here I thought you were getting better at dating me.”
Hi! I'm a writer of contemporary Young Adult and New Adult romance. These days I'm writing paranormal/fantasy too, and it's a fun exercise. I'm often inspired by daydreams, celebrity crushes, a childhood fascination of Japanese drama and manga, and an incessant itch to travel.
NEW RELEASE: Songs to Get Over You | That Thing Called Closure #WriteBreakupSongsAbout
Also by Jay: Blossom Among Flowers | Songs of Our Breakup | Majesty
Official site: www.jayetria.com
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