I’d said in a previous post that I wanted to post short stories. Been pretty busy lately (and will be for about two weeks more, since it’s major assessment time at my school) so I decided to post a short story I already have. It’s a love story called ‘Café Confession’ and I hope you enjoy it.
The café was warm and welcoming compared to the cold streets, covered with snow. Paul had ceaselessly complained to Matt about the cold, and so the two friends had found the little café on the street, and they quickly disappeared inside to order hot chocolate.
Inside, the two took a seat and Paul excitedly explained to Matt the plot of a new movie while Matt listened, irritated. He was lost in his own thoughts. Focus on what Paul’s saying, he told himself. Just quit thinking about the girl. She’s not important. You don’t need to care about her.
“What did you just say?” Paul asked, which made Matt realize he actually spoke the words out loud.
“Nothing, I was just saying to myself about how this drink is too hot.” Matt lied.
“Too hot? The weather’s so cold! This is barely anything!” Paul exclaimed. Matt simply nodded. In truth he was mentally exhausted. It was a funny word, that you could be tired just from thinking, but it was exactly how he felt. He’d felt a strange feeling when he saw his friend Cynthia that he knew he had never felt before. It’d dawned on him two weeks ago that he liked Cynthia. The realization had made Matt feel so desperately lonely; he yearned for some sort of love back.
“Matt, you look pretty down.” Paul said, his voice showing a hint of worry. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Matt replied with a sigh. He should not have accepted Paul’s invitation of going out for a walk through the city’s busiest street.
“You don’t look fine.” Paul said. “You actually look very depressed. Tell me what’s wrong. I’ll help.”
Matt sighed again. This was not how he’d wanted to spend the day. “Alright, I’ll tell you what’s on my mind, but promise me you’re not going to tell anyone.”
“You have my word.” Paul immediately agreed.
“Well…” Matt paused. He had always been one of the more secretive and introverted students in the school and he was not used to confessing his own innermost feelings. He looked out the window, as if some inspiration could be found there. The fact that it was winter did not help. He felt cold both outside, physically, and inside, in his soul. Snow, usually a beauty for him, simply made him feel more lonely than ever. He tried to shut out the snow from his thoughts. “It’s about Cynthia.”
“Cynthia? She’s one of those ‘perfect’ sort of girls. What about her?”
Matt closed his eyes, embarrassment threatening to overwhelm him. “Well…I like her, I think.” Matt said uncomfortably. Paul started giggling a bit, but quickly stopped. “You think you like her.” Paul said. Matt nodded. “Have you told her yet?”
“What would I get from telling her?” Matt replied, his tone bitter. “Look at me. I’m…I’m probably one of the most unattractive people on Earth.”
Paul laughed at that, and that made Matt laughed back too, but it was not a pleasant sound. “You know, Matt, some of the girls actually think you’re good looking. I’ve overheard them gossiping.” Matt did not smile.
“So? What use are good looks? I’m just gonna go totally honest here. I know I’m a shy guy. Cynthia probably doesn’t even notice me. Just compare her to me. I’m ‘ordinary’ in every way. Cynthia, on the other hand, is pretty perfect. She’s nice and she’s good at every subject except for Math, but no one’s good at Math anyway. She’s also…” Matt’s voice trailed off.
“Pretty.” Paul finished the sentence. “Cynthia’s pretty. Is that what you wanted to say?” Matt nodded while Paul continued. “It’s not true that you’re ordinary at everything. You’re a star at photography. Your grades are pretty good. And, quoting the girl gossip sessions, ‘he has good looks’.”
“Yeah, but you know she’s never gonna like me.” Matt said. “Maybe I’m too…shy? Quiet? No one sees me in their eye.” Somehow Matt felt even colder than before after those words, as if it started snowing in the café. He quickly drank in more hot chocolate, but that had also gone cold and Matt grimaced. “Wait here. I’m going to go order another hot chocolate.” Matt got up and walked towards the counter and ordered a cup of hot chocolate. After getting it, he turned back and that was when a certain person sitting in the corner of his eye looked remarkably familiar.
It was Cynthia, sitting at a table, working on her laptop. Matt, after staring at her for a moment too long, quickly spun around and ran back to the table with Paul, nearly spilling out the hot chocolate. She’s here, he thought to himself. Cynthia’s here.
“Paul,” Matt said breathlessly, “Cynthia’s here. She’s sitting right here, in this café.”
Paul paused, then said, “Really? Wow. Go talk to her.” Matt blinked at how direct Paul’s words were. He shook his head and sat down.
“No, what use is that? I’ll probably end up embarrassing myself or something. No way.” Paul didn’t reply at first, which made Matt wonder about what he was thinking. Funny but shallow comments or long, thoughtful tips; Paul was usually on one of those two extremes.
Paul finally spoke after a long silence. “Have you ever heard the quote, ‘You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.’? This totally applies to you, Matt. What do you lose by telling Cynthia you like her? Nothing at all; if nothing she’ll appreciate you more. If you don’t tell her anything and just keep acting squeamish in front of her; that’s nothing but cowardice in my eyes.” The words had been chosen carefully, Matt realized, and he felt like the cold had finally bit into him until it had hit his bone. There was nothing left to wear down now that finally even his best friend had chosen words that shot right through his heart. Matt gritted his teeth. Be strong, he told himself. You’ve been worn down to nothing. You’ve got nothing to lose. Burn the snow away.
Matt stood up. Without saying a word to Paul, he walked over, striding as confidently as he could over to the table Cynthia was at. He realized that he was walking too quickly but he was already in front of Cynthia’s table.
“Hi, Cynthia. Nice to meet you.” Matt greeted. “I didn’t realize you were in this café too until I saw you.” Cynthia looked up from her laptop and grinned.
“Hey Matt. How’s it going?”
“I’m feeling great.” Matt lied easily. “You know, there’s no one from school around right now, and I think I have…something important to tell you. By the way, you look…pretty nice today.”
Cynthia laughed. “That’s a rare compliment from you, Matt. Did the snow have an effect on your mood?”
Matt shook his head and smiled. Just talking to Cynthia made him happy. “Well, you know, I have something to talk to you about.”
“Oh! Is it about work?”
“Well, no…it’s that I want to confess someth-”
“Hey, there’s my boyfriend.” Cynthia pointed. “I’m actually on a date, you see…”
Matt stood open-mouthed as a tall and handsome man, probably a few years older than Matt entered the café. He waved to Cynthia and
Cynthia waved back, saying “Hey, how are you?”
Matt cleared his throat. “Uh, I think it’s time for me to leave now. Cya, Cynthia.” Without a word more he walked back to Paul quickly, breathing in, breathing out. Cynthia had a boyfriend, he thought to himself. He thought to himself about this as he walked, but he also thought he had found a life lesson for himself.
“So how did it go? How do you feel?” Paul asked.
Matt smiled. “Brokenhearted, maybe. But then, there’s pain in life. Some things aren’t changeable and dictated by ourselves. I just have to live through it.”