Author's Note: I can't believe that this copy actually took a week for me to compile all of the pointers and combine it into one short story. Oh, man, how am I going to cope with the endless case analyses in university then? I wanted to slot in a drawing of an individual standing on her balcony of the fifth floor of Summer Villa Condominium and pondering on her thoughts while overlooking the pond aptly nicknamed "Lake View", but let's just say things didn't fall into place.
Harboring the desire to purge the betrayal from her heart, she acted on instinct and drove to the hills, carefully managing the bends that curved around the road. She was driving on auto-pilot as her mind wandered off to better moments in life. As much as she suppressed the rising memories of the past, it rose with the fury of an uncontrollable flame and it left her emotionally uneasy.
The hype that surrounded the area on weekend mornings had already subsided upon her arrival; there were still people walking up and down, ready to begin their exercise regime or ravenous for a well-deserved breakfast at the nearby cafe. The cold showers did its part to reduce the activity converting the highlands from its breathing normalcy to an eerie, silent path into the jungle. Permeating the air, on the other hand, was the increasing condensation that threatened to block her vision of the road ahead. She pulled her cardigan even tighter and braved her way in; the back of her mind being lucid about the ever-looming presence of the family of slithery sly.
The gloomy weather did nothing to soothe her crying heart; the serenity, in fact, added more salt to the wound, making her more miserable and feeling worse than when she first arrived. She emerged from the forest an hour and a half later and wanted to break down in a crying episode alone in the car, but she willed herself to stay strong and focus on her next task, which was to satiate her voracious appetite. She decided to browse her favorite nearby haunts after purchasing a moderate-sized cup of café latte from the famous coffeehouse and slowly sipped the hot drink while waiting for her bestie to arrive; they were scheduled to have a round of breakfast and (more) coffee at the shopping mall.
Just as she was about to enter the Iranian shop selling fruits and nuts to purchase a packet of cranberries for her mother, Magenta's heart skipped a beat when she saw someone who looked familiar; she couldn't quite place who the person was. This chap seated on the foldable chair was blessed with the same features and hairstyle as the ex-friend; those sparkly round black eyes and that unique smile made her uncomfortable being in the shop longer than necessary yet she felt drawn to stay back and strike a conversation with him. The gleam in his eyes instantly brought her to the memories of the past.
"Don't apologize." He forced a smile. "It's not your fault that we don't have mutual feelings for each other, my dear. Everything has its time and place in life. I can only sigh and rest my fate."
"Please don't say it like that," Magenta pleaded. "You know I'll feel really bad."
"But it's the truth. Nevertheless, please promise me that you'll live your life a happier person than you are now."
Sensing that she was losing him as a close friend, she hugged him tightly without answering him and mentally absorbing the final moments with him, knowing that she'll have to treasure their beautiful friendship forever.
Just as she thought that she could make that leap and mend the awkward feeling with him, she received news that he moved on with another lass barely six months after their last encounter. She didn't want to believe it partly because she wanted him to be with the girl that he deserved, not some chick off somewhere due to desperation; it wasn't until she saw pictures of him with his new girlfriend being all lovey-dovey and hearing about her perfect demeanor from mutual friends that Magenta accepted the news and rested her case.
Yet, it bothered her now as much as it did back then because there was still unresolved business between them both. She forced herself to look away, bringing herself back to the present and paying for the items that her mother needed. As she smiled her thanks and departed the store, she accidentally exchanged eye contact with him. It felt so much like him. A part of her even wanted to think that it was the ex-friend and that he flew in from Chicago for a summer visit without informing her beforehand, but the rational side of her concluded it was merely his clone, not him. The shop assistant confirmed it by acknowledging that the young chap was her boss's son helping out for the day.
Deep in her heart, however, she still wished if it was her ex-friend. There were too many questions that she needed answers to and things that she wanted to ask him.