I love Karina and from the moment I finally understood that things don’t always go my way, I have tried my best to have her close; maybe it was because I needed some inside information and I was curious about how Paul was; or maybe just because I liked to torture myself. Somehow, being close to Karina meant I was close to Paul as well. They were so in love and so happy that sometimes it seemed unreal to me. It was a bit too much, but that is how I made it through the day; just waiting for something new to happen between the two of them. I believe I was just hoping that at some point they would fight or disagree about something and I would be the one to give good advice or be the person that calms the fight.
Karina and I became so intimate that we actually spent entire days together, just discussing about small stuff and being girly as all teenagers were. The only difference between the two of us was that she always knew what she wanted. Her goal was to become a lawyer, start as an intern and then make her way up and gain experience and be successful. I knew she will achieve that, because everything was very well planned and organized and her parents supported her all the way.
On the other hand, I was living a childish dream that I might end up being a movie star, or maybe a TV show presenter or something that won’t involve a lot of work. I had low expectations and I never dreamt of having success in a manner that would involve working for it. I lost a lot of my goals while growing up. My only purpose was to finish high-school and learn more about Paul and Karina. I actually did not focus on anything else. My life had no meaning at that point and I still had to finish my year in school.
Mark became somehow a stranger, and I barely talked to him and there was kind of a barrier between us that was very difficult to penetrate. I knew I had feelings for him, because he always protected me and he was always there, but things were just not the same. He didn’t even smile to me, like he used to, even his greetings were cold and shallow.
That year passed and we graduated. Mark had moved about 200 miles away from us, so we barely saw him. I don’t even remember what college he went to. The phone calls were very rare and his internet skills weren’t so evolved at the time.
Karina was still my best friend. We went to different colleges, but we always made time for each other. She was still dating Paul and they had very important plans. Paul proposed and they were organizing a small wedding and I was the maid of honour.
What an honour that was.
I remember Karina in her white dress. She looked like a princess, exactly like one cut out off a magazine or just brought to life from a very famous movie. Her face was like a porcelain dolls’, she was just perfect. She had gorgeous blonde curls coming down her back, a small and cute braid that held her wail, a pretty pink glossy lipstick and a very natural make-up. I can still feel her fragrance. She smelt like roses and that smell is always in my head, and that hug she gave me before the ceremony still melts my heart. It was something that I will always treasure and whenever I feel that smell I think about her, even now as I grow older.
I had to make a speech for them. Mark had to do one as well, because he came, as Paul’s best man. I think they did that on purpose, just to try and repair what was lost and make us friends again.
So the two of us went on stage, where the band was and then it happened.
All the pressure, all the memories, all the moments came back to my head. Mark was in love with me! That is why he held my hand like that, that is why he smiled at me the way he did, the only way I knew and I missed so much and that is why he was so hurt when he left. I was reorganizing all my memories and he was always there, helping with my craziest ideas and supporting me whenever I felt down. How blind I was, and how stupid I reacted, why didn’t I see that earlier?
I took the microphone and wanted to read what I had on my piece of paper. Karina was standing there proud, like she was ready to jump and applaud like a crazy person. She emulated love through all her pours and all that love was aiming towards me, I felt blessed, because she never knew my secret. And then I did a thing that I still have no idea how it happened.
“Karina, my dear, I am more than thrilled that you and Paul found each other and decided to get married. I had a speech ready for this occasion but I think I will just try and be honest for a change. I have pictured things in a totally different way for all of us and I believe life has taken us to opposite corners just to prove me wrong. I know you don’t understand where this is coming from, but I promise it will be good.
I love you with all my heart and I will never harm you in any way. Paul is the right person for you although I had a huge crush on him when I was sixteen.”
Imagine all the shock I’ve caused. Karina’s face was pale, Paul turned red and Mark had a pretty angry face on. I don’t really know what got into me, but I said it loud and clear, in front of everyone. I had taken that rock off my chest and I picked the perfect moment for that. I don’t really know what pushed me to do that, but it was clearly a very bad decision.
“Ha ha, Ada has such a sense of humour!” Mark intervened. “I wrote that line and I was supposed to say I had a crush on Karina, because I know Paul would never believe it. You are the most perfect couple and all the past is there to be forgotten. We just want to see you happy and enjoy this wonderful day together with all your loved ones”. Mark said all that while he was still holding my hand, or more likely trying to break it, just to cause me pain. He then grabbed me, while everyone was clapping and cheering for the newlyweds; he took me outside the venue and then it all started.
“What the hell were you trying to do?”
“Mark, I am really sorry, I had that on my mind for the past years, I don’t know what happened, but I had to say it, I am really sorry, I just hope Karina can forgive me for this, I am truly embarrassed.”
Mark literally grabbed me and shook me “You need to grow up, you know? You had enough of childish behaviour and hiding in your parents’ bedroom whenever things didn’t go your way! You should take responsibility for your actions. You are not a child anymore!”
That was a bit painful and I felt his fingers on my arms, I felt all the pain go through my body, I was exhausted and scared because I had never seen Mark like that before; I just burst into tears because I had too much going on. That didn’t seem to stop Mark from going on with his reproaches. He kept on talking while I was in physical and mental pain.
The only thought I had at that moment was to grab his face and kiss him, and I did. He rejected me, although at first he just enjoyed it. It was passionate, animalistic and full of anger. My lips still pulsed from that and I felt his taste on my tongue. He tasted like champagne and strawberries and a bit of aftershave, so masculine and powerful, exactly what I needed; and I loved every second of it!
“Are you insane??? What is wrong with you today? First you try to ruin Karina’s wedding, now you kiss me? What has happened to you, have you completely lost your mind?”
And then I started telling him exactly how I felt and exactly what my thoughts were. I didn’t leave anything behind and I was the most sincere person on the face of the planet. By the time I finished my story, he was stunned and couldn’t speak, but Karina did, she stood there behind us, listened to everything, even to the fact that I was still close to her because I wanted to know more about Paul.
She said, in a very calm and relaxed way: “You are selfish, ignorant and spoiled. You never think about anyone else except you. You are the most important person on the planet and no one is allowed to do you harm or misbehave around you. You should know better. You should understand once and for all that I was there for you all the time, I tried to help you and I tried to be a friend for you. You think I didn’t know about your crush for Paul? I knew it, but I was in love with him and I knew that the only reason you wanted him was because you guessed I wanted him too. It is not fair, but I always knew what you felt, and I also knew that Mark loved you and that if I wouldn’t accept Paul you would throw everything away and pretend to be happy just for the sake of it. I know you very well and I know it must have been hard for you to hide your feelings and listen to all my mumbling and just sit there and see all the happiness that was going on in my life. I have to admit I have never been more proud of you in my life. You finally stood up for yourself and you finally admitted that you were wrong. You are growing up and as your best friend I have to say that you just made my day. I am not upset, I am not angry, but your intentions were wrong and you were very close to ruining a moment that was supposed to be special and I will not forgive you for that. We could have had this talk hundreds of times before, but you just took out all the evil spirit you have inside and you tried to show me otherwise, and show me that Mark was right about you and the way you are.”
I was more than shocked, more than petrified, I have never seen Karina so patient and calm before, I have never heard her talk like that before. My knees were just melting, my heart was bouncing off my chest, my ears still heard her voice inside my head, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t cry and I couldn’t speak. So, they were my friends for so long, but none of them told me that I was evil or that they thought I was selfish and mean. How wrong is that? Why did they judge me, and most of all when did they have time to figure all this out and talk behind my back? Some hell of a couple they are, just throwing this to my face at a wedding.
“I believe there is nothing more to say and I’d better leave this place as soon as possible. I believe you don’t really understand me and you don’t really know who I am. It is rude to talk to someone like that and I am very upset that you talked about me without letting me know what was going on. I don’t think I ever want to hear from you again. Have a great life and enjoy your true friends, I am glad you have one another now. Goodbye!” and I left in a hurry, without even giving them the chance to respond and I didn’t even look back. In the cab I realized what I did and how wrong I was, but I couldn’t go back and apologize, because my ego was extremely hurt, I just had to move on and find a new way of living my life. Tears were running down my face and I just remember hearing the taxi driver “you’re home” and I remember throwing myself in bed, in my parent’s bedroom, and hid there, exactly how Mark said I would do. I had millions of thoughts running through my head, I think I almost had a heart attack, but then all the emotions went away and I fell asleep, in a very deep and long sleep…