You don't realize how much you care about someone until they don't care about you.
“Cassandra, Joe is here ! “
Mom’s voice woke Cassandra from her late afternoon nap. Quickly Cassandra jumped off her bed and thrust herself into the bathroom. She freshen up her lovely face and neaten her Baby T and shorts.
Cassandra then rushed herself downstairs. Joe! Joe has come back!
She eyed a gesture neatly posing on the couch in the living room. There, a hot looking guy, held his arms up right infront of his chest and looking sharply at Cassandra. He smiled. Then he rise up fromm his seat and get ready to give Cassandra a big warm hug.
Cassandra pushed herself into Joe’s tight embrace. She jumped and tightened both her feet around Joe’s waist.
Joe replied. How he missed this lady so much. He really love this girl, but no! No way he will say that to her. He is afraid, afraid to lose such a good friend. But yet, shouldn’t he give himself a chance?
‘Shut up! No talking nonsense! She’s just a friend!’
“Hey Joey! Earth to Joey! Let me down will you?”
After the fifth time Cassandra yelled, he managed to realise from his illusion. He let go of Cassandra slowly.
Thay lied on the couch with their feet hanging from the coffee table in front of them.
Joe replied. He looked at Cassandra with an eyebrow tugged upwards. Trying to stress that he couldn’t understand what Cassandra is trying to ask him.
“So...how’s life in the boarding school?”
Cassandra asked. She grabbed potato chips in the tupperware while watching P/S: I love you. Yeah, it’s a school break and school was over! Final year was such a hell, with all the books and revisions. But now, the tension is gone! Live your life!
“Come on darling! For the past 5 years, that is the first thing you’re gonna ask!”
Shrieked Joe. He then grabbed Cassandra’s hand ang steal away the chips from her. He grabbed an amount of them and crunch them inside his mouth.
He commented with his mouthful!
“Ea? Come again?”
Replied Cassandra. Joe swallowed the chips and cleared his throat.
“I said, your mom always make the best chips! When are you gonna make some for me? Learn to cook! Then, I can easily take you as my wife!”
Joe said jokingly, but he ment it though.
“Urg! Come on Joe...me and the kitchen is like...Tom and Jerry! I can never fit in that place! Something can just burn easily!”
Cassandra said. Both of them giggled.
“Yeah. That’s true enough. By the way, no way im letting you to take me as your wife. You are my best friend! Right??”
See. That’s why they are fit as friends. Cassandra is not in the mood for any relationship.
Joe said, with a shallow voice. He then pulled a smile on his caucasian face.
“Hrmm...Candy. There’s this gal...I think, I like her...”
Dupp! Cassandra’s heart felt so much pain. What happened? They are just friends. One shouldn’t feel heavy like this.
“Aaaww... Joey got a crush! Tell me!! Tell me!!”
Cassandra pretended to be cheerful. Somehow, she felt a bit jealous when Joe kept on talking about that girl. What was that feeling?? Is it Jealousy?? Or...just affection?
“I met her at the airport, before coming back here. Oh my...she is like a goddess! Her attitudes, her shyness, her style...everything makes me so attracted. She was sitting there, waiting for the announcement. And ZAPP! I realised, she’s the girl from my school. But my, she was so silent that no one ever talk to her. She like to allienize herself from hanging out together with her friends, and you knew what?”
Suddenly, Joe stopped and stared at Cassandra. Cassandra was listening to him with so much eager. Her eyes was round and shining, showing how happy she is for Joe. Although deep down, she felt like screaming to the world to show how jealous she was when Joe talk about another girl.
“What Joe? Can you please continue!”
“Okay, okay! Listen attentively darling! And then, I decided to approach her. I did and after a few minutes of chatting, I found out that she was not so bad! She’s talkative you know, and very funny!”
Joe said while smiling.
Cassandra also did the same.
“Hey, is she funnier than me?”
She asked and Joe stared at Cassandra. He shook his head.
“I don’t know, I’d known you for like, my life time, and her, I just knew her for an hour or so, how in the world should I compare you both?”
Cassandra just nodded.
‘Joey, if you known her as long as you knew me, will you compare us by then?God, help me, I should not feel like this to my best friend!’
“Darl, look at this!”
Joe showed his BB to Cassandra. Cassandra’s eyes widen.
“That is here, and this is her number!”
Joe added. Cassandra nodded.
“She’s so pretty. So, when are you gonna confess?”
Cassandra managed to ask. Joe smiled widely.
“Urm, not so soon. I want to know her more.”
“Urm...okay then, but be fast! Before another prince charming steal her away!”
Cassandra did played her part nicely.
“Ouh...did Candy just call me Prince charming??”
Joe trying to make fun of Cassandra. Casandra blushed.
“Okay you mister, I did!”
“Then, why don’t you become my Cinderella then?”
“Stop joking Johanne McCalleigh!”
“C’mon sweetheart, I love you...”
Joe said sincerely.
“I love you too...”
Replied Cassandra. Both became serious. Suddenly, the next minute, they giggled!
“Yeah...yeah, love as friends!”
Both of them said at one time! Chorus.
“Haha...it’s funny you know, we can never be together. Nope!”
Joe is lying himself. He knew deep down he loves this Cassandra so much. But, naah, he cant afford to lose a friend. Or, was it ego getting in the way?
“Yup! We-couple-very wierd!”
Added Cassandra. She too, is lying herself.
Joe stared at Cassandra. She is being serious when she called him like that. Joe, instead of Joey.
“Will you promise to still be here when I need you? Even after you declared with her?”
Cassandra asked. Joe smiled and leaned closer to her.
“Darling. Had I ever dissapointed you before? Let the time decide...”
A question answered by a question. Cassandra felt that deedp down in Joe’s heart, the name carving Cassandra is fading and fading. Yup, Joe is unsure, that’s why he didn’t dare to give a promise.
“Yeah. I hope you will.”
Cassandra said. Suddenly, Joe’s phone rang.
“Oh my god, darling! Help me! It’s Canna. It’s her! What should I do? What should I say?”
Joe suddenly exagerated. Cassandra managed to smile before taking the phone from Joe. She answered.
Cassandra spoke with such a gentle voice.
“Oh, I’m Cassandra, Joe’s friend. He cant speak right now, he’s in the loo. Wanna leave any message?”
Cassandra asked. She is eyeing on Joe that was munching potato chips like a hungry cannibal.
“Sean and Mandy at 2...okay Canna. He’ll be there! Bye.”
Cassandra hunged up the phone.
“You got a date!”
“Say what? Come again?”
Joe was suprised.
“Canna wants to meet you at 2 o’clock tomorrow, less assured, I knew you heard everything just now! Good luck Joey!”
Cassandra passed the message to Joe. Joe smiled happily.
“Oh yeah! Baby girl, I need to go now, I need to get ready for tomorrow.”
He said urgently and planted a kiss on Cassandra’s cheeks.
“I love you Candy!”
“Love you too Joey. Drive safe!”
Said Cassandra before shutting the door.
“Love...you...too...urghhh!! Get over it Candy! He’s your friend! Best friend!”
You know you love someone when you want them to be happy even if their happiness means that you're not part of it.
“Be happy Joey...be happy...I still cant believe you forgot my birthday...”
Cassandra wiped the tears flowing down her cheeks. Yesterday, she texted Joey, to meet her at the cafe’ they used to hang out. Cassandra missed Joe so much. Its been a month since they last met. Joe already declared with Canna. A softspoken, but yet a very jealous girl.
There’s one time when Joe brought Canna to meet Cassandra, maybe, to get along. That was a week after they both declared.
“So dear, this is my best friend! Candy, meet Canna, the love of my life.”
Canna held out her hand. Cassandra fake a smile. They both shook hands.
Cassandra felt very uneasy with Canna’s stare. Something was burning, Canna was jealous. She’s jealous of Cassandra’s beauty, whatelse! And she’s being jealous because Joe always talk about Cassandra. She need to do something, no woman can be close to Joe, except for Canna herself.
Cassandra dialed for the tenth time. Joe still didn’t show up nor he did pick up the calls! Cassandra decided to leave the cafe. Its no use waiting for someone that definitely is busy with someone else.
Cassandra decided to take the bus home. Not wanting to burden her parents. While she was crossing the road, her phone rang. She glanced at the ID that showed up and was so happy that it was Joe!
Without even thinking, she answered.
“Joey!! Where were you?”
“Sorry Candy, I forgot to tell you that I was attending lunch at Canna’s today. I’m so sorry! Darling! Happy birthday, claim your present after this okay!”
Canna sighed. It’s not the present that she wants, it’s the old caring Joe that she needs right now. But what to do, Joey’s heart belongs to another girl, she got no chance at all.
“It’s ok. Thanks for the wish Joe. Be happy with Canna. When you’re happy, I’m happy.”
She managed to let out those words. Yeah Cassandra, when Joe’s happy, you’re happy.
A great love? It's when you shed tears for him but still you care for him. It's when he ignored you but you still long for him. It's when he starts loving another, and yet you manage a smile and find the courage to say "I'm happy for you."
“Thank you Candy. You are my bestest friend! I love you as always!”
Cassandra swallowed hard. Joe’s word did touch her heart. She felt really sad, if and only if that love is true love, not only love as friends. But, that would never happen. Never.
“I...I love you too. Urm...Joe..”
Cassandra said what she felt deep under. But she knew, Joe will never take her words seriously.
“If I die, promise you will put red roses on my tomb, instead of white roses.”
Joe was shocked. What had got into Cassandra.
“What nonsence are you talking about? You are not dying! Come on birthday girl, just because I didn’t showed up, you started talking nonsense!”
Joe yelled at Cassandra. Cassandra managed a smile. At least, Joe’s anger showed that he still care about her.
“ Someday, we are gonna visit that six-foot-under! Its either now or later.”
Said Cassandra, Joe was dumbfounded.
“Yes, you win! Don’t worry, red roses it is! Hahaha...Candy, I need to go, Canna is calling.”
“Joe! Wa....it...huh! I forgot to mention that I’m moving to England! Damn!”
Cassandra stared blankly at her phone. Joe just hung up on her.
“I love you Joe...I really love you...”
Eventually, wwithout Cassandra realising, a speeding car was coming towards her way. The driver was drunk and Cassandra had not enough time to run aside. She was hit by that car and being pulled away for 200 metres. She lose too much blood. Her head was being knocked hard and all her other body parts were in a bad position. She is like a helpless puppet. Lying weak under the car.
People from nearby gathered ath the scene. Ambulance and police were contacted. Paramedics doing their best to safe her life. Was this the last birthday of Cassandra? Should it all end this sad?
I'll remember all the laughter as we go our separate ways, but there's so much we're still earning and we cannot be afraid. There's a world outside our door and nothing's in our way, but if it's now what we're looking for, we'll meet again someday.
10 years later...
“ Darling...I hope you are here with us, look, our baby has grown well, Cassandra, she is just like you...exactly like you. Here, your red roses...yu will always be in my heart darling. Canna, thank you for giving our baby’s name Cassandra. Thank you for realising me that I love Candy, thank you. But still, I am not able to track her down. We did went to her house on her birthday, remember? But the house was locked! The neighbours said Cansy was badly hurt, in an accident, but they never knew to which hospital were she brought to. We searched and searched, but she wasn’t there.
The next day we went, they said the family moved out! Everything they did, but there was no clue of Cassandra. Then I realised that I can’t leave without Cassandra. I now knew how badly hurt Cassandra was when he did’nt replied the calls and texts from her. Really, really hurt! Then, I decided to keep on living, I decided to give us both a chance. We get married and yeah, you were pregnant with little Cassie. Canna, altough you were not my true love, I still love you. Although you can’t replace Cassandra, I still love you. Haha, I admit it, I fell in love with my best friend, but fate is playing a trick on me. Still no clue of Cassandra. I bet, she wont even remember me...I such a whore. Anyways, Canna...I knoe you are looking at us now, please, pray that...that I meet her oneday.”
Said Joe. He took out her handkerchief and wipe away his man tears.
“Daddy...can we buy ice-cream later?”
Joe looked at little Cassandra. Or, should it be, Cassie.
“Alright Cassie, ice cream it is. Now, lets sit on the bench while I go and get your strawberry ice cream.”
Cassie smiled widely. Her deep green eyes makes her cute little face even cuter.
“Okay Daddy.Hurry up!”
Cassie urged Joe. Joe smiled and strolled towards the ice cream truck.
“One strawberry ice cream please, with hazelnuts sprinkled on top and of chocs waferstick!”
Two voices said the same thing, at the same time.
Joe turned his head around. What he saw was a lady, wearing a brown muffler, and a large shade, with a stick in her hands.
He knew that lady. Cassandra!
Cassandra asked. She guided herself using her stick.
“Candy?? Owh Candy it is you!”
Cassandra smiled. Joey is here. Right in front of her.
“Joey! Owh how I missed you!”
They both hugged tight.
“What happened? I heard about the accident...I went to your home, and it was all locked. I searched for you at the hospitals but there was no sign of you!”
Joey spilled his heart out!
“Haha...I was about to tell you that my family is moving at the cafe, but you didn’t showed up. I thought of paying you a visit, but then, I was involved in that horrible accident. Least talking, I lost my sight there.”
“Here’s your ice-creams sir, maam.”
The ice cream man disrupted them.
They paid for the ice cream.
“Mommy!!! Daddy is freaking me out will all his surgical experiences!!”
A cute little boy came and hugged Cassandra out of nowhere.
“Johanne, Daddy was just kidding. You are kidding right, Adamme?”
Cassandra hugged that boy and then a man did the same. Both of them hugging each other and that little boy.
“Owh, Adamme honey, meet Johanne, my bestest friend! I told you about him before.”
Cassandra introduced her husband to Joe. They both shook hands.
“Adamme...Cass's hubby and doctor...”
“I’m Cassandra! Daddy! I was waiting for so long for my strawberry ice cream!”
Cassie came out of nowhere too.
“Here darling! Im sorry...”
Cassie took her ice cream from Joe. She licked it happily.
“Mommy...I want mine too...”
Johanne also insisted his mommy. Cassandra passed the ice cream to little Joey.
“So...since we met, how about lunch?”
Adame started to get easy with Joey.
“Yeah. Sure! Come over to my place, my cook is making something special today, upon my wife’s death anniversary. Furthermore, its so long I have’nt met Candy!”
“Owh...so sorry for your lost Joey. Was she Canna?”
Cassandra asked apologetically.
“Yeah, she died when giving birth to Cassie. Anyways, no more sad moments! I want us to be happy today! We were reunited again! Thats a good thing!”
Let no one who loves be unhappy... even love unreturned has its rainbow.
“What’s your name, mommy’s boy?”
“Your name is like my dad’s! I’m Cassandra by the way!”
“Your’s is like my mom’s!”
She held her hand out to shake his.
“Nope. Lover! I love you daddy’s gal!”
Joey kissed softly Cassie’s cheeks! Cassie just smiled happily.
Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll.