Mathew frowned. He didn’t know why he agreed to meet up with her after so long, but he felt a sense of nostalgia. After all, they were friends since they were kids, and while she was the reason they drifted apart, he did want to hang out like before. So there he was, sitting at a net cafe with a game in hand, still in his uniform. He couldn’t be bothered to change so soon after school ended, and the cafe was only down the street from the dorms.
“Huh.” A voice caused Mathew to look up from his game, seeing a very familiar face looking back. “I didn’t expect you to actually come.” She held out her hand. “Hi there, I’m Samantha.” Mathew took her hand and shook it. A firm grip. “Of course, you already know that, don’t you Matsy?” Samantha sat down across from Mathew, but doesn’t let go of his hand for a while. When she finally does, Mathew returns to his game, not saying a word. “The cold shoulder? I see how it is.”
After a few minutes of Samantha growing impatient, she finally spoke. “Look, Mathew, I know you don’t really want to be here. Not after…” She paused. “Not after… I rejected you.” Mathew tenses up, despite several years passing since the event. Samantha shifts slightly in her chair. “But… I want to take it back.”
“What?” Mathew nearly drops his game in shock before putting it away. Had she changed that much since they last met? “What do you mean ‘take it back’?”
“I mean… I want to un-reject you.”
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. It seemed too good to be true. However, it also didn’t. “… Why now?”
“Huh?” Samantha was confused.
“After all these years of not saying a word since I’ve left.” Anger rose in Mathew’s voice “Why come back now?”
“I thought it over, and…” Samantha began, her face turning red, “and I realized that…” she paused, as though mustering up the courage to say the next line. “… I do have feelings for you.”
Mathew’s heart skipped a beat. He could feel his face flush red. And yet, something felt off about this moment to him. “But… that didn’t answer my question. Why come back now?”
Samantha shifted in her seat again. “I had heard you were… rejected again, and I wanted to be here for you.”
“That I was….” Mathew found himself getting angry again. “How did you know that? Who set you up for this?!”
“Wha- Mathew, I-”
“You think I like to be toyed with? Like this?!”
“Mathew, listen to-”
“Why can’t I just be happy for once?!”
Mathew stopped, breathing heavily. He looked at Samantha, who had a serious face. “... If you won’t believe me, then close your eyes.” At this, his eyes widened.
“Just do it.” Hesitantly, he complied.
For a few moments, nothing happened. When Mathew finally opened his eyes, he found himself staring at the ceiling of his room. It was late at night, and he was lying on his bed. Once he had finally processed that it was a dream, tears immediately formed at his eyes as he punched his pillow, calling himself stupid over and over. After a while, he calmed down, but not enough to stop the tears. He muttered one last thing before falling back asleep.
“No one will ever want you, idiot.”