Chapter 3:

My first friend

Do I need therapy?

Things changed a lot in my student life after I became friends with Isabella. I remember the first days when she started to greet me in the mornings and I shyly returned the greeting. All of this was evolving, to the point where I was the one who started the greeting and showed her a sincere smile.

Still refusing to admit that I was in love with her, I thought it was normal to feel appreciation for the first person who has been kind to me. It even helped me to improve communication with my classmates. Sometimes she integrated me into the conversations she had with her other friends, and although I never managed to have a great conversation with anyone other than Isabella, I felt that I was at least making progress with my problem of being anti-social.

After school I would meet with Isabella in the library to read, but I think this turned into 50% talk and 50% reading. I was immensely happy talking to her, she was such a smart and funny girl. I never got tired of listening to her, she used to tell me about the books she planned to read or had already read, the things that happened to her in the day, her family, what she planned to do on the weekend ... There was not a single word that will escape me, I paid attention to every little detail of her stories.

The mystery of why Isabella spent so much time in the library was solved over time. She told me that she recently moved to the city, due to her parents' work. They work in the same company, her mother is a human resources manager and her father is an accountant. Her family has good financial stability; the problem she faces is that she has too many brothers and sisters. She is the third of seven children, so she could not had many moments of peace in her home. Not having a quiet place for a book lover like her was a big problem, that's why she used to stay in the library as long as possible.

Among the many talks that she and I had in the library, there was one in particular that left a mark on me for life:

— Sebastian, do you like someone?

I still remember how that question came up. We were talking about a novel called "The Woman in White", which is about an Italian girl who moves to Paris to spend her last days of life, as she had been diagnosed with an incurable disease. There she falls in love with her neighbor, a married man who lives unhappy in his marriage. The plot of the novel seems very simple, but actually, the way the author tells the story is very entertaining.

— I-I never fell in love

— Maybe you are right, you are like a sad robot that cannot have feelings

— That is not true!

— Relax, it's a joke ~

She giggled and continued talking about the novel, but I still had that question stuck in my brain. There was something I wanted to ask her, although the answer might displease me:

— Isa-abella, have you e-eve-er ... Have you ever fallen in love?

In the past, I would never have dared to ask a girl something like that, but over time, Isabella had given me the confidence to be able to ask that kind of things

— Mmmmm ... Let me think, I think sometime ... No, I think I've never fallen in love with someone

That answer made me happy, although I tried to hide what I felt. But then she kept talking:

— - But ... I think that, right now, someone ... I think I like someone ...

OMG OMG OMG WHAAAAAT´S HAPPEEEEEENNIING? My brain couldn't process what she said. Was I misinterpreting her words? But the way she said it ... ashamed and without looking into my eyes. I had read many novels, manga and watched 1000+ animes to know that this was the typical scene where the protagonist receives a love confession.

— R-Really? And who-o is it?

She still didn't turn to see me. Every second in silence seemed like an eternity. This was a facet of Isabella that I had never seen

— I don't know if I should tell you ...

GIRL DO NOT PLAY WITH ME! I was holding myself back too much, I wanted to destroy the library because of how excited I was.

— Of course, you have nothing to fear. I really want to know who is that person you like

She kept looking away. But suddenly she steeled herself, looked me in the eye and said:

— I like Jacob

Of course, no surprises. My brain paused for a few moments; I tried to search in my database for who Jacob was, until I got a result

— Jacob, our classmate?

— Yes, he attracts me a little ...

Jacob was the prototype of the perfect man, straight out of a Hollywood movie. A handsome boy in every sense of the word: Tall, muscular, his face perfectly defined, his short well-groomed hair, a little tanned, muscular due to being the captain of the football team and with a British accent that melts the ears of the girls around him, and even though he's not the best in the class, he always gets good grades.

Indeed, if I were a woman I think I would also be attracted to him. I think the fact that it was Jacob the man that Isabella was talking about made me relax a bit, and eased the pain that the previous disappointment left me.

— Jacob seems like a good boy to me, have you tried talking to him?

It was hard for me to ask that question, because inside I still felt devastated by the delusion that I made myself for two minutes, but I wanted to know how close they were to each other.

— Well, actually, I've only talked to him a little bit. He always greets me in the morning, and sometimes he talks to me about his achievements in football. But I don't think I can even consider him a friend ...

— I see…

It was a good answer for me. The truth is that anything that was not a "We kissed the other day" was a positive thing.

— Well, I hope you can get along better with him soon

The reality is that what I wanted to say was "I hope they never speak again,", but it didn't seem right.

— Thank you, I hope that ... one day you can have feelings ~

— So funny ...

We laughed out loud for a while, and kept talking about other things until the end of the day, but actually I was upset. I didn't want to accept that I was jealous, and I rejected my feelings. I lived with that feeling for a while, and even though I didn't want to, I paid even more attention to Isabella during class, especially when she occasionally chatted with Jacob.

Again I was going crazy. I spent the nights thinking about the possible events that would lead Isabella to achieve her goal.

To calm those negative thoughts in my head, I would turn on the television and play any program at full volume. That calmed me a bit, but I did not imagine that television would give me the solution to my great dilemma.

— Isabella, do you want to go to the movies with me?

She opened her eyes in shock. It was a Friday morning, and the first thing she heard me say that day was that. I don't think I even mentioned a "Good morning" or something similar, but it was not time for regrets, one of the biggest challenges of my life had already begun...

— Who are you and what did you do to Sebastian?

— I'm the same as always. Yesterday I was watching television and I saw that this weekend the movie of "The woman in white" is released

— Oh I see... The truth is that I did not want to go see it; generally, all movies that are adapted from books are very bad.

Damn, my plan had gotten off to a bad start. But I had been practicing for different events where she will reject me...

— But the director is one of the most famous in the film industry, and I have read that the film has had good reviews

— Really? I have heard the opposite

I was lying to her. I had done some research and it was true that the reviews were negative. Everyone said that the movie was sh*t, and the reality is that the director was not that well known. But none of this mattered to me, I couldn't fail my first attempt to get a date...

— The movie looks very promising. Also, by supporting the film you are supporting the author

— Well, you are right on that…

— And the more people go to the cinema the first few days, the longer they will leave the film on the billboard.

— True…

— It is also possible that the novel becomes more known and they begin to sell more merchandise of the work

— Enough, I already understood your point

— So…?

I was trying to look confident, but actually, I was dying of nerves. I was not prepared to be rejected, if that happened I would have to move to another distant country where talking to women is forbidden or something like that.

— Well, Sunday at the downtown mall. See you in the afternoon

I heard how the ring bell rang and the referee declared me the winner of the fight of the year.

— Ok, see you on Sunday

Isabella took a seat, and at last the serious face I was putting on turned into one of absolute happiness. Although of course, I couldn't let her see me that way, I had to keep staying calm.

And this is how I got my first date with the most beautiful woman in the whole world. It's one of those things that you should put on your resume.

The rest of the days passed quickly, and the most important Sunday of my life arrived. How will my first date go? Was I really in love with Isabella? In case I was in love, would she also fall in love with me? I had so many questions in my head… I regret knowing the answer.

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