Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Between The Lines

Between The Lines (not by me)

We fell for each other – right to the floor. I can’t believe I ran into her, and for the first time, she was the one to hit the ground first. I’m small, so it’s quite refreshing actually. Anyways, my name is David Archuleta and this is my story…

I’m on American Idol. The End.

Story enough, don’t you think? But unfortunately, that’s just the beginning because there’s so much more to tell, like the romance behind the fairytale. I really like someone but she’s completely out of my league. She’s twenty – three years older then I am, starting her off with three reasons not to be with little old me – oh, little, that’s another reason!

We met in Hollywood. I’m pretty sure she didn’t know what she was getting herself into. In the Orpheum Theatre, my eyes focused upon the dimmed room, the stage itself coming to life from the yellow beams. It felt like home. As the room began to fill, I sought familiar eyes, but I didn’t recognize a soul, and as they separated the contestants from their families, I felt relatively lost.

That’s the day that we first met. She took the seat next to mine. And at first glance, I saw how pretty she was, then she smiled and I wasn’t lost anymore.

“Oh, you’re a cutie!” she chimed. “Did your sister or brother make it?”

I just stared at her. I mean, I was sitting in the contestants’ seats! She didn’t look phased by my shock.

“And how old do you think I am?” I replied.

She looked back with a thoughtful face on. Her mouth open slide open, and she said, “I want to say fourteen, so, I’m guessing that.”

I pulled myself down in my seat and mumbled, “I turn seventeen in December.”

I heard her small gasp. “Sorry. Oh, I feel like a jerk now! But I was just joking.”

I knew she wasn’t. “I’m David.”

“Oh,” her cheeks were pink against her medium skin, “it’s Ramiele. You can guess how old I am, if you want. See how hard it is!”

I swiftly glanced towards her. “Two years older then me?”

“Four,” she admitted. “See! It’s hard.”

She smiled her brightest smile in my direction. After that day, I can’t remember ever being with her alone again – well, not until the Top 24 came.

This is kind of pathetic, so please don’t cringe! We re-met because I lost my mom. Okay, you’re allowed to laugh – once! But I was getting nervous as I ran through “Shop Around” because I noticed that I couldn’t remember any of the lyrics. As I sat on the bed with my body unable to stay still, I needed to hear the words one more time. I set to finding my iPod.

It was gone. And as I yelled for my mom, it took me a little while to realize that she wasn’t in the bathroom. The hallways were empty when I passed through them. It was a hotel full of American Idols; you’d think there’d be life somewhere! I raced down the steps and threw open the large metal door.

A small yell came from under me – yes, under me! My body throbbed and I felt someone squirm beneath me. I caught her eye.

“Ramiele!” I gasped.

“Nice seeing you again, David,” she said, out of breath.

“Have you seen my mom?”

I wanted to slap myself. I wanted to just rewind the last few seconds. I just asked her where my mother was! I could have done anything else but I choice to ask that!

To my relief, she giggled, “No… Could you maybe…”

My eyes opened wide. Nervously laughing, I pushed myself off of her then pulled her off the ground.

“Sorry,” I muttered. She smiled, not making the situation at all better. “I’ll, um, watch who I run into next time.”

“At least it wasn’t… Jason… or someone. He might have squished you.”

I smiled.

I’m sure he never meant it to flirt with me, but the damage has been done, and I’m falling too fast! I’m so notorious for that.

Well, anyways, it was hilarious! I wanted to change my outfit because I do that, and I headed for the steps because I heard the elevators were being fixed. The door flew open and a small thing of a person flew on top of me. It was him: David Archuleta, that little cutie of a cutie I met in Hollywood.

“Ramiele!” he exclaimed.

“Nice seeing you again, David,” I said casually.

“Have you seen my mom?” he asked randomly.

It was great. I flustered him. This is probably the closest to a girl he’s ever been. I’m kidding! He’s too cute to not ever be around girls.

I giggled as I said, “No… Could you maybe…”

His hazel eyes grew huge. I couldn’t help but smile at how adorable he was. Like a gentleman, he helped me up.

“Sorry,” I heard him say. I couldn’t wipe my silly smile off my face. “I’ll, um, watch who I run into next time.”

“At least it wasn’t… Jason… or someone. He might have squished you.”

He smiled but mine diminished. I’m pretty sure I just spilled the beans! How could I contain it anymore? There’s an age difference, I know, but he’s incredible. My eyes whipped down the hall as a familiar head of hair started towards us.

“Elevator’s busted,” Jason Castro said. He smiled his award winning grin and pushed the metal door open.

I sighed. Jason– he’s amazing!

I sat at the furthest end of the theatre. The darkness covered me, and as I watched the other contestants interacting, having fun, I wore a small smile despite everything.

What is this ‘everything’ that has me hidden though? Let’s let Alexandréa explain. I gazed in her direction as she was engulfed by the darkness. She smiled at me, and I grinned back. I’ve known this one since I was eleven!

“Why are you all alone, David?” she asked, sitting beside me. I felt myself shrug. “Oh, you have to interact even if it’s painful because I’m sure you plan on being here for a while! They’re our family now.”

“I guess I’m the brother that stays in his room all day,” I said. Alex sighed. “I don’t know. I’m either too shy or I’m just not good at making friends with them. I mean, we’re all nice to each other but it’s too casual, you know.”

“Archuleta, you’ve got to suck it up and stop mopping!” she exclaimed. “Even if I have to carry you over there, I’m forcing you to make friends!”

Alexandréa kind of scares me. I wasn’t about to say no and watch her carry me across the set. That’d be embarrassing… and kind of sad. I followed closely behind her as we walked into the lights. It made me uncomfortable to see every single head turn towards me.

“David!” Brooke called, a huge smile plastered on her lips. “We thought you left!”

Brooke is one of those people that makes you smile, even when you don’t want to. It’s kind of a cool trait.

“I thought you got abducted,” Jason joked.

I small figure weaved her way through the little crowd. My heart gave a flutter and I suddenly needed to thank Alex for her vigor. But Ramiele didn’t lock eyes with me, she stared up at Jason.

“He’s sixteen, not six!” she exclaimed, and then her brown eyes met my probably unfocused ones. “David, I remembered your age!”

A laugh somehow escaped my body. I muttered, “I’m seventeen.”

“Oh yeah, seventeen in December,” she said, more-so to herself.

“You were close,” Jason said, trying to find the bright-side, I guess. “Rami, you actually look younger then Archuleta. I’m surprise you haven’t been abducted.”

“I’m twenty,” Ramiele said in a calm, stern voice. “That would be three years older then him!”

I suddenly felt small again – not necessarily little though. My insecurities have made it full circle. She sees me as a child – three years younger. Gosh, this stinks!

My feet swung off the side of the stage. A coy smile played on my face. It was hard to hide when he stood only feet away from me. I felt like a little girl again, fawning over a crush. Who am I kidding?! I am I little girl fawning over a crush. I took my eyes off of Jason and suddenly another pair seized them.

“Who are you staring at?!” Danny Noriega cried. “You’re like… drooling. It’s kind of gross.”

“Oh, it’s no one,” I said back, trying to contain myself from telling him everything.

“Does ‘no one’ have big puffy hair?” he asked casually.

“Danny! What if someone hears you?!”

He crossed his arms over his chest in one swift motion, swaying his body as if it was no one’s business.

“Then everyone will think you’re talking about Syesha... Rami, tell me everything! When’d you start liking…?”

“If you say his name when everyone is standing…”

“Bason Astro!”

I groaned.

“I thought you got abducted,” Bason Astro’s voice said.

Quickly, I gave Danny a look and threw myself through the crowd.

“He’s sixteen, not six!” I said, making him hear my voice, to know I exist. Swiftly looking at David, I continued, not particularly caring about the subject, “David, I remembered your age!”

“I’m seventeen,” David Archuleta said softly.

I vaguely remember him saying that. “Oh yeah, seventeen in December.”

Jason’s blue eyes glowed as he said, “You were close. Rami, you actually look younger then Archuleta. I’m surprise you haven’t been abducted.”

He was flirting! I told you! I stinking told you! He flirted and you have proof. I’m still not certain if he means to do it though.

“I’m twenty. That would be three years older then him!” I retorted, trying to act tough, but I was too dizzy to comprehend anything.

“You’re belittling him, Ramiele,” David Cook said.

Oh! I forgot about David Arch. I looked at him and saw that the color in his face had gone along with some of his luster.

“Oh, David, I’m sorry,” I said, not exactly sure why this offended him.

He smiled and everything seemed better, so I took it as better even though I knew I should have investigated things with my little friend. Jason though… How can I control a situation with him around? Impossible!

It felt like we lost a piece of our souls. Four contestants are now home and we have to move on as if they never existed and I’m not one to be capable of doing that. My body rested bleakly on the metal door blocking off the entrance to the studio.

It was late and I never expected to see someone sitting at the piano. His small frame and black hair were obvious giveaways. I had a strong urge to walk away, pretend to never have seen him, but this boy intrigued me.

As I force the door open, David jumped. He swiftly turned his eyes to mine and I watched as his face gave a rise then a fall.

“Sorry,” I apologized. I stood frozen where I was. I wasn’t certain if David wanted company so I didn’t know if I should have stayed with my intuition or if I should walk forward. He’s so fragile; I don’t want to break him.

David’s back faced me again. “It’s fine. It’s almost eleven though. Why are you here?”

“I’m just… thinking,” I said.

My hearing peeked slightly as I heard David’s fingers finally touch the keys. The song he played was soft, almost as if he never wanted it to be heard at all. He continued to play but slower then the original.

“Oh, about what? If you don’t mind me asking,” David said, his head gazing up at the wall.

I continued to be unmovable. “Everything,” my voice gave a sigh as I listened to the gentle music. It stopped.

David froze too. Suddenly, he swerved in his seat to face me. He smiled slightly but it faded.

“Is something… upsetting you?”

I shook my head. He nodded with a blank face. Something was wrong. I bit hard on my lip while I thought. Something was definitely wrong because I was ninety-nine percent sure that David was breaking one of his parents’ rule by being here are this hour.

“David, you’re here because...?” I started, waiting for a reply.

“I’m thinking too.”

“Are you allowed to think at the time of night?”

It scared me, his reply. Instead of a word, he slammed the piano shut and slouched into it. My stomach bubbled. I upset him, something I’d never planned on doing. My feet pushed me forward. David didn’t look when I took the space left on his piano bench. I lifted the wooded cover of the keys. Picking a random note, I continuously pressed it.

“Why do you always get upset by what I say?” I asked in a small brittle voice, barely audible over the piano.

He shrugged but continued to ignore me. All of a sudden, his hand gently grasped my wrist, preventing me from playing the piano.

“Ramiele,” David said softly.

“Please, David. I’m here. You can talk to me! I’m just wondering why you’re so low all of a sudden.”

His hands found the keys again, only this time, he played them brisk and loudly.

His voice whispered, “I wish people would just stop seeing me as a child! I’m here, seventeen and all, just trying to start a career like everyone else in the Top 24.”

“David, you’re kicking so many people’s butts! Why do you care if they see you as a teenager?”

“It’s demeaning; that’s why. Ramiele, I’m a singer – not a child,” he said, the notes falling into the background. He was talking directly to me.

“Oh, David! What I said, earlier in the week, does that still have you upset?” I asked.

“I’m not upset,” he said sincerely. I still didn’t believe him.

“Well, just as long as you’re not upset! Listen though, if you were upset, I just want you to know that I only said it to impress someone,” I know I blushed crimson! “It didn’t impress you though. I’m so sorry, David! You’re amazing and I’ll never think of you as a child again. But I’m not admitting that I ever did.”

I placed a small kiss on his cheek and threw myself up. The color in his face had come back and in vast amounts. I smiled – David always made me do that.

“Good night, Archuleta! You might want to sneak back into your apartment because if your parents find out…”

“I’ll be back in Utah by tomorrow.”

I looked into his huge, hazel eyes one last time before I fled the room. Immediately, I found my downfall.

This was the first time ever that this has happened. Love. Love? Was it supposed to be this pointless? You work your heart up to get someone and she ends up smashing it into a trillion pieces anyways. It’s a never ending cycle of brief happiness and heartbreak.

But I was falling in love and there was nothing, absolutely nothing, I could do to stop it. Even if I could, would I? The sensation was amazing and I’d break my heart just to see her face again. I’m an idiot. It’s as simple as that!

I listened to every word she said. She talked about how she’d never recognize me as a child again, just to break her promise minutes later. She led me on without the slightest idea that she was doing so. I’m pretty sure that that’s the worst fact about it. I never wanted her to stop seeing me as a child; I wanted her to start seeing me as someone she could maybe fall in love with too.

I’m not that bad, right?

I’ve done so much against my morals for her (even though I don’t regret one). I’ve always said, “School and Music with no thought of girls!” but that’s down the drain! I broke curfew and snuck out, but that wasn’t to intentionally see her – that was coincidental. And she kissed my cheek – that’s wonderfully horrible enough! It’s really my own fault for torturing myself. Tonight though, she was the one torturing me.

I shut the piano for the last time. I’d take Ramiele’s advice and get back home. Seconds later, I heard her voice as if she were talking to someone, and when I walked into the hallway, she was. It was Jason Castro and all the cruel pieces fell together.

Stupidly enough, I though she meant she was trying to impress me, but now I knew it was Jason. This is not fun.

Jason just showed up, but as I talked to him, my head wandered to a different direction. That small framed boy marched up the hallway. I knew two things at this point:

1. I did consider him as a boy.
2. He was upset with the first fact because he wasn’t Jason.

Both realities made me uneasy.

Oh and btw, David was playing "Imagine" on the piano, not that it's significant at all

I wonder if she knows that I know.

My eyes were seeing small spheres of light. I’d get caught looking at Ramiele then I’d shoot my gaze to the spotlight. She’ll be the reason I go blind! Despite the fact that she led me on I still wanted to be around her. I took my chances at looking at her again. This time however, when she caught me, I couldn’t help myself from staring. She never stopped either, and all of a sudden, I felt completely hollow, empty.

The stage manager interrupted, saying, “David, anytime you’re ready, we’ll run through your song.”

I broke the connection Ramiele and I were holding and absentmindedly nodded at him. I didn’t look at her through the song (and that sort of killed me). I just walked back up the metallic steps to the other guys once I finished. I leaned over the bar and stared down at Ramiele who was talking to Brooke.

“When you stare at Rami, make it less noticeable,” came a voice from the side of me. I whipped my head in his direction. I sighed in relief because it was David Cook.

“I wasn’t staring at Ramiele,” I fought back but softly.

“Oh, you were staring and she was staring right back. It was sort of funny actually,” David Cook replied.

“So, it wasn’t my imagination? She was staring back?”

“Arch, I thought there was some telepathic, mind-reading-ness happening!” Michael Johns chimed in.

“Oh no, you all saw?” I said in hushed tones, completely embarrassed.

“Don’t worry,” Luke said. “You’re only seventeen. You’re allowed to have crushes on the girls!”

I was mortified. “I don’t have…”

“Oh, you like Rami! I wonder if she knows,” David Cook exclaimed in deep thought.

“Oh, leave the kid alone!” Danny assisted. “It’s none of our business who he has a crush on. Who does he have a crush on anyways?”

“Ramiele,” Jason said with a huge, mischievous smile.

Danny gasped. “Can I tell her? What? Rami is my best friend! Fine. Fine! I won’t say a word!”

I wonder if he knows that I know.

Oh, my heart pounded every time David looked at me. I’d never be able to tell him I wasn’t interested! But I’m definitely not interested. Jason and I were kind of, sort of, not at all together – YET! And David is seventeen! Isn’t that illegal?

My earth shattered every time my eyes caught his. They were beautiful. He was beautiful. How could I deny that? Even though I didn’t want to be with him, I still wanted him. I wanted to hear his laugh, see him smile, listen to him sing – he was mesmerizing and age wasn’t a factor when I thought of how he amazed me. I didn’t want to lead him on though! I should tell him how I feel. Yes, that's good in theory!

Suddenly, I melted when hazel eyes sunk into mine. I was surprised that he didn’t hastily look away. I felt lighter though. David completely captivated me. There was no concealing that! Then he suddenly stopped looking and a piece of me left.

After David’s song, Brooke leaning into me, whispering, “The boy’s got talent!”

“More then he knows,” I said and even I heard the dreaminess of my voice. I cleared my throat.

“Rami, is something wrong?” Brooke asked.

I sighed. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to bring my Mama Brooke into this.

“Brooke, I’m almost positive that he has a crush on me.”

“Is that good? Or is that bad?”

“Bad! I can’t return the feelings,” I told her.

“Oh, Ramiele, don’t be so narrow-minded! David may be seventeen but he’s mature for his age!”

“No! No,” I said. “I don’t care how old he is! He could be twenty-five and I still wouldn’t be able to return the feelings!”

I wasn’t certain that was true. Honestly, David has all the great qualities, why couldn’t I appreciate them more than I do? His age is the only fitting answer. But the thing is, I don’t have feelings for Danny and he’s everything I’d want a guy to be. I’m thinking too into this! I don’t like David – the end! He’s too much of my friend and it’ll never work!

“So…?” Brooke said, staring at the line of boys coming down the steps, David was at the head.

“I like Jason. Castro, I mean,” I muttered. I saw Brooke smile in the corner of my eye because my eyes were busy gazing at David and Jason.

“As cute as that is, you’re in for a long fight. It’d be great if you got with Jason but you’d be breaking Little David Archuleta’s heart. I’m sure that’d break everyone’s heart.”

She was right and that killed me! How could I be happy? Jason and I would be together but David… I saw no silver lining for me. It seemed that Brooke was on Team Archuleta, having me see the downside, the enormous downside, to this situation.

We all headed out. Suddenly, I felt a hand grasp mine. It dragged me from the crowd.

“David Archuleta likes you!”

I need to make a decision! Would I kill my heart and keep liking Ramiele or would I do the smart thing and stop? This has never happened before! I know I’m too young for this, now especially, seeing that I can’t deal with this type of situation. So would I give up on this fantasy?

I turned. Ramiele and I locked eyes.

“Danny! Why’d you have to confirm it?!” I exclaimed. My heart did a flip then a summersault then crashed in my stomach.

“I thought you would maybe want to know,” Danny said overly sheepish.

“No, I do not want to know! I wish David didn’t stinking like me at all!”

This is where it gets hard. David likes me. I don’t like him. I like Jason. But David made me so happy! Would I cut off that bliss for both our sakes? From across the room, David looked into me eyes.

I couldn’t.

I had to.

I lost my breath. It was only for a second but it was gone. He was so ashamed. He didn’t want anyone to see him cry, but even from across the stage, I saw the moist orbs flowing down his cheeks. He may have thrown them from his face, but I was becoming overly observant of this David Archuleta.

This must be hard for him. Alex seemed to be his closest friend in the competition. The music died and she raced to get David in her arms. For that, I was grateful. I saw his smile again.

The rides home were always quiet. Four more members of our family were leaving us. In the van, I took the backseat with Danny and Kady. Five others filled the vehicle, including David and Alexandréa.

“What are you going to do without me?” she playfully questioned him.

He frowned. “I was just asking myself that.”

“Now, you’re going to really have to make friends,” she said, smiling.

“I have friends!” he retorted.

Alex gave him a tight squeeze. “You already don’t need me.”

The rest of the conversations throughout the car suddenly engulfed theirs. I couldn’t comprehend anyone. I only lingered on David’s final statement.

I have friends!

Was I the only one to realize how sad his voice was?

“I could talk to her,” Alex offered in hushed tones. “I’m not leaving you like this, David!”

The soft cushion of the van was as hard as rock. I feebly sunk into it.

“It’s my own fault. I did this to myself. I deserve everything that’s coming,” I muttered. “How could I think someone like her could like someone like me?”

“…because someone like her could like someone like you!”

I didn’t appreciate the lies and I knew they were comforting, delusional lies. I turned my face away from Alex and stared through the glass of the window. In turn, I only saw my own sad reflection. Ramiele had taken what she could and left very little. For the first time, I saw the damage.

“She broke me, you know?” I said to my own likeness. “She’s the first girl I ever really… I don’t know.”

“David, if you’re falling for her, don’t give her up so easily,” she replied, placing a hand on my shoulder. “Give her no reason to look past you because you’re hard to look past. You need to realize that!”

When I didn’t reply, she said, “You’re something special, David Archuleta. Everyone sees it; why not you?”

I thought my stomach finally exploded, but it was only the van suddenly stopping.

“I guess I’m not something special then, if I can’t see it,” I muttered as I exited the car.

I didn’t want to face the others. I didn’t want their comfort or be around their bitter happiness. Four were gone and tonight there’d be one more. I followed the green shrubs to the back of the hotel. A small metal gate hid in the bushes. I opened it and fled inside.

I saw my sad face in the pools’ echo. Reality was catching up to me. It had finally fought through and hit me senseless. I was so numb that I didn’t even hear the small gate’s squeeze.

“I guess I’m not something special then, if I can’t see it,” David mumbled. It was directed at Alexandréa but I heard it too. The group watched him rush out of the car. I was surprised that Alex didn’t go after him.

“Aren’t you going to get him?!” I exclaimed.

“He wants to be alone,” she replied, defeated.

Once we were all out of the car, I pulled her aside. I whispered, “Why’d he say that? Why’d he say he wasn’t special?”

“That’s what he thinks.”

I couldn’t even tell my brain to think before I went running after him. Where was he? I couldn’t let him be alone! I finally saw an advantage of him liking me: I could make him happy.

The shrubs went on for ages! I run past a silver cut in the green. It was the gate to the pool. Peering over it, I saw David sitting Indian-Style looking into the pool. Gently, I pushed the gate open. He didn’t look up. Slowly I made my way towards him. I leaned over his back and looked into the pool too. Our eyes met.

I couldn’t even take a breath before it happened…

“Ramiele!” he shouted.

When he swerved, he lost his positioning. He was falling into the cold water. My reflexes controlled me and I threw my arms around him, holding him close to my body. His hands grabbed my lower back. It took both of us a second to realize that neither of us hit the water. I almost hyperventilated into his ear and he breathed heavily into mine. I was too scared to let go.

“Oh, David!” I shrieked, tightening my grip on him. “I thought you were going to fall in!”

I wasn’t sure if my entire body went hot or cold. But the temperature of my blood was suddenly different. Ramiele was holding me as if I were about to die. My hands rested on the small of her back and my face was in her hair. She was…

I could finish that with a million different adjectives but I decided that she was uninterested.

“Oh, David! I thought you were going to fall in!” she said into my ear, rattling my eardrum.

I let my hands drop. “It’s just a pool and everything’s fine now.”

Ramiele pulled away too. Her cold hands held my face.

“You’re something special, David, amazingly special…”

I lost my breath. It was only for a second but it was gone.

I felt like I was driving up the wrong side of the road. It was the same anxiousness and excitement you’d feel being in a haunted house, or it was as if I were close to the end of the hugest diving board about to jump into the cold water below me. Nothing could save me now, and as I decided to dive headfirst, I didn’t want to be saved…

I had a feeling David wasn’t breathing. I haven’t seen him blink either. We were frozen in a moment I never intended for us. But when I finally caught the heat of his breath, I realized that I never wanted to be out. Because of nerves, he quickly licked his lips.

Suddenly, I laughed and a small smile pinned itself to my lips. Slowly, his face brightened. And for the first time in a long time, he smiled. It wasn’t like the fake ones he’s been forcing out, but an actually tangible smile. For just one second, I pressed my forehead to his then wrapped my arms around his neck, nuzzling my nose into the crook of it.

I noticed that he smelled really good. It wasn’t cologne but the scent his skin had. It was a mixture of whatever body wash and shampoo he used. It may take over as my new favorite smell, next to foundation and pears.

“David’s here everyone!” interrupted a voice – a strikingly familiar voice.

“Everyone?” David’s broken voice said into my ear.

“Ramiele’s keeping him busy…very busy.”

Instinctively, I tightened my grip on David but peeked over his body to see the crowd about to form. Jason’s smiling face hung over the gate. He gracefully waved in my direction. I ungracefully towered to my feet, losing all grip of David. As I stared over at Jason’s blue eyes, I felt water on my skin.


I remained under the water for a few extra moments. Despite the bitter coldness, I didn’t want to surface and see the fuss. I just watched the small bubbles escape my mouth and rise to the top, where I should be. I shut my eyes and swam to the surface.

The entire Top 16 had spread themselves around the edge of the pool. I felt guilty at their horrified expressions. I coughed then suddenly was lifted from the pool. I was getting coats thrown of me from left to right. Everyone was becoming eccentric!

“E-v-v-v-v-eryon-n-n-ne! I’m f-f-fine!” I shivered. I wasn’t convincing in the least.

“Move! I said MOVE!” I heard her voice yell. Small, warm hands took mine. Ramiele looked into my eyes, guilt spilling over. “Oh, David! We need to get you inside! Oh my GOSH! MOVE, EVERYONE!”

“Let me help,” Jason insisted.

“No! You’ve helped quite enough!” Ramiele yelled back at him as she held my body to her little one, maneuvering us through the contestants.

For someone that likes Jason, she sure treated him like mush for me. I felt a little warmer, but only on my cheeks and everywhere Ramiele’s skin and mine touched.

Every instinct, everything selfish in my body was pushed aside. David needed me. I didn’t need to look at Jason, to apologize because it didn’t matter. David was soaked to the core and his shivering was beginning to make me shake. He was the only important thing right now; but why did I want to look back at Jason.

It was so quiet; I swear I heard each water droplet falling off of him as we headed for him room. I let the door shut behind us. For a second, only I second, I hesitated. I knew exactly what to do: I had to get David out of his wet cloths, but why did it seem so difficult?! He was standing in the middle of the room, freezing, yet I couldn’t muster enough courage to take action.

After that second’s hesitation, I gripped the bottom of his shirt. His eyes were magnets! When he wanted to look at me, I had to look back. David was cold. He shivered. He had Goosebumps down his body. His eyes were warm though. They were gentle; I wasn’t sure what he was thinking.

Then he smiled.

That’s when my insides become pudding. My hands began to shake. I managed to pull his shirt up to his chest before I dropped it back down. The door had opened.

“What are you two doing?!” Mr. Archuleta’s voice sounded. We both glanced in his direction. “David! What happened?”

“He fell into the pool, Mr. Archuleta. I was just trying to help him. You need to get him out of his cloths and into some dry ones,” I said, my throat going dry.

“Thank you, Ramiele,” I heard the harsh tone in his father’s voice and knew it was time to leave. David’s warm eyes sought mine one last time, but I ducked my head and fled the room.

My eyes were becoming fogged as I went up the hallway. All of a sudden, a cold, damp hand grasped mine.

David spun me around to face him. He was about to say something or do something but he hesitated, just as I had. His hand held mine softly.

“I’d hug you, but… you know, all wet.” He hesitated again. “Here…”

“What?” I asked when nothing came.

He took a deep breath which staggered because of the shivers then leaned towards me. His lips were warm on my skin. My cheeks had an impact rate of a mili-second, so when David’s lips left my cheek, they went red.

“Thank you,” he muttered and tore up the hallway.

I dove in.

And now I was drowning…

…because I think David Archuleta is stealing my heart. Is it possible for one person to fall for two at the same time?

Stars clouded my closed eyes – an ocean of stars. I felt dizzy and I knew I could collapse at any moment. But I would fall into his arms, and I’d crumble now, given the choice. Our lips felt like two puzzle pieces finally connecting. His were so warm.

I was cold though. My heart slammed shut, tore through every inch of me. I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t want to breathe. He kissed me and I was pulling back.

“I can’t,” I said into his open eyes, my hands against his small chest. “I’m sorry.”

…and then I ran.

I wanted to run. I wanted to be away from the pounding of my heart – that constant pounding – because I knew one of the reasons it was beating was Ramiele. She’s the girl that’ll blind-sight me then break my heart. I knew. I should have never kissed her! It was an innocent mistake though. She was there. So was I. I kissed her. That’s where it went wrong.

I thrust my headphones deeper into my ears. The beating wasn’t as loud when I couldn’t hear it. The concrete bench I sat on didn’t feel as uncomfortable as I did. It was a beautiful night though. The stars were so perfect that they were almost mocking. Suddenly, just as I was getting lost in my music it was pulled away from me.

“Archie, could we ask you something?”

I felt overwhelmed. Michael Johns was beside me, balancing my headphone in the middle of his palm while David Cook spun the other above my head. Both jokers had hard expressions on their faces.

“Yes…?” I forced.

“We want to know everything about Ramiele,” David insisted, sitting himself on the arm of the bench.

“That was a question?” Michael interrupted.

“He knows what we meant! We want to know what Jason is getting himself into,” David said.

“Wait. What?” I asked, taking my headphones back.

“Jason’s going to apologize to Rami. He really seems to like her. It’s stinkin’ annoying though. He’s our roomie, see. If he comes back tonight unhappy, well, it’ll be a long night for us,” Michael informed. “He’s a crier.”

“…and you seem to be close to her, Arch,” David piped.

My stomach burned. Then my heart caught up. And lastly my brain. If Jason had feelings for Ramiele, I had no chance. It didn’t matter if I became her best friend; I needed her to have the same feelings I did. Those were nonexistent.

“I guess,” I said, a grin hiding under me.

“So how much of a beast is she?” David questioned.

“That was almost compassionate,” Michael retorted.

“I think she’s pretty amazing, actually,” I said. “She’s caring. She’s beautiful. She’s funny.”

“Jason picked a good girl then,” David Cook said brightly.

Jason had picked a good girl. As much as it ached, Ramiele picked a great guy too. I knew I’d be lying to myself by saying Jason wouldn’t treat her properly, but the tiny fraction of my brain that knew I’d be better screamed for me to realize that. I ignored it. This was what was best for Ramiele. If that wasn’t me, I’d understand.

“Too bad Archie here loves her,” Michael said.

“Yeah, you see, Jason’s our friend but we’re not jeopardizing this for you, David.”

I gaped at them. I wasn’t sure which surprised me more: David and Michael blatant virtue or the fact that they were so certain that I loved her before it was even certain to me. Both gave me chills, but I smiled. It then broke.

“Jason’s not jeopardizing anything,” I said. “Ramiele already likes him. And if he likes her…”

“So, you’re not going to even try?!” Michael exclaimed. “David Archuleta, that’s pathetic! Ramiele seems to fit you like a puzzle piece yet it doesn’t seem to matter to you in the least!”

“It matters to me extremely,” I fought.

“Go get her then,” David said.

It was the way he said it. No. I’m pretty sure I started towards Ramiele’s room because I needed to see her; the beating was obnoxious now. Oh and they both scared me a little bit.

The door was open. Something took over me and I realized it when I knocked the door aside. That something disappeared when I saw her. Ramiele.

…and Jason. Her back was to me. It didn’t matter though, she’d never sense me. She was too busy kissing Jason. The insufferable beating slowed until I couldn’t hear it anymore. It seemed like she could though because she pulled back.

I was scared when Jason caught me eye. It shook me. I jolted from her room. I was halfway down the hall when I heard it.

“David?” It was her voice.

He didn’t even bother to acknowledge me.

“David Archuleta! Don’t you dare pretend like you don’t hear me!”

That made him freeze. A new emotion flooded my brain. I knew what it was but I couldn’t find the right word. Then it hit me just as fast as Danny would when I’d ramble about Jason. Anger. I was angry.

“You were in my room!” I screamed. “You didn’t knock or anything! How dare you?!”

I was blaming the kiss on him. I knew it. I kissed Jason and it was amazing. Then it burned like acid and I wanted out! Right now I was blaming it on David… How could I be so…

“I’m sorry,” he said completely gone.

…heartless. David’s face was plastered with disappointment and sorrow. I was being selfish. Then I realized what David just saw.

“Oh, David. Jason and I… I didn’t want you to see… I never…”

“No, it’s fine,” he muttered. “No, it doesn’t matter. I’m happy for you.”

I knew he was lying. He smiled through all of this – his amazing, goofy, beautiful smile. I never wanted to see that version of it again though. I hated his fake smiles. I melted with the real ones. I needed a real one.

“David, I never should have yelled at you. Forget that happened! You weren’t supposed to see me and Jason! I never wanted…”

“Rami, it’s perfectly fine!” he exclaimed. “Michael and Cookie said that Jason likes you, so go and get him!”

“What about you?”

“Me,” he gasped. “What about me?”

“Don’t you… you know…?”

David laughed. “Do I like you?! Ramiele, I love you but I’ll never like you! You’re my friend and… come on, there’s a four year age difference now! And really, could you image me taking you to my Junior Prom?”

“Only if you rented a limo,” I laughed.

“See, we could never… you know – have a little something-something. Now, Jason…”

“You’re amazing, David!”

“Oh, thanks.”

That was close to one of the hardest things ever. I had blind-sighted myself! But I was fooling myself by thinking this could ever happen. I just figured: drop-out now while I wasn’t in love.

Only problem is… I am.

So, that… That broke my heart.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched David walk away. That was the hardest thing ever.

How could he?

I’d lost everyone.

They all left me; it was like a game to them. They were allowed to leave and I had to stay right here. I’d always be here – right here. Lost… Gone…


But I wasn’t alone. That’s the worst part.

“Danny and Kady are out!” I told him for the umpteenth time.

His face was fuzzy through my tear stricken eyes. Since we both had picked our songs for Top 12, we sat together in the corner on the room. His hand brushed my tears away.

“I really do hate seeing you cry, Rami,” he said. I knew he was smiling though. He always smiled.

“My closest friends are gone!” I murmured.

“I’m here,” he whispered.

“I know, David, and I’m glad.”

I buried my face in his little chest. The tears came out fiercer and heavier now. I decided that we couldn’t stop being friends even though he hurt me. Around him, I’d force a smile and let myself die inside. For the first time since he told me he didn’t like me, I allowed him to see my tears for him. He thought they were for Danny and Kady, but they weren’t – not at this second when I was holding the one I needed.

I wish he’d stop them soon because I’m becoming dehydrated. I hated the crying part of American Idol.

I wish she’d stop crying! Maybe I should fall into the pool again. That’ll cheer her up. Or give her a heart attack. Gosh, this was hard: trying to just be friends with the girl you’re in love with. As I ran my fingers through her hair, I had an urge to just whip her up and… well, you know… kiss her. The urge was stronger then I let myself see.

“You’re not allowed to cry anymore, okay?” I muttered. She nuzzled closer to me, nodding her head, but I felt her tears through my shirt. I sighed, letting my fingers feel the softness of her hair again.


She smiled and it took a couple of years off my life. I smiled too. I had a feeling both were the only real ones we’ve shared in days. Despite for the crying to stop, I made Ramiele come to my room for a movie. We didn’t even watch it. I couldn’t remember the movie even. The screen was glowing blue now – the film had been over for a while.

I fluffed her hair, the popcorn pieces falling onto my bed.

“Oh, Ramiele, I’m making you clean this up!” I exclaimed.

“It’s your stinkin’ bed!” she retorted.

“You were polluting it by just sitting on it and now you’re littering on it! Both are against the law!”

“Arrest me then! I’d like to see you try! I’m little, but look in the mirror! I can take you!”

I burned a hole into her eyes with my own for practically a whole second before I burst out laughing. She then attacked. Oh, I’d never be able to take her! I was now lying back on my bed, staring up at Ramiele. I’d blush but I couldn’t breathe. I was laughing too hard.

“See? Easy!” Ramiele laughed.

“No, Mommy, I didn’t take any cookies!”

Then Ramiele collapsed in a fit of laughter. “What the heck?! That was so random!”

We both shook because of each other’s laughter. We both gasped for breath. This was one of those times when you laughed without even knowing what you were laughing at.

“You’d good at cheering someone up,” she said, pushing herself up to look me in the eyes.

“So, you’ve completely forgotten about Danny and Kady?”

“Completely! Actually, not completely but I’m better.”

I grinned, “That’s an improvement.”

It got suddenly quiet and I hoped Rami couldn’t hear my heart. Was it even beating anymore? Both of our smiles faded as we gazed into each other’s eyes. Her eyes were beautiful.

His eyes were gorgeous. I felt his steady breaths on my lips; that’s how close we were. I could just tilt my head forward. I could tilt my head and we’d be kissing. It’d take one simple move. One small gap. I could kiss him.

I decided I would.

That’s when I heard a knock on the door.


I felt panicked and shoved myself off of David. I sucked in a quick breath and rushed to the door. I didn’t forget about David though– I couldn’t; it wasn’t possible! With my hand on the knob, I looked back at him. We smiled.

“Hi, Jason! How’d you find me?” I said, opening the door. He was smiling too.

“I saw Arch rush you off when you were crying. I went to check on you just now, and Syesha said you hadn’t come back. At first I thought murder …”

“Because David would murder anyone!”

“I can’t even arrest Rami,” he said. Jason looked at him questioningly. I smiled which spread back to David. “It’s a long story.”

“Hey, could I talk to you, maybe?” he asked.

David rushed forward. “Use my room! I’ll be in the living room.”

I shut David’s door.

“Ramiele, we really need to talk,” Jason said.

“Okay, let’s talk. About what though?” Ramiele said.

I sat on the couch and still heard their conversation. I felt guilty because I was straining my ears to hear them.

“Okay, you’re confusing me. You kiss me one day and the next you’re alone with Archie. I don’t understand.”

“David’s a friend.” Ouch. “I’m allowed to be alone with him. And the kiss…”

“You pushed me back! You kissed me and then pushed me back.”

She kissed him? I thought… Wasn’t he the one to kiss her?

“No,” Ramiele said, “you kissed me. It doesn’t matter. It didn’t feel right. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the kiss was perfect up until my insides blew up.”

I truly didn’t need a description of the kiss. I saw it.

“That doesn’t matter,” Jason said. “I never wanted to kiss you.”

There was a long pause. “What?”

“Ramiele, I’m sorry if I led you on, but I’m not interested. There’s kind of someone else. It seems like you have someone else too.”

“David? Jason, David and I are platonic friends! Nothing’s ever going to happen!” Ramiele informed.

She was making so many emotions implode in me. Now a mixture of anger and grief broke through my body. I kicked myself up and walked out of my own apartment.

“Jason, David and I are platonic friends! Nothing’s ever going to happen!” I cried. Pain seared me. It’s the pain of knowing how true that was.

“You’re sad,” he stated the obvious.

“Of course I’m sad!” I said. I was angry too; tears started to form in my eyes. I hated crying already!

“Is it me?” When I didn’t reply, he continued, “You never meant to kiss me either.”

It wasn’t a question. “I did, but when I kissed you… I felt like I was betraying David.”

“So, you like me,” Jason tried to clear up, “but you love David.”

Had it always been that simple? “…yeah…” Guess so.

“Then why are you here…?”

Because I’m an idiot!

This was it, wasn’t it? I was literally flying, and the air was so sweet. I knew I loved David Archuleta, and even though in this moment he wasn’t ready to return the feeling, I’d wait. He needed to know. I just wanted to hold his small face in my little hands and tell him about my first love.

But why was he walking away? He caught my eye on the turn. I apparently didn’t deserve him; that’s what his eyes told me.

I bolted. As soon as I saw her teary face again, I ran. I was a coward. I was a fool. I couldn’t handle this anymore. So, I ran…

How could I comfort her as she cried about Jason? He didn’t like her; I’m sorry, but where’s my angle on this story? I was fighting too, fighting harder then the rest of them. It was selfish and I knew it! I was being the worst possible friend in the world. I may even hate myself for everything I was thinking. Tonight though, I planned on being alone – I planned on us both being alone.

Archie – My Apartment – Tonight?

My hand shook holding my cell phone. Before I could respond, it vibrated.


I couldn’t keep running. I’d been greedy for far too long. I couldn’t run from Ramiele anymore.

Midnight. See you there. I replied.

I was fidgeting. This was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I sat in the middle of the sofa that was parallel to the door. I was ready, but completely unprepared.

“Ramiele!” came his whisper through my door. I leapt up and practically ran to open it.

“David!” I whispered. “Syesha is asleep. Let’s go outside.”

“What was so important that I needed to sneak out from under my dad’s nose to see you?”

I love you rolled through my head, but it wasn’t the right moment. I had a question, an important question.

“Why’d you run earlier?”

“Why didn’t you come after me?” he returned. He was avoiding the question!

“Maybe it was because once around the corner you ran faster then a cheetah!” I exclaimed.

“It’s because of track…”

“David! What’s wrong with you? Stop being clever! This isn’t you…”

“Maybe I’ve changed,” he breathed.

“I don’t want you to change! Is it the show? Why are you differing from that sweet, smiling, giggly, incre- um, that David Archuleta I met in Hollywood?” Geez, I started to ramble about David in front of David!

“I’m still here. I am but… No. The show has nothing to do with anything,” David muttered. “Can I go now, Rami?”

“No!” I was getting scared. I might have lost him and I didn’t know why. “Talk to me! Please, this is just reminding me of the night with the piano – the night you played ‘Imagine’ on the piano for me. I’m not fighting to see what’s wrong this time!”

“Ramiele, this is exactly like that night! But this time Jason’s not here to interrupt.” His hands slapped against his mouth. In a jumble, I heard, “I’m so sorry!”

“You’re sorry that Jason’s not here?” I questioned.

“No. No, I’m sorry for bringing him up.”

“Wait a second! Why are you sorry?” He didn’t say I word. “I’m not hesitant to start screaming at you, David Archuleta!”

“I may have… heard some stuff… earlier.”

“How much stuff?” I said, a lump in my throat. If he heard I was in love with him and he ran away… I wouldn’t be able to bear it…


“David, please! How much did you hear?!”

“I heard enough. Jason apparently has someone else and doesn’t have feelings for you.”

“Is that all?” I asked. He nodded. “And you ran? David, you ran!” I may love him, but that doesn’t make him any less obtuse. Why would he run from a friend whose heart was just broken, even though him running was the reason mine smashed.

“I’m sorry.”

“Of course you are, David! You’re always sorry! Seriously, for once, don’t be so sorry!”

“Then I’m not sorry…”

“Then tell me the truth,” I said. “Why’d you run?”

I was surprised by his sudden, blunt answer. “I decided I was finished,” he said then stopped. He was waiting for me to say something, anything but I’d let him speak. “I couldn’t handle being your shoulder to cry on anymore. I don’t get a shoulder? Where’s my shoulder?”

“Do you need one?”

I didn’t understand.

I gaped at her, my mouth unhitched. Did she really have trouble comprehending this?

“Of course I need one!”

“Then I’ll be your shoulder…”

“Yeah, that’s fantastic! I’ll cry on the shoulder of the girl that’s making me cry! That’s extremely comforting!” I exclaimed. This was so frustrating! I decided that this couldn’t get the better of me. I took a breath and a step back from Ramiele. “I’m sorry.” She stared. “No, no I’m not! Ramiele, you needed to hear that.”

“But I’m not exactly sure I heard what I did.”

I placed my hands over my face. Through my fingers, I said, “What’s so hard to understand?!”

“Why would I make you cry?”

“Firstly, you’ve never made me cry. Secondly, most importantly, I’m still bitter of the fact that all you can tell Jason is that there’s absolutely nothing between us! I’m so tired of this! That’s why I’ve given up! I’m not fighting for you or whatever I've been doing because it’s pointless!”

“So, I’m pointless?” Ramiele said, talking in circles.

“No. Ramiele, you’re nowhere close to pointless.”

“Then what are you trying to say?”

*I didn’t know what kind of mind games she was playing on me, but I was mad, I was tired, I was completely gone. I didn’t want to talk, but I didn’t want to be quiet. I wanted to go, but I didn’t want to leave. What was happening to me?

I cold fire spread through my body. It was angry; it was passionate; it was as lost as I was. But before it got to my brain, my entire body pushed forward. My hands held Ramiele close, the closest we’ve ever been. Our bodies were touching and I felt her heat. But that’s all I felt. I was aware her hands were slipping from my face to my hair and that mine held handfuls of the back of her shirt in each palm. But I couldn’t describe anything else.

Only the feel of her lips. They were kissing mine. The fire nearly erupted. The kiss was the fire, and I wanted to burn because of it. Burning seemed the only sane thing right now.

Ramiele was the only sane thing right now.*

At this moment, I realized David had always been the only thing I ever wanted. And if we could kiss forever, I’d make sure forever would be just that. He held me tight but it wasn’t close enough. He kissed me fiercely but it wasn’t powerful enough. I breathed in his scent – my favorite scent. It’d make me faint if he wasn’t clinging for dear life. I just wanted to reassure him that he didn’t have to worry about losing me.

I pulled back just so my lips were free even though they still slightly touched his.


“Shh, Ramiele. I’m taking everything I can get.”

His haste surprised me. My giggle got lost in my throat though. I loved that he forced me back. My back hit my door.

I pulled back one more time. “What do you mean?”

He kissed me again then said, “I only want us to be friends, but until I can tell you that, I’m kissing you.”

“Don’t ever tell me that then.”

He nodded and took my lips once more. I didn’t know what had taken over me. It might have been that fact that it was midnight. It might have been the fact that I desperately knew what David had in store for us (friends? I couldn’t!). Maybe I was tired. Maybe I was going a little crazy. But all I knew, as I opened the door to my apartment, was that David was the reason behind my dazed mind.

Never regret. It makes you overlook what’s happening in the present. I’m regretting the present though. What’s the clever saying for that?

But I couldn’t stop kissing her. We both parted, deciding we’ve kissed enough, but all she needed to do was blink or breath and I’d lean in for another kiss. They were quick stolen kisses but with each one my chest exploded again.

“Stop letting me kiss you,” I muttered against her lips.

“You’re going to remember that you want us to be friends and I can’t have that,” Ramiele whispered. “So I’m planning on kissing you till that’s not an option anymore.”

I had been putting that off too. Even though it had been hard to think when our lips were connected, a throbbing ache in the back of my mind knew what was coming. I knew what was best for us, even if it’d take away the most important part of me.

“I still haven’t decided if I should let my brain win this battle,” I mumbled.

Ramiele caressed my face. “Do I have a say?”

“Not so much,” I said selfishly. Regret.

I regretted leaving Ramiele on her bed. My eyes regretted the living room lights when I walked out of Ramiele’s dark room. I regretted how my heart was now beating unevenly.

I didn’t know I would be regretting every action I had made when I opened my apartment door.

“It’s past one.”

And that’s all it took to make my entire demeanor melt into a puddle.

“I’d advise you not to talk,” my father told me. I was scared; I’ve never been so scared in my life. I’ve never done anything to be so scared of. “David James Archuleta, you sneak out of the apartment to go God knows where, and try to get back in far after curfew? You should be happy it’s late or I’d be screaming! And you’re happy that I’m grounding you for your remaining time on the show and not completely kicking you off!”

I was on the verge of tears. “Dad…”

“No, David, I’m not hearing it. Go to your room. I’m not letting you tempt me with waking the neighbors.”

“I’m sorry, Dad.”

“David!” Oh, gosh, there was more. So much more!

“Do I have a say?” I asked, hoping that maybe if I did, he wouldn’t let me go. I just wanted to stay with him tonight.

“Not so much.”

My heart crumbled. He decided he didn’t need me. I was heartbroken and angry. The latter was the emotion really driving me while I watched David sweep out of my room.

He was toying with my heart! David Archuleta was playing around with the only sure thing I had left. I loved him and it didn’t matter. I finally gave myself to him and he turned it down after a small taste. I had a bitter taste in my mouth.

I’d get a say in this! I decided that as I went chasing after the boy. I tripped and stumbled but the cuts and bruises didn’t seem to faze me. I couldn’t feel them next to the bleeding organ that was my heart. That killed me the most.

I took a deep breath and whispered loudly into his apartment.


I was dead.

I had surpassed the fear and was headed to nothingness now. It was a pounding, numb feeling that my body was experiencing.

I was breathing louder then the small knock Ramiele placed on the door. Maybe he didn’t hear. I was praying that he didn’t hear.

“Answer it.” He heard.

My hand gave a tremor as it reached for the doorknob. Ramiele stood fixed on the other side. My tense insides soften a tiny bit when I looked down at her.

“You don’t decide what happens to me, David Archuleta!” she said loudly to my horror. “I’m allowed to fall in love with you. I get a say in this, David!”

She engulfed me, and for a second, I forgot about my dad who was standing behind us, watching the scene. But I snaked my way out of her grasp. Lightly, I dipped my head into her ear.

“Does my dad look mad?” I asked. I felt her stiffen.

“Oh my…”

“David doesn’t love you, Ramiele,” my dad started. “Go to bed and we’ll forget all of this. He’s a teenage. He doesn’t know what love is.”

She glanced up at me. I looked away.

His lips slowly parted. I just wanted him to finally disagree with his father. I just wanted to hear that he loves me too. I just… I wanted him.

“I’m sorry, Ramiele. I shouldn’t have seen you tonight. It was wrong. Yeah, we should just both go to bed.”

My wall broke down. I felt myself fall as I stood in place. I didn’t try to hide how sad I was. The tears began to pour and I couldn’t remember David’s face anymore. I didn’t want to be in the same room as him. In a few seconds, I wasn’t.

“I love her,” I heard myself say.

“No, you don’t. You love the idea that someone has feelings for you,” he retorted. “In the morning, you won’t even remember this.”

“I will too remember this! Ramiele’s hard to forget.”

“Well, you’d better start forgetting or I’ll make sure you two won’t see each other again.”

“What do you mean?” I whispered.

“I mean, maybe your days on American Idol are numbered.”

Something broke away from me and it was never coming back.

“How could you do that? This is my dream! She’s just a girl.”

“Exactly, keep your mind on the price! She’s not it,” he told me.

This night was darker then any other. My eyes burned. I fought the urge to show any emotion even in the middle of the night, even thought everyone was asleep. In half a heartbeat, I heard a small tap at my window. I rubbed my eyes into focus and saw a small face – the only face I wanted to see but was frightened of at the same time.

I eased my way out of bed. Before I opened the window, I glanced at the clock. It read ‘1:23.’

“Ramiele!” I whispered, almost inaudibly. “We can get in so much trouble! You can get in so much trouble.”

“I don’t care,” Ramiele said, before she pressed her lips to mine. It was only for a second. I was only my downfall.

“Ramiele… I do.”

I didn’t know whether to pulled her in or push myself out. My hands would linger on her shoulders until I’d make that decision.

“David, what happened? With your dad, I mean.”

“He was furious. Really mad that I sneaked out. Got worse when you came.”

She dropped an inch or so. I took her hand and lead her inside. We sat on my bed.

“I’m so sorry, David,” she murmured. “I never expected… I thought he’d be sleeping. I was just mad that you left. I was mad the way you treated me.”

“The way I treated you? What about the way you treated me?!” I exclaimed in soft tones.

“You told me you only wanted us to be friends, David! I didn’t treat you badly at all!”

“How about leading me on?! I liked you so dang much and you made it real clear how you felt!” I said, still keeping silent.

“I kissed you!”

“You also kissed Jason! Were you thinking about someone other then me when we were kissing, Ramiele?”

“I kissed you!” she said.

I continued, “I was kissing you!”

The black atmosphere hid my distraught. Tears were close to splashing down my face.

His voice was broken. He was trying to prevent tears too. He said, “We can’t do this anymore.”

“David, I promise, you’re the only one I was thinking about! I-”

“No, Ramiele, please. My dad… And… I can’t – we can’t. I want us to be friends.”

He said it. They were the worst six words of my life. I didn’t want to be his friend. I wanted him, all or nothing. I never thought “nothing” could be official. I hated crying! I loathed it! But here they came…

This was making both of us wither into nothing. There was nothing left in me. There was nothing left in her. I reached to touch her hand but was scared that she’d whip it away. I hated seeing her in this state. I’d never get to sleep with this image in my brain.

My hand caught her cheek.

“In the morning…”

I held her. We stood like this for how many minutes. I held her. She held back. In the morning, when a new day – probably beautiful and taunting – would rise, we’d no longer be ourselves. We’d leave them in the night.

“Until then… Let’s just sleep.”

I didn’t plan on moving. I was so scared though. What if Mr. Archuleta walked in? What if I woke David up? I’d stay still, hoping it’d freeze the world. That’d never happen, but I’d make the most of being locked in his arms until fate caught up to us. You can’t really fight it can you?

His grip became stern. He stirred. I held onto the arms around my stomach for dear life. David pressed his lips to my shoulder.

“Morning,” he said vaguely. I slammed my eyes shut. “I know you’re awake, Ramiele.”

I held on, but he drew back. Soon, David knelt in front of me.

“Does this really have to end, David?” I asked, hopelessly. He nodded. I rolled onto my back.

“Ramiele, I gave us the night! My dad won’t let us see each other anymore. You need to go before he wakes up! We’re friends. It’s for the best really.”

“How can we be friends when we love each other like this?” (A/N: I totally stole that from “Eclipse”)

“I can’t love you, Ramiele.”

“You’re forcing yourself to stop loving me! David, you loved me even before I knew your name! Why are you throwing this away?”

“It’s complicated. My dad…”

I sprung from the bed. I needed for the boy to look at me, but as I stood below him, he gazed at the window. I forced his face towards me as fast as he forced himself to not love me.

“Stop using your dad as an excuse! You love me, David Archuleta. You love me and I love you. There’s nothing that can prevent that!”

“We’re friends, Rami. Now go! If – he – catches us…”

I nodded in defeat. I whipped myself around and walked towards the window. David wasn’t even facing me when I looked at him through the clear glass. I missed him already.

I didn’t plan on moving.

“I can’t stop you two from being together can I?”

It was my dad. The second Ramiele walked away, I left my room only to find him standing at the door. I was speechless. What could I say? I was trapped in my own mistake of letting her stay the night. I needed to be with her though.

“I heard everything, David,” he told me. “She really does love you, huh? And you love her?”

It took me too long to answer. “Ye-yeah.”

“You’re seventeen.”

I nodded. “I know,” I muttered.

“I know my son. I knew music would come first. I’m glad you told her you just wanted for you both to be friends. I’m proud of you. I’m not so proud that you broke her heart,” he said, “and your own.”

“Wait! You told me…”

“I remember what I told you, and I was going to stay true to it until I saw the way you held her this morning. I want you to be happy, David. I won’t stand in your way anymore.”

I smiled but remembered what I told her. It wasn’t his fault. I was the one that chose to be friends with Ramiele.

“We’re going to just be friends though.”

“Why?” he exclaimed. I shrugged although knowing the answer.

I’d miss her.

A Month Later…
I loved her. I loved her so much! I loved her. I needed her back. I just needed her back for my own selfishness. Because we haven’t talked in a month. Because I couldn’t look at her anymore. I needed for her to be in the room. I needed to see a small figure and know it was her. I loved her. I wish I would have told her.

Ramiele Malubay was voted off last night.

I didn’t go to dinner. I couldn’t take the same car as her. Now that she was going, everything revolved around her. A chorus of “Ramiele, I love you!” and “Rami, we’re going to miss you!” mocked me. They’ll never know how hard it is without her. Today she’s going back to Florida and will be across the country. I tried not to think about it.

I pressed the elevator button hopelessly for at least a minute. It opened. The door was ready to completely shut when a small hand pushed it open.

“I didn’t know the elevator worked! The day I leave…”

I was motionless. So was she. It was a mistake. I knew Ramiele wanted to leave before seeing me. What surprised me was that she walked into the elevator. She pushed her floor’s button and stood on the other side of small box.

“So, I’m going home,” she muttered.

“I know,” I said. She laughed bitterly. “I’m sorry.”

“Sure,” she mumbled. “Hurry up you stupid elevator.”

I had been surprised to find out that it was working as well. It hasn’t worked in almost two months. That’s when Ramiele and I fell to the ground after a large shutter.

“Great! My plane leaves in an hour! And to top off getting voted off of Idol, I’m stuck here with you!”

“What’s so bad about that?” I asked, angry.

“Why are you even asking that, you jerk!” she screamed. “You’re the idiot that said we’d be friends then never talked to me again. God, I hate you so much, David Archuleta.” She then proceeded to slapped me across the face.

I was too angry to notice how much I wanted to apologize. I wanted to cry so bad too, not that unfamiliar of a reaction for the past month.

“You’re such a jerk!” I yelled, pounding at his chest. “You’re a liar! You’re a… a…. I hate you so much!”

I love you so much too. I shivered at the phrase. I did; I never stopped.

“How could you do this to me?!” I asked, giving up on the physical abuse. I sunk to the floor.

“I didn’t want you to break my heart again.”

“So you broke mine instead?!” I started to sob uncontrollably. His arms wrapped around me. “Don’t touch me!”

“I never meant for you…”

“All you thought about was yourself, David. I loved you! I loved you and I still stinkin’ love you! But it’s too late! I’m going home, David! I’m leaving and even if you did love me, it wouldn’t matter to me! I’m leaving. I’m going home. David, I got voted off of American Idol last night!” It finally dawned on me.

I let him hold me. I held onto him with everything I had left which was nothing.

“It’s my fault this happened,” he whispered. “So, you can keep hitting me if you want.”

I pulled back and shook my head, hair flying in all directions, tears shooting along with them. David held onto my face. I continued to cry. It was the fact that I was leaving and this would be the last time we’d see each other that I kiss him with my whole self.

My lips melted into his. My hands didn’t know what to do. I linked myself to him and pulled him closer. He held me to his body as well. It was desperate and long-waited. We lost ourselves in this kiss. We kissed differently then we’ve ever kissed before, then I’ve kissed anyone before. This made perfect sense. I never loved anyone before… until him. I kissed him but it didn’t seem enough.

He pulled back. We breathed in frantic breaths.

“I love you,” he told me.

"That’s all I’ve ever wanted to hear you say, David.”

I was going home, but not really.

The End.

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