hidden romance

It was late as night. He was told to meet at the white gazebo, overlooking the koi pond. “Is anyone there?” He called, only half-expecting a response. Nothing. Defeated, he rested on the wooden railing, gazing into the dark water. He could see the koi dancing among each other. Dancing, he thought to himself. It reminded him of the their very first encounter. It was back in the castle. He was invited to a gala to honor his uncle. At first, he was bored. Everyone was older, rich, elitists and socialites. Typical attendees for this kind of event. But in the midst of these people was the one. He found himself flushed as he nervously approached the center of the crowd. He wanted to talk. He wanted to learn more. The two quickly met eyes. And soon enough, the entire gala was off to the side. They were laughing together, watching the castle from the nearby hills. Ending their chat with a kiss and promise, the two parted ways.”Hey. Sorry I kept you waiting. My dad did not want me to leave the house.” He turned around excitedly. “I managed to escape, but it was not easy-” He pressed their lips together, cutting off the rest of that statement. He did not care. He was just happy to see his hidden flame. His hidden romance. Parting lips, still locked in an embrace, their eyes gazed into each other once again. Nobody could know that they were romantically involved. The nephew of a general and the son of a wealthy socialite. It was a relationship that nobody could find out about. It was a secret they had to carry to their deaths. But they knew, despite the expectations and stigmas, that they needed to be in this relationship together. It was their escape from the harsh expectations of life.

Afterword:
Generally, I would post my short stories on Saturdays, but this story fit the theme of Valentine’s, so that’s why I posted this off-schedule. Happy Valentine’s/Singles’ Awareness Day! We are genuinely lucky to be living in this day and age where people can love each other, regardless of judgement, unlike during the time and setting of my story!

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Scarlet: realization 20

I have dealt with so many different kinds of people in college. But for me, the ones that I had the most difficulty dealing with were the incredibly spoiled students who buy condos and drive their riduclous sports cars, and basically throw their money at their problems. Trying to reason with people like them can get really frustrating. I still remember my freshman year. I was friends with a girl from China, who we shall call Scarlet so that I don’t give away her real name. Scarlet’s father owned two 5-star resorts and hotels in China and was filthy rich. And I remember my interactions with her quite well. She would mostly just sit there, staring at me while I awkwardly tried to break the ice. But most of our conversation topics went towards the same three things every time. It was either “I MISS CHINA!”, “I hate your friends because ____”, or “I love (for the sake of keeping the names private, I shall dub this girl) Maureen.” Maureen was a mutual friend of Scarlet and mine. Scarlet had a borderline terrifying obsession with Maureen, which definitely was not reciprocated; Maureen told me recently that she considered getting a restraining order from Scarlet had Scarlet not graduated a year early and moved back to China.

Whenever Scarlet would scream that she missed China, I would try to reason with her, being an immigrant myself, and having to leave behind family to move to America. But she claimed that I didn’t understand, because I was American. Even when I tried telling her that her father spent a ton of money just to send her to America for college, she still would just scream that I don’t understand her situation. It got very draining because I had no idea what to say to her. She just wanted to announce that she missed China, I guess. There was no getting through to her on that topic. She just saw me as an American and would not listen to anything I said, nor did I know what she wanted me to say. For the second topic of hating the vast majority of my friends, it got really uncomfortable for me. She bascially would tell me that they were horrible people for making one or two mistakes and that they are not my true friends. She did not seem the understand that humans make mistakes all the time. Ironically, a lot of her criticisms, such as saying my friends were using me or taking advantage of me, those would be hypocritical by the time you finish reading the following paragraph.

While I appreciate her trying to look out for me, she would basically tell me that all of my friends are terrible people, and that got hurtful, because she tried to cut me off from everyone that wasn’t her. Eventually, I broke it off with Scarlet when she tried to make me do her writing homework for her and I did not want to risk getting caught and put under academic probation. I did offer her advice on how to write the paper, but she didn’t think that was good enough, and tried to tell everyone else what a horrible person I was. And that backfired, because I had screenshotted proof that she was the one trying to make me cheat on her homework. So Scarlet wound up being isolated from the rest of our friend group. I have no idea what happened to her between sophomore and junior year. I know she graduated a year before me, but I heard she wasn’t doing much since she graduated. She didn’t have to work, because of how rich her father was. It made me and my friends wonder why she even bothered going to college at all if she wasn’t going to apply herself.

Scarlet is just one example of several spoiled people I have had the misfortune of meeting over the past few years. I would rather not get into the details of all of them, because that would get exhausting and a bit depressing for me, but the general takeaway I want everyone reading this to have is that when somebody is spoiled rotten the way Scarlet was, approaching them like a peer or equal is impossible. It was like walking on eggshells with this girl, and all she did was spew hateful things. I am ashamed to say that when I was undergoing depression, looking back on my behavior, I resembled Scarlet. I was just as vicious and obsessive. A part of me does wonder if Scarlet was going through depression, and if she saw Maureen in a similar light that I saw my ingrate roommate: an emotional crutch or somebody we felt we could trust to help us. But I will never know. Scarlet never trusted me enough to tell me if she was depressed, nor did she ever reach out to me again once she graduated and returned to China. All I know is that the person Scarlet was when I was supposedly friends with her, that is somebody I really want to make a conscious effort of avoiding to become. I want to love, I want to smile, and I want to accept and appreciate. Those are the things I need to do if I ever want to live a feather-light life.