Chapter 3: Ludovic – Sticking Around

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Robbie calls me up in the middle of the night, telling me that he could not sleep and that he needed someone to talk to. He starts talking about Dave, his ex-boyfriend. He saw him this morning. He tells me he might still have feelings for his ex-boyfriend.

I was actually beside Robbie minutes after Dave broke up with him, right after everything fell apart. It was like all his hopes and dreams crashed in the open sea. I was there all throughout his so-called “scientific-approach-to-moving-on “(which in a way, I think helped him forget Dave for a short time). I’ve heard Robbie’s post break-up speech for a million times already; have had all the different versions depending on his mood. There’s the “I’m-going to-cry-a-river-and-drown-in-it” version, the “I’m-a-survivor-so-fuck-him”, which is his favorite version. Tonight he decided to use the “I’m-going-to-be-the-loser-ex-because-he’s-still-so-damn-gorgeous” pity-party remix version. No matter which version Robbie uses, I always listen.

I take pride from the fact that he needs me, that I’m the one he calls up when he gets upset or lonely. That’s what a best friend do, right? Stick around when the going gets tough, make sure everything is fine, and I’ am a good best friend. The consummate best friend. The very definition of a best friend.

I’m finally sleepy, I think you can hang up now, I know you’re bored and sleepy too. Thank you Ludo…” Robbie whispers as he ends a very detailed narration of his morning encounter with Dave.

I don’t think that’s good enough, I need you to be sound asleep, snoring and all. You know, just in case something bothers you again and you decide to call me up again, at least I’m still here on the line.” I reply.

Hahaha! Well, Thanks for taking the call, thanks for listening… I tried to shrug off whatever I’m feeling, it’s just that I needed to talk it out, you know how it is….” He says.

No problem, kiddo… now, sleep. I won’t hang up until I know you’re sleeping.”

Okay, Ludo. Goodnight. “He sleepily whispers.

Good night, Robbie…”

I stay on the phone and listen to him breath; I stick around until I know that he’s already asleep, until I know that he’s safe and no longer needed me for the night.

I hung up and looked at phone’s screen to check the time; it’s already 1:15 am, way past my usual bedtime.

I try to sleep. But I can’t.

Just like how Robbie’s ex-boyfriend’s ghost haunts him, my feeling for Robbie lingers incessantly. It lingers while we have coffee, it lingers on movie nights, and it lingers in every friendly dinner we have. I guess this is the price I have to pay for sticking around too much, falling in love with my best friend.

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