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We Don't Even Know Why

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"Maya! It's time to wake up, peaches!"

You like New York City in the daytime,

I groaned, "It's too early for this..."

Riley continued to shake me.

"Fine! I'm up. I'm up." I sighed.

Riley smiled at me, "Mornings are beautiful, peaches!"

"I prefer nights, mostly because I can have my beauty sleep."

I like New York City in the nighttime.

"By the way," I started stretching my arms as Riley's eyes watched me. "Why do you always turn the AC off when we go to bed?"

She shrugged, "I get cold easily."

You like sleeping with the air off,

"Hm, I like when it's cold." Because then you pull me closer to you.

I don't, I need it on.

"Well, I can turn the AC on. You don't mind if I cuddle you when it's getting cold, right?" Riley asked with a hint of uncertainty.

I rolled my eyes, "When did I ever mind, Riles?"

"So... you don't mind..?"

"Whatever you want."

She beamed at me. Honestly, how could she even think that I would mind? She's so fragile, I thought as I watched her open the bedroom window, the light temporarily hurting my eyes.

You like the light coming through the windows,

I hissed at the bright light.

"Is there a problem, Maya the Vampire Queen?"

"Yes, and it's that damn light from that damn window."

"Well, maybe if you woke up early, the damn light from the damn window won't keep damning your beautiful blue eyes."

I smirked at the unintentional compliment, "I have a lot of homework to do." I replied, emphasizing on 'a lot'.

I sleep late, so I just keep 'em all closed.

"So do I, but you don't see me complaining now, do you?" She sassed.

"It's way too early for your sass, wait until I'm fully awake so I can sass you back." I yawned, getting up from the bed.

Riley began fixing the bed, "Take a shower with cold water, I heard somewhere that cold water can wake up your body. I've already showered, hurry up so we can go to school with a few minutes to spare."

"Okay." I sleepily walked over to the bathroom.

As soon as I hopped into the shower, I heard music coming from the radio.

A smile crawled to my lips, Riley's never been one to listen to music. She just turns the radio on for me, cause she knows I love music.

You ignore the music on the radio,

I was full-on singing and dancing to every song that comes on. I felt happy and alive. Only three things can do this; art, music, and of course Riley.

I don't, I sing-a-long.

After I finished showering, I immediately start to put on clothes.
I applied some light makeup and brushed my hair to make it a little presentable.

I walked into the kitchen and a delicious smell filled my nose, guiding me to the source of it. I snaked my arms around her from behind, indulging myself in her sweet aroma, which I craved more than the bacon and eggs she's currently cooking.

"What is my beautiful wife cooking for breakfast today?"

She giggled, "You wish!" I do, Riles, I really do.

She slightly leaned backwards unto me and despite me being the smaller one, I held her easily. We stayed like that for a few minutes, just waiting for our meal to cook.

"The food's almost ready, mind getting us some plates, peaches?"

"Not at all, honey."

I untangled myself and went to get the plates as she requested.

I sat down after setting the plates on the table. Shortly after, our meal was ready and we ate in comfortable silence.

"Are you doing something later, peaches?"

"No, not really." I replied, absentmindedly washing the dishes.

"You remember Charlie Gardner, right?"

"Yeah, I remember him." And boy, does that guy piss me off.

"Well, he invited me to hang out yesterday and I sorta agreed."

I turned to her, "And I'm guessing that you want me to cockblock the dude?"

"Not the term I would use but yes. When he approaches me, immediately go up to us and say that we actually have a rather important thing to do today so he'll leave me alone." She explained.

"Okay." I shrugged, this wasn't middle school. If she wants me to lie, it's not a big deal anymore. It's not about honesty and whatnot, it's about keeping creepy boys out of Riley's life.

"Thanks peaches." She smiled.
I turned back to the dishes, "Whatever you want." I was hiding my blushing face.

-

"Hey Riley-"

"Honey! Come on, let's go home!" I cheerily cut him off, Riley immediately holding my hand as soon as I got close to her.

His lips turned into a thin line before he awkwardly laughed, "Can we still hang out today..?"

"Terribly sorry Cheese Soufflé, but the mistress and I are busy today. Maybe another time." I answered for Riley, knowing that even if she tried, she couldn't get the tiniest of lies out of her mouth. Some things never change.

"Oh," He said. "What are you guys doing?"

"A little something called none of your business, that's what." I sneered.

He looked as defiant as me, "Well, if someone cancels on you, wouldn't you at least like to know why?" Charlie raised his eyebrow at me.

This guy. He's really testing my patience.

I leaned into Riley who has been oddly silent during all this, finding comfort in her scent.

"Well, Riley's not obligated to tell that reason." I replied stubbornly.

"Yeah, she isn't." I smiled in triumph. "But I'm asking you, Maya." My smile dropped.

"So Maya, what are you guys doing?" He asked, flashing his prince charming smile.

I am done with this stubborn idiot.

"I'm taking her out on a date." I said without thinking. Fuck, why did I say that?

I saw Riley's eyes almost bulge out their sockets. Her face screaming: What the hell are you saying?!

But I focused on the guy in front of me, I enjoyed the combined look of surprise, discomfort, suppressed anger, and heartbreak on his face.

"Oh, that's... cool. I uh, hope you two have fun. See you tomorrow!" He quickly dashed away red-faced and all.

Mission accomplished.

"Maya, what the hell was that?!"

Maybe not.

Riley stared at me incredulously.

Shit. Shit. Shit. Come on brain, think!

"I got him to back off, didn't I? Besides, people already think we're dating." I shrugged, not allowing myself to show how nervous I feel.

"Well yeah, but now he thinks we're dating. Doesn't that bother you?" Riley asked.

"No, it's not true, so why should it bother me? Does it bother you?" I asked with worry. I don’t want to make her feel uncomfortable.

"No, it's just... We're not dating. And that bothers me." Wait what? Riley shook her head when she saw my confusion. "I meant, people will start rumors even though it's not real. That's what bothers me."

"Oh." Hope is for suckers. Hope is for suckers. Hope is for suckers.

Why do I never learn my lesson?

"Well, I can always punch them-"

"Violence is not always the answer." Riley scolded.

"Okay, Mother Teresa."

She rolled her eyes at me and playfully hit my arm, "Shut up." I smiled back at her.

"We should go home now." I said.

"You're still taking me out on a date remember?" Riley teased.

I walked faster to get away from her.

"Don't deny our love Maya!"

It's embarrassing to admit that I only ran away to hide the reddening of my face.

-

"Rain is so beautiful." I remarked, watching the rainfall from our windows.

"But it's so cold and wet and uncomfortable, peaches." Riley complained. I quietly laughed at her choice of clothing, a white t-shirt with a picture of Pluto and a text below saying: '#MakePlutoPlanetAgain'.

Cold outside and you're just in a t-shirt,

"Yeah, that's true. But, for me, I've always kinda saw rain as the cleaning period." Riley's eyebrow furrowed so I explained myself.

"Rain is water, water cleans our body. But that's the scientific side, lemme explain the deep philosophical side of things. The earth is dry and dirty most days, then the rain just comes and washes everything off. Imagine being so unbelievably busy for a week or two and after that hectic business, you just lay down on your bed and finally take care of yourself for the first time in days. It's refreshing, right? That's what rain means for me." I fumbled with my sweater, suddenly aware of how corny and sentimental I sound.

I have cold blood even in a sweater.

"Wow." Riley breathed out. "That was so amazing peaches! And you say I'm the sappy one in this friendship." She joked.

"Shut up." But I was smiling.

We messed around some more until Riley decided it's time to do our projects and homeworks.

"This isn't middle school anymore peaches, you can't just not do your work and expect them not to fail you. This is college now." She scolded me.

"Alright mom, I'll do my work." I grumbled but I complied anyway because it was Riley. And who could ever resist Riley?

"Let's take a break." I suggested after an hour and a half of doing my work.

"That's probably a good idea." She stood up and stretched her arms. "I'm gonna get us some snacks and drinks."

"Okay." I half-heartedly replied. I watched some YouTube videos while waiting for her.

I was laughing when she came back.

"What's got you giggling peaches?" Riley asked, sitting down and handing me my food and drink.

"This woman is so hilarious, you gotta watch her videos." I said eagerly.

"What's her name?" She asked as she opened her can of Kilo.

You start your night sippin' by the Kilo,

Honestly I don't know how she can stay up late, drink several cans of energy drinks, yet somehow miraculously wake up early in the morning. I guess she's just a morning person.

The drink she gave me was actually coffee, since our sophomore year of high school, I've used coffee to stay up late instead of energy drinks like Riley.

I just really love the smell and taste of it. I took a sip from my still hot cup and smiled, just the way I like it. It's amazing how much we know about each other, right down to how we like our drinks to be made.

I don't, I know you know.

"Her name's Lilly Singh and her username is IISuperwomanII and yes, she's pretty super if you ask me."

I showed her some of Lilly's video and she instantly became a hardcore fangirl.

"I love that she's so funny and knows how to make people laugh, yet also teach people about serious topics like mental health, racism, sexism, and homophobia. We need more people like her." Riley rambled, rightfully inspired by such an amazing person.

We continued to do our work but we decided to stop at around 1 in the morning. It could be worse, at least we helped each other so our workload became less.

In my last two year of high school, I mostly slept at 3 in the morning every day because I wanted to be in the same college or university as Riley. And that wish means redeeming myself to our teachers and raising my grade to about A minus or at the very least B plus.

It wasn't a very easy path, as evidence by the amount of eyebags I sported in my Instagram or Facebook photos. But thankfully, all those nights of no sleep paid off 'cause I'm now in our apartment room that our parents bought for us.

I smiled, turning my head to face the person softly snoring while cuddling me.

Somehow we end up on the same side,

I pushed her hair to the side and marveled at the priceless piece of art in of front me.

This, I decided at 3 AM was something I'm willing to give up sleep for.

-

"He invited you to his party?" I asked incredulously.

"Yup." She had the audacity to say.

"After everything? After yesterday? Wow, I really gotta hand it to him, he's not giving up." I clapped, impressed but mostly just pitied the guy. I mean, he was getting on my nerves with his ability to just pop out of nowhere and ask Riley to 'hang out', but seriously this was just sad.

"It's a party Maya, just because he invited me doesn't mean he still likes me." Riley reasoned.

I shook my head, "Nope nada no way in hell sista. Unfortunately, straight men don't work that way. It'll be cool if they do but no." I formed a circle with my index finger and thumb. "One does not simply invite their 'former' crush to their party." I said solemnly.

Riley rolled her eyes, "You're thinking too much into this."

"Am not! I'm just saying, Riles. It seems awfully convenient that Charlie, of all people, just suddenly says he doesn't like you anymore and invites you to his party after my daring declaration yesterday. He never invited you or me since last year. Don't you find that a bit weird?"

"Yes, I do. But, let's give him the benefit of the doubt, okay? You're coming with me tonight, by the way."

"I know."

-

I sighed, we're not even close to Charlie's street and I can already hear the loud music coming from his house.

This was a mistake.

I could have been at our apartment chillin' like a villian but no, I had to get ready for two hours to go to a stinking college party that Charlie Gardner is hosting. How perfect.

I looked over at Riley, she wasn't scowling like me but she also wasn't smiling. I know her enough to know that she's as annoyed as me to be going to this kid's party but is trying to be polite by not completely (we plan to leave after an hour) blowing him off.

I decided to stop ruining our cab driver's good mood by my constant sighing and just stared out the car window.

There was no rain tonight, which I'm happy about. I may hate Charlie but I definitely wouldn't want our outfits to go to waste.

Finally we got to the Gardners' huge house. We gave the driver a generous tip and entered the devil's chamber.
We were immediately hit with the mixed stench of alcohol and vomit.

I made a face, "God, it's not even 11 yet and people are already drunk. Now do you see why I avoided parties?"

Riley sighed, "We both equally don't want to be here."

"Let's just get drinks." I held her hand and went towards the kitchen.

The kitchen was deserted and by the looks of it, people already raided it.

There were a few drinks left but most hard liquor were gone.

Nevertheless, I collected whatever was left and arranged them in a pile for easy taking. Riley sat on the counter while watching me work.

"You need any help?"

"Nah, I can handle it."

After I had finished relocating all the bottles and cans, I turned to her.

"Whatcha' wanna drink first, honey?"

"Some red wine would be nice." She shrugged.

"Feeling classy, are we?" I remarked but went to find a wine glass 'cause she classy.

"Sort of. I wanna get tipsy but not completely drunk. Just to the point when I start saying things I shouldn't." She replied vaguely.

"Prepping yourself up for the meeting with the gardener?"

"Maybe."

I gave her the glass of wine and went to get myself a can of rootbeer.

I plopped myself next to her and raised my can, "Here's to our unavoidable, definitely will end in disaster, meeting with Cheese Soufflé."

Riley snorted but raised her glass anyway, "What you said." We made a  toast.

We both started drinking. A silence settled between us. It wasn't uncomfortable, it was one of those silence where both parties are having a moment to themselves.

"Riley? Maya?" A surprised voice came from the entrance to the kitchen.

"Farkle?" We both asked, equally surprised.

"What are you doing here?" I raised an eyebrow.

He rolled his eyes, "Just got dragged by my classmates. But nevermind that, what are you guys doing in Charlie Gardner's party?" He shifted his gaze to me.

"We got invited." Riley answered.

"By we, she means just her. I just tagged along." I added.

The three of us started talking until Riley said she had to go to the bathroom.

"Want me to come with?" I suggested.

She shook her head, "It's fine, I'll scream if I'm getting murdered or something."

"Okay, be careful." I said.

"So Maya," Farkle said after Riley had gone to the bathroom. "How the heck did you end here of all places?"

I haven't told Riley, but me and Farkle actually talk every week about a bunch of stuff, meaningful and not so meaningful.

And of course Farkle, being the smartass that he is, knew that I liked Riley.

"Since high school." He nonchalantly told me after I asked him about it a couple of months ago.

I blinked when I realized my mind had drifted off, Farkle was waiting for me to answer his question.

"Yesterday, Riley asked me to rescue her 'cause, surprise, the gardener keeps asking her to 'hang out'," I said making quotation marks with my hands.

"And obviously, I said yes-"

"Because you're whipped." Farkle graciously added, sipping the glass of white wine he got from the pile I made earlier.

"Because I don't want that creep anywhere near her." I corrected. "One thing led to another and I told him I was taking Riley on a date."

Farkle choked.

"You okay?" I pat his back to make him stop spluttering.

After he stopped spitting his wine everywhere, he turned to me.

"You what?"

"I said I was taking Riley on a date."

"Nice going Maya, I thought you wanted to keep your feelings a secret?"

"Farkle, he was challenging me. Do you understand? He was challenging me. He was pulling a Lucas!" I said, referring to our Texan friend who always got on my nerves and thought he could somehow make me a better person since we were on a 'triangle' in high school. He's cool now though, he got offered a sports scholarship by his dream college and is currently studying to become a veterinarian.

Farkle sighed, "Maya, I don't mean to be blunt, that's usually Smackle's job, but why don't you just tell her?" He said, looking at me straight in the eyes.

I laughed, he can't be serious, right?

He didn't laugh.

"Oh, you were serious? I thought you were joking."

"I'm serious Maya. This whole 'overprotective best friend who glares at any person who shows the tiniest bit of interest in Riley' act is cute and all, but for goodness sake, we're in college now! This has gone long enough, just tell her what you really feel."

Why is he making it sound like it's the easiest fucking thing to do in the world. Did he think I never tried telling her? Did he think I wanted to live my whole life in misery? Did it never even cross his mind that maybe, I didn't want to be a coward and just wanted to confess my feelings, but stopped at the last second because I couldn't handle the thought of being shunned from being her friend?

"It's not that easy, Farkle." I closed my eyes and tried to keep my anger from rising.

"They're just words, Maya. Just set them free."

I couldn't help it, I snapped. "I'm not you Farkle! I can't just say one sentence and then poof! We're immediately together and living happily ever after. The end. If you haven't noticed, Riley's been there since day one and she's the only one I feel completely at ease. She's my safe place, my head's clearer with her. I can't just lose her because I opened my big mouth and said those breaking words!" I'm aware I'm simply using Farkle to relieve my stress but something tells me he knows this and is purposely saying these things to set me off and release my pent-up frustration.

Farkle waited for me to calm down before speaking again, this time his tone is gentle and understanding, "Tell her the truth, Maya. Riley deserves the truth, doesn't she? Even if did end your friendship, wouldn't you be proud that at least this was the reason and not some drama about you stealing her man?"

Not gonna lie, that actually made me laugh.

"Seriously Farkle?" I tried to stop giggling, he just grinned. "That's the best thing you come up with?"

Farkle shrugged, "It made you laugh so I'll consider it a success."

I smiled, I love this kid.

His gaze turned serious, "But seriously Maya, I-"

"Yeah yeah," I waved him off. "I know what to do."

"Thanks Maya." Farkle smiled.

I shook my head, "No, thank you Farkle."

Our moment of friendship was interrupted by my phone vibrating in my pocket.

I took it out.

From: Riles

Peaches!!!
Enemy outside bathroom
Cant get OUT
SEND HELP

"Who is it?" Farkle inquired.

"Riley." I pocketed my phone and got off the kitchen counter. "The gardener is outside the bathroom, she can't get out."

I headed for the door.

"Take her to the rooftop. No one's there, plus it'll set the mood." Farkle suggested, winking at me.

I blushed but nodded, "See you later, Farkle."

"You too, Maya."

I pushed past people to go to the second floor which is significantly quieter. As I arrived on the top of the stairs, I realized something.

I didn't know where the bathroom is. I took out my phone and sent a text to Riley.

To: Riles

Which floor are you at? Need directions

Not even a minute later, my phone vibrated.

From: Riles

Third floor
Turn right then turn right again, it's the second to the last door.

I replied.

To: Riles

Omw, hold on

I power walk towards the stairs leading to the third floor. I turned right and saw people sitting on the floor, huddled together. On closer inspection, they seem to be smoking weed. Well then.

They were covering the whole path so there was no way I could make it across without getting a little high from all the smoke.

When nothing goes right... go left, I always say.

So, I had to take a DeTour, but it's actually kinda fun. I got to see and snoop around Cheese Soufflé's house a bit.

Finally, I arrived at the bathroom after my endless journey (i wonder if that's what sabrina does after a concert she just goes to the bathroom and think about how proud sabrinastar99 must be).

Lo and behold, the gardener himself is outside the bathroom.

"Riley, can we talk please?" He asked the door.

"No! Go away!" Riley replied, judging from her tone she's creeped out by this dude.

Why is this giving me major Frozen vibes?

I decided this is the time to announce my presence.

"My main man, Cheese Soufflé! Whatcha doin' here, outside of a bathroom, hm?" I walk towards him, my hand asking for a high five.

He just stared at me.

"Geez, tough crowd." I shrugged, lowering my hand.

"Peaches!" Riley shouted.

"Hey Riles." I greeted. I could feel Riley's glowing smile from here.

"But anyways," I turn to Gardner. "This has been fun and all but I think you should leave now." I gestured for him to get the fuck out of the way since he was blocking the door.

"I know you two aren't dating." He said.

I rolled my eyes, "Good job figuring that out. You want a gold star for that?" I said sarcastically.

"Why did you lie?" The shithead actually asked.

"So you'll leave Riley alone." I honestly didn't have the patience nor care to bother with lies at this point.

His face turned red, "Why would you do that? Actually, you know what? I know why. Admit it, Maya. You're just jealous because at least, I can ask Riley out without having to play it off as a-"

I grabbed his collar and slammed him against the door, I heard Riley yelp at the sudden force.

"You finish that fucking sentence, I'll cut your dick off." I spat at the bastard.

His smug expression turned to fear. Which just fueled my rage even more. He almost ratted me out to Riley.

"Listen here you arrogant fucking brat," I tower over him despite my height. "You know why Riley avoids you? It's because you can't take no as an answer. If a girl says no, it fucking means no. Get it through that thick skull of yours. Leave Riley the fuck alone. Do you understand?" I'm this close to beating the shit out of this asshat.

He gulped, "Y-ye-yes!"

"Get the fuck away from us." I released him and he scrambles to his feet.

When we no longer hear his footsteps, Riley slowly opened the door and stepped out.

All my rage and frustration instantly disappeared and my heart is filled with love and care again. I lowered my head though, ashamed of my actions.

"Peaches-"

"Before you say anything, I know you're against violence and I'm really sorry for all that. I hope you-"

She interrupted me by pulling me into a tight hug.

"Don't you even say anything. That was amazing Peaches. Thank you so much for defending me."

"I'll do anything for you." I'll die for her. I know the Joker from Suicide Squad said that saying you're willing to die for someone is easy and living for that person is actually the hard part, but how come waking up everyday just to see her is so damn easy? Oh yeah, because I'm already living for Riley for a very long time now.

"I'll do anything for you too, peaches."
Riley smiled at me and everything is fine again. Like we're kids again and the only problem we have is the tv not turning on. Riley cried because she was going to miss an episode of Hannah Montana.

It was also my problem 'cause I hate seeing Riley sad. So to lift her spirits up, I suggested that we role-play Miley/Hannah, Riley as Miley and me as Hannah. She immediately agreed and we spent the whole day acting and singing.

And you wouldn't think that we'll be alright.

"Hey Riles, you wanna go to the rooftop?" I asked.

She nodded then furrowed her eyebrows, "Where's Farkle? We should bring him with us."

"I left him at the kitchen. Don't worry he's fine, he's with his classmates, remember?"

Riley once again nodded her head and we linked arms as we went to the rooftop. The house had 5 floors so we had to go up two more floors to reach the rooftop.

The air was cold but it wasn't uncomfortable. We went near the edge and looked down at the busy streets of New York.

While she was probably thinking about how pretty the sight is, I was racking my brain up for ways to confess.

"You look beautiful tonight, honey." I looked at her as I said this.

Her chocolate brown eyes lit up with joy, "I was about to say that! You beat me to it, peaches!" She pouted.

I laughed, my own blue eyes sparkling with happiness.

Even our eyes are different colors, but we see fine.

"Honey, you're just too slow." I teased.

"Says the one who hasn't even noticed the signs." She mumbled with a hint of bitterness.

Signs? What signs? Like the song, Sign of the Times?

I didn't mention it though and just stared at the streets below us. She'll talk when she's ready.

"Why does he think that he has a chance with you? That Cheese Soufflé has been asking you out since last year, and you still haven't returned any of his advances. Anyone would have gotten the hint by now."

Riley shrugged, "I don't know, but I kinda get him."

I raised my eyebrow, "What do you mean?"

"Even though the object of our affection ignores our attempts, we never give up." Riley explained, not turning her head towards me.

I was baffled at her ability to sympathize with people who annoy her. If that was me, I would never do anything that reminds me of that person.

Tell me how we're not alike,

The words she said sinked in, 'the object of our affection ignores our attempts'.

What the fuck? She had her eye on someone this whole time? And what's more, the lucky bastard apparently ignores her. And that 'we never give up' line.

"Wait wait wait," I narrowed my eyes.

"You like someone? For how long? And more importantly, how come I've never heard of this dude?" I asked, question after question. What the hell?

She finally lifted her head and looks at me.

"Yes, I liked someone for very long time now and well..." Riley drawled out, fidgeting with her hands as if she's embarrassed.

I crunched my face at her hesitation.

"Is it the hot art major guy?" She shakes her head.

"The blue-eyed boy in my calculus class?" Another shake.

Wait, she said she likes this guy for a long time. So it's gotta be from our high school.

"Is it Lucas?" Nope.

This one is stupid but why not.

"Farkle?" She stared at me for a minute before she burst out laughing while shaking her head.

I laughed, I told you it was stupid.

Still, I've listed out almost all the people she had a tiny bit of romance.

"The blonde senior back in high school?" I tried. She shook her head, yet again.

"...Is it-"

"It's a girl, Maya." She said, looking away.

"What?" I did a double take.

"That's... cool." I swallowed the lump in my throat. "What's she like?"

"She's the most amazing girl- no, person I've ever seen." She said with a smile.

Well that really narrowed it down, didn't it? Jesus, the only girls she ever bonded with is me, her mom, Smackle, and Ava. It sure as hell not me, definitely not her mom, I don't think she's into Smackle that way the girl's also with Farkle so, and I don't think Riley likes younger girls especially girls who are in a relationship with her brother.

"That's really great Riles. But, does she have any defining attributes? Physical features maybe?"

"Well... she has a cute little smile that always makes my day brighter. She has a pale skin. She's really short but that somehow makes her cuter. She has the meanest of glares but also have the kindest of stares trapped in her eyes. She has the most beautiful hair I've ever seen." Riley fawned over the oh so mysterious girl.

"I bet she's not even that great." I crossed my arms childishly.

Riley frowned.

"What's your favorite thing about this stupid oblivious moron, anyway?"

Her smile came back tenfold, "Her eyes. They're the most gorgeous pair of eyes there could ever be. They're usually the color of the ocean, but I know she's upset when I see that they're the same shade as a rainy sky. Dull and sad. That's why I don't like the rain, it reminds me of her troubled eyes."

This girl's eye color is blue? What in the actual fuck? I have blue eyes, how come she doesn't like me instead?

"Well, I think she's a stupid- what's her hair color?"

"Blonde."

"-blonde bimbo." I fumed. How could anyone not like Riley? She's freaking amazing.

"I mean, you said it yourself, she doesn't even notice you. She must be a special kind of idiot if she can't even realize how lucky she is to catch the attention of someone like you.

"Some of us had to spend nearly eight years trying to get it." I mumbled under my breath.

"Peaches," She started with a scolding tone. "Don't say that. She's actually really smart."

"Whatever." I huffed.

A tense silence fell between us.

I hate whoever that girl is. I really had no idea who she is, but she sure has some nerve. I was still fuming but I tried to calm down for Riley's sake.

I took a deep breath, "So, who's this girl anyway?" I asked, trying to sound casual.

Riley gave a look that said: 'Really? You think after all your tantrum, I'm gonna tell you her name?'

"I'm just trying to be a good friend here." I said defensively.

She gave me another look.

"I mean, we've been friends for almost our whole life, how come you never told me about this girl? That's kinda unfair, Riley." She knows when I use her actual name, I'm serious.

She looked down then looked up again, as if contemplating something.

"I would tell you. But, it's kind of... awkward." Riley rubbed her arm nervously.

"How would it be awkward?" I asked.
She stared at me, looking for something in my eyes. I was confused, hurt, and jealous, all at the same time.

"It's just- you see- I'm sorry, I need a moment." She put her elbows on the ledge and massaged her temples, closing her eyes.

After a few minutes, she looked at me again. Like, really looked at me.

Her face turned from unsure to determined. To say what exactly, I don't know.

"Promise me you won't be mad."

"That's gonna be hard to do, Riles."

"Maya!"

"Fine! I promise I won't hunt her down and murder her, that good enough?"

"Yeah."

Riley turned away from me. She was thinking about something again. But I couldn't care less, I won't be able to do anything about it anyway. Earlier, I felt angry, now I just feel miserable more than anything.

But I won't let that bum me out, after all Riley's still here with me, isn't she? That's worth something at least.

I tried to focus on the scene in front of me, it wasn't hard. Riley looked so breathtaking, she was looking down at the streets, the lights from the vehicles below casting shadows unto her face, making her even more gorgeous. Her face looked so serious, I-

"It's you, Maya."

She looked so good, I almost took a picture but of course, that would be rude and- wait what?

"What did you just say?" I whispered so quietly, I didn't even hear myself.

I keep my eyes wide open, there's so much that I don't know.

"You heard me the first time."

"No- Well yes- But- Well- I-" I was having trouble comprehending this.

I cleared my throat, "Riley, do you really mean that?"

"Of course, I do." She was shaking.

I stared at the girl in front of me. She kept her gaze steadily in front of her, she's trying to look unaffected but I can clearly see her hands shaking.

I wanted tell her how much I felt her pain, how much I felt the same. But my mouth wouldn't function.

So I just hugged her. I felt her breaking in my embrace. Her whole body was haking and tears was falling from her eyes.

"No- stop- I know you pity me." Riley sobbed, she sounded so miserable that my heart was torn apart.

I tightened my hold of her, "It's okay."

Finally, she allowed herself to fall apart. ("And just fall apart")

I held her as she sank to the floor, broken sobs escaping her lips.

I wanted her- god I really do- but not now. She needed this, her secret certainly put a strain on her. Who knows how long she had kept it.

You're not much better. A voice in my head whispered. Yeah, but I'm not the one having a breakdown on the floor and hanging on to her best friend for dear life, am I?

For a while, neither of us talked. Riley was still crying and I was busy thinking about this whole thing. I love her, she loves me. But she doesn't know that yet.

Shit, how do you confess your feelings to you best friend, which by the way, just confessed her own feelings to you? She's gonna think I pity her or something! Fuck fuck fuck, why did I not tell her earlier? Now, too much time has passed!

"Thank you." Riley mumbled, shaking me out of my thoughts.

Tell her. Tell her. Tell her.

I smiled at her, not trusting my tongue.

Tell her. Tell her. Tell her.

She got up and offered her hand to me. I took it wordlessly.

We both looked out to the city, no words exchanged.

Tell her. Tell her. Tell her. TELL HER.

"Peaches, did you know that the stars we see here in Earth are actually dead? They're so far away that it takes years for their light to reach us and by then, they're long go-"

"I'm in love with you." I said, interrupting her morbid stellar talk.
The words rolled off my tongue easily, like I'm supposed to say them every day of my life.

Riley's jaw clenched, "You don't have to pity me, you know." She spat out, hurt and angry.

"I'm not." I said softly, already having predicted this kind of reaction from her.

She inhaled sharply, "Maya, I know you don't want to hurt my feelings by rejecting me, but you're hurting me more by what you're doing, pitying me. You can't handle the thought of rejecting me because you're such a great friend, so you'll smile and say you love me too and I'll be happy. We'll get together, our peers will support us, and we'll be the power couple of this town. We'll  eventually finish college, you'll be a famous artist and I'll be a famous children books' author. You'll be my illustrator, people will adore our relationship and say that we're perfect for each other. We'll get married and buy a huge house. I'll say 'I love you' and you'll smile the way you did today and say 'I love you too'. But deep down inside, we both know it's a lie. You'll develop hatred for me as the years go by but you won't have the heart to file a divorce and we'll continue living unhappily ever after." Riley predicted solemnly.

I let her breathe for a minute before replying, "Wow honey, choosing to major in creative writing was a really good decision. You have an amazing imagination." I remarked, impressed.

She glared at me, "This isn't a joke, Maya."

"Just trying to lighten up the mood a little." I mumbled.

"Well, it's not working." Riley snapped. I flinched and lowered my head. Her eyes softened, she carefully reached for my hand.

"Sorry for snapping at you..." I squeezed her hand, wordlessly telling her it's okay.

"Peaches, don't try to convince yourself to love me romantically. I'm fine with the way things are." She assured me, although the sadness in her chocolate brown eyes told the opposite story.

"Are you really though?" I challenged, lifting my head to look at her in the eyes. This time, she was the one who lowered her head.

"It doesn't matter." She said through clenched teeth.

I furrowed my eyebrows.

"Doesn't matter? Of course it matters!"

She shook her head vigorously, slipping her hand out of my grasp. "Who cares about me? I'm nothing. The only person that matters is you Maya. I don't want you to be uncomfortable."

"I care Riley! Listen to me, you are a lot of things but you are not nothing. I hate it when you talk like this. Honey, you mean the absolute world to me." I told her, meaning every single word.

"You wanna know how I really feel?"

Riley stayed silent. I sighed but continued anyway.

"You're the sun that brings light to my world but you're also the moon that guides me in my darkest days. You're the warmth that envelopes me but you're also the cold that comforts me after a long day. You're the heaven that lifts me up and makes me dream but you're also the earth that grounds me to the present moment and allow me to enjoy the 'right now'. You're the angel that makes me do good things but you're also the demon that teases and tempts me with your lips. You're the love that fills me up whenever you're near but you're also the hate that I feel for myself for falling in love with my best friend. You're the Miley that makes me safe in my comfort zone but you're also the Hannah that makes me feel like I can take on the world. You're the peaches that makes me feel excited but you're also the honey that is just sweet and quiet. You're the thunder that shakes my whole world just with your gentle voice but you're also the lightning that strikes my whole body when your soft hand touches mine."

I took a deep breath. "But most importantly, you're the person who I grew up with and became best friends with. You're also the person who I grew to love and eventually fell in love with. You're Riley Matthews. The idiot girl that had her window open when I passed by their apartment. And the same idiot girl who thinks I don't love her."

I carefully watched as the previous dejected expression on her face turned to one of utter happiness. She was biting her lips to stop herself from grinning.

The object of my affection slowly lifted her head, "Do you really mean that, peaches?" She asked in a small voice as if telling herself not to hope too much. How the tables have turned. Just over 10 minutes ago, I was the one who was feeling that way.

I snorted, "I wouldn't be rapping for nearly three minutes straight if I didn't mean all that."

Suddenly, her face broke into a really really huge grin. Riley started to shake, out of happiness this time around.

I watched as she stood up straighter (something she's clearly not) and cupped her hands near her mouth.
She took a deep breath, "I'M IN LOVE WITH MAYA PENELOPE HUNTER AND SHE'S IN LOVE WITH ME TOO!" She yelled for the whole of New York to hear her.

She turned to me with her eyes twinkling with so much happiness and judging from the way they brightened up even more when she looked at me, my eyes must have mirrored hers.

Crap, she's so adorable.

"So," I started. "You liking guys that had some similarities to me wasn't a coincidence at all?" Smirking as I asked.

Riley grinned sheepishly in embarrassment, "I was trying to send you signs but clearly it didn't work."

"Yup."

She snapped her head up and looked at me, "Hey wait a minute, you liked Lucas and my uncle Josh. What's up with that?" The brunette narrowed her eyes at me.

I shrugged, "They reminded me of you." I said with a nonchalant attitude.

"And that's why you liked them?"

"Yup."

She grinned at that. "I'm glad, peaches."

"At first, I thought I'd moved on from you and started liking other people but then I realized I only like them because one is your cousin and the other is the male version of you." I explained.

She was beaming at this point.

I pinched her cheek, "I think your ego's the size of a hot air balloon now, Riles."

"It's my turn to inflate yours, peaches!"

"Nah, my ego's big enough already."
Riley pouted and I felt myself dying inside a little.

"That's not fair to you though!"

I reached out to ruffle her hair but because of our height difference, she decided to take pity on me and lower her head. Damn me for being a short stack of pancakes.

"It's fine, honey. Besides, I think you already complemented me enough." I smirked, despite my embarrassment from the moment before, referencing her description of the very very mysterious girl from earlier.

Riley blushed then shook her head. "I can't believe you didn't figure it out."

"Can you blame me? You could have just said that she had blonde hair, blue eyes and makes you happy but nooo. You just had to make it into a damn Shakespeare play."

She snorted, "Says the one who made a speech about me."

I fake gasped, "How dare you!

I'm supposed to be the sarcastic one and you're supposed to be the nice one!"

She smiled, "And that's why we work so well, Peaches."

But we work so well and we don't even know why.

I stared at her then laughed, "Oh yeah."

A comfortable silence settled between us.

I was looking at the stars above us and she was watching the streets below us.

"So, I've been meaning to ask," I started.

"Hm?"

"How'd you know that dead stars thing?"

"I saw it in a YouTube video. It's a dark fact but I think it just means we should be observant of other people's feelings for us because by the time we realize it, it might already be gone."

"My love for you will never go away." I said.

"It's the same for me, Peaches." I held her hand.

Funny how the stars crossed right,

"So Riles, I have another question."

"Shoot."

"Mind doing me a favor and make me the happiest person in the world by being my girlfriend?"

Riley turned her head so fast I wondered if that was the speed one has to get to in order to achieve time travel.

"What?" She asked, her eyes big as basketball balls.

"I said, would you like to be my girlfriend, Riley Matthews?" I repeated.

"YES! YES! YES!" She nodded vigorously.

I laughed in her face but she paid me no mind.

She cupped her hands near her mouth and once again shouted.

"MAYA PENELOPE HUNTER JUST ASKED ME TO BE HER GIRLFRIEND AND I SAID YES OH MY GOSH I'M DATING MAYA!"

I was chuckling at her but I felt just as excited and happy as her, if not more.

"Honey, I think the people of New York City had enough of your screaming." I gently said. I also wanted to scream and yell from every roof of every house I could see that but I stopped myself. We have to balance each other after all.

'Cause we work so well and we don't even know why.

Riley turned to me again, "This is so amazing, peaches!" We were both grinning at each other.

"This is the most wonderful day of my life yet." I said.

"Yet?"

I nodded, "Our wedding will be the most wonderful day of my life, Riles." A huge smile was on my face.

"It'll also be mine."

"God," I shook my head. "It hasn't even been a day since we got together and we're already planning our wedding."

Riley snorted, "You're acting like we're not Riley and Maya. We've known each other our entire life, maybe even more than that, thunder and lightning forever, remember? Of course, we're gonna marry each other. Or else, Auggie will be really mad." She paused. "Along with pretty much everybody that knows us too."

I laughed, "Question, does Rileytown have enough space for me to move in? Since I don't think Mayaville will be a safe place for someone like you to live in."

Riley smiled dimples and all, "Haven't you heard? Rileytown and Mayaville just merged into one big city."

"Oh yeah? And what's this city called?" I tilted my head.

She smiled once again, "Rilaya City is a thriving city. There's a bit of mischief in the city but it's solved almost immediately."

I grinned at that, "Sounds like a great place to live in."

"It is." She grinned back.

You can call it fire and ice,

I took her hand and kissed the back of it gently, "I love you so much."

Riley smiled softly, "I can't even put to words how much I love you too, peaches."

"Then put it to action, honey." I stared at her lips and subconsciously licked my own.

She blushed and gulped.

"Are you sure you want me to?" She asked breathlessly.

I snorted, "I wouldn't have spent nearly eight years of my life pinning for you if I didn't want you to kiss me, Riles."

She giggled.

"Is this the part where we stop fumbling around and finally kiss or..?" I drawled out.

"Patience, my future wife."

"I've waited long enough, Riles."

She laughed, "Okay okay fine, come here." We both leaned in.

With the blessing of the city lights of New York City glowing under us (who got the reference?) and the stars in the sky smiling down at us, we shared a kiss.

But we work so well and we don't even know why.

I can't even begin to explain how amazing the kiss was. I've been kissed before but nothing compared to Riley's soft and sweet lips.

"That was... wow." I managed to say.

Riley giggled.

"Wow indeed, peaches."

She kissed me again.

Wow.

We don't even know why, no no.

-

"You liked me since 7th grade?" Riley asked as we were walking back to our apartment.

"Hmm."

"I liked you since the day you crawled through my window."

"Wow." I let out, my eyes wide.

"I know."

"I feel ashamed."

Riley giggled, she opened the door to our room and stepped in. I followed her.

"You should."

We don't even know why, no no no.

She grabbed my wrist and led me to our bed, well my bed actually, her bed remained untouched ever since we got this apartment, of course Riley still changed its sheets every week but she never slept on it before. She claimed my bed's softer and warmer, but I knew better.

Riley let go of my wrist and laid on the bed. She closed her eyes and a deep sigh of content escaped her lips.

I smiled and shook my head, moving to take her shoes off.

"Thank you, peaches..." Riley mumbled.

I hummed in response.

After I finish taking off her shoes, I went to the other side of the room to change.

I felt eyes on me, making my cheeks flush.

Soon, I was fully undressed, except for my bra and underwear of course. I opened the closet to find more casual clothes for me and Riley.

However, a pair of long arms wrapping themselves around my body stopped me.

"Riley..." I blushed at the contact, the heat and comfort radiating off of Riley making me melt into her embrace.

"Now, I finally know the difference between pretty and beautiful."

I laughed at the reference.

We like it in the daytime.

"Honey, let's change first, okay?" My voice slightly trembled, I was turning to putty again.

Riley grumbled, "Do we have to?"

"Yeah of course, unless you want to freeze to death."

"Fine." I smiled.

I grabbed a pair of pajamas for Riley and gave it to her. Then, I got my own pajamas and quickly changed into them.

"Alright honey, let's go to bed."

We like it in the end of time.

Now clad in pajamas, Riley jumped into my- no, our bed.

I chuckled and followed suit.
Once we were both under the covers, she turned to me and gently grabbed my chin to pull me closer.

"I've always wanted to do this." She whispered before soft lips captured mine.

I couldn't help the happiness bubbling wildly inside of me.

"I swear I'll never get used to that." I said after we pulled away. I was pretty positive I had heart eyes.

She giggled, "I don't think I want you to. I want us to treat every kiss as our first kiss. That way, we won't take it for granted."

I reached out to caress her cheeks, "I'll never take you for granted, Riles." I said sincerely.

She took the hand caressing her cheeks and deeply kissed it.

"And I won't as well, peaches."

We like it in the daytime.

I smiled then kissed her forehead.

"We should go to sleep now."

"Okay, goodnight peaches." Riley kissed my nose.

"Goodnight Riles."

She closed her eyes and snuggled up to me.

I breathed in the overflowing but not sickening scent of vanilla and marshmallow coming from her. The scent calming me and eventually, luring me to sleep.

I dreamt of a blue-eyed pop star and a brown-eyed activist that night.

We like it in the nighttime.