Chapter 3 : “The Only Choice”

Almost a year has passed since that time, we join them again as they await the day of the anniversary for that incident. For the past year, Mj had kept his feelings for Caroline secret and it will all end or start on that day. But as Sunday slowly approached, everyone of them was feeling tensioned. This is where we catch up with their story…………

Keith : Hey there Mj, good morning to you!!
Mj : Oh good morning to you too Keith.
Keith : What’s with the bland tone huh?!
Mj : Well, I still don’t know what to tell her and
how to say it in a non – conspicuous way.
Keith : So that’s what bothering you huh?! You should
Just relax and concentrate or else it will all
Go wrong! The Mj I know won’t be easily
discouraged with something that trivial!
Mj : Yeah, I guess you’re right. I should just go
With the flow and everything will be alright.
Keith : That’s the spirit buddy! And oh yeah, by the
Way have you seen Mark around?
Mj : No, haven’t seen him. Why? Didn’t you two
Always went to school together?
Keith : Yeah until recently, but after the bet we made,
He just suddenly disappears after class!
Mj : Could it be that he’s taking our bet a little
Too seriously?!
Keith : There’s a 50% possibility that it’s true.
Mj : Well then should we spy on him later?
Keith : Sure, but just to confirm it.

As Keith and Mj planned their little stalking plan, a familiar figure hovered over them…………

Caroline : What are you two doing?!
Mj : Oh hey there Caroline, were just doing some
Caroline :Sketches for what??
Keith : Uhm, for the club!
Caroline : For the club is it?! Ok guys spill it! I told you no secrets between friends right?!
Mj : Ok, we’ll tell you, but please don’t let Mark know about this!
Caroline : What about Mark?
Keith : It seems he’s rather serious about the bet we made last week.
Caroline : Bet?! What kind of bet?
Mj : It’s better if you don’t know!
Keith : I agree with that!
Caroline : You guys are up to something, I can tell it!
Mj : So, are you with us?
Caroline : Very well, I’ll go along with your shenanigans,
But one false move and you’re both dead!
Keith : Yeah, yeah we know that much already!

As their teacher came in, they all went back to their corresponding seats as they greeted their teacher…………

The class : Good Morning Mam !
Teacher : Good Morning also, please take your seats!

And as always teachers come and by until lunch time came……………… <bell ringing>

Mj : At last, time to eat!
Keith : Hey have you forgotten our plan?
Mj : Duh, no!! I’ll just go get something to eat and
We’ll go back on that thing!

As Mj hurriedly went to the cafeteria for something to eat, Caroline suddenly grabs Keith and began questioning him about the bet they made…………

Caroline : Ok Keith, let’s have a sincere talk. What was
The bet you made with Mj and Mark?!
Keith : No, I won’t tell you. We had an agreement on
Caroline : And you all said there’s nothing to hide between friends! Please tell me and it won’t
get to Mj and Mark.
Keith : Ok, but please don’t let them know that I told you.
Caroline : Sure, it will be our dirty little secret.
Keith : <sighs> Here goes, we three made a bet on whoever gets a girlfriend on Sunday will be
the winner.
Caroline : And Mj was in on it too?
Keith : Pretty much, yeah!
Caroline : I know Mark and you are desperate on getting girlfriends but Mj? That’s really unlikely!
Keith : I thought you trust me! I never lie about these kind of things!
Caroline : <silence>……………
Keith : Don’t worry about it, it’s just fun between us guys.
Caroline : If you say so.

As Caroline left the room, Mj came across her in the corridor…………

Mj : Hey Caroline, have you eaten lunch yet?
Caroline : Don’t talk to me. Hmph!!
Mj : What was that about?!

With that, Mj entered their classroom and asked Keith what was the
matter with Caroline……………

Mj : Hey Keith, what’s up with Caroline? I think
She’s in a really bad mood!
Keith : Really?! I didn’t see her that way when she was
in here.
Mj : Hmmmm, maybe she’s just hungry!
Keith : Yeah, maybe that’s it!
Mj : Then we better get back on this!

But as they were working on their plans, Keith couldn’t help thinking of what he said to Caroline because it could have made a very big impact on their friendship, especially Mj’s feelings for her. That afternoon as class ended, they agreed to carry on with their reconnaissance………

Mj : Hey Keith, have you seen Caroline?
Keith : I last saw her being the first one who went out
Of the room.
Mj : Is that so?
Keith : Yeah, why?
Mj : I just wanted to ask her what was up with her during lunch time.
Keith : Don’t worry about her, she’ll be fine. Whatever we find out, we’ll tell her eventually!
Mj : Ok, then let’s get cracking!

And so they begin by hiding behind the guard’s sentry house waiting for Mark to pass by. They waited for15 minutes until he finally came by. That was the beginning of their operation…………

Keith : Where do you think he’s going?
Mj : No idea, but there’s bound to be something
Interesting for us to find out.

But as they were trailing Mark, Caroline on the other hand is working on her own secret operation. She was browsing through the student’s database and searching for possible candidates based on the guys preferences. She found the girls best suited for Mark and Keith but for Mj, she didn’t even have one suitable enough for him because of his hard headedness and for that she was relieved but at the same time she was upset for some unknown reason. Meanwhile, Mj and Keith who have been trailing Mark for more than an hour was getting restless. They didn’t even saw one
interesting thing or so they thought……………

Keith : This is hopeless. It’s been an hour and still
Mj : Don’t get your hopes down, there’s bound to be
Something we can uncover.

Keith : There he goes again, where do you think he’s
Going to now?
Mj : Wherever it is, we may find something!

And so once again the two of them followed Mark as unconspicously as they can until he arrived at a restaurant………

Keith : What the hell is wrong with him! And we were
Worrying about nothing.
Mj : Take another good look and you may want to eat
Your words.

As Keith looked through the window, he couldn’t believe what he saw and he almost dropped to the floor…………

Keith : What the hell! Is Mark really that anxious to
Get a girlfriend or something.
Mj : Looks like it, he even works with her!
Keith : That good for nothing guy! He was willing to
Win that bet no matter what!
Mj : And that came from the one who thought about
The bet.
Keith : Ok, I admit that I am the one who made it but I
Won’t go to such measures to win it!
Mj : So you say but I know you’re one that doesn’t
Let himself get beaten by others!
Keith : That is why I’ll make a move too!
Mj : <sighs> I thought so. Well I won’t let you two
Beat me either, so you better get ready!

After their conversation, the two decided to part ways. Saturday passed without
much happening whatsoever. Not even a peep from any of them was heard. Then Sunday
morning came. At Mj’s house, all their maids were busy bustling about preparing for
the party that will be held there. Mj was sleeping soundly when he was rudely awakened
by a crash that he heard from downstairs. He looked out the window and saw the sun was
still halfway through, then ho looked at his clock and saw that it was only 8:30 am,
he then decided to come down and take a look on whatever woke him up…………………

Mj : Hey, what’s going on down there Mr. Naz? I just
Heard something crashing! Is everyone ok?!
Mr. Naz : Ah young master, it’s good to see that you’re
Up so early. I was just going to your room to
Wake you up.
Mj : Hey, you haven’t answered my question yet. What
Was that crash all about?!
Mr. Naz : Ah that thing. That was just a dropped pot,
Young master.

Mj : Good thing it was only a pot, I thought
Something blew up in the kitchen! By the way
Mr. Naz, how’re the preparations going?
Mr. Naz : Fine young master, we’ll be finished before
Your friends arrive.
Mj : Thank you for this Mr. Naz and oh yeah, can
You tell the others that they’re free for the
Mr. Naz : As you wish young master. I shall see to it
That everyone has this day off and you’re very
Much welcome sir.

There was still 6 hours before their party so Mj decided to stroll around town for a bit. He needed to pick some things up for the party. When he arrived at the mall, he managed to bump into Keith who was getting something too……………

Mj : Hey there Keith! What are you doing here so
Early in the morning?
Keith : I’m the one who’s supposed to be asking you
Mj : Well, I’m just going to pick up some things for
Keith : Going to pick something up? Why didn’t you let
Your maids pick it up for you?
Mj : I couldn’t bother them for something like that
And besides I would like to be the one to pick
Up those special things for the party.
Keith : Special things?! What kind of things are they?
Mj : Flowers for the girls!
Keith : Oh is that right?! I’m going to get that
Bouquet I ordered yesterday too.
Mj : Well then, let’s go get them.
Keith : By the way, do you plan on confessing to her
Later tonight?
Mj : What makes you say that?
Keith : You can’t fool me with a face so happy like
Mj : Well, it’s not only me but I think you and Mark
Have some plans later on too.
Keith : Very much! I don’t know about you but I’m
Definitely going to tell her!
Mj : Hey Keith, is this because of the bet?
Keith : No of course not! This is something I can’t
Compare with anything I’ve felt before.
Mj : Well at least there is something that changed
Among us/

And indeed there was something within them that was struggling to break free, something they couldn’t describe with words, something that will change their friendship. As they continue on to the flower shop, they managed to stumble upon Caroline with a guy inside the café next to the flower shop. Mj felt something unusual about them being together, and his startled look caught Keith’s attention………

Keith : Hey bro what’s up with you?!
Mj : Nothing!
Keith : Are you sure you’re ok?
Mj : Yeah everything’s fine. Well, better go pick up
Those flowers now!
Keith : Weird isn’t it?! I’ve never seen Caroline hang
Out with someone she doesn’t know. Who do you
Think that was huh?
Mj : Maybe a childhood friend or a relative!
Keith : Unlikely, she came from France didn’t she? So
There’s no way that he was a friend of hers and
If that was the case, why didn’t she introduce
Him to us?!
Mj : Yeah you got a point there! Just who was that!
Keith : Looks like what I told you back then was
Correct. It seems you have competition now.
Mj : <silence> ………………

With Keith having said that, Mj started to realize that Caroline was acting rather strangely for the past week but could it mean that the one he hold dear was taken by somebody else? This was the question that was lingering in his head when they entered the flower shop. Keith once again asked him……………

Keith : Hey bro, you seem kinda spaced out. Are you
Really ok?
Mj : Yeah I’m fine, really!
Keith : Ok, if you say so. Hello Mr. Shopkeeper, do you
Have what I ordered yesterday?
Shopkeeper : Ah yes here they are. That’ll be 4 dollars
Keith : Here you go. Thanks a lot! Hey Mj it’s your
Mj : Oh yeah right. Uhm Mr. Shopkeeper, would you
Please kindly deliver them to our house, I’ve
Got something really important that I need to
Shopkeeper : Very well young sir.
Mj : Oh and please tell Mr. Naz to pay for those and
Tell him that I wanted to give you a big tip.
Shopkeeper : As you wish sir.
Keith : Hey Mj, I thought those flowers were special?!
Mj : Yes they are but right now, I’m still not up to
it. I’m gonna go somewhere first, so see you later at the house.
Keith : Yeah, I’ll see you there!

Keith was very worried about Mj. He knew that he was hurt seeing Caroline like thatbut what could he do, he wasn’t even aware of it if they haven’t accidentally seen them. He knew too that there were many boys who are falling head over heels for her but he didn’t know too that she would pick anyone other than Mj. In his mind, there is still a chance left for Mj but it was very little. The only thing he can do for him was support till the end. 4 and a half hours has passed since Mj took off from the flower shop. Some of his invited guests were there except for himself and the girls. Keith told Mark about what they saw earlier today. Mark was also shocked when he heard about it…………

Mark : Are you serious?!
Keith : Couldn’t believe it myself too!
Mark : Poor Mj, must be really hard on him.
Keith : Yeah, he was really spaced out and after that
he took off without a clue as to where he’s

Their conversation was cut short when Mj suddenly arrived……………

Keith : Hey bro, how are you feeling?!
Mj : Fine, just fine.
Mark : Hey Mj!
Mj : Hey Mark, how’s it hanging?!
Mark : Pretty much the same. By the way, Keith told me
you spied on me last Friday!
Mj : Oh, about that. I'm sorry we were just a little curious.
Mark : Forget about it. That's no problem to me, you guys probably
were worried about me.
Keith : Like hell, yeah! We almost lost you to a girl. You know how
humiliating that is for us?!
Mark : Ok, ok. Chill my friends, Mark is here to stay!
Keith : Yeah, stick till the end!
Mj : Couldn't agree more!

Their conversation was again cut short when the girls arrived....

Mj : Ah ladies. Please come in to my humble abode. Sorry, it's a
little small.
Mary Jean : You call this small?! You're pulling my leg here!
Mary May : Small?! Palace is more like it!
Caroline : Is this really your house, Mj? Must be tough moving around
Mj : Nah, this is nothing compared to the summer house at the beach.
Well enough about that, come on in.
Mary Jean : Don't mind if I do!
Mary May : Same here!
Caroline : Thank you for having us today!

Almost exactly at 2:30 their party was well underway. There was food, drinks, games, singing, dancing and anything that they think was fun. For four hours straight, they partied non-stop. And after all they did, everyone was really exhausted. They stopped to rest for 30 minutes and by the time they were full of energy again, the mood of the party drastically changed. Mark asked Mary Jean if she could take a stroll with him in the house. Keith took Mary May to the terrace upstairs to look at the stars. Mj also seized the opportunity to ask Caroline to take a walk with him in the garden. Everything was going real smoothly for Mj, and now the only thing left to do is to tell her how he feels...

Mj : Hey Caroline, let's sit over there.
Caroline : Okay.

As they sat on the garden chairs, they couldn't help but gaze at the full moon being surrounded by clouds. At that moment Mj started talking.....

Mj : Caroline, do you still remember the incident a year ago?
Caroline : Of course I do. Who wouldn't remember something like that?!
Mj : Yeah, I guess you right. Back then I was just a nobody trying very
hard to make a name.
Caroline : But you've changed now. You're not the guy you used to be.
Mj : True, but you know what made me change?
Caroline : Hmmm... Let me think. What made you change was the fact that you have
friends you can count on in times of need.
Mj : Yeah, but that's only one reason. The main reason why I changed was
the fact that you came into my life!
Caroline : What?! Did you say that it was my doing that reformed you?
Mj : Very much, yes!
Caroline : But how, I didn't even had a use to you guys. I was always in the way.
Mj : No, you're not! You were the one who gave me all that understanding &
trust I needed that time. I was so caught up with the gang that I didn't
even know what I was getting myself into. You were the one who knocked
some sense into this thick skull of mine. And you were the reason that
I'm still here in this world!
Caroline : That's too much praise, you know. Besides I wasn't any help at all.
Mj : You worrying then was much help to us!
Caroline : <giggling>Then should I worry some more?
Mj : You really are a happy go lucky girl!
Caroline : And what if I am?
Mj : Nothing really. It just seems that you can face anything may it be good
or bad.
Caroline : Is that what you really think of me? I wasn't like this before you know!
Mj : You're kidding me right?
Caroline : No, I'm not. Back when I was a child I was a worry wart and a cry-baby.
I didn't really know how to mix in with other kids, always gloomy and
quiet. It was then that I met him.
Mj : Him??
Caroline : Yes! He was my best friend, he always cheered me up and always there when I
needed him. But he moved away to another city. Before he left he told me
that I must always be cheerful and face any adversity that comes with a
Mj : Looks like he was really important to you!

Just then the very light mood beacame real tense. Mj knew that his chances are
becoming very low and so once again he tried to gather his courage for that last
important thing. He took a deep breath and started again......

Mj : Caroline, I wanted to tell you this for over a year now, but this is the
only time I had faith in myself.
Caroline : What is it that you want to tell me?
Mj : You see it's because I.....
Caroline : .......

And with the remaining courage he had, he shouted at the top of his voice.....

Mj : "I LOVE YOU, Caroline!!!" Will you please be my girlfriend!!!

His shout was heard all over the house and surely enough the others heard his confession of love but as he turned to Caroline, he saw her crying. he didn't know if it was tears of joy or regret. And once again his courage sunk. The things Caroline said added the final blow.....

Caroline : I'm sorry Mj but, I can't accept your feelings for me.
Mj : Oh, is that so? Is it because you have someone else now?

Caroline nodded silently.....

Mj : Was he the one with you in the cafe this morning?
Caroline : how did you know that?
Mj : Well I went to town earlier today when I bumped into Keith. He was
headed for the flower shop then too. On our way there, we saw the
two of you chatting there. I've felt a very strong bond between you
two. it was then that I knew my chances was zero to none. But still,
I didn't want to accept the fact that I've been beaten.
Caroline : Please don't say that! I like you too but it's really complicated.
Mj : I understand Caroline. But let me ask you another question if it's
not too rude.
Caroline : Of course you can.
Mj : Did you approach me a year ago because of our similarities and is it
because I was just like you then?
Caroline : Yes. You did have a similarity to him and you were like me back then.
Mj : And what was it that you drew you to me?!
Caroline : Just like him, you have a never say die attitude. You always face any kind of adversity
head on without thinking of the consequences and in spite of that you were still not
satisfied. That is why I came to you.
Mj : So you didn't have any feelings for me from the start.
Caroline : As hard for me to say this but it's true. I only looked at you as a special friend, someone
I can lean on through the hard times. I'm really sorry about this.
Mj : Don't worry about, I'm not heartless. In fact I'm real happy that you found your true
Caroline : I'm sorry but I got to leave now.
Mj : Okay.......

As Caroline made her way to the gate, Mj called out to her once again..........

Mj : Hey Caroline, please let me take you home.
Caroline : No worries! I'll be fine on my own.
Mj : Then I'll insist that you let our family driver drop you off. Please Caroline!
Caroline : No, I don't want to trouble you anymore. Please understand!
Mj : Please don't think that you're troubling me. As you said, I am someone you can lean on
at any time, right? And if he does anything to make you cry or make you sad then I
won't think twice to bash him up!I don't mind being a troublemaker for you again!
Caroline : I'm going to count on that....

As she headed out, the rain started, drop by drop, thunder was heard and streaks of lightning blazed the night sky. But even the rain couldn't help wash away Mj's sorrows that time.
He just stood there, crying and gazing outside. All that he dreamed and hoped for vanished like a light from a candle blown out by a gust of wind. Even Mark and Keith had a hard time convincing him to get out of the rain......

Keith : Mj, come on, you're going to get sick if you continue on like this!

Mark : You'll only make matters worst, Mj. Do you know what will she think if she
heard you got sick after this?!
Keith : Yeah, do you want her to pity you? Not even you can go that low! She really
admires your perseverance and you break down just because of this?!
Mj : You don't know what it's like losing someone you loved very deeply. Not even someone
like me can take all that! I am not what she pictures me. I'm only an ordinary guy. I can
only push myself to the limit because of the fact that I got to protect her and my friends.
I'm not all that good!!!
Keith : We know that!
Mark : That is why were here for you. We are your friends till the end and nothing can
change that!
Mj : I know you mean well but please I can handle this on my own.
Mark & Keith : But Mj!
Mj : Please guys, I beg you, just leave me alone for now.
Keith : Ok, but please don't try to take it so hard on yourself!
Mark : Yeah, take it easy, it's still not the end of the world.
Mj : ................

Even after they left, he just stood there gazing outside, hoping that she will return say that those things weren't true. But his waiting was in vain, hours passed but still no sign of her. Mj finally went inside, exhausted. He was still thinking what could he have done to deserve such pain and suffering. That night, the rain didn't stop pouring as if it's consoling Mj in it's own way.

"It's hard to find love when it is so near but we
yearn for it when it's so far away."

That's it for Chapter 3! Thank you for reading and it's a pleasure to say that I'll be writing more of this story. Thanks for your support and sorry for being so slow. I had studies so instead of writing, I was stuck in the middle of homework. Oh well, now that our break is nearing, I hope that I can do 4 more chapters and type at the same time.

On the next chapter : Will Mj be able to gain composure or will he crumble to the despair
he's feeling. Looks like his summer will be a very gloomy one......

Next on My Life's Worth Chapter 4 : "The Cloudy Summer"