“I never meant to come between you and him.” He stated. As if that was explanation enough for his actions. Delilah looked up from her phone, where three texts had been ignored by her boyfriend.
“You didn't? Really?” She mocked, pushing the hair of her face and pursing her lips. The room stayed silent while Derek watched with apologetic eyebrows. He toyed with a loose thread from his jeans. “Derek. You told people we kissed!” She practically yelled, unable to stop her arm from jerking upwards to emphasis her points. The brunette seemed to always use gestures with her words; Derek had noticed it within the first week of sitting next to her in English. She kept hitting him in the arm.
“But we did kiss, technically.” He shrugged, biting his lip to hide a smile as Delilah threw her stuffed elephant teddy at him. She shook her head and exhaled, exasperated at her excuse of a best friend.
“That was a mistake. A stupid one at that,” she said, pouting as she picked up her phone to type out another text. Derek threw the teddy back at her for attention.
“I didn't tell people.” He confessed, catching her attention more so than the teddy. “Mikey stole my phone when you sent the text. Y'know the one saying 'it was a mistake'?” He grumbled. “Also! Hey! That kiss was not a mistake!” Derek pushed, feigning offence. Delilah glared with hooded eyes, grimacing before looking back to her phone.
Delilah and Derek met in secondary school at the Valentine Dance. This was where Derek confessed his feelings to her the first time; and where Delilah shut down his feelings for the first time. She was stood near the outskirts of the room, fiddling with her fingers and nibbling on the loose skin of her bottom lip. She had attempted to do a smokey eye with shimmery blue eyeliner, cherry-red blushed cheeks and wore a red dress with pink frills lacing every trim. (If she were to see anyone wearing that dress nowadays, she'd call them a disgrace to the fashion world.) But at the time, Derek thought she was perfection. Derek, in his blue velvet suit, had swayed up to her with as much confidence as a meerkat in headlights, coughing into his fists, like in the movies, and had asked her if she wanted to dance.
It was a short and snappy 'No' which had filled Derek's stomach with a mix of butterflies and a handful of wasps. Now, six years later, they were best friends.
“Alright, calm your head, Delilah. It's not like I wanted this information getting out either.” Derek groaned, throwing his weight back onto Delilah's pink, fluffy blanket. She rolled her eyes.
“Yeah, sure. What do you have to lose, Gallow?” She mused sarcastically. Stroppily, Derek raised his body onto his elbows and looked over to the girl who sat with crossed arms.
“Excuse you. I have a life too. Maybe I'm speaking to someone.”
“Yeah, right. Since when?”
“Like a month or so.” He replied quickly. Delilah raised her brows expectantly and waited patiently for a reply. “What, Murtle?” He questioned, using her last name just like she did.
“Oh, my God! Derek, Who?” She stressed.
Derek mumbled something under his breath; even an elephant would struggle to decipher his tongue. It was a pet-peeve of Delilah's that Derek made sure to use.
“Margaret...Marga Piper.” He repeated, scrunching his eyes shut as he waited for Delilah's reaction. After a moment of silence, he opened one wearily. His friend sat with a confused expression, staring at the far wall with her mouth slightly ajar.
“Moaning Marga? Your ex, Moaning Marga?” She said, the name dragging against her teeth. Once it clicked, her whole body jerked to face Derek, whacking him in the chest with the pillow she had perched between her legs. “Your EX, Derek! You've taken her back? You can't be serious?” She snapped.
“You can't be seriously annoyed at me. Maybe for not telling you, but apparently that was the right decision.” He spoke with sarcasm dripping from his tongue. He pursed his lip at the same time Delilah did, mimicking her just to get on her nerves. She sighed, closing her eyes and taking in a new, clear breath.
“If you are speaking to...her...why did you think it was a good idea to kiss me?” Delilah posed, crossing her arms and tilting her head. It took a moment for Derek to think of his answer, looking up and down and swinging his jaw side-to-side.
“I dunno. We were drunk. You looked pretty.” He stated. His short answers leaving Delilah speechless. Was there even a response for that?
Delilah shook herself out of shock, shook her head, and coughed: “Don't be stupid. That is no excuse.”
“I didn't say it was an excuse. You asked 'why', so I said 'because'.” Derek responded immediately. “And besides. This is hardly the issue here. You kissed me when you have a boyfriend. Marga and I are simply speaking.” He added, matter-of-factly. Delilah scoffed.
“I didn't kiss you.” She fumbled, “It doesn't count if I didn't lean in first.”
“Yes, yes it does!” Derek argued, his hand sticking up in the air. Delilah refused it.
“That is like saying if someone got stabbed and then the victim fell forward because of the knife in their stomach, they stabbed themselves. Is that your logic?” She rambled, arms flailing.
“No. Because you didn't get stabbed, Delilah.” Derek explained, as if to a child. Delilah scoffed again. This was preposterous. “You kissed back. That is still on you.”
“Fine. But it was still a mistake. I was drunk too.”
The two soaked in the silence; Derek sucking on his cheek and allowing his lips to smack together in an annoying manner. In some ways, the air felt sticky. It wasn't unusual for the two to sit in silence. They didn't need to fill all their companionship with sound to feel comfortable. But it seemed tense now. To both of them but neither would admit it. It was Delilah who broke the silence by standing up suddenly and stomping to her chest-of-drawers. On top, she grabbed her over-sized jumper and threw it over her head. Then, her beanie.
“Come on. I want ice-cream. I've just been dumped so I deserve it.” She said. Her friend didn't comment, grabbed his coat and held her bedroom door open for her. The walk towards the shop wasn't any more talkative but the scenery acted as a shield from the awkwardness. They both buried themselves in the crisp air and the dried leaves covering the pavement.
Derek spoke up, “I'm sorry about your boyfriend.”
“Delilah, at least let me comfort you. Jeez.” He scolded, knocking his weight into her and pushing her slightly into the bush. There was a second where Delilah huffed a laugh, looking up at Derek and shaking her head. She stretched her arm out, shoving all her strength into his side and knocking him back before bursting into laughter.
“Fine. You can buy me the ice-cream.” She stated, earning a gasp and another shove.
“Your plan all along, hm?” Derek quizzed, raising a suspecting brow, “Guilt me into buying you junk food. Mastermind. Evil genius.” He rambled, not giving a chance for Delilah to intervene.