After Summer’s Gone, realizations of a love lost.

He must have been out of his mind. He should be happy, shouldn’t he? After all, he was free to pursue Rea as much as he wanted to now.

Only he wasn’t. The image of Summer’s cold, expressionless face kept hovering reproachfully in his mind. It would’ve been much better if she had burst into tears, if she had slapped him or swore at him—anything. But that icy mask; it was enough to drive him crazy as he lies awake at night, thinking things over.

And the confession! Don’t mind it, she said. How can he not? Wasn’t it what he always wanted? It was. And now, Jeff had a feeling it’s something that he still wants just the same. Imagine that! But he was a fool and he threw it away. A fool…a fool…nothing but a fool.

“You rush headlong into things. You are like a little child in that respect, stubborn and spoiled—when you want something, you want to have it right away. You don’t even stop to think if it will be good or bad for you.” Summer has always chided him before. This statement haunts him now. How ironic. It was her who said it so often and yet…

“Jeff!” It was his mom, outside his door. “Jeff, you have a visitor.”

His heart leapt in anticipation. Was it Summer? He has not heard from her since that day—and it has been a week. Her self-imposed absence had him feeling as if there was this black, vacant hole in his life. She lived next door and she used to come almost every day; sometimes to chat of just about anything or just say hi to him or to his mom who was like a second mother to her.

He ran a hasty hand over his tousled hair; smoothed his rumpled clothes and made for the door, wondering abstractedly what he will tell Summer.

Only it wasn’t Summer who was waiting for him.

“Rea.” He mumbled, unfeelingly. It was weird. Wasn’t he supposed to be glad to see Rea? A wave of guilt washed over him. It was unfair to her.

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