The rest of the day I can’t function. I hate Dave so much I want to punch his face. But, even if I had the opportunity, I never would. I’m a coward.

Pat, my supervisor, picks up on my mood and asks me about it. I’m reluctant at first, but then anger fills me again and I end up telling him what happened.

“Why do you put up with that ass?” he asks.

I search for the reason and I can’t find it. “We’ve always been friends. And he’s family.”

“So?” Pat looks at me like I’m insane. “People have disowned family members over smaller things than betrayal.”

I have no response.

Pat walks away shaking his head. I can see he thinks I’m stupid and a coward. He’s right. I am stupid and I am a coward. I could never stand up to Dave, even when we were kids. I learnt to just ignore him and do what he wanted. That way I didn’t give myself a heartache.

But my heart aches now. My heart is broken.

I work late again so I can avoid Dave. When I get home, I cry. I cry for Lilly, the love of my life. I cry for me, for being a spineless coward.

In the morning I call in sick and spend the day eating Lilly’s soup and watching depressing movies. I never want to leave my flat again and I never want to see Dave again. I regret not standing up to him. I don’t even want to go to the party anymore.

Above all, I regret falling in love with Lilly.

Then my phone rings. I don’t pick up; it’s another number I don’t recognise. The person starts to leave voicemail. I’m shocked to find out who it is: Lilly. What could she want?

I listen carefully to her message.

“Hi Tumie, it’s Lilly. I wanted to check up on you. How are you doing? Didn’t the soup help? Let me know if there’s anything I can do. Give me a call.”

I listen to the voicemail over and over again. Her voice is sweet and soothing. It breaks my heart to think that she could now be Dave’s girlfriend.

I want to call her, but I can’t. What if I break down and cry? What would she think of me then? No. I’ll go to work tomorrow and let her know how I feel about her. That way I’ll have no regret.

***

Question: Do you think Tumie will have the courage to tell Lilly how he feels?