Writing Now

A Day in the Friendzone. November 17, Monday, afternoon, one year ago

This is a companion short story to Miki‘s book, Songs to Get Over You.


“That girl?”


“The one to her left? Pink sweater, legs that go on for days. Wow.”

“I’m pretty sure I can’t.”

“How about her friend?”

“Too bulky…”

“Mikhail. Are you a weight-ist?”

“No!” Miki shrank back at the laser beam glare Jill shot at him. He put both palms up and rushed out his explanation. “I actually think she’s pretty and perfectly rounded in the right places.”

They were sitting on the gnarled wooden bench in the College of Economics front lobby, slumped on their seats, limbs in lazy angles, trying to wind down after a full day of classes. Jill pulled herself up to the straightest line her long spine would allow, hovering over Miki with her signature stern stare.

“Then what?” she hissed through pursed lips.

Miki winced, eyes darting back to the girl in question. He thought he recognized her from one of their Economics classes. The pretty and perfectly rounded girl had stretched out on the aged bench a few meters away from the one he and Jill had claimed.

The decrepit wood creaked in protest against the girl’s sudden movement. Miki was sure Jill heard it too.

“I think she can crush me,” he muttered.

Jill bit her lip, her eyes on the same scene. “You do bruise like an overripe mango.”

“See?” He grinned in triumph. He unlocked his tense limbs, glad the game of Find Miki a Girl to Ask Out had wound down. “Now what do you say we hit the library like we said we would before heading home?”

“This is hopeless,” Jill cut through him, wringing her hands. Apparently it was not game over yet. “I can’t be friends with an NGSB!”

Miki rolled his eyes. It was a habit he had picked up after years of hanging out with this girl. And it was a habit he’d used on her often, in times such as these when she claimed a term like NGSB. As in ‘No Girlfriend Since Birth.’ Miki sighed. Their bandmates Nino and Son almost died laughing when they first heard Jill say the term. But after those seemingly endless rounds of laughter they teamed up with Jill in her appeals to get Miki ‘exorcised’ from this condition. 

“Why not? It’s not a disease.” Miki felt he’d made this argument too many times already in the past few weeks.

Jill turned her entire body to face him, edging closer with one knee pulled up against her chest. “But you always tell me what to do with Kim. How can I trust your relationship advice when you’ve never even been in one?”

Her dark eyes were wide and grave. Miki knew she was serious, and funnily so, very much concerned about this whole issue. It was fine, though. He didn’t expect Jill to get it. That he didn’t need to be a girl’s boyfriend to be in love with her. Not all guys got to enjoy that luxury.

Of course she didn’t get it.


Read the rest of the story in author Ines Bautista-Yao‘s blog here. Thank you for the feature, Ines! MUAH <3

Songs to Get Over You is available on Amazon and in print here.

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