THIS UNBETA-ED. EXPECT ERRORS ALONG THE WAY.
Rated T for alcohol.
Announcements will be stated at the bottom. See you there.
50. Drowning His Sorrows
Alcohol wasn't exactly Ruby's best friend; he never needed it. He had nothing to do with it. In fact, he hated it. He always believed that alcohol wasn't always the answer when one has problems. Plus, it didn't help that he had a low tolerance in alcohol too—he was the type to get drunk easily.
But it wasn't the case now.
Somehow, he threw all those beliefs away and went straight to a bar five blocks away from his dormitory. Along the way, he bumped onto Emerald. The small college student was curious at first, but when he saw Ruby entering a bar, his eyes widened in shock.
"Ruby!" Emerald screamed, standing in front of him. His eyes wandered around the place, as he bit his lip. "What are you doing here?" he asked in a soft yet strict tone.
Ruby's lips formed a thin line. His eyes and his shoulders were droopy and somehow, Emerald saw his eyeballs were slowly turning as red as his pupils.
And it was worrying him. Was he alright? What is going on?
"I'm sorry, Emerald, but get out of the way," Ruby uttered, gently pushing Emerald out of the way. The bar smelled terrible as usual, but he didn't have time to worry about the smell getting into his clothes. Taking a deep breath, and keeping it in, he found a table and sat there. He ordered one bucket of beer and paid it immediately.
Emerald followed and sat in front of him, his eyes were beaming with nervousness for his friend. What was going on? What happened to Ruby? Didn't he hate drinking? "Dude, are you okay? What's going on?"
Ruby didn't reply and there was a moment of silence until his order arrived. He popped the beer bottle open and gulped. He looked at the yellow, bubbling substance in the carafe as he took the scent in. His face scrunched at it.
It smelled horrible; he hated it! But he had to do this. He couldn't take this pain lingering in his heart any longer.
He wasn't the type of guy to drink his sorrows away, but in this situation, he felt like he wanted to—he felt like he had to.
A bottle of yellow, disgusting beer with a dash of coke and lemon was all it took for Ruby to get drunk. He knew his low tolerance in alcohol, but for the first time, he didn't mind that. He chose to drink away this wounded sensation forming in the pit of his stomach, but most importantly, in his heart.
It just...hurt. It hurt a lot.
"Ruby, stop," Emerald demanded, placing his hand on the bottle, but Ruby ignored it. He swatted Emerald's hand away and continued drinking like there was no tomorrow.
The raven-haired gasped and placed the empty bottle down. His eyes darted around the bar. He saw people laughing, drinking, and just having fun. Some looked like they were getting drunk too. He sighed, looking at the two remaining bottles of beer in the now melting bucket of ice.
He wouldn't be doing this if he wasn't hurt.
Sapphire...Sapphire is the only person in his mind. She's his best friend and his...everything.
He remembered how they argue over little things, but only laugh it all off in the end. He remembered how they study together in that remote place in the library despite their different college programs. He remembered...everything—how her smile lit up his place, how it filled his heart with intense glee and all the positive emotions he could feel.
He really loves her. He didn't need to question it; she could make him feel different things at once.
In fact, he loves her so much that he chose to protect her from him by keeping his distance from her, but it turned out that he was hurting her.
After having a talk with her, all thanks to their friend, Blue, it turned out that she feels the same about him. He didn't know if she feels the same now, but he regretted secluding himself from her. He didn't know; he wasn't aware. He wished—He just wished he could turn back the time and stop himself from isolation. He was still selfish—only thinking about his own feelings and not the people who matter to him.
He grabbed another beer bottle, popping it open. He heard Emerald speak, but it was all vague and empty for him.
It's been three months since his last talk with Sapphire, and he didn't know if she still feels the same. He would like to start over, but when he saw her one time, he noticed she was holding someone else's hand.
The sensation? It hurt. It hurt so bad that it felt like someone's pounding his heart into mush. It hurt—it hurt—hurt...HURT...!
He only felt nothing but hurt. How did—How did she manage to find someone—no. He shook his head, glugging the beer into his mouth like a machine.
How come she managed to move on from her feelings that easily? And why was she holding Wally's hand? He just couldn't understand it! He thought Wally was his friend! Wait, were they even together? He knew Wally also liked Sapphire but did he wait for this opportunity to ask her out? But why?! WHY?! He felt like someone punched and slapped his face repeatedly just by knowing that. How come Wally managed to ask her out while he couldn't?
He stopped, dropping the beer, breaking it.
No...it was all his fault. It was all his fault.
If he didn't isolate himself from Sapphire, then this wouldn't happen. He bit his lip, clenching his fist.
Something inside Ruby snapped. Tears fell from his eyes. His grip on his fist tightened. His arms started trembling in fear. His breath hitched in his throat. He tried to gulp. He tried to breathe. He tried to wander his eyes around the bar, but it worsened when he saw Sapphire entering in it with Wally.
And they were holding hands.
He didn't know what they were doing here, but he immediately closed his eyes, not wanting to see what would happen next. He took a deep breath, but he didn't obtain any. He tried breathing through his mouth, but he felt no air entering through it. His pupils dilated, his eyes went to his drink but he couldn't see it.
All he could see was a dark abyss consuming him.
"Dude! I told you not to—"
He couldn't hear any. He could only feel the never-ending negative emotions devouring him, taking him to the endless realm of darkness.
Ruby fluttered his eyes open, sitting up. He held his aching head.
"What happened?" he mumbled, his eyes darting around the place. It seemed like he was back in his room, but who brought him back here? He took a deep breath. He tried going down the bed, only to see the door creaked open. Curious, he stopped to look at the person who entered his room.
It turned out to be Emerald.
"Good, you're awake," Emerald said, closing the door. He handed Ruby a cold bottle of water. "Drink it," he added, climbing on the bed to sit next to Ruby.
"What happened?" Ruby asked, grabbing the bottled water on the bed. He twisted the cap open and placed the mouthpiece of the bottle close to his lip.
Emerald sighed, biting his lip. He didn't want to tell Ruby what happened, but if it meant the guy could move on sooner, then so be it.
"Wally asked Sapphire to marry him, and she said 'yes'."
Ruby felt numb. His grip on the bottled water almost loosened, but he managed to gain back his consciousness and held it tightly. He swallowed the lump in his throat.
Emerald perked up. He looked at him with a surprise lingering on his face. He sighed. Of course, he would refuse to believe it, but Ruby knew him: he would never lie. He may be an orphan but he wasn't taught to lie. He coughed, gathering his voice. "I'm being serious. Wally proposed to Sapphire in that same bar. You know I wouldn't lie to you."
There was a saying that 'the truth hurts', and what Ruby was feeling at the moment was nothing but pain. He knew his friend was telling the truth, but he refused to believe it.
He would believe it until he saw the engagement ring on Sapphire's finger.
To his astonishment, there was a knock on the door. Sighing, Ruby stood up, the bottled water still in hand, and opened it. His eyes widened when he saw Sapphire.
She looked beautiful, and...was she wearing makeup? What was going on?
He tried to avert his gaze from her, lowering his eyes on the ground, and then—
He stopped, wondering what was that silver hoop wrapping Sapphire's ring finger. He knew what it was, but up until now, he still refused to believe such things.
They were...college students. Why on earth would Wally even propose to Sapphire at a time like this?
"That ring," Ruby said, his eyes still avoiding hers.
Sapphire lifted her hand, inspecting the ring on her finger. "Oh, this," she quipped. The blush on her cheeks became rosy. "Wally proposed to me and I said yes."
And that's what all Ruby needed to know in order to believe.
His body became numb again, and this time, he dropped the water bottle he was holding, letting roll on the floor.
He was dreaming, right? He tried to close his eyes then blinked, but when he opened it, the same image still flashed in front of him: Sapphire's beautiful flushed face while she was wearing her engagement ring with Wally.
He closed his eyes again. He closed it over and over and over again until a tear fell from his eye.
He smiled, a fake one.
"C-Congratulations," he choked, clenching his trembling fists. His whole body suddenly felt weak, and before he knew it, darkness succumbed to his vision again, as he fell on the floor with a thud.
All he could feel was pain.
And they say I couldn't write angst. I tried. I really like torturing Ruby more since Sapphire had enough romantic torture in the manga. :'D
1. This one-shot collection will be put in hiatus. No, it's not the end. I have like 44 one-shots for this collection and they need major rewrite/edit. This one-shot collection will end when I die. Then again, I'll still write franticshipping in my grave.
2. The reason why this will be in hiatus is because next month will be franticshipping week. Yes, franticshipping week so I hope people will participate and if I'm the only one who will participate then it's okay too.
3. You can follow franticshipping week on twitter and on Tumblr. They go by RuSaWeek on twitter and tumblr.
4. Yes, I will write 7 one-shots for franticshipping week which explains why this will be put on hiatus. ALTHOUGH, it'll depend on my mood if I decided to publish the 7 one-shots in this collection rather than separately. We'll see. :D
And with that, stay safe, stay healthy and hopefully this pandemic will end soon. Time to play more Animal Crossing: New Horizons. :)