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More Than Just Friends

Ronnie and Jake are childhood friends, but they are forced to say goodbye too soon. Years later, they get the chance to rekindle their friendship, and in the process discover new feelings. Will they remain just friends, or will their relationship blossom into something more?

Age Rating: 16+


More Than Just Friends by Echo Reed is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.



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Eight years. That was how long it had been since we saw each other. Not so long ago, we used to talk a lot. Even if he left the country, he made sure that we were able to contact each other.

Having different time zones made it difficult for us to talk. Regardless of that, he still made sure that he was able to make me feel his presence around. Things were okay, or so I hope it would have been.

Two years after he left, and suddenly the emails stopped. I knew this would happen sooner or later, but it took at least two years of our long distance friendship to last. It was hard.

I was the kind of person who prefers old friends over new ones. Time passed by, and every day was going to be different.

As much as I hate to say it, he was just going to be another part of my life, the one who came and left. He sure stayed for a long time, and it saddens me to know he was not going to stay for the long run.

­Things have changed a lot since then—I met new people, went to different places and experienced life—after he officially became a part of my past.

I have been quite happy with everything, but Jake’s memory still continued to linger at the back of my mind.

He was right about one thing: his name engraved in the tag. It served as a solid reminder. I made sure to cherish our memories, and kept a piece of him close.

Even if he was somewhere far away, I still hoped that he kept his necklace as well. His promise was one of the reasons why I never wanted to forget him.

My mom once told me that promises were the most precious thing any person is willing to grant. I was young. Our bond was so strong, and his promise was the one thing I wanted to keep for a long time.

Growing up without him was not easy. It made me realize that he probably did not plan on keeping it anymore.

I sighed, letting the wave of nostalgia creep over my restless thoughts. As much as I thought of giving up his memory, something in me still wanted to keep it.

His memory matters, He matters to me. I closed my eyes and drifted to sleep as I held on tight to the tag that bore his name and memory.


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Meet me at the tree house, he said.

I was here for almost twenty minutes, and still no sign of him. Jake and his family were finally moving away.

He wanted to meet me tonight because this was going to be our last night, hanging out here in our tree house together. He also mentioned something about a gift before he officially leaves tomorrow.

I sat at the corner of the tree house, letting my leg dangle on the edge of the wooden platform. A wave of instant regret hit me when a cold breeze brushed my arm.

I curse myself for rushing here, and forgetting my hoodie in my room. I heard a wooden creak from below, followed by footsteps on the grass.

Grunting noises grew closer and then a bundle of chocolate brown waves popped up. I chuckled when I saw Jake scowling as he got up.

“Is this your idea of a farewell to your best friend? I am struggling here,” he grumbled.

My laughter died down. He sat right next to me, our arms brushing against each other. He was so warm.

“Sorry, Jake,” I mumbled.

Our eyes met and when he held my gaze, I turned away. I shivered when another breeze whipped my hair.

I rubbed my hands against my arms to get warm. I heard him unzip his hoodie, then he draped it over my shoulder.

“Wear this,” he murmured in my ear.

My cheeks heated up. I nodded and slipped my arms through the jacket. He sat right next to me, this time a little closer than usual. I looked at him and smiled.

“Thanks,” I replied.

He smiled back at me then pulled something from his pocket. It was a small, silver, metal box.

“I wanted to give you this,” he said as he handed it to me. “For your birthday,” he added.

I peeked inside and saw something shiny inside. I pulled out a pair of dog tags with our names engraved on each plate.

“Jake, this is…” I trailed off.

“Weird, I know,” he mumbled.

“No, this is actually pretty cool.” I grinned.

He leaned in and enveloped me in a warm hug. He then took the necklace with his name on it, and slipped it on me.

It gleamed as it rested on my chest. I looked at him with a puzzled expression as he wore the tag containing my name.

“Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?” I asked. I saw him blush as he looked away.

“Well you did say that you wanted something to make you remember me. So I had this idea of leaving my name, you know, just in case you forget it.”

He smiled jokingly but I could see the sadness in his eyes.

I felt a tiny pinch in my chest. I chuckled, but at the same time I felt tears crawl off my cheeks. He held my hand and squeezed it for reassurance.

“Please don’t cry,” he pleaded.

“I will never see you again.”

His hand tightened around mine when he spoke.

“I won’t be gone forever, you know,” he sighed. I pulled my hand away to wipe tears away with the sleeve of his hoodie.

“I’ll miss you a lot,” I sobbed.

He wrapped his arm behind, pulling me close now. My head rested on his chest, my hand gripping his shirt.

It reminded me of when I used to be little. Jake would pull me close every time something was wrong or when I got scared of something. It made my heart ache a little more.

“I’ll look for you. When I come back, you will be the first person that I visit,” he stated.

“You would?”

He chuckled. “Of course you silly girl.”

“I will wait for you then.” I sighed and nuzzled his chest. “I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too. Just remember that I will be looking for you once I get back,” he said.

“Promise me something.”

He rubbed my arm when he spoke. “What is it?”

“Can I be the only one who will keep Jake’s official best friend spot?” I requested.

He commanded in a funny tone, “I shall entitle it to you and yours only, just as long as I also get to keep Ronnie’s official bf spot as well.”

“You got yourself a deal, mister.”


Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!


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