This and a lot more..
I remember when you used to wait for me outside our classroom during my last class everyday. 1 1/2 hours of agonizing boredom and yet you were always patiently slumped on the cold floor awaiting our dismissal. You never failed to show up. You were never absent. You were always there smiling at me, ready to give a hug and a peck on the cheek, as soon as the professor said, “That’s all for today.”
We would walk to the waiting shed hand in hand and talking about what happened the whole day. I would usually whine about my miserable academic life and you would usually say that yours is more miserable than mine. You have the knack of making me feel light, of taking away my burdens, of making me realize that nothing’s miserable after all. You always say the right thing at the right time. And so you made each day bearable for me.
We would always argue about where we’d go after class. But we fixed that just by playing rock-paper-scissors as to what jeep we would ride. Or saying something like, “Yeah, whatever. Let’s just ride the fourth jeep that stops here.” Anywhere. We’d go anywhere as long as we’re together.
One time, you sang to me when we were at the mall, in one of those stores that sell Wow Magic Sing or something like that. I was so embarrassed because you kissed me in front of everyone and they clapped and hooted and congratulated us like we were newly-weds. But you made me happy and proud. Until now, when I pass by that store, the salesmen would ask where you are. And I would just smile at them and walk on.
After dinner and/or a movie, you would take me to campus once again because that’s where my dorm was. We would take a walk along the academic oval and talk about random things. We shared idealistic thoughts of changing the world and reaching Jupiter. We promised we would be first class professionals and travel the world and make a big difference. We painted all our dreams on the night sky. And you would kiss me goodnight and tell me, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
It was fun. We were free. We never said we love each other. Perhaps we were both afraid that saying it would change everything. Yet, we knew that whatever it was we’re having, it made us happy. We had no commitments. Perhaps, asking questions wouldn’t really clarify things. But, we were contented with each other. As long as we’re together.
I would fall asleep waiting for your reply to my SMS. I would slowly drift away on the thought that I’d see you tomorrow as usual.
One day I woke up and realized all this was long gone. A distant memory. A fleeting wave of nostalgia. Looking at the window, into the clear blue sky, I realized: The night sky was gone, and so were our painted dreams and promises. So were you.
And again, all I could do is remember. And not forget.