[it’s where you could find me when you couldn’t find me anywhere else]

Him, You Know…

I suddenly remembered him, you know, from nowhere in particular. His tall athletic build. His dancing eyes under those long eyelashes. I remember how gentlemanly and thoughtful and caring he was to me. He was like that to all girls, you know, but I had this make believe story that I was special to him. I noticed every single kindness he did to me. He tied my shoelaces once, you know. See, I still remember. Every. Single. Thing. Back then, I thought I loved him. Now, I’m not so sure about what I felt before. I was so young then, a teenager dreaming of a fairy tale and conflicted about real emotions and feelings.

Well, it started during our field trip. My barkada divided into smaller groups and couples and I was kind of left alone. So, Cathy, my best friend then, asked him to accompany me throughout the day. She was going with my uncle and Angeline, my other best friend, was with John. Oh, the couples that time. So he, being so infatuated with Cathy, couldn’t say no and stayed with me until the bus ride home. Looking back, I wonder if he really enjoyed my company or got bored but just kept his feelings. Anyway, it was a very memorable day for me. We even had a picture together, with him ever so handsome and tall, and me ever so smiling and slightly leaning on his shoulders. We were wearing our PE uniforms. Ugh, see, I remember everything. He was the ultimate gentleman. He held my hand every time we were getting out of the rides. He held my hand when we were getting out of the bus. He tolerated my fear of haunted houses and let me cling to him when we were inside that awfully wretched place. And on the bus ride home, we sat together. He lent me his jacket and let me sleep on his shoulder.

That was the day I fell in love with him. Or so I thought. I started writing diaries about him. I blankly stared at him during class. I was sitting at the back, left side of the room, and he was sitting at the right side, near the window. Then it got awkward. We seldom talked to each other. I think it was me who ran away. I think I was afraid of getting hurt. I was new to this thing, you know, back then. So, I didn’t know what to do. I was stupid.

It was Bulprisa week and we seldom had classes. One dismissal time, we talked. I forgot the details but that was the first time we talked seriously, since the field trip. Everything that happened next was a blur. He was still kind to me, but I was kind of wishing for more. More than friendship, I mean. More than polite smiles. At a young age, I hoped for romance. And got disappointed.

Well, anyway, I remember avoiding him for the rest of the school year. It was difficult because I was really drawn to him, you know. I managed to ignore my little infatuation when I heard he was going to change school next school year. I convinced myself that it was gonna be more painful if he already left and I still had a big crush on him.

But, he didn’t change school the following year. And I still remember our first conversation in a long time. It was our general cleaning and our chairs were all outside the classroom. I was sitting there, my head on the armchair, expression kind of glum. He passed by and asked, “Ui, okay ka lang?” He was smiling. I smiled too.

And for the record, I miss him. This is nostalgia, you know. Deep inside, I was hoping that he, or anyone else, would ask if I’m okay and wouldn’t believe me if I said yes.

(Ugh, the rain really gets into my mood right now.)

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